Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 342

[Lanselot] (title in colophon)

General information

LanguageLanguage object (44)
Approx. date1274
Date notesDated in the colophon. Completed on the Saturday after the octaves of the Trinity (i.e. 2 June) in 1274 .
Place(s) of productionDouai
Place suggested by the Lancelot-Graal project. Arthurian Fiction has Arras or Douai.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] selot que ele lenuoieroit /
First words of last recto folio[f. 234ra] el ciel lame no frere lanselot . /
Incipit[f. 1ra] Si com li rois artus tint court en la cite de gaunes . (et) il ot (con)cuis / claudas . (et) rendue la terre a lans(elot) . (et) a boort . / Un iour de paskes tint li / rois artus court . m(ou)lt / grant et m(ou)lt meruilleuse / en la cite de gaunes . (et) ot laiens si / gra(n)t gent assamblee ke ce fu mer / ueille .
Explicit[f. 235va] Si se taist ore atant maistre Gau / tiers naap de lestoire de lanselot / car bien la tout mene a fin selonc / les coses ki en auinrent (et) fenist / ichi endroit son liure si outreeme(n)t / ke apries lui nen poroit nus plus / conter ki nen mentist de toutes choses . / Explicit de lanselot [del Lac] {addition by later hand} / Cis roumans fu par escris . En lan / del incarnation nostre segnor mil . / deus Cens (et) sixante (et) quatorse le / semedi apries les octaues de le tri / nite pries pour ce li ki lescrist . //

Related MS

RelationshipType object (12)Manuscript object (157)
Manuscript object (159)
Manuscript object (192)
Manuscript object (193)
Manuscript object (221)
Manuscript object (177)
Manuscript object (194)


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Generally in good condition; good quality vellum with some stitches (f. 32, 49, f. 114) and holes (f. 46, f. 47, f. 91, f. 113, f. 114, f. 180).


Quire structure:The manuscript is too tightly bound to confidently establish the quire structure. The first two quires are sexternions. The catchword on f. 104v suggests that not all quires in ff. 25-104 are sexternions, possibly two quaternions in between. The catchword on f. 140 could suggest that the quires in ff. 105-140 are all sexternions. The penultimate quire is a sexternion. The final quire is a quaternion.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (21)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (10)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:92
General illustration:Generally , minatures span the width of two columns (height: 8 lines). Some single-column images on ff. 3, 61v, 65r., 99r, 164v and 171v). The miniatures are framed in a pink and blue border with wave-line flourishes in white and the contrasting colour. The images are painted in vibrant colours on a gilt background with some rudimentary elements of decor (trees, furniture) and architecture. Characters are stocky with large heads. The folds in the dress are traced in black ink. Most miniatures are preceded by caption in red ink. These are not always placed directly before the images. When illustrations are in the vicinity of the beginning of a new chapter (e.g. introduced by 'Or dist li contes'), the captions precede the introduction of the chapter. In these cases, 'chapter titles' have been based on instructions for the miniaturist found in the lower margins, as visible in ff. 9v, 61v, 65r, 99r, 164v and 171v. After f. 191, the blank spaces for captions have not been filled. The 'Mort artu' is introduced by an exceptionally large miniature in two registers (height: 22 lines). The lower register may be a representation of Walter Map and king Henry II, or alternatively Arthur and one of his Scribe. A miniature of normal proportions at the beginning of the 'Queste' (f. 58r).
General decoration:Text-division by means of champ-like initials in gold-leaf on alternatingly blue and pink grounds. The eye of the letters is decorated in the contrasting colour, with white flourishes (height: 2 lines). The opening of chapters, are additionally marked by miniatures and rubricated captions (cf. above).
Evidence of readership:On f. 1r, old shelfmarks 'quatre cent nonante sept', '121' and '6963'. On f. 47r, annotation in the right margin. On f. 88r, drawing in the lower margin. On f. 92, in the bottom margin: 'lamer' (15th c. hand). On the final flyleaf, four lines of verse: 'Celluy quj le ??pan...?? / en ce que sa fe(m)me dit et pance / il est plus honoreux martir / [...].
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the top right corner of the recto side of the folio.

Mise en page

Description 1Prickings visible in the inner margin. Two-column-layout with horizontal (double) throughlines at the top, middle and bottom of the justification.
Page sampledf. 30r
Page dimensions355x255 (mm)
Justification245x155 (mm)
21mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationCaptions of illustrations in red ink.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1ra to f. 235va
Scribe description:Northern textualis rotundus with double compartment 'a' the upper compartment of which is occasionally open, but usually closed, straight 's' in final position, some instances of round 's' in final position. Use of trailing 's' at the end of the line. Use of 'v' in initial position. Abbreviations include crossed tironian note. Sparse use of other abbreviated forms (superscript vowels, nasal bar, apostrophe).
Notes 'ce li' in the colophon may suggest that the MS was written by a female scribe.


DescriptionFrom the royal library at Blois.
Datec. 1500
PlacePlace object (146)
OwnershipPerson object (19)