Eadwine the Scribe

Special Collections, Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis University


The Eadwine Psalter

Produced at Christ Church in Canterbury, England, ca. 1155–60, with additions 1160–70
Cambridge, Trinity College Library, MS R.17.1

The Eadwine Psalter (Cambridge, Trinity College Library, MS R.17.1) was written and illustrated ca. 1155–60, with additions 1160–70, and was at this time the most complicated copy of the Utrecht. Its text comprises five different versions of the text of the psalms: all three of the Latin versions—the Gallicanum, the Romanum, and the Hebraicum—as well as an Old-English version interlined with the Romanum, and an Anglo-Norman version with the Hebraicum. In addition, each psalm is accompanied by a prologue and a collect. The artists executed the drawings and other decoration in colored inks and washes, to a much greater extent than in the Harley.

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Thumbnail image from the Eadwine Psalter

Open to fols. 62v–63r, at the beginning of Psalm 36, Noli emulari (“Do not emulate evildoers”). Among the examples of word illustration: at mid ground left, a man falling on his sword and another being run through (“pierced by their own swords,” “drawing his sword”); at upper right four men seated around a table eating (“in the days of dearth they shall have enough”). Below center, two men with scythes and another plowing (“the righteous who possess the land”).

Thumbnail image from the Eadwine PsalterImage of fol. 283v, depicting the scribe Eadwine, for whom the Psalter is named, working at his desk.


Thumbnail image from the Eadwine PsalterDetail of fol. 201v, illustrating Psalm 111.


Thumbnail image from the Eadwine PsalterDetail of fol. 279r, illustrating the Apostles' Creed.


Thumbnail image from the Eadwine PsalterOpen to fols. 284v–285r, depicting the waterworks of the Priory and Christ Church Cathedral in Canterbury.


Facsimile: The Canterbury Psalter: With Introduction by M.R. James  (London: P. Lund, Humphries & Co., Ltd., 1935)