Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318

Yellow Book of Lecan (Leabhar Buidhe Lecain)
  • 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
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.

col. 1a*–col. 2b*
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/1  » 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.
col. 3–col. 122
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/2 (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).
col. 123a*–col. 124b*
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/3  » = pp. 123-124 (1 f.). Fragment of TBDD.
col. 125–col. 128
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/1  » 1 f. Fragment 2 of Betha Féchín Fabair. Second folio of the section beginning at p. 1 (col. 1a) above.
col. 129–col. 216
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/4 (cols 129-216)  » 23 ff. A duanaire of Classical Irish verse.
col. 217–col. 280
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/5 (cols. 217-280)  » 16 ff. Miscellany of religious and secular literature. Written in 1407 by Donnchad Ó Duinín for Fingín Ó Mathghamhna
col. 281–col. 344
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/6 (cols 281-344)  » 16 ff. Miscellany of religious and secular literature. Scribe: Murchadh Ó Cuindlis.
col. 345–col. 364
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/7  » 6 ff. Fragment of an Early Modern Irish version of Táin bó Flidaise
col. 365–col. 368
col. 369
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/9  » Letter by Tadhg Ó Rodaighe (c. 1700)
col. 370–col. 400
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/10  » 8 ff. The Yellow Book of Lecan proper. The title occurs in a marginal note in col. 380 by Ciothruad mac Taidg Ruaid.
col. 401–col. 436
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/11  » 9 ff. Dinnshenchas Érenn (fragment)
col. 437–col. 476
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/12  » 10 ff. Medical. Irish translation of Rosa Anglica
col. 477–col. 486
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/13  » 3 ff. Medical tract.
col. 487–col. 499
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/14  » 4 ff. Medical. On the Aphorisms of Hippocrates
col. 500–col. 572
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/15  » 18 1/2 ff. Learned and gnomic literature (Auraicept na n-éces, etc.)
col. 573–col. 958
[MS] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1318/16 (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).
col. [958]–col. [998]
[MS] Dublin, National Library of Ireland, MS G 4  » 4 ff. A manuscript no longer in YBL, but now existing separately as NLI G 4.



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 – 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.
Patrick Brown,Dennis Groenewegen
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