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Detailed record for Additional 17716

Author Alexander de Villa Dei
Title Miscellany of scientific and grammatical treatises
Origin England
Date 1st half of the 15th century
Language Latin and French (Anglo-Norman)
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration Initials in blue with pen-flourishing in red. Paraphs in red or blue.
Dimensions in mm 155 x 115 (120 x 80)
Official foliation ff. 140 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end +1 unfoliated parchment flyleaf at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. BM/BL in-house (rebound in 1968).
Provenance Edward ?Dotherol of Chichester, inscribed 'This is edwarde ?dotherols boke of Chichester preficiens in chichurgia': in a hand of the late-15th or 16th century (f. 13v).
Guglielmo Bruto Icilio Timoleone, Conte Libri Carrucci della Sommaia (b. 1803, d. 1968), Italian scholar and bibliophile, in his sale, 1849 lot 999.
Bought by the British Museum from Thomas Rodd the younger (b. 1796, d. 1849), London bookseller, 10 March 1849.
Notes Alexander de Villa Dei (born c.1175) was a Franciscan monk who taught at Dol in Brittany.
Contents include:
ff. 1-12v: Astronomical treatises in Latin, Tractatus de planetarum motibus inveniendis;
ff. 14-51v: Alexander de Villa Dei, Massa Compoti;
ff. 52-87: Laws of England and formulary with the colophon, 'Explicit cartularium secundum thoma';
ff. 88-91: Latin treatise on French spelling and pronunciation by a student in Paris, named only as T. H.;
ff. 91-99v: 'Bone littere', a compilation of model letters or formulae epistolarum in Latin and French based on Thomas Sampsone's Ars Dictaminis and adapted by William Kingsmill, who ran a school of business and law in Oxford in the 15th century;
ff. 100-106: Pronoun declensions and verb conjugations based on Donatus, Ars minor, de verbo, with a French translation, and French vocabulary lists including numbers, days, months, adverbs and conjunctions;
ff. 106-111v: 'Maniere de langage': a treatise on French grammar, including 'Le mari cocu battu et content' (f.111);
ff. 112-123: Calendars and compotus;
ff. 123v-140: Alexander de Villa Dei, Algorismus, a Latin poem on the art of calculating.
Select bibliography James O. Halliwell, Rara mathematica (London 1839), pp. 73-83.

Mildred K. Pope, 'The Tractatus orthographiae of T. H., Parisii studentis', The Modern Language Review, 5:2 (1910), 185-93.

H. G. Richardson, 'Business Training in Medieval Oxford', American Historical Review, 46 (1941), 259-80 (p. 277).

William Rothwell, 'The Teaching of French in Medieval England',
The Modern Language Review, 63.1 (1968), 37-46 [on the text].

Douglas A. Kibbee, For to Speke Frenche Trewely: The French Language in England, 1000-1600: its Status, Description and Instruction (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1991), pp. 222-23.

Emil J. Polak, Medieval and Renaissance letter treatises and form letters : A Census of manuscripts found in part of Western Europe, Japan, and the United States of America (Leiden: Brill, 1994), p. 302.

Manieres de Langage (1396, 1399, 1415) ed. by Andres M. Kristol (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1995), p. xi.

Ruth Dean and Maureen Bolton, Anglo-Norman Literature, A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1999), nos. 190, 281, 288, 291, 293, 298, 300, 319.

Learning the Law: Teaching and the Transmission of English Law, 1150-1900 ed. by Jonathan Bush and Alain A. Wijffels (London: Hambledon Press, 1999), p. 168, n. 41.


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