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Miniatures as interpretation: Cambridge, Trinity Hall M S 12 The manuscript Cambridge, Trinity Hall 12 came to my attention while collecting information about the medieval French translations of Boethius' Consolatio philosophiae, in preparation for establishing critical editions of those texts. This manuscript contains amongst other things a copy of the lengthy verse translation of the Consolatio, Translation X} a translation dating from the early 1380s in its original form, and dedicated to the young Charles VI. Translation X is itself a reworking of an earlier verse translation (IX) written by the Dominican, Renaut de Louhans. There are at least thirtyfive extant manuscript copies of X, dating from the late fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries, and at least two incunabula. Trinity Hall M S 12 is unlikely to play any major part in establishing a critical edition of this translation.2 Nevertheless, it has its own interest. This article is a series of brief reflections on Trinity Hall 12, not as it relates to the manuscript tradition, but in its o w nright,as an artefact of the early fifteenth century. The manuscript consists of eight quires of varying numbers of sheets, between four and thirteen per quire. Thefirstquire, ff. 1-8, is entirely in parchment, the other quires being a mixture of both paper and parchment; in general, a parchment sheet enfolds a varying number of paper sheets in each of the subsequent quires. A folio missing from the second quire has been * Full bibliographical details of these translations are to be found in N. H The Medieval Consolation of Philosophy: An Annotated Bibliography, New York and London, 1992. The system of numbering these translations that we have adopted is that of A. Thomas and M. Roques, 'Traductions francaises de la Consolatio Philosophiae de Boece', in Histoire litteraire de la France 37 (1938), 419-88, 54 47, rather than that of R. Dwyer, Boethian Fictions: Narratives in the Medieval French Versions ofthe Consolatio Philosophiae, Cambridge (Mass.), 1976. On their chronological sequence, see J. K. Atkinson, 'Manuscript Context as a Guide to Generic Shift: Some Middle French Consolations', in Medieval Codicology, Iconography, Literature and Translation. Studies for Keith Val Sinclair, Leide 1994, pp. 321-32. Critical editions of versions / (M. Bolton-Hall), / / (J. K. Atkinson) and IX (B. M. Atherton) are lodged as PhD theses at the University of Queensland Library. A n edition of V (J. K. Atkinson) should shortly appear in the series of the Beihefte ofZeitschriftfiir romanische Philologie. 2 A critical edition of the translation is being prepared by Marcel Noest as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Queensland; the Cambridge manuscript has been rejected as either a"base or a control manuscript. P A R E R G O N ns 13.2, January \996—Text, Scribe, Artefact 2 J. K. Atkinson inserted after the seventh quire, just after f. 106. The script is a quite rough hybrida currens of the fifteenth century; the ink is black and the texts are rubricated. The pages are ruled and the texts organised in ruled double columns varying in the number of lines per column from thirty-five to fiftytwo . At the end of virtually every verse, a pen line extends thefinalletter of the line to the edge of the column; usually this is with a simple straight line, but occasionally the lines are squiggled on alternate lines, leaving the intermediate lines with no fillers at all. Hence, for the first six lines of rubrics on f. lv b, there are three squiggled lines to six lines of rubrics, and for the final eight lines of rubrics on f. 2v a, there are four (Fig. I).3 The scribe, w h o signs himself simply as .G. at a couple of points in the manuscript and once as .G. dictus Lonielle, completed the transcription of the third and last text, La regale du monde or Le livre dez Mi. estas, on the Eve of the Purification or Candlemas, thefirstof February 1407 (new style). Judging by the script and some of the spelling features, the texts were all copied by the same scribe, w h o would appear to come from the eastern or north-eastern areas of France, Lorraine...


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