- Les Comptes consulaires de Taulignan (1455–1529) ed. by Jean-Claude Rixte
Jean-Claude Rixte’s latest effort to make better known the Occitan history of the community of Taulignan and its department of the Drôme comes in the form of this edition of the consular accounts of the city, from the years 1455 to 1529. This end date was chosen for its proximity to the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts (1539) and because the quality of the Occitan in the Taulignan registers was in serious decline (13). Published here are eleven Occitan cahiers—Rixte does not include those in Latin, French, nor those whose language is so mixed that their linguistic merit is more a study in diglossia, rather than of Occitan. Though the interest of these documents was noted by Auguste Brun in 1923, they had not been published prior to this edition.
The presentation of each register is clear and easy to follow, clearly identified by cahier number and year (conveniently, Taulignan tended to start its year at the Nativity , so that the date of 1455 covers most of what we think of today as 1455). We see the consuls of Taulignan as they receive tax income, pay the town’s debts, worry about its defenses, or celebrate a church altar, for which occasion bread, wine, meat, cheese, eggs, and spices were purchased (48).
For the linguist, the importance of these documents is self-evident, enhanced by the detailed indices (205–346), covering 3684 lexical items, 959 names of people, and 181 place names. As Rixte notes, the purpose of the glossary is two-fold, to assist the reader in understanding the text and to confirm, for the linguist, if a given word or phrase was used in Taulignan at the end of the Middle Ages and beginning of the Renaissance (205). Typographic choices in the glossary make it very easy to consult (e.g., bold for key words, bold and italic for words in the registers, translations into French in roman); the terms are linked to their presence in the account books by notebook and item number, and it is very easy to find any given term. [End Page 131]
Rixte’s edition represents a labor of love and years of work in the departmental archives of the Drôme. He has given historians and linguists an extremely useful edition that will be a superb tool for further research.