Glosses in the Southampton Psalter (Cambridge, St John's College, MS C 9)

  • Latin
  • Irish glosses
Interlinear and marginal glosses to a Gallican Psalter
  • Latin
  • Secondary language(s): Late Old Irish
  • Most of the glosses are in Latin, some in late Old Irish.


Irish glossesIrish glosses

Irish glossesIrish glosses


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[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)
An edition of the full text of the Psalter, including all Latin glosses that previously remained unedited.
Irish glosses
Stokes, Whitley, and John Strachan [eds.], Thesaurus palaeohibernicus: a collection of Old-Irish glosses, scholia, prose, and verse, 3 vols, vol. 1: Biblical glosses and scholia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1901.  
comments: The first volume of Thesaurus palaeohibernicus covers glosses and scholia on the Old and New Testament. Reprinted by DIAS in 1975.
Internet Archive – vol. 1: <link>
4–6, xiv Lacks three glosses edited by Ó Néill.
Ó Néill, Pádraig P., “Some remarks on the edition of the Southampton Psalter Irish glosses in Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus, with further addenda and corrigenda”, Ériu 44 (1993): 99–103.
Latin glosses
Ramsay, R. L., “Theodore of Mopsuestia in England and Ireland”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 8 (1912): 452–497.
Internet Archive: <link>
471–474 direct link

Secondary sources (select)

McNamara, Martin, “Psalter text and Psalter study in the early Irish Church (A.D. 600-1200)”, in: Martin McNamara, The Psalms in the early Irish Church, 165, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000. 19–142.  
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
September 2011, last updated: January 2024