Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318

  • s. xiv – s. xv
  • composite manuscript
  • Irish manuscripts
  • miscellany
H 2. 16
Cat. no. 1318
Yellow Book of Lecan (Leabhar Buidhe Lecain)
Provenance and related aspects
s. xiv – s. xv
14th and 15th century
Hands, scribes
Codicological information
UnitCodicological unit. Indicates whether the entry describes a single leaf, a distinct or composite manuscript, etc.
composite manuscript
Distinct units
cols 1a*-2b*

1 f. Fragment 1 of Betha Féchín Fabair. First folio of a section which continues in col. 125 below. The pages of this folio, numbered 1 and 2, contain two columns each.

cols 3-122

20 ff. Sanas Cormaic (cols. 3-87, written by Iolland and Torna Ó Maoil Chonaire) and O'Mulconry's glossary (A-T).

cols 123a*-124b*

pp. 123-124 (1 f.). Fragment of TBDD.

cols 125-128

1 f. Fragment 2 of Betha Féchín Fabair. Second folio of the section beginning at p. 1 (col. 1a) above.

cols 129-216

23 ff. A duanaire of Classical Irish verse.

cols 217-280

16 ff. Miscellany of religious and secular literature. Written in 1407 by Donnchad Ó Duinín for Fingín Ó Mathghamhna

cols 281-344

16 ff. Miscellany of religious and secular literature. Scribe: Murchadh Ó Cuindlis.

cols 345-364

6 ff. Fragment of an Early Modern Irish version of Táin bó Flidaise

col. 369

Letter by Tadhg Ó Rodaighe (c. 1700).

cols 370-400

8 ff. The Yellow Book of Lecan proper. The title occurs in a marginal note in col. 380 by Ciothruad mac Taidg Ruaid.

cols 401-436

9 ff. Dinnshenchas Érenn (fragment)

cols 437-476

10 ff. Medical. Irish translation of Rosa Anglica.

cols 477-486

3 ff. Medical tract.

cols 487-499

4 ff. Medical. On the Aphorisms of Hippocrates.

cols 500-572

18 1/2 ff. Learned and gnomic literature (Auraicept na n-éces, etc.).

cols 573-958

99 ff. Miscellany mostly written by Giolla Íosa Mac Fhirbhisigh in about 1391. It currently falls into twelve sections. It includes early Irish narrative works such as Táin bó Cúailnge (cols 573-619) and Togail bruidne Da Derga (cols 716-739b).


4 ff. A manuscript no longer in YBL, but now existing separately as NLI G 4.

Work in progress
The manuscript is a large composite work whose codices and fragments were collected and united in a single volume by Edward Lhuyd. In their catalogue description, Abbott and Gwynn give its constituent sections as given below. The tables of contents provided in the entries linked below are also based on their description. In addition to paraphrasing or citing the catalogue, however, the tables build on it in order to provide a new, updated version within the overall framework of the catalogue. Most of the additional information is drawn from sources on the individual texts that are contained in the manuscript. Please note that there are still omissions that need to be addressed and that more work is needed to provide an overview of the scholia and glosses.(1)n. 1 T. K. Abbott • E. J. Gwynn, Catalogue of Irish MSS in TCD (1921): 94–131 and its supplement.



T. K. Abbott • E. J. Gwynn, Catalogue of Irish MSS in TCD (1921): 94–131 and its supplement.

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.

[dig. img.] “Trinity College, Dublin”, Ó Macháin, Pádraig (director), Irish Script on Screen (ISOS) – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. URL: <>.
Photographic reproduction.
[facs.] Atkinson, Robert [ed.], The Yellow Book of Lecan: a collection of pieces (prose and verse) in the Irish language, in part compiled at the end of the fourteenth century, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1896.  
comments: Facsimile edition of the Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318.
Facsimile edition.

Secondary sources (select)

Abbott, T. K., and E. J. Gwynn, Catalogue of the Irish manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co, 1921.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
94–110; 342–348 (supplement) direct link direct link
Ó Concheanainn, Tomás, “Gilla Ísa Mac Fir Bhisigh and a scribe of his school”, Ériu 25 (1974): 157–171.
O'Sullivan, William, “Ciothruadh’s Yellow Book of Lecan”, Éigse 18:2 (1981): 177–181.
Oskamp, Hans P. A., “The Yellow Book of Lecan proper”, Ériu 26 (1975): 102–121.
Dennis Groenewegen,Patrick Brown
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