Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 783

[Part 1]

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General information

1 frontend papers
5 backend papers
LanguageLanguage object (3)
Approx. date?1275 to 1330
Date notesMandragore has last quarter of the thirteenth century. The 'Imagining the Past in France'-catalogue (Morrison and Hedeman 2010, 57) dates the manuscript to c. 1330. The script, which sometimes has long 's' in final position and has double-bow 'a' would justify a date at the end of the 13th c. or the beginning of the 14th c.
Place(s) of productionFrance
Linguistic features do not provide specific clues as to the origin of the copy.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] (Et)  si asis (et) si posez / Q  ue mains ne plus nia mestier
First words of last recto folio[f. 175ra] C  ar james joie nen aure / P  uis q(ue) amort naure vos e
Incipit[f. 1ra] S alemons nos / enseigne (et) dit / (et) si trouuons / en son escrite / Que nus ne doit / son sens celer / A  inz le doit ainsinc demoustrer / Q  ue len iait preu (et) honeur / C  ar si firent nostre ancesseur /
Explicit[f. 176va] C  i estuet le conte fenir / I  cist fenist la mieudre estoire / Q  ui onques fust en .i. tempoire / A M E N / Explicit . Troye la grant Between the last lines copied by the scribe and 'amen' Cangé has added 'Je nen sai plus ne plus nen dist / Beneois qui cest Romans fist' claiming that these two verses appear in another MS belonging to him and dating from the end of the 13th c. In the b-column Cangé refers to a MS of the royal library (7624) adding the verses 'Ci faut li bons romans de Troie / Celui doint Dex ?f?auor (et) joie / Qui volentier l'escotera / Et les romant ne blamera'. This MS is dated ' Cis Romans fut escrits au l'An nostre Seignor / Mil (et) dos cens (et) sexante (et) quatre ans o mois / de May'. Cangé observes that this MS has illuminations, many of which show the two-headed imperial eagle (d'argent champ de gueles).


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Medium quality vellum (few stitches, e.g. f. 91), in good condition. Some stains (e.g. f. 5) and tears (e.g. f. 9). The bottom corner of f. 23 has been repaired. Burn holes in f. 103 to 105.




Quire structure:The manuscript is made up of regular quaternions.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (56)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (20)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:25
General illustration:The manuscript opens with a two-column miniature (height: c. 11 lines), framed in red and blue bars with a white border lined in black ink. The miniature shows the siege of a city (Troy), by an army of mounted knights. Dominant colours are blue, pink and orange. The characters have pale, round, inexpressive faces, the folds in the clothing are suggested by strokes of black ink. The background is goldleaf. The miniature is followed by a historiated initial (height: 6 lines), with a representation of the golden fleece. The letter is pink on a field of blue decorated with white flourishings. The eye of the letter is scarlet. Major subdivisions are indicated by similar historiated initials (height: 7 lines). The colour of letters, fields and backgrounds varies, but is always a combination of blue, pink, scarlet and/or goldleaf).
General decoration:Smaller subdivisions are marked by pen-decorated initials (height: 2 lines), alternating between blue and red with flourishings in the contrasting colour. Litterae elongatae in the top and/or bottom lines of the column provide additional decoration.
Evidence of readership:f. 1r: old shelfmarks 'Cangé 9' and 'Regius 7189 3'. f. 109r: scribble in the lower margin. f. 112v: lower margin, note by Cangé: 'Il manque icy un Cahier je lay copié a la fin sur un M.S. de la Bibl. du Roy numero 7624 (1612) De ce dont li saiges Ancessors (et)c ...' Going on the added catchword the quire was already lost in the fifteenth century.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numeral in the upper right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1Additional horizontal throughlines at the bottom of the page, at 25 mm from the justification. The catchwords are written in this position.
Page sampled2r
LayoutMSLayout object (4)
Page dimensions310x230 (mm)
Justification240x175 (mm)
0mm 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 decorated initials. Separate column for majuscule letters at the beginning of the verseline.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 1ra to 176va
Date?1275 to 1325
Scribe description:Northern textualis with double-bow 'a', occasionally open upper compartment. Tongued 'e'. Diacritical dash on 'i'. No use of 'i'-longa except for majuscules and in final position (mainly in numerals). General use of round 's' in final position, but also occurence of straight 's' at the end of the word. Use of 'v' in initial position. Dotted 'y'. Abbreviations include crossed tironian note, 'p' with crossed descender, nasal bar also for 'que', 'con'-abbreviation. Particular ligatures with long 's', e.g. 'sg' in 'esgait' f. 106r.


DescriptionDe Cangé indicates the manuscript was once owned by Jacques II de Bourbon, comte de La Marche et de Castres.
Date?1370 to 1438
PlacePlace object (1)
OwnershipPerson object (50)
DescriptionThe manuscript passed from Jacques II de Bourbon into the possession of his grandson, Jacques d'Armagnac, duke of Nemours.
Date?1433 to 1477
PlacePlace object (1)
OwnershipPerson object (51)
DescriptionIn the eighteenth century, the manuscript was in the collection of Jean-Baptiste Châtre de Cangé.
Date?1680 to 1746
PlacePlace object (9)
OwnershipPerson object (49)