Book of Armagh. IE TCD MS 52 Public Deposited

Book of Armagh. IE TCD MS 52

Alternative title
  • Canon of Patrick
  • Codex Ardmachanus
  • Liber Ardmachanus
Shelf Mark/Reference Number
  • IE TCD MS 52
Rights statement
  • Copyright The Board of Trinity College Dublin. Images are available for single-use academic application only. Publication, transmission or display is prohibited without formal written approval of the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
Copyright status
Date Created
  • circa 807
  • The Book of Armagh or Codex Ardmachanus, also known as the Canon of Patrick and the Liber Ardmachanus, is a 9th-century Irish illuminated manuscript written mainly in Latin. It was least partly written by Ferdomnach for Torbach and is one of the very few manuscripts of early Ireland that can be dated with near precision at c807. The manuscript, in Latin and Irish, contains early texts relating to St Patrick and some of the oldest surviving specimens of Old Irish, and is one of the earliest manuscripts produced by an insular church to contain a near complete copy of the New Testament. Written in Irish minuscule script.FOLIATION NOTE:Foliation takes into consideration the loss of folios 1, 42, 43, 44, and 45 [M.L. Colker noted that folios 41-46 are missing (see 'Trinity College Dublin Library: Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Latin Manuscripts', (Dublin, 1991)). However, according to E. Gwynn ('Book of Armagh: the Patrician Documents', (Dublin, 1937)) and E.A. Lowe ('Codices Latini Antiquiores' 2, (Oxford, 1972)), folios 42, 43, 44 and 45 (leaves 41-44) are missing and the folio numbered in ink as '45' is actually folio 46; meaning the folio numbered as ‘46’ should be 47, 47 should be 48, and so on up to the folio marked as ’221’ which should be 222. E. Gwynn in 'Book of Armagh: the Patrician Documents', states that when foliating the manuscript, 'Mr Brownlaw, supposing that only three leaves were lost after f. 41, numbers the next extant leaf '45' (instead of 46), and so on to the 222nd and last leaf, which he marks '221''.BINDING NOTE:According to the Minute Book of Trinity College Dublin Library (TCD MUN/LIB/2), entry for May 1884, C. Bigger rebound the Book of Armagh by direction of Dr Ingram, Librarian. In 1957 the codex was rebound in two volumes in modern vellum by Roger Powell after extensive repairs.Please see the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library’s catalogue entry for the manuscript here:
  • The last of the hereditary keepers of the book sold or pledged it c1680. The manuscript subsequently belonged to the Brownlow family of Lurgan, who sold it to Bishop William Reeves in 1853, and he in turn to John George Beresford, archbishop of Armagh, who gave the codex to Trinity College Dublin in 1854.
Resource type
  • ink
  • calf (leather)
  • parchment (animal material)
  • Irish
Digital Object Id
  • MS52_001
  • 0139914


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