Book of Deer: Folio 5 Recto

Folio 5 recto from the Book of Deer; the text of the Gospel of St. Matthew from 1:18 through 1:21. Note the Chi Rho monogram in the upper left corner. The margins contain Gaelic text.

The Book of Deer (Leabhar Dhèir in Gaelic) (Cambridge University Library, MS. Ii.6.32) is a 10th-century Latin Gospel Book with early 12th-century additions in Latin, Old Irish and Scottish Gaelic. It is noted for containing the earliest surviving Gaelic writing from Scotland.

The origin of the book is uncertain, however it is reasonable to assume that the manuscript was at Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland when the marginalia were written. It may be the oldest surviving manuscript produced in Scotland, and is notable for having possibly originated in what is now considered a Lowland area. The manuscript belongs to a category of what are known today as Irish pocket Gospel Books, which were produced for private rather than for liturgical use. While the manuscripts to which the Book of Deer is closest in character are all Irish, most scholars argue for a Scottish origin. The book has 86 folios and measures 54 mm by 107 mm. It is written on vellum in brown ink and is in a modern binding.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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