Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Ott. lat. 1474 Norman documents

  • French, Latin
  • s. xiv
  • Continental manuscripts
  • parchment

Manuscript compilation of the 14th century containing Norman documents of a legal, diplomatic and historical nature. The first first four folia are extraneous and contain a copy of John of Cornwall’s Prophetia Merlini.

Collection: Codices Ottoboniani latini
Ott. lat. 1474
Provenance and related aspects
French, Latin
s. xiv
Except for ff. 1-4, the manuscript has been dated to the 14th century (Delisle). Greith notes that the Norman documents run up to the year 1339.
Origin, provenance
Later provenance: France
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ass. with Paul PetauPetau (Paul)
French magistrate, councillor at the Parliament of Paris, as well as a scholar and avid collector of books and manuscripts, many of which he acquired from Pierre Daniel. After his death, his library passed to his son, Alexandre.
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Delisle notes that the part which forms ff. 5-75 bears the signature E 38 of the library of Petau. The name refers to the collection of Paul Petau (1568–1614), later his son Alexandre (d. 1672). See
Hands, scribes
Codicological information
17.7 cm × 12.2 cm
83 ff. (approximate)
The precise extent is unclear. In 1838, Greith wrote that “Diese Handschrift besteht aus 120 Pergamentblättern, wovon der ersten sechs die Weissagung Merlins [etc.]”. Later, in 1876, Delisle counted “environ 83 feuillets de parchemin”, of which four (ff. 1r–4r) contain the Prophetia and its commentary.
Distinct units
ff. 1-4
ff. 5-75

Not considered here.

ff. 76-?83

Not considered here.

Table of contents

Links to texts use a standardised title for the catalogue and so may or may not reflect what is in the manuscript itself, hence the square brackets. Their appearance comes in three basic varieties, which are signalled through colour coding and the use of icons, , and :

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The above method of differentiating between links has not been applied yet to texts or citations from texts which are included in the context of other texts, commonly verses.


While it is not a reality yet, CODECS seeks consistency in formatting references to locations of texts and other items of interest in manuscripts. Our preferences may be best explained with some examples:

  • f. 23ra.34: meaning folio 23 recto, first column, line 34
  • f. 96vb.m: meaning folio 96, verso, second column, middle of the page (s = top, m = middle, i = bottom)
    • Note that marg. = marginalia, while m = middle.
  • p. 67b.23: meaning page 67, second column, line 23


Primary sources This section typically includes references to diplomatic editions, facsimiles and photographic reproductions, notably digital image archives, of at least a major portion of the manuscript. For editions of individual texts, see their separate entries.

[ed.] Curley, Michael J., “A new edition of John of Cornwall’s Prophetia Merlini”, Speculum 57 (1982): 217–249.
First four folia.

Secondary sources (select)

Delisle, Léopold, “Notice sur vingt manuscrits du Vatican”, Bibliothèque de l'École des chartes 37 (1876): 471–527.
Persée: <link>
Greith, Carl Johann, Spicilegium Vaticanum: Beiträge zur nähern Kenntniss der Vatikanischen Bibliothek für deutsche Poesie des Mittelalters, Frauenfeld: C. Beyel, 1838. <link> <link>
92–106 Incl. edition of the Prophetia (98-106).
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
August 2021, last updated: May 2023