Chronique anonyme universelle
- Chronique anonyme universelle
The Chronique Anonyme Universelle records the history of the world from Creation to the late middle ages, including a detailed genealogy of mankind. History is recorded in parallel columns, beginning with Biblical history in two, then adding ancient Greece at the right, and finally settling into a four-column format - from left to right, the Popes, Roman and Holy Roman emperors, the kings of France, and the kings of England (with a brief detour into the crusades near the end). This copy is incomplete; complete copies of the text conclude with the coronation of King Louis XI in 1461. It is the latest scroll in what Davis has identified as the R2a family (closely related to manuscripts 1493 H2 L R W and X). See Davis, La Chronique Anonyme Universelle.
- Former owner:
- Ashburnham, Bertram Ashburnham, Earl of, 1797-1878
- Former owner:
- Barrois, Joseph, approximately 1785-1855
Scrolls (Visual works)
Manuscripts, French (Medieval and modern)
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
- Collection (local):
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts (Collection of Distinction)
World history--Early works to 1800
Genealogy in the Bible--Early works to 1800
France--Kings and rulers--Genealogy--Early works to 1800
- 1 roll (16 membranes) : parchment, ill. ; 10380 x 505 mm.
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
- Place of origin:
- Notes (ownership):
Provenance: Owned by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Barrois (1784-1855). Presumably sold to the Earl of Ashburnham (1797-1878) with the rest of the Barrois collection in 1849, although the manuscript is not listed in the Barrois catalogue. His sale, Sotheby's London, 10 June 1901, lot 626 to Sidney Cockerell for the Boston Public Library (Barrois-Ashburnham lot number "626" written in blue pencil on verso of fifteenth sheet, before the silk repair was applied).
- Notes (acquisition):
Acquired by the Boston Public Library in March 1903 from Syndey Cockerell.
- Notes (citation):
Ricci, S. de. Census of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada, vol I, pages 923-924
Bibliographic record created by BPL staff based on description by Dr. Lisa Fagin Davis.
Origin: Produced in France ca. 1470s.
Previously cataloged under call no. G.Cab.3.31.
Currently shelved under call no. MS pb Med. 32.
For further information, see: Haraszti, Z. "Medieval Manuscripts in The Library" More Books III (1928), 71-72; Davis, L.F. La Chronique Anonyme Universelle: Reading and Writing History in Fifteenth-Century France (Harvey Miller Publishers, 2014); Davis, L.F. "Chronique Anonyme Universelle à la Mort de Charles VII" Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle (Brill, 2010), pp. 296-297; Davis, L.F. "The First and Second Recensions of the Chronique Anonyme Universelle", Harvard Library Bulletin 20 (2009), pp. 1-33; Davis, L.F. "Scrolling Through History: La Chronique Universelle, Boston Public Library Ms. Pb. Med. 32" in Netzer, N. ed., Secular/Sacred 11th-16th Century Works from the Boston Public Library and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston College, 2006), pp. 43-50 and cat. 16; A.D. Hedeman -- E. Morrison, Imagining the Past in France (Los Angeles, 2010), 242-245 (cat. No. 44).
Consult curatorial file for further information.
- Notes (object):
Ends imperfectly, approximately 220 lines (probably an entire sheet) lacking. Small lacuna (approx. 25 lines, 130 mm) between 15th and 16th sheets, probably including a miniature of Godfrey of Bouillon and a miniature of William the Conqueror cut from the 15th or 16th sheet, repaired in the early 20th century by a narrow strip of white silk. Otherwise, in excellent condition, with bright colors and little fading or rubbing.
Collation: Parchment, vertical scroll in 16 sheets pasted together with approximately 15 mm overlap. 10380 x 505 mm (upper margin: 183 mm; outer margins: 35 mm).
Layout: Two (183 mm) or four (85 mm) columns (one brief section in which the fourth column splits into two narrow columns). Bounding and ruling lines in blind, prickings along each edge. Several sheets have a crease in the center from edge to edge, implying that they were once folded in half, probably to facilitate pricking.
Script: Written in a gothic cursive script in brown ink. Rubrics and captions sometimes in slightly smaller script.
Decoration: Genealogical diagrams throughout of 25 mm red roundels with captions in brown ink within, linked by red lines. Opens with four-line initial in blue on gold-leaf background with infill in gold and colors, one- to two-line initials throughout in gold with salmon infill on blue or vice versa, white geometric tracery. Border of vines with gold and blue acanthus in upper left corner. 56 miniatures (57-65 x 50-55 mm) extant, with two miniatures cut away and several miniatures lacking at end (the first twelve square or rectangular, the remainder round medallions). Manuscript B is thought by Francois Avril to have been illuminated in a style "popular in a large swath from the northeast to the southeast of what is currently France." (See Hedeman, 2010, note.1).
Formerly attached to wooden spindles, 645 mm long. Upper spindle was possibly original; lower spindle was a19th-century replacement with two narrow gray ribbons attached at the center. Scroll was attached to upper spindle by a wedge running the length of the spindle, and to lower spindle by adhesive. Currently housed in a custom cloth case.
- Table of Contents:
Position 1: Creation of the heavens and earth.
Position 2: Creation of plants and trees.
Position 3: Creation of water and sea life.
Position 4: Creation of animals and birds.
Position 5: Creation of the angels.
Position 6: Fall of angels.
Position 7: Creation of Adam and Eve.
Position 8: God instructs Adam and Eve.
Position 9: Adam and Eve with the serpent.
Position 10: God confronts Adam and Eve.
Position 11: Expulsion/Robing.
Position 12: The toil of Adam and Eve.
Position 13: Noah building the ark.
Position 14: Abraham and Isaac.
Position 15: Tower of Babel.
Position 16: Joshua.
Position 17: Destruction of Troy.
Position 18a: Aeneas.
Position 18b: Priam.
Position 18c: Turnus.
Position 18d: Helenus.
Position 17: King David.
Position IV.55: Brut kills the giants.
Position II.25: Destructon of Samaria.
Position I.19: King Zedechias.
Position II.26: Hewing of Nebuchadnezzar.
Position III.34: Foundation of Rome.
Position IV.57: Foundation of Sicambria.
Position III.35: Rape of the Sabine women.
Position II.27: Prophecy of Daniel/ Death of Belshazzar.
Position IV.58: Foundation of Lutetia.
Position II.28: Repudiation of Vashti.
Position II.29: Alexander of Macedonia.
Position I.20: Judah Macabee.
Position I.21: Nativity.
Position I.22: Annunciation of the Passion.
Position II.31: Assassination of Julius Caesar.
Position I.23: Last Supper.
Position IV.59: Foundation of London.
Position III.37: Franks crossing the Rhine.
Position III.38: Franks vs. Romans.
Position IV.60: King Lucius of Britain and the Archbishops.
Position III.39: King Pharamond.
Position IV.61: King Conan.
Position III.42: Baptism of Clovis.
Position IV.62: Hengist.
Position III.43: King Dagobert building St. Denis.
Position I.24: Pope Gregory the Great.
Position IV.63: King Arthur fights Mordred.
Position III.45: King Pepin with lion.
Position IV.64: Sack of England.
Position II.32: Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne.
Position III.47: King Hugh Capet.
Position II.33: Holy Roman Emperor Berengario.
Position III.48: St. Louis.
Position IV.65: William the Conqueror [presumed
Position IV.66: Godfrey de Bouillon [presumed
Position IV.67: Crusader conquest of Jerusalem.
- Call #:
Ms pb Med.32
G.Cab.3.31 (no longer used)