Perdigon or Perdigo (fl. 1190–1212Aubrey, 18.] ) was a
troubadourfrom Lespéron [Lespéron, a small town, is identified with the canton of Coucouron, Largentière, Ardèche.] in the "Gabales", diocese of Gévaudan, modern Lozère.Egan, 83.] Fourteen of his works survive, including three "cansos" with melodies.Aubrey, 19.] He was respected and admired by contemporaries, judging by the widespread inclusion of his work in chansonniers and in citations by other troubadours.
Though his biography is made confounding by contradicting statements in his "vida" and allusions in his and others' poems, Perdigon's status as a
jongleurfrom youth and an accomplished fiddler is well-attested in contemporary works (by him and others) and manuscript illustrations depicting him with his fiddle. Perdigon travelled widely and was patronised by Dalfi d'Alvernha, the Baux, [Probably Guillem des Baux (Aubrey, 218).] Peter II of Aragon, and Barral of Marseille. His service to the latter provides an early definite date for his career, as Barral died in 1192 and Perdigon composed a "canso"—which survives with music—for him.
According to his "vida", Perdigon was the son of a poor fisherman who excelled through his "wit and inventiveness" to honour and fame, be clothed and eventually armed, knighted, and granted land and rent by Dalfi d'Alvernha. After this period of his life, which is said to have lasted a long time, the manuscripts of his "vida" diverge. According to one version, death deprived him of his friends, male and female, and so he lost his position and entered a
Cistercianmonastery, where he died. That he entered a Cistercian monastery has received some support from two of his more sombre works.
According to another version of his "vida", he became a strong opponent of
Catharismand supported the Albigensian Crusade. He is said to have accompanied Guillem des Baux, Folquet de Marselha, and the Abbot of Cîteauxto Rometo oppose Raymond VI of Toulouseafter the latter's excommunication in 1208. The author of the "vida" blames Perdigon for " [bringing] about and [arranging] all these deeds."Egan, 84.] The biographer further claims that Perdigon sung to the populace to encourage the Crusade and even boasted of humiliating Peter II of Aragon—a former patron "who had clothed him"—who died at the Battle of Muret. For this reason he became despised and lost all his friends in the war: Simon de Montfort, Guillem des Baux, [This personage was the Prince of Orange, but it was probably a similarly named Uc des Bauxwith whom Perdigon was acquainted (Egan, 84).] and many others. In the end his suzerain, Dalfi d'Alvernha, abandoned him, confiscated his land, and sent him away. The biographer claims that he went to Lambert de Monteil and begged to be entered into the Cistercian monastery of "Silvabela," but the author incorrectly believes Lambert to be the son-in-law of Guillem des Baux and the monastery Silvabela ("beautiful forest") never existed. He died in the monastery.
Among Perdigon's surviving songs is a "
torneyamen" with Raimbaut de Vaqueirasand Ademar de Peiteus. [Aubrey, 231.] Unusually for the period, Perdigon, along with Aimeric de Peguilhan, through-composedhis melodies. [Aubrey, 169.]
*Aubrey, Elizabeth. "The Music of the Troubadours". Indiana University Press, 1996. ISBN 0 253 21389 4.
*Egan, Margarita, ed. and trans. "The Vidas of the Troubadours". New York: Garland, 1984. ISBN 0 8240 9437 9.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.