The Book of Psalms was translated into French in the first half of the twelfth century. It became one of the most popular French texts to be copied in England before 1200. A version in verse in the Anglo-Norman dialect is found in this modest book, dated to the end of the period. Given its size, it seems likely that the book was probably made to be used for personal devotion.
The French couplets are accompanied by the corresponding text in Latin, written in red in the margins. This, together with the red and green initials, could help the reader to find his place in the less-familiar French text. At the same time the Latin phrases invoke the authority of the Vulgate or Latin Bible.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Full title:
- French Psalter composed in verse
- 4th quarter of the 12th century–1st quarter of the 13th century, England or France
- Latin / Anglo Norman
- Usage terms
Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.
- Held by
- British Library
- Harley MS 4070
- Article by:
- Hannah Morcos
- History and learning
Hannah Morcos looks at how the vernacular of northern France evolved from a regional spoken language to a cross-European written medium between the 8th and 12th centuries.