Book of Durrow. IE TCD MS 57 Public Deposited

Book of Durrow. IE TCD MS 57

Shelf Mark/Reference Number
  • IE TCD MS 57 ; former shelfmark: Lyon: A.4.5
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 650-699
  • IE MS TCD 57 is a codex which belonged to the abbey of Durrow until its dissolution in the 16th century. It is the earliest of the surviving fully illuminated Insular Gospel Books. The 7th century text is in insular majuscule, often called insular half-uncial.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 11th century).A subscription on 247v seems to indicate that the codex was copied from a manuscript in the hand of Columba (founder of Durrow).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.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.Bound in alum-tawed pigskin and wooden boards by Roger Powell in 1954.Please see the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library’s catalogue entry for the manuscript here:
  • 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.
  • Jones, Henry, 1605-1682, Donor
Resource type
  • iron-gall ink
  • vellum (parchment)
  • Irish
Digital Object Id
  • MS57_001
  • 0136376


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