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Durham University

Special Collections

DUL MS Cosin V.II.17 Anseis de Carthage, Ogier le Danois (in French) s. xiii2

These incomplete draft descriptions of medieval manuscripts in Durham University Library are copyright, and may not be quoted without the permission of the University of Durham Library.


Owing to inconsistencies with the source software, accented characters appear in varying compound forms. This has not yet been rationalized.

28/1/94 AJP after AID check of AJP revision of AID revised 8/2/88

The making of the two portions is almost identical, but differs in respect of the systems used to sign the leaves in the first half of each quire, see below.

[1] + 2 (s. xvii (?) flyleaves) + 140 + [1]; foliated, 1- 141, with 73 repeated; a superseded ink foliation, s.xix/xx, disregarding the flyleaves, on every tenth leaf from f.42 (numbered 40) to 134 (numbered 133). Membrane (0.12 mm.; smooth, many large natural flaws, a large hole in f. 76 avoided by the scribe, also smaller ones on ff. 101 and 139, some slits repaired by early stitching (lost on ff. 54, 96); quires with fleshside outermost), 270 x 185 mm., lower outside corner of ff. 18 and 51 cut off, triangle cut out of bottom edge of ff.41, 50, 82, 102, outer edges cropped (see loss of pricking).

Collation: [opening quire8 missing], 1-68, 74; 8-178, [one short final quire missing]; 188 [belongs before quire 1; misplaced before s. xviii/xix foliation, but not before f. 133v (178) had been exposed to staining]. Long catchwords, centred, on quires 1-6 and 8-18. Quire-centres marked in soft brown with a horizontal line near foot of gutter. Leaves in the first half of quire 8 numbered [i]-iiii two-thirds down outer margin. Other quires signed in lower margin, with leaves in the first half of each quire lettered, a-d, preceded by a number, 1-8 on quires 18 and 1-7, or, quires 9-17, with an ad hoc sign individual to each quire, as in many s. xiii manuscripts.

Pricking in outer margins only, probably through folded quires, from front to back. Written space 200 x 146 mm.; ruling in brown plummet, 2 columns of 40 lines, with horizontal rules 0, 1, 19, 20, 39, 40 extending across margins, and vertical rules at 6,66,5,5,65 mm.

Written in small gothic minuscule of the type customary for vernacular poetry in the later thirteenth century in northern France, by one hand (two according to P. Meyer), with separated initials to lines, some of more cursive form or features, e.g. S.

Decoration: Initials (i) 251 in item 1 and 224 in item 2, 2- line, in red; (ii) to item 2, 8-line, rubbed and damaged by tear (repaired), in pink shaded with white enclosing three figures (a seated man dressed in orange and blue with a green coronet making a gesture of rejection to a standing man in blue with orange stockings, being held back by a third in pink) on a gold ground, surrounded by a square of blue decorated with white, extending across upper margin and a little down inner margin.

Miniature, f. 73*, to item 2 line ??, replacing initial D, illustrating the fatal quarrel over a game of chess, ed. Eusebi lines 3101 seq., esp. 3158-3231, rectangular, 29 (6- line) x 40 mm., showing two seated figures, one in deep pink with orange stockings, the other, on the left, in orange with pink stocking, holding up a chequer-board of 2 x 3 orange and green alternate squares, both on a floor of small green squares, against an azure background decorated with groups of three white dots and framed with a white line.

Human head in profile pricked through the outer bottom corner of f. 55.


1. ff. 134-141v and 3-54v [first quire missing, second displaced] Veir uaura qui iert li plus preudom | ... (f. 3) Gent demestre chitoien et serjant | ... ... Or alons boire raisons est cemest vis. Explicit danseys de cartaigne.

The chanson de geste Anseis de Carthage, wanting lines 1- 1426; as against the text established from four other manuscripts by J. Alton, Bibliothek des litterarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, 194 (Tbingen; 1892), this copy omits a considerable number of lines and adds others, see C. Voretsch, Romania 25 (1896), pp. 562-84, who prints lines 1426-1838 from this copy, with collation of the others. Picard dialect features in the spelling of this copy are thought by Mr A. F. Kerr to be from an earlier stage of transmission, not this scribe's, Francien characteristics being uppermost.

2. ff. 55-133v Seignor oies que iesus bien uous faiche ... ... [catchwords:] Li paien asa lance tronchonee.

The chanson de geste Ogier le Danois, in a version by Raimbert de Paris, lacking the last 400 lines, i.e. last 5 pages. This recension, which states Raimbert's claim in lines 4-7, is found only in one other copy, Paris B.N. ms. 24403, also of s.xiii ex.: see B. Cerf, PMLA 23 (1908), pp. 344-55; M. Eusebi (ed.), La Chevalerie Ogier le Danois (Milan; 1963); K. Togeby, Ogier le Danois dans les Littératures Européennes, (Copenhagen; 1969), pp. 45-7.

Correction and annotation:

Marginal notes by a small anglicana hand (with long r), s.xiv med.. picking out names in the text, ff. 44v, 45v, 46v, 47.


Written in northern France.

Secundo folio missing.

In English hands by s. xiv med, see Annotation above.

'Geo. Davenport. | 1664', on cutting from former binding now stuck to pastedown; his title to item 1, f. 2v. Title to item 2, f. 2v, s. xviii/xix, by R. Harrison (?). Pencil notes 'manquent ici deux tirades', f. 79 lower margin, and 'Berous' f. 85v outer margin (against 'Nerouro' in text, of which the last two letters are subpuncted), presumably by F. Michel or, more likely, P. Meyer: they described the manuscript in reports to the French Ministre de l'Instruction Publique in 1836 (?) and 1866, also printing extracts from it: the latter reprinted in Meyer, Documents Manuscrits de l'Ancienne Littérature de la France Conservés dans les Bibliothèques de la Grande-Bretagne, (Extract des Archives des Missions Scientifiques et Littéraires, 2e série, tome IV, 1re partie; Paris, 1871), pp. 84-6, 90-103.

Binding: marks on f. 1 of 5 bands. Now standard, s. xix med., 2 clasps.