Le livre de la fontaine de toutes sciences
- Le livre de la fontaine de toutes sciences
- Title (uniform):
Livre de la fontaine de toutes sciences. Selections
Dialogue in which Sydrach the philosopher answers questions of King Boccus on religion, philosophy, natural history. etc.
- Sidrac, active 13th century
- Former owner:
- Aldridge, George, active 17th century
- Former owner:
- Ashburnham, Bertram Ashburnham, Earl of, 1797-1878
- Former owner:
- Barrois, Joseph, approximately 1785-1855
- Former owner:
- Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle, Sir, 1867-1962
- Sotheby's (Firm)
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
- Collection (local):
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts (Collection of Distinction)
Dialogues--Texts--Early works to 1800
Theology, Doctrinal--History--Middle Ages, 600-1500--Sources
- 76 leaves : parchment ; 250 x 150 (180 x 100) mm bound to 26 cm
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
- Place of origin:
- Table of Contents:
1. fol. 1-3v: Preface. Sidrac li noble philosoph le quell home apelle le livre de la funtaine de toutes sciences/La porveance de dieu.../ ...sacorderent les mestres.
2. fol. 3v-12: Capitula list of 613 questions. Ci commencent les chapters des demaundes qe li Roi Boctus demaunda de Sidrac le Philosophe./ .i. Fu dieu et tous iours serra.../...Quele ioie averont il a pres en lautre siecle/ Ici finissent les chapitres.
3. fol. 12v-76: Le livre de la fontaine de toutes sciences. Ore commence le livre et les responses a ces demandes. / Fu dieu tous iours et serra? Respons./ Oil sans commencement et sans fin..../...Apres sa mort et la mort sydrac per lengin au deable guerpirent dieu e returnerent as ydles des quex enfern est plein e serra tus iours sanns fin./ Ici finist le livre de sage philosopher Sidrac qui lessa sa science apres ly per quei ele fust profitable as gentz du munde.
Title from opening rubric.
Bibliographic record created by BPL staff based on description by Dr. Lisa Fagin Davis.
Origin: Written in the first half of the fourteenth century in northern France. An abbreviated version of the encyclopedic Livre de la fontaine de toutes sciences, a series of hundreds questions posed by a mythical King Bochus and answered by the philosopher Sidrac, on topics ranging from philosophy to theology, from science to love. This is the abbreviated version of what Weisel calls the "short tradition" (613 vs. more than a thousand questions in the long version); this redaction of the already more brief text is found in only four other manuscripts (see Weisel, p. 62; the present manuscript is his siglum z1 in manuscript family G8). Most copies of Sidrac are in lengthier prose, whereas in this copy each entry is formatted as a brief question followed by Sidrac's answer.
- Notes (ownership):
Provenance: The manuscript was in England by the fifteenth century, as evidenced by several inscriptions in English from that period (prayers and other notes), on fol. 5, 13, and 25. Seventeenth-century signature of "George Aldridge of Boothby Pagnal" (i.e. Boothby-Pagnell, Lincolnshire), fol. 47. Owned by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Barrois (1784-1855), his 1849 sale (n. 76) to Bertram, the Fourth Earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878); green Barrois label on spine).
- Notes (acquisition):
Immediate source of acquisition: Ashburnham sale, Sotheby's London, 10 June 1901, lot 546 to Sydney Cockerell for the Boston Public Library (Cockerell's notes and Sotheby's lot number inside front cover). BPL bookplate inside front cover, BPL embossed stamp on fol. 1 and 2.
- Notes (date):
This date is inferred.
- Notes (citation):
Ricci, S. de. Census of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada, 1, 923.
Haraszti, Z. "Medieval Manuscripts in The Library," More Books III (1928), 70 (this description pasted to
- Notes (object):
Secundo folio: ...coes soulement a dieu...
Collation: Parchment, fol. i (later parchment) + 76 + i (later parchment) ; 1-5¹² 6-7⁸ ; signatures in modern arabic pencil, lower margin, first recto of each quire. Catchwords lower right corner, last verso each quire. Modern arabic pencil foliation, upper outer corner, each page.
Layout: 1 column, 42 lines. Bounding and writing lines in brown ink, top and bottom writing lines ruled to outer edge.
Script: Written in a gothic textualis in brown ink with red rubrics.
Decoration: Introduction (fol. 1) and text (fol. 12v) begin with 5- to 7-line blue and red "puzzle" initial with red and purple filigree; 2-line initials in blue with red filigree throughout.
Binding: 19th-century crimson morocco over boards, gilt-fillet and -stamped corners, spine in compartments, title gilt on spine "SIDRAC," gilt fillet board edges and turn-ins, all edges gilt, vellum endpapers and conjugate flyleaves front and back. Outer margins of fol. 1-4 trimmed away, replaced by early paper with partially-visible countermark on fol. 2.
- Notes (bibliography):
Bibliography: B. Weisel, "Die Überlieferung des 'Livre de Sidrac' in Handschriften und Drucken," Wissenliteratur im Mittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit (Wiesbaden, 1993): 53-66.
- Notes (language):
- Call #:
RARE BKS MS q Med.31
MS G.31.60 (no longer used)