ISOS logo

MS 17

Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in King's Inns

MS 17


15th cent. Vellum. 31.5×24 cms approx. Ff. 32 with modern pencilled foliation; traces of older numbering faintly discernible in 1-10 (formerly 1-8, 10, 9, the correct sequence) and 11-12 (formerly 13-14 ?). The volume consists of three separate fragments: (a) ff. 1-10; (b) ff. 11-12; (c) ff. 13-32; f. 10 should precede f. 9; chasm after f. 16. As now bound fragment (c) has four gatherings, 13-16, 17-18 (bifolium), 19-22, 23-30, but this is due to the misplacement of some leaves. Original gatherings appear to survive as follows: (1) 1-8, with 9 and 10 (single leaves) part of another gathering, (2); (3) 11-12 (bifolium); (4) 13-16; (5) 17, 25-30, 18; (6) 23-4, 19-22, 31-2; staining on f. 18 v probably indicates that gathering (5) was on the outside at one time; the sequence of gatherings in fragment (c) is not quite clear due to the fact that each gathering opens with a separate section of the text.

Scribes: (1) ff. 1-10, with occasional lines by another hand (2) on ff. 2 d (last 5 lines), 3 a 8-16 and 23-9, 3 b 22-7, 9 c 21-30; (3) ff. 11-12; (4) ff. 13 a 1-17 d i, 23 a 1-24 c i, 25 a 1-26 d i; (5) ff. 18 a 1-22 d i, 24 c i-d i, 26 d i-31 c 19; (6) ff. 31 c 20-32 d i (part of f. 31 d may be by scribe 5), with 2 lines in f. 16 a m. It appears from the entry in f. 7 v marg. (see below) that the forename of scribe (1) was Tomás.

Double columns throughout; fragment (a) 36-47 lines to column, (b) 44, (c) 45-76; ruling in brown, occasionally in dry point in fragment (a); marginal prickings in fragment (c). Ornamental initials and capitals in fragment (a), rubricated except on ff. 5 v-8 v; f. 1 r, lavishly decorated (with interlacing) and framed, encloses in the centre the opening words of the text, with initial I in the shape of an animal rampant; final words in several columns written below line and enclosed in inverted pyramid; ceann fo eite frequently in the shape of a hand; interlaced design in dry point between columns of f. 2 r.

Some contemporary drawings in lower margins of pages in fragment (a): (1) 1 v. Two figures, one holding a bird, advancing towards a tree containing birds, below which is a dog; (2) 3 r. Interlacing decoration, framed; (3) 5 v. Figures ploughing, digging and threshing (reproduced in L. M. Cullen, Life in Ireland (London and New York 1968) 32); (4) 6 r. Two horses drawing ploughs (?); (5) 6 v. Head with eyes only and plough (?); (6) 7 r. Two figures threshing, also stylised head and shoulder in light ink.

Bound in boards; end-papers watermarked 'R Barnard 1810'; spine torn. Staining of f. 1 r and on the outer margins and end-leaves of gatherings throughout. Vellum uneven in texture and naturally defective; holes, tears or fraying, with slight loss of text in places, on ff. 1, 4, 11, 13-14, 16, 23-4, 27, 31-2. Note by Edward O'Reilly on verso of first end-paper: 'This very curious Book bears internal Evidence of its great age. There can be no question that it was written at least as early as the 12th or 13th century; and the figures on the bottom margins of the first and fifth pages, tho' rude, exhibit the Costume of the gentry and of the male and female peasantry of that Period'. Labelled '559' on spine and '17' on front cover and marked '3' and '31' on f. 1 r, upper margin; cf. MSS 16, 18.

Briefly described by W. Wulff, ITS XXV (1929) lii-liii.

Marginalia: (a) 2 v, upper margin. Eaglas fuar/cleircin/tana truagh. 1 q. (b) 3 r i. 'a[. . .] ar mbeannacht [. . .].' (c) 3 v, upper margin. A duine teit indul duit. 1 q. (d) 5 v, upper margin. Gi nimad adigh nime nair. 1 q. (e) 6 r, upper margin. 'Is olc tig[i]m.' (f) 6 v, upper margin. Se gona sa deith ar Dhia. 1 q. 'Magnus qui sgribsit.' (g) 7 v, upper margin. 'As mait an letir seo ag Tomas dar lium.' (h) 12 v, left margin. 'Recvd . . . by hand . . .' (?). (i) 12 v i. '70, 70' (inverted), '6/6 (?) This [. . .] hand of', (j) 17 v, upper margin. 'Amen Comortus an so re duinegain don.' (k) 18 dm (lower half of column blank). 'Da iheachain cionnus deireochus litir air an meambrum so ata sa leabhar so ⁊ is doigh liom gurab fada o dfeachadh ccleas pinn lit(eir) air roimhe so. Ni beac damh.' Some further scribbling on ff. 5 r, 6 v and 11 r.


1 r. Tract on purging by means of (1) laxatives, (2) vomiting, (3) vein-letting, (4) cupping. Beg. (1) Is coir labruad [sic] ar dus don leigheas lacthach uair ataid da ni is coir do dhechain cuici sin ; (2) 6 b i. O da labrumar gusdrasda don leigeas lacach is coir duind anois labairt don sgeathraighataid da ni is coir do decain cuige sin; (3) 7 b 1. Do labrumur tuasana romaind do folmugud .i. don tarrainge don sceathrach . . . labram anois don folmugad donitear trid in cuis linn; (4) 9 d 5. O dalbrumar [sic] romaind don folmugad uilide meoch [sic] donitear trid in cuislind labrum don folmugud randaide donitear trid na ballaibtrid na hadarcaibdonitear uair maille fuiliugud. Breaks off at end of column with ⁊ ni leagar in cuisle or folmuigid si on corp uile . Authorities cited include Hippocrates, Galen, Rhazes, Auicenna and Haly. (For the sequence of leaves see above.) The opening words in another incomplete fifteenth-century copy of this tract (TCD H.2.15a), for which the present manuscript may have been the exemplar, read as here and not as given in TCD Cat., 90.

11 a. Fragment dealing with eye-ailments and their cures. (1) [Web in the eye], acephalous. nuairibh iatlig in deatach fon suil. Item gab campora in .3. cuid de. . . . (2) 11 c 7. Capitulum quartum .i. labhrum inois dona deraibh. . . Labhrum inois do lipa. (3) 12 c 1. Quinctum capitulum adhon. Labhrum anois don .u. caibidil .i. do chataracta. Breaks off (12 d i) with ⁊ biadha remhra gaothmhara do sheacna mar atait potaitsi meithe.

13 a. An incomplete Irish version of a tract on diseases, apparently compiled mainly from the Viaticum of Constantinus Africanus. The following are the opening words of the sections (unnumbered in the manuscript): (1) 13 a 1.Frenesis sic difinitur per Constantinum an uiatico .i. isead is frenisis and amail adeir Constantinus ana leabar fein danad ainm an uiaticus .i. neasgoid te.(2) 14 b i. Disenteria est didestio ex sanguis eudiscoriasio uel in teistini . . . .i. amhail adeir Constantinus ina leabar fen iseadh is disenteria and .i. brond suth fola. (3) 16 dm. Lienteiria est exire comesa uel ebebe[. . .] . . ..i. amhail adeir Consantinos ina leabhar .i. uiatico iseadh is lienteiria and .i. biadha mar caitear. Breaks off (f. 16 d i.) withtabair senfhin do guma beg co mbia ar meisgi. (4) 17 a 1. Ascardesluimrisi selent nasi intestinis .i. is iad so anmúnda na peisteadh neoch geineas isna hindibh amail adeir Constantinos. (5) 17 ci. Oported ingteilligere cor nullatinus posepaiti . . .is eigean a tuicsin na fuilingeand in craidhi beith a necmais aer do tarng cuici . . . amail adeir Constantinos no Aibhidseanda .i.asma .i. docracht na hanala. Continued on f. 25 a. (6) 25 d 12. Tuisis est modus anamaitenaturailis uertuitis .i. iseadh is cosachtach and cumhasgudh na suailchi ainmidhina suailchi nadurdha ag indarba in talchair. (7) 27 a i. Tuisis est consumaitie huini caisioinis coirpoiris .i. in teidhim so re nabor tuisis cnaeitoir fliuchaidheacht in cuirp e amhail adeir Consatinos. (8) 28 d m. Capsulgerum renum sunt .i. is iat so cuisi crechta na narann uair adeir Aibidseanda na leabhar fen. (9) 29 cm. Comunecent reneisbiseaca in caibhse generaidsioinis lapidis .i. adeir Aibidseanda go naentaigheand cuisi o ngentear na clocha isna hairnibhsa les. (10) 30 c 1. Pasio ueisise in expellenda urina .i. galar in lesa ag indarba in fual re nabar stranguiria. (11) 30 dm. Urina alicando impeititur egsiri de uirga .i. in fual uair and tairmiscithear e tre cinntaibh in lesauair eile tre cinntaibh na narand. Continued on f. 18 a. (12) 18 b 20. Apostemata de nulla raitcioni uirgine .i. neasgoidcrechta in bhaill feardha uair ann teagaid o leandaibh nach shileas on corp chuigi. Ends f. 18 d 10; remainder of column mainly blank (see above). (13) 23 a 1. Sudur ailius naturailis ailius non naturailis .i. in tallas amhail adeir Constantinus .i. bidh allus nadurda andallus neamhnadurda. (14) 23 c m. Paseonem deabetecum ab itear renes ex defexsione . . . i . iseadh is diabetis and amhail adeir Constatinus in uiaticum .i. flux fuail o easbaidh oibrighthi na brighe. (15) 24 b i. Gomorea dicitur pasio .i. quando sperma sine uoluntate . . . .i. iseadh is gomorrea and amhail adeir Constatinus ina leabhor fen .i. flux silne gan toil. (16) 24 d i. Polluisio est in motera se misis emisio in sumpno .i. iseadh is polluisio and .i. in coimpert go hanmeasardha .i. do dul uadha. Continued on f. 19 a. (17) 19 c m. De [me]nstrua muligheiribus uenium cum adhetaitem decem qautor anorum peruenerunt fuil mhista tig do na mnaibh a cind a ceithri mbliadhna ngheg. (18) 20 c m. Fluxus sainguis exiens cum menstriuis plus cam [sic]opoirteid .i. Mar adeir Constantinus .i. flux fola ag rith maill re fuil mista ni is mo nan coir. (19) 20 di. Aliunde muleris multum paisio cuntur qodh sufocaisio maitris uocatar .i. galar tig cum na mban darab ainm sufocaisio maitris. (2) 21 cm. Alicando opostemata nascantur mulua muiltuis foirmia iseagh is opostemata ann amail adeir Constantinus uatmhar noch gentear isin naduir banda. (21) 22 c m. Pasio sietica nascitur exu humoiribus in uerbum. . . . . Iseagh is sietica and galar noch tuites o na leandaibh cum na feithigh rena nabar sia a Laidin. Continued on f. 31 a; ends imperfectly (f. 31 c 19) with madh o fuil deirg bias in. (For the sequence of leaves see above.)

31 c 20. On wounds. Beg. Praiticeacht ann so arna trachtadh a Painnteigni Gailieni ar sintibh lamh ar dus do tarng iarainn no cnaimhe. Ends (f. 31 d m) fon inadhfoiridh. Finit Amen dica. Foll. by Do timriceas na riaghlacha praiticeachta ar sintibh lamh anoir Diaar trocoiri don fhobol Gaeidhealach. Ends (f. 32 d 12) with barr coblain deirg fos [corresponds to W. Wulff (ed.), 'A mediaeval handbook of gynaecology and midwifery', Irish Texts 5 (1934) 9 m-11, 2-9 m].

32 d 13. Brief notes on: (a) The medicinal properties of pellitory. Beg. Peretrum .i. is teasaidi tirim isin ceim tanaisti in luibh sin. Endsadobrumar romhainn. (b) 32 d 24. The medicinal properties of coltsfoot. Beg. Comann gallmil trit foiridh fir in domhain ar aillsi. Ends foiridh a ceadoir. (c) 32 d 33. Potion for chest-ailments. Beg.Deoch annso slanaidheas in tuchth. Ends in tucht o gallraibh. (d) 32 d 36. The medicinal properties of the carrot. Beg. De peaistinica .i. in ceasrmacan [sic] is te tirim e isin treas ceim. Ends ⁊ medaigh in toil. (e) 32 d 47. The medicinal properties of the lily. Beg. Don lilia ann so sis a prem do brisidh. Ends bhis is inchinn (tar a sil . . . l. a finit ?).