Archbishop Marsh's Library

MS Z 3.1.5 ('Codex Kilkenniensis')

Summary description (by Pádraig Ó Macháin)

15th cent. Vellum. Ff. 122, foliated 33-[159], repeating 135 (135[a] below), missing 1-32, 36-8, 100, 137, 153. No scribal signatures. Text in Gothic script; marginal annotations in late secretary script; genealogies of saints in Gaelic script in lower margins as follows: Maedóg Fearna (51v), Bréanaind (56v), Caímgin (64v), Moling (70v), Finntan (74r), Senán Insi Cathaigh (76v), Mo chaomóc (80v), Ruadhán (86r), Crónán mac Obruin (88v), Comgall Beannchair (90v), Mo Chuda Lis Moir .i. Carthach (94r), Ciarán Saigri (106v), Íde (109v), Molúa (112v), Caindeach (124r), Munna (127r), Colmán ó Laind Eala (129v), Barro (132v), Aedh mac Bric (134r), Ailbhe (135r), Abán Mhoighe hArnaigh (138v), Ciarán .i. mac in tShaír (144v). Incipits and explicits in red; chapter initials (guide-letter f. 135[a]rb) and opening words (in majuscule) of Lives coloured in red. Running heads ('De sancto' (verso) '[S.]' (recto)) throughout. Double column, ruled in ink and dry-point.

Of Leinster and Franciscan provenance. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century the manuscript was used by scholars and antiquarians of the reformed religion such as Meredith Hanmer and James Ussher (Pádraig Ó Riain, Beatha Bharra (London: Irish Texts Society, 1994) 101-104); during the same era material from it was also used by counter-reformation scholars of the Louvain hagiographical project. Described by William Reeves, 'On a MS. volume of lives of Saints (chiefly Irish) now in Primate Marsh's Library, Dublin commonly called the Codex Kilkenniensis', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 2nd series, I (1879) 339-50, and used by him in his Life of Saint Columba (Dublin 1857). Used extensively in Carolus Plummer, Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae I-II (Oxford 1910).

The following is taken from Richard Sharpe's preamble to his discussion of the manuscript in Medieval Irish Saints' Lives: An introduction to Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae (Oxford 1991) 95:

Dublin, Primate Marsh's Library, MS Z3. 1. 5 (formerly V. 3. 4), variously known as the Codex Kilkenniensis or Codex Ardmachanus, was written in the fifteenth century, by more than one scribe, on membrane now approx. 350 x 240 mm. but originally somewhat wider. When the MS was bound, the margins were cropped by at least 10 mm.; many marginal notes were retained but were cut around, leaving tabs, but some chapter numbers in the outer margins were lost. The present binding is of the late seventeenth century and is broken. The writing is in two columns of 44 lines, rising to 49 or 50 lines in the latter part. The manuscript contained 159 leaves when foliated in the early seventeenth century from f. 1 to f. 158 (a leaf was overlooked between f. 135 and f. 136). There may originally have been 160 or 168 leaves, but in its present state the manuscript has lost ff. 1-32, 36-38, and individual leaves removed elsewhere, ff. 100, 137, 153.



33r1. [Vita Sancti Antonii.] Beg. acephalous. Ends (34va) 'Explicit vita sancti Antoni confessoris'. Remainder of f. 34v and f. 35r-va ruled and blank.

35vb1. [Vita Sancti Flannani.] Fragment, acephalous and incomplete (beg. Angeli siquidem domini per maria comitabantur eos, ends super urbem de celo fluxerunt cum ordinaret dominus): breaks off with page. Ff. 36-8 missing.

39ra1. 'Incipit prologus Adamnani abbatis In vita sancti Columbae abbatis et confessoris.' Beg. Beati nostri patroni christo suffragante, vitam descripturus. Ends (f. 51va) 'Explicit vita Sancti Columbae abbatis et confessoris'.

51va32. 'Incipit vita Sancti Edani sive maodhog episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. Erat quidam vir nobilis in regionibus connachtorum nomine sethna. Ends (f. 56va) 'Explicit vita Sancti Edani episcopi et confessoris'.

56va12. 'Incipit vita beatissimi Brendani abbatis et confessoris.' Beg. Natus est beatissimus brendanus abbas in zepharia mumenensi plaga. ('Hic incipit de nauigio sanctissimi patris Brendani' 57va21.) Ends (f. 64vb) 'Explicit vita Brendani abbatis et confessoris'.

64vb. 'Incipit vita sancti Caemhgeni episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. Vir erat in provinchia laginensium que est quinta pars hybernie. Ends (f. 70va) 'Explicit vita sancti Coemgeni episcopi et confessoris.'

70va32. 'Incipit vita sancti Molyng episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. De australi laginensium plaga que dicitur kennselach. Ends (f. 74ra) 'Explicit vita sancti Molyng'.

74ra36. 'Incipit vita sancti fintani abbatis et confessoris.' Beg. Sanctus abbas finntanus vir vite venerabilis de provinchia laginensium. Ends (f. 76va) 'Explicit vita sancti ffyntani'.

76va20. 'Incipit vita sancti Senani episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. Natus ex nobilibus / procreatur parentibus. Ends (f. 80rb) 'Explicit vita sancti senani episcopi et confessoris'.

80va1. 'Incipit vita sancti Mocoemhóg episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. Beatissimus abbas Mochoemhóg de provincia connactorum. Ends (f. 84vb) 'Explicit vita sancti Mocoemhog abbatis et confessoris'.

84vb4. 'Incipit vita sancti finani [episcopi corr. to abbatis margin] et confessoris.' Beg. Erat vir vite venerabilis nomine finanus. Ends (f. 86rb) 'Explicit vita sancti finani abbatis et confessoris'.

86rb29. 'Incipit vita sancti Ruadhani abbatis et confessoris.' Beg. Beatissimus abbas Ruadhanus de nobilissimo genere hybernie. Ends (f. 88vb) 'Explicit vita sancti Ruadhani episcopi et confessoris'.

88vb13 . 'Incipit vita sancti Cronani episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. Gloriosus abbas Cronanus: de provinchia Mumenensium oriundus fuit. Ends (f. 90va) 'Explicit vita sancti cronani abbatis et confessoris'.

90va30. 'Incipit vita sancti Comgalli abbatis et confessoris.' Beg. De aquilonali hybernie regione nomine dail naraidhe. Ends (f. 94rb) 'Explicit vita sancti Comhghalli abbatis et confessoris'.

94rb22. 'Incipit vita sancti Carthagi episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. Gloriosus christi Carthagus qui vulgo vocatur mochuda de gente kiarraidhi luacra. Breaks off incomplete f. 99vb (f. 100 missing) et tunc mallina impleuit alueum fluminis. Sanctique.

101ra1. [Vita Sancti Declani.] Beg. acephalous filium eius ut illum sine mora occideret Ille autum filius omnibus. Ends (f. 106va) 'Explicit vita declani episcopi et confessoris'.

106va14. 'Incipit vita sancti kyarani episcopi et confessoris vita.' Beg. Beatissimus Episcopus kyaranus hybernie sanctorum primogenitus. Ends (f. 109va) 'Explicit vita sancti kyarani episcopi et confessoris'.

109va39. 'Incipit vita Sancte virginis ythe.' Beg. De vita et miraculis beatissime uirginis yte. Ends (f. 112va) 'Explicit vita sanctissime uirginis yte'.

112va24. 'Incipit vita sancti molue Abbatis et confessoris.' Beg. Fuit vir vite venerabilis de provinchia [a cancelled] Mumenie de regione hua figenti. Ends (f. 116rb) 'Explicit vita sancti Molue abbatis et confessoris'.

116rb22. 'Incipit vita .s. laurentii archiepiscopi Dublinensis.' Beg. Dilectus igitur deo et hominibus sacerdos dei pontifex laurentius. Ends (f. 124ra) 'Explicit vita sancti laurentii confessori Archiepiscopi Dublinensis'.

124ra16. 'Incipit vita .s. Cainnici abbatis.' Beg. Cainnicus sanctus abbas de genere connath. Ends (f. 127rb) 'Explicit vita sancti Cainnici abbatis'.

127rb9. 'Incipit vita sancti Munnu abbatis.' Beg. Erat vir vite venerabilis nomine Munnu de claro genere hybernie. Ends (f. 129va) 'Explicit vita sancti Munna abbatis'.

129va24. 'Incipit vita sancti Colmani Abbatis.' Beg. Fuit vir vite venerabilis Colmanus nomine de nobili genere hybernie. Ends (f. 132va) 'Explicit vita sancti colmani abbatis'.

132va11. 'Incipit vita sancti barri episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. Sanctus dei electus atque dignus pontifex barrus de gente connacthorum. Ends (f. 134rb) 'Explicit vita sancti Barri episcopi corcaghie'.

134rb6. 'Incipit vita sancti Edi episcopi et confessoris.' Beg. Beatissimus edus episcopus filius bricht de nobiliori hybernie genere. Ends (f. 135[a]rb) 'Explicit vita sancti Edi episcopi et confessoris'.

135[a]rb24. 'Incipit vita beatissimi patris sancti Albei archiepiscopi et confessoris.' Beg. [A]lbeus episcopus virorum Mumenencium. Chasm where f. 137 missing. Ends (f. 138va) 'Explicit vita sancti Albei archiepiscopi et confessoris'.

138va23. 'Incipit vita sancti Abbani abbatis.' Beg. In occidentali plaga tocius orbis est insula possita. Ends (f. 144vb) 'Explicit vita sancti Abbani'.

144vb39. 'Incipit vita sancti kiarani abbatis et confessoris.' Beg. Sanctus abbas kyaranus de plebe latronensium que est in regione midhi. Ends (f. 148rb) 'Explicit vita sancti kiarani abbatis de cluain meic nois'.

148rb31. 'Incipit [prologus margin] in vita beati Malachie archiepiscopi Ardmachani secundum Bernardum.' Beg. Semper quidem opere precium fuit. ('Incipit vita beati Malachie archiepiscopi et confessoris' f. 148va15.) Chasm where f. 153 missing. Ends (f. 158vb) 'Ffinit. Explicit vita sancti Malachie archiepiscopi [Ard]mac[hani]'.

[159]r and [159]v. Illegible in part: contains later jottings and list of contents: see Sharpe, Medieval Irish Saints’ Lives, 104-106.