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LS D iv 1

Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy


Lebor Gabála : Life of St. Cuimin

14-15th centt. Vellum. 12 × 8, but the folios are not wholly uniform in size. (Fo. 25 and ff. 26-35 vary slightly in dimensions.) Ff. 19, the first section being numbered 1-8 (in pencil) and the second section [26]-35 (also in pencil). Fo. 25, which has no connection with either of the two sections of our composite MS., being a fragment of a liturgical Latin text in black letter, evidently served as a rough binding preceding Stowe binding. A folio which appears to be its conjugate is found in D. V. 1, showing that the wrong division of the text of Lebor Gabála is merely due to the modern binder. The names of the scribes of a (1-8) and b (26-35) are not given. The handwriting of a has certain traits of resemblance to that of Adam Ó Cuirnín, who wrote the initial folios of the Great Book of Lecan in 1418, the initial capitals of these two scribes being similar. Both may have been influenced here by the ornamentation of an earlier exemplar. The manuscript folios 1-8 are in good condition, but ff. 25 v°, [26] r°, 35v° are soiled and defaced. Fo. 32 has been cut away at lower margin, and fo. 35 is torn. The vellum used by the scribe b of the heavier type, and had already undergone repairs before it was written on (see ff. 27, 31, 32). Folios are presumably missing before [26] and after 35. The MS. is written in double column. The scribe b ruled in dry point guided by marginal prickings. All trace of ruling appears to have become obliterated from a. The scribe a has washed in his initial letters in colour of a poor quality-scarlet, green and yellow ochre. Some of the capitals and tail-pieces are of interlaced and zoomorphic design. The whole is bound n calf, blind tooled, bearing an inscription on the front of cover in gilt lettering: “Irish MSS. No. XI. Leabhar Gabhaltas. Fragment Saec. XIII et Vita Antiqua Hibernica S. Cumenei.” The paper flyleaves inserted by the binder bear a watermark, “John Hayes, 1811.”

Hands and signatures of former owners occuring in the MS. are those of Charles O'Conor of Belanagare, ff. 7 v° a marg., 8 v° a inf. Marg., 8 v° b (dated 1766, see infra), and Eoghan Ó Huiginn of Baile an Calaidh (fo. 8 v° b, dated 1687, see infra). Formerly in Stowe and Ashburnham Collections. The MS. bears a number “991” (Ashburnham Collection) on back of cover. Press no. (in Stowe Collection) 1/11 (see front flyleaf, verso. Beneath stands in pencil “24d”).

A typewritten note by Professor R.A.S Macalister (dated 1929) is affixed to first flyleaf, stating that ff. 1-8 of this MS. form part of D. V. 1 (see Van Hamel, ZCP 10, 99).



1 r° a 1. [LEBOR GABÁLA.] The text resumes that of D. V. 1 (Thurneysen's B1 version), of which this portion of our MS. is merely a part.

1 r° a 1. [MEIC MÍLED.] (Gabail Goeidhel ⁊ a comamserad.”). Beg. Goedil tra tucsom a n-imtechta (= Lec., Facs., 2 v°b). Prose and verse. Includes the following poems:—

1 r° b i. Toissich na loingsi dar ler, 17 qq.

2 r° a m. Ailiu iath nErind, 20 11.

2 r° a i. Am gaeth i mmuir, 32 11.

2 r° b 9. Iascach muir, 12 11.

2 r° b i. Suidem sund forsin tracht, 3 qq.

2 v° a m. Ocht meic Galaim na ngaire, 4 qq.

2 v° b m. Tascur mac Miled dar muir, 19 qq.

3 r° a 6. Raighne mac Ugaine. A mic áin Augaine, 49 11.

3 r° a i. A eicsiu Banba co mbluid, 3 qq.

3 r° a i. [CRUITHNIG.] Beg. isin bliadain cetna sin tancatar Cruithnigh. Prose and verse. Incorporates the following poems:—

3 r° b i. Ard Lemnachta as tir si tess, 6 qq.

4 r° b m. Eitset aes ecna aeibinn, 78 qq.

5 r° a m. [MEIC MÍLED.] Includes:—

5 r° a m. Synchronisms of the Kings of Éire with the Kings of the world down to the reign of Tigernmas

5 r° b. Succession of the Kings of Ére from Aengus Olmuccaid to Bressirig (sic).

5 r° b 14.. Aengus Olmuccaid atbath, 7 qq.

5 r° b m. Supplementing note on the succession of the Ulaid to the Kingship of Éire.

5 r° b i. Dun Sobairce dian sluag linn, 18 qq.

5 v° b m. Prose account of the founding of Emain Macha.

5 v° b m. A Emuin idnach oebinn, 46 qq.

6 r° b m. Cimbaeth clethe n-oc nEmna, 18 qq.

6 v° a m. Prose account of the descendants of Eochu Buadach and of the division of Éire by his son, Ugaine Mór.

6 v° a i. Ugaine uallach amra, 14 qq.

6 v° b 10. Prose account of the descendants of Cobthach Caelbreg, son of Ugaine Mór.

6 v° b i. Conaire caem claimain Cuind, 24 qq

7 r° a i. Prose account of Dail nAraide and Clanna Rudraige.

7 r° b m. Sénchan. Rofich Fergus fichit catha, 7 qq.

7 r° b i. Fercertne. Ollum Fotla fecair gal, 8 qq.

7 v° a 9. prose account of the descendants of Ugaine Mór with account of the revolution of the Aithechthuatha. In the margin is a pedigree of Eochu Feidhlioch (in Charles O'Conor's hand).

7 v° b i. Maelmuru Othan. Fland for Erind hi tigh toghaid, 83 qq. The subject of the poem (acc. to the MS.) is Fland mac Mailtsechlainn. A note on the hand of Charles O'Conor (fo. 8 v° a inf. marg.) corrects the date of composition given in the poem itself.

8 v° b 9. Having copied the preceding poem, the scribe here breaks off his transcript of Lebor Gabála, leaving the rest of the column blank. The missing portion of this version can be supplied from Lec., Facs., 9 v°b 8 ff., which derives apparently from the same exemplar. For another fragment of Lebor Gabála (Thurneysen's B III) see D. 1. 3 (also written by our scribe).

In the blank space (fo. 8 v°b) are the following notes by later owners:— “Ag so leabhar Eoghain Uí Uiginn a mBaile an Calaidh an seachtmhadh lá dég do mhí Mharta an bhl[ ].” The date is obliterated, but was 1687 (see below). “Leabhar Chathail Uí Chonchabhair o Ath na gCárr anos (sic) for Bru Life i gcrich cualann A.D. 1766.” Beneath occurs in English the signature of the man who wrote the first entry together with the missing date:— “Eugenius Higginn this 17th of March 1687.”

A considerable number of binder's flyleaves, with watermark, “John Hayes 1811,” follow.


This section of our MS. now begins with a folio, inscribed in Latin in black letter, and obviously used here only to protect the foregoing copy of Lebor Gabála. Similar folios from a Latin antiphonary are to be found in C. 1. 3. and C. 1. 2. The pencilled foliation here reads 25-35.

25 r° . The Latin liturgical text already alluded to. Red ink was used, alternating with the black, so that the text is now defective, owing to the red ink having faded. The faded spaces were used by scribes to test pens and ink. 25 r°a i., where test is legible, reads tabernaculum factum est primum, etc. (= Hebrews ix. 2).

25 v° . Defaced by exposure . Contains the continuation of the preceding latin text, and evidently was (at a period preceding the Stowe binding) the outer page of Section a.

[26] r° . Is defaced by exposure. It evidently served for a time as outer page of the Section b of this MS.

[26] v° a. Acephalous and incomplete tract, apparently the Life of Saint Cuimine Fota, a second copy of which occurs Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, 2324-40 ff. 47-53 b (see Plummer, Misc. Hagiogr. Hib., no. 31). The text , which commenced on the foregoing defaced page is partly indecipherable even here. 24v°b begins ra siacht as sin co dunad Aird Eolais. The following are the legible first lines of the longer poems occurring in the text:— (28 r° a i) Is in so in lec ar gach leth , 24 qq.; (30 r° a m) Codlad so tuas cia dogní, 10 qq.; (30 r° b i) Comghán. Fál tnuidhe donítear ar olc rúine, 16 qq.; (30 v° b i) Idem. Codlud ro codlus arer, 16 qq.; (31 r° a i) Idem. Acaillem do cailleachaibh, 14 qq.; (31 v° b m) Cuimin. Cairm ar codail Comghan cain, 17 qq.; (32 r° a) Idem. Cinnos tiaghor a tech nDé, 7 qq.; (32 r° a i) Comghan. Mo mire adlochar do righ nimhe, 16 qq.; (32 r° b i) Deilge Crimhthainn cia rosfuair, 10 qq.; (32 v° b m) Ibhidhsi no na hibhidsi, 4 qq.; (32 v° b i) Cuimin. Abair frium, a Comgháin maith, 14 qq.; (33 r° a) Idem. Abuir frium, a Comdháin cain, 6 qq.; (33 r° a i) Coimin. Indeis dúnn / scéla in domhain ima rún, 22 qq.; (33v° b) Comdhán. Magh nAidhne ba hailénach, 9 qq.; (33 v° b i) Diamsai aithnigh airechtai, 8 qq.; ([34] r° a m); Mac Da Cerd. A ben na ceis ar do bhiadh, 10 qq.; (34 r° b m); Fail astoigh a troimcretan, 3 qq. The text becomes illegible towards the end , the last folio (35) being torn, and writing on verso practically indecipherable. It contained, however, the conclusion of the Life, the last decipherable words being, A duibhe ind eóin occurring as first line of second stanza of a poem beginning similarly.