Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 15095

[Part 1]

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General information

LanguageLanguage object (44)
Approx. datec. 1230 to 1250
Date notesHarf-Lancner 2011, 209 'middle or second half of the 13th century'. Although ruling is effaced, the line-holes in the parchment suggest that the text is copied below top-line, which indicates a dating post-1230. The consequent use of straight 's' in final position and 'u' in all positions, to me suggests an earlier dating circa 1250 rather than a date later in the century. Apart from Arsenal 3472 which has a non-canonical combination of Alexander texts and is dated to the beginning of the 13th century, this is the oldest extant witness of the Roman d'Alexandre.
Place(s) of productionNorthern France
Linguistic characteristics point towards the north.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2r] Q(ui)  les mouuoit tel cosse (et) de cors de teleriee
First words of last recto folio[f. 268r] U  lamiraus fu mors q(ui) aluj sadreca  a
Incipit[f. 1r] Q  uj uers de rice estorie ujeut entendre (et) oir  r / por prendre bon essenple de proue?ce ac?uilir / de counoistre rajson damer (et) de ? / de ses amis garder (et) ciereme(n)t tenir / des anemis greuer q(ue) ne puissent largir /
Explicit[f. 268r] A  lix(andre) fu dite (et) el puj ?troa?das  s / S  or leue de tjgrjs la dousjme es?...?as  s / O  les tors des g(ri)ois es murs escris les as  s /


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Despite of its decent handwriting and decoration, the presence of folios which are either too small for the actual size of the manuscript or in which the edge of the skin is showing in the lower or outer margins (examples: f. 3, f. 70, f.75, f.83, f. 95, f. 98, f. 106, f. 110, f. 132, f. 145, f. 152, f. 156, f. 166, f. 167, f. 168, f. 169, f. 173, f. 180, f. 188, f. 192, f. 200, f. 226, f. 240) gives the manuscript a rather shabby and lower-grade appearance. Folio 90 is only half the size it is supposed to be. Holes (f. 62, f. 67, f. 75, f, 112, f. 120, f. 122, f. 225) and stitches (f. 84, f. 119, f. 228, f. 248), many of which in the writing space, add to this general impression. Not taking into account some stains (f. 2) and tears (f. 95, f. 132) the manuscript is in good condition, except for the first and final folios which are ratty.



1-58 64 7-158 166 17-348 352

Quire structure:In general the manuscript consists of quaternions, except for quire 6 (f. 41-f. 44) which is a binion. A new division of the text starts on the first folio of quire 7. Quire 16 (f. 117-f. 122) is a ternion. The final quire (f. 167-f. 168) consists of two folios. Folios 6, 200, 206 and 208 have been stitched to a stub.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (30)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (12)

Physical description

General illustration:none
General decoration:The text begins with a puzzle-initial (height: 5 lines) decorated with blue and red flourishings. Similar initials on f. 45 ('Devant les murs de tyr'), f. 178v ('C e fu el mois de maj q(ar) lj tans renouujele'). Laisses start with plain initials (height: 2 lines) alternatingly blue and red with flourishings in the contrasting colour. Guide letters in the margin. In the outer margin, at the end of the line, the last letter of the line is written in capitals (thus emphasizing the laisse structure).
Evidence of readership:f. 1r: Old shelfmarks: 'Suppl. fr. 643', 'cent seizieme', '438' f. 2r: note in the right margin 'sous' f. 6r: note in the right margin 'dns ds' f. 7r: note in upper margin (contemporary?) 'il nanul home el mont' (copy of first line) f. 30r: note in right margin '2.C. f. 119' (next to laisse: 'Mieus est alix. (et) la gens est montee') f. 33r: note in right margin '2.C. f. 123' (next to laisse: 'La g(ra)nt force deleue q(ui) ist de la fontayne') f. 45r: note in right margin '2.C. f. '216' (next to laisse: 'Devant les murs de tyr') Final line of the laisse added in lighter ink. f. 160r: cross ' A staros de nubie alangarde montee') f. 176r: cross at laisse 'Q(ua)nt li rojs ujt les lettres m(ou)lt est es jojs. f. 193v: cross at laisse 'P orr(us) dist alix(andre) tujes en ta (con)tree', line 'T a terre sera qujte' f. 197v: cross at laisse 'S egnor dist alix(andre) laisieme auos plajdier' f. 230v: in the lower margin 'tolomers' f. 231v: in upper corner 'tolomers' Both annotations refer to the laisses on these pages devoted to this character, the first of which begins ' Tolom(er) lefers agujsse de uasal' f. 267v: modern annotation 'Cela n'est pas ??les MSS' at laisse 'Mors est rois alix(andre) (et) ala f. 268r: annotations 15th c. hand 'Cest liu(re) est a Jeh(an) Mace / bourgois de poict(?ier?)s' 'Mace?.?' Another annotation which has been made illegible. f. 268v: drawings and annotations (15th c). Nothing which seems to be of interest. words underlined in red crayon throughout the manuscript. e.g. f. 22r escantiele f. f. 24r dessinators, f. 50 deboicon, f. 86 reguencis, demangons, gaenjer, f. 88 ceuaucie, mahenie, uernisie, estancie
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto. f. 140: older foliation (140), also f. 161, 171,

Mise en page

Description 1A seperate column for majuscule letters at the beginning of the line. 1
Page sampledf. 8r
Page dimensions170x110 (mm)
Justification145x90 (mm)
namm between columns
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1r to f. 168v
Datec. 1230 to 1250
Scribe description:Northern textualis rotundus with double-compartment 'a' the upper lobe of which is open. Characteristic form of uncial 'd' the ascender of which curves upwards in a concave manner. Particular, wavy form of i-longa used in many positions. Straight, forked 's' is used in final position. Use of 'u' in all positions. Abbreviations include a tilde-like nasal bar used as a general abbreviation sign, also for q(ue). Also s-like apostrophe, superscript vowels, com- and -us abbreviation. Tironian note is uncrossed, which given the manuscripts northern location may support an earlier dating (after 1230 but before c. 1250).