[Old French romances].

  • Manuscript, Book
French, Old (ca. 842-1300)
[between 1275 and 1299]
75 leaves : parchment ; 295 x 225 (235 x 164) mm.


Former owner
Related name
Library of Congress genre
Poetry [Browse]
Rare books genre
Calf bindings (Binding)19th century [Browse]
Getty AAT genre
Restrictions note
For conservation reasons researchers are required to use the online digital version or bound color copy of the digital version, unless there is a compelling reason to see the original text.
Summary note
Ms. miscellany of French romances in verse. Texts are all incomplete and bound out of order. Probably the original sequence of texts was "Le chevalier au lion" (Yvain), "Le chevalier de la charrette" (Lancelot), and "La chevalier de Judas Macchabée." Cf. Rushing.
  • Ms. codex.
  • Supplied title.
  • This manuscript was incorrectly identified by De Ricci and others as containing only "La chevalier de Judas Macchabée." Cf. McGrath.
  • Collation: Parchment; ff. ii (paper) + 71 (the last folio is blank) + ii (paper). The folios are singletons and generally bound out of order. Missing leaves are always cognate.
  • Layout: 2 columns of 42-43 lines each; frame-ruled in lead point; written below the top line.
  • Decoration: Two 2-line penwork initials in alternately blue and red with penwork of the opposite color and 7- to 8-line initials in champide decoration.
  • Miniatures: Like the text, the miniatures are out of order. There are fifteen miniatures in Garrett MS. 125, illustrating three of the four texts; Garin de Montglane, which was probably not part of the manuscript originally, is not illustrated. Illustrations include thirteen square to rectangular miniatures of approximately columnar width within frames (fols. 1r, 22r, 26v, 31v, 32r, 34r, 37r, 38r, 52r, 56v, 58v, 67r, 70v) and two historiated initials (fols. 14r, 40r).
  • Origin: Copied and illuminated in northwest France for a lay patron in the last quarter of the 13th century (probably the 1290s).
Binding note
Gold-tooled blue calf with marbled end papers and five raised bands. The binding is probably French, dating from the second quarter of the 19th century. De Ricci suggested that the binding was ca. 1840.
Rights and reproductions note
Apply for permission to publish.
Language note
Old French.
Textura rotunda. A single scribe was responsible for La chevalerie de Judas Macchabée, Le chevalier au lion, and Le chevalier de la charrette; a contemporary scribe was responsible for Garin de Monglane. Marginal notes in other hands, probably dating from the 14th century: fol. 3r (top right, slightly trimmed), and notes to the illuminator, "dix couant (?) / cet ou vile ah asesei..."; fol. 31v, "comment un roi / assit"; fol. 52r, "comment..."; fol. 56v, "Comment / a oint (?)."
  • 1. fols. 4r-v, 28r-v, 31r-v, 7r-v, 1r-v, 13r-v, 19r-v, 24r-v, 14r-v, 27r-v, 32r-v, 64r-70v: La chevalier de Judas Macchabée [non-continuous fragments, total 2923 lines].
  • 2. fols. 40r-55r, 29r-v, 5r-v, 36r-37v, 6r-v, 30r-v, 56r-63v, 26r-v, 2r-v, 35r-v, 38r-v, 9r-v, 33r-34r: Le chevalier au lion (Yvain) [non-continuous fragments, total 6200 lines].
  • 3. fols. 34r-v, 3r-v, 8r-v, 39r-v, 21r-22v, 11r-12v, 15r-16v: Le chevalier de la charrette (Lancelot) [non-continuous fragments, total about 1638 lines].
  • 4. fols. 20r-v, 23r-v, 18r-v, 10r-v, 17r-v, 25r-v: Garin de Monglane [non-continuous fragments, written in Alexandrine verse, total 1032 lines].
  • 5. fol. 71r-v: [blank].
The earliest known owner of the manuscript is Henri-Auguste Brölemann (1775-1854) of Lyon, a French commercial broker and manuscript collector. Affixed to the front pastedown is Brölemann's bookplate (Ex Libris A. Brölemann), on which there are handwritten shelfmarks ("B61" in ink and "C3" in pencil). There is also a handwritten description of the manuscript titled "Poème des Machabées." The Brölemann collection was sold at Sotheby's (London) by his great-grand-daughter Madame Étienne Mallet (b. 1859) on May 5, 1926, lot no. 152. Bernard Quaritch (London) purchased the manuscript and sold it to Robert Garrett in 1928.
Source acquisition
Gift of Robert Garrett, 1942.
Publications about
  • A Newly Discovered Illustrated Manuscript of Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain and Lancelot in the Princeton University Library / Robert L. McGrath, in Speculum 38 (1963), p. 583-594, with 15 figures.
  • Images in Adventure: Ywain in the Visual Arts / James A. Rushing. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995, p. 133-161.
  • The Garrett manuscript no. 125 of Chretien's Chevalier de la Charrete and Chevalier au Lion: a critical study, with transcription / Leonard James Rahilly. Thesis (Ph.D.) : Princeton University, 1971.
  • Le fragment de La chevalerie de Judas Machabee : contenu dans le ms. Garrett 125 de la Princeton University Library / édition critique par J.R. Smeets. Leiden : The Hakuchi Press, 1985.
De Ricci, v. 1, p. 890
Cite as
Garrett MS. 125, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
Other format(s)
  • Also available in an electronic version.
  • Full set of color transparencies and slides available; also available in black-and-white microfilm and online.
Place name(s)
Other title(s)
Geste de Garin de Monglane.
Other standard number
  • Garrett MS. 125
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