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HM 936

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BOCCACCIO, DES CAS DES NOBLES HOMMES ET FEMMES, trans. Laurent de Premierfait
France, s. XV3/4
ff. 1-2v: //D[rubricator’s error for “L”]e deluge des eaues que dieu fist sur terre ou temps de noe pour la vengence des pechiez des hommes [I, 3]…premier roy de Scichos qui fut du temps de Samich gouverneur des hebrieux deux// [I, 5; 2 folios missing] ff. 3-20v: //en devinant se Je en disoye plus. Car du surplus des hystoires [I, 5]…la maniere par quoy troye fut traiteusement prins. Car apres que// [I, 13; 2 folios missing] ff. 21-24v: //moult estoit courroucie et dolant pour la mort de son filz palamides [I, 15]…Le xviiie chapitre parle contre les femmes en general et en espicial. Et commence en latin Blandum et exciciale [catchword:] femme// [I, 18; 1 folio missing] ff. 25-30v: femme deianira. Mais il oublia soy mesme et sa tresgrant renommee [I, 18]…sur la pointte de son espee et avec son sang il mist hors son// [II, 2; 1 folio missing] f. 31r-v: //latin Roboam rex et cetera. Le Roy Roboam fut filz de Salomon [II, 5]…pour le singulier ouvrage et les riches joyaulx et attours// [II, 5; 1 folio missing] ff. 32-33v: //prince voulentif de sucier et espuiser mon sang et de donner [II, 6]…Et comme cestui zambrias veist son peuple qui le delaissoit// [II, 7; 1 folio missing] f. 34r-v: //nobles hommes comme du peuple de Jherusalem et de tout le royaume [II, 8]…Le ixme chapitre parle contre la desmesuree convoitise des choses mondaines. Et commence ou latin Sit qui ex parte et cetera.// [II, 9; 1 folio missing] ff. 35-37v: //son visaige de larmes. Le xime chapitre contient le cas de Dido Royne et fonderresse de Cartage [II, 11]…qu’elle ne laissast la cite desemparee ne foible laquelle elle avoit de// [II, 11; 1 folio missing] ff. 38-39v: //en soy complaignant de la durte de fortune. Je commencay voulentiers [II, 13]…ainsi comme en une tresseure tour, mais sardanapalus qui presques ne savoit// [II, 13; 1 folio missing] ff. 40-43v: //de yuiere fourmiz en leur propre grandeur et autretant ou plus [II, 14]…Et par ainsi sedechias roy de Jherusalem fut constraint a vestir// [II, 16; 2 folios missing] ff. 44-45v: //Astrages oyant celle exposion de ses deux songes devint doubteux [II, 18]…une nuit en son dormant que ung sien varlet appelle// [II, 18; 1 folio missing] ff. 46-51v: //ce Jour monterent sur la mer qui par flotz et par tempestes furent tous noyez [II, 19]…la chose selon ce qu’elle avenroit. Et premierement s’apparurent a Remus// [II, 22; 1 folio missing] f. 52r-v: //tributaire et subgiet aux Rommains. Et est assez a croire [II, 23]…ung tourment qui ne fut ne ouy ne veu si non adonc et le royaume des// [II, 23; 2 folios missing] f. 53r-v: //que oncques tu ne me abessas. Car malgre toy J’ay Renuncie [III, 1]…et abatue a terre et du tout desconfite et que elle// [III, 1; 1 folio missing] ff. 54-55v: //accreut les cerimonies de la religion. Car adonc les rommains [III, 2]…Le Tiers chapitre contient le cas de Tarquin l’orguilleux roy de Romme. Et commence ou latin Tarquinio quidem et cetera.// [II, 3; 1 folio missing] ff. 56-59v: //Jugerent et a droit que lucrece estoit plus a recommander [III, 3]…que aucun seigneur terrien preigne et recoive l’office et la charge de// [III, 4; 1 folio missing] ff. 60-70v: //qui estoient cruellement courrouciez et ilz tournoient leur cruaulte [III, 4]…et occupperent la cite et illec demourerent. Palantus doncques// [III, 8; 1 folio missing] ff. 71-77v: //convenablete des choses que il sembloit aux citoiens de romme [III, 9]…demoura sans autre sepulture par cest maniere Alcibiades esprouva que// [III, 12; 2 folios missing] ff. 78-81v: //chose fouir que Alcibiades chevalier et homme d’armes devoit querir [III, 14]…lequel il labouroit seur et joyeux en chantant et esleessant// [III, 17; 2 folios missing] ff. 82-85v: //que apres longue paoureuse et miserable vie. Il ja devenu ancien [III, 18]…Le second chapitre contint le cas de marcus manlius noble consul rommain. Et commence ou latin Eximii fulgoris et cetera.// [IV, 2; 1 folio missing] ff. 86-87v: //convertie en clarte qui de fait descouvry quelz couraiges portoit [IV, 2]…et le condempna a mort combien qu’il requeist ses aides.// [IV, 3, end; 1 folio missing] f. 88r-v: //a son propos. Il par son barast fist aliances et faintes amistiez [IV, 5]…a Jupiter de l’or que hiero avoit gaingne en la// [IV, 7; 1 folio missing] ff. 89-93v: //tresforte garnison de gens armez a subiuguer la cite et le pais [IV, 7]…car apres ce que les souldoiers lucanois eurent longuement promenee// [IV, 9; 1 folio missing] ff. 94-101v: //vouloit prendre vengence par voye d’armes. Si ordonna alexandre [IV, 10]…avec tous leurs enfans avec aussi Olimpias s’en alerent// [IV, 13; 1 folio missing] ff. 102-113v: //sains droiz de nature. Agathodes par temps devint homme barbu [IV, 14]…qui legierement conqueroit et de legier perdoit sa conqueste ne demoura// [IV, 18; 1 folio missing] f. 114r-v: //delivrer Epire notre cite de la cruelle seigneurie du tirant [IV, 19]…que l’en fist ou corps de demetrius son amy. Tu eusses veu// [IV, 19; 1 folio missing] ff. 115-116v: //laquelle il ne voult pas villainnement garder afin que elle ne lui feust [IV, 20]…ledit Anthiocus retint a souldoyers une grant quantite [catchword:] de chevaliers// [V, 1; 1 quire and 1 folio missing] ff. 117-150v: //si penserent qu’il feust mort. Ne n’avoient esperance de lui [V, 6]…a ses successeurs ne a ses legataires la noblesse que il a. Neant// [VI, 3; 2 folios missing] ff. 151-157v: //et de viande champestre et sauvage. Il parvint a si grant legierte de corps [VI, 5]…et au dedans engendrerent si grant et si chault feu que Adrianus et toutes ses// [VI, 8; 1 folio missing] ff. 158-163v: //pour ce que Carbo et les siens estoient dommaigeux et ennemis [VI, 9]…Puisque Pompee homme de tresgrant pesanteur// [VI, 9; 1 folio missing] ff. 164-170v: //avec le remenant de ses genz legierement affonda on [sic] prist le navire [VI, 11]…par ceste eloquence. Nous communiquons et devisons entre nous les tres// [VI, 13; 2 folios missing] ff. 171-202v: //absorbiz et plongiez par tempeste de mer entre milas et nauletum [VI, 14]…avoir grant paour que nous et noz choses ne venions a plus grief et a// [VII, 8; 2 folios missing] ff. 203-207v: //voyes Je suis maintenant cheu en dommaigeuse paresce. Car pource que [VIII, 1]…maleureux nobles empereurs dessuditz me pria que de lui et de son filz// [VIII, 2; 1 folio missing] ff. 208-219v: //Valerian doncques cruel et desloyal persecuteur des chrestiens [VIII, 3]…des trois enfans du grant constantin ne demoura fors que// [VIII, 10; 1 folio missing] f. 220r-v: //tant qu’il chei en la convoitise et en l’esperance d’avoir l’empire [VIII, 11]…de Jherusalem et du pais environ pour Iceulx estre occis// [VIII, 11; 1 folio missing] ff. 221-228v: //Reputez se ilz n’en font foy et serement ou par les plaies [VIII, 12]…avec ses gens armees prist son chemin du derrenier et plus loingtain pais de// [VIII, 16; 3 folios missing] f. 229r-v: //d’ilec sont appellez anglois. Cette Isle qui regarde espaigne [VIII, 19]…exposeroit et diroit en souveraine loyaulte et verite Toutes ses [catchword:] adventures// [VIII, 19; 3 folios missing] f. 230r-v: //se esiouist principalment et toutevoies pour la Jeunesse des enfans [VIII, 20]…Apres doncques que Alboinus roy des lombars// [VIII, 22]
Laurent de Premierfait’s second translation of Boccaccio’s De casibus virorum illustrium; modern edition of Book 1 only, Laurent de Premierfait’s Des cas des nobles Hommes et Femmes, Book I, translated from Boccaccio, a critical Edition based on Six Manuscripts, by P. M. Gathercole (Chapel Hill 1968). See also C. Bozzolo, Manuscrits des traductions françaises d’oeuvres de Boccace, XVe siècle (Padua 1973) 178-79, listing this manuscript.
Parchment, ff. i (modern paper) + ii (modern parchment) + 230 + ii (modern parchment) + i (modern paper); 360 × 265 (250 × 170) mm. Originally quires of eight, only ten surviving intact: 2-3 (ff. 3-18), 18 (ff. 103-110), 22-24 (ff. 124-147), 29-31 (ff. 174-197) and 34 (ff. 211-218); folios missing: 4 at the beginning; 2 after ff. 2 and 20; 1 after ff. 24, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37 and 39; 2 after f. 43; 1 after ff. 45 and 51; 2 after f. 52; 1 after ff. 53, 55, 59 and 70; 2 after ff. 77 and 81; 1 after ff. 85, 87, 88, 93, 101, 113 and 114; 1 quire and 1 folio after f. 116; 2 after f. 150; 1 after 157 and 163; 2 after ff. 170 and 202; 1 after ff. 207, 219 and 220; 3 after ff. 228 and 229; 4 folios and several quires at the end after f. 230. Catchwords horizontally in the inner margin beyond the bounding line. Traces of signatures on ff. 127, 150, 157 suggest a system composed of roman numerals for both quires and leaves; the signature on f. 200 indicates a letter and number system. Crosses on ff. 7, 51, 136 and 144 show first leaf after middle of quire. 2 columns of 42 lines ruled in pale red ink, single bounding lines; some pricking visible in outer margins. Probably one person writing with some variation in a bâtarde script. Ninety-three illuminations (ca. 93 × 75 mm.) by more than one artist (compare, for example, ff. 85 and 155), in a rather coarse style with preference for heavy, dull colors, contrasted with a sharp yellow. The illustrations are: f. 1, Nimrod directing the construction of the tower of Babylon; f. 2, Boccaccio, in a landscape, in conversation with a young man holding an arrow; f. 2v, a battle scene; f. 3, Cadmus on board ship preparing to search for his sister Europa, as his father watches from the shore; f. 4, Boccaccio and crying, unhappy people; f. 6, Oedipus, his crown on the floor beside him, praying in penitence to an idol; f. 7v, Thyestes (?) talking to Boccaccio; f. 9v, Boccaccio writing as Theseus and Phaedra stand before him; f. 12, Boccaccio listening to a king and his courtiers; f. 13, Boccaccio before unhappy men and Queen Althea pulling her hair in despair; f. 18v, Telamon receiving the messengers of Priam requesting the return of his sister Hesione; f. 22, Diogenes and a knight, each holding a round, gold object, with Diogenes’ bowl and barrel behind them; f. 23, Delilah cutting Samson’s hair as a man prepares to blind him; f. 27, Boccaccio and people in distress; f. 28v, Boccaccio talking to several men, a woman and a child; f. 29, Saul committing suicide on the battle field; f. 31, Rehoboam denying the prayers of the peoples of Judea; f. 33, Boccaccio and unhappy kings; f. 35, Boccaccio and Dido wiping her eyes; f. 41, Boccaccio listening to Amazias and Osias; f. 42v, Zedekiah, in chains, having just witnessed the execution of his children, as his eyes are put out; f. 47, Boccaccio, seated, writing the tale of Candaules; f. 48, the hitherto mute son of Cresus speaks, staying his father’s execution; f. 49v, Cyrus, blindfolded and on his knees, about to be beheaded, as Thomyris watches, the barrel of blood standing ready; f. 57v, Cato, lying on his bed with his books around him, having just killed himself with his sword; f. 61v, noblemen, crying, while Cambyses talks to Boccaccio; f. 65v, the Persians asleep in their tents, being killed by Leonidas and his men; f. 68, Xerxes decapitated by the usurper Artabanus; f. 69v, Artaxerxes killing Artabanus who is entangled in his robes; f. 73, Boccaccio reprimanding the lawyers; f. 74v, unhappy nobles telling their story to the seated Boccaccio; f. 75v, Alcibiades asleep in his burning bed; f. 79, Machaeus, arriving by boat in Thir and being greeted by his son Carthalo; f. 80v, Hanno and his followers being hacked to death (rubbed); f. 81, a man and his wife before a usurer; f. 83, Artaxerxes having his traitorous sons beheaded in his presence; f. 85, noble men and women standing in front of Boccaccio, as a small dog watches; f. 86v, Manlius Capitolinus about to be thrown into the Tiber; f. 90, Callisthenes before Boccaccio; f. 92v, Alexander of Epirus being killed by a soldier as he crosses the Acheron; f. 96, Boccaccio and unfortunate people; f. 98, Eumenes in stocks in prison; f. 99v, Pausanias slaying Philip of Macedonia at a banquet; f. 104, Boccaccio and Barsine in distress; f. 108, the death of the 2 children of Arsinoë at the orders of her second husband (rubbed); f. 109v, Boccaccio and unhappy people (rubbed); f. 112v, Pyrrhus lying dead below the walls of Argos; f. 116, Boccaccio writing on the fates of Antiochus and Seleucus; f. 117v, Boccaccio and unfortunate people; f. 121, Antiochus and his men leaving the temple they have just pillaged; f. 123, murder of Hieronymus and his daughter in the temple; f. 125, naval battle between Romans and Carthaginians; f. 128, Prusias being killed near his cave by his son; f. 129, Perseus and his 2 children being led away in chains; f. 130v, Ammonius, disguised as a woman, but nonetheless recognized, being killed on the road; f. 131, the impostor Andriscus being led away in handcuffs; f. 132, Alexander Balas decapitated at the command of Zabdiel; f. 133, unhappy kings passing before Boccaccio; f. 135, Demetrius, descended from the boat, about to be beheaded; f. 137, Alexander Zebinas fleeing in his boat from the enraged citizens of Antiochia; f. 138, the citizens of Egypt destroying the statue of Evergetes; f. 139v, Jugurtha, a weight tied to him, drowning in the Tiber; f. 142, dialogue between Boccaccio and Fortune, who holds her wheel; f. 147, Boccaccio writing as Caius Marius tells his story; f. 150v, a crying noble woman, a king and a prince standing before Boccaccio; f. 154v, Cleopatra killed at the orders of her son Alexander; f. 155, the severed head and hand of Crassus brought to Herod; f. 157, unhappy people passing in front of Boccaccio; f. 167, the severed, crowned head and right hand of Cicero being carried to Rome; f. 170, people in discussion with Boccaccio; f. 171v, Anthony killing himself, while Cleopatra watches; f. 175, noblemen, a king, a queen and others before Boccaccio; f. 176v, Herod throwing himself on his sword, as his doctor still puzzles over the nature of his illness; f. 181, Boccaccio in discussion with Tiberius and Caligula; f. 187, men with a few possessions fleeing from the burning Rome; f. 193, Otho killing himself with a sword; f. 194, Vitellius’ corpse (?) being dragged with a rope to the Tiber; f. 197v, gluttons seated at a table; f. 199, destruction of Jerusalem; f. 205v, Boccaccio writing as unfortunate Roman emperors pass before him; f. 208v, the unhappy Valerian tells his tale to Boccaccio; f. 210v, unhappy emperors before Boccaccio; f. 212, Zenobia displayed in the triumph of Aurelian; f. 213v, Diocletian drinking poison; f. 215v, Maximian killed by one of his successor’s men; f. 217, Galerius dying in bed as worms crawl out of his body; f. 218v, a nobleman hanged as an armored man watches (? very badly rubbed); f. 221v, Eugenius and his people perishing in a sea storm; f. 224v, Radagaisus taken prisoner by the Romans; f. 226v, unfortunate kings before Boccaccio; f. 228, seige of Ravenna by Theodoric; f. 230, several kings before Boccaccio, the first pulling his beard; f. 230v, Alboinus murdered in his bed at the instigation of Rosamund, who watches. Delicate partial borders in gold frames of acanthus leaves, flowers, strawberries and pomegranates to the left of each illumination; 3-line initials, blue or rarely pink, on gold cusped ground; 1-line initials in chapter lists, and paragraph marks, gold on alternating blue or pink ground; initials in the text washed with yellow; ribbon line fillers parted pink and blue; rubrics and, after f. 30v, running headlines in red. Bound by Duru, 1854, in brown morocco; marbled endpapers; gilt edges. Written in France in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Monogram “S.S.” linked by a cord in the border, f. 1. Said to have belonged to a Duke of Orleans (see below, Cat. 1909) but there is no evidence in the manuscript to support this. Belonged to Ambroise Firmin Didot (1790-1876); at that time the manuscript had 234 leaves and began: //merusement regarder ces deux viellars qui e peine povoient parler qui avoient este faiz sans ouvrage de nature…(I, 2); his Catalogue illustré (Paris 1884) 6:45-46 n. 39, sold to Tumin. Acquired by Rushton M. Dorman of Chicago; his sale, Leavitt, New York, 5 April 1886 n. 23*. Belonged to Robert Hoe: Cat. (1909), p. 9; his sale, Anderson, New York, 1912, pt. II, n. 2429 to Sessler. Precise source and date of acquisition by Henry E. Huntington unknown. Bibliography: De Ricci, 78.
Abbreviations
Hoe: Cat. (1909)
[C. Shipman], A Catalogue of Manuscripts Forming a Portion of the Library of Robert Hoe (New York 1909)
De Ricci
S. De Ricci, with the assistance of W. H. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York 1935-37; index 1940)

C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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