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CSM Number : 196
Short name: The Pagan Priest Alternative: Pagan priest is converted
Incipit: Senpre punnou muit’ a Virgen
Refrain: Sempre punnou muit’ a Virgen/ per u fosse connoçuda/ dos que a non connocian/ e sa bondade sabuda.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Byzantium/ Constantinople the Great Protagonist(s): a pagan priest

A pagan priest decided to make an idol to serve as an oracle.

He prepared some moulds and filled them with metal.

But when he opened one of them, instead of finding an idol, he discovered a statue of a woman nursing her son.

Alarmed by this, he went form temple to temple, asking whether anyone recognised the deity represented by the statue. None of the pagans could help him.

The pagan priest then asked the Christians who identified the statue as an image of the Virgin Mary. They took him to a church and showed him another statue of her that convinced him of their claim.

The pagan priest converted to Christianity, destroyed his temple, and smashed all of his idols. When he died his soul went to Paradise.

Metrical data
Stanza: 15' 15' 15' 15' Refrain: 15' 15'
No. of Stanzas: 11
Rhyme scheme: AA | bbba Zejel: Yes
MS locations:
Poncelet reference
casting (metal), conversion, heaven, iconoclasts, idol, images (other), mold, oracle, pagan, soul, temple (pagan)
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
La música de las Cantigas de Santa María del rey Alfonso el Sabio. Facsímil, transcripción y estudio crítico vol. III
Anglés, Higinio
Aberturas e finais: rubricas, refrães, estrofes iniciais e estrofes terminais nas Cantigas de Santa Maria
Parkinson, Stephen
Le répertoire médiéval Galicien-Portugais: Un Système mnémo-technique. Structures formelles de répétition lexicale et mélodique
Rossell, Antoni
La composición de las Cantigas de Santa Maria: una estrategia métrico-melódica, una estrategia poética
Rossell, Antoni
Las Cantigas del Rey Sabio
Valera, Juan