Copenhagen, Kongelige Bibliotek, Thott 1087

liber mortis regis artu(ri) (colophon)

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General information

LanguageLanguage object (57)
Approx. datec. 1220 to 1230
Date notesDate proposed by the Lancelot-Graal Project. This is confirmed by the layout (written above top line) and partially also the script (double-compartment 'a', the upper compartment of which is open, straight 's' in final position, uncrossed tironian note). According to Arthurian Fiction, dated to the fifteenth century. JONAS gives thirteenth or fourteenth century.
Place(s) of productionNorthern France
The location given here is that proposed by the Lancelot-Graal Project. Arthurian Fiction proposes Thérouanne or Saint-Omer. The colophon reads: 'Explicit liber mortis regis / arturi . Coscio da cezane'. The provenance of the scribe may be Northern (Sézanne, Marne) or Southern (Cézanne, Provence), which given the linguistic colouring and the presence of troubadour lyric (Occitan song book Kp) at the end, seems the more likely option. Linguistic particularities 'uuoil', 'uuolt', 'chastex' (f. 103v). According to Hult (2009, 126), the manuscript is 'linguistically suspect' since it was copied by an Italian scribe.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] ut (et) sen prist garde ta(n)t que il /
First words of last recto folio[f. 108ra] ?.?ien na . que riex dizon que /
Incipit[f. 1ra] Apress ce que maistres / gautiers map ot per / treites deusauenture / dou saint graal asses seffisa(n)t / m(en)t . si (com) il senbloit . si fu aui / auroi ha(n)ri son signor . que ce / que il auoit fait nedeuoit pas / soffrire . se il nerecontoit la fi(n) / de cels den il auoit deuant / fait me(n)cion [...] / 
Explicit[f. 108vb] quen gran dreg notz paus / hocazons .


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Lower grade vellum, many holes, stitches and instances where the folio has been cut near the edges of the skin . First and last pages are worn.



1-128 (ff. 1-96) 1310(ff. 97-106) 142(ff. 107-108)

Folio 106v is blank. Folios 107 and 108 may be a misplaced bifolium.

Quire structure:
Quire marks:
Catchword disposition:

Physical description

General illustration:
General decoration:No rubricated headings. Larger subdivisions (usually 'ceste partie') are introduced by large pen-decorated (puzzle) initials (height: 5 lines) in red and blue, with flourishings in the same colours. It is noteworthy that the beginning of the text is not marked by a large initial. Smaller subdivisions are marked by plain initials (height: 2 lines), mostly red, in some parts of the manuscript alternating with blue. The final part of the manuscript (Occitan song book Kp) only has red initials, mostly with a height of just one line. This part also has rubricated headings (mostly names). Curly lines in red and occasionally blue ink are used as line filling devices.
Evidence of readership:See also: endpapers. A modern hand has noted a title on f. 1ra 'La mort du roi Artur par Gautier Map'. Folio 106 which has been left blank, is filled with fifteenth-century annotations.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1'Occitan songbook Kp' has a slightly different layout (irregular number of lines, although same justification) and the line filling devices in the text differ from those in the 'Mort Artu'. The script is, however, strikingly similar, and so is the decoration at the end of the manuscript. The quire structure clearly demonstrates that this is an integral part of the 'Mort Artu' copy. The first folios of the 'song book' section have been copied in the quinion in which the 'Mort Artu' ends.
Page sampled3ra
Page dimensions215x140 (mm)
Justification168x110 (mm)
8mm between columns
Column ruling present
Line ruling present
RubricationRed ink is used for decorations and some rubricated headings in the final part of the manuscript.
Writing above top line?True
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (6)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1ra to f. 108vb
Scribe description:(Southern?) Littera textualis, with double-compartment 'a', the upper compartment of which is open, half-uncial 'd', limb of 'h' descends below the baseline and curves to the left; 'i'-longa in initial position; no diacritic on 'i'; word-separation not indicated; minims of 'm', 'n', and 'f' long 's' end flat on the baseline (praescissus); straight 's' in final position, except at the end of the line; vertical stroke of 't' barely protrudes above the headstroke; no use of 'v'; 3-like 'z' extending below the baseline. Punctuation includes punctus. Abbreviations include nasal mark, 'us'-abbreviation, 'com' abbreviations, apostrophe and uncrossed tironian 'et'.