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Detailed record for Additional 16441

Author Alexandre de Bernay
Title Roman d'Athis et Porfilias or Le Siege d'Athenes
Origin France
Date 1330
Language French
Script Gothic
Decoration Puzzle initial in red and blue (f. 1). Initials in red or blue, some with decoration in the other colour. Line-filler in red and brown (f. 128v). Letters highlighted in red at the beginning of each line. Sketches of human heads (e.g., f. 37) or hybrid creatures in profile (e.g., f. 112v) in the lower margins, some as decoration of quire numbers or catchwords (e.g., f. 48v).
Dimensions in mm 260 x 190mm (200 x 130/140mm) in two columns
Official foliation ff. ii +128 (f. i is a paper paste-down on the inside upper binding and f. ii is the verso of a paper flyleaf + 24 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 24 at the end)
Collation i-xvi8 (ff. 1-128)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather with gold tooling.
Provenance Jeanne (d. 16 January 1354), daughter of Gaucher de Chastillon (Constable of France, 1302) and widow of Gauthier V, Comte de Brienne and de Liches, and Duke of Athens, the colophon on f. 128v, dated 1330, states: 'Cilz romanz est a la duchesse Datheine et de brene contesse De lyche ainsi dame clamee Si fust de chatillon nee Ses peres fust li connestaubles A toutes genz fust convenaubles. En lan mil trois cenz et trent Fust escripz'.
Nicholas Xavier Souciet, inscribed on f. 1 'Nicolais Xaverii Souciet 3rd idus maias 1718'.
Bought by the British Museum from Payne and Foss, on 10 October 1846 (payment was deferred to 7 January 1847) as part of a lot, now Additionals 16405-16558, some of which were formerly owned by the Rezzi family of Rome: a note on a paper flyleaf states, 'Purchased of Payne and Foss. Jan 7 1847'. Beneath,, 'Rezzi Collection' is crossed out and replaced by 'from Paris'.
Notes Quire numbering and catchwords. This poem is based on an oriental legend and the French version is attributed to Alexandre de Bernay, the author of part of the Roman d'Alexandre, composed between 1210 and 1225. The first part is about two friends, Athis of Athens and Porfilias of Rome, who make heroic sacrifices for each other, the second part is about the love between Athis and Gayte, sister of Porfilias and the third part tells of battles between the heroes, Athis, Porfilias, Theseus and Piritheus and Duke Telamon in Athens.
Select bibliography Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1846-1847 (London: British Museum, 1864 ), pp. 209-10.

H. L. D. Ward and J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I, pp. 173-75, 929-31.

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated & Datable Manuscripts c. 700-1600 in the Department of Manuscripts The British Library (London: British Library, 1979), I, no. 155.

Richard and Mary Rouse, 'The crusade as context: the manuscripts of Athis et Prophilias' Courtly Arts and the Art of Courtliness. Selected Papers from the Eleventh Triennial Congress of the International Courtly Literature Society University of Wisconsin-Madison, 29 July-4 August 2004, ed. by Keith Busby and Christopher Kleinhenz (Cambridge, Brewer, 2006), pp. 49-103.

Isabelle Delage-Béland, 'Une conquête problématique: le statut ambigu de la fiction dans le manuscrit Paris, BNF, fr. 375, un recueil de romans', Etudes francaises, 48 (2012), 95-113 (n. 46).


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