Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 2455

[Part 1]

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General information

Folio notes:One folio wanting after f. 203.
LanguageLanguage object (46)
Approx. datec. 1250 to 1300
Date notesThe Lancelot-Graal project suggests c. 1300. Arthurian Fiction has 13th c. Jonas gives 14th c. The writing supports a date in the second half of the 13th c, possibly third quarter.
Place(s) of productionEast France
Place suggested by Arthurian Fiction. Supported by linguistic features ('lou', 'triniteit', 'clairteit', 'santeit'). The Lancelot-Graal project suggests, without great confidence, Paris.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2r] q(ue) saulene(n)t a cestuj point ; Ap(re)s me dist : pues tu ancor co[...] /
First words of last recto folio[f. 338r] achent tut cil q(ue) cestuj liure vauront . (et) prient q(ue) (jhesum) /
Incipit[f. 1r] Cil q(ue) la hatesse (et) la la si gra(n)de [...] / est celle del greal [...] / del g(ra)nt mastre man[...] / a toz cealz (et) a toutes s[...] q(ui) ont kir creance [...] /
Explicit[f. 338r] (et) n(us) ne cudie(n)s pais q(ue) / ho(m) poist nastre de fe(m)me / sil entraist sea(n)s q(ui)l ne fu[...] / nostres . (et) cist nous ait a[...] / destruis //


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Lower quality parchment with holes, also in the written space (e.g. ff. 19, 29, 159). The guardleaf at the front has been mutilated. Folios of uneven size (or trimmed afterwards), e.g. ff. 21, 177, 178. Edge of the folio coincides with the edge of the skin, e.g. inner corner of( ff. 23, 161, 330). ff. 336-337 damaged in the inner lower corner.


Quire structure:
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (16)
Catchwords:e.g. ff. 9v, 25v
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (10)

Physical description

General description:Low-grade MS. Minimal decoration, careless writing. The page is almost entirely covered with text. Particular version of the 'Estoire del Saint Graal' (see: Chase 2013).
General illustration:Not illustrated.
General decoration:Plain initials in red ink of different size. The text opens with an initial of 4 lines. Similar Initials (4-6 lines) at major divisions of the text. Initials of two lines at paragraphs. Wavy lines in red ink fill the blank spaces at the end of lines. Guide letters in the margins.
Evidence of readership:On f. 1r, old shelfmarks 'du Mare 394' 'Reg. 8188 3'. On f. 338v, list of 'dramatis personae' in modern hand.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in the upper right corner of the recto. The first, in black ink, takes into account the vellum guardleaf. The second, in pencil does not. The foliation followed in this description is that in ink.

Mise en page

Description 1Prickings visible in the lower and outer margin. Since the text was copied in a single column, the prickings in the lower margin are not very helpful. Possibly the parchment was prepared for other use.
Page sampledf. 3r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions146x98 (mm)
Justification120x88 (mm)
mm between columns
RubricationNo tituli in red ink.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (5)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 2r to f. 388r
Datec. 1250 to 1300
Scribe description:Northern textualis, currens, two-compartment 'a' with open upper compartment, uncial 'd', 'e' with tongue, some instances of looped 'd', 8-like 'g' with looped lower lobe, limb of 'h' curves below the baseline, 'i'-longa in final position, straight 's' in final position, 3-like 'z'. Abbreviations include nasal bar, crossed tironian 'et', superscript vowels, 'p' with crossed descender. Fusion of 'o' and round 'r'. 'st' ligature.


DescriptionA 15th-c. ex libris on the verso side of the front guardleaf suggests that the MS was owned by the Mouchet / Monchet family from Besançon.
Date?1400 to 1500
PlacePlace object (148)
OwnershipPerson object (134)