Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 256

Part 1

General information

Folio notes:The manuscript has only sections VI-X. Jung 1996, 346 suggests that the first and last volume (with respectively sections I-V and the 'Faits des Romains') have been lost. The contemporary annotation on the first flyleaf at the back of the manuscript may refer to the 'Faits des Romains' (this is however not a rubric as claimed by Jung), but not necessarily so. This manuscript provides a history of the Romans.
LanguageLanguage object (3)
Approx. datec. 1400
Date notesJung 1996, 346. The manuscript was acquired by the Duke of Berry c. 1405.
Place(s) of productionFrance
Jung 1996, 346.
Table of contentsThe table of contents occupies the first nine folios of the manuscripts and lists the rubrics (long lines). Place has been left for an initial (height: 2 lines) at the beginning of the table, but it has not been filled in.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2r] Coment les deux compaignons firent pris .
First words of last recto folio[f. 199r] Jh(erusale)m auoit mie grant prante Sicome il en a encor entour la riche uille
Incipit[f. 1r] [Q]ue li Grezois deuindrent Et ou il alerent Apres la Grant / destrucion de Troie . Et que Menalaux Reprist abon gre dame halaine / Que cil deuindrent qui escapperent de Troie . / Que li fil hettor chacierent . Anthenor . de troie ./ [f. 10r] Que li grezois devindrent et ou il alerent ap(re)s / la grant destrucion de troye . (et) q(ue) menalaux rep(ri)st / a bon gre dame helaine . / Puis que la cite de troie fu embrasee qui .vii. ans . / mist a ardoir li grewois qui leur nefs orent app(ar)eillees / et chargees de lauoir de troie (et) dor (et) dargent Ilz / se mistrent en mer pour aler en leur contree . Mes / malement leur en auint . Car aincois quil uenisse(n)t / fut moult amenuisee leur compaignie (et) uous diray / co(m)ment . palamedes qui fu mors en troie fu filz menipus qui tenoit la / montaigue de caphareum qui sur la mer estoit assise . De sur celle montai / gue qui estoit en mer auoit roches qui estoient couuertes daigue (et) tieulx p(ar) / auoit qui paroient et pour ce estoit la mer perilleuse . [...]
Explicit[f. 198v] [...] Et adonques quant pompeius fu reuenuz en la cite de / Rome furent si trestoutes les batailles apaisees Sicome eutropius raconte / quil nen estoit nule qui gramment fust greuable par trestout le monde Ce liure est au duc de Berry / JEhan ?B?


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:The parchment is generally good quality, some instances in which the edge of the skin coincides with the edge of the folio (e.g. f. 28, f. 36, f. 44, f. 102) and holes (f. 64r, f. 110, f. 182). The codex is in good condition, some stains (e.g. f. 8v).




Quire structure:The manuscript is too tightly bound to confidently establish the quire structure.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (21)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (12)

Physical description

General description:Count of initials in the margin? (f. 52v; f. 54v, f. 57v;). On f. 149r 10 lines have been left blank (in the paragraph 'En quel temps cartage fu destruite). At the bottom of the page, after the gap, is a titulus 'Ci comance la destrucion de cartaie'.
No. of illustrations:1
General illustration:The trancription opens with an historiated initial (f. 10r; height: 9 lines), displaying a crowned couple (Menelaus and Helen?) accompanied by soldiers sailing away from a burning city on a rock (Troy?). The style of drawing is rather crude. The background is goldleaf. The initial ('P') is pink with flourishings in white and decorated with knotwork on a blue surface which has been decorated with white flourishings and extends in a full border consisting of bars (goldleaf decorated with blue, pink and white) ending in vine (blue and goldleaf). The border is inhabited by a dragon (upper left corner), birds, a crudely drawn angel (upper right corner), a cleric with a scroll and an archer aiming at a female figure directing her buttocks at him.
General decoration:The text is further structured by means of pen-decorated initials (height: 2 lines), alternating blue with red flourishing and goldleaf with blue flourishing. These initials occur at the beginning of paragraphs which are additionally marked by rubricated tituli. In numerous instances, larger foliate initials (height: 3 to 4 lines) painted on a gilt surface and extending in full borders decorated with vine mark important paragraphs (e.g. f. 17v; f. 19v.; etc.). These borders are sometimes inhabited by dragons and chimaera (e.g. f. 19r). On f. 108v, an initial, 5 lines in height, marks the war between Rome and Carthage; on f. 140v a lavishly decorated initial (height: 4 lines) marks the wars between Rome and Macedonia. On f. 149v, the destruction of Carthage is marked with a large initial (height: 5 lines) decorated with the image of a cleric.
Evidence of readership:f. 1r: old shelfmarks in the upper margin '108' '6898'. f. 9v: mark(s) of previous owners? One has been made illegible (?Jaquemin?, the other reads ?Aurinus?. These marks have been placed after the table of contents, which ends with a large initial 'S' flourished with brown ink. f. 10r: old shelfmark in the upper left corner 'cinq cents cinq'. f. 49r: maniculum (que li enffes fu liurez par le commendement le roy a destruire). f. 62v: drawing in the outer margin with an annotation which has been partly cut and scraped [...] la fin / [...] est pas / [...]. f. 97v: maniculum (death of Alexander).
Foliations description:Modern foliation in roman numerals in the upper right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1
Page sampledf. 62r
Page dimensions395x275 (mm)
Justification250x170 (mm)
0mm between columns
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationRed ink is used for pen-decorated initials and rubricated tituli.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:None
ScriptScript object (9)
Folio rangeFrom to
Scribe description:Mask: f. 50v. f. 53r.; dragon f. 69; marked by the extensive use of litterae elongatae at the top and bottom and flourishings in the form of masks and ponting hands. The rubricated tituli are in another script (northern littera textualis).


DescriptionAccording to Jung 1996: 346, the manuscript was acquired by John, Duke of Berry, c. 1405. Ex-libris on f. 198v 'Ce liure est au duc de Berry / Jehan'
Datec. 1405
PlacePlace object (3)
OwnershipPerson object (38)