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Medieval Music Database

Aman novi probatur; Heu, Fortuna subdola; Heu me, tristis est

Three-voice motet attributed to Philippe de Vitry


Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 146, fol. 30 (3/2).


1. Le Roman de Fauvel, manuscrit inédit de la Bibliothèque Nationale (français 146) reproduit par un procédé photographique inaltérable, facsimile edition by Pierre Aubry, Paris: Librairie Paul Geuthner, 1907.
2. PARRISH, Carl. The Notation of Medieval Music, New York: W. W. Norton, 1957, plate XLVI.
3. ROESNER, Edward H. Le Roman de Fauvel in the edition of Mesire Chaillou de Pesstain, New York: Broude Brothers, 1990.


The Roman de Fauvel; The Works of Philippe de Vitry; French Cycles of the Ordinarium Missae, edited by Leo Schrade, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1956. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century I, p. 48.

Text Editions

BLACHLY, Alexander. The Motets of Philippe de Vitry, Columbia University (M.A. thesis), p. 72.


1. WOLF, Johannes. Geschichte der Mensural-Notation von 1250-1460 nach den theoretischen und praktischen Quellen, 3 vols., Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1904. [reprinted Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1965].
2. BESSELER, Heinrich. 'Studien zur Musik des Mittelalters. II. Die Motette von Franko von Köln bis Philippe von Vitry', Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, VIII (1926): 137-258.
3. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Zweiter Band: Einleitung zu I. Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais. II. Motetten. III. Messe und Lais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1928.
4. DAHNK, Emilie. L'hérésie de Fauvel, Leipzig: C. & E. Vogel, 1935. Leipziger romanistische Studien II, Literatur-wissenschaftliche Reihe, Heft 4.
5. BECKER, Philip August. 'Fauvel und Fauvelliana', Berichte über die Verhandlungen der sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig (Philologish-Historische Klasse), LXXXVIII/2 (1936): 1-45.
6. SCHRADE, Leo. 'Philippe de Vitry: some new discoveries', Musical Quarterly, XLII (1956): 330-354.
7. SANDERS, Ernest. 'The mediaeval motet', Gattungen der Musik in Einzeldarstellungen: Gedenkschrift Leo Schrade, Erste Folge, Bern, Munich: 1971, pp. 497-573.
8. SANDERS, Ernest H. 'The early motets of Philippe de Vitry', Journal of the American Musicological Society, XXVIII (1975): 24-45.


1. Philippe de Vitry 1291-1361, Benjamin Bagby and Barbara Thornton, Sequentia (1991): RD 77 095.
2. Philippe de Vitry and the Ars Nova, Robert Hare-Jones (CT), Charles Daniels (T), Angus Smith (T), Donald Greig (Bar), Orlando Consort (1991): CD-SAR 49.


Aman novi probatur exitu
quantum prosit inflari spiritu
superbie qui plus appetere
quam deceat et que suscipere
non liceat tantumque scandere
quod tedeat ut alter ycarus
tentaverat in maris fluctibus
absorptus est ac iam submersus
sic nec est reversus
Pheton usurpato
solis regimine
sed ipso cremato
suo conamine
est exterminatus
sic nimis elatus
Ycari volatus
affectans transcendere
noster Aman et vincere
rapinam Phetontis
in Falconis montis
loco collocatus
e pulvere elatus
ymbre sepe lavatur
aura flante siccatur
suis delictis in ymis
"Non eodem cursu respondent
ultima primis".

Heu Fortuna subdola
que semper diastola
usque nunc fuisti
promittendo frivola
tanquam vera sistola
nunc apparuisti.
heu quociens prospera
longe ponens aspera
mihi promisisti.
me ditans innumera
gaza usque ad ethera
nomen extulisti.
nunc tua volubili
rota lacu flebili
nudum demersisti.
velud Aman morior;
de te sic experior
quod me decepisti.
quanto gradus alcior
tanto casus gravior
hoc me docuisti.

Heu me, tristis est anima mea.


The fate of the new Haman
demonstrates how much it benefits one to
be too puffed up with pride in spirit.
with a greater lust for power than
is proper, to reach out too far.
to rise so fast that it is revolting...
he tried to be another Icarus.
was submerged in the waves of the sea.
and now is drowned. Just as Phaeton.
having usurped the sun chariot.
did not return.
but was himself burned up
because of his ambition
and extinguished.
Thus our Haman.
guilty of the most excessive pride.
tried to surpass the flight
of Icarus, and to outdo
Phaeton's abduction of the chariot.
He was therefore brought to that
place called Montfaucon.
raised up from the dust (dead)
washed by many rains.
and dried by a blowing wind
because of the extremity of his crimes.
"The end of a career does not always
match its beginning".

Alas, crafty Fortune.
having always been expansive
up to now.
promising trifles.
suddenly you are seen to be
truly contractious.
Alas, how often you have
promised me good fortune.
postponing misery.
enriching me with innumerable
treasures and extolling my
name to the skies.
Now by a spinning of your wheel
you have plunged me.
destitute, into a lake of tears.
I die like Haman.
This I have learned about you:
you were deceiving me;
"The higher the rise
the greater the fall".

Alas, my soul is sad.

Text revision and translation © Schrade 56# 337 (synopsis); Parrish 57#

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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