BOTHAE, Marchione Joanne Patricio. Edited by. Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae ex Codice Salmanticensi nunc primum integre edita. Opera Caroli De Smedt et Josephi De Backer e Soc. Jesu, hagiographorum Bollandianorum; Auctore et sumptus largiente. Engraved frontispiece and titlepage.


1 in stock

Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1888. Folio. pp. iv, 975 [i.e. 488]. Titlepage printed in red and black. Text within a red ruled border. Printed in double columns, with two page numbers to each page. Modern quarter black buckram, titled in gilt on spine. A very good copy.
The ‘Codex Salmanticensis’ (Brussels, Royal Library 7672-4) is a medieval Irish manuscript containing an extensive collection of Irish saints’ Lives, now in the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels. Compiled from various sources, some of which can be identified as distinct, regionally focused groups in the text. One such group is that of the O’Donohue Lives, so-called after one of the manuscript’s contributors, Diarmaid Ó Dúnchadha. These works are mostly eighth and ninth-century Lives of saints whose monasteries lay in central Ireland (around Slieve Bloom), in parts of Munster, Mide and Leinster. They include saints like Brigid of Kildare, Fursey, Brendan the Navigator, Ciarán of Saighir, Ailbe of Emly, Ruadán of Lorrha and Cainnech of Aghaboe. The collection also includes five short Lives of saints associated with northern churches (in Ulster or the Airgíalla): Mo Lua of Drumsnat, Daig of Inniskeen, Mochta of Louth, Éogan of Ardstraw and Mac Nisse of Connor. Their feast days are given in August or the beginning of September. These texts are relatively late, but Charles-Edwards has suggested that they ultimately derive from an earlier, northern Irish work used for reading on the festivals, which he calls the ‘Northern Lectionary’.
A nice copy of the ‘Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae’, looking at the Irish Saints, these extracts written by Charles de Smedt and Joseph de Backer, are in Latin. A work discussing the Saints of Ireland. Containing the works of Charles de Smedt and Joseph de Backer contributed to the Acta Sanctorum. The ‘Acta Sanctorum’ was created by the Bollandist Society, in which both of the authors of this work were involved in. Since the seventeenth century the Society have studied hagiography, and the saints in Christianity. The Acta Sanctorum is their most important publication. Charles de Smedt was a Belgian Jesuit priest, and a hagiographer. He joined the staff of ‘Acta Sanctorum’ in Brussels in 1870, and revived the Bollandist Society, founding the Society’s scholarly journal ‘Analecta Bollandiana’. Backer helped her set up this journal, alongside G. van Hooff.


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