Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 2

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Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 2

Book of Lecan
  • s. xvin
  • Irish manuscripts
Identifiers
Shelfmark
23 P 2
Title
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
Date
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
Material
vellum

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f. 26
Réidig dam, a Dé, do nim (Dublittir Úa hUathgaile)
Incipit: Reidich dam a De do nimAscribed to: Donncuachbaid Ó FuathgailiPoem (97 qq)
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f. 30v
Ádam athair, sruith ar sluag
Ascribed to: OengusPoem (103 qq). Cf. RIA MS 23 G 5, p. 1, and Keating, Foras feasa, I.
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f. 31v
A éigsi Banba na mbend
Ascribed to: Giolla Ísa Mac Fir BisichPoem by Giolla Íosa Mac Fir Bhisigh. See Gisbert Hemprich, ‘Das Gedicht A éigsi Banba na mbend von Giolla Íosa Mac Firbhisigh (gest. 1301) und die irische Réim ríoghraidhe-Tradition’ in Kelten-Einfälle an der Donau. Akten des Vierten Symposiums deutschsprachiger Keltologinnen und Keltologen ... Linz/Donau, 17.-21. Juli 2005... (2007).
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f. 32r
Scribal colophon.
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f. 32v
Cuibdeas comanmann na ríg
MS heading: Comhanmanna righa ErendIncipit: Cuibdeas comanmann na rigAscribed to: Gilla Modubda, i.e. Gilla Mo Dutu (Úa Caiside)
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f. 33r–f. 33v
Éreamon is Éber ard
Incipit: Hereamon is Hebear ard83 qq, on kings from Éremón to Eochaid Feidlech
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On the saints of Ireland

Senchas Naomh Érend (in later hand)
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f. 34ra–f. 35ra
Do mháithribh na náomh
Incipit: Ondbahum no Gondbaum do Bretnaib mathair PadraicCatalogue of the mothers of Irish saints.
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f. 35ra
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
Genealogies of biblical characters: Mary, Joseph, three men called Britus, and others.
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f. 35vc
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
List of members of Patrick’s household
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f. 35vd
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
Incipit: Munter Padraic na paiterAscribed to: FlannMetrical version (30 qq) of the previous item, on the members of Patrick’s household.
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f. 47ra
Comainmnigud nóem nÉrenn
List of homonymous saints
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f. 49va
Náemsheanchas náem indsi Fáil
181 qq
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f. 51rb
Cethra meic Eógain meic Murchada
Incipit: Ceathra meic Eogain meic Murchada ...On the four saints (Cormac, Beccán, Culán and Díarmait) who were sons of Éogan mac Murchada. Edited from this manuscript, with variants from BB, in J. G. O'Keeffe, ‘Four saints’ in Irish texts, fasciculus III... (1931).
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f. 52vb26–f. 52vb51
Frithfolaid ríg Caisil fri túatha Muman
Incipit: Rig Caisil conrad fond ⁊ grian i taeb no airchind fri mbraithrib ⁊ fria Ciarraidi, Luachra la Corc mac LuigdeachBreaks off imperfect. This is the first recension of the text. See f. 192rb in this manuscript for a second recension.
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Lacuna in the manuscript.
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Genealogical matter

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f. 53
MS heading: Incipit senchas Ugaine Móir ⁊ a chloinneHeading in later hand, which announces the following collection.
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f. 53ra1–f. 53ra38
Diluuium factum est
Incipit: ‘Diluuium factum est .xl. diebus ⁊ .xl. noctibus super tearrum’cf. BB
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. . .
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f. 61vc
Pedigrees of the descendants of Lóegaire mac Néill.
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Lacuna in the manuscript.
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f. 63ra
Pedigrees of the Síl Muiredaig. Begins imperfect.
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f. 69vb
MS heading: Síl Fiachra meic Eachach MuidmedonPedigrees of the Síl Fíachrach
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...
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f. 76va
Tract added in a later hand, on the Ó Dubda family and an arrangement made in 1392 between Donnchad Mór Ó Dubda and Tailtech Muaide.
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On the Airgíalla

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f. 77rb45
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
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f. 77va1
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
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f. 77va31
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
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f. 79ve1
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
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f. 80ra1
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
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f. 80rd
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
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f. 81rd
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
Poem.
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f. 81va32
This text awaits identification in a dedicated catalogue entry, or the entry exists but no link has been made as yet.
MS heading: ‘Genealach h-Ua Maine and so’Incipit: ‘Maine Mor, mac Eachach Fir da Giall’Genealogies, ed. and tr. John O'Donovan, The genealogies, tribes, and customs of Hy-Fiachrach, commonly called O'Dowda's country (1844): 24ff.
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f. 83ra1
Nósa Ua Maine
See Paul Russell, ‘Nósa Ua Maine: ‘The customs of the Uí Mhaine’’ in The Welsh king and his court... (2000); Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, ‘Nósa Ua Maine: fact or fiction?’ in The Welsh king and his court... (2000); John O'Donovan, The genealogies, tribes, and customs of Hy-Fiachrach, commonly called O'Dowda's country (1844): 62ff.
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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 concerning 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.
A éigsi Banba na mbend
(MS)
f. 31v
Poem by Giolla Íosa Mac Fir Bhisigh. See Gisbert Hemprich, ‘Das Gedicht A éigsi Banba na mbend von Giolla Íosa Mac Firbhisigh (gest. 1301) und die irische Réim ríoghraidhe-Tradition’ in Kelten-Einfälle an der Donau. Akten des Vierten Symposiums deutschsprachiger Keltologinnen und Keltologen ... Linz/Donau, 17.-21. Juli 2005... (2007).
(Text)
p. 176a 2  
(Text)
f. 254ra  
(Text)
f. 255ra  
(Text)
f. 90vd, lines 44–49  
(Text)
p. 492a  
(Text)
ff. 151–161  
(Text)
p. 125b  
incipit: Ba mol midend midlaidi   8 qq.
(Text)
f. 84rb, line 46 – 84va, line 2  
(Text)
p. 504b  
(Text)
p. 506b  
(Text)
f. 166c  
Last section of the Life only
(Text)
ff. 185vb–186ra  
(Text)
ff. 297ra–303va  
(Text)
p. 493a  
(Text)
ff. 169va–170ra  
(Text)
f. 192ra-b  
(Text)
f. 90vd, lines 5–9.
n. 1 Johan Corthals, ‘The rhymeless ‘Leinster poems’: diplomatic texts’, Celtica 24 (2003): 92.
  
Cethra meic Eógain meic Murchada
(MS)
f. 51rb
incipit: Ceathra meic Eogain meic Murchada ...   On the four saints (Cormac, Beccán, Culán and Díarmait) who were sons of Éogan mac Murchada. Edited from this manuscript, with variants from BB, in J. G. O'Keeffe, ‘Four saints’ in Irish texts, fasciculus III... (1931).
(Text)
Prose and verse.
(Text)
f. 90vd, lines 35–41  
(Text)
ff. 173r–176r  
(MS)
f. 47ra
List of homonymous saints
(Text)
ff. 47[56]ra–49[58]  
“this is nearer to [RIA MS 23 P 12] than to [LL] and may be copied from it” (Plummer)
(Text)
ff. 181va line 42–181vb line 7  p. 191va line 42–191vb line 7 (facsimile)  
(Text)
f. 167rb (p. 337), lines 6-43  
Cuibdeas comanmann na ríg
(MS)
f. 32v
rubric: Comhanmanna righa Erend   incipit: Cuibdeas comanmann na rig   
(Text)
f. 230va  
incipit: Da mac dec Ceindeitig chaid   Attributed to Mac Liag. 8 qq. Meyer's edition refers to f. 220vb.
(Text)
f. 125ra1-125rb20  
Incomplete
(Text)
ff. 103ra–103vb  
n. 1 Lucius Gwynn, ‘De shíl Chonairi Móir’, Ériu 6 (1912): 132; Johan Corthals, Manuscript sources to Old and Middle Irish tales (MsOmit) (2010).
(MS)
f. 53ra1–f. 53ra38
incipit: Diluuium factum est .xl. diebus ⁊ .xl. noctibus super tearrum   cf. BB
(Text)
f. 53ra (lines 1-38)  
(Text)
f. 84ra, lines 20–26  
(Text)
pp. 461–525   
(Text)
pp. 461–525   
(Text)
f. 34ra-35ra  
incipit: Ondbahum no Gondbaum do Bretnaib mathair Padraic   
(MS)
f. 34ra–f. 35ra
incipit: Ondbahum no Gondbaum do Bretnaib mathair Padraic   Catalogue of the mothers of Irish saints.
(Text)
f. 22v.i  
(Text)
f. 84rb, lines 31–40  
(Text)
f. 92va.7-92va.14  
(Text)
f. 11rb  
(Text)
This copy is accompanied by the Dinnshenchas of Ess Rúaid II (see reference below).
(Text)
p. 498b  
Poem.
(Text)
ff. 351b–353a  
Here entitled Cath Bóinde
(Text)
f. 84va, lines 10–15  
(Text)
ff. 181a–181b  
(Text)
f. 8vb ff  
(Text)
ff. 52vb (line 26)–52vb (line 51)  
Imperfect
(MS)
f. 52vb26–f. 52vb51
incipit: Rig Caisil conrad fond ⁊ grian i taeb no airchind fri mbraithrib ⁊ fria Ciarraidi, Luachra la Corc mac Luigdeach   Breaks off imperfect. This is the first recension of the text. See f. 192rb in this manuscript for a second recension.
(Text)
f. 192rb (line 36)-192vb (line 11)  
(Text)
ff. 163a–164d  
(MS)
f. 36ra
(Text)
ff. 45r–55v  
(Text)
f. 219ra (line 24)-219rb (line 3)  
(Text)
f. 26v  
(Text)
f. 271  
(Text)
p. 492b  
(Text)
f. 91ra, lines 18–21  
(Text)
ff. 1–16 (facsimile)  
(Text)
ff. 264–311  
(MS)
f. 16v–f. 21v
(Text)
ff. 16v–21 (facsimile)  
Incomplete.
(Text)
ff. 194vb (line 12)–202vb (line 26)  
(Text)
ff. 164rd–166  pp. 331d–335   
(Text)
f. 92va, lines 3–7  
(Text)
f. 91ra, lines 22–24  
(Text)
Poem and prose version A
(Text)
p. 498a  
(Text)
p. 498a  
Prose (with poem, Loch Gile I).
(Text)
p. 496a  
(Text)
f. 84rb, lines 7–11  
(Text)
p. 524b  
(Text)
p. 494a  
(Text)
f. 84rb, lines 27–31  
(Text)
f. 92rb, lines 8–10  
(Text)
f. 91ra, lines 7-11  
(Text)
f. 91ra, lines 11–15  
(Text)
f. 181va (lines 8-41)  p. 366a (lines 8-41)  
Fuller version.
(Text)
f. 84rb, lines 11–14  
(Text)
f. 124va-vb  
incipit: MOG RUITH RIGFHILE gan gai   
(Text)
f. 84ra, line 32 - 84rb, line 3  
Náemsheanchas náem indsi Fáil
(MS)
f. 49va
181 qq
Nósa Ua Maine
(MS)
f. 83ra1
See Paul Russell, ‘Nósa Ua Maine: ‘The customs of the Uí Mhaine’’ in The Welsh king and his court... (2000); Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, ‘Nósa Ua Maine: fact or fiction?’ in The Welsh king and his court... (2000); John O'Donovan, The genealogies, tribes, and customs of Hy-Fiachrach, commonly called O'Dowda's country (1844): 62ff.
(Text)
f. 183v  p. 350a  
(MS)
f. 26
incipit: Reidich dam a De do nim   Poem (97 qq)
(Text)
p. 48b  
Abridged version
(MS)
f. 27v
Poem (305 qq)
(Text)
ff. 167rb.44–167va.12  
(Text)
p. 166va-166vb  
(Text)
f. 167ra29-rb5  
incipit: Luid Eogan Mor...   
(Text)
f. 77ra  
(MS)
f. 77ra1
(Text)
p. 151 ff  
(Text)
(Text)
ff. 109rd (line 9)–110v  
incipit: Da mac Echach Munreamair   
(Text)
pp. 22–26   
(MS)
f. 22
(Text)
The only copy that ascribes the poem to Cuán ua Lothcháin
(Text)
f. 240rb  
incipit: Sinand, ca habur dia ta   
(Text)
p. 494a  
(Text)
p. 476b, lines 15-35  
(Text)
ff. 420r–422r  
(Text)
ff. 87a 1–87b 38  
(Text)
ff. 200b 28–200d 26  
(Text)
Closely related version
(Text)
ff. 183b–184b  
(Text)
f. 84va, lines 41–46  
(Text)
p. 503a  
Prose on Túag Inbir and Loch nEchach, with poem (37 qq).
(Text)
f. 275 (facsimile)  
?
Not presently identified in the catalogue.
(MS)
f. 80ra1
(MS)
f. 35vc
List of members of Patrick’s household
(MS)
f. 80rd

FURTHER RESULTS…
  • Sources

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 – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. URL: <https://www.isos.dias.ie/libraries/RIA/english/index.html>.

Secondary sources

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.]

“Royal Irish Academy”, Ó Macháin, Pádraig (director), Irish Script on Screen – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. URL: <https://www.isos.dias.ie/libraries/RIA/english/index.html>.
“MS 23 P 2 (The Book of Lecan)”
Ó Concheanainn, Tomás, “Lebor gabála in the Book of Lecan”, in: Barnard, Toby, Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, and Katharine Simms (eds.), ‘A miracle of learning’: studies in manuscripts and Irish learning. Essays in honour of William O’Sullivan, Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998. 68–90.
Mac Niocaill, Gearóid, “The background of the Battle of Tarbga”, Celtica 11 (1976): 133–140.
O'Brien, M. A. [ed.], Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1962.
CELT – pp. 1–332 (Rawl. B 502): <link>
Ó Raithbheartaigh, Toirdhealbhach [ed.], Genealogical tracts. Vol. 1, Dublin: Irish Manuscript Commission, 1932.
CELT – pp. 107–116 (RIA MS 23 P 12): <link>
107–132   “The ancient tract on the distribution of the Aithech-Thuatha”
Tracts on the tributary peoples from various manuscripts
133–245   “The Lecan miscellany, being a collection of genealogical excerpts in the Book of Lecan”
Miscellaneous excerpts of the Lecan miscellany (133–195, edited from RIA MS 23 P 2, f. 177rb ff; cf. corrigenda in Éigse 17) and also Rawlinson B 502.
Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “A note about Fiacha Muillethan”, Revue Celtique 11 (1890): 41–45.
TLH – edition and translation: <link>, <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
O'Curry, Eugene, Lectures on the manuscript materials of ancient Irish history, delivered at the Catholic University of Ireland during the sessions of 1855 and 1856, Dublin, 1861.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive – Originally from Google Books: <link>, <link>, <link> Internet Archive – multiple copies: <link>
181–202   [Lecture IX] “Of the chief existing ancient books”
O'Donovan, John, The tribes and customs of Hy-Many, commonly called O'Kelly's Country, Dublin: Irish Archaeological Society, 1843.
CELT – edition: <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link>, <link>

web page identifiers
Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen
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