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Ref No IE TCD MS 57
Former Shelf Marks Lyon: A.4.5
Foley: [B.61] (another manuscript with this shelfmark was lost in 1742)
Title Book of Durrow
Creation Dates [650-699]
Extent And Medium Parchment; 248 leaves
Level Of Description Collection
Admin Biographical History Alexander, ib. p. 30, states: ‘Durrow is the earliest of the surviving fully illuminated Insular Gospel Books. It has been and remains, therefore, at the centre of controversy in discussions of the relative contributions of Ireland and Northumbria to 7th- and 8th-century Insular art. Neither its exact date, nor its place of manufacture, nor the models lying behind its decoration have been established beyond doubt’.
Scope And Content Folios 1-248v (-245v as numbered in the codex): 'Book of Durrow', Gospels with prefaces, interpretations of Hebrew names and (on 5-7) canon tables (and also with record of a legal transaction concerning the abbey of Durrow, added on 248v in the 11th century): see facsimile edition of TCD MS 57 in A.A. Luce, G.O. Simms, P. Meyer, and L. Bieler, 'Euangeliorum Quattuor Codex Durmachensis', 2 volumes, (Olten, Lausanne, Fribourg, 1960). A subscription on 247v seems to indicate that the codex was copied from a manuscript in the hand of Columba (founder of Durrow): Rogo beatitudinem tuam, sancte presbiter Patrici, ut quicumque hunc libellum manu tenuerit meminerit Columbae scriptoris, qui hoc scripsi (hi?)met euangelium per xii dierum spatium. (Gratia?) domini (nostri?) ??. For this subscription and for the scribe’s ‘Ora pro me, frater mi, dominus tecum sit’ see Luce o.c. 2:18-24. For the Naemanus inscription added on 191 see Luce o.c. 2:31. Folios 77, 117 blank. An inscription on the last silver shrine in which the manuscript was formerly kept, declared that the shrine had been made to the order of Flann Sinna, king of Ireland (877-915/916). This shrine disappeared after 1688.
Phyiscal Description Dimensions: c245 x c145 (c210 x c120)

Layout: Partly in 2 columns, 25 lines. For the quiring see R. Powell in 'Scriptorium' 10, (1956), 12-21.

Script: The 7th-century text is in Insular majuscule, often called insular half-uncial.
Custodial History The codex belonged to the abbey of Durrow until its dissolution in 16th century. In 17th century the codex was kept near Durrow by a man who used it to cure sick cattle by putting on the book some water which the cattle would then drink. Henry Jones, bishop of Meath (1661-1682) and vice-chancellor of Trinity College Dublin, presented the codex to the College. James Ussher collated the gospels of Book of Durrow with the text in Book of Kells (see 'The Whole Works of the Most Reverend James Ussher, D.D.', ed. C.R. Elrington (and partly J.H. Todd), (Dublin 1847-1864), 17 volumes, 6:232). For 17th century references to the Book of Durrow see Luce o.c. 2:66-67.
Decoration Coloured decoration includes six carpet pages, five Evangelist portraits, and initials. The carpet pages in TCD MS 57 feature the following:

1v: a double-armed cross;

3v: trumpet spirals;

85v: interlacing circles;

125v: interlace and panels of pattern;

192v: circle of interlace with a cross in the middle and panels of biting beasts as a frame;

248 (moved during rebinding, formerly 13): interlace with inset square crosses.

For a detailed summary of the decoration see J.J.G. Alexander, 'Insular Manuscripts 6th to the 9th Century, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles' 1, (London, 1978), 30-32.
Binding Note TCD MS 57 was given a binding of alum - tawed pigskin and wooden boards by Roger Powell in 1954.
Access Conditions Please contact mscripts@tcd.ie
Copyright Please contact mscripts@tcd.ie
Language Latin
Public Note For TCD MS 57 see R.O. Dougan, 'A Descriptive Guide to Twenty Irish Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College Dublin', second edition, (Dublin, 1958), number 2; J. Guilmain in 'Speculum' 35 (1960) 30-31, 36, ib. 62 (1987) 21, and in 'The Art Bulletin' 67 (1985) 543-544 with figs. 13, 15; P. McGurk in 'Scriptorium' 15 (1961) 8, 13 and in 'Irland und die Christenheit', edd. P. Ní Chatháin and M. Richter, (Stuttgart, 1987), 171, 174; H. Bober in 'Homage to a Bookman, Essays on Mss., Books and Printing Written for H.P. Kraus', (Berlin, 1967), 48-49; P. Engelbert in 'Revue Bénédictine', 78 (1968) 234-235; K. Gamber, 'Codices Liturgici Latini Antiquiores, Spicilegii Friburgensis Subsidia' 1, (Freiburg, Switzerland, 1968), 1:142-143; M. Werner in 'Gesta' 8 (1969) 3-17 and ib. 20 (1981) 23-33 and 'Insular Art: An Annotated Bibliography', (Boston, 1984), 109-110; B. Fischer in 'Festschrift Bernhard Bischoff', (Stuttgart, 1971), 108 and 'Bibelhandschriften im frühen Mittelalter', (Freiburg, 1985), 83; W. Koehler, 'Buchmalerei des frühen Mittelalters: Fragmente und Entwürfe aus dem Nachlass', edd. E. Kitzinger and F. Mütherich, (Munich, 1972), see index p. 301; E.A. Lowe, 'Codices Latini Antiquiores' 2, (Oxford, 1972), 43 with plate; T.J. Brown in 'Anglo-Saxon England' 1 (1972) 219-246 passim; J.T. McNeill, 'The Celtic Churches', (Chicago, 1974), 125; P. Doyle in 'Biblical Studies: The Medieval Irish Contribution, Proceedings of the Irish Biblical Association' 1, (Dublin, 1976), 31-45 passim; H. Zotter, 'Bibliographie faksimilierter Handschriften', (Graz, 1976), number 140; C. Nordenfalk, 'Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Painting', (New York, 1977), 15, 19-20, 24, figs. v (a), vi (b), pls. 2-8; L. Nees in 'Gesta' 17 (1978) 3-8; Alexander o.c. 9-12, 15, 29-32, 38, 42, 53, 66, 71, 72, 77, 84, 86, 89, illustrstration numbers 11-22, fig. 4; P. Harbison, H. Potterton, and J. Sheehy, 'Irish Art and Architecture from Prehistory to the Present', (London, 1978), 42-44, 50, with plates; B. Bischoff, 'Paläographie der römischen Altertums und des abendländischen Mittelalters', (Berlin, 1979), 116, 251-252; K. Hughes, 'Celtic Britain in the Early Middle Ages', ed. D. Dumville, (Woodbridge, 1980), 27, 33 n.50, 40; H. Gneuss in 'Anglo-Saxon England' 9 (1981) 16; W. Davies in 'Ireland in Early Mediaeval Europe: Studies in Memory of Kathleen Hughes', edd. D. Whitelock et al., (Cambridge, 1982), 261-262; I. Henderson, ibid., 79-83, 87, 91;; D.H. Wright in 'Die Iren und Europa im früheren Mittelalter', ed H. Löwe, (Stuttgart, 1982), 1:99-100; T.J. Brown ib. 106-109 passim; R.G. Calkins, 'Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages', (Ithaca, New York, 1983), 31, 33-63, black and white pls. 9-25, coloured pls. 2-3; J. Harthan, 'An Introduction to Illuminated Manuscripts', (London, 1983), 16; Stan Knight, 'Historical Scripts', (London, 1984), C3; T. O’Neill, 'The Irish Hand', (Dublin, 1984), 4 with facing pl., 61 with pl., 97; L.E. Boyle, 'Medieval Latin Palaeography: A Bibliographical Introduction', (Toronto, 1984), numbers 619, 661, 672; F. Wormald, 'Collected Writings', edd. J.J.G. Alexander et al., 1, (Oxford, 1984), 19-21; F. Henry and G. Marsh-Micheli, 'Studies in Early Christian and Medieval Irish Art' 2, (London, 1984), 23-25, 33, 38-39, 46, 84, 127, 129, 155, with illustrs.; O. Pächt, 'Buchmalerei des Mittelalters, (Munich, 1984), 12, 60, 64, 66-67, with plates; M. Werner, 'Insular Art: An Annotated Bibliography', (Boston, 1984), 109-110; D.M. Wilson, 'Anglo-Saxon Art from the Seventh Century to the Norman Conquest', (New York, 1984), 32-36, 50, 56, 94, 114, 117, 130, with plates; J. Contreni in 'Scriptorium' 39 (1985) no. 241; J. Guilmain in 'Art Bulletin' 67 (1985) 544; W. O’Sullivan, ‘Irish Calligraphy: Current State and Problems’, in Peritia 4 (1985), 348, 353-354; C. Rösner, 'Das Buch von Durrow im Spiegel der Forschung zur hiberno-sächsischen Kunst', (Munich, 1985); A. de Majo, C. Federici, and F. Palma in 'Scriptorium' 39 (1985) 4 n.8; M. Lapidge and R. Sharpe, 'A Bibliography of Celtic-Latin Literature, 400-1200', Royal Irish Academy Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources Ancillary Publications 1, (Dublin, 1985), number 516; Corinna Rössner, 'Das Book of Durrow im Spiegel der Forschung zur hibernosächsischen Kunst, Schriften aus dem Institut für Kunstgeschichte der Universität München' 3, Munich: Tuduv-Verlag, (1985). G. Henderson, 'Studies in English Bible Illustration' 1, (London, 1985), 12, 16-17, 19, 21, 28 and 'From Durrow to Kells: The Insular Gospel-Books 650-800', (London, 1987), 19-55 with plates; T.H. Ohlgren, 'Insular and Anglo-Saxon Illuminated Manuscripts: An Iconographic Catalogue c. A.D. 625 to 1100', (New York and London, 1986), number 6; G.O. Simms in 'Treasures of the Library: Trinity College Dublin', (Dublin, 1986), 40, 48-49, pls. 27, 31-33; C. de Hamel, 'A History of Illuminated Manuscripts', (Boston, 1986), 20, 23, pl. 16; O. Pächt, 'Book Illumination in the Middle Ages', (London, 1986), 11, 36, 60, 65-66 with nn. 4-5, figs. 76, 83, 87, 88, pl. II; U. Roth in 'Ireland and Insular Art A.D. 500-1200', ed. M. Ryan, (Dublin, 1987), 23-29; F. Avril and P.D. Stirnemann, 'Manuscrits enluminés d’origine insulaire' viie-xxe siècle, (Paris, 1987), 3; J. Stevenson in F.E. Warren, 'The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church', second edition, (Woodbridge, 1987), xci. For further bibliography on TCD MS 57 see Lowe t.c. 55, 60, and Alexander o.c. 32. C.L.N. de Vegvar, 'The Northumbrian Renaissance, (Selingsgrove, Pennsylvania, 1987), see index p. 340, with plates; G. Haseloff in 'Ireland and Insular Art' (1987) 45-47, 49, with fig. on p. 45; P. McGurk in 'Irland und die Christenheit' (1987) 168, 171, 174; M. McNamara in 'Irland und die Christenheit' (1987) 16, 18, 20, 30, 32, 46, 48; P. Ní Chatháin in 'Irland und die Christenheit' (1987) 477; C. Nordenfalk in 'Ireland and Insular Art'
(1987) 2-4; D. Ó Cróinín in 'Ireland and Insular Art' (1987) 41-43; H. Richardson in 'Ireland and Insular Art' (1987) 134; U. Roth in 'Ireland and Insular Art' (1987) 24-29, with figs.; E. Rynne in 'Ireland and Insular Art' (1987) 89; S. McNab in
'Peritia' 6-7 (1987-1988) 269, 289 nn.13 and 19, 340-341; G. Bologna, 'Illuminated Manuscripts', (New York, 1988), 52, with plate; M. Steinmann in 'Litterae Medii Aevi, Festschrift for Johanne Autenreith', edd. M. Borgolte and H. Spilling,
(Sigmaringen, 1988), 299; M.P. Brown in 'St. Cuthbert, His Cult and His Community', edd. G. Bonner et al., (Woodbridge, 1989), 155, 157, 159; R. Cramp, ibid., 220, 222; G. Haseloff in 'Kilian, Mönch aus Irland', edd. J. Erichsen and E. Brockhoff, (Munich, 1989), 98-102; W. Neuhauser in 'Scriptorium' 43 (1989) no. 1157; C.D. Verey in 'St. Cuthbert, His Cult and His Community', edd. G. Bonner et al., (Woodbridge, 1989), 145; A. von Euw, 'Liber Viventium Fabariensis', Studia Fabariensis 1, (Bern and Stuttgart, 1989), 45, 47-52, 121, 156, 174, 193.

See also M.J. Caruthers, 'The Book of Memory', (Cambridge, 1990), 254-255, 347 n.88; McNamara (1990) 19; T. Pritchard in Scriptorium 44 (1990) no. 34; G. Zarnecki in Medieval Architecture and Its Intellectual Context: Studies In Honour of Peter Kidson, edd. E. Fernie and P. Crossley, (London, 1990), 35-45, pl. 11a; Martin Werner, 'The cross-carpet page in the Book of Durrow: the cult of the True Cross, Adomnan, and Iona', The Art Bulletin 72 (1990): 174–223; M.P. Brown, 'Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts', (Toronto, 1991), 5, pl. 1; 'Medioevo latino' 12 (1991) no. 2819.

And see D. Jasper in 'Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters' 48 (1992) 744; W. O’Sullivan, ‘Binding Memories of Trinity Library’, in 'Decantations: A Tribute to Maurice Craig, ed. A. Bernelle, (Dublin, 1992), 170, 173-174; J. Brown (1993), cf. index p. 353, pls. 19-21; C. Hicks, 'Animals in Early Medieval Art', (Edinburgh, 1993), 36, 73, 87-96, 103, 113, 141, 165, 172, 177; G. Battelli in 'Testo e immagine nell’Alto Medioevo', volume 1, (Spoleto, 1994), 521-522, with fig. 30 on p. 521; 'The Book of Kells: Proceedings of a Conference at Trinity' (1994) College Dublin 6-9 September 1992, ed. F. O’Mahony, (Aldershot, 1994), pl. 78 passim; M. Lapidge in 'Gli autografi medievali', (Spoleto, 1994), 115 n.42; 'Medioevo latino' 15 (1994) no. 3851; N. Netzer, 'Cultural Interplay in the Eighth Century', Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology 3, (Cambridge, 1994), see index p. 252, pl. 93; S.C. Novelli in 'Testo e immagine nell’Alto Medioevo', volume 1, (Spoleto, 1994), 469, 483, 485, 501, 504, with plates; D. Ó Cróinín in 'Early Medieval Europe' 3 (1994) 73; W. O’Sullivan, ‘The Lindisfarne Scriptorium: For and Against’, in Peritia 8 (1994). 81, 82, 84-87, 89, 92, 94; M.D. Reeve, review of M.L. Colker, 'Trinity College Library Dublin, Descriptive Catalogue of the Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin Manuscripts', in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 45 (1994), 689; P. Sorrell in 'Leeds Studies in English' 25 (1994) 52; R.D. Stevick, 'The Earliest Irish and English Bookarts', (Philadelphia, 1994), see index p. 277 and see plates; O. Szerwiniack in 'Scriptorium' 48 (1994) 193; M. McNamara in 'Filologia mediolatina' 2 (1995) 79-81; 'Medioevo latino' 16 (1995) no. 5371; D. Ó Cróinín, 'Early Medieval Ireland', (London and New York, 1995), 83; M.P. Brown, 'The Book of Cerne: Prayer, Patronage, and Power in Ninth-Century England', (London and Toronto, 1996), 74, 79, 88, 90, 91, 94, 96, 116, 130; C. Davis, 'Celtic Ornament', (London, 1996), 46-48, 74, with figs.; M. Lapidge, 'Anglo-Latin Literature, 600-899', (London, 1996), 411; 'Medioevo latino' 17 (1996) no. 3848; Lloyd Laing, 'The provenance of the Book of Durrow', Scottish Archaeological Review 9–10 (1995): 115–124; Bernard Meehan, 'The Book of Durrow: a medieval masterpiece at Trinity College Dublin', (Dublin: Town House and Country House, 1996); B. Meehan, 'The Book of Durrow: A Medieval Masterpiece at Trinity College Dublin', (Dublin, 1996), with plates; W. O’Sullivan, ‘Notes on the Trinity Liber Hymnorum’, in Roger Powell: The Compleat Binder, (Turnhout, 1996), 131, 133, also nn.52 and 55 on p. 135; R. Deshman in 'The Preservation and Transmission of Anglo-Saxon Culture', (Kalamazoo, 1997), 245, 249; C. Farr, 'The Book of Kells: Its Function and Audience', (London, 1997), 14-16, 32, 43, 81-82, 147, 166-167; D.R. Howlett, 'British Books in Biblical Style', (Dublin, 1997), 67; 'Medioevo latino' 18 (1997) no. 5374; M. Werner in 'Anglo-Saxon England' 26 (1997) 23-39, pls. I-II; Martin Werner, 'The Book of Durrow and the question of programme', Anglo-Saxon England 26 (1997): 23–39; C. Davis, 'Illumination: The Irish School', (New York, 1998), 32, with figs.; L.-A. Hunt in 'Bible as Book' (1998) 124; R. Marsden in 'Bible as Book' (1998) 148, 172; 'Medioevo latino' 19 (1998) nos. 47, 4114, 5875, and 9559; P. Ó Néill in 'O’Sullivan Festschrift' (1998) 1, 2; J. O’Reilly in 'Bible as Book' (1998) 88 n.47; C. Verey in 'Bible as Book' (1998) 105-110, 117, 120; J.-C. Bonne in 'Ideologie e pratiche del reimpiego nell’alto medioevo', volume 2, (Spoleto, 1999), 1011-1054, with plates; D. Brearley in 'The Scriptures and Early Medieval Ireland', ed. T. O’Loughlin, 'Instrumenta Patristica' 31, (Turnhout, 1999), 13-27; D.N. Dumville, 'A Palaeographer’s Review: the Insular System of Scripts in the Early Middle Ages', (Kansai, Osaka, 1999), 28, 50, 100; Harbison (1999), see index p. 361, with plates; G. Henderson, 'Vision and Image in Early Christian England', (Cambridge, 1999), see index p. 289, with plates; 'Medioevo latino' 20 (1999) no. 6231; N. Netzer in 'Northumbria’s Golden Age', edd. J. Hawkes and S. Mills, (Stroud, 1999), 315-326, with plates; W.J. Diebold, 'Word and Image: An Introduction to Early Medieval Art', (Boulder, Colorado, 2000), 20-28, 35-37, with pls. 5-8; M. Maniaci and G. Orofino, 'Le Bibbie atlantiche', (Montecassino and Florence, 2000), 114; 'Medioevo latino' 21 (2000) no. 11275; S.A. Brown and M.W. Herren in 'Pattern and Purpose in Insular Art' (Proceedings of the Purpose (2001) Fourth International Conference on Insular Art held at the National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff, 3-6 September 1998), edd. M. Redknap et al., (Oxford, 2001). 63-64, fig. 6.2; H. Gneuss, 'Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100', Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 241, Tempe, (Arizona, 2001), 48; G. Henderson in 'Pattern and Purpose' (2001) 160; 'Medioevo latino' 22 (2001) nos. 6531 and 12957; N. Netzer in 'Pattern and Purpose' (2001) 169, 170, 173, 175; 'Pattern and Purpose' (2001) pl. xx; E. Pirotte in 'Pattern and Purpose' (2001) 203-204; D.C. Skemer in 'Scriptorium' 55 (2001) 210 with n.37; C. Sterckx in 'Scriptorium' 55 (2001) no. 143; K. Veelenturf in 'Pattern and Purpose' (2001) 215-216; B. Victor in 'Scriptorium' 55 (2001) no. 446; 'Medioevo latino' 23 (2002) no. 3799; M.P. Brown, 'The Lindisfarne Gospels', (London, 2003), cf. index p. 452; D. Rollason, 'Northumbria, 500-1100', (Cambridge, 2003), 152, 154, 155, 157, pl. 14; Rijcklof Hofman, 'Durrow, Book of', in: Lalor, Brian (ed.), 'The encyclopaedia of Ireland', (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2003). 330; D. Ó Cróinín et al., ‘Bibliography’, in A New History of Ireland, ed. D. Ó Cróinín, (Oxford, 2005) 1005-1006; W. O’Sullivan, ‘Manuscripts and Palaeography’, in A New History of Ireland, volume 1, ed. D. Ó Cróinín, (Oxford, 2005), 511, 516, 525-530, 538, pl. 33; H. Richardson, ‘Visual Arts and Society’, in A New History of Ireland, volume 1, ed. D. Ó Cróinín, (Oxford, 2005), 695, 699, 706, pls. 74b, 75b, and 76; Heather Pulliam, 'Cognition, colour and number in the Book of Durrow and other Insular gospel books' in Rachel Moss, Felicity O'Mahony and Jane Maxwell (eds.), An Insular Odyssey: Manuscript culture in early Christian Ireland and beyond, (Dublin 2017), 138-158.
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