Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, nouv. acq. françaises 3650

[Part 1]

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General information

Folio notes:At least 47 folios are wanting at the beginning. The foliations in the upper right margin and the bottom margin both start 'xlviij'. The fourth extant quire is marked 'x', suggesting that six quires were lost at the beginning of the MS.
LanguageLanguage object (43)
Approx. datec. 1475
Date notesBased on decoration and fashion as depicted in the illustration.
Place(s) of productionParis
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] argius lainsnee et thideus doulcement lui otroya /
First words of last recto folio[f. 299ra] Mais il auoit .I. frere nomme Mastenhel qui fu /
Incipit[f. 1ra] si se hasta courre si que tantost se fut au / deuant de ??s??ui mise acelle foys netta il la ije / pomme pour plus la belle en sa voye delayer / mes oncques si haste de courir ne fut que po(ur) / la pomme dor prendre ne se arrestast car b(ie)n / petit le cours dung jouuencel craingnoit /
Explicit[f. 299vb] Et appert bien q(ue) ceste irruption de la cite fu / faicte plus par la indignation de dieu q(ue) parla / forte dez enemiz car il aduint lors q(ue) le saint /


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Good quality vellum. Apart from the folios missing at the front and end, generally in good condition. In the second half of the MS, ff. 175, 188, 194, 241, 259, 266, and 277 have been damaged. The first folio(s) have been affected by fluid or damp.


Quire structure:Quire 5 (ff. 33-36, marked 'xi') is a binion. This allows the 'Eneas' section to end in one quire, and the 'Rome' section to end in the following one.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (16)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (9)

Physical description

General illustration:The sections IV (Greeks and Amazons, f. 10va), V (Troy, f. 12vb), VI (Eneas, f. 24rb), and VII (Rome I, f. 37ra) have not been marked with larger initials. Section VIII (Orient II, f. 47rb) starts with a larger initial (height: 6 lines), historiated with a grisaille. The historiated initial for section IX (Alexander, f. 59rb) only occurs at f. 62rb, at the conception of Alexander by Nectanabus. Section X (Rome II, f. 79r) opens with an even larger historiated initial (height: 8 lines). On f. 82r, a miniature (height: 14 lines) attached to a champ initial illustrates the Punic Wars. A similar image (height: 14 lines) portrays the destruction of Carthage (f. 101). The transition between the 'Histoire ancienne' and the 'Faits des Romains' is not clearly marked. As in many manuscripts combining the two texts, the 'Histoire' ends with material borrowed from the first lines of the 'Faits'. A rubric introduces the text: 'Cy commence le liure de Cesar' (f. 129v). A section titled 'Comment les messagiers de france / vindrent a Romme' (f. 134rv) is introduced by a lavishly decorated page consisting of a full-page border, decorated with flowers and images of soldiers, and a large miniature (height: 20 lines) followed by a large champ initial (height: 11 lines). Similar decorated pages on f. 156v ('Comment la cite de saietes fut asseze. Et y furent dreciez engins et berfroyz') with, in the borders, the monogram 'C' (double, one mirrored and intertwined); on f. 172r ('comment cesar vint au secours de sez legions'), f. 266 (mostly torn), f. 277r (mostly torn). The 'Faits' is further illustrated with large demi-grisaille miniatures (height: 20 lines) on ff. 149v, 168r, 180v (excised), 185v, 188v (excised), 194r (excised), 220r, 228r, 240 (excised), 259 (excised), 265 (Caesar murdered), Space left for a large three-quarter page miniature on f. 245v?
General decoration:Paragraphs are introduced by a rubricated titulus followed by a champ initial (height: 2 lines), in gold leaf on a field of blue and scarlet, decorated with white flourishings, and with small tendrils sprouting from one or several corners. The initials become larger at f. 37ra (height: 3 lines). From f. 140v ('Faits des Romains') onwards, larger subdivisions of the text are introduced by large decorated initials (height: 7-8 lines), instead of historiated initials.
Evidence of readership:Old shelfmark on f. 1r: 'R. 7523'. Written in the blank space of f. 36v, in an early 17th-c. hand '[...] de massencoume fille unique de piere andre de massencoume (et) / de anne de mare?st?an escrit par la dite [...] lan 1617' On f. 183v, in very small script, upside-down in the outer margin: 'A fourzeune'.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto (starts '1'). Older foliation, rubricated, in roman numerals, at the top of the right margin (starts 'xlviij'). Foliation in black ink centered in the lower margin, which jumps from 'li' to 'l' to 'lxiii' without disorder or loss of text.

Mise en page

Description 1Double horizontal throughlines at the top and bottom of the justification. Prickings visible in the outer margins.
Page sampledf. 2r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions378x290 (mm)
Justification250x200 (mm)
25mm between columns
RubricationRed ink is used for tituli and foliation.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (9)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1ra to f. 299vb
Datec. 1450 to 1500
Scribe description:Written by multiple hands. Change of hand associated with minor changes in decorative programme at f. 37ra.