Manuscript

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 136
(Livre des proprietés des choses)

Codicology

Produced: France (Le Mans), 1445-1450
Current Location: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France
Manuscript Type: Encyclopedia
Language: French
Folios: 176
Author: Bartholomeus Anglicus
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Folio 135r

Description

The De proprietatibus rerum of Bartholomaeus Anglicus (Bartholomew the Englishman), in the French translation completed by Jean Corbichon in 1372 for Charles V.

Volume two of two volumes (fr. 135 and fr.136). The first volume in fr. 135 contains Books 1 to 9; this volume contains Book 10 to Book 19, which includes the three books of interest here, 12, 13 and 18.

Each book in this volume has a color illustration. There is large illustration showing groups of birds (Book 12) and animals (Book 18). For the bird chapter there are very small illustrations of birds at the start of each chapter. The individual animal chapters are not illustrated. The artist was highly skilled; many of the bird illustrations are works of art.

Two folios are bound out of order in Book 18 (animals), displacing the two folios that belong there. The misbound folios are both from Book 9; the correct folios for Book 18 are bound into Book 9 which is found in fr. 135.

  • Folio 169 is bound in Book 18, but it is from Book 9 on time, and describes the months of January to May. Folio 168v ends with the start of the chapter on the pig; folio 170r begins part way through the chapter on the unicorn. The correct folio for this location is bound in fr. 135 where it is numbered Page 335/336. It contains the last part of the chapter on the pig, the complete chapters on the louse and the flea, and the start of the chapter on the unicorn. In the beast list the chapters for the louse is recorded as it were on folio 169r and the chapters for the flea and the unicorn on folio 169v.
  • Folio 174 is also bound in Book 18 but it is also from Book 9. Folio 173v ends with the rubric for the chapter on the wild cow; folio 175r starts part way through the chapter on the male bear. The correct folio for this location is bound in fr. 135 where it is numbered Page 345/346. It contains the complete chapters on the wild cow and the calf, and the start of the chapter on the male bear. In the beast list the chapter for the wild cow is recorded as starting on folio 173v and the chapters for the calf and the male bear on folio 174r.
  • Book 12 (birds) : folio 12r-26r
  • Book 13, chapter 26 (fish) : folio 33v-36v
  • Book 18 (animals) : folio 135r-176v

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Additional description

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Bibliothèque Nationale de France