London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius C. vi "Tiberius Psalter"

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Phillip Pulsiano


233. London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius C. vi

"Tiberius Psalter"

[Ker 199, Gneuss 378]

HISTORY: Nothing is known about the provenance or peregrinations of this psalter. Ker ( Cat., 262) dates the manuscript to s. xi med., Sisam (1959: 59) to the period 1050-1075. Homburger (1912) identifies the ornamentation in the psalter as being of Winchester origin. This evi­ dence, in addition to the textual evidence supplied by the division of Psalm 77 at verse 40, found in three other Winchester manuscripts (British Library, Harley 2904, British Library, Cotton Vitellius E. xviii, and British Library, Arundel 60) and a comparison of the calendars in Arundel 60 and Vitellius E. xviii, bring the Sisams (1959: 5, 59 and note 3) to suggest the psalter was produced at the Old Minster. Bishop (1971: 23) also assigns the manuscript to the Old Minster on the basis of the similarity of the hand to the "Ethelred Troper" (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 775).

CODICOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION: Leaves measure ca. 230 x 145 mm.; written space ca. 215 x 110 mm. Ruled for twenty-five lines, with double bounding lines, but not ruled for an interlinear gloss. Leaves are arranged HFHF. Shrinkage and cracking visible especially in the begin­ ning and ending folios. Full-page illustrations and ornamented display lines occur at ff. 19v (full-page), 30v (full-page), 31r (Ps. 1), 71v (full­ page), 72r (Ps. 51), 114v (full-page), l15r (Ps. 101), 126v (half-page), and 127r (Ps. 109), with minor divisions indicated by elaborate initials at ff. 48v (Ps. 26), 60r (Ps. 38), 73r (Ps. 52), 85r (Ps. 68), 98v (Ps. 80),

and 112r (Ps. 97). Colors are green, blue, red, yellow, and purple. Many letters originally in green ink have "burned through," leaving only an outline or a partial letter visible. Psalter collects follow each psalm, with psalm-titles in red. The name "Thomas Cotton" is written in the lower margin of f. 2r. Five unnumbered leaves at the beginning of the codex, the first four of modern paper, the fifth of vellum, with the shelfmark on the recto. F. 1 contains the Cottonian table of contents (two lines) on the recto. Eight modern flyleaves are included at the end of the codex. Unnumbered blank paper leaves have been inserted after ff. 18v, 30v, and 71v to protect the illustrations.

COLLATION: As a result of the Cotton fire of. 1731, leaves are mount­ ed individually in paper frames, thus making collation undeterminable. Late signatures in the lower margins (A [f. 2r], E-G [ff. 37r, 47r, 58r], I-P [ff. 72r, 80r, 88r, 96r, 104r, 112r, 121r]) show that quires comprising the psalter proper were likely originally in eights (beginning at f 31r), possibly with two quires of eight and two of six comprising the prefatory matter of ff. 1-30. Several quires are wanting from the end, as the psalms break off at f. 129v.

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