Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Hamilton 49

[Part 1]

» Full parent manuscript detail

General information

Folio notes:The text ends f. 50rb. Probably no physical lacuna at the end of the MS. Spadini 2014 demonstrates that minor additions to the text facilitate the independent circulation of the episode. Folios wanting after ff. 3, 30, 47 and 49. Folios 19-20, f. 26 are displaced. Folios 19-20 should be read after f. 37 and f. 26 should be after f. 30 (Spadini 2014).
LanguageFrench - Italian localisation or influence
Approx. date1280 to 1300
Date notesDate suggested by the Lancelot-Graal project. Arthurian Fiction dates the MS to 1300-1320. Jonas has end of the 13th, beginning of the 14th c.
Place(s) of productionGenoa-Pisa
Place suggested by the Lancelot-Graal project and Jonas is Genoa. Spadini 2014 has Genoa-Pisa. Arthurian Fiction gives Genoa or Naples.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra]  lautre auoit Robe aun uallet /
First words of last recto folio[f. 50ra] chies a demi le lemond(re) q(ue) a uos . (et) /
Incipit[f. 1ra] [opening rubric effaced] OR dit li (con) / tes q(ue) ce / lui ior est / oit li roi / Art(us) aka / malot / car il iso / jornoit auec lui / grant a / conpaingnie de ch(eualie)rs (et) il deuoit sa / corte tenir alafeste sainte Joan . (et) /
Explicit[f. 50vb] si uoudroit ue quil peust si est / re encore anuit ou lendema / in Mes atant laisse lico(n)tes / aparler daus . //

Related MS

Spadini 2014 notes that for the first segment of the text (Lancelot's childhood) the readings in these MSS are close to each other on numerous occasions.
Similar version of project text(s)Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City (Country) - Reginense Latino 1489
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris (City in France) - fonds français 344
Bodleian Library, Oxford (City in United Kingdom) - Ashmole 828
Bodleian Library, Oxford (City in United Kingdom) - Rawlinson Q b 6
Staatsbibliothek, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin (City in Germany) - Hamilton 49


Condition:Rigid, lower quality parchment with holes and stitches in the written space (e.g ff. 3, 11, 13, 17, 27, 32, 33,34,35, 40, 47). Lost and displaced folios. (See: Spadini 2014).



13 (ff. 1-3) 23 (ff. 4-6) 38 (ff. 7-14) 44 (15-18v) 52 (ff. 19-20) 64 (ff. 21-24) 71 (f. 25) 81 (f. 26) 94 (ff. 27-30) 107 (ff. 31-37) 118 (ff. 38-45)  122 (ff. 46-47) 132 (ff. 48-49) 141 (f. 50)

Quire structure:Originally the MS was probably arranged in quaternions, of which only two are now complete (Spadini 2014). Catchwords in the lower margins of ff. 6v, 14v, 24v, 37v, 45v, 49v.
Quire marks:
Catchword disposition:

Physical description

No. of illustrations:24
General illustration:Historiated initials (height: 8-9 lines) at major subdivisions associated with 'Or dit li contes'; 'Ci endroit dit li contes' formulae (ff. 1ra, 14vb, 29vb, erased, 36rb, 41rb). The initials are pink, against blue or green grounds, the eye of the letter is painted blue. The initial on f. 1ra, is blue, on a pink field, with a partial border. Simple, Italian-style bas-de-page images on ff. 1r, 3r, 6v, 7v, 12r, 16v, 19v, 20r, 23r, 29r, 31r, 31v, 32v, 34v, 39r, 40v, 42r, 49r. he main colours are bright reds, dark and pale blues, greyish brown, gold, pink, orange and dark green. For their iconography, see: Spadini 2014. The names of the characters are provided (abbreviated) in red ink above the drawing.
General decoration:Plain initials (height: 2 lines) alternatingly red and blue at paragraphs. The opening rubric on f. 1ra is damaged and effaced.
Evidence of readership:On f. 25r, in the lower margin, erased annotation.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1
Page sampled
Page dimensions310x210 (mm)
Justification215x145 (mm)
11mm between columns
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Currens
ScriptSouthern textualis
Folio rangeFrom f. 1ra to f. 50rb
Datec. 1280 to 1300
Scribe description:Southern, rounded hand. Two-compartment 'a' with open upper compartment, 'e' without tongue, 8-like 'g' with large, angular lower lobe, limb of 'h' descends far below the baseline, curving to the left, diacritic on 'i', not limited to sequences of minims, usually also in final position, straight and round 's' in final position, trailing 's' at the end of the line, 3-like 'z'. Fusion of 'co', 'o' and round 'r', majuscule 'R' and 'i', 'de' 'st' ligature Abbreviations include uncrossed tironian 'et', apostrophe, superscript vowels ('a'). Punctus.
NotesSpadini 2014 describes the scribe as careless. The text is erroneous at several points. According to Spadini, Hamilton 49 is only a book of love and adventure, and references to the spiritual dimension of the cycle, such as the Grail and the Grail knight have been omitted.