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Beatus Page And Ownership Inscriptions, In A Psalter With Old English Gloss And Commentary

Beatus Page And Ownership Inscriptions, In A Psalter With Old English Gloss And Commentary

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 950

Shelfmark: Royal MS 2 B.v

Item number: f.8r

Length: 26.8

Width: 19

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

All through the middle ages, the psalter was used as a private prayerbook, a hymnal for services for laity and monks, and a text for theological study. In this manuscript the latin words have translations above (gloss) and prayers, proverbs and notes in Old English in its margins, indicating that it was used for study and private devotion. A prayer added in the early 11th century mentions two saints especially venerated at Winchester, suggesting that the psalter originated there, although other later additions and the letter 'r' in the top outer corner of the page of the beginning of Psalm 1 show that it was at Christ Church, Canterbury, in the 11th century. The mark 'r' of Christ Church, Canterbury, is visible on this page, the start of the psalms. Its large first letter shows the dignified style that is based on earlier manuscripts from Italy and Carolingian France. The inscription in the upper margin (12th century) makes a common misidentification of the Latin translation as St Jerome's. It is known as the Roman translation, made from the Greek Septuagint version in 384 and was the translation used in St Peter's, Rome. In the lower margin is the autograph of John, Lord Lumley, and in the upper margin the name of Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury.

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