Made in the third quarter of the ninth century, this manuscript contains a collection of devotional texts such as prayers, litanies, hymns, and a confession of the Faith. Moreover, it contains the Abbreviated Psalter (the text of the Psalms) that is attributed to the Venerable Bede (b. c. 673, d. 735) in this as well as two other ninth-century manuscript copies. The Psalms played a central role in the daily devotion of early medieval life, and was memorised as the first part of a monastic education. The Abbreviated Psalter consists of short excerpts from each of the Psalms, to convey the essence of each Psalm or as a memory-aid, seemingly intended for personal devotion and reflection.
The litanies in the manuscript include saints more popular in the North of France, but the few pages decorated with an ornate frame and an accompanying major initial on the opposing page show close similarities to contemporary manuscripts made in the abbey of Saint Martin in Tours (in central France). The work of its scribe also closely resembles that found in those Tours manuscripts, suggesting that the manuscript was copied in Tours from a northern French exemplar.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Emilia Henderson
- Art and illumination, Making manuscripts, Christian religion and belief
Manuscripts decorated in the Franco-Saxon style are some of the most visually stunning signs of the flow of inspiration and connections across the English Channel in the early Middle Ages. Emilia Henderson examines the design and production of these works.