Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 768

[Part 1]

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General information

Folio notes:The foliation is erroneous. The final folio of this section, foliated 177, should be 186. One folio is missing after folio 72. One folio is missing at the end. Folios were bound in the wrong order. Cross-references indicate the order in which the folios should be read: ff. 47 - 49 - 48 - 51 - 50 - 52. Medieval referencing instruments (crosses and hearts) indicate that the order of the folios was already disturbed long ago.
LanguageLanguage object (46)
Approx. datec. 1220 to 1230
Date notesThe text has been copied above top line suggesting a date before c. 1230. The Lancelot-Graal pPoject has c. 1220.
Place(s) of productionChampagne
Kennedy (1980, 55) points to slight Eastern linguistic influences, possibly from Burgundy.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] de lamort . (et) chascun ior corroie li /
First words of last recto folio[f. 177ra] deuroit lan abien jugier . tant a deserui e(n) /
Incipit[f. 1ra] E N la marche / de gaule (et) / de lapetite / bretaigne / auoit . de(us) / rois encie / nement / qui estoie(n)t frere ger / main . (et) / auoient de(us) serors g(er)maines a fames li /
Explicit[f. 177vb] q(ue)liauoit lateste colpee . (et) qant Gal(aad) . / loi si en ot sigrant duel q(ue) nus hom nepor / roit greignor auoir . (et) il auoit este seig / nier lo ior deuant . sisan mesla p(ar)langoise /


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Medium quality vellum, but worn. Some stitches (e.g. ff. 38, 39, 53, 64, 95, 125, 129, 138, 142) and holes (ff. 25, 40, 42, 71, 83, 110, 113, 120, 123, 143, 153). Top corners of ff. 13 and 157 are torn.


Quire structure:The manuscript consists of regular quaternions. No quire numbers. Most catchwords have disappeared, although some survive on ff. 123, 163, 171. Remnants on ff. 131, 147, 179.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (21)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (9)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:1
General illustration:The manuscript opens with a historiated initial (height: 10 lines), blue with white flourishings on a scarlet field. Two knights have been painted in the eye of the letter on two registers. The background is gold leaf.
General decoration:The text is structured by means of pen-decorated puzzle-initials (height: 7 lines). Further subdivision is marked by pen-decorated initials (height: 2 lines) alternating between blue and red with flourishings in the contrasting colour.
Evidence of readership:Maniculae and annotations throughout (ff. 15r; 84r; 107r; 109r; 135v; 157v; 167r; 169r). The annotation on f. 169r 'la traison quj fu fet ala roina guinira p(ar) bertolay' in a fourteenth- or fifteenth-century cursive hand may indicate that the manuscript was in Italy relatively early in its history. It may have been bound there with the Southern 'Queste'.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto. Folios are numbered, but erroneously. The final folio of this part (foliated '177') actually is f. 186.

Mise en page

Description 1Line holes are visible in the inner margin (f. 63). On either side of the justification two narrow columns have been ruled (2x4.5 mm). The intercolumn space (12 mm) is also divided in two.
Page sampledf. 77r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions335 x 250 (mm)
Justification270x168 (mm)
12mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationRed ink is only used for decorated initials.
Writing above top line?True
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 1r to 177v
Datec. 1225
Scribe description:Northern textualis with two-compartment 'a', the upper compartment of which is open; 'd' has a remarkably long ascender curving upwards. Straight 's' in final position. No use of 'v'. Abbreviations include nasal bar, apostrophe, crossed tironian 'et', 'p' with crossed descender and superscript vowels ('a', 'i').


Description17th century, before 1662: Philippe de Béthune and his son Hippolyte.
Datec. 1600 to 1700
PlacePlace object (3)
OwnershipPerson object (103)
Description Louis XIV acquired the manuscript in or before 1662.
PlacePlace object (3)
OwnershipPerson object (104)