The Regensberg Fragment

TCD MS 11463, Regensberg, Germany, ca. 1040-1075 AD

Over time, outdated martyrologies were sometimes recycled, so that evidence of their transmission is often lost or obscured. It is all the more fortunate, therefore, when fragments resurface. This single leaf from a discarded martyrology was used in the binding of a book produced in Germany in 1657. The marks of the binding are clearly visible. The main text is neatly laid out in blocks, with the date and the first capital for each entry given in red ink.

The martyrology itself is the earliest of only a handful of martyrologies which demonstrate that an Irish martyrology was in circulation in Southern Germany during the 12th century, when many of the Schottenklöster were founded. The fragment is closely related to the martyrologies of St. Emmeram and Prüm, which were both produced in Regensburg, and commemorates the foundation of the monastery of Weih-Sankt-Peter (founded ca. 1075) in Regensburg: In Ratispon[a] dedicatio eccl[es]ię s[ancti] Petri extra murum.

In addition, the fragment, which records the entries for April 14-25, lists six Irish saints which are not normally celebrated on the continent, providing evidence to suggest that the Irish source on which it drew was in all likelihood a copy of the Martyrology of Óengus. This makes it the earliest witness to the transmission of that martyrology, which only survives in later manuscripts. The saints included are: St. Tassach, companion of St. Patrick; St. Rúadán of Lorrha; St. Donnán of Eig cum sociis suis; St. Laisrén of Leighlin; St. Máel-ruba of Bangor; St. Ibar of Beggary.