Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 223

[Part 1]

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General information

LanguageLanguage object (44)
Approx. date?1280 to 1300
Date notes'c. 1285' (Stones 2000, 365); '1280-1300' (Brandsma 2003, 128); the Lancelot-Graal project suggests c. 1280. Arthurian Fiction has 1270-1290. Jonas suggests 14th c.
Place(s) of productionDouai
'Douai' (Stones 2000, 365); 'Arras, Douai' (Brandsma 2003, 128).
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] vait dolans et couroucies . De cou q(ue) /
First words of last recto folio[f. 260ra] comme il le uit Il li couru sus . /
Incipit[f. 1ra] lespee pour lui ferir Et cil guencist au- / cop Et licols vient glacant par desus le / hiaume .
Explicit[f. 260vb] Et / larceuesques lauoit ia tant mene / que lans(elot) auoit ia lordene de p(ro)uoire //


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Largely excellent. None of the folios show great wear and all are fully legible. The parchment is generally of good quality though some of the folios are slightly irregular or repaired, including: f. 4 – Cut along the lower edge from left to right (reaching 15mm by the right edge); f. 15 – rip at the bottom of the folio and sewn straight up for 45mm; f. 17 – rip in the bottom right corner, extending 55x25mm; f. 18 – small hole/rip in bottom right corner; f. 22 – 3 small holes; f. 23 – streak of blue/green pigment across the top, above the columns; f. 25 – small hole in upper right-hand corner along the edge; f. 26 – two small holes in the upper right-hand corner and the bottom corner is sliced off, a slice of c. 20x60mm; f. 66 – tear in bottom right-hand margin; ff. 58, 60, 61, 94 – right and bottom edges irregularly cut; ff. 76, 78, 80, 81, 83 – missing bottom right-hand edge; ff. 88-99-100 – irregularly cut right margin; f. 104 – hole on bottom right edge margin; f. 112 – bottom 1/2 folio of right margin cut away up to 15mm from right edge; f. 113 – 3 holes in right margin; f. 115 – 2 holes, both on or near column 2 (loss of a couple of words); f. 117 – missing right hand bottom corner (cut away), c. 130x75mm; f. 118 – hole in second column, middle, missing some 5-6 words; f. 119 – hole in first column, obscuring several words (5-6); f. 121 – small hole in column one, obscuring 2 or 3 words; f. 124 – missing right-hand bottom corner; f. 132 – tear-drop shaped hole in bottom margin (central); f. 136 – uneven right-hand edge and bottom edge; f. 139 – uneven bottom edge; f. 142 – missing bottom edge on right, 20mm up and up to 120mm from the right margin; f. 147 – missing right-hand bottom corner (90x30mm); f. 148 – unevenly cut right edge; f. 149 – hole in the vellum, bottom margin; f. 158 – unevenly cut right edge; f. 161 – missing bottom right corner (60x25mm); f. 177 – hole in second column just below mid-page; f. 184 – right-hand corner missing (25mm high, 120mm long across the bottom edge); f. 187 – right-hand margin unevenly cut; f. 190 - right-hand corner missing (30x10mm) and irregular bottom; f. 192 – right hand edge missing bottom half, uneven cut of about 15mm from the edge; f. 193 – bottom right-hand corner missing, 110x15mm; f. 200 – cut unevenly along the bottom edge, 30mm up; f. 201 – bottom right-hand corner missing, 80x30mm; f. 207 – vertical slice in the vellum, along the first column, of about 150mm, plus 20mm hole on the bottom near the edge; f. 222 – irregularly cut on the lower right-hand side of the folio; f. 224 – lower right-hand corner of the folio is missing (40mm); f. 226 – small hole on right margin, ¼ way down the page.



1-98 104 11-348

Quire structure:9 quaternions and a binion, followed by 24 quaternions.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (12)
Catchwords:Catchwords present, final leaf of the quire, centred at the bottom, or at the extreme right.
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (7)

Physical description

General description:Though different hands were responsible for the text, the volume was decorated as a single entity.
No. of illustrations:12
General illustration:12 historiated initials (column width; height: 12 or 13 lines), with gold grounds and frames in gold, pink and blue, with white filigree. They are preceded by rubric and followed by large decorated initials.
General decoration:Major divisions are marked by large initials in gold (height: 5 or, initially, 6 lines), against a pink and blue ground with white filigree and black outlining. Most chapters open with smaller initials (height: 2 lines) in the same style. Between ff. 205ra and 228vb, majuscules are highlighted red.
Evidence of readership:Chapter headings in English were supplied in a 15th-c. cursive hand in black or brown ink. The first, in the margin of f. 1va, reads: 'How þ(e) dam(ois)ell(e) / p(re)yd lans(elot) to help / her'. Occasional manicula, chiefly between ff. 123vb and 146va.
Foliations description:Arabic numbering in pencil in upper right corner of recto sides.

Mise en page

Description 1
Page sampledf. 50r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions348x251 (mm)
Justification227x166 (mm)
16mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationRubric precedes each of the illuminated miniatures.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 1ra to f. 76vb
Date?1280 to 1300
Scribe description:Two-compartment 'a' (closed upper bow, and often angular), some forked ascenders, occasional majuscule 'R' in initial position, round or straight 's' in final position, 'u' or 'v' in initial position, tironian 'et' with bar.

Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 77ra to f. 172vb
Date?1280 to 1300
Scribe description:More angular than Hand #1. Ascenders sometimes with approach strokes, 'u' more often found in initial position than 'v', and preponderance of round 's' in final position.
NotesSame as Hand #4.

Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 173ra to f. 186vb
Date?1280 to 1300
Scribe description:Uncial 'd' with very short shaft, 'v' employed in initial position, both round and tall 's' found in final position. Tironian 'et' distinguished from previous hands by the length of the upper part.
NotesThis hand responsible for most of the rubrics?

Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom f. 187ra to f. 260vb
Date?1280 to 1300
Scribe description:
NotesSame as Hand #2.


Description15th-c. chapter headings in English.
Date?1400 to 1499
PlacePlace object (124)