It has been calculated that S. Fintan died in 878 A.D. His life then may have been written towards the end of the ninth century.
22. Adamnani Vita Columbae.
The manuscript (= Codex A, Reeves), from which the Irish names in Adamnán’s Life of Columba are printed below, belonged formerly to Reichenau and is now in the Stadtbibliothek of Schaffhausen, where it is numbered 32. As Reeves has shewn, it was written by Dorbbéne, who was elected to the chair of S. Columba in Iona in 713 a.d. and died in the same year, nine years after Adamnán himself. In the time between the composition of the Life and its transcription by Dorbbéne the Irish language had undergone certain changes, and occasionally, as a comparison with other MSS. shews, Dorbbéne introduced the forms of his own time. The language is of the same general character as that of the oldest portions of the Book of Armagh. ē and ō are still preserved, e.g. Fēchnus, Nēth, Mōdam, Clōithe, Tōmme. Unaccented short vowels preserve their quality, e.g. Ached, Lathreg, Nemaidon: ai is still universal; Aido etc. oi appears in Broichānus by oe in Mess Loen. The variation between Columm and Columb (6a 1) is remarkable. The gen. of ‑i- and ‑u- stems is in o: Aido etc.
23. Antiphonarium Benchorense.
This liturgical manuscript commonly, but inaccurately, called an Antiphonary, was written in the monastery of Bangor (Ir. Bennchor), on the southern shore of Belfast Lough, during the abbacy of Cronan, i.e. between the years 680 and 691. It contains six canticles; twelve metrical hymns;
- Ed. Reeves. The Life of St Columba… written by Adamnan, ninth abbot of that monastery, Dublin, 1857.
- The MS. is described by Reeves, op. cit. xiii. sq., who gives specimens of the script.
- Op. cit. xiv.
- The other MSS. are described by Reeves, op. cit. xxiv. sq. The most important linguistically is Reeves’ Codex B, a vellum MS. of the middle of the fifteenth century, preserved in the British Museum, Bibl. Reg. 8 D. ix., and which represents a text independent of A; cf. Zimmer, KZ. xxxii. 199. The part of this MS. containing the names of S. Columba’s disciples and relations is printed infra, p. 281.
- In some cases Dorbbéne has introduced a later orthography: Ceannachte 56a (= Cenacte B), Ceate 58a (= Cete B), Feachnaus 32a (= Fechnaus B, C, F, S), Deathrib 52a (= Dethrib B), Leathain 118a (= Lethani B), Clied 55b (= Cleeth B); ea appears in final position in Lea 28a (= Léa B), cf. dea in the Cambray Homily. The later ia appears in niath 25b (= math B); this is doubtless due to the transcribers, not to Adamnán; as to Miathorum 18a it may be remarked that this is a foreign name, which Reeves, p. 33, identities with the Μαιάται.
- At the end of a word we find MoLua 76a.
- The gen. Colgion 35b by Colgen is remarkable. Attention may be directed to the middle vowel of Fechureg 23b (by Fechreg 121a) and Ainmurech 49b, Ainmureg 108a.
- In 59a Boend (cf. Boend Lib. Ard. 11a) comes from Bofind, but the reading Bofind in B shews that the form Boend is not to be imputed to Adamnán.