London, British Library, Additional 12029

Les hystoires des roumains (title from incipit)

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General information

3 frontend papers
2 backend papers
LanguageLanguage object (3)
Approx. date?1340 to 1350
Date notesJung 1996, 342
Place(s) of productionParis
Jung 1996, 342
First words of second recto folio[2r] dome qui fu de grant renon et de grant | seigneurie
First words of last recto folio[188r] raute (et) assess (et) p(er)se eust il ierlin (et) mise | audessous
Incipit[1r] Ici comance les hystoires des roumains
Explicit[188r]  de iulius cesar ie uo(s) enconmancerai ci em | pres selonc saluce (et) lucan 


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:The MS is in good condition throughout.



111 2-1112 1211 13-1512 1610

Quire structure:Mainly sexternions, with two quires of 11 folios and one final quinion.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (14)
Catchwords:The catch words are all clearly visible and legible, by the scribe of the text, with a red border.
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (10)

Physical description

General description:This finely decorated MS has been carefully decorated throughout.
No. of illustrations:48
General illustration:The illustrations are high in quality; they are one column in width, often using gold leaf; they punctuate the text at uneven intervals throughout. Their location and subject matter are detailed by Oltrogge (1989, 259-61). The MS opens with a 2/3 page, 4-panel and double-column illustration showing the enthronement of Ninus, the siege, a pitched battle and another siege. The MS has Oltrogge's 'F' cycle of illustrations. Instructions to the artist, in French, are visible on ff. 61v, 74r, 83r, 88r, 112r, 115v, 147v (? see below), 148v, 159r (but in a much larger hand), 161v (but in a much larger hand).
General decoration:The recto of the first folio has a simple but finely painted foliate border all the way round, with birds and hybrid beasts. The centre column below the illustration has a man on top banging a drum. There is an elaborately decorated initial (height: 8 lines) after the opening rubric. Thereafter up to f. 6r, each paragraph begins with a 2-line decorated initial, but from f. 6v this gives way to 3-line decorated initials. The decorated initials are predominantly blue and gold-leaf, but the artist also uses red. The initials extend into simply decorated but finely drawn borders on every page, mainly blue and gold-leaf, with foliate decorations in the top and bottom margins. These occasionally finish with grotesque heads, fantastic or hybrid creatures. The right-hand margins on recto or verso pages are only decorated when the border of an illustration has foliate extensions. There are occasionally larger decorated initials (height: 5-6 lines), particularly early in the MS; for details of their location, see Oltrogge (1989, 259-61).
Evidence of readership:f. 36r: in the right-hand margin alongside the passage that dates the foundation of Troy, an 18th-c. hand has made some calculations and written in the margin, 'Ce livres a esté fait en lanneée 1299'. Below this is written '5248 ans'. f. 62v: there is a nota in the right-hand margin against a passage talking about a wild animal suckling an abandoned infant. f. 147v bas de page: illegible comment in a large medieval hand, or this may be an instruction to the artist. f. 148v bas de page: illegible comment in a large medieval hand, or this may be an instruction to the artist. f.188v: the verso of the final folio has three different blocks of later medieval writing in French, largely illegible.
Foliations description:A modern hand has added folio numbers in arabic numerals.

Mise en page

Description 1
Page sampled4r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions372x267 (mm)
Justification276x186 (mm)
17mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationEach chapter begins with a rubric. Some rubrics show the influence of the style of prose romance, e.g. f. 108r: 'Or uous dirons des romains si laisserons de Alixandre'.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (3)
ScriptScript object (6)
Folio rangeFrom 1 to 188
Date?1340 to 1350
Scribe description:The hand is extremely legible with very few abbreviations and clearly distinguished 'u', 'n' and 'm', 's' and 'f', 'c' and 't'. The long 's' has a notable forward curl at the top and is not used in final position. The scribe frequently uses the letter 'y' in final position in a word.