Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

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Historia regum Britanniae; with French moralistic poetry, etc.

Historia regum Britanniae; with French moralistic poetry, etc.

Call Number:
Creator: Geoffrey, of Monmouth, Bishop of St. Asaph, 1100?-1154, creator
Languages:
Date: between 1175 and 1250
Subjects:
Genre:
Type of Resource:
Description:
Manuscript on parchment (sheepskin?) of 1) Geoffrey of Monmouth (Galfredus Monemutensis, d. 1154), Historia regum Britanniae. The text, containing the double dedication, to Robert of Gloucester and Waleran Count of Mellent, and wanting the epilogue addressed to Henry of Huntingdon and William of Malmesbury, is believed to be the earliest version of Geoffrey of Monmouth's work. 2) Unidentified French poem of which the end is missing (1276 verses preserved), on the vanity and corruption of the world. 3) Le Roman des Romans. 4) Two formulas for exorcism and an astrological prognosis for the year 1186, announcing countless calamities, the preeminence of the Franks and the destruction of the Saracens. Each text was written by a different hand on originally blank pages. 5) Readings from the Old Testament.
In the libraries of Sir Thomas Phillipps (MS 2324). Sotheby sale (?), lot 89. Norman Holmes Pearson, Yale 1932 (MS 269). Bequest of Norman H. Pearson, 1976.
Art. 1: In spite of the marked irregularity in size and letter forms probably copied by one hand, writing a large Praegothica. There are extensive corrections on erasure in Northern Gothica Textualis Libraria (f. 10r, 10 lines; f. 12v, 8 lines, both 14th century), some marginal notes in Latin in Gothica Cursiva Libraria (Secretary) 15th century (ff. 4r, 6r) and interlinear English translations in Gothica Cursiva or Cursiva Antiquior (Secretary or Anglicana).
Art. 1: The decoration consists of Romanesque flourished (in one or two colours) or plain initials (2 lines, on f. 1r 4 lines), alternately in red and green. Guide-letters in the margins. On f. 55r, at the beginning of the history of Merlin, a male bust is drawn in the margin.
Quire XV (art. 2) is copied by a single hand in early Northern Gothica Textualis Libraria with a noticeable predilection for majuscule N and R in final position and extended ascenders on the top line. There are a few corrections. Art. 3 is copied by a single hand in early Northern Gothica Textualis Libraria. Each quatrain opens with a paragraph mark. Art. 4 is added by three different 13th-century hands. Art. 5 is a damaged leaf, incomplete at the top, from a 14th-century manuscript on two columns, written in Northern Gothica Textualis Libraria, decorated with plain red initials.
Binding: Original white leather over rounded oak boards; spine with four raised bands. Marks of one strap fixed to the front cover and clutching over a pin in the rear cover. The front pastedown (detached) consists of fragments of a court roll (from a trial of 1334), identified by N.R. Ker (note kept in the documentary folder in the Beinecke Library) and copied in Gothica Cursiva Antiquior (Anglicana).
Cataloged from microfilm by Albert Derolez.
Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
A. Ewert, An Early Manuscript of the 'Roman des 'Romans', The Modern Language Review, 23 (1928), pp. 299-306 (pp. 299-301). N.R. Ker, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain (2nd ed., London, 1964), p. 160. A. Griscom, The Historia regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth (London, 1929), pp. 51-52, 562, 575 (no. 23). T.D. Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue of Materials relating to the History of Great Britain and Ireland to the end of the reign of Henry VII (London, 1862), v. 1, p. 343.
Physical Description:
ff. ii + 131 : parchment ; 245 x 170 mm.
Rights:
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Curatorial Area: Beinecke Library
Exhibition Note:
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in Beinecke Library.
Catalog Record:
Extent of Digitization:
Source Digital Format:
High Resolution (image/tiff)
Object ID: 9998995
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