Five Irish psalter texts

Five Irish psalter texts

By Martin McNamara

Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 109C (2009)

Abstract: In 1973 the present writer published an essay on the psalms in the early Irish Church (from AD 600 to 1200). In this he reviewed the material available for a study of the subject and gave a more detailed examination of some of the texts. The present work intends to supplement the 1973 essay. It concentrates on three central topics: (1) the full collation of a hitherto unstudied text, the fragments of an Irish Hebraicum Psalter in MS. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) fr. 2452 (tenth century), fols 75–84, which on analysis is revealed as an early representative of the typical Irish recension of the Hebraicum (AKI—the sigla for the psalter text of the three MSS Amiatinus, Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana Amiatino I; Karlsruhe, Landesbibliothek Augienis XXXVIII; Rouen, Bibliothèque municipale 24 [A. 41]); (2) a more detailed examination of the Psalter of Cormac (thirteenth century); and (3) of the so-called Psalter of Caimin (c. 1100). With these, two comments on two other psalters are also given (that in the ‘Reference Bible’ and the Double Psalter of St-Ouen) while a preliminary section treats of texts having a bearing on the understanding of the psalter in Ireland (the Tituli psalmorum attributed to Bede; psalm prologues and biblical canticles and psalm prayers).

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