The book is adorned with over 100 intricate miniatures illustrating the text. They are in the form of coloured line drawings which are unfortunately a bit fiddly and detailed to show very well on a computer screen, although this beautiful colour reproduction downloaded from the British Library website is an extraordinary improvement on the old black and white image we used to have here. It illustrates the following Psalm in which David praises the Lord for helping him clobber his enemies. Without getting too complicated about it, David calls upon God, who comes in riding on a cherub (two in the illustration) creating an earthquake and pouring smoke and fire on the enemies, not to mention showering them with arrows. Not sure about the flock of deer on a hill, but the King James version reads "He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places." and also "He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms." and "Thou hast given me the shield of my salvation." I guess you can find all those references. Meanwhile, back to the paleography.
The Harley Psalter, 11th century (British Library, Harley 603, f.9r). All images by permission of the British Library. These images have been made available by the British Library through a Creative Commons licence.

| overview | miniature | text | alphabet | abbreviations | exercises |

| transcript | translation |

Click on each of the above to walk your way through some blocks of text. The transcript will appear in a separate window so that you can use it for reference at any time. These exercises are designed to guide you through the text, not test you, so you can cheat as much as you like.
Medieval Writing
Script sample for this example
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

If you are looking at this page without frames, there is more information about medieval writing to be found by going to the home page (framed) or the site map (no frames).
This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 30/5/2014.