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is a rinity prayers 1e early intaining pieces, is F). Both in many
duce all that nanuscripts.
the Irish Archæowas intended to be the Ancient Church in 1869, but owing s never finished. In leces contained in the with much care, and the Lodd added are still of
able to the student of nation on the many points
ins suggest. The only access were the principal the custody of the Royal
Of these pieces Nos. 1-40 are contained in the MS. in the Library of Trinity
The Plates inserted at p. xxxii are derived from photographs of T and F respectively.
They are both, roughly speaking, three-quarters the size of the originals.
§ 1. PREFATORY.
THE book generally known as the Irish Liber Hymnorum is a vellum MS. of the eleventh century in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (T), containing a number of hymns and prayers in Latin and Irish which were used in the worship of the early Celtic Church. Another copy, a little later in date, containing many of the same hymns with a few additional pieces, is preserved in the Franciscan Convent, Dublin (F). Both manuscripts are copiously glossed and annotated, in many instances by the original scribes.
It is proposed in the present volume to reproduce all that can be read of the matter contained in these two manuscripts.
§ 2. PREVIOUS EDITIONS.
In 1855 the late Dr. J. H. Todd edited for the Irish Archæological and Celtic Society the first part of what was intended to be a complete edition of The Book of Hymns of the Ancient Church of Ireland. A second instalment appeared in 1869, but owing to the editor's lamented death the work was never finished. In these two volumes the first eighteen pieces contained in the Trinity College manuscript were printed with much care, and the copious and learned notes which Dr. Todd added are still of great value, and are indeed indispensable to the student of ecclesiastical legend who desires information on the many points of antiquarian interest which the hymns suggest. The only MS. authorities to which Dr. Todd had access were the principal manuscript (T), and a manuscript in the custody of the Royal Irish Academy known as the Leabhar Breac (B), of which more will be said below.'
Since Dr. Todd's time the Irish hymns in the collection have received a good deal of attention from students of Celtic philology. In particular Dr. Whitley Stokes has printed and translated in Goidelica (2nd edition, 1872) all the Irish pieces in T, with the exception of Nos. 35-40, which are of secondary interest. In this volume many small errors in Todd's editio princeps of the Irish glosses were corrected. More recently the same editor printed from F, in his Tripartite Life of S. Patrick (1887), the pieces numbered 1, 19, and 24, with the copious marginalia which the MS. has on No. 19. The more legible parts of the marginalia in F, on the Irish hymns in honour of S. Brigid, are also given with translations by Dr. Whitley Stokes, in his Lives of the Saints from the Book of Lismore (1890).
Other publications of the more important Irish hymns, viz., 5 and 19–24, are those of Zimmer in his Keltische Studien and of Windisch in his Irische Texte.
Single hymns have frequently been printed by other editors and have appeared in various collections, e.g. in the Analecta hymnica medii aeui (Part xix) of Dreves, who printed for the first time Nos. 27, and 45 ; and some account of these publications will be given in their proper place.
§ 3. PLAN OF THIS EDITION.
It will be seen from what has been said in § 2 that in one form or another most, though not all, of the matter contained in the Irish Liber Hymnorum is already accessible to the student, though it is scattered through many volumes. What is actually printed from the two principal manuscripts for the first time now consists of the Latin pieces Nos. 25, 26, 43, 46; of the Irish
| For the text of one hymn (No. 6) Dr. Todd had also collated P (see p. xix).