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For the purposes of the new edition, every poem has been assigned a unique short title. The original short titles, taken eclectically from a number of sources, are retained as alternative short titles.
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CSM Number : 28
Short name: The Siege of Constantinople Alternative: Siege of Constantinople [mantle as shield]
Incipit: Todo logar mui ben pode/ seer defendudo
Refrain: Todo logar mui ben pode/ seer defendudo/ o que a Santa Maria / á por seu escudo.
Summary of narrative
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Setting: Constantinople Protagonist(s): St Germanos and the citizens of Constantinople

When Constantinople was in Christian hands, a pagan king laid siege to it. The Patriarch Germanos prayed to the Virgin to save the people from “that insolent Moor.”

He asked the women of Constantinople to burn candles before the statue of the Virgin.

The sultan had catapults erected and ordered his archers to shoot. The wall of the city was breached.

The Virgin descended with a company of saints and spread out her mantle to deflect the blows. God caused the Christian defenders to kill their opponents.

The sultan, believing his men were deserting, called on Mohammed. When he looked up to heaven he saw the Virgin with her mantle defending the city.

He ceased to attack and entered the city incognito. He told Germanos that he had been inspired by his vision of the Virgin and that he wished to become a Christian and to be baptised secretly.

Metrical data
Stanza: 7 6’ 7 6’ 7 6’ 7 6’ Refrain: 13’ [7’ 5’] 13’ [7’ 5’]
No. of Stanzas: 15
Rhyme scheme: AA | bcbcdada Zejel:
MS locations:
T28, E28, To27
Poncelet reference
Constantinopolitanam / ad urbem gentum profanum (216)
apparition, baptism, candle, catapult, conversion, image (of Virgin Mary), king, mantle (of Virgin Mary), Muhammad, Muslims/Moors, pagan, Patriarch, Saint Germanos, siege, sultan, veil, warfare
Click HERE for a list of recordings of this poem
Miracle Collection
Siege of Constantinople [mantle as shield] Gautier de Coinci
Siege of Constantinople [mantle as shield] Mariale Magnum
(Paris Bibliothèque Nationale lat 3177)
La notación mensural de la música monódica de la corte española del siglo XIII ofrece soluciones nuevas, hasta hoy totalmente desconocidas, para la interpretación estético-rítmica de las melodías de los trovadores
Anglés, Higinio
Música Española
Some Characterizations of the Moor in Alfonso X’s Cantigas
Bagby, Albert
Imágenes de la Virgen en los códices medievales de España
Delclaux, Federico
Sources of the Cantigas of Alfonso el Sabio [AC]
Dexter, Elise Forsythe
Tres cantigas de Alphonse X/Trois cantilenes d’Alphonse X, version française de Henri Collet, musique de Antonio José
Donostia, Antonio José de
Tres Cantigas de Alfonso X (Antonio-José)
Donostia, Padre J. A.
Cantigas armonizadas y adaptadas al órgano por Jesús Guridi
Guridi, Jesús
Osservazioni sulle Cantigas di Alfonso X e sui Miracles di Gautier de Coincy
Marullo, Teresa
Cantigas de Alfonso X, el Sabio
Moreno Galván, José M.
La gaita y la cornamusa en Galicia y Francia
Novoa Gonzalez, María del Carmen
Cuatro cantigas. XXVIII. LX. LXI. LXV.
Pedrell, Felipe
Cantiga LXI de Alfonso el Sabio
Pedrell, Felipe
Seis cantigas, transcriptas y harmonizadas con acompañamiento de órgano o harmonio. Textos originales y versiones en castellano
Pedrell, Felipe
Cancionero musical popular español
Pedrell, Felipe
Historia de la música española desde la venida de los Fenicios hasta el año 1850
Soriano Fuertes, Mariano