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478
Armenian Psalter(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Armenian Psalter
Codicology:Vellum, 138 x 98 mm(Content authored by Corpus Christi College), (5.4 x 4 in.), ff. 2 + 251 + 2, 17 lines to a page. Cent. xiii?, much of the writing is faint and damaged.
Collation: a2, 18 210-1210 132 1410? (1, 2 canc. ?) 1510-1710 (wants 8) 1810 1910 2012 2110 2210 2312 2410-2610, b2.
Additions:On f. iir-iiv are small erasures.
Additions:On f. iiv (xvi):
Psalterium in lingua et charectere armenica.
Research:It appears from Parker's correspondence (pp. 265, 6, 71) that in 1565 he had sent a 'quayr of straynge carecters' (so the MS. 114, p. 493) to Bishop Davies of St David's to decipher. In a letter of Davies' collaborator William Salesbury (MS 114, p. 491) to Parker there is a postscript:
“προθυστερον. Yit to trouble your grace wth thys piece more τη̑ζ ὑστερολογίαζ. After that my Lord by cwmferryng thies vnacquaynted χαρακτωρ namely in the wordes before tyme extracted cold fynd no consonant agreament, as in իսիո for Sion (meruaylyng to se the same lettre twyse therin) and cold not make of it neither Walsh Englysh Dutche Hebrewe Greke nor Latin his L. gave ouer to bestowe any more tyme theron. (And gave the matter to Salesbury1 to settle: which he could not do.)”
This letter shows (a) that the book in question was Armenian, (b) that it had in it words “extracted before tyme,” by the help of which Davies tried to read it. One of such words was Sion. Now the Psalter before us has, as noted above, many proper names transliterated in the margin, and among these Sion occurs several times. I have no doubt therefore that our book is that which was sent to Bishop Davies.
The identity of the person who succeeded in deciphering the book is worth investigating. It has been thought, on the strength of a fragmentary letter in Trin. B. 14. 52, that W. Lambarde the antiquary had worked at Armenian. The evidence is as follows: on the first leaf of that manuscript are six lines of Latin verse signed W. L. (or W. P.) (forte Wilhelmus Lambarde) says Wanley.
Below this, in a bad xvith cent. hand, is the following (printed with several mistakes in my Catalogue I 460: I have tried to correct the blunders here. See also Wanley, p. 169; Strype, Parker I 533):
“Manye will Bragge of their knowledge and haveinge of Antiquities but the writer of the verses above is the onlye man that ever I cold be acquainted with for the readinge of this boke and other Antiquities, his Calender of the Byble maye apere to your grace but I most humblye beseche you that ye paynfull workes by him gathered after your grace hath perused might not be wraped vpp in obliuion how he hath traveled in the Armenian tongue may apere ... ” 2
The identification of the person here alluded to with W. Lambarde depends on the correctness of the interpretation of the initials W. L. (or P.).
The “Calender of the Byble” mentioned in the letter ought to serve as a clue. There was a Calender of Scripture printed in 1575 (Sayle, Early English Books, no. 968(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)) which is attributed to William Patten by Ames. Tanner includes a Calendar of the Bible among Lambarde's works, but merely on the strength of the documents quoted above, which he had read in Strype. Another piece of evidence seems to point strongly towards Patten as the person here alluded to. In Parker's Register, John Parker adds to the entry of this Armenian Psalter the following words: “8o perg. A testimonie of Antiquities etc. cum alphabet' Armenico per Patten” . Among the printed books given by Parker to the College there is a tract corresponding to this description, of which I will give particulars here.

On the strength of this evidence I claim the position of the first English student of Armenian for William Patten. Plainly the initials in the Trinity manuscript should be read as W. P., not W. L.
Research: Professor Burkitt has kindly supplied the following note on the contents of the MS. It contains:
Pss. 1-17 (Greek, not English numbers).
Exod. xv.
Pss. 18-35.
Deut. xxxii. 1-21.
Pss. 36-54.
Deut. xxxii. 22-43.
Pss. 55-71.
Song of Hannah, I Sam. ii.
Pss. 72-88.
Isa. xxvi. 9-19 (sic).
Pss. 89-105.
Isa. xxxviii. 10-20.
[f. 188r, originally blank, has a note written by one Gregory, not the original scribe of the MS. I think.]
Pss. 106-118.
Isa. xlii. 10-13, xlv. 8.
Jonah ii.
Pss. 119-147 Lauda Ierusalem dominum.
Hab. iii. f. 245r-247v.
Creed 248r.
Prayer of Manasseh 249v-250v.
It agrees in the main with the University Library MS. Dd. 6. 76(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Foliation: ff. a-b + i-ii + 1-227 + 227a + 228-250 + iii-iv + c-d(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Language: Armenian and Latin.(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Contents
1.
1r-250v
Armenian Psalter (Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
1r
rather damaged. Rough ornament at top in blue and yellow
The incipits of the Psalms are added throughout in Latin in the margin by a hand of cent. xvi early. Many Psalms have rough marginal ornaments at their beginnings
21v
After PS. xvii (xviii) Diligam te is a psalm or canticle marked: Non est de psalterio: and one similarly marked closes each division
On f. 24r at the end of this is a scribble in a hand of cent. xv-xvi and (xvi)
24r
Sunt hic octo libri. Et ultimus psalmus in unoquoque libro non est de psalterio
24v
blank
25r
Book II. Celi enarrant
55v
(53v)
blank
56r
Book III. Noli emulari
90v
blank
Proper names are often transliterated in the margin
91r
Book IV. Miserere mei deus
At the end of this book are three full-page (or nearly so) pictures in frames with red and green grounds: yellow, red and green are almost the only colours. They seem to me to be by an European hand and not later than cent. xiii
119v
The Virgin crowned, seated, holding up a small fruit. The Child robed in green on her knee
120r
The Crucifixion with Mary and John. Sun and Moon above
120v
Christ seated in the rainbow, in vesica, with book, blessing. Evangelistic emblems in the spandrels
121r
Book V. Quam bonus israel
155v
blank
156r
Book VI. Domine refugium
156r
blank [there appears to be no blank in this section, or before the next book](Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
187v
(189v)
An obliterated rubric
188v
(189r)
Book VII. Confitemini domino quoniam bonus (CVII)
219v
blank
220r
Book VIII. Ad dominum cum tribularer
Ends f. 250v (251)
Two blank leaves follow (ff. iiir-ivv)(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
1  Salesbury (see D. N. B.) had some reputation as a philologist and was said to know nine languages.
2  Strype Parker I 533 (II 508) quotes the verses and the letter, and adds: “The rest is wanting. The person that writ this I strongly conjecture to be Tho. Wotton Esq., and the worshipful, godly, and truly learned in antiquities and a correspondent and friend of the Archbishop's.”