Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 349

Livre de Tristan et de Yseult (rubric)

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General information

LanguageLanguage object (43)
Approx. datec. 1450
Date notesBased on the script, particularly the double-horned shape of 'g'; uncertain. Littera cursiva. A more cautious datation is '15th century'. Cf. Vinaver 1925, 41: 'XVe siècle'.
Place(s) of productionParis
Difficult to say. Based on the dating (and script) one would be inclined to say Paris, but that is no certainty.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] [o]r dit li comptes / que quant le / roy marc ot a / batu
First words of last recto folio[f. 628ra] Ne le vous deisse ce estoit ma mort
Incipit[f. 1ra] [e]n ceste partie / dit li comptes / que trois jours /
Explicit[f. 628ra] Si se taist atant la matiere A / parler des aduentures du saint / graal . que plus nen parolle . / Pource quelles sont si menees / afin . Que apres ce compte nen pourroit nulz riens dire / quil ne mentist


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Fair quality parchment with some holes and few stitches (e.g. f. 410). Occasionally holes occur also in the writing space. Some holes (insects) in the first and final leaves. The edges of the skin sometimes coincide with the edges of the folio (e.g. ff. 426, 427). The upper corners of ff. 90 and 91 are ratty. Folio 628 has been mutilated. The larger part of the b-column has been torn. Since the copy ends in the a-column, no text has been lost. Ink on the recto of the first folio has faded.



1-4112 428 4310 44-5212 5310

Quire structure:The vast majority of quires in this bulky codex are sexternions. Quires 42 (ff. 493 to 500, a quaterion), 43 (ff. 501 to 510, a quinion) and the final quire, 53 (ff. 619 to 628, a quinion) are the exceptions.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (21)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (9)

Physical description

General description:Space has been left for large miniatures and decorative elements. However, none of the illustration has been executed. Going on the quality of the material and the dimensions of the planned illumination, this must have been intended to become a fairly high-end manuscript. The quality of both material and script deteriorates towards the end. This may be the simple reason why the copy never reached the stage of decoration. Folio 106v: 'Cy finist la seconde partie du liure / de Tristan Et de yseult labloye / La belle Royne samie / Cellui temps ce dist li comptes que li cheualier de la maison le roy artues qui trop grant bienz vouloient a tristan'.
General illustration:Space has been left for a large number of single-column miniatures, which, however have not been completed. The height of these blank spaces is circa 14 lines, but it is difficult to say whether they were intended to be filled in by miniatures only or if spaces also provided for rubricated captions. In some cases however, the distribution of blank space (e.g. f. 165v, 12 lines under column a, 9 lines above column b) seems to suggest a miniature followed by a caption or even just a caption (f. 231v). The spaces left for an illustration usually immediately precede the space left for a large initial (height: 8 lines, with guide-letter in the space provided), which is connected to 'En ceste partie' or 'Or dit li comptes'.
General decoration:The text is further structured by means of spaces left for smaller initials (height: 3-4 lines); with guide-letter in the space provided.
Evidence of readership:On f. 1r: old shelfmark in the upper margin '6969'; f. 115r: inscription in upper margin 'il [Ie] ne puys'; f. 273rb: added in blank space (16th c.) 'Diua Flamminia Romana . di uirtu et bellezza fo(n)te / uiuacissimo . Signora et unica patrona del cuor mio' / .G.F.D.F.S. / .M.D.XXXI. Quint as'.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1
Page sampledf. 12v
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions380x265 (mm)
Justification265x185 (mm)
30mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (5) (RulingMaterials object (1) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (5) (RulingMaterials object (1) )
RubricationNone. It is hard to say whether space has also been left for rubricated captions or tituli.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (9)
Folio rangeFrom 1ra to 628ra
Datec. 1450
Scribe description:Multiple hands. Littera cursiva, with litterae elongatae at the top of the writing space (e.g. ff. 94r, 112v, 135r, 136r) or decorative curls extending into the vertical margins (e.g. f. 188). 's' in final position is almost horizontal.