Garland of Howth

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The Garland of Howth, also known as the Codex Usserianus Secundus, designated by r2 or 28 (in the Beuron system), is a fragmentary 8th to 10th century Latin Gospel Book now in Trinity College Dublin as MS. 56 (A. IV. 6).[1]

The text, written on vellum, is a version of the old Latin. The manuscript contains the text of the four Gospels with lacunae.[1] It was written at the monastery of Ireland's Eye, Dublin, and once kept in the parish church of Howth. Only 86 folios have survived; for example only 5:12-10:3 of the Gospel of John have survived.[2] It is written with "diminuendo" script from initials, a feature of the oldest manuscripts in insular script such as Cathach of St. Columba. It has been described as the work of many scribes, none of them first-class.

The text of the codex is mixed.[1] The text of Matthew is Old Latin, similar to that in Codex Usserianus I. The text of Mark, Luke, and John is very near to the Vulgate.[3]

"Vetus Latina" means the text is a Latin version predating the Vulgate - such versions were used in Ireland later than in most areas. The "garland" of its title is taken from a corrupted English form of Ceithre Leabhair, Gaelic for 'four books', i.e., a gospel. Abbott made a collation. The manuscript was examined and edited by Lawlor, Hoskier, and Jülicher.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Bruce M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament, Oxford University Press, 1977, p. 300.
  2. ^ No 28 in the table
  3. ^ Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose; Edward Miller (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Vol. 2 (4th ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. p. 50. 
  • Literature in Ireland, by James Carney, in A New History of Ireland, vol. 2, p. 527, 531.

Further reading[edit]

  • T. K. Abbott, Evangeliorum Versio antehieronymiana ex codice Usseriano, vol. II (Dublin, 1884), pp. 819–963.
  • A. Jülicher, Itala. Das Neue Testament in Altlateinischer Überlieferung, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York, 1976.

External links[edit]