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Adv. MS 72.1.27

Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.27


Mackinnon, p.57; Mackechnie, p.167.

16th cent. Vellum. 6 ff. Quarto, 24 × 17 cms. A gathering bound by thongs. The cover into which it was tucked from ?16th cent. to 1970 is now Adv.MSS.84.1.16–17. f. 3a, the conjunct of f. 3, is merely a strip 1 cm. wide. Contains various short medical texts, mainly scholastic in nature, written in two columns.


1. Text, ff. 1 r.a1 – 5 r.a22. Perhaps more than one hand, akin to those of Dáibhí Ó Cearnaigh, the Ó Ceannamháins and John Beaton in EUL MS. Laing III 21 and BL MS. Add. 15,582: generally small and functional, but with distinct variations in style (e.g. f. 3r), size (4r) and quality (4v). Capitals coloured red to 2v.

2. f. 3 v. Precise.

3. f. 3 v. Niall. Ruairí Ó Siaghail is addressed. Broadly similar to hand of Eoghan Carrach Ó Siaghail, Adv.MS.72.1.29.

4. f. 3 v. An ostentatious hand, perhaps also to be compared with Eoghan Carrach’s.

5. f. 3 v. Hand 16 of Adv.MS.72.1.2, hand 2 of Adv.MS.72.1.4; John Rylands MS. Ir. 35, ff. 60v, 67r, 120r. A rather coarse hand (open “a”, frequent distinctive “c”), that of a physician who records at f. 67r of the Rylands manuscript the names of the patients cured by him in Islay “between the Largie and the Oa”. The Largie is mention here also.

6. Text, f. 5 r.a23–36. Another rather crude hand.

7. Text, f. 5 r.a36–b25. Similar in many features to hand 1; different ink.

8. Text, f. 5 r.b26–z. A Beaton? Adv.MS.72.1.2, hand 16; Adv.MS.84.1.16, notes a–c. Cf. hand 3 of Adv.MS.72.1.40.

9. f. 5 v. Indistinct. A Beaton?

About 1600 the manuscript belonged to Giolla Ainndris (Dubh) Mac an Ollaimh or Beaton (f. 5v; Adv.MS.84.1.16, note b). Kilbride no.11 by Major MacLachlan’s enumeration (“11th Medical”, Adv.MS.84.1.16 verso bis) and no.23 by Hugh Kerr’s. The latter’s name or initials appear on every complete folio. No serious staining save on outsides. Foliation modern.


1 r.a1 On medicines, citing Jacobus de Forlivio and Avicenna. Beg. Nota secundum Iacobum de Forlivio .i. ised adeir Iacobus de Forlivio co fuilid da modh fa tabartar na lictubairi. Ends “⁊ innarbaid na déthaighe ⁊rl-”.

1 v.b27 On the three principles of nature (primary matter, form, privation), citing Aristotle and a commentator. Beg. Secundum philosophu m et conmentatorem primo phisicorum in prinncipio tunc unumquoque arbitramur. Ends “⁊ ni doibh sin amain do labrumur in trachtadh so acht da cosmailibh go huilide ⁊rl-”. See Shaw, “Medieval Medico-Philosophical Treatises in the Irish Language”, in Ryan (ed.), Féil-Sgríbhinn Eóin Mhic Néill, p.151; Adv.MS.72.1.2, f. 55v1.

2 r.b42 On “sinoca inflativa”, citing Bartholomeus. Beg. (D)e sinoca vero inflativa ibidem dicitur quia i(n)plafit ex saingine puro et c etera .i. adeir Ba(r)tolomeos co ndentar sincoa inflativa o fhuil glain arna himdugud ana caindigheacht. Ends “doreir mar breatnuiges in liaig ⁊rl-”.

1 v.b m On the three principles of nature (primary matter, form, privation), citing Aristotle and “Commentator”. Beg. Secundum Ph(ilosophoru)m et Commentatorem primo phisicorum in principio tunc unumquoque arbitramur. See Shaw, “Medieval Medico-Philosophical Treatises in the Irish Language”, in Féil-Sgríbhinn Eóin Mhic Néill (ed. Ryan), p.151; Adv.MS.72.1.2, f. 55v1.

2 r.b i On “sinoca inflativa”, citing Bartholomeus. Beg. (D)e sinoca vero inflativa ibidem dicitur inp(hl)afit ex saingine puro ⁊ cetera .i. adeir Bartolomeos co ndentar sincoa inflativa o fhuil glain arna himdughadh ana caindigheacht.

2 v.a i On hectic fever, citing Bartholomeus. Beg. Feibris etica est consum con subsdaincialis vel naturailis huimiditatis memr(or)um ⁊ cetera .i. iseadh is fiabrus eitica and cnai substaintigh nadurdha na mball.

2 v.b i On music, citing Aristotle. Beg. Musica est plurium disimilium in unum redactorum concordia .i. iseadh is ceol no is bindes and.

3 r.a21 On the elements, citing Arnaldus. Beg. Elementa sunt prima ⁊ simplicia componencia omine (c)orporum .i. iseadh is duil and.

3 r.b8 On the “accidents” in disease, citing Arnaldus. Beg. Nod let co n-abair Arnalldus co ndentar gach uile aicid o cuis eigin dona cuisibh so.

3 r.b38 On the difference between “tristitia”, “timor” and “ira”, citing Arnaldus. Beg. ⁊ adeir Arnalldus co fuil iofir idir trisitisia ⁊ timor ⁊ ira. Continued at 3v.b1. Cf. Shaw, art. cit., p.156.

3 v.a1 On three types of life (selfish, industrious, contemplative), citing Egidius. Beg. Atait tri hernuile arin mbethaidh.

3 v.a m On medication and obstructions, citing Averroes. Beg. Adeir Averoes in secundo de Coilictoirio nach bi mothughadh a ceadtabhairt in leighis.

3 v.b See 3r.b38. Text ends 3v.b32. In the ensuing space and in lower margin are the following: “Ochtar ra hairce, ni cel: Nai, Camh, Se, Iathfe” (hand 2); “Bennacht ann so o Niall dochum mo chompanaichi fein .i. Ruari O Siaghail” (hand 3, upside-down); Da n-echaitt fil(idh) ar feacht, 1 q. (hand 4); “Rig ós na” (hand 5); “As unach ata an Gilla Dub a teacht do barr na Leargan” – possibly An Giolla Dubh Ó Siaghail, Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.4, f. 100r (hand 5); “A Muire an fuil ort” (hand 2).

3 a.r “Fecain an fuil gles ort a” (hand 5?); “Dar ar mbrethar as urcoidech an sgel do cuir” (hand 2); “A Dia ce aca do mnaibh na d” (hand 5?).

3 a.v “An fuil ort a pind coimes re fer an leabhair on medecus(?) cintach(?) ⁊ mise meirgech an techrain” (hand 2).

4 r.a1 On medicines, citing Seon Mesue and Avicenna. Beg. Do guididar me na caruid is ferr agum co cuirind sgribta cu cumair cugu leigheas dileagtha ⁊ folmuighthi. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.2, f. 84r.a20.

5 r.a23 (Hands 6, 7.) Materia medica article on wormwood. Beg. Absincium, centonica, poindticum .i. tri hanmanna an uormoint. See Adv.MS.72.1.3, f. 1v.

5 r.b26 (Hand 8.) Colours of urine and their significance. Beg. Albus mar uisgi ngeal. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.33, f. 82b.16. Headed “In nomen patris”. In lower margin (hand 2): Dein re Crist mo gail go grad, 1 q.

5 v Blank save for “….le so an….og….o Gillanntris Mac an Ollamg ma(d) ail le Diagh curigh……” (hand 9).