Edited by Orietta Da Rold, Takako Kato, Mary Swan and Elaine Treharne

(University of Leicester, 2010; last update 2013)

http://www.le.ac.uk/ee/em1060to1220, ISBN 095323195X

The Production and Use of English Manuscripts 1060 to 1220

Elaine Treharne

Cambridge, Trinity College, R. 17. 1

Cambridge, Trinity College, R. 17. 1

The Production and Use of English Manuscripts: 1060 to 1220

© 2010-13 The Production and Use of

English Manuscripts 1060 to 1220 |

Ed. by ODR, TK, MS & ET, ISBN 095323195X |

Back to List of MSS and Descriptions

Eadwine Psalter

Date: s. xiimed, perhaps c. 1160.


The Eadwine Psalter is a trilingual, glossed psalterium triplex made in Christ Church, Canterbury, in the mid-twelfth century. It contains a calendar, triple Metrical Psalms 90:15-95:2, canticles, two continuous commentaries, two prognostications, a marginal image of Halley's Comet (recorded in 1147), a diagrammatic representation of Christ Church's waterworks, and a full page visual memorialisation of Eadwine. The psalms (except Ps. 151) are in Hebrew with French glosses, the Roman version with Old English glosses, and the Gallican version in parallel columns. At least 13 scribes appear to have been employed in the construction of this manuscript. Many of these scribes are part of a cohesive programme of matched, or near-matched, hands, making some sections difficult to attribute to one particular scribe; the Old English gloss on Psalms 26-77, for example, is ascribed to one glossator - OE1 (Webber 19). Examples of the similarities in hands are explained in Teresa Webber's article in Gibson 1992.

It is clear that the Latin gloss and commentary is derived from the Glossa Ordinaria, which was 'in the main stream of contemporary scholarship' (Gibson 1992, p. 109), but the question of sources for the Old English and Anglo-Norman glosses is still unresolved; both sets have multiple erasures and overwritings, illustrating that these are careful, dynamic and functional translations. One might note, for example, the very significant number of corrections made by Webber's scribes OE2 and OE4, and the 'sporadic changes of sources' in the vernacular text (O'Neill 1988, p. 124). Lastly, the possible exemplar used for the Anglo-Norman gloss was a corrupt manuscript which was then corrected, further expanding the corruptness (Markey 1989, p. 150). This is only one hypothesis of two expressed by Markey. Neither of these hypotheses has been fully proved, so further study in this is needed. It is extraordinary that so little work has been done on this exceptional manuscript, despite the excellent foundational work in Gibson 1992.

Manuscript Items:

  1. Item: fols 6r-262r

      Title (C.7.3): Gloss to Psalms

      Incipit: (6rb) Æði | se were | þe ne eode | on ðere rede v(el) þæhte | arleasre

      Explicit: (262rb) eælle | gæst hergæd drihten

      Text Language: The Roman version is glossed in Old English.

      Date: s. xiimed


  2. Item: fols 262v-281r

      Title (C.11.2): Gloss to Canticles of the Psalter

      Incipit: (262v) Ic andette | ðe drihten

      Explicit: (281rb) ne meagan heo | hi borhgen beon

      Date: s. xiimed


Physical Description:

Object Description:

Form: Codex

Support: Very large codex; each opening is the equivalent of one whole skin. Membrane probably vellum. In generally excellent condition. Numerous careful repairs.


Foliation and/or Pagination:

Three sequences of foliation: top right hand corner is modern, with two earlier foliations visible throughout.



Membrane is generally in excellent condition. Numerous careful repairs.

Layout description:

Hand description:

Binding Description:


Additional Information:

Administration Information: