Thursday, October 7, 2010

12th Century Trilingual Psalter

On the website of the British Library they've posted images of a Psalter dated to 1153 written in parallel Greek, Latin, and Arabic. The Arabic translation of the Psalms is that of Abdallah ibn al-Fadl al-Antaki, the famous 11th century deacon and translator from Antioch. You can turn to all the pages and zoom in. Take a look, it's beautiful.


In St. Petersburg they've recently published a two-volume facsimile and study of a 17th century illuminated Arabic Psalter based on Abdallah ibn al-Fadl's translation. I'll get around to writing a review of that at some point.....


Samn! said...


My guess is that it came from Sicily, where during the 12th century there were both Latin and Greek Christian communities, the latter of which largely spoke Arabic.

Unknown said...

Recently in Ireland an ancient Psalter was discovered. The document had a leather cover which was well preserved. The leather cover was lined with papyrus. It is a long held belief in Ireland that the ancient Irish church had direct contact with the Middle East. The Psalter is called the “Fadden More Psalter” named after the location where it was found buried in the ground. It dates from the 8th century.

David said...

Does the Abdallah ibn al-Fadl translation of the Greek Psalter contain the troparia following each kathisma that are typically found in older Greek printed editions and most Church Slavonic editions of the Psalter?

David James

Samn! said...

The early Arabic translations of the Psalter, both Abdallah ibn al-Fadl's and the earlier one that he revised, contain the odes that go with the Psalms in Orthodox practice. Though I'm not sure if all manuscripts include them.