Cessoigne, Saisoigne, Saissogne, Saissoigne, Sansogna, Sansoigne, Saxonie, Saxonye, Saxoyne, Sessoigne, Sessoine, Sessoingne, Sessoyne
In Chrétien de Troyes’s Cliges, the Duke of Saxony is a nobleman who loves Fenice, the daughter of the Emperor of Germany. Alis, the Emperor of Constantinople and Greece, challenged the Duke of Saxony for Fenice’s hand in marriage. They fought a battle in the Black Forest near Cologne, and Alis won the battle through the prowess of Cliges, his nephew.
Saxony, Duke of
Originally, the Emperor of Germany betrothed his daughter Fenice to the Duke of Saxony. When the German potentate broke his pledge in order to give her to Emperor Alis of Greece instead, the Duke of Saxony fought for her, attacking the combined armies of Greece and Germany.
At last the Saxon duke agreed to formal single combat with Alis' nephew Cligés (who had slain the duke's nephew in the fighting). Seeing himself about to be defeated by the teenaged champion, the duke tried to save face by conceding early, on the pretext that it could give him no honor to defeat so young a lad, while Cligés had already won honor simply by standing up to him so long.
Not even the duke's own men were fooled; yet, since the duke had, after all, had a legitimate grievance, one cannot help but feel some symphathy with him.
Saxony, Nephew of the Duke of
This young man served as his uncle's messenger to the court of the German emperor at Cologne, warning them that the duke would fight for Fenice. On his way out, the nephew challenged Cligés to a joust and lost.
Later, by the Black Forest beside the Danube, the duke's nephew led five companions to assault Cligés and three friends as they jousted for sport near the Greek camp. In this attack the duke's nephew promptly lost his life to Cligés, but set off the one great battle between his uncle's forces and the combined armies of Greece and Germany, which led to victory for the latter.