Mem Pais
Trovador medieval

Nationality: Incerta

Biographical Note:

Troubadour, hard to locate, and from whom only the first line of one of his three compositions (satirical, it may be deduced) attributed to him by the “Tavola Colocciana” has reached us. Resende de Oliveira1, examining several homonyms present in documents from the mid-13thcentury, suggests two identification hypothesis: the portuguese Mem Pais Mafaldo, relative of the troubadour Pero Mafaldo, or the galician Mem Pais de Souto Maior or de Candarei, brother-in-law of the troubadour Mem Rodrigues Tenoiro. We add that, in this case, Mem Pais could have been a younger brother of Rodrigo Pais de Candrei, documented between 1214 and 1230 as a vassal to the galician magnate Dom Rodrigo Gomes da Trava, accompanying him, together with one of his sons (maybe the troubadour Nuno Rodrigues de Candarei), in the service to Fernando III2.
We therefore believe that, given the two identification hypothesis proposed by Resende de Oliveira1, the hypothesis of him being the galician Mem Pais de Souto Maior is more plausible, especially if we consider the song that Alfonso X addresses exactly to one Dom Mendo de Souto Maior, that may be identified as the troubadour. In this case, another member of the family, this one documented in the accounts of Sancho IV of Castilla, Paio Mendes de Candarel, could equally be his son.
In any case, the fact that only a small fragment from the italian aphographs is known hinders any rigorous identification.


1 Oliveira, António Resende de (1994), Depois do espectáculo trovadoresco. A estrutura dos cancioneiros peninsulares e as recolhas dos séculos XIII e XIV, Lisboa, Edições Colibri.

2 Ron Fernández, Xavier (2005), “Carolina Michaelis e os trobadores representados no Cancioneiro da Ajuda”, in Carolina Michaelis e o Cancioneira da Ajuda hoxe, Santiago de Compostela, Xunta de Galicia, p. 146.
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