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Corpus Christi College : Greek Psalter

Corpus Christi College

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This <i>Greek Psalter</i>, probably copied in the first half of the 12th century, arrived in England at a very early date, receiving Latin annotations in the 13th century. As was very commonly the case, the Psalms are followed by the Odes, the sequence of hymns excerpted from various Biblical books, also known as canticles, which in the Orthodox tradition constitute a separate book of the Bible. More unusually, this content is followed by a series of other brief Christian texts: the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord's Prayer and the Nicene Creed, which was copied twice. There are also assorted hymns and prayers.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript has been annotated by a variety of Latin hands of an English style, the earliest of which can be dated stylistically to the 13th century. These are believed to indicate that it had been acquired by the English scholar Robert Grosseteste (1175-1253), Bishop of Lincoln, a scholar of Greek at a time when the language was not generally studied in western Europe, or by a member of his circle, though none of the notes are in his hand.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In the mid-15th century the manuscript was marked in Greek letters with the name of John Farley, who served as scribe or registrar of Oxford University in 1458-1464. In the 16th century it became part of the large manuscript collection of the Archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker (1504-1575), who probably acquired it in Canterbury, since he erroneously identified it, along with other Greek manuscripts in his possession, as having been brought to England by his distant predecessor Theodore of Tarsus (602-690).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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