London, British Library, Lansdowne 757

[Part 2]

» Full parent manuscript detail

General information

Folio notes:The folios are numbered 1 to 166. Folios 165 and 166 are two parchment flyleaves. 30 folios have been added at a later date.
LanguageLanguage object (46)
Approx. datec. 1220
Date notes'c. 1220' (Stones); 'XIIIe si├Ęcle' (Micha 1964, 52). The writing in this part of the manuscript goes above the top line, suggesting a date before circa 1230. This date is confirmed by the use of double-bow 'a' with open upper compartment and the exclusive use of straight 's' (or trailing 's') in final position.
Place(s) of productionChampagne
Champagne? (Stones). Linguistic features (use of `lo`) may support a localisation in the Eastern regions of France (Champagne, Lorraine, Burgundy).
First words of second recto folio[20ra] fet il damoisele ge ai eu la graing / nor
First words of last recto folio[157ra] mesine de lo roi artur que il en doit estre .
Incipit[f. 19ra] ?? i ?? re . porce uos lou cuie uos ueingniez / herbergier auoc moi anuit . (et) ta(n)t / (com) uos demorroiz en cest pais . (et) sauez / uos en quel leu en bel chastel (et) en / fort . ou uos auroiz qant que mest / ier sera a cors del ch(eualie)r . (et) chascun ma / tint tant (com) uos uoldroiz ci estre . si porroiz uenir apres messe ou de / uant ou apres disner . (et) si sachiez / que le plus de ce que uos auez ueu / lasus nest se menconge non . (et) en / chantemenz . mes ge uos mosterrai / uerite . car ge uos mosterrai des com / paingnons lo roi une partie toz se / ins . (et) toz uis . de cels que les letres / tesmoingnent amorz qui el chast / el ?? s ?? ont [...]
Explicit[f. 157vb] denees les batalles . Et lors assemblere(n)t / li sesne (et) li rois as genz lo roi de breta / igne come cil qui tot quidoient auoir / gaaignie por lo roi (et) por ses compaignons / qui en la roche estoient en prison . Celui / ior fist li rois ydiers sor un cheual quil / ne cuidoit mellor el monde . (et) por ce quil / lamoit tant le fist tot auant courir de / fer . Et apres fist une chose dam ?leu? par / la auant en mal . Mes puis li fu del tot


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:The parchment is lower grade with holes and irregularities frequently disrupting the writing space (e.g. f. 63v, f. 67v), and stitching (e.g. f. 35, f. 42, f. 86, f. 122) . Since pages were replaced in the later thirteenth or early fourteenth century (ff. 1-18, f. 25, f. 59, ff. 89-90, ff. 95-96, f. 151, ff. 158-164), the manuscript was probably severely damaged fairly early on in its history. The lower margin of f. 80 has been cut.



16 28 34 46+15-88 96+1 10-128 132+4+2 14-198 207+1 215 227

Quire structure:This is the collation for the whole manuscript, including the parts added later in its history. It is plausible that it originally consisted of regular quaternions. The final quire of the original manuscript (quire 21), consisting of five leaves, is defective.To the original (damaged?) manuscript, the following additions have been made: the leaves at the front (ff. 1ra-18vb, quire 1-3) are bound as a ternion (ff. 1-6), a quaternion (ff. 7-14) and 4 leaves, the precise collation of which is unclear. Folio 25 has been added to replace the last folio of the first quire of the original manuscript (quire 4). Possibly one more folio at the front of this quire has also been lost. Folio 59 replaces the second leaf of quire 9 constituting an irregular quire of seven leaves. This also may suggest that a second folio in this quire has been lost. Folios 89-90 and 95-96 replace the outer bifoliums of quire 13. Folio 151 replaces the seventh leaf of a regular quaternion (quire 20). Finally, seven leaves (ff. 158ra-164rb) have been added at the end of the manuscript.
Quire marks:
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (10)

Physical description

General description:Notwithstanding the lower quality of the parchment, this must have been a relatively plain but handsome manuscript, written in two or three fairly regular hands, and modestly decorated with pen-flourished initials. Towards the end of the manuscript, some of the initials were probably not executed and crude initials were added at a later date (see also: decoration).
General illustration:The manuscript is unillustrated. It is possible that illustrations (e.g. a historiated initial at the beginning of the text) have been lost.
General decoration:The text is structured by means of initials (height: 2 lines), alternating red and blue, with pen-flourishes in the contrasting colour. The blue ink has faded, but is still visible. In some cases, guide letters are visible in the outer margin. From f. 130v onwards, it appears that only some of the blue initials were originally executed; red initials were added later in all of the vacant spaces in a crude manner, thus disrupting the sequence of blue and red. Line-filling devices consist of a sequence of 'c'-s in red ink. Remarkable is the presence of flourishes in the margin attached to litterae notabiliores in the text (e.g. f. 81).
Evidence of readership:f. 40: The upper part of the folio has been torn, constituting a loss of text. An English hand (evidenced by the presence of long-stemmed 'r') has added text in the lower margins of the recto and verso side. An additional line (the first line of the lost section) has been added to the second column of the verso side of the preceding page. f. 107v: Possibly, he is the same who noted a line from psalm 51 and a quote from the gospel of John outer margin: 'Domine labia mea aperies et os meu(m) a(n)unciabit laudi Domine labia mea ap(er)ies et os meu(m) anu(n)cia) intermargin: 'sicut moyses exaltauit serpente(m) in deserto ita exaltari oportet filiu(m)'. This is not the scribal hand, but has the characteristics of a later thirteenth-century or fourteenth-century hand. f. 56v: annotation in red ink in upper margin, starting 'no(m)i(n)a militu(m) rotu(n)de tabule ?t/z?empore [... ...]', referring to the list of knights of the round table in Micha LIa,8. The handwriting is later possibly end thirteenth or fourteenth century. ff. 67v-68r: drawing in lower margin? f. 72r: written in the lower margin 'amor' (possibly a correction). f. 91v: crude drawings of four heads in the lower margin. ff. 145-146: lower margin (illegible) f. 145v '[...] amen'
Foliations description:Modern foliation in black ink in the upper right hand corner.

Mise en page

Description 1Prickings in the upper, lower and outer margins still visible. The prickings in the outer margin suggest bifolium ruling. One additional column has been ruled in the outer margin, probably indicating where the folios should have been trimmed.
Page sampledf. 130r
Page dimensions227x162 (mm)
Justification160x113 (mm)
8mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (5) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (5) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationOnly used for initials, pen-flourishings and line-filling devices.
Writing above top line?True
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 19ra to 157vb
Datec. 1220
Scribe description:Northern textualis with a double compartment 'a' the upper lobe of which is not closed, exclusive use of straight 's' or trailing 's' in final position, which usually confirms an earlier dating in the thirteenth century. 'e' has a pronounced tongue in final position. Crossed and uncrossed tironian note are used interchangeably. Both frequency and variety of abbreviations are markedly higher than in those parts added later to the manuscript. Different execution of litterae notabiliores may point towards multiple scribes.
NotesCorrections in the margins.


DescriptionWilliam Petty (b. 1737, d. 1805), marquess of Lansdowne, prime minister (British Library, Catalogue of Illustrated Manuscripts) purchased by the British Museum together with 1244 other Lansdowne manuscripts in 1807.
Date?1737 to 1805
PlacePlace object (4)
OwnershipPerson object (23)
DescriptionPurchased by the British Museum together with 1244 other Lansdowne manuscripts in 1807. (British Library, Catalogue of Illustrated Manuscripts)
PlacePlace object (4)