Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 751

Listoire de / Lancelos del lac et le mors / del roi artu [title in explicit]

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General information

Folio notes:Five folios missing between ff. 261 and 262, circa 2 folios missing between ff. 310 and 311, and 40 folios missing after f. 350 between the 'Lancelot propre' and the 'Queste'. (Micha 1960, 166). Lacuna at f. 486-487?
LanguageLanguage object (3)
Approx. date1230 to 1250
Date notesDeuxième moitié du XIIIe siècle (Micha 1960, 166). Date suggested by the Lancelot-Graal project: c. 1230-50.
Place(s) of productionNorthern France
Place suggested by the Lancelot-Graal project.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] de ordre bien de vous . (et) p(our)ce vous le croie je que /
First words of last recto folio[f. 488ra] si le voit bliogeris si li dist /
Incipit[f. 1ra] [En la] marche / de Gaules et / de la petite bre / taingne avoit deus rois en / ciennement . / qui estoient / frere germai(n) / Et avoient deus sereurs germaines . li uns / des .ii. rois auoit non . li rois Bans de Benoyc . (et) li autres rois auoit non Li rois bohors de Gau / nes .
Explicit[f. 488vb] quil nait bien fait (et)  bien [...] en toutes cho / ses . Ci fenist Listoire de / Lancelos del lac et le mors / del roi artu . Explicit .

Related MS

RelationshipType object (6)Manuscript object (226)


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Medium to lower quality parchment with many holes (ff. 139, 192) and stitches (ff. 125, 129, 198, 203), tears (f. 14: corner torn; f. 91 tear, cut? in the leaf) and stains. The bottom margin is cut at ff. 246, 378, 461. Distinct difference between hairside and fleshside.




Quire structure:Catchwords (mostly cut) at: ff. 8, 16, 24, 32, 64, 72, 120, 128, 176, 182, 190, 214, 326, 334, 342, (350), 358, 366, 382, 406, 422, 430, 454. If the MS was originally made of regular quaternions between ff. 214 and 326, it indeed seems possible that 2 folios are missing between ff. 310-311). The binding threads are visible at ff. 202-3, which may suggest otherwise.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (21)
Catchwords:Catchwords (mostly cut) at ff. 8, 16, 24, 32, 64, 72, 120, 128, 176, 182, 190, 214, 326 , 334, 342, (350), 358, 366, 382, 406, 422.
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (20)

Physical description

General description:It is not certain certain whether this is a manuscript written by multiple scribes, or one composed of more than one manuscript part. Generally, the scribe of f. 311 and following leaves space for large initials. Although the decoration seems similar to that in the previous section of the manuscript there are slight differences. It is noteworthy that exactly between ff. 310 and 311 there is a lacuna of about 2 folios. This could be due to lost folios, the change in scribe or a new phase in the production process of the manuscript. Paratextual marker before the 'Agravain' at f. 261r: space of about two lines: 'Explicit la premerai(n)ne partie de ce rom(an)t'.
No. of illustrations:1
General illustration:The text is introduced by a rather crude miniature (height: 8 lines). The image, which is framed in red and blue bars, without further decoration, represents a man and a woman on horseback (King Ban and his wife) fleeing from a castle. The horses are positioned on the frame. The woman is carrying a child. The background is gold leaf.
General decoration:Large, pen-decorated puzzle initials (height: 8 lines) structure the text; further subdivisions are indicated with smaller, pen-decorated initials (height: 2-3 lines), alternately blue and red. In a few places the blank spaces left for smaller initials have not been filled (e.g. f. 1r). Guide letters in the margins, but after f. 311 rather in the space provided for the initial. Some decorative line fillers in the form of dots and wavy lines, put in directly by the scribe(s).
Evidence of readership:On f. 1r: top old shelfmark 7173; added in late 14th-15th c. hand: 'De lanselot du lac' (littera cursiva). On f. 35r: crude alphabet in the right margin (a-t). On f. 35v: bottom margin: crude alphabet (a-r, no j). On f. 51v: crude alphabet (a-p) bottom margin. On f. 263r. partly mutilated 14th or 15th-c. annotations 'Ce p(re)mier quel que faut [cut] q ici ?......? sur le / nombre de iii / a une + Et dure xv fouillez jusqu a une + ci c?? ainsy' 'Celle nuit / furent bien sa [cut} (et) au matin qu [cut] Gaah(?.?) ot oie' On f. 311r: annotation, 14th-15th c., cf. f. 263r. On f. 351r: annotation, 14th-15th c., connected to crosses (+) in the margins on this and also on the following folios, connected to Galaad and the Graal. The annotations on ff. 263r and 311 may be similar cross references. On f. 397r: upper margin ' mo il fu couuet dom` (same hand as crude alphabet?) . On f. 488v: after explicit: faded annotation . scribbles 'amoner chir xit amen chir' 'simon de mon doit asmoon ?s?imongis ?s?imongis' alphabet in crude letters
Foliations description:Two foliations in the top right-hand corner of the recto. The most prominent runs from ff. 1-488. The other runs to f. 486.

Mise en page

Description 1The ruling pattern is intricate with extra margins at the left and right of the text column and horizontal throughlines. The space between the columns is divided in half. Since the initials are fully incorporated in the written area, these extra horizontal margins serve no clear purpose. The number of lines varies. On the sampled page it is 46, however on fol. 4r it is 41. Line holes still present (e.g. f. 294) . As from f. 311 the justification is more compact (circa 260x195).
Page sampled270r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions350x280 (mm)
Justification270x205 (mm)
16mm 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 used for rubricated initials and pen-decoration. One initial rubricated titulus introduces the beginning of the text.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 311r to 348vb?
Datec. 1250
Scribe description:This hand marks word separation. 'd', 'v' and tironian 'et' in initial position extend into the margin. Use of 'v'. Two types of 'd'. The scribe tends to fill out the line by elongating the headstrokes of letters in final position. This hand lacks the litterae elongatae at the bottom of the page which are characteristic of the hand in the first part of the manuscript.

Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 1ra to 310vb
Scribe description:Fanciful litterae elongatae (mostly p and q), especially ff. 19-21 at the bottom, but also at the top. Litterae elongatae at the bottom stop at f. 129, start again at f. 201.
NotesPossibly another change of scribe occurs in the part without characteristic litterae elongatae at the bottom of the page, but this is not very clear.