Chludov Psalter
Moscow, Historical Museum MS 129
Byzantine, 9th century


3r David fleeing from Absalom's army, according to the title of Psalm 3




6r Sleeping guards at the sepulcre, Psalm 7, verse 7




10r The wicked bend their bow. Psalm 10: 1-2.




Roman custom of proclamation of emperor on the shield. King Hezekiah.
Psalm 23, verses 9 - 10


Resurrection. The empty tomb and the sleeping guards
Psalm 30, verses 6 - 7


44r Martyrs. David prophecies about the resurrection of Christ.
St. George tortured on the wheel. The Annunciation.
Psalm 43, verses 12, 23, 24, 27. Psalm 44, verse 1.


Crucifixion
Psalm 45, verse 7


56r Attack on a fortress, Psalm 50, verses 3 and 16




City of Jerusalem, left of the stairs is King David, to right the queen - the personification of Zion.
Doeg the Edomite, telling King Saul about David.
Psalm 50, verse 20. Psalm 51.


David as a boy, kneeling
Two Ziphites before King Saul
Psalm 53: 3


Arrest of David / Betrayal
Psalm 55, verse 3


58r Byzantine cavalry and burning houses, Psalm 59




Archers shooting at Constantinus I Magnus
Psalm 59, verse 6


60r David and soldiers portrayed as Byzantine.
Psalm 62, verse 1, A Psalm of David; verse 2


62r Crucifixion. Psalm 68, verse 2
Iconoclasts Ioannes Grammatikos and Bishop Antonios of Pamphylia in the foreground.


Psalm 68, verses 28, 29
Sepulchre guards bribed by the chief priests


78v Jews worship the idol on the top of the mountain. Pagans attack the Jews.
The victorious pagans take Jews into captivity. King David, the prophecy of the resurrection.
Psalm 77, verses 58, 60, 61, 65


79r Psalms 77 & 78. Madonna with the infant Christ in the temple on the mountain top.
The prophet Samuel anoints David king while grazing herds.
Before Jerusalem sits king Antiochus Epiphanes watches the defeat of the Maccabean brothers.


92r Massacre of the Innocents. Flight to Egypt.
Psalm 90, verse 7


Saint Eustace's vision of the image of Christ between the antlers




Adoration of Baal-Peor.
Phinehas, spearing Zimri and Cozbi.
Sacrifice of children to the demon. Psalm 105, verses 28, 29, 30, 37

110r After children are murdered, heathen cavalry conquer.
Psalm 105, verses 38, 40, 41


Death of Absalom, Psalm 142, verses 1 - 2




David fights Goliath
Psalm 143, verse 1


158r David beheads Goliath
Psalm 151 (1 Samuel 17)


The song of the three youths, with Daniel in Babylon (Daniel 3, 49-50)



Pictures Source: Chludovský žaltár
Many Psalm numbers in the Septuagint are one number lower than the same Psalm based on the mazoretic text.



Chludov Psalter (Moscow, Hist. Mus. MS. D.129) is an illuminated marginal Psalter made in the middle of the 9th Century. It is a unique monument of Byzantine art at the time of the Iconoclasm, one of only three illuminated Byzantine Psalters to survive from the 9th century.

According to one tradition, the miniatures are supposed to have been created clandestinely, and many of them are directed against Iconoclasts. Many contain explanations of the drawings written next to them, and little arrows point out from the main text to the illustration, to show which line the picture refers to. The polemical style of the whole ensemble is highly unusual, and a demonstration of the furious passions the Iconoclast dispute generated.

The psalter measures 195 mm by 150 mm and contains only 169 folios. The outer edges of the pages are normally left blank in order to be covered with illustrations. The text and captions were written in a diminutive uncial script, but many of these were rewritten in crude minuscule about three centuries later. The book contains the Psalms in the arrangement of the Septuagint, and the responses to be chanted during their recitation, which follow the Liturgy of Hagia Sophia, the Imperial church in Constantinople.



See also Mount Athos Psalter, MS. Pantocrator 61, Byzantine, first half of the 9th century
Byzantine Infantry on The Rome or David Casket, Byzantine, 898 or 900AD
Other Illustrations of Byzantine Costume & Soldiers
9th century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers




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