Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson B 487

  • Irish
  • s. xv + s. xvii composite manuscript
  • Irish manuscripts
  • vellum + paper
Composite Irish manuscript consisting of three vellum sections of the 15th century and paper leaves of 17th-century date. The vellum sections contain two lengthy narratives of the Fenian tradition, Cath Finntrága and Acallam na senórach, as well as important witnesses to early Irish legal texts.
Collection: Rawlinson manuscripts
Rawlinson B 487
manuscript miscellanies
Provenance and related aspects
s. xv + s. xvii
15th and 17th centuries.(1)n. 1 Brian Ó Cuív, Catalogue of Irish MSS in the Bodleian (2001): 134.
Hands, scribes
Codicological information
UnitCodicological unit. Indicates whether the entry describes a single leaf, a distinct or composite manuscript, etc.
composite manuscript
vellum + paper
Distinct units
f. i*-vi*
Oxford, Bodleian Library,…  ff. i-vi

6 paper leaves, unnumbered.

ff. 1–11

Cath Finntrága and poem. Vellum.

ff. 12–52

Acallam na senórach. Vellum.

ff. 53–67

Early Irish law (Heptads, Bretha comaithchesa). Vellum.

ff. 68-80
Oxford, Bodleian Library,…  ff. 68-80

Paper leaves.

Table of contents

Links to texts use a standardised title for the catalogue and so may or may not reflect what is in the manuscript itself, hence the square brackets. Their appearance comes in three basic varieties, which are signalled through colour coding and the use of icons, , and :

  1. - If a catalogue entry is both available and accessible, a direct link will be made. Such links are blue-ish green and marked by a bookmark icon.
  2. - When a catalogue entry does not exist yet, a desert brown link with a different icon will take you to a page on which relevant information is aggregated, such as relevant publications and other manuscript witnesses if available.
  3. - When a text has been ‘captured’, that is, a catalogue entry exists but is still awaiting publication, the same behaviour applies and a crossed eye icon is added.

The above method of differentiating between links has not been applied yet to texts or citations from texts which are included in the context of other texts, commonly verses.


While it is not a reality yet, CODECS seeks consistency in formatting references to locations of texts and other items of interest in manuscripts. Our preferences may be best explained with some examples:

  • f. 23ra.34: meaning folio 23 recto, first column, line 34
  • f. 96vb.m: meaning folio 96, verso, second column, middle of the page (s = top, m = middle, i = bottom)
    • Note that marg. = marginalia, while m = middle.
  • p. 67b.23: meaning page 67, second column, line 23



Brian Ó Cuív, Catalogue of Irish MSS in the Bodleian (2001): 134.

Primary sources This section typically includes references to diplomatic editions, facsimiles and photographic reproductions, notably digital image archives, of at least a major portion of the manuscript. For editions of individual texts, see their separate entries.

Digitisation wanted
[dipl. ed.] Binchy, D. A. [ed.], Corpus iuris Hibernici, 7 vols, vol. 1, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1978.  
comments: numbered pp. 1–337; diplomatic edition of legal material three manuscripts: the Bodleian manuscripts Rawlinson B 487 and Rawlinson B 506, and TCD 1433 (E 3. 5).
1–80 Diplomatic edition of the legal material on ff. 53a–67a

Secondary sources (select)

Ó Cuív, Brian, Catalogue of Irish language manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford and Oxford college libraries. Part 1: Descriptions, Dublin: School of Celtic Studies, DIAS, 2001.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
May 2011, last updated: December 2022