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109: Washington Manuscript II - The Psalms (Codex Washingtonensis)

Washington Manuscript II - The Psalms (Codex Washingtonensis)

Historical period(s)
early 5th century
Ink on parchment
H x W: 35.5 x 28 cm (14 x 11 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Charles Lang Freer purchased this codex in 1906, along with the manuscript of Deuteronomy and Joshua (F1906.272). The Psalms manuscript is almost wholly lacking in punctuation, but the nomina sacra (sacred names) are regularly abbreviated, as was customary in Jewish and Early Christian manuscripts. At some point the last part, Psalm 142:8 to Psalm 151, was lost and subsequently, perhaps in the eighth century, replaced with part of another manuscript.

To 1906
Ali Arabi, Giza, Egypt, to 1906 [1]

From 1906 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Ali Arabi in Giza, Egypt, on December 19, 1906 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, Biblical Mss. Section, S.I. 1466, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Ali Arabi (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Christianity, Egypt, Old Testament
Collection(s) Area
Biblical Manuscripts
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

We are excited to reopen the Freer on October 7, 2017, following a renovation to allow us to better present our art and serve our visitors.
The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.