Lopo Lias
Trovador medieval


Nationality: Galega

Biographical Note:

Galician troubadour, about whose biography and chronology some doubts remain. Actually, although his compositions, preserved in the italian apographs, are transcribed in the initial part of the satirical songs, which seems to indicate an early chronology or, at least, corresponding to the first half of the 13th century, Resende de Oliveira1, following Rodrigues Lapa, places him at the end of that century, identifying him with the homonym whose widow, Rica Martins, appears in the documentation from the Monastery of Toxosoutos2 (doc. 789) as owner of a property that belonged to him. Although undated, the fact that this document is written in vernacular and not in Latin, along with the fact that it is placed in the final zone of the cartulary, a zone which includes documents copied and added by the 15th century, led Resende de Oliveira to assign it a later date, therefore placing the troubadour’s chronology at the end of the 13th century or beginning of the next. It should be added that, in the documentation from the same monastery, we also find another document (nº 119), this one dated 1247, that mentions one Dom Elias and one João Lias, which, still according to this researcher, might be, respectively, the father and a brother of Lopo Lias. Thus, and even accepting the hypothesis that the first of the aforementioned documents dates from the end of the 13th century, since in it Lopo Lias is mentioned as already deceased (and even considering that the age difference between he and his wife might be significant, as was usual at the time), nothing seems to prevent that Dom Lopo’s chronology might start a lot earlier.
Actually, very recently José Souto Cabo (2011), 3made public another document, from the Tombo of the Cathedral of Santiago and dated 1219, in which one of the signataries is precisely one “Lupus Elie, milles”, knight that this researcher believes might be identified as the troubadour. Among the signatories of this document appears, moreover, one Nuno Fernandes, knight of Orzelhão (Ourense), which is nonetheless significant, given the several references to this location that we find in the songs of Lopo Lias. Souto Cabo suggests, then, the period of 1190-1260 as the chronological arc of the troubadour’s life. Considering all this data, it’s possible, then, that we may have to place Dom Lopo Lias in the initial stages of the galician-portuguese poetry (which is consistent, moreover, with the placement of his work in the italian aphographs).
In regard to the specific biography of the troubadour we don’t have, however, any other data, excepting the ones present in his songs, and that point to him having frequented, at some point, the royal court (of Afonso IX? Of the young Fernando III of Castilla?). From one song that the knight João Romeu de Lugo addresses to him (probably already in a late stage of Dom Lopo’s life) we also find out that he would be blind in one eye, which may point to him having taken part in the military campaigns of the so called christian Reconquista. But this is merely an hypothesis without documentary confirmation.
It should also be added that the spelling of Dom Lopo’s surname has varied between Lias (which is the dominant form in the songbooks, and that would have emanated from the patronymic Elias) and Lians (an option taken by Pelligrini4, who believes it to be the toponym S. Eulália de Lians, in the Corunha region). Although there’s also no certainties in this matter, the testimonies from the songbooks, together with the aforementioned documents from Toxosoutos, seem to indicate Lias (son of Elias) as being the correct form of the surname.


References

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 Pérez Rodríguez, Francisco Javier (Ed.) (2004), Os documentos do tombo de Toxos Outos, Santiago de Compostela : Consello da Cultura Galega.

3 Souto Cabo, José António (2011), "Lopo Lias: entre Orzelhão e Compostela", Diacrítica, 25.3, Universidade do Minho.
      Go to web page


4 Pellegrini, Silvio (1969), "Il canzionere de D. Lopo Liáns", in Annali dell'Istituto Universitario Orientale - Sezione Romanza, XI .

Read all cantigas (in Cancioneiros' order)


Cantigas (alphabetical order):


A dona de Bagüin
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

A dona fremosa do Soveral
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

A Dona Maria [há] soidade
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

A mi quer mal o infançom
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Airas Moniz, o zevrom
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Ao lançar do pao
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Da esteira vermelha cantarei
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Desto som os zevrões
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Em este som de negrada
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Enmentar quer'eu do brial
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

- Escudeiro, pois armas queredes
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Muito mi praz d'ũa rem
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

O infançom houv'atal
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Ora tenho guisado
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Os zevrões forom buscar
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Quem hoj'houvesse
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Se m'el-rei dess'algo, já m'iria
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Sela aleivosa, em mao dia te vi
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Tercer dia ante Natal
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer