27. Liber Hymnorum.
The Liber Hymnorum is contained in the following MSS.
T. = E. 42, Trinity College, Dublin. This manuscript consists of 34 vellum folios, about 10½ inches long by 7 broad, with three scraps of vellum bound at the end. After fol. 31 the writing deteriorates, and this later portion seems to be younger than the rest of the codex. In a number of cases the marginal glosses have been mutilated by the cutting of the margin.
F. A manuscript formerly in the library of S. Isidore’s, Rome, from which in 1872 it was brought to the Franciscan Convent, Merchants’ Quay, Dublin, where it now is. It consists of twenty-three leaves in small folio, and is in a pasteboard cover, endorsed ‘9 vel 10 saecul.’ In this codex the Faeth Fiada and Mael Ísu’s hymn are wanting. On the lower margin of fo. 2 a is written in a hand of the seventeenth century ‘Ex libris conventus de Dunnagall,’ and Sir James Ware, in the year 1639, quotes it as ‘Lib. uet. hymn. conuent. Dunnagalliae.’ It appears from a remark of Ussher’s that the manuscript was once in his hands, and there is a paper MS. in Ussher’s collection in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (E. 3. 28), containing a copy of some of the Irish Hymns from F. In 1630 the MS. was still in Donegal, for it was used by Michael O’Clery in his Martyrology of Donegal, written in that year. Afterwards the MS. went to Louvain, where it was used by Colgan for his Trias Thaumaturga, 1647.
T and F represent two independent recensions of the text, both of which are indispensable for its reconstruction. Such a reconstruction is full of difficulty. For the restoration of the language of the Hymns depends upon
- Of the Liber Hymnorum ff. 1–15a were edited from T by Todd, Leabhar Immuin (sic). The Book of Hymns of the ancient Church of Ireland, 2 vols. Dublin 1855, 1869. The whole of the Liber Hymnorum has been published in 1898 by Bernard and Atkinson for the Henry Bradshaw Society. The Irish hymns have been published from T by W.S., Goidelica 121 sq., and by Windisch, Irische Texte i. 1 sq., with variants from F, p. 321 sq.
- For individual hymns the following MSS. have been used:
E = Egerton 93, British Museum. According to O’Curry, Cat. of Irish MSS. in the British Museum, the first 19 folios of this vellum MS. were written in 1477. This codex contains (fo. 19, col. 1) a copy of Patrick’s Hymn. The text approximates to that of R. The two MSS. represent a different recension from T.
L = The Book of Lismore, a fifteenth century manuscript in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire. It contains a copy of Ultan’s Hymn, published by W.S., Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore, pp. 51 sq. It belongs to the same recension as F.
R=Rawl. B. 512, Bodleian Library, written in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It contains the text of Patrick’s Hymn, printed by W.S., Trip. Life, pp. 48 sq.
X = Laud Misc. 615, Bodleian Library. It contains Ultan’s Hymn; the variants have been published by Bernard and Atkinson.
- Cf. Todd, op. cit., W.S., Goidelica² 61, Windisch, Irische Texte i. 3 sq., Bernard and Atkinson, Liber Hymnorum I. x. sq,
- Cf. Zimmer, Keltische Studien i. 9 sq., W.S., Trip. Life, p. cii., Bernard and Atkinson, I. xiii. sq.