Cambridge, St John’s College, MS C 9 Southampton Psalter

  • Latin, Irish
  • s. x/xiin
  • Irish manuscripts
  • vellum
Gallican Psalter, and some canticles and prayers. It is accompanied by glosses in Latin and Irish.
C 9
Southampton Psalter
(Psalterium Suthantoniense)
psalters prayers and hymns
Provenance and related aspects
Latin Secondary: Irish
s. x/xiin
10th or early 11th century
Hands, scribes
Codicological information
The list below has been collated from the table of contents, if available on this page,Progress in this area is being made piecemeal. Full and partial tables of contents are available for a small number of manuscripts. and incoming annotations for individual texts (again, if available).Whenever catalogue entries about texts are annotated with information about particular manuscript witnesses, these manuscripts can be queried for the texts that are linked to them.


Primary sources This section typically includes references to diplomatic editions, facsimiles and photographic reproductions, notably digital image archives, of at least a major portion of the manuscript. For editions of individual texts, see their separate entries.

[dig. img.] Cambridge Digital Library, Online: University of Cambridge, 2011–present. URL: <>.
[ed.] Ó Néill, Pádraig, Exegetica: Psalterium Suthantoniense, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis, 240, Turnhout: Brepols, 2012.  
The so-called ‘Southampton Psalter’ (now housed at Cambridge, St John’s College, MS C. 9) was copied and decorated in Ireland in the late tenth or early eleventh century. It contains a full text of the Psalms (in the Gallican version), selected Canticles and prayers, as well as numerous accompanying glosses, mainly in Latin with some in Irish. The glosses, which appear to have been composed around the mid-ninth century, are quite unique both as a collection and (in an Irish context) for their allegorical (rather than historical) approach to interpreting the Psalms. Although they bear witness to dependence on certain Hiberno-Latin Psalter commentaries, their primary source is an anonymous commentary from southern Gaul composed in the early seventh century, the Glosa Psalmorum ex traditione seniorum. The present edition is the first one of this codex unicus whose glosses shed new light on Psalter exegesis in early medieval Ireland.
(source: Brepols)

Secondary sources (select)

Duncan, E., The Southampton Psalter: a palaeographical and codicological exploration, Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Manuscript Studies, 4, Cambridge: Department of ASNC, 2004.
Alexander, Jonathan J. G., A survey of manuscripts illuminated in the British Isles, vol. 1: Insular manuscripts, 6th-9th century, London: Miller, 1978.
88 (no. 74) + plates 350–353
Gneuss, Helmut, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts: a list of manuscripts and manuscript fragments written or owned in England up to 1100, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 241, Tempe, Arizona: Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001.
[id. 148.]
James, Montague Rhodes, A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the library of St John’s College, Cambridge, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913.
St John's College, Cambridge – transcriptions with updated information: <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
April 2011, last updated: March 2023