Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 2

  • s. xvin
  • distinct manuscript
  • Irish manuscripts
  • vellum
23 P 2
Book of Lecan
(Modern Irish: Leabhar Leacain), also called the Great Book of Lecan (Modern Irish: Leabhar Mór Leacain); also known as the Great Book of the Mac Firbis of Lecan (Leabhar Mór Mhic Fhir Bhisigh Leacáin)
Provenance and related aspects
s. xvin
Beginning of the 15th century
Hands, scribes
Hands indexed:
Principal hand Chief compiler and scribe who identifies himself as Giolla Íosa Mac Fhir Bhisigh on more than one occasion. Giolla Íosa Mac Fhir BhisighMac Fhir Bhisigh (Giolla Íosa) (fl. c. 1390–1418) – No short description available
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Assistant hand 1 Ádam Ó Cuirnín Ádam Ó CuirnínÓ Cuirnín (Ádam) (fl. c. 1418) – Irish scribe, assistant of Giolla Íosa Mac Fhir Bhisigh.
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Assistant hand 2 Murchadh Riabhach Ó Cuindlis. Murchadh Ó CuindlisÓ Cuindlis (Murchadh) (fl. c.1400?) – Murchadh (Riabhach) Ó Cuindlis, Irish scribe; pupil of Giolla Íosa Mac Fhir Bhisigh
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Codicological information
UnitCodicological unit. Indicates whether the entry describes a single leaf, a distinct or composite manuscript, etc.
distinct manuscript
Foliation / Pagination
211 folia. We follow the catalogue description and ISOS in giving primacy to the foliation of the facsimile edition. There are two foliations in the manuscript itself:
  • (a) one datable to 1612 and indicated in the upper right corner; running ff. 10-172, 173-220, 221-230 (displaced), 231-287, 289-312.
  • (b) a late one indicated in the bottom middle of the page; running 1-107, [108*] (missing as this leaf has been skipped), 108-140, 142-163, 164-211, 212-221 (displaced), 222-302.

In addition, there is pagination in the lower left corner.

The facsimile foliation takes into account missing pages that can be supplied from the TCD fragment and corrects the position of misplaced leaves (ff. 173-182).
The list below has been collated from the table of contents, if available on this page,Progress in this area is being made piecemeal. Full and partial tables of contents are available for a small number of manuscripts. and incoming annotations for individual texts (again, if available).Whenever catalogue entries about texts are annotated with information about particular manuscript witnesses, these manuscripts can be queried for the texts that are linked to them.


Primary sources This section typically includes references to diplomatic editions, facsimiles and photographic reproductions, notably digital image archives, of at least a major portion of the manuscript. For editions of individual texts, see their separate entries.

Mulchrone, Kathleen, The Book of Lecan: Leabhar mór Mhic Fhir Bhisigh Leacain, Facsimiles in Collotype of Irish Manuscripts 2, Dublin: Stationery Office, 1937. Facsimile edition, with introduction and indexes.
“Royal Irish Academy”, Ó Macháin, Pádraig (director), Irish Script on Screen (ISOS) – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. URL: <>.

Secondary sources (select)

Mulchrone, Kathleen, Thomas F. O'Rahilly, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, and A. I. Pearson (eds.), Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy, 8 vols, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1926–1970.
Vol. 3, fasc. 13: 1551–1610 [id. 535.]
C. A.,Dennis Groenewegen
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