In recent years, the study of manuscripts as artefacts has greatly contributed to the study of their textual content. The study of composite manuscripts, such as cartularies, presents yet another level of structural analysis of the manuscript, namely that of the selection and re-organization of open and multi-layered archival material into the fixed linear form of the manuscript. In this paper, I will discuss how a combination of codicological, diplomatical, and palaeographical analysis of a cartulary chronicle can contribute to the understanding of the textual layers of its composition, leading to new interpretations of its aims.
The autograph of the so-called Journal by Jehan Aubrion (c. 1441-1501), clerk and merchant in the free city of Metz, has been preserved as part of a compilation of Metz-related historiographies which have also been copied by the same. While the content of the texts rarely contains information on the creation of Codex 3378, its examination as a material object can be considered as very fertile. The modifications of the handwriting, the different ink colours, the unusual partition of the sections as well as the presence of a variety of watermarks provide a detailed insight into the author’s writing practice for more than three decades.
This paper will examine the compilation of three manuscripts of the ‘Vie des pères’ that were produced in the same atelier, by the same scribe, the same illuminators, and the same rubricators in the early 14th century. However, despite the uniformity of the means of production, the manuscripts are not identical. In fact, the narrative content of the collection as a whole is inconsistent, and there are also inconsistencies in the illuminations and rubrics that suggest some degree of miscommunication between scribe, rubricator, and illuminator. This paper will discuss some of the more interesting inconsistencies between the three manuscripts, and it will also explore explanations for the existence of such errata in the manuscripts when both the labour and means of production are consistent.