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Walters Ms. W.78, Psalter

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This psalter was produced in a monastery in the Diocese of Augsburg in the mid thirteenth century, as shown by entries in the calendar and litany. The decoration includes six full-page miniatures, ten historiated initials, and seasonal and zodiac roundels for each month. Related manuscripts include New York, New York Public Library Ms. Spencer 11 and Augsburg, Augsburg University Library Ms. 1.2.qu.19. The text has been supplied with marginal notes throughout in Latin and German, and a fourteenth-century deed discussing property of the Bazth and Ladon families has been included as a flyleaf.


Mid 13th century CE


Augsburg, Germany






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Thick parchment


Foliation: ii+154+i


Formula: ii, 1(2), 2(6), 3-12(8), 13(6), 14(8), 15(6), 17-20(8), 21(6), i

Catchwords: None

Signatures: Fifteenth-century numbers in the middle of the bottom margin of the last leaf of each quire (except quire 1)

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 3(2), 9(3), 17(4), 25(5), 33(6), 41(7), 49(8), 57(9), 65(10), 73(11), 81(12), 89(13), 95(14), 103(15), 109(16), 117(17), 125(18), 133(19), 141(20), 149(21)


15.8 cm wide by 22.7 cm high

Written surface

10.8 cm wide by 17.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 20

fols. 1r - 154r:
  1. Title: Psalter
  2. Hand note: Written in early Gothic bookhand
  3. Decoration note: Prefatory cycle with four full-page miniatures; two full-page miniatures in the Psalter proper; calendar with seasonal and zodiac roundels for each month; ten historiated initials (10-20 lines); gold initials with red and blue pen flourishes for each psalm; small gold letters beginning each sentence throughout; rubrics in red; text in black ink
fols. 1r - 2v:
  1. Title: Prefatory cycle
  2. Decoration note: Full-page miniatures on fols. 1r-2v
fols. 3r - 8v:
  1. Title: Calendar
  2. Rubric: Januarius habet dies xxxi luna xxx
  3. Contents: Calendar, about 7/8 filled, graded in red and black; Egyptian dates noted with "DE"; contents specific to southern Germany (Augsburg in particular), including Georgius (April 24, specific to Augsburg), feast of church dedication to St. Mary (September 28), St. Othmar (November 16), and St. Afra (August 7); many later additions and necrologies
  4. Decoration note: Seasonal and zodiac roundels for each month
fols. 9r - 138r:
  1. Title: Psalter
  2. Rubric: Psalterium per David
  3. Incipit: Beatus vir
  4. Contents: Liturgical Psalter with three-partite division at psalms 1, 51, and 101, as well as eight-partite division at psalms (1), 26, 38, 52, 68, 80, 97, and 109
  5. Decoration note: Full-page miniatures on fols. 53v and 97v; historiated initials on fols. 9r, 29r, 41v, 54r, 55r, 67r, 82r, 95v, 98r, and 110v
fols. 138r - 147r:
  1. Title: Canticles
  2. Incipit: Confitebor tibi
  3. Contents: Includes biblical canticles, Pater Noster, Apostles' Creed, Te Deum, and Quicumque Vult
fols. 150v - 153r:
  1. Title: Litany
  2. Incipit: Kirie eleison
  3. Contents: Twenty-three martyrs including Georgius and Vitus; seventeen confessors including Udalricus, Othmar, Francis, and St. Simpertus, bishop of Augsburg; thirty-four virgins including Tecla, Afra, Walpurgis, Crescentia, and Cordula
fols. 153r - 154r:
  1. Title: Collects
  2. Rubric: Preces
  3. Contents: Ego dixi domine miserere mei...; Concede Quesumus ominpotens Deus...; Omnipotens et misericors Deus respicere...; Ominpotens sempiterne Deus qui caelestia...; Omnipotens mitissime Deus qui sicienti...; Pretende nos fidelibus tuis...; Opitulare Deus in opibus...


fol. 1r:

  1. W.78, fol. 1r
  2. Title: Annunciation
  3. Form: Full-page miniature

fol. 1v:

  1. W.78, fol. 1v
  2. Title: Adoration of the Magi
  3. Form: Full-page miniature

fol. 2r:

  1. W.78, fol. 2r
  2. Title: Death of the Virgin
  3. Form: Full-page miniature

fol. 2v:

  1. W.78, fol. 2v
  2. Title: Crucifixion with Mary and John
  3. Form: Full-page miniature

fol. 3r:

  1. W.78, fol. 3r
  2. Title: January calendar with lion and Aquarius in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 3v:

  1. W.78, fol. 3v
  2. Title: February calendar with griffin(?) and Pisces in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 4r:

  1. W.78, fol. 4r
  2. Title: March calendar with swan and Aries in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 4v:

  1. W.78, fol. 4v
  2. Title: April calendar with plant and Taurus in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 5r:

  1. W.78, fol. 5r
  2. Title: May calendar with man wearing a wreath and Gemini in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 5v:

  1. W.78, fol. 5v
  2. Title: June calendar with man with a scythe and Cancer in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 6r:

  1. W.78, fol. 6r
  2. Title: July calendar with woman with a sickle and Leo in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 6v:

  1. W.78, fol. 6v
  2. Title: August calendar with tonsured man and Virgo in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 7r:

  1. W.78, fol. 7r
  2. Title: September calendar with winepress and Libra in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 7v:

  1. W.78, fol. 7v
  2. Title: October calendar with bunch of grapes and Scorpio in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 8r:

  1. W.78, fol. 8r
  2. Title: November calendar with goose and Sagittarius in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 8v:

  1. W.78, fol. 8v
  2. Title: December calendar with hog and Capricorn in roundels
  3. Form: Roundels

fol. 9r:

  1. W.78, fol. 9r
  2. Title: Initial "B" with David harping and enthroned
  3. Form: Historiated initial "B," 18 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 1

fol. 29r:

  1. W.78, fol. 29r
  2. Title: Initial "D" with King Oswald
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 12 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 26

fol. 41v:

  1. W.78, fol. 41v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with Mary Magdalene
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 10 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 38

fol. 53v:

  1. W.78, fol. 53v
  2. Title: Ascension
  3. Form: Full-page miniature

fol. 54r:

  1. W.78, fol. 54r
  2. Title: Initial "Q" with St. Michael slaying a dragon
  3. Form: Full-page historiated initial "Q"
  4. Text: Psalm 51

fol. 55r:

  1. W.78, fol. 55r
  2. Title: Initial "D" with man holding a sword and cup
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 16 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 52

fol. 67r:

  1. W.78, fol. 67r
  2. Title: Initial "S" with dragon
  3. Form: Historiated initial "S," 12 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 68

fol. 82r:

  1. W.78, fol. 82r
  2. Title: Decorated initial "E"
  3. Form: Decorated initial "E," 10 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 80

fol. 95v:

  1. W.78, fol. 95v
  2. Title: Initial "C" with David playing the bells
  3. Form: Historiated initial "C," 10 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 97

fol. 97v:

  1. W.78, fol. 97v
  2. Title: Last Judgment
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Psalm 101

fol. 98r:

  1. W.78, fol. 98r
  2. Title: Initial "D" with SS. Elizabeth and Catherine
  3. Form: Full-page historiated initial "D"
  4. Text: Psalm 101

fol. 110v:

  1. W.78, fol. 110v
  2. Title: Initial "D" with St. Cesarius of Terracina
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 10 lines
  4. Text: Psalm 109


The binding is not original.

Ca. 1900; purple velvet over millboard; sewn on five thin recessed cords; blind-tooled with an ivy leaf rolled border and a three-line roll formed into a saltire


Monastery in the Diocese of Augsburg, mid-thirteenth century (calendar and litany)

Bénigne-Charles Févret de Saint-Mémin (1770-1852) (bookplate, front pastedown)

Kupitsch, Vienna, sale 1840 (inscription, fol. 1r)

Professor Victor Goldschmidt, Heidelberg (d. 1927)

Henry Walters, Baltimore, obtained from Léon Gruel before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 769, no. 78.

Swarzenski, Hanns. Die Lateinischen Illuminierten Handschriften des XIII. Jahrhunderts in den Ländern an Rhein, Main und Donau. Berlin: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1936, p. 60, no. 1, fig. 746.

Dayton Art Institute. Flight, Fantasy, Faith, Fact: A Loan Exhibition Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Powered Flight, 1903-1953. Dayton, OH: Dayton Art Institute, 1953, p. 14, no. 84.

Jeauneau, Édouard. "Un 'dossier' carolingien sur la création de l'homme, Génèse I,26-III,24." Revue des Études Augustiniennes 28 (1982): 114.


Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; Klemm, Elizabeth; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.