Materia medica

16th cent. Vellum. 23.5–24 x 15–16.5 cms (pp. 11a–12a, 7.5–8 x 15 cms; pp. 13–14, 24 x 4.5–9.5 cms; pp. 37–8, 24 x 3.5 cms; pp. 61–2, 22.5 x 16 cms). Pp. 120, paginated in pencil 1–10, 11a, 12a, 11–21, 21a, 21b, 22–64, 64a, 65–115. Scribes: (1) pp. 1.1–11a.z (first half of line), 11.1–44.24; no scribal signature; evidently in the hand of Maghnus mac Gilla na Naem Micc a Leagha (see colophon by scribe 2, p. 63.22); (2) pp. 11a.z (second half of line), 12a.1–z, 44.24–64.z; no scribal signature; (3) pp. 64a–115; scribal signature Dabiudh (p. 81, upper margin).

Housed in modern archival box labelled `TCD / ms / 1323' on outer spine, and stamped `TCD ms 1323' (transversely) on inner spine. Enclosed label bearing the following description (typed): `Collection of medical treatises / in Irish, originally belonging / to the O'Shiels, a family of / hereditary doctors. / (sixteenth century)'. Wrapped in brass-mounted leather cover with arms of James I in gilt in centre of each cover; cover placed upside down about manuscript and labelled `SS. H / Tab. 3 / No. 4' (label slightly damaged) on upper spine and `H / 3 / 4' (label torn vertically) on lower spine; numbers `Olim H 40', `H. 3–4' and `[1323]' (in pencil) inside front cover.

Two independent manuscripts, viz.: (a) pp. 1–64; (b) 64a–115. Collation (a): i6 + 1 (1 and 6 artificial pair, pp. 1–2, 9–10; pp. 11a–12a intercalated leaf inserted after 6) wants 2 with no loss of text, ii6 wants 1–3 with loss of text, iii two outer bifolia (pp. 17–22) of gathering whose central leaves are wanting, iv10 wants 1 with loss of text before p. 23 (stub bearing text on verso visible between pp. 22 and 23), v10 wants 4 and 6 with no loss of text, vi4 wants 2 with no loss of text, vii2 wants 2 apparently with no loss of text (stub visible after p. 64); textual sequence shows order of leaves in pp. 1–64 to be as follows: 11–20, 1–12a, 21–22, chasm, 23–64; this suggests iii is an original ten the central portion of which (pp. 1–10, followed by intercalated leaf, pp. 11a–12a) is now misplaced, belonging between pp. 20 and 21. Collation (b): i12 + 1 (pp. 72–3 an intercalated leaf inserted after 4; stub visible between pp. 73 and 74), ii14 + 1 (intercalated leaf inserted after 6) wants 1 with loss of text (stub visible before p. 90), 3 and 5 with no loss of text (stubs visible between pp. 91 and 92, 93 and 94, respectively), and intercalated leaf between pp. 95 and 96, iii two outer bifolia (pp. 112–5) of gathering whose central leaves are wanting with loss of text; three vellum thongs visible in each of openings pp. 77–8 and 87–8 holding gatherings i and ii, respectively.

Section (a): single columns, ruling where discernible in brown, 23–41 lines (31–2 lines on pp. 11a–12a, respectively); pricking for single column visible in upper and lower margins of several leaves, and also for top and bottom lines at or near edge of text area (e.g. p. 43). Opening word(s) of each chapter in display script; opening initials of individual chapters plain, but elaborately decorative initials (6- to 2-line) in opening chapter of each alphabetical section in portion of text written by scribe 1, with initial H (p. 27.19) particularly intricate with zoomorphic finials. Each chapter begins on new line except for Rafanus, which begins mid-line (p. 45.27) following final item in unique table of contents for letter R (i.e. p. 45, lines 28–33, 27). Initials and text in display script coloured red (initial C, p. 20.5 red and black), also several capitals, pp. 1–3, 11–20; ceann fo eite sometimes coloured red in pp. 18–20; remains of rubricated letters on recto of first of two stubs preceding p. 11; red colouring of initials, text in display script, capitals, ceann fo eite, closing signs and occasional other words and phrases resumes p. 44 and continues to p. 64, with line in red being frequently drawn in blank spaces separating paragraphs of text in portion of text written by scribe 2, and with occasional underlining in red of text in this portion of manuscript (e.g. pp. 44.27–9, 52.z); line demarcating table of contents of letter R from surrounding text in p. 45m coloured red; occasional capitals coloured brown (?), p. 22; capital letters frequently splashed yellow-brown, pp. 23–40, also closing signs and occasional other words; initials in opening chapters of G (p. 25.w), H (p. 27.20), I (p. 28.10), M (p. 33.1), N (p. 39.15) coloured yellow-brown and black; initial in opening chapter of L (p. 29.1) heavily stained but apparently coloured in black only; text in display script frequently highlighted in faint orange (?), pp. 32–43. Section (b): ruling chiefly brown with some dry point (e.g. pp. 75 and 80), double columns, 26–7 lines (grid clear, e.g. p. 72); pricking for double columns visible in upper and lower margins near leaf edge, and for top and bottom lines at upper and lower edges of text area, respectively; pricking for horizontal text-lines visible in inner margin of pp. 90–95. Opening initials (3- to 1-line) plain in pp. 65–76, more ornate from p. 77 onwards, and frequently with elaborate calligraphic flourish (e.g. pp. 81a, 97a, 99b, 108–110); initials in text (2- to 1-line) usually plain, but occasionally with decoration or flourish (e.g. p. 83am). Each chapter begins on new line except for Spondosa solis (p. 76b), Plantagho (p. 77a) and De urticha (113a9), each of which begins mid-line immediately following end of preceding section. Initials and capitals coloured red pp. 65–8, but rubrication discontinued thereafter. `Amein' written in centre of blank space of initial D, p. 90a21; illegible writing (about 4 lines, in later hand?) in blank space of initial P, p. 42.26; letter (?) coloured bright green, p. 90, inner margin. Marginal labels `flichideacht' and `em[? o]r[...]', p. 11, outer margin; final words of p. 99b1 written above line in upper margin.

Vellum defective pp. 1–2, 13–14, 17–18, 25–30, 33–4, 37–8, 45–8, 57–8, 92–7, 106–7, 114–5; slit in pp. 25–6 evidently stitched prior to writing but thread now lost; pp. 27–8, 86–7 stitched prior to writing with parchment coloured thread; lower outer corners of pp. 3–4 and 35–6 separate pieces of vellum stitched on before writing; lower inner corner of pp. 19–20 and entire lower part of pp. 21–21a a separate piece of vellum stitched onto bifolium before writing, bearing parts of 6 lines on p. 21 and 7 lines on p. 21a. Strips cut from lower margins of pp. 5–6, 23–8 with no loss of text but damage to marginalia on p. 26, lower margin. Slight tear in inner corner of pp. 64a–65 with slight damage to text; small holes in pp. 114–5 with slight loss of text; slight hole in pp. 64a–65, 70–71 with damage to some letters; small tears in outer margin of pp. 68–9, and in lower margin of pp. 114–5. Large section cut away from outer half of pp. 88–9 with substantial loss of text in both columns; strip cut from lower margin of pp. 106–7 with no loss of text. Staining throughout, especially at outer edges of leaves; some illegibility due to staining, pp. 65 and 114; pp. 64a and 115 heavily stained and entirely illegible due to blackening and rubbing, suggesting prolonged use as outer covers.

Notes and jottings. (a) 1, lower margin. `[...] [? folumla] [? ma]tigtin [...].'
(b) 2, lower margin (inverted). [...] / [? Received] [? frome] [...] / [...] [? frome] [? xx ...] [? June] [...]
(c) 4, lower margin. `comortus annso rre Seadhan O Sirda[.].'\ (d) 5, lower margin. `os le Dia do saorudh sinn irud[?h] ce ocreidinn.'
(e) 6, lower margin. `fechain glesan.'\ (f) 7, lower margin. `sit + latus + proatus + ste[? am]begeatus [corrected from ste[? am]begetus] + sanus + fiadat + isde + / capallus +
(g) 10, lower margin. `[...] [? sbptunne] [...] b[...].'
(h) 12, lower margin. `aimna mna mouir do cuir mo corp caile.'
(j) 15, upper margin. `sal muta earn[? a]c muta mari [?gea ...].'
(k) 15, lower margin, inverted. `Dorchacht [? gach] Gaedhilge dair liom.'
(l) 16, outer margin. `a' (repeated).
(m) 16, lower margin. `amen.'
(n) 17, upper margin. `[...] [? Con Leaga 7 ] [...].'
(o) 18, lower margin, inverted. `[...]n m[...] [...] / be m[...] [...]'; foll. by arithmetical calculation: `26 [...] / 265 [...].'
(p), lower margin, inverted. Arithmetical calculation: `[...] / [...] / [...] 265.'
(q) 20, lower margin, inverted. `Truag sin a leabhrain mhóir dhubh / t[?a]inic lá 7 is fior.'
(r) 21a, lower margin. `Be[?an]acht let a duillog gu mnai na laig.'
(s) 21a, lower margin, inverted. `[...] [... ? ne ...] / [...].'
(t) 21b, lower margin. `fechain.'
(u) ibid., inverted. `[dots] [.]ne[.].'
(v) ibid. Scribbling.
(w) 22, lower margin. Scribbling.
(x) 26, lower margin. `[fecain glesa some letters slightly damaged due to mutilation of leaf] annse ó acorrtuama.'
(y) 28, lower margin. `amedicouobis.'
(z) 28, lower margin. Scribbling.
(aa) 29, lower margin. `fechain glesa ann so.'
(bb) 30, lower margin, inverted. `[? Be it knowen] [.]rite [acots] / [? by] men be [...] [? presented].'
(cc) 31, lower margin. `fiuchidumaibanamaigh da fhuil n[? a]c oircheas dagh bersibeir [? muin] / mur meanma anuis o fuil earna 7 Fheargais.'
(dd) 32, lower margin. `fecai[...]' (erased).
(ee) 32, lower margin. In Ogham script: `Olc sin a Mailsaechlaend mor'. Foll. (in Irish script) by: `Legh sin.'
(ff) 33, lower margin. In Ogham script: `Commortus [...] re or u Connla mise Maileachlainn.' Foll. (in Irish script) by: `[? Legh ...]' (erased).
(gg) 36, lower margin, inverted. `Dirty mas[? ly] nasly lasty Books.'
(hh) 41, lower margin. `Beir [? b ...] [? in ... acht] do luath do t[...].'
(ii) 43, lower margin. `[...] [? dh]ragh na ndoctuire a lucht lerbh ail beth i [? fod] a[...] [? i]s duine do drochmunad nac geb[? a] / tegasg bhuainne.'
(ll) 44, lower margin. `37.'
(mm) 44, lower margin. `Marsin.'
(nn) 50, lower margin. `S[? a]m latna consuineth coir donid eolaig ni hegin dar son gr[? ad] g[? o] cl[? eb]e 7 f[? ar]cht .p. ars[? aid] / ceillg[? ed] on 7 nars[? aid] ngbharcht luis 7 mar s[? in] en .r. gac consaen dar luag me coir imadh / a cein gac sg[? el] sene anim lat tuci consaine.'
(oo) 62, in space between ll. 6 and 7 of text: `Is olc inpend so agum 7 ni biase nios fearr.'
(pp) 67, upper margin. `amen.'
(qq) 68, upper margin. `amen'; foll. by space and `amen anen.'
(rr) 69, upper margin. `[...] [? n]a reimeann re [? ro] soirbidh modan leighinn leir [? arig ...] [? ad] buidhnigh buain fuaigh dam mochuin ní reim ceill.'
(ss) 81, upper margin. `atusa agles mopenni anois fein .i. Dabiudh.'
(tt) 81, lower margin. `Diar: O Siaghail.'
(uu) 82, upper margin. `John Mc Namara from [? C erasure].'
(vv) 82, lower margin. `John [? Mc] Nemara of Forthill Near Castle[...] / Esqr president one of his Majesties attorney at Law sworn Lawyer in / Filliscourt London.'
(ww) 83, lower margin. `do cuir misi.'
(xx) 84, lower margin. `In my g[? en]ing God be my.'


1.   [Herbal of Tadhg Ó Cuinn (a. 1415): letters A (acephalous), B–D, E (incomplete), F (acephalous), G–Z.] Acephalous. Beg. here in letter A with Ambra sperma ceti .i. 2 ainm ata ar coimpert in mil moir (p. 11). Articles in letter B beg. p. 17.1; C, 20.5; D, 21.18; E, 22.8; F (acephlous), 23.1; G, 25.w; H, 27.19; I, 28.9; L, 29.1; M, 33.1; N, 39.14; O, 41.23; P, 42.26; Q, 45.16; R, 45.27; S, 48.16; T, 54.18; U, 56.w; Y, 61.14; Z, 63.3. Chasm in text after p. 22 which breaks off in letter E with end of section on Endiuia. Resumes p. 23 in letter F (in section beg. Ferrum ferrugo 7 sgamaferri ms 1343, p. 77.19) o linn dub. Item in deoch a mbaitter no berbter leisin sloightec dól. Ends (p. 63.16) in letter Z in section on Ziucra with an croidhi 7 na nuile ball annsa leactuir [so doreir] \textit Isag `gurub amlaid sin do cricnaigedh Matcer do tarrngedh a haindterib 7 a albula[i][...] Catrach Salernitania 7 doreir sduider doctuir tSleibi Pisilain na fisiceacht 7 Tadg O Cuind baisiler a fisigecht a mi Octimper a sollamain Lucais [so]iscel 7 is e dobo slan [dobo tslan otiose] dar tigerna an tan sin .i. mile .4. ced [[...] deg nis mo. Et gach aen legfis an leabur so tobrudh beannacht ar anmain Tha[...] hi Cuind 7 Aenguis hi Callannan do fuair a nGaedilg e 7 ar anmain an te do sgrib an leobur. Maghnus mc Gilla na Naem micc a Leagha o [...]ter 7 ata fi [...].' 265 articles, alphabetically arranged (A 21, B 18, C 51, D 8, E 4, F 17 (= 1 acephalous, 16 complete), G 9, H 3, I 4, L 19, M 24, N 7, O 5, P 12, Q 1, R 7, S 25, T 11, U 13, Y 4, Z 2). For order of leaves see above. Article on Centinodia (p. 11a.1–z) foll. by comment in hand of scribe 2: `dair mo breithir is maith an liter so tuas.'

12a.   Cures for flux. Excerpted from commentary on Galen Megategni (from chapter on bloody and sanious flux, beg. Fluxus autem qui est cum sangine 7 sane, ms 1341, p. 12b45). Beg. [Item gab] cloc[a] abann 7 derg iad 7 bruith bainne gobuir leo. Ends ar eanbruithe circe 7 ar uisce. Corresponds to ms 1341, p. 13a28–40.

12a.8.   On three things that cause liver damage. Beg. Atait .3. neithi o ngortaigtear na hae. Breaks off with p. 12a lactuca 7 sbicanardi 7 s(?)cinanntum 7 cam[amilla] 7 sanndaili 7 [...].

63.z.   On the medicinal virtues of feverfew. Beg. Febrefugha .i. fidarbuaidh atait .iiii. haicinta aici. Ends 7 an ceann do nighi as 7 fuiridh duine on leithi (p. 64.11). For a more legible copy of this text see NLI G 11, p. 88b5–29.

64.12.   On the medicinal virtues of whiskey. Beg. Aqua uite .i. an tuisci beatha foghnaid do glanad an maclaic. Ends Et traet[...] an cosachtach 7 a hibe (p. 64.16).

64.17.   On the medicinal virtues of rue. Beg. Rubta .i. an ruib tirim sa .2. ceim 7 is tarbach hi com [...] 7 a hibhe. Ends 7 a comailt dona suilib 7 is cumachtach foir[eas] (p. 64.x).

64.y.   [Hippocrates Aphorismi, bk 7.34.] Que in urinas ampuille super natant neifreiticas significat 7 acutum egritudinem .i. cebe fual ara mbia ampuila .i. cubar leathan bolgac signigid sin neifresim .i. galar [...].

64a.a1.   [Matthaeus Platearius Circa Instans; tract also incorporates extensive passages from Macer's De viribus herbarum, and a number of passages derived from an unidentifieid source. For incipits of prologue and text, see ms 1319/2/8, f. 1r.] P. 64a illegible but apparently contains opening of prologue corresponding to 1319/2/8, f. 118ra1–29. P. 65a1 beg. (in prologue) in leigis traethar foiregnighi in deadhma [= 1319/2/8, p. 279a29, and Platearius, Liber de simplici medicina dictus Circa instans (Venice 1497) [henceforth CI] f. 186ra]; prologue ends 7 cinnas dleaghar atabairt amail ata isin nearbalair nadeagaidh. Text beg. [? A]errum ferrugo 7 scama ferri eius dem uirtute est .i. in tiarand is fuaraidhe 7 in tlade 7 aiataireanna 7 is inund brig doib (p. 66a13) [= CI, f. 198rb4]. is e in Plinius cetna dorinni in leabur risinnabar Enesmon do briaib 7 do moladh na luibi sin `finit' (p. 79a12); text continues without break Allium .i. in gorlog is teasaidhi. Ends 7 is dearbtha [in] leigeas sin `finit amen'. Loss of text due to mutilation of pp. 88a12–89az, 89b12–z, 110a3–10, 111b3–10. Chasms between pp. 89 and 90 [= NLI G 11, pp. 83b33–84a19], 95 and 96 [= 1319/2/8, pp. 282az–283a17], 113 and 114 [= 1319/2/8, pp. 292b13–301b1].

114b13.   On treatment of phrenesis. Beg. Prima die frenesi corum eis tisane sucum .i. isin cetlo na frenisis .i. in dasachta tobar sugh in tisana doib. Last legible lines read: doib 7 aran arna tum[ad] [...] / 7 tabair doib 7 caithed [...] (p. 114bw–x). P. 114by–z largely illegible; p. 115 entirely illegible.

Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha