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Manuscript Description
Oxford, St John's College MS 266
Title:Siege of Thebes
Date Range:Near the time of the printing of the Caxtons in 1480's.
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.
No of Folios:61 text block + 6 ruled but otherwise blank folios, 62-67, or i-vi.
Pagination:Modern pencil, two sets; one continuous for whole volume 1-523 plus i-vi; or separate for this booklet/manuscript, 1-67, both in usual place.
Quiring:1-8(8), 9(3 iv missing) stub remains.
Signatures:No signatures
Page Size:266 x 190
Frame:2 x vertical to top and bottom edge + 2 x horizontal ruled within; a 'gloss' column on outer edges thus another vertical between upper and lower horizontals and this column not ruled; fine red lines; NB Same red ruling as is superimposed on the Caxton texts that are bound up with this manuscript in the same volume.
Writing Space:193-121
Incipits and Explicits:Rubric; '[H]ere Begynnyth the prolog off the Story of Thebees' in top margin; '[H]ere now Endeth as ye may se / The detruccioun of Thebes (th)e Cite'.
Marginal Headings:In rubric by the scribe.
Running Titles:In red ink.
Illuminated Initials:Space left for initial on f1 as also space for initial to begin heading also on this folio.
Other Names (not owners):'WM' (William Middleton) on f464 and 'Constat Wyllm Myddelton' on f523v after end of Siege of Thebes. On back pastedown, monogram 'TR' and 'Roger Thorney mercer of London' above a Tudor rose.
Miscellaneous Info:MS 266 bound together with St John's printed book b.2.21 for which it was written, containing Caxton's 1483 edition of Troilus and Criseyde (STC 5094), his second edition, 1483, of The Canterbury Tales (STC 5083) and his first edition, 1483, of John Mirk's Quatuor Sermones (STC 17957).
Further Information:Hanna, Catalogue, 329-331; Gavin Bone, 'Extant Manuscripts Printed From by W. de Worde with Notes on the Owner, Roger Thorney', The Library, 4th ser., 12 (1931-2), 284-309.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP