A Psalter ( psaltery ) is a book ( manuscript or print ) containing either alone or in essence, the biblical Psalms, either in the original Hebrew language or one of the many translations. For example, there is the Middle Persian Psalter from Bulayiq from the eighth century. As is known more precisely, a medieval psaltery, often liturgical text book, which contains the text of the 150 Psalms in Latin.

The arrangement of the Psalms, after the pure psalm text ( psaltery non feriatum ), according to liturgical division of the Divine take place ( psaltery feriatum ) or with inserted texts ( antiphons, hymns). Most also a calendar with the feasts of the saints and prefaces is connected to the Psalms with the psaltery. A Psalter is therefore not limited to the texts of the biblical Book of Psalms. In French, for example psautier denotes not primarily the biblical book of Psalms, but the book of the monks for the Liturgy of the Hours.

The old Latin psalms translations are distinguished according to three versions of the text:

  • Psalterium Gallicanum ( " Gallic Psalter " ): according to the text of the Septuagint ( Greek Old Testament = ) revised Old Latin translation, first in the liturgy of Gaul, then generally used.
  • Psalter Roman ( "Roman Psalter " ): Old Latin, prepared after the Greek Septuagint translation, in Rome and Italy in liturgical use.
  • Psalterium Hebraicum ( " Hebrew Psalter " ): translation of Jerome from the Hebrew, used for scholarly purposes, not in the liturgy.

Psalms Latin translations of the 20th century are:

  • Psalterium Pianum, on behalf of Pope Pius XII. translated by the Pontifical Biblical Institute of the original text into Latin, published in 1945 and subsequently transferred to the liturgical books.
  • Psalter of the Nova Vulgata, 1969/71 at the request of Pope Paul VI. to the original texts revised new version, released in 1979 and included in the Latin liturgical books.

The Psalter in the Middle Ages had a great importance in the religious life as a pious exercise with daily recitation of psalms outside of worship was common to both the clergy and the laity.

Many Psalters were not only made ​​for the clergy, but also as magnificently illuminated manuscripts for nobles.

Significant illuminated Psalter

  • Psalter of Montpellier (Kloster Mondsee, 8th century, late antique)
  • Stuttgart Psalter ( 820-830 )
  • Utrecht Psalter ( 820-835 )
  • Chludow Psalter ( mid- 9th century, Byzantine )
  • St Albans Psalter ( 1130 )
  • Melisende's Psalter ( 1140 )
  • Psalter (c. 1200)
  • Ramsey Psalter ( 1300 )
  • De Lisle Psalter (c. 1310-1340 )