Palimpsests – University of Copenhagen

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'Bæll er sá maðr' - the first word's initial wasn't erased and the correct translation would have been 'Sæll' - 'holy' and not 'Bæll'.

Palimpsests

The word palimpsest comes from the Latin word palimpsestus, which itself comes from Greek palimpsēstos (παλίμψηστος), literally 'scraped again'. A palimpsest is a manuscript where the original text has been erased in order to write a new text, sometimes several times. However, remains of the original text are often still visible, which in classical manuscripts has made it possible to discover old, lost texts.

AM 618 4to. The Psalms of David in Latin and Icelandic from the 12th and 16th centuries respectively

The original manuscript was written in the 12th century and contained the Psalms of David in two languages: Latin and Old French. The French text in the right columns were erased in order to make room for an Icelandic translation of the Latin text in the left columns. Click on the picture to turn the pages in the manuscript.