Materia medica

15th or 16th cent. Vellum. 26–27 x 17.5–19 cm (pp. 1–46); 23.5–25 x 18.5–19 cm (pp. 47–54). Pp. 54, paginated 1–54. No scribal signatures. Scribes: (1) main scribe, pp. 1–27.18; (2) pp. 27 (lines 18–20, 23 (in part), 26 (in part)–31 (in part), 39, 42–z), 28 (lines 1–29 (in part)), 29–32, 49–54; (3) pp. 27 (lines: 21–22, 23 (in part)–26 (in part), 31 (in part)–38, 40–41) and 28 (lines: 29 (in part)–z); (4) pp. 33–48. For details of annotations passim in later hand, see below. For partial translation of text by Mark Leyden, bound in with manuscript, see below.

Collation: iii8, iii8 wants 6 with loss of text (unnumbered stub, bearing remnants of text (see below), between pp. 42 and 43), iv8 wants 2–3 and 6–7, with loss of text where defective. Housed in conservation box labelled `TCD / ms / 1386' on spine, and stamped `TCD ms 1386' on inside of flap. Bound in full blue rexine. `H. / 5. / 14.' and `Materia medica' (transversely) in gold on spine. `Bound March 1898' in pencil on pastedown inside front cover. Two unnumbered endpapers (32 x 20 cm) front and back. Endpapers from a previous binding (27–8 x 19–19.5 cm), two front and two back, watermarked: IPING / 1806, with countermark of a seated Britannia in a crowned oval. For seven leaves bound in between the two sets of rear endpapers, see below. ms numbers in pencil, `1386', `H.5.14' (cancelled), and `(1386)' (cancelled), on recto of first endpaper; ms numbers `Olim 102' and `H.5.14' on recto of third endpaper. Single column, ruled in dry point and in brown, 39–50 (pp. 1–46) and 33–41 (pp. 47–54) lines; text written below top line. Remains of pricking for single column visible in upper and lower margins of most leaves towards, or near, leaf-edge; traces of pricking for horizontal text-lines in pp. 1–32, in outer margins towards leaf-edge, and in inner margins near spine. Each article beg. on new line except for `Auena' (beg. p. 13.18, mid-line), `Aurum' (beg. p. 13.22, mid-line), `Crocus' (beg. p. 24.z, mid-line) and `Saturion' (beg. p. 52.10, final word of line), each of which begins on final line of immediately preceding article. Guide-letters written in margins and spaces reserved for decorative initials (3- to 2-line) in pp. 1–48 (except at p. 13.20 (`Auricul[a] muiris'), but initials nowhere filled in (initial at p. 2.28 crudely filled in by later hand; wider spaces reserved for initials, pp. 28–32; no guide-letter written for space reserved for initial E at p. 28.3; guide-letter `e' written in margin facing p. 30.24 but no space reserved for corresponding initial and no initial written in margin). Opening words of each article in display script (first full line of each article, p. 1; thereafter, usually only Latin name(s), occasionally both Latin and Irish names), except for `Saturion' (p. 52.10); opening word of receipt (`Uiola', p. 54.1) within article on `Uiola', and first line of Latin citation (p. 54.31) within article on `Uinum' also in display script. Text of p. 21.z extending into lower margin boxed (frame partially rubricated). Contraction for quaestio, p. 21, inner margin (facing p. 21.13), rubricated, and apparently otiose as no quaestio in this article of text. Occasional erasures (e.g. p. 23.4). Textual omissions or corrections supplied: pp. 6 and 14, upper margins; p. 15, inner margin; p. 42, outer margin. Extensive rubrication in all gatherings, but rubrication of no gathering complete; thus, opening words of articles coloured red, pp. 1–11, 12.1 (opening two words only: rubrication in first gathering (i.e. pp. 1–16) discontinued from p. 12.1 onwards), 17–23, 33–41, 46–8, with initials (1-line) within text, ceann fo eite and line-fillers in these leaves (except p. 12) being also generally slashed in red (p. 43 without rubrication except for line-filler slashed in red, p. 43.z); rubrication of most guide-letters in pp. 1–3, 8–11, 17, 20–23, 36–40, 48; occasional offset of rubrication (e.g. pp. 2, 48, inner margin; 49.w). Darkening and discoloration of pp. 1, 16, 32, 33, 46, 47 and 54 suggest gatherings kept separate for a considerable length of time.

Captions in later hand in margin facing rubrics (less frequently in margin following rubrics), or in space reserved for guide letter, repeat Irish name of materia medica to which individual articles are devoted, pp.  1–13, 17, 20 (?), 27, 32–5 (captions in spaces at p. 1.19, 26 illegible); further annotations in same hand in vertical margins (pp. 2–3, 6–7, 15, 17–21, 23–5, 27, 33–7, 39–40, 42, 44–5) signal or recommend specific types of medicines alluded to in text (e.g. inner margins of pp. 2, 3, 15; p. 20, outer margin), draw attention to particular ailments mentioned in text (e.g. pp. 3, inner margin; 18, outer margin), or name body members (e.g. p. 17, outer margin) for which treatments in text are designated; a preponderance of captions highlight treatments for ailments of liver and spleen (e.g. outer margins of pp. 6, 7); marginal annotations in Irish (in Latin, pp. 28 and 37, outer margins); text of captions occasionally lost due to cropping of margins (e.g. p. 23, outer margin); captions sometimes faded or illegible (e.g. pp. 15, outer margin, 44, inner margin). Scribe of captions supplies running head (`epatica'), p. 35, upper margin (i.e. incipit of article beg. p. 35.2); `laccthach' p. 44, lower margin (i.e. repetition of word at p. 44.y) also in his hand; crosses in several vertical margins (e.g. inner and outer margins of pp. 5 and 7) drawing attention to particular passages of text possibly also in his hand.

Notes and jottings.
3, lower margin. Foll. list of ingredients: `Ruebarbum agairic tuirbit colocindida casiafistula [? et] / aloes hepaticum aloe sicotrinum electuarium masdix nux musg / benedicta laxatiua'.
17, lower margin. `John Canvan.'
18, lower margin. `Mili mbliadna 7 se .c. 7 .3. mbliadna deag aiss an terna / anuair do heagudh Uatere mac Uilliam [? grana] mec Remainn.'\ 19, upper margin. `Mili bliadhan 7 .u. ced 7 x.xx. 7 .ix. mbliadna aiis / anterna an uair / do heaguadh Tedhag O Flathardtha.'
19, lower margin. `Mile 7 .6. cead 7 seacht mbliadna fiadhat / aiis anterna anuair do heagud / Morrinn Ni hEdhain.'
21, upper margin. `Cormac mac Cairbri mec Muireadaigh Ui Ceannamhain / maighisdir an leabhair so. 2o [in roman script: Augusti] 1619.'
23, lower margin. `Juacius O Heni / ji.'
37, upper margin. Repetition (with some orthographical variation and with expansion of some contractions) of text of p. 36.z–y.
38, upper margin, inverted. `Meise Fearghal mac Eochadha.'\ 39, upper margin. `asmor.'
39, upper margin. `John K[?anavan].'
40, lower margin. `This booke is written [...] for.'
41, upper margin. `Fechain.'
42, upper margin. `Ata Dabí bregach.'
44, lower margin. `John.'
49, upper margin. `As olc.'
ibid. `Amen.'
ibid. `As olc an dubh so.'
49, lower margin. Scribbling (?); or perhaps two or three attempted letters.
51, upper margin. `Amen.'
52, lower margin. `fg.'
53, upper margin. `Anterie patris perme tenet oppr [...].'
Slight scribbling in upper margin of p. 23. Illegible writing, p. 1, lower margin.


1.   Herbal (a. 1415) of Tadhg Ó Cuinn (fl. 1400–15). Beg. [A]ron barba iarus pes uituli .i. tri hanmanna in gheadhair 7 is follas do reir Rasis a leabur Coilliget cofuil an luibh so teasaide tirim andsa .3. ceim. Foll. by alphabetical sections beg.: B, p. 13.31; C, 16.9; D, 25.39; E, 28.3; F, 30.43. Breaks off (in article beg. Fumus terre .i. an fuime terre, p. 32.46) with p. 32 7 coimeadhaidh neach on lubru 7 foiridh gach uili bhruth 7 foiridh [...] [= ms 1343, p. 79a20]. 149 alphabetically arranged articles (viz. A 49, B 17, C 49, D 8, E 14, F 12 (i.e. 11 + 1 (incomplete)).

33.   Herbal (a. 1415) of Tadhg Ó Cuinn (fl. 1400–15). Acephalous. Beg. here in letter D (in article beg. [D]iptanus pulegium martis .i. da ainm an litontra in 1343, p. 73a) thsheimightheach 7 briogh disgailteach ann 7 is mor fhoghnas an aigidh na neimi. Foll. by alphabetical sections beg.: E, p. 34.5; F, 35.y; G, 38.21; H, 39.28; I, 39.y; L, 40.39; M, 43.1 (acephalous); N, 45.35; O, 47.12; P, 48.13; R, 49.1 (acephalous); S, 50.12; T, 53.1 (acephalous); U, 53.14. Chasm in text after p. 42 which breaks off (in article beg. [L]isium .i. gum crainn, p. 42.y) with 7 ata briogh ghlantach innarbthach ann Pudur in lisium [= 1343, p. 85b2]. Resumes (p. 43) (in article beg. [M]el .i. in mhil, 1343, p. 87b18) with briogh choimeada gac neith ana folad fein. Chasm in text after p. 48 which breaks off (in article beg. [P]iper nigrum .i. pibur dub, p. 48.30) with Et adeir Platearius gurob ar sleibhtibh and [= 1343, p. 94b24]. Resumes (p. 49) (in article beg. Rosmarinus .i. an ros marina in 1343, p. 96b6) ar mil no ar fin 7 a ol 7 foiridh teinneas ingaili. Chasm in text after p. 52, which breaks off (in article beg. [S]torax gum craind p. 52.w) 7 annsan Aisiada [sic] [ga cancelled] dagabur e 7 beirid a mbriogh .x. bliadna [= 1343, p. 100b16]. Resumes (p. 53) (in article beg. [T]apsia .i. anfearban in 1343, p. 102a25) with arteitica 7 potagra 7 sireagra 7 gac uili [easlainte] na feitheadh tig o fuaraideacht. Breaks off (in article beg. Uinum .i. in fin, p. 54.29) with p. 54 doreir mar fuilngeas an naduir he do reir meide [...] [= 1343, p. 104a21]. Leaf between pp. 42 and 43 excised but recto of stub bears opening letters/words of final lines of article on `Lisium', foll. by opening letters or words of six further articles in L and of an article in M [i.e. `Mas'] continued on verso of excised leaf; writing on lower part of stub verso indicates that text of article on `Mel' began on lower half of excised leaf. 141 alphabetically arranged articles (i.e. 133 complete, 8 in part; and excluding 7 chapters only remnants of which survive on stub) (viz. D 2, E 14, F 18, G 9, H 4, I 5, L 13, M 19, N 7, O 5, P 5, R 6, S 21, T 6, U 7).

Foll. by seven leaves (32 x 20 cm; watermarked: IPING / 1806, with countermark of a seated Britannia in a crowned oval) bound in between the two sets of rear endpapers, with first leaf bearing a modern pencil pagination `2/i', `2/ii', and remaining six paginated in ink 1–12 in hand of scribe of text (p. 1 also bears modern pencil pagination `2/1'). No scribal signature. In the hand of Mark Leyden (see O'Sullivan, Anne and William O'Sullivan, `Edward Lhuyd's collection of Irish manuscripts', Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (1962) 57–76: 59 n. 14). Comprises translation into English of 17 chapters (A, 14; B, 2; C 1) of foregoing Irish text with occasional explanatory footnotes (pp. 1, 3, 4). Catchwords p. 2.

f. [1]r. `A / Translation / of a few / Articles / of an / Irish Materia medica / Belonging to the / Library / of / Trinity College Dublin.' F. [1]v blank.

p. 1. Headed: `A literal Translation of a few Articles of an Irish Materia Medica / Belonging to the library of Trinity College Dublin.' Beg. (i) Amedum Amillum. A medicine made of the Juice of wheat (translates pp. 8.z–9.12 above). Foll. by articles beg. (ii) Ambra Spermaceti. This brings great relief in Epilepsy (p. 1.17) (translates p. 8.23–30 above); (iii) Alumen, Stibturia, Sucarum. 3 names of the Alum (p. 1.25) (translates p. 8.11–22 above); (iv) Anicula alba scabiosa. This herb is hot \& dry in the 2nd Degree (p. 2.1) (translates p. 9.13–24 above); (v) Allium. Garlick (p. 2.17) (translates pp. 9.25–10.1 above); (vi) Acantum, semen Urtice. Seed of Nettle (p. 3.16) (translates p. 9.2–5 above); (Note, however, that p. 10.5 of Irish text is here translated (p. 3.19–20) into Latin rather than English, the Latin translation being then cancelled.) (vii) Blionia molena [in Irish script: .i. an coinndiall Muire]. Lady's Mantle (p. 3.20) (translates p. 14.44–y above); (viii) Borax. is hot and dry in the 3d Degree (p. 3.27) (translates p. 15.4–7 above); (ix) Accedula, oxilappacium Ruei. Samhadh Sorrel (p. 4.21) (translates p. 3.24–37 above); (x) Accrida, bancia pastinaca, the Parsnip (p. 4.21) (translates p. 4.9–19 above; translation of p. 4.11–12 of Irish text subsequently erased but legible); (xi) Cardinis benedictus [in Irish script: An Torcán] (translates p. 16.29–32 above); (xii) Albeston calax viva Quicklime (p. 5.7) (translates p. 7.7–10 above); (xiii) Altea malva bismalva. the Mallows (p. 5.12) (translates p. 7.11–27 above); (xiv) Alphur flox fraxini. The flower or seed of Ash (p. 5.35) (translates p. 7.37–42 above); (xv) Acalife vel Urtica. Nettles (p. 6.1) (translates p. 2.28–44 above); (xvi) Allusal Sepa. The Garden Onion (p. 6.23) (translates p. 7.43–z above); (xvii) Agrimonia. Argimonia. An marbdhroidhin (p. 6.30). Ends with p. 6 Pounded thro Vinegar it will prevent Warts (translates p. 5.10–16 above). Pp. 7-12 blank.

Aoibheann Nic Dhonnchadha