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Psalm 22 Initial, In A Psalter With Old English Gloss And Commentary

Psalm 22 Initial, 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.30r

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. Although relatively plain, the use of two colours in this initial 'D' demonstrates an awareness of decorative possibilities using a limited palette. The marginal commentary is linked to the relevant passages of the main text using symbols such as groups of dots and triangles.

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