The European Sun: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Scottish Language and Literature, University of Strathclyde, 1993

By Graham Caie; Roderick J. Lyall et al. | Go to book overview

JONATHAN A. GLENN


10. Gilbert Hay and the Problem of Sources: The
Case of the
Buke of the Ordre of Knychthede

We want to know what texts Hay worked from because knowing that would let us make judgments and draw conclusions that are otherwise impossible: estimates of the extent of Hay’s reading/knowledge, for example, cannot be made with certainty unless we know what was and was not in his source(s); evaluations of his ‘accuracy’ or ‘inaccuracy’ in rendering the French can be no more than tentative unless we know fairly clearly and fairly specifically what that French actually was; conclusions about Older Scots as it manifests itself in Hay’s prose could be richer if we knew more precisely what stood behind the language he uses; at times the quality of our judgments about his intentions as translator will depend on the accuracy of our knowledge about his sources. Ideally, then, the literary critic or historian or linguist working with Hay would like to be able to identify exactly which version of the French source Hay worked from – if possible the manuscript he used; failing that (as he/she certainly will), the scholar wants to know what group of French manuscripts most closely approximates the text(s) Hay most likely knew.

The Buke of the Ordre of Knychthede is particularly useful as a test case for sourcestudy of Hay because of its brevity and because of the textual situation of the French Livre de l’ordre de chevalerie: the ultimate source, Ramon Llull’s Catalan Llibre de l’orde de cavalleria, is well known and well edited; the known extant French manuscripts are limited in number; the text is available in a modern edition; and the various manuscripts and their relationships have received considerable attention from a variety of scholars.1

Fourteen manuscripts of the Livre de lșordre de chevalerie are known, three of the fourteenth century, nine of the fifteenth, and two of the sixteenth. (Three prints were made in the early sixteenth-century as well.) See Table 1.2 Of the fourteen manuscripts, one is fragmentary (B) and another is so fire-damaged as to be illegible (T). Figure 1 shows the manuscript relationships schematically. I have been able to

1 For the Catalan text, see Ramon Llull, Llibre de l’orde de cavalleria, ed. Albert Soler i Llopart, Els Nostres Clàssics A127 (Barcelona: Editorial Barcino, 1988). For the French text, see Ramon Llull, Livre de l’ordre de chevalerie, ed. Vincenzo Minervini, Biblioteca di Filologia Romanza 21 (Bari: Adriatica Editrice, 1971); the textual analysis in Minervini’s edition must be supplemented by the following studies: Mario Ruffini, ‘Un Ignoto MS. della Traduzione Francese del “Libre de l’orde de Cavalleria” di Raimondo Lullo,’ Estudios Lulianos 2 (1958): 77–82; Anna Cornagliotti, ‘Un manoscritto sconosciuto della versione francese del “Tractat de cavalleria” di Ramon Llull (J B II 19 del ‘Archivio di Stato di Torino),’ Miscellània Aramon i Serra. II. Estudios Universitaris Catalans 24 (1980): 157–66; Vincenzo Minervini, ‘Postilla lulliana,’ Annali del’Istituto Universitario Orientale 25.1 (Naples 1983): 333–41; and Jonathan A. Glenn, ‘Further Notes on Two Unedited Manuscripts of the Livre de l’ordre de chevalerie,’ Studia Lulliana (formerly Estudios Lulianos) 32 (1992): 39–58.

2 Tables and Figures follow the text at the end of this paper.

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