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Volume / Number: 2 / 273

CLA 273
  • Dublin Ireland Trinity College MS 57 (A. IV. 5)
Script Insular Majuscule
Date VII² (650 - 700)
Origin and Provenance

Written in Northumbria by a hand trained in the Irish manner, and copied from an exemplar in the hand of St Columba, the founder of Durrow, to judge by the two subscriptions on fol. 247v: ‘Rogo beatitudinem tuam sancte praesbiter patrici ut quicumque hunc libellum manu tenuerit meminerit columbae scriptoris. qui hoc scripsi himet euangelium. per xii dierum spatium. gratia domini nostri s.s.’; and under this, after a space of seven lines: ‘Ora pro me frater mi dominus tecum sit’. The silver cumdach, a gift from Flann, King of Ireland (†916), is now lost, but a copy of its dedicatory inscription to Columb Cille was entered on the MS in 1677. The MS came into the hands of Henry Jones, Scoutmaster-general to Cromwell’s army in Ireland and Vice-Chancellor of Dublin University, who became Bishop of Meath in 1661. He presented it to Trinity College. The Gospel text is of the Northumbrian family (A and Y). Palaeographically there is kinship with the Codex Epternacensis, Paris Lat. 9389 (CLA 5.578).

CLA Vol. 2
TM Number TM 66359
Support Parchment
Contents Testamentum Novum, Evangelia (Mt, Mc, Lc, Io).
Name Book of Durrow. Codex Durmachensis.
Script Commentary

Script is an expert calligraphic majuscule using d, N n, R r, S , with , n, r, S perhaps the more frequent: g in ligature with n or r resembles an elongated S; uncial A is used here and there, preferably at the beginning of a word; uncial M lying sideways occurs at line-ends; ligatures of ae, nt and ui occur; occasionally Greek letters are used. A less stately, more fluent script is found on fol. 116.


☛CLA first-edition date (VIII) changed to follow CLA 6, p. X and second edition; folio of subscriptions (12v) changed to follow manuscript foliation. ☛R. Powell, ‘The Book of Kells, the Book of Durrow’ Scriptorium 10 (1956) pp. 3–21. ☛Gamber, CLLA 142. ☛McGurk, Gospel books no. 86. ☛Weber-Gryson, Vulgata MS D (Ev).

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Last modified 07 April 2022