Anglo-Saxon Costume & Soldiers in

The Tiberius Psalter. England (Winchester), c.1050.
British Library Cotton ms Tiberius C VI



The Tiberius Psalter, an eleventh-century manuscript made at Winchester shortly before the Norman Conquest, was damaged in a fire in 1731 at Ashburnham House. Fortunately, its important series of tinted line-drawings were not destroyed.

This Psalter is justly famous for its 24 vibrant drawings in coloured outline depicting episodes from the lives of both Christ and King David. The Tiberius Psalter from eleventh-century Winchester, demonstrating a late Anglo-Saxon style where vibrancy is achieved through vivid drawing rather than use of colour.

Cotton Collection
Sir Robert Cotton (1571-1631) gathered a remarkable collection of manuscripts, especially rich in historical, devotional and literary material of British interest. Cotton manuscripts bear distinctive shelfmarks, which reflect the organisation of Cotton’s own library. He had fourteen cases, each surmounted by the bust of a Roman emperor or imperial lady (e.g., Nero, Tiberius, Cleopatra). The shelves of each case were assigned a letter, and every volume on a shelf a Roman numeral.



A Late Saxon Fyrdman by Ian Heath based on the Tiberius Psalter
Other Illustrations of 11th century Costume & Soldiers