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Detailed record for Royal 16 G VIII

Author Caesar, translated by Jean Duchesne (or Du Quesne)
Title Bellum Gallicum (Les commentaires de Cesar)
Origin France, N. (Lille) and Netherlands, S. (Bruges?)
Date 1473-1476
Language French
Script Gothic cursive (bâtarde)
Scribe Jean Duchesne
Artists Master of the London Wavrin
Decoration 10 large miniatures in colours and gold, with full borders and foliate initials, in colours and gold, at the beginning of books (ff. 14, 67v, 116, 133, 147v, 164v, 189, 210, 255, 277). 13 one-column miniatures in colours and gold, at the beginning of some chapters (ff. 32, 35, 39, 47, 67, 282, 292, 297, 304v, 310v, 317, 324, 331v). Initials and paraphs in gold on blue and rose grounds with penwork decoration in white. Line-fillers in blue, rose and gold with penwork decoration in white.
Dimensions in mm 395 x 285 (250 x 175)
Official foliation ff. 338 (+ 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end, and 1 unfoliated medieval parchment flyleaf at the end; f. 1 is a medieval parchment flyleaf, 1 blank leaf after f. 188)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Royal Library binding of brown leather with the royal arms and a date of 1757; gilt edges.
Provenance Jean Duchesne (or Du Quesne), scribe and translator, translated and probably written by him in 1473: his colophon, 'Cy prent fin le Xe et dar/renier livre des co[m]mentaires / de Cesar translatez en la / ville de Lille lan mil IIII C / LXXIII par Jehan du Chesne / humble et indigne etc.' (f. 338v); and addressed to Charles the Bold (b. 1433, d. 1477), duke of Burgundy: 'Tres hault / tres puis/sant tres / excellent / victorieux / et xristien prince mon tres / redoubte seigneur Charles / par la grace de dieu Duc / de bourgogne...' (f. 14).
Edward IV (b. 1442, d. 1483), king of England and lord of Ireland: perhaps acquired by him.
The Old Royal Library (the English Royal Library): included in the list of books at Richmond Palace of 1535, no. 72; and in the catalogue of 1666, Royal Appendix 71, f. 14v.
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
Includes the earliest surviving copy of the French translation of Caesar's Bellum Gallicum by Jean Duchesne of Lille, addressed to Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, that perhaps can be identified as the presentation copy. Another manuscript of the Commentaires, copied for Charles the Bold's counsellor Jacques Donche (New Haven, Beinecke Library 226), which replicates the images fom the Royal manuscript, is known to have been copied from the original presented to the duke (see Kren and McKendrick 2003).
Catchwords and bifolium signatures.
Select bibliography H. Omont, 'Les manuscrits français des rois d'Angleterre au château de Richmond', in Etudes romanes dédiés à Gaston Paris (Paris: É. Bouillon, 1891), pp. 1-13 (p. 9).

H. P. Cholmeley, John of Gaddesden and the Rosa Medicinae (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912), p. 125.

George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), II, p. 213.

Robert Bossuat, ‘Traductions françaises des Commentaires de César à la fin du XVe siècle’, in Bibliothèque d’humanisme et renaissance, 3 (1943), 253-411 (257-58)

Robert Lucas, 'Medieval French Translations of the Latin Classics to 1500', Speculum, 45 (1970), 225-53 (p. 234).

Bénédictins du Bouveret, Colophons de manuscrits occidentaux des origines au XVIe siècle, 6 vols (Fribourg: Éditions universitaires, 1965-1982), III, nos. 9523-4, 9526.

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), I, no. 900.

Janet Backhouse, 'Founders of the Royal Library: Edward IV and Henry VII as Collectors of Illuminated Manuscripts', England in the Fifteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1986 Harlaxton Symposium (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987), pp. 23-41 (pp. 26, 40).

R. H. Lucas, 'Medieval French Translations of the Latin Classics to 1500', Speculum, 45 (1970), 225-53 (p. 234).

Otto Pächt, 'La terre de Flandres', Pantheon, 36 (1978), 3-16 (p. 14).

The Libraries of King Henry VIII, ed. by J. P. Carley, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 7 (London: The British Library, 2000), H1.66.

Pamela Porter, Medieval Warfare in Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2000), pp. 35, 41.

Scot McKendrick, Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts 1400-1550 (London: British Library, 2003), pl. 27.

Thomas Kren and Scot McKendrick, Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (Los Angeles: Getty Museum, 2003), no. 74, pp. 66, 225-26, 255, 276-78, 279, 304, 519 [exhibition catalogue].

Julia Schewski, 'Piccolo Cesare: I Commentarires de Cesar di Jan Du Quesne', Alumina: Pagine Miniate, 1 (2003), 4-13 (p. 4).

Severine Montigny, 'Edition partielle de l’oeuvre de Jean du Quesne, traducteur de César et chroniqueur à la cour de Charles le Téméraire', thèse pour l'obtention du diplôme d’archiviste paléographe, 2006, t. I, p. 40-48.

Severine Montigny, Traduire César entre Moyen Âge et Renaissance: étude de la ‘translation’ de la Guerre des Gaules par Jean du Quesne (1473–1474) à partir de l’exemple du livre III (édition et commentaire), Rapport d’étape de thèse diplôme de conservateur des bibliothèques (Villeurbanne: École nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques, 2007), http://enssibal.enssib.fr/bibliotheque/documents/dcb/montigny-dcb15.pdf, last accessed 17/04/2011.

Joe Flatman, Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2009), pls 69, 104.

Scot McKendrick, John Lowden, Kathleen Doyle, and al., Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London: British Library, 2011), no. 76 [exhibition catalogue].
Last revised: 06 May 2011


Images
* * *
 
Charles the Bold

f. 14
Charles the Bold
Birth of Julius Caesar

f. 32
Birth of Julius Caesar
Birth of Julius Caesar

f. 32
Birth of Julius Caesar
 
Voyage to Rhodes

f. 35
Voyage to Rhodes
Voyage to Rhodes

f. 35
Voyage to Rhodes
Haruspices interpreting Caesar's dream

f. 39
Haruspices interpreting Caesar's dream
 
Haruspices interpreting Caesar's dream

f. 39
Haruspices interpreting Caesar's dream
Catiline and conspirators

f. 47
Catiline and conspirators
Catiline and conspirators

f. 47
Catiline and conspirators
 
Defeat of Catiline

f. 67
Defeat of Catiline
Defeat of Catiline

f. 67
Defeat of Catiline
Caesar's army

f. 86v
Caesar's army
 
Battle between the Romans and the Gauls

f. 116
Battle between the Romans and the Gauls
Battle between the Romans and the Gauls

f. 116
Battle between the Romans and the Gauls
Caesar's army

f. 133
Caesar's army
 
Caesar's army

f. 133
Caesar's army
Caesar's army

f. 147v
Caesar's army
Caesar's army

f. 147v
Caesar's army
 
Caesar's fleet

f. 164v
Caesar's fleet
Caesar's fleet

f. 164v
Caesar's fleet
Battle

f. 189
Battle
 
Battle

f. 189
Battle
Caesar

f. 210
Caesar
Caesar

f. 210
Caesar
 
Text page

f. 254v
Text page
Caesar and fugitives

f. 255
Caesar and fugitives
Caesar and fugitives

f. 255
Caesar and fugitives
 
Caesar's army

f. 277
Caesar's army
Giant leading Caesar

f. 282
Giant leading Caesar
Giant leading Caesar

f. 282
Giant leading Caesar
 
Caesar's army breaking open the Treasure-house

f. 292
Caesar's army breaking open the Treasure-house
Caesar's army breaking open the Treasure-house

f. 292
Caesar's army breaking open the Treasure-house
Caesar in a carriage

f. 297
Caesar in a carriage
 
Caesar in a carriage

f. 297
Caesar in a carriage
Army and fleet

f. 304v
Army and fleet
Army and fleet

f. 304v
Army and fleet
 
Death of Pompey

f. 310v
Death of Pompey
Death of Pompey

f. 310v
Death of Pompey
Battle

f. 317
Battle
 
Suicide of Cato

f. 324
Suicide of Cato
Caesar being murdered

f. 331v
Caesar being murdered
Colophon

f. 338
Colophon
 

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