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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Harley 4482

Author Benoît de Sainte-Maure
Title Le Roman de Troie
Origin France, N. (perhaps Amiens or Arras)
Date 1st quarter of the 14th century
Language French
Script Gothic
Decoration 1 historiated initial in colours and gold with the author, Benoit de Sainte-Maure, writing, combined with a three-sided foliate bar border including a dog running after a hare, and birds (f. 1). 14 historiated initial in colours and gold with foliate tendrils extending into the margins, occasionally with a hybrid creature (ff. 5, 14v, 26v, 35v, 41v, 52v, 69, 76, 95, 109, 119v, 140, 151, 161), of A banquet with a queen (f. 5), a ship full of knights arriving before a city (f. 14v), two ships fighting at sea (f. 26v), assembly of kings before a seated king (f. 35v), a knight about to strike with his sword a praying king in armour (f. 41v), knights in full armour fighting, one killed (f. 52v), knights before a king seated in his tent (f. 69), knights in battle on horses (f. 76), knights in battle before a city (f. 95), men and women praying beside a bier (that of Hector?)(f. 109), knights in battle at the city gates (f. 119v), battle scene at city gates (f. 140), knights beside the body of a dead king outside a city (f. 151), ships leaving a city with tents outside its walls (f. 161). Initials in red or blue with pen-flourishing in the other colour.
Dimensions in mm 260 x 165 (175 x 100), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 188 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 5 at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house; rebound in 1975.
Provenance Nathaniel Noel (fl. 1681, d. c. 1753), bookseller, employed by Edward Harley for buying books and manuscripts chiefly on the Continent, where his agent was George Suttie (Wright 1972).
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, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘13 die Augusti, A.D. 1724’ (f. 1).
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 Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
Quire marks (Roman numerals on the verso of the last folio in each quire).
The last words are missing, as the last folio has been torn.
F. 188v has later illegible inscriptions.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4482.

Harry Leigh Douglas Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I (1883), pp. 35-39.

Le Roman de Troie, par Benoît de Saint-Maure, publié d'après tous les manuscrits connus, ed. by Léopold Constans, 6 vols, (Paris, 1904-1912), VI (1912), pp. 45-46 (codex 'L').

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 304 n. 7.

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. 253-55.

Le roman de Troie de Benoît de Sainte-Maure, ed. and trans. by Emmanuele Baumgartner (Paris: Union Générale d'Editions, 1987), [for an edition and translation of the text].

Scot McKendrick, 'La vraye histoire de Troye la grant’: truth and romance in the late medieval story of Troy in literature and art', in Why Fakes Matter. Essays on Problems of Authenticity, ed. by Mark Jones (London: British Museum, 1992), 71-80 (p. 75, n. 4).

Marc-René Jung, La Légende de Troie en France au moyen age (Basel & Tubingen: Francke Verlag, 1996), pp. 21, 22, 24-26, 110-13.


Images
* * *
 
Author portrait

f. 1
Author portrait
Banquet

f. 5
Banquet
Ship full of knights

f. 14v
Ship full of knights
 
Ships at sea

f. 26v
Ships at sea
Ships

f. 26v
Ships
Assembly of kings

f. 35v
Assembly of kings
 
Assembly of kings

f. 35v
Assembly of kings
Knights in combat

f. 41v
Knights in combat
Knights in combat

f. 41v
Knights in combat
 
Knights

f. 52v
Knights
Knights

f. 69v
Knights
Knights in battle

f. 76
Knights in battle
 
Knights in battle

f. 95
Knights in battle
Mourning women

f. 109
Mourning women
Mourning women

f. 109
Mourning women
 
Knights in battle

f. 119v
Knights in battle
Battle scene

f. 140
Battle scene
Dead king

f. 151
Dead king
 

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