Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 208 (U.1.12)
Title: De Casibvs Virorvm et Foeminarvm Illvstrivm Libri IX
Images: [ MS Hunter 208 fol. 191v ] [ MS Hunter 208 fol. 204r ]
Date of Creation: Between 1471 and 1472
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Ioannis Boccatii, De Casibvs Virorvm et Foeminarvm Illvstrivm Libri IX. (In Lingvam Gallicam a Lavrentio Premierfait Translati). (Laurence de Premierfait, Les Cas Des Nobles Hommes et Femmes.)
Giovanni Boccacio's Fall of Princes, translated from Latin into French by Laurence De Premierfait: (Imperfect.)
Begins - after an Epistle dedicatory by the translator to Prince John Duc de Berry, occupying ff. 1-6, and a Preface by the same occupying the next page and a half - (2, 2 [f. '8'] recto - under a picture, for which see ILLUMINATIONS below - col. a, lines 1-3): Q [illuminated initial] Vant ie enque | roye quel prouf | fit ie peusse fai
Ends (51, 6 [f. '376'] verso col. b, lines 6-16): fortune qui tourne toutes choses mon | daines. | Explicit. | Cy fine le liure Jehan | Bocace Des cas de nobles hommes | et femmes translate De latin en | francoys par moi laurens de premier | fait clerc Du Diocese De troies et fut | compilee ceste translacion le xve [quinziesme] | Jour Davril mil iiijc [quatre cent] et ix [neuf]. Cestait | le lundi apres pasques.
Remarks: This MS. was probably a presentation copy.
THE ILLUMINATIONS.
The illuminations closely resemble the work of the illuminator of the 'Life of Christ.' T.1.4 7.
On f. 1 recto is a nearly full-page picture, floreated margins surrounding it, and the double cols. of eight lines, (9½ x 7 1/8), representing Laurence de Premierfait presenting his work to the Duke of Berry, seated on a gold and crimson screened and canopied throne on a similar dais, with his feet on a black and green tasselled cushion-footstool, dressed in a blue and gold sleeved, gold-girdled gown under a slate and gold mantle, caped, lined and faced with ermine, and wearing a light gold chaplet. The author (1.) kneels on his right knee presenting with both hands his volume, bound in blue with gold edges and bosses and black straps. He is dressed in a gold and magenta sleeved gown with black girdle and brown damask wallet, a black bag hangs over his right shoulder, like those carried by the two foremost courtiers to the right, who are dressed respectively in dark blue with black girdle and wallet and in magenta and gold, with black girdle and green damask wallet. These hold white rolls in their left hands and wear long fez-like caps, respectively of crimson and gold and of blue. Behind the author an official introduces him, in a blue and gold doublet, parti-coloured hose (right leg white, left lemon), green fez and long crimson-sheathed dagger. Another courtier, to his right, wears a crimson and gold fez, and a slate and gold sleeved gown, with a rich gold and blue side panel, his black dagger being attached like the other with a white cord round the waist. All faces are clean shaven. A white greyhound with gold and crimson collar faces the author on the green and slate chequer floor of the hall whose open door on the right of the background shows a park with chateau, masts (?) and a starry sky. A gilt frame surrounds the picture which terminates in front with a low, pierced balustrade overlooking a garden into which descend three steps, in the centre of the foreground.
On f. 8 recto a picture (5 3/4 x 3¼) represents Boccacio standing between a green cushioned, crimson and gold damask backed, canopied seat and a revolving rimmed circular desk, supported on an octagonal recessed pedestal and having a central stand and arm with hanging lantern. On this reading desk lie a red bound volume with black clasps, a black covered and tied roll of MSS., and an open book to which Boccacio points with his left, holding a white roll in his right. He is dressed in a purple and gold sleeved gown and fez, has a white crumpled cape on his shoulders, and over all a blue mantle. A green bound volume peeps from the recess in the pedestal.
On f. 10 recto a picture (7 3/4 x 7¼) - probably a close copy by a late XVII. or early XVIII. Cent. artist [Picture copied from BN fr. 226 fol 6r] - represents the creation of Eve, the Marriage in Eden, the Fall and the Expulsion. Over the castellated gateway an angel with a shield charged with (the arms of the House of Savoy), (gules), a cross (argent), and clad in gold and silver armour and a gold and crimson surcoat and golden girdle, raises a silver scimitar as he flies. The windows in the walls are Gothic with lozenge-shaped panes. The folio which this replaces was probably abstracted for its illumination and blazon.
On f. 12r. A space left for illumination.
13r. A small picture of the building of Babel.
15r. A space left for illumination.
18v. A small picture of the building of Thebes.
20r. A small picture of Jason in the Argo with the Fleece.
22v. A small picture of the Birth of Oedipus, and Death of Jocasta.
25r. A small picture of Thyestes' Feast.
27r. A small picture of Phaedra's suicide.
30r. A space left for illumination.
31r. A space left for illumination.
38v. A small picture of Paris presenting Helen to Priam and Hecuba.
41v. A small picture of Priam's Mission.
42v. A small picture of Aegisthus murdering Agamemnon.
45r. A small picture of the Praise of Poverty.
46v. A small picture of Samson and Delilah and of Samson's Death.
48v. A small picture of Feminine Vanities.
53r. [54v Bk. II]. A small picture of Orestes slaying Pyrrhus.
55r. A small picture of Boccacio (as on f. 8 recto) addressing Visitors.
55v. A small picture of the Death of King Saul.
58r. A space left for illumination.
59r. A small picture of Soldiers plundering the Temple.
59v. A space left for illumination.
60v. A space left for illumination.
63r. A space left for illumination.
64r. A small picture of the Execution of Athaliah.
66v. A small picture of Idolatrous Jews.
67r. A small picture of Dido embarking Sychaeus' Treasure.
75v. A small picture of Death of Amaziah.
77v. A small picture of the Murder of King Zedekiah's Children.
79v. A space left for illumination.
80v. A small picture of the Birth and Exposure of Cyrus.
84v. A space left for illumination.
86v. A space left for illumination.
88r. A small picture of the Deliverance of Croesus.
89v. A space left for illumination.
94r. [95r Bk. III]. A space left for illumination.
95v. A small picture of Boccacio (in the background) describing the Conflict of Poverty and Fortune (foreground).
98v. A space left for illumination.
101v. A small picture of the Fate of Tarquinius Superbus. (Motto on scroll)
105r. A space left for illumination. (Motto on scroll: IE NE DV_C_M)
111r. A space left for illumination.
116v. A small picture of the Fate of Xerxes.
119v. A space left for illumination.
121r. A space left for illumination.
123v. A small picture of Virginia immolated before Appius Claudius.
126v. A space left for illumination.
127v. A space left for illumination.
129r. A small picture of the Assassination of Alcibiades.
131v. A space left for illumination.
133r. A space left for illumination.
136v. A small picture of the Execution of Hanno.
140r. [143r Bk. IV]. A space left for illumination.
145v. A space left for illumination.
147r. A space left for illumination.
148r. A small picture of Dionysius Tyrant of Syracuse.
155v. A space left for illumination.
158r. A small picture of the Death of Eumenes of Cappadocia.
159v. A small picture of the Death of Queen Olympias of Macedonia.
163r. A small picture of the Death of Agathocles of Sicily.
166v. A space left for illumination.
172r. A space left for illumination.
176v. A small picture of the Murder of Demetrius of Cyrene.
179r. [180r Bk. V]. A small picture of Spurima's Self-disfigurement.
181r. A small picture of the Deaths of Seleucus and Antiochus.
183r. A space left for illumination.
185r. A small picture of the Torture and Death of Regulus.
189v. A space left for illumination.
191v. A small picture of Syphax of Numidia at the head of his Army.
196v. A small picture of the Battle of Antiochus with the Romans.
199r. A space left for illumination.
203v. A small picture of the Execution of King Prusias.
204v. A small picture of King Perseus in a chariot at the head of his Army.
206v. A small picture of the Doom of Joachim the High Priest.
207r. A small picture of the Head of Balas presented to Ptolemy.
211v. A small picture of King Demetrius murdered at Tyre.
212v. A small picture of the Murder of Alexander Zebina.
215v. [218r Bk. VI]. A small picture of Masinissa murdered by Jugurtha's orders.
218v. A small picture of the Interview between Boccacio and Fortune.
224v. A small picture of the Death of Caius Marius.
228v. A small picture of Boccacio addressing Young Nobles.
229v. A small picture of The Three Cleopatras.
230v. A small picture of the Death of Mithridates.
237v. A small picture of the Suicide of Fimbria.
239r. A small picture of a Battle of Romans under Pompey in Syria.
251r. A small picture of the Murder of Cicero.
257v. A space left for illumination.
259r. [262v Bk. VII]. A small picture of Antony and Cleopatra.
262v. A small picture of the Death of Antony.
264v. A small picture of an Execution by order of King Herod.
269v. A space left for illumination.
276r. A small picture of Nero watching Tortures and Executions, Rome in Flames, His Suicide.
283v. A space left for illumination.
284v. A small picture of Vitellius' Torture and Mutilation.
288v. A space left for illumination.
291r. A small picture of the Siege and Capture of Jerusalem by Titus.
295v. [296v Bk. VIII]. A space left for illumination.
298r. A small picture of Boccacio's visionary Interview with Petrarch.
300v. A space left for illumination. (Scroll with legend APRES | LE SECONT CHA | CONTIENT LE CAS).
304r. A small picture of Sapor and Valerian.
306v. A space left for illumination.
308r. A small picture of Zenobia in her Chariot at the head of her Army.
309v. A small picture of Diocletian (?).
315v. A space left for illumination.
317r. A small picture of Odoacer ordering Orestes' death.
319r. A small picture of the Battle between troops of Maximinus and Maxentius.
320v. A space left for illumination.
322v. A small picture of the Death of Julian the Apostate.
325r. A space left for illumination.
326r. A space left for illumination.
327r. A space left for illumination.
328r. A space left for illumination.
329v. A small picture of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
332v. A space left for illumination.
333v. A space left for illumination.
335r. [335v Bk]. A space left for illumination. (Scroll with legend LE VINGT QUATR).
336v. A small picture of Boccacio describing to an Audience on a Hillside the Martyrdom of Queen Brunhilde.
342v. A space left for illumination.
344r. A small picture of Romulde, Duchess of Frejus' Marriage.
345v. A space left for illumination.
347r. A small picture of the Siege of Pavia.
348r. A space left for illumination.
350r. A small picture of Pope John VII.
352r. A space left for illumination.
354r. A space left for illumination.
355r. A space left for illumination.
355v. A small picture of Emperor Henry at the head of his Army meeting King William of Sicily.
356v. A space left for illumination.
357v. A small picture of Emperor Frederick II. and King John of Sicily.
358v. A space left for illumination.
359r. A space left for illumination.
360r. A small picture of a Battle between the troops of Charles of Sicily and Conradin.
362v. A space left for illumination.
364v. A space left for illumination.
366r. A space left for illumination.
368r. A small picture of Walter Duke of Athens setting out.
372r. A space left for illumination.
372v. A small picture of Philipote [Philippa Catanensis] with her son and daughter at the Stake.
375r. A space left for illumination.
Lacunae (in Hunt. Mus. Lib. Bg. 2. 26.)
One folio lost between ff. 70, 71 = f. 66r col. a, l. 17-f. 67v col. b, l. 24
One folio lost between ff. 92, 93 = f. 88r col. a, l. 28-f. 89r col. a, l. 22
One folio lost between ff. 141, 142 = f. 138r col. a, l. 33-f. 139r col. a, l. 14
One folio lost between ff. 143, 144 = f. 140v col. a, l. 11-f. 142r col. a, l. 26
One folio lost between ff. 149, 150 = f. 148r col. a, l. 30- f. 149r col. a, l. 10
One folio lost between ff. 235, 236 = f. 254v col. a, l. 28-f. 255v col. a, l. 23
One folio lost between ff. 303, 304 = f. 327r col. b, l. 8-f. 328r col. b, l. 20
One folio lost between ff. 310, 311 = f. 336r col. a, l. 15-f. 337r col. a, l. 16
One folio lost between ff. 313, 314 = f. 349v col. a, l. 25-f. 350v col. a, l. 23
One folio lost between ff. 333, 334 = f. 363v col. a, l. 6-f. 364v col. a, l. 22
One folio lost between ff. 362, 363 = f. 399 r col. a, l. 7-f. 400 r col. b, l. 18
Laurence de Premierfait (Laurent Du Premier-fait, Laurent de Premierfaict), was born at the village of that name near Arcis-sur-Aube, and died in 1418 Secretary to the Duc de Berry.
[Formerly S.1.1; S.1.1].
Treasures from Scottish libraries (Dublin, 1964): Boccaccio. Les cas des nobles hommes et femmes. Glasgow University, Hunterian Library, MS. 208 (U.1.12). Parchment, 376 ff., 384 x 279 mm. ?S. Netherlands, s. xv2. Laurence de Premierfait's translation into French of Boccacio's De casibus virorum et foeminarum illustrium libri ix (see no. 44). The colophon records that the translation was finished on 15 April 1409. The first miniature is a representation of the translator presenting his work to his patron, the Duke of Berry; the second, Boccaccio at work. There are some seventy other miniatures representing scenes from the work. Bought by Hunter at the Gaignat sale in 1769. References. De Bure, no. 3490. Young & Aitken, pp. 151-6.
De Bure, Catalogue of the Gaignat Library no. 3490
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 15¼ x 11 1/8, ff. 376, originally ff. 387, evenly written in double cols. of 42 lines, 10 3/8 x 3, ruled and margined with red ink, signatures (mostly cropped), catchwords, foliation (modern), pictures, large and small, floreated pages, illuminated initials, marginal ornaments, gilt and coloured paragraph marks, rubrics, no marginalia, much cropped (see f. 214), stains on first folio, (fol. 10 is adventitious, probably XVIII. Cent. work), otherwise well preserved, fol. sec. les innumerables. Late Cent. XV. (31st July, 1472).
Binding: Millboards, covered crimson morocco, gilt-tooled sides and edges (lines) and inside margins, panelled back, gilt edges, title (gilt): CAS DES NOBLES | HOMMES ET FEMMES | PAR BOCACE. Cent. XVIII.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), p. 151.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: Latin
Material Type: Document
Notes: This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'Treasures of Scottish Libraries', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961; 'Trésors des Bibliothèques d'Ecosse', Brussels, 1963; 'Treasures from Scottish libraries', Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964; 'William Hunter, Book Collector', Glasgow University Library, Apr.-Sep. 1983; 'The Glory of the Page', Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. 1988, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Jun.-Aug. 1988, Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Nov. 1988-Jan. 1989.
Bibliography: An addition to miniatures of Goddess Fortune in mediaeval manuscripts, ed. Yoshiaki Todoroki (Tokyo, 2000), pp 25-26 and figs 15, 24; Jack Baldwin, William Hunter, 1718-1783, book collector: catalogue of an exhibition (Glasgow, 1983), no. 4; Carla Bozzolo, 'Manuscrits des traductions françaises d'oeuvres de Boccace, XVe siècle', Medioevo e Umanesimo, 13 (Padua, 1973); G.F de Bure, Supplément à la Bibliographie instructive, ou catalogue des livres du cabinet de feu M. Louis Jean Gaignat (Paris 1769), no 3490; Patricia May Gathercole, Laurent de Premierfait's Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes, Book I, translated from Boccaccio: A critical edition based on six manuscripts (Chapel Hill, 1960); National Library of Scotland, Treasures of Scottish libraries: catalogue (Edinburgh, 1961), x, 2; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 55; Treasures from Scottish libraries: catalogue of an exhibition held in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Edinburgh, 1964), no. 45; Trésors des bibliothèques d'Ecosse (Brussels, 1963); G. Wolf-Heidegger, Die anatomische Sektion... (1967), no. 25; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), 151-156.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Giovanni Boccaccio 1313-1375
Joannes Boccatius, John Bochas.
exhibition: Glory of the Page 1987-1989
Exhibition of medieval manuscripts from Glasgow University Library: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. …
exhibition: Treasures from Scottish Libraries 1964
Exhibition, Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964.
exhibition: Treasures of Scottish Libraries 1961
Exhibition, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961.
exhibition: Trésors des Bibliothèques d'Ecosse 1963
Exhibition, Brussels, 1963.
exhibition: William Hunter, Book Collector 1983
Exhibition, Glasgow University Library, 14 april-30 September 1983.
recipient: Jean Duc de Berry fl.c.1400
translator: Laurence de Premierfait d. 1418
Laurent du Premierfait, Laurent de Premierfaict.
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