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Description

The Eadui Psalter is named after its probable scribe and artist, Eadwig (Eadui) Basan. Eadwig was a monk at Christ Church, Canterbury, and one of the most skilful 11th-century Anglo-Saxon scribes. 

The Eadui Psalter is one of the more ornate Psalters to survive from pre-Conquest England. It is decorated with three lavish initials in gold framed by colourful borders. At the end of the Psalms is an image of a group of monks presenting a copy of the Rule of St Benedict to the saint. This image may depicts members of Eadwig’s own community, or it might even contain a self-portrait of Eadwig himself.

Multispectral imaging recently has revealed further text on this page. The words Castus (‘Chastity’), Humilis (‘Humility’) and Obediens (‘Obedience’), the three virtues emphasised by the Rule, were written on the three upper gold quatrefoils on St Benedict’s robe.

In addition to the Psalms, this manuscript contains prayers, hymns and other religious songs, as well as a calendar and tables showing how to calculate the date of Easter. The manuscript appears to have been used for a long time at Canterbury, as further material was added to it in the 12th century.

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.

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