Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 750

[Part 1]

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General information

LanguageLanguage object (48)
Approx. date1278
Date notesIt is the oldest dated MS in the prose Tristan tradition.
Place(s) of productionAcres?
Provenance is controversial.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] uoit balliee
First words of last recto folio[f. 361ra] quil ní apert se sanc
Incipit[f. 1ra] OR / dit / li co(n) / tes / que / de ce / [ste nou / velle / est /] messi / res / lan / celot / a m(er)ueilles esbahiz . Car onques mais / nauoit oi p(ar)ler de ceste costume ne de / cest treusage . Si dist asoi meisme q(ue) / se auenture laportoit unautre foiz / molt lipeseroit durement sil nele fa / soit del tot remanoir . Il ne le laisseroit /
Explicit[f. 361vb] SIre ch(eualie)rs nos nos somes / ici combatu une g(ra)nt pie / ce . (et) a nos armes apert a / pert bien . Et nostre // Anno domíní M CC septuagesimo / Octauo scripsít Petrus de Tiergeuilla / Istud Romanum . L(a)udem sit nom(mini) d(omi)n(u)s .

Related MS

This MS is probably related to BnF français 12599: those are the only two MSS in the Tristan tradition to preserve the letter exchange between Tristan and Lancelot.
Manuscript object (117)


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:The ink is partly scraped on f. 1r. Stains inside the volume, probably due to humidity and humidity probably caused the loss of colour in many historiated initials. In some instances, the colour stained the facing folio. Parchment of medium quality, with holes and tears usually external to the writing space. The trimming often cut off part of the penwork of the decorated initials. At f. 42va, a big initial near the top margin of the writing space had probably a remarkable vertical development. The external margin of f. 36 was cut off, though without damaging the writing space.



1-26+ 1 bifolium

Quire structure:sexternions
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (11)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (10)

Physical description

General illustration:
General decoration:Many framed historiated initials (often one or more for each folio; height: approx. 13 lines), with gilded and red background, illustrated with scenes from the narrative, usually organized in two or three horizontal strips. The frame often goes beyond the writing space. In some cases, the frame is prolonged in the margins in large decorated strips with floral and vegetal motifs on gilded background (e.g. ff. 5va, 18ra, 42ra, etc.). Initials have been numbered at the beginning of the MS, the first (f. 1ra) is numbered XXIX. In general, at the end of a chapter there is not enough space left in the column for a framed initial, that part of the column is left blank and the initial inaugurates the subsequent column, e.g. at f. 21rb part of the column has been left blank and the bottom of the column has been filled with penwork; at f. 21va the column starts with a historiated initial. Smaller initials (height: approx. 3 lines) alternate red and blue, and are often extended along the margins of the writing space (e.g. f. 17vb), decorated with large elegant red and blue penwork. Verse texts are copied with a script slightly larger than the prose, after each verse one line is left blank (e.g. f. 169ra-b).
Evidence of readership:
Foliations description:Modern numbering in the upper right corner of recto sides.

Mise en page

Description 1
Page sampledf. 7v
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions337x230 (mm)
Justification240x146 (mm)
18mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (2)
Folio rangeFrom 1ra to 316vb
Scribe description: