Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 748

[Part 1]

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General information

LanguageLanguage object (46)
Approx. date?1230 to 1250
Date notesThe Lancelot-Graal Project suggests 1230 to 1250. JONAS has 1250-1275. The writing and layout (written above top line) confirm a date in the second quarter of the 13th c.
Place(s) of production{unspecified}
The Lancelot-Graal Project has 'Thérouanne or South of France'. Linguistic features point to an Eastern localisation.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] ment nos lou prandrom /
First words of last recto folio[f. 75ra] lor lox de keu son frere seneschal /
Incipit[f. 1ra] B?i?e?n? doiuent / sauoir tuit / li pecheor / que deua / nt ce que / nostres si / res uenist / enterre : / que il fai / soit parl(er) / les prophe(te)s / en son non (et) anoncier lauenue en / terre . en icel tens dont ge uos parol / aloient tuit enanfer . nes les pro / phe(te)s ialoient . (et) q(ua)nt deiables les ia /
Explicit[f. 75vb] [...] (et) larceuesques ot apareil / liez la corone (et) lou?sagre? lauoil / le depantecouste lou samedi de / uant uespres parlou co(?.?) co(m) /


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Fair quality vellum, some holes (e.g. ff. 20, 21, 45) and stitches (ff. 44, 52, 58, 59, 67, 71). One folio missing at the end of the MS. The corners of the pages in the final quire have been damaged.



1-98 103

Quire structure:The manuscript consists of regular quaternions. The final quire is an irregular quire of three folios. The final folio of this quire (originally probably a binion) is wanting. The quires are marked with two sets of quire marks, both in roman numerals centred under the writing space of the verso of the final leaf of the quire. The first set (possibly superimposed on the other) starts at i and runs to iii. The second set starts at xiij (which is quire 2) and runs to xx (quire 9). This may indicate that at some point, the copy in this manuscript was preceded by eleven other quires or about 88 folios.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (37)
MSQuiremarkDisposition object (30)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (10)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:15
General illustration:The MS opens with a large historiated initial (height: 11 lines) decorated with flourishings in red ink and extending into a full border of blue branches with red flourishings. The image is damaged. The lower half represents Christ with the Grail. Other historiated initials (height: 6 to 8 lines) on ff. 11r, 18r, 27v, 35v, 40r, 44r, 49r, 51r, 55v, 64v, 66v, 67v, 70r, 71v. The initial on f. 18rb marks the beginning of the 'Merlin'. The remaining illustrated initials are usually found at a 'dit li contes' formula. The drawings are crude, and painted in bright colours. Backgrounds are painted monochrome, with a geometrical motif or decorated with pen-flourishings.
General decoration:Large subdivisions (mostly accompanying a 'dit li contes' formula) are marked by large pen-flourished initials (height: 7 lines), red with decoration in purple ink (e.g. f. 13v), or large puzzle initials (height: 7 lines) with borders in blue and red ink (e.g. f. 30). Smaller subdivisions are indicated by puzzle initials (height: 3 lines) generally extending into a full border of red and blue flourishings (the lower margin is not decorated). The text is further subdivided by pen-decorated initials (height: 2 lines) alternating between red and blue, with flourishings in the contrasting colour. Guide letters in the margins.
Evidence of readership:Manicula on f. 18ra: manicula, pointing towards the name of the author ('messires roberz de borron') and his patrons ('sainte eglise' and 'preu conte de monbehart ou [...] et messires ro / berz de borron qui cest conte mist en / autoriteparloucongie de sainte egli / se (et) parlaproiere aupreu conte de / monbeliart oucui seruise il estoit'). Crosses in the margin throughout the manuscript.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the top right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1Horizontal throughlines for the first two lines at the top, two lines in the middle and two lines at the bottom.
Page sampledf. 2r
Page dimensions303x210 (mm)
Justification212x135 (mm)
11mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationRed ink is only used for decoration.
Writing above top line?True
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1ra to f. 75vb
Datec. 1230 to 1250
Scribe description:A Northern textualis with a two-compartment 'a', the upper compartment of which is open. Marked tongued 'e'. The limb of 'h' curves to the left below the baseline. Use of i-longa after another minim and in initial position. The ascender of uncial 'd' is relatively short and uncurved. Straight 's' is used in all positions. Use of 'u' in all positions. Abbreviations include nasal bar, also used for q(ue), apostrophe, uncrossed tironian 'et' but also some crossed instances, 'p' with bar through descender, superscript vowels