Thursday 20 December 2012

Early and Medieval Latin Literature of the Irish Church

As part of an article entitled 'Hibernia Christiana' published in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record of 1895, Father Bartholomew MacCarthy gave this useful summary of the sources for the medieval Latin literature of the Irish Church:


1. CONCILIAR: (a) Synodal Decrees of St. Patrick; (b) Collectio Canonum Hibernensis; (c) Sermo Synodalis in Speckled Book.

2. LITURGICAL: (a) Stowe Missal ; (6) Corpus Missal ; (c) Stowe Sacramentary; (d) Fragments in Books of Dimma and Mulling; (e) Antiphonary of Bangor; (f) Cursus Scottorum.

3. PASCHAL: (a] Easter Tables of Roman-Irish Cycle of 84, of Victorian and Dionysian (Alexandrine) Cycles; (b) Spurious Paschal writings: (1) Book of Anatolius; (2) Acts of Council of Caesarea: (3) Prologue and (4) Letter of St. Cyril; (5) Tractate of St. Athanasius; (c) Paschal Epistle of Cummian.

4. SCRIPTURAL: (a) Tract of St. Caimin, of Inisceltra, on Ps. cxviii.; (b) Commentary of St. Columbanus on the Psalms; (c) Mystical Interpretations of St. Aileran; (d) Commentary on Wurzburg St. Matthew; (e) Sedulius on Pauline Epistles, on Breviates and Chapters of, and Hieronymian Prefaces to, the Evangelists; Paschal Prose of same; (f) Claudius on the Pauline Epistles; (g) De mirabilibus Sacrae Scripturae; (h) first and second books of Chronicle of Marianus Scotus.

5. HYMNAL: (a) Hymns in Book of Hymns; (b) in Mone's Hymni Latini Medii Aevi, (c) Poems of St. Columbanus; (d) Carmen Paschale of Sedulius.

6. MORAL: (a) Penitentials; (b) Instructions of St. Columbanus.

7. HAGIOGRAPHIC: (a) Tripartite Catalogue of Saints; (b) Martyrology of Tallaght; (c) Patrician Documents: (1) Tripartite Life (from the Irish); (2) Collections in Book of Armagh; (d) Adamnan: (1) Life of St. Columba; (2) De Locis Sanctis; (e) Lives of Saints in Codex Kilkenniensis and other MSS.

B MacCarthy, 'Hibernia Christiana' in Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Vol XVI, (1895), 442-3.

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