Published as Elizabeth Eva Leach, “Machaut’s Peer, Thomas Paien”, Plainsong and Medieval Music 18/2 (2009): 91-112.
One of the texts of Machaut’s double balade, Quant Theseus/Ne quier (B34) is ascribed in Machaut’s Voir dit to a certain Thomas Paien. The present article suggests that this Thomas was one of Machaut’s peers, being like him a canon of Reims and a court secretary. Figures with similar names (and the pervasive idea that a character cited in a work of fiction might not be a real person at all) have confused earlier attempts at identification. A possible occasion for the composition of B34’s texts – also involving a balade on the same refrain by Jehan Froissart – can be found in a shared patron–client link between Machaut and Thomas, both of whom had associations with John, Duke of Berry.