Catalogue of Gaelic Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland

© Ronald Black, 2011

Adv. MS 72.1.13


Mackinnon, p.41; Mackechnie, p.151. 14–15th cent.

Vellum. 40 ff. + 2 fragments. Folio. Six independent layers. Kilbride no.2 or 7 by Major MacLachlan’s enumeration – both numbers appear at f.1, along with the word “Medical”. It is in fact no.7, i.e. the second of the main body of the Kilbride MSS., in Mackintosh’s draft catalogue (Adv.MS.73.2.12, f.76), while in the published version (Sinclair, The Poems of Ossian in the original Gaelic 3, p.570) it has switched places with Adv.MS.73.1.22 to become no.6. Numbered 9 by Hugh Kerr, whose name or initials appear on every folio. All leaves are now quite separate, the manuscript having been taken apart in 20th century. Skene (1861) said that it “appears to be two MSS stitched together” (F.R.192, f.15), while Mackinnon (1912) describes it as “portions of six different MSS. bound together”. No binding threads remain, but numerous stitch-holes attest to the various parts having been bound and disbound twice, i.e. once in their original codices and once in the present compendium. The resulting gashes have been repaired. Foliation modern. Ff.20v.b (part) and 31r.a (part) are reproduced photographically in CMJ (New Ser.) 6, facing pp.41–2.

Ff.1–8 (first layer)

A gathering. 30 x 21 cms. Written in two columns by a strong and slightly angular hand varying in size from small to average. Decoration and colour (red and brown) are profuse. F.1r is severely smoked and stained, but with no textual loss; as the next page in comparable condition is f.16v, it seems likely that the first and second layers were bound together at an early stage. In support of this, early marginalia which look as if they are by a common hand are found at ff.1r (“Meisi”), 2r (“Meisi m”), 10v (“Mar as c”), 14v (“Meisi”) and 16v (“M”). There are also illegible marginalia at ff.1r and 2r, perhaps by the text-hand.


1r.a1 On Isidore of (?)Gaza’s commentary on APHORISMS of Johannes Damascenus (Mesue). Beg. Liberet te Deus fili amantisime a devio herroris conservet te in viam prospiretatis .i. co saera Dia tu a mic cartanaig. Ends incomplete “indus gona tarrngidh in nadur an oileamhna” = Adv.MS.72.1.23, f.1r.b17, in section beg. Oportet igitur a purgandum inter venas plus atiles. This is the beginning of the tract, and it relates to ff.30v.a2 – 31r.b.y of Mesue’s printed text in Sancti Joannis Damasceni…. opera vulgo (Venice, 1514), NLS pressmark Stirton.c.4. This portion is also covered in part by Adv.MS.72.1.17, f.1, and Adv.MS.72.1.23. Authorities cited: Aristotle, Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna, Seneca (2r.a10), Solomon (2r.a13), Platearius (2v.a17 marg., cf. Adv.MS.72.1.17, f.1r.a m), Isaac, Averroes, Constantine (5r.b8), Johanisius (8r.a m), Orbacius (8r.b9). Thefollowing is a concordance of the above-mentioned printed text with related matter in Kilbride manuscripts.

30v.a2 – 31r.b.y: Adv.MS.72.1.13, ff.1–8.

30v.a39 – 30v.b18: Adv.MS.72.1.17, f.1.

31r.b44 – 31v.a38: Adv.MS.72.1.23, ff.1–2.

31v.a18 – 32v.a19: Adv.MS.72.1.22.

31v.a z – 31v.b21: Adv.MS.72.1.17, f.2.

31v.b8 – 31v.b32: Adv.MS.72.1.23, ff.3–4.

32r.a1 – 32r.b2: Adv.MS.72.1.23, ff.5–6.

32v.b15 – 32v.b21: Adv.MS.72.1.17, f.3.

Together with King’s Inns MS. 18, ff.21–30, which contains the portions otherwise missing from the end, these furnish a complete text stemming at no great distance from a common source. Each section generally ends with the words “litera patet” or “is mar sin is follus an litir so Damasenus”, frequently abbreviated. See also Adv.MS.72.1.41, for Aph. of Hipp. – 6.4.82.

Ff.9–16 (second layer)

Complete gathering. 29 x 21 cms. (ff.9–11, 14–16); 27 x 20 cms. (ff.12–13). Written in two columns by a strong and well-proportioned hand, in general larger than that of the first layer, but more varied in quality. Clumsily ruled, especially at f.14r where this leads to a pronounced slope in the writing. Initial capitals are nowhere omitted, but there is no decoration, little rubrication and no colouring except some red at f.9r. A gash in f.11 is repaired in red thread. The most notable marginalium is at f.12r, the front of the undersized middle bifolium, where Malcolm Beaton (hand 25 of Adv.MS.72.1.2) writes “ata ann so .4. caidiarne M. B.” For further instances of caidirne see Adv.MS.73.1.22, f.275v, and RIA Cat., p.3315. Anonymous marginalia in various hands occur at ff.9r (illegible), 9v, 10v, 11v (“In Dei nomine amen: fromadh”), 14v (“ame”), 16v. Condition good save for f.16v, which is severely smoked and stained with some textual loss. See ff.1–8.

9r.a1 On the actions of simple medicine. Beg. Is iad so oiprighthi an leighis aonda. Authorities cited: Galen, Animatus, Damascenus, Henricus (9v.a1).

9v.b1 On generation. Beg. Labhrum anois dona 4 modaibh a ndentur ginemain corpurda. Authorities cited: Avicenna, Animatus.

10v.b1 Beg. Is ona neithibh so oibrigheas an corp daonna. Avicenna cited.

11r.b10 On semen. Beg. Meambra spermatis .i. boill an tsilne. Apollonius cited.

11r.b22 On sanguis and choler. Beg. Atait 5 cuinchill ag fuil dearg.

11r.b30 On brute instinct. Beg. Tuic cu cuirinn an bruidemlacht an t-ainmidhi a fad.

11r.b41 On moisture. Beg. Is iad so na 3 flicheadha ata ann.

11v.a1 On the digestion and allied diseases, with much reference to astrology. Beg. Adeir in Feallsam gurob e feadh bhis an brigh dhileaghach 7 na briogha curthar do congnum dhi ag denam an cead dileagha a fear leanna fuair 6 huaire. Extends across lower margin of f.16v and ends illegible. Authorities cited: Aristotle, Avicenna, Hippocrates, Galen.

Ff.17–24 (third layer)

Gathering, apparently complete. 30 x 21 cms. Written in two columns by a precise hand. The first letter is elaborately worked, but beyond this there is little decoration. There is some colouring (red and crimson). The text hand adds “In nomine patris 7 filii 7 spiritu sancti amen” at f.17r, upper margin. Perhaps the best preserved of all the Kilbride MSS.; apart from the usual smoked and stained appearance of the outsides, the vellum is singularly clean, white and undamaged.

17r.a1 On theory of medicine. Beg. Trachtadh cumair tarbach solusta and so d’ foillsiughadh menman lucht an eistseachta a nova mentori. After a long addition to the text at f.20r, lower margin, the scribe adds: “7 ni misi is cinntach re bregaib in lebair so acht in cairt alaind bregach”. Ends at f.20v.a (apparently incomplete) “7 in tan gabthar ria dealluigh si arna corpaib is comgar di”, followed by a space. Authorities cited: Galen, Almagesto Tomoei (17r.a37), Isaac, Avicenna, Aristotle, Constantine, Hali, Turius (17v.a42), Johanisius (18r.a m), Boethius (18r.b9), Averroes, Plato (20r.b19).

20v.b1 On physiology. Beg. Luaighem and so do gnimurthaibh in craidhe. Ends incomplete “oir ni coimeadann si deallradh a neith”. Authorities cited: Avicenna, Aristotle, Constantinus, Galen, Damascenus, Isaac, Isidore, Hali, Averroes, Plato (23v.b54), Hippocrates.

Ff.25–8 (fourth layer)

Two bifolia of a gathering. 31 x 22 cms. Written in two columns. The main hand is quite small, angular, but despite Mackinnon and Mackechnie it is not identical to hands in Adv.MS.72.1.10 or Adv.MS.72.1.14. It is briefly relieved by a less angular hand at f.28r and 28v. The latter hand appears to be responsible for the small amount of decoration and much of the occasional colouring (red and crimson). Further hands have left marginalia: “(?)mi dar olla arna lorgadh 7 don…..” (26r); “Sanitas est omni ……. mundo curo .i. ata at” (27v); an ostentatious hand reminiscent of Adv.MS.72.1.10, f.9v marg., has inscribed Beag nach tainig ma térma, 1 q., at f.28r and the alphabet at f.28v. There is also some erased matter. Condition is fair, although the layer was once folded in two; a tear at f.25 is stitched with green thread.

25r.a1 On APHORISMS of Hippocrates, cf. Adv.MS.72.1.10, f.1r.a37. Beg. acephalous ramar dearg na oileas an fin ramar finn. First complete section begins Acutorum morborum non omnina certe pronunciaciones fiunt. Ends incomplete “Qui exolvuntur foraiter 7 repente sine mainefesta octasione repente moriuntur .i. iseadh adeir Ipocrait ann so an lucht teid a singcopis” = Adv.MS.72.1.14, f.12v.a i. Represents book 2, nos.18–25, 34–41. Also covered in part by Adv.MS.72.1.14. The lacuna between ff.26 and 27 is probably due to the loss of a single bifolium from the centre of the gathering. Authorities cited: Isaac, Galen, Johanisius, William of Montpellier (26r.b7), Isidore, Johannes Damascenus, Arnaldus de Villa Nova (28v.a).

Ff.29–32 (fifth layer)

(M 29–30.) Two bifolia. 23 x 21 cms. and under. This is probably the oldest of the six layers, and appears to have served at one stage as a cover. Vertical strips 3 cms. wide were cut from ff.29 and 32 as binding material; they are sewn together, forming a folio-length strip. A portion 7 cms. long, part of f.29, was cut off from the end of the strip but has been preserved as a separate fragment. The two bifolia, placed sideways and opened out, were folded down to folio size. Their outsides (ff.29r, 30v; 31r, 32v) are especially stained and rubbed, with textual loss at the folds. The hand, large, square and painstaking, with decorated initials and some colouring, is more typical of legal and other types than of medical material. It may be compared with hands in Adv.MS.72.1.6, 72.1.16, 72.1.25 (medical portion – a related text) and 72.2.3. Contractions are few. The text probably represents the vestiges of a continuous tract on purgatives and diet.

29r.a1 On times suitable for purging. Beg. acephalous tanna 7 niat sin nach fetar do techt ar treorachud. Ends “Idubramar gonuigi sin d’ aimseraib na bliadhna amail imchuibdhigit i cailib 7 i rodísleadhaib rena pargáit”.

29r.b1 On how purgatives operate. Beg. Abrum anois d’ aimsir na heslanti féin. Ends incomplete (due to missing folios) “Is íat seo na biadha is cóir do”. Hippocrates cited.

30r.a1 On types of purgative. Beg. acephalous is mesraigthi dlegar a dobairt. Ends incomplete “Mad o chruas na mball”. Authorities cited: Alexander (30r.b m), Hippocrates.

31r.a1 On methods of purging? Beg. acephalous don chogus 7 don charraighi 7 do themel in ruisc . Ends “7 in duine ‘na shuighi 7 a chossa timarci”.

31r.a m On meat, eggs, milk and milk products. Beg. Dona feolaibh and seo sis .i. in feoil gabar. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.25, f.23r. Galen cited (31v.b.i).

32v.a x Diets for particular purposes. Beg. De peiriplemoniarum dieto .i. d’ oilemain ioctha ara mbi periplemonia. Ends incomplete “ 7 na hubla aipchi no somillsi arna nimain” = Adv.MS.72.1.25, f.23v.a9.

Ff.33–40 (sixth layer)

(M 31–8.) Complete gathering. 29 x 23 cms. Condition very good save for severe staining at ff.33r and 40v, with some textual loss. Written in two columns. The main hand is quite bold and angular; it is briefly relieved by another at ff.34r, 34v and 37v, while additions to the text are made by what may be a third at 38r and 38v. There is a largely illegible marginalium at the top of f.33r (“. . . . . . . incipire . . . . finire”), with a drawing of a dog at the bottom like that at Adv.MS.72.1.41, f.14v. There is little farther attempt at decoration, and no colouring.

33r.a1 [Bernard of Gordon. DE GRADIBUS.] Beg. (N)otandum qu(od tri)plex est doctrina g(raduum)….i. is follus co fuilid tri fuirceadail arna cei( meanna)ib. Authorities cited (34r.a i): Galen, Jacobus Alcinndi, Averroes, Arnaldus de Villa Nova. Ends 37r.a31 “Finit amen”.

36v i Be chrotha ingean tShighmaill, 10 qq. Occupies lower margin of ff.36v-37r.

37r.a32 On honey and wax. Beg. Sex modis mel cognoscitur .i. adeir Nicolaus co fuilid vi modha on aithinter an mhil. In addition to Nicolaus Hispanus and Johannes de Sancto Amando (38r.a), Galen, Aristotle, Isaac and Avicenna are cited. Cf. RIA MS. 23 0 6 (464), p.7.

38r.a m [Gualterus Burley. DE POTENTIIS ANIMAE.] Beg. Amuil adeir in Feallsamh isin cead leabur do metofisi. Authorities cited: Aristotle, Avicenna, Albertus, Algazel, “Commentatur”. See Féil-sgríbhinn Eóin Mhic Néill (ed. Ryan), p.154.

39r.b i [Bernard of Gordon.] DE AMORE HEREOS. Beg. De amore hereo .i. don gradh re nabar hereos. Ed. Wulff, Ériu 11, p.177. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.2, f.81v.b18.

39v.b16 [Idem.] On wounds, taken (as is the previous item) from LILIUM MEDICINAE, cf. Bernardi Gordonii Opus . . . (Lyons, 1574), p.124. Beg. De solucione continuitatis .i. dona cnedhaibh.

40v.b1 On hydrophobia. Beg. Idrafoirbia est passio timens: aquam 7c. .i. Iseadh is idrafoirbia ann. Extends across lower margin and ends “meadg bainne gobar 7 a cosmaili 7 reliquia. Finit amen”. Gilbertinus cited. Cf. Adv.MS.72.1.2, f.81r.

© Ronald Black, 2011