E0010 Leaf from a Psalter (Psalterium)

ACC Ege10 recto.jpg
ACC Ege10 verso.jpg


E0010 Leaf from a Psalter (Psalterium)




Germany; Middle 13th Century. Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script.

The line ending of a fish, elongated or shortened as the space required, and the grinning expression of the fish emblem have in some book circles given these German Psalters the nickname "Laughing Carp" Psalters. The fish, as is well known, was one of the earliest and most common symbols for Christ. An early acrostic, IESOUS CHRISTOS THEOU HUIOS SOTER ("Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior"), is based on the letters in the Greek word for fish, ICHTHUS. The lozenge heads on top of many of the vertical pen strokes are characteristic of German manuscripts.

his leaf has slightly yellowed and stained vellum, and is lined in ink. The ink used for the bulk of the text is very dark, but fades into brown in places. Blue, red, coral, orange, and white are used in the decoration, and scribal corrections are included above each line where necessary. The decoration and illumination on this leaf is more elaborate than any of the preceding leaves in the portfolio. The carps and decorative bars are used to complete lines of text that do not reach to the right margin of the page, a common tool to maintain aesthetic of a full page within the borders of the leaf.

Text: Psalms 118:155-64 (recto) and 165-173 (verso).


Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts


Middle 13th century


Item in public domain. Description provided by Dr. Fred Porcheddu-Engel via the Otto F. Ege digital collection. http://ege.denison.edu/denison_leaf_10.php


300 dpi JPEG; 20 x 14 cm




Medieval manuscript leaf


Denison University Leaf 10, Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts


Recto Translation:

[Psalms 118:155-64]

155 Salvation is far from sinners; because they have not sought thy justifications. 156 Many, O Lord, are thy mercies: quicken me according to thy judgment. 157 Many are they that persecute me, and afflict me; but I have not declined from thy testimonies. 158 I beheld the transgressors, and I pined away; because they kept not thy word. 159 Behold I have loved thy commandments, O Lord; quicken me thou in thy mercy. 160 The beginning of thy words is truth: all the judgments of thy justice are for ever. 161 Princes have persecuted me without cause: and my heart hath been in awe of thy words. 162 I will rejoice at thy words, as one that hath found great spoil. 163 I have hated and abhorred iniquity; but I have loved thy law. 164 Seven times a day I have given praise to thee, for the judgments of thy justice.

Verso Translation:

[Psalms 118:165-173]

165 Much peace have they that love thy law, and to them there is no stumbling block. 166 I looked to thy salvation, O Lord: and I loved thy commandments. 167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies: and hath loved them exceedingly. 168 I have kept thy commandments and thy testimonies: because all my ways are in thy sight. 169 Let my supplication, O Lord, come near in thy sight: give me understanding according to thy word. 170 Let my request come in before thee; deliver thou me according to thy word. 171 My lips shall utter a hymn, when thou shalt teach me thy justifications. 172 My tongue shall pronounce thy word: because all thy commandments are justice. 173 Let thy hand be with me to save me; for I have chosen thy precepts.


Recto Transcription: Longe a peccatóribus salus, quia justificatiónes tuas non exquisiérunt.
Misericórdiæ tuæ multæ, Dómine; secúndum judícium tuum vivífica me.
Multi qui persequúntur me, et tríbulant me; a testimóniis tuis non declinávi.
Vidi prævaricántes et tabescébam, quia elóquia tua non custodiérunt.
Vide quóniam mandáta tua diléxi, Dómine: in misericórdia tua vivífica me.
Princípium verbórum tuórum véritas; in ætérnum ómnia judícia justítiæ tuæ.
Príncipes persecúti sunt me gratis, et a verbis tuis formidávit cor meum.
Lætábor ego super elóquia tua, sicut qui invénit spólia multa.
Iniquitátem ódio hábui, et abominátus sum, legem autem tuam diléxi.
Sépties in die laudem dixi tibi, super judícia justítiæ tuæ.

Verso Transcription: Pax multa diligéntibus legem tuam, et non est illis scándalum.
Exspectábam salutáre tuum, Dómine, et mandáta tua diléxi.
Custodívit ánima mea testimónia tua, et diléxit ea veheménter.
Servávi mandáta tua et testimónia tua, quia omnes viæ meæ in conspéctu tuo.
Appropínquet deprecátio mea in conspéctu tuo, Dómine; juxta elóquium tuum da mihi intelléctum.
Intret postulátio mea in conspéctu tuo; secúndum elóquium tuum éripe me.
Eructábunt lábia mea hymnum, cum docúeris me justificatiónes tuas.
Pronuntiábit lingua mea elóquium tuum, quia ómnia mandáta tua ǽquitas.
Fiat manus tua ut salvet me, quóniam mandáta tua elégi.



“E0010 Leaf from a Psalter (Psalterium),” Digital Exhibits | Denison University Archives & Special Collections, accessed April 23, 2019, http://exhibits.denisonarchives.org/items/show/34.