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The Oldest Datings of the Utrecht Psalter

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Rudimentary Palaeography in the Early Seventeenth Century

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In the 1620s two attempts were made to date the Utrecht Psalter (c.830, in or around Reims): by its owner Robert Cotton and by the theologian James Ussher. Their results offer an insight into how a collector and a scholar practised palaeography before this became a modern study in the decades around 1700. The Utrecht Psalter, as well as the Cotton Genesis and other manuscripts, were dated in relation to their script, decoration and content. This case study underlines that the history of palaeography and codicology before Mabillon and Montfaucon is worth studying, not only in its own right, but also with regard to the development of humanism and its scholarly networks.

Affiliations: 1: University of UtrechtNetherlands


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