Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 25517

[Part 1]

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General information

Folio notes:The final folio consists of half a leaf rather than a full leaf.
Approx. date?1250 to 1300
Date notesHarf-Lancner 2011, 210.
Place(s) of productionNorthern France
Based on illustration and decoration of the frontispiece.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2r] Q  ant el noit de son pie (et) saisir (et) eslongier
First words of last recto folio[f. 313r] U oirement enljberent lor segnor droiturier
Incipit[f. 1r] QUi vers de bone estoire / ueut entendre (et) oir / por prendre bon essample / de proeche acueillir / N  e conoistre raison damer (et) de hair / D  es enemis greuer qon en puist esclarcir / D  es laidures uengier (et) des b(ie)ns fais merir / De haster qant lieus iert (et) q(ua)nt lieus iert fuir /
Explicit[f. 313r] S  es (com)paignons amer seruir (et) ensauch(ier) / (Et)  tous ses enemis (et) mater (et) plaisier / S  e il creist en dieu aine ne ui cel princh(ier) / C  il damedex de gloire q(ui) tout aauigier / I  l ait merci de fan se on endoit proier A  men . Explicit liromans dalixandre dalier


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:In spite of holes (though rarely in the writing spaces, ff. 44, 147, 165, 168, 171, 197, 219, 223, 228, 238, 303, 308), irregularities (ff. 80, 108, 188, 191, 228, 247, 300) and some stitches (f. 146, f. 215) the vellum generally is of good quality. The manuscript is in good condition. Some stains (e.g. ff. 45, 47, 48, 53). The first and last folios are worn.



1-388 391

Quire structure:Very regular structure of quaternions. The final (half) folio is a singleton.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (10)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (10)

Physical description

General description:Text sample f. 159r
No. of illustrations:1
General illustration:The manuscript opens with a frontispiece consisting of a miniature (height: 12 lines), a decorated initial (height: 4 lines) and a full frame. The miniature is framed in a broad boarder of red and blue decorated in the corners with goldleaf. The image presents Alexander (to the right), crowned, dressed in a long blue garment and wearing a red robe. The figure to the right, a cleric wearing a red undergarment and a blue robe, seated and reading from a book which rests on a lectern, represents Aristotle. Figures are tall and slender, with white faces and curled hair. The folds in the garments are accentuated in black ink. The background is gilt. The decorated initial, goldleaf on a field of blue and red, extends in a full-frame of red and blue baguettes decorated with goldleaf. In the corners the gold branches end in a flower and a bird's head.
General decoration:Large decorated initials (height: six to eight lines), goldleaf on a field of blue and/or red with flourishings in gold at f. 36v (6 lines, 'Meus est alixandres' I,105), f. 54r (6 lines, 'Deuant les murs de Tyr', II,1), f. 87 (8 lines, 'Quant li rois uint de Tyr', II,86), f. 93v (6 lines, 'Au q(u)int ior mut li rois', II,110), f. 106v (6 lines, decorated with fleur-de-lys, 'Ce fu el mois de may / un poi deuant lissue, III,6), f. 114v (6 lines, 'Ce fu el mois de may / q(ui)l se sont combatu', II,30), f. 152r (6 lines, 'Au matin par son laube', III, 164), f. 183v. (6 lines, ' A son demaine tres / est li rois descendus', III, 271), f. 203v (6 lines, 'Ce fu el mois de may / q(ue) florissent gardin', III,352), f. 230v (6 lines, ' Alixandres cheualce', interpolation 'Prise de Defur' after III, 451), f. 249r (6 lines, 'Del bon roi alixandre / doit on b(ien) tamenbrer', interpolation, Branch III recommences f. 256r ), f. 258r (6 lines, 'A lissue de may tout / droit en cel termine', VI, 1), f. 284r ('De lamort alixandre / aves oi asses' start of the 'Vengeance' of Guy de Cambrai, IV, 75 is not in the manuscript. A line added to IV, 74 provides a transition 'Dirai de sa uenganche sel uoles escouter') In general, space for one or two lines is left before the initial;. Each laisse is introduced by a pen-decorated initial (height: 2 lines), alternatingly blue and red, with flourishings in the contrasting colour. Guide letters in the margin. f. 141r Design in red ink for initial 'D' in lower corner.
Evidence of readership:Pastedown: old shelfmark 'Orat. 189' f. 1r: cursive hand: 'Roman dalixa(n)dre d?A?llie?r?; later 16th c. hand 'Oratorij Pa?risisis? ?vi fu fis? Catalogo inscriptus' f. 94r: annotation in the upper margin (15th c.) Co qus lanmiliiijc f. 105v: scribbles in the outer margin f. 142v: annotation in the lower margin f. 187r: outer margin : leliure a?r?isa(n)de (next to III,282 l. 5) f. 239r: annotation in the lower margin f. 269v: written in black ink in the lower margin : V L f. 287r: annotation in the margin 'misire' f. 312v: annotation in the same hand as f. 94. Co qus / un ?e? an / qui ;a / bati / ?A? tout de […] f. 313r: annotation in the same hand as f. 94, 312 I . co qu?s? si fut ?c?on / ?f?i na alixandre / Co ques un grant / e ?oci? bel rois f. 313v: annotations 'iste liber pertinet ?c?orret / Jha vita?' 'iste liber pertiner corret / gall?iun?e e(n) gal?uia? ?saint? sa?n? per ?at?oquina pro co?uie? dere pisa' 'le demy anemy forta e lau' Other hand: ‘deus deus mono / ad te del?.?te vigileo
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals the upper right corner of the recto. Earlier foliation in roman numerals centered in the upper margin.

Mise en page

Description 1Appears to be written above top line, which is exceptional since in all probability the manuscript was manufactured after 1230. (The use of round 's' at the end of the words, decoration points towards the last quarter of the thirteenth century). Line holes in the margin. A separate column has been ruled for the majuscule letters at the beginning of the verseline. At the top and bottom of the justification, double horizontal throughlines.
Page sampledf. 41r
Page dimensions245x160 (mm)
Justification180x95 (mm)
namm between columns
Column ruling present
Line ruling present
RubricationOnly used for pen-decorated initials.
Writing above top line?True
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:None
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1r to f. 313r
Datec. 1250 to 1300
Scribe description:Northern textualis rotundus with double-compartment 'a' the upper lobe of which is open. Straight 's' is used in final position. However, at the end of the verseline round 's' is used. 'Y' with diacritic. Uncrossed tironian 'et' except in the majuscule column at the beginning of the verseline where a crossed form is used. Other abbreviations include nasal bar, also used for q(ue), com- and -us abbreviation, apostrophe, superscript vowels