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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Commentary on the Psalms

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, probably produced in the mid-17th century, contains part of a <i>Commentary on the Psalms</i>. The authorship of this commentary is not definitely established, but is generally attributed to the 5th-century priest Hesychios of Jerusalem. This work is the longest of three commentaries on the Psalms attributed to Hesychios, and has also commonly been erroneously attributed to John Chrysostom. Its content is most frequently attested in excerpts appearing in <i>catenae</i> and attributed to an undifferentiated "Hesychios". Manuscripts in which it appear as continuous text each contain only a portion of the work.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The portion found here, comprising the commentaries to Psalms 77-107 and 118, survives in only one medieval copy, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Roe 13, dating to 1284/5, from which this was copied. In the Bodleian manuscript, the individual Psalm commentaries of Hesychios are interspersed with those of John Chrysostom on Psalms 108-117 and 119-150 to create a continuous sequence, but here those of Hesychios have been singled out.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>A number of supporting materials have subsequently been appended to the main text on additional folios, including a prologue to the Psalms, also by Hesychios and copied from another Oxford manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Auct. D.4.1), a Latin translation of the Psalms covered in the commentary, some line-by-line comments and notes on other Biblical texts.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript was owned by classical scholar Meric Casaubon, son of Isaac, and was bought for the University Library in the sale of his effects after his death in 1671. It is thus connected with a second manuscript of this text in the Library, MS Ff.3.2, which was also copied from the same exemplar, also owned by Casaubon and acquired by the Library at the same time. Among the additional materials are notes by Casaubon (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(5);return false;'>i recto</a>) in which he attributes the commentary to Hesychius, and copies a note on its authorship by Augustine Lindsell, previous owner of the other copy.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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