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Detailed record for Harley 4123

Part 1 ff. 2-126 
Author Geoffrey of Monmouth , Guido delle Colonne
Title Geoffrey's 'Historia regum Britanniae' , dedicated to Robert of Gloucester (ff. 2-49), Guido's 'Historia destructionis Troiae' (ff. 54-126), preceded by a table of contents (ff. 50-53)
Origin Netherlands, S. (Diest ?)
Date 1349
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Scribe Albertus filius Iohannis Alberti, presbiter de Dyst
Decoration Puzzle initials and plain initials with pen-flourishing extending into the border in red and blue. Initials and rubrics in red. Small initials highlighted in red.
Dimensions in mm 315 x 210 (205/210 x 130/135) in two columns
 
Part 2 ff. 127-171v 
Author Martinus Polonus , Hugh of Saint-Victor
Title Historical miscellany, including Martinus's 'Chronica pontificum et imperatorum', possibly imperfect (ff. 127-159), a table of Roman provinces (ff. 167v-170v), and Hugh's 'Expositio mappe mundi' (ff. 171r-v)
Origin England or Netherlands, S.
Date 1st half of the 14th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Puzzle initial in blue and red with pen-flourishing extending into the margin (f. 127). Initials, rubrics, paraphs and running titles in red. Small initials highlighted in red. Cadel with anthropomorphic features (f. 167).
Dimensions in mm 330 x 210 (245 x 145/150)
 
Official foliation ff. 171 (f. 1 is the original parchment flyleaf; + single unfoliated leaves after ff. 126 and 159, and 3 modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end).
Collation ff. 62-126: gatherings mostly of 8, with horizontal catchwords within frames in the lower right margin of the last verso of each gathering, and leaf signatures in the lower margin of the rectos in the first half of gatherings; ff. 127-171: gatherings mostly of 10, with horizontal catchword in the lower right corner of the last verso of gatherings.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. 19th century; marbled endleaves.
Provenance Partly written by 'Albertus filius Iohannis Alberti, presbiter de Dyst' (ff. 2-126): his signed colophons (ff. 49, 126), dated 1349 (f. 49).
A list of content added by a 17th-century hand (f. 1v).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts.
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes The death of pope Honorius IV in 1287 is mentioned at the end of Martinus Polonus's 'Chronica' (f. 159).
The occasional disparity between catchwords and first words on the following leaf may indicate that a loss of leaf/leaves has occurred with consequent loss of text.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4123.

Harry L. D. Ward and John A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), 1: Harry L. D. Ward (1883), pp. 40-42, 236.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 48, 440.

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 700-1600 in The Department of Manuscripts: The British Library, 2 vols (London: British Library, 1979), no. 805.

Anna-Dorothee von den Brincken, ‘Studien zur Überlieferung der Chronik des Martin von Troppau (Erfahrungen mit einem massenhaft überlieferten historischen Text)', Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters, 41 (1985), 460-531 (p. 526).

The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth, 5 vols (Cambridge: Brewer, 1985- ), III (1989): Julia C. Crick, A Summary Catalogue of the Manuscripts, pp. 170-71, no. 104.

The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth, 5 vols (Cambridge: Brewer, 1985- ), IV (1991): Julia C. Crick, Dissemination and Reception in the Later Medieval Ages, pp. xiii, 47, 56-57, 62, 139, 141, 171, 177, 189, 205, 210.

P. D. A. Harvey, 'The Sawley map and other world maps in twelfth-century England', Imago Mundi: The International Journal for the History of Cartography, 49 (1997), 33-42 (p. 42 n. 32).

Geoffrey of Monmouth: The History of the Kings of Britain. An Edition and Translation of De gestis Britonum [Historia Regum Britanniae], ed. by Michael D. Reeve, transl. by Neil Wright, Arthurian Studies, 69 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2007), p. xli.


Images

Part  1   ff. 2-126
Geoffrey of Monmouth , Guido delle Colonne Geoffrey's 'Historia regum Britanniae' , dedicated to Robert of Gloucester (ff. 2-49), Guido's 'Historia destructionis Troiae' (ff. 54-126), preceded by a table of contents (ff. 50-53)
* * *
 
Puzzle initial

f. 2
Puzzle initial

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