A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Douce 332

Summary Catalogue no.: 21906


Guillaume de Lorris; Jean de Meung, Le Roman de la Rose

A note glued inside the front cover claims that the codex also contains Chatellaine de Vergy, which it does not.

At the end of the poem the following four lines have been added:

Incipit: Par la grande hayne diuerse | Qui dedens faulx samblant conu(er)se | Fu Clopinel aus champs couuert | Pour ce quil ot voir descouuert
Language(s): Old French

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii + 195 + ii leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 280 × 200 mm.
Foliation: Leaves numbered in ink (i-xxx) at an early date on the top right corner of rectos. Foliation begins with number 1 on fol. 2r. A later hand has added foliation in modern pencil (i-ii, 1-202, also labeling 2r as fol. 1) that attempts to correct gaps in the earlier foliation, which result from loss of leaves, by assigning dual numbers at 38/39, 70/71, 138/139, 148/149, 158/159, and 180/181. In this description, pages are numbered sequentially beginning with fol. 1r. The correspondence between the pencil manuscript foliation and the foliation in the present description is as follows:
  • pencil fols. iii, 2-37 = fols. 1-38
  • pencil fol. '38-9' = fol. 39
  • pencil fols. 40-69 = fols. 40-69
  • pencil fol. '70-1' = fols. 70
  • pencil fols. 72-137 = fols. 71-136
  • pencil fol. '138-9' = fol. 137
  • pencil fols. 140-147 = fols. 138-145
  • pencil fol. '148-9' = fol. 146
  • pencil fols. 150-7 = fol. 147-54
  • pencil fol. '158-9' = fol. 155
  • pencil fols. 160-179 = fols. 156-175
  • pencil fol. '180-1' = fols. 176
  • pencil fols. 182-200 = fols. 177-195


1(8)-4(8) (fols. 1-32 / pencil fols. iii, 2-31), 5(8-1, wants last leaf after fol. 39/ pencil fol. '38-9') (fols. 33-39 / pencil 32-'38-9'), 6(8)-7(8) (fols. 40-55), 8(six) (fols. 56-61), 8(8) (fols. 62-9), 10(8-1, wants first leaf after fol. 69) (fols. 70-6 / pencil '70-1', 72-7), 11(8)-17(8) (fols. 77-132 / pencil 78-133), 18(18-1, wants second leaf after fol. 133 / pencil fol. 134) (fols. 133-9 / pencil 134-40), 19(8-1, wants fifth leaf after fol. 143 / pencil 145) (fols. 140-6), 20(8) (fols. 147-54 / pencil 150-7), 21(8-1, wants second leaf after fol. 155 / pencil '158-9') (fols. 155-61 / pencil '158-9', 160-5), 22(8) (fols. 162-9 / pencil 166-173), 23(8-1, wants seventh leaf after fol. 175 / 179) (fols. 170-6 / pencil 174-9, '180-1'), 23(8)-24(8) (fols. 177-192 / pencil 182-197), 24(three) (fols. 193-5 / pencil 198-200). Remnants of signatures in lower left of some quires, at times partially trimmed away, e.g. fol. 9r; most are barely visible in the gutter. These signatures are modern Arabic numerals in pencil, and were perhaps added when the book was rebound. Catchwords throughout, lower right side.


Some quires ruled in brown crayon, some in lead. A few prickings survive along the bottoms of folios, e.g. throughout quire XXI. Two ruling patterns appear throughout the manuscript. The first is ruled in brown crayon and has six vertical and two horizontal through lines. In these, the text block is divided into two columns, with both edges of the column delineated by vertical lines. In addition, each column has one vertical line to separate the first letter from the rest of the line. Horizontal through lines define the top and bottom of the text block, with 28-30 lines per column.

The second pattern is ruled in lead with eight rather than six vertical lines, and with 27-28 lines per column. In this pattern, vertical through lines delineate each column and two additional vertical lines, which do not extend much beyond the text block, separate initial letters from the rest of the line. The ruling patterns are associated with the two scribes responsible for the work, with the brown crayon and six vertical lines usually, although not invariably, present during scribe one’s stints, and the lead ruling and eight vertical lines corresponding to the work of scribe two. See, e.g., the outer bifolium of quire two, which is ruled in brown, and the inner bifolia, which are ruled in lead. Note that the last ruled line is not always used, e.g. 88v and 89r (=pencil 89v, 90r).

Text blocks vary slightly in size; approximately 205 × 150 mm. Each column approximately 70 mm wide.


Two scribes. Scribe one completed the first quire and the outer bifolium, recto and verso (i.e. fols. 9 and 16), of the second quire. Scribe two is responsible for fols. 10r (=pencil 11r) through 15v (=pencil 16v) and fol. 17r (=pencil 18r) through part of 87v (=pencil 88v). From there to the end we once again see the work of scribe one. Both scribes use a cursiva formata script. Corrections are sparse, but some examples of lining through, erasure, and addition exist; see, e.g. fols. 2v (=pencil 3v) and 3r (=pencil 4r). Mostly brown ink throughout, with some black stints.


59 grisaille miniatures.

Red, blue, and gold border with decorative white penwork on 1r (=fol. iii r) only. Vines and flowers in the same color scheme extend from the border to fill the margins and are accompanied by green leaf designs. Two dragons are at the top center of the border.

Four-line initial on 1r (=fol. iii r) featuring blue letter with white penwork. Letter encloses gold leaf and blue, red, and white decorative vines, and is boxed in red with white penwork and enclosed in a gold border.

Numerous two-line gold initials throughout with blue and red ornamentation and decorative white penwork.

Numerous rubrics accompany miniatures and identify speakers.


France, 18th c.(?), 290 mm in height, 235 mm wide from center of spine to fore edge. Bound in morocco. Flat boards. Presently the front and back boards are greenish, fading at the spine edge into brown. The spine is uniformly light brown. Two labels inside the front cover list the binding as “blue Turkey” and “red morocco” respectively. Five raised bands on spine. Red, white, and blue headband and tailband. Front decorated with simple frame of three gold-tooled fillets. Back has same decoration, but with the addition at the corners of frames of a small, tooled sun (or flower?) with a face peering out. Title appears in second compartment of spine. Other compartments feature flowers tooled in the center and additional toolwork surrounding. Double fillets on top, fore, and bottom edges. Roll with flower design on front and back turn-ins. Title, second compartment of spine in gold-tooled letters: “ROMAN / DE / LA ROSE”. Marbled endpapers, front and back. Two flyleaves each in front and back; in both, one is joined to the marbled endpaper. Watermark in flyleaves: a cluster of grapes in a cornucopia arranged in four rows of (from top), 1, 2, 3, 2 grapes. Gilt edges. Bound with red ribbon bookmark.


Origin: 15th century ; French

Provenance and Acquisition

An ex-libris appears to have been erased at the bottom of fol. 195 (= pencil fol. 200r).

Bookplate of Jean-Joseph Languet de Gergy (1677-1753), archbishop of Sens 1731-53.

Francis Douce, 1757–1834

Bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1834

Record Sources

Description by Timothy L. Stinson, for the Roman de la Rose Digital Library (Digital Library of Medieval Manuscripts); copyright The John Hopkins University, and reproduced with permission; with added references to the pencil foliation of the manuscript. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue (1897).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Roman de la Rose Digital Library
Digital Bodleian (72 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2022-08: Description revised for publication on Digital Bodleian.