Ogier le Danois and the Abbey of St. Faro of Meaux

Cerf, Barry

Professor Bédier in his Légendes épiques has studied the relation of Ogier le Danois to the abbey of St. Faro of Meaux. He has shown to what a remarkable extent the monks of Meaux were instrumental in the formation of the legend of this epic hero. A romantic story was invented by them to account for his entrance into the abbey. A tale equally romantic was created, relating his rescue of the abbey in which he had become a monk from a horde of invading Saracens. The famous poet of Meaux, Fulcoius, wrote his epitaph in sonorous Latin verse. A magnificent tomb was erected in his memory. His sword, a gigantic one, was for centuries preserved at Meaux as a witness to his greatness. The question I have here attempted to solve is, What is the origin of the connection of Ogier with this abbey? The work of Becker and particularly of Bédier has made familiar to all readers the practice of the medieval monks of seizing popular legend and ascribing it to one of their number, thereby enhancing the glory of their sanctuaries and attracting pilgrims. Exactly this certainly happened in the case of Ogier. There is no reason to suppose that the historic Carolingian Ogier was buried at Meaux. It is oniy in the French tradition, which has been clearly proven to be dependent upon legends furnished by the monks of this abbey, that Meaux is declared to be Ogier's last resting place.

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Romanic Review

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Academic Units
French and Romance Philology
Columbia University Press
Published Here
June 23, 2015


Source: / Bibliothèque nationale de France