National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0050 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 50 (Color Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000271
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



THE FRANCO-ITALIAN MANUSCRIPT AT PARIS ,MARCO POLO Paris, 1824 ; and again by BENEDETTO, more satisfactorily though not literatim, in II Milione, No. 3 of the publications of the Comitato Geografico Nazionale Italiano, Florence, 1928. It is also said to have been reproduced in facsimile by Dr. A. STEINER of Karlsruhe in 1902, but this appears to be a mistake.' While F is the longest and in some respects the best of the surviving manuscripts, an examination of the following version will show that it contains no chapters and few passages of any length or importance which are peculiar to itself. That the curious Franco-Italian language of this manuscript is the language in which the book was first written is made likely by comparison of the early Tuscan version which shows obvious signs of having been translated from such a French text, and is made quite certain by the passages which BENEDETTO quotes from the earlier work of Rustichello, the romance of Guiron le courtois, where the language is identical, with whole phrases and sometimes sentences word for word the same in the two books.' And Marco Polo is explicitly said to have written his book " in the French vernacular " by John the Long of Ypres, who wrote about the year 1350.3

1 There is a copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, now marked " facsimilé 4°-242 ", which is a set of actual photographs of the MS. bound up with a printed title (Le divisirnent dou monde de Messer March Pol de Venece. Die Handschrift Fonds Français No. 1116 der Nationalbibliothek zu Paris photographisch aufgenommen auf der Gr. Hof- und Landesbibliothek zu Karlsruhe von Dr A. Steiner. Karlsruhe. Hof-Buchdruckerei Friedrich Gutsch. 1902.) and introduction, where it is stated that the negatives were done by J. Hauff et Cie., Feuerbach. It seems to be certain that Dr Steiner meant to issue a limited edition of these photographs printed on special paper and treated by some special process, but no second copy has been found, nor is the whereabouts of the negatives known.

2 B. pp. xiii-xxvii ; Y. I. pp. 81-86. The book was also called Meliadus (B. p. xix) and

Roman de Tristan. It begins : Seingneur enperaor   Rois & princes & dux t- quen. , & baronzcivalier
t- uauuasor t- borgiois t- tous le preudorne de ce inonde que aues talenK de delitier uoz~ en romainz ci prenes ceste t- le feites lire de chief en chief si i troueres toutes le<_granz auentures qui auindrent entre les chivaliers herrant dou tent li Roi buter pandragon jusque au term li Roi arcus son fiz & des cotnpain

de la table reonde.   sachiez tot uoirement que cestui Romainz fu treslaites dou liure monseiligneu Odoard
li Roi dengleterre a celui ten.K. qui' passe boutre la mer en seruire nostre Sire damedeu pour conquister le saint sepoucre. 6- maistre Rusticiaus de pise li quelz est imagines desoure compile ceste Romain car il en treslaite toutes les tresmeruillieuse rouelles quil trueue en celui liure tig- totes les greingneur auentures. . . . This seems to show that Rustichello had access to the book of Romances by Helyes de Boron when Prince Edward was on a Crusade (c. 1271), possibly in Sicily. But nothing seems to be really known of his life and movements. See pl. 45.

3 Y. I. p. 121, with ref. to E. MARTÉNE & U. DURAND Thesaur. Nov. Anecdot., 1717, III. col. 747c : Marcus Pauli . . . quern Chaam propter swam habilitatem in suis negotiis ad diversas India & Tartariæ partes 6- insulas tnisit, ubi illarum partium multa niirabilia vidit, de quibus