Francis Cairns Publications

ARCA Classical and Medieval Texts, Papers and Monographs ISSN 0309-5541

The Bishops’ Synod. The First Synod of St Patrick. A Symposium with Text, Translation and Commentary

M.J. Faris (ed)

Currently Out of  Print.

ARCA 1. ISBN:978-00905205-01-4. Paper, vi+63pp., 11 illustrs. Publ. 1976. £6 / $9

The so-called "First Synod of St Patrick" is a short (less than 4 pages) collection of assorted rules for the behaviour of (probably) Irish clergy and laity, possibly originating from the sixth or seventh century. The single manuscript itself is probably from the ninth or even tenth century. This volume prints the results of a symposium held by a group of scholars in Belfast to discuss various aspects of the text and its background. With the text itself in Latin with English translation, a commentary on it, and photographs of the manuscript, the editor and contributors provide a useful glimpse of a difficult but fascinating era in early medieval history.


1. Text with apparatus and translation

2. Symposium.

Introduction, by W.C. Kerr
Manuscript: Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, No. 279, by A.B. Scott
The History of the Text, by M.J. Faris
Some Linguistic Problems, by G.B. Adams
A Reconsideration of some Linguistic Evidence, by M.J. McGann
Patricius Auxilius Isserninus, by R.H.M. Dolley

3. Commentary

4. Bibliography

5. Photographs of the Manuscript


(Rule 9 of the Synod) [Latin] Monachus et virgo unus abhinc et alia ab aliunde in uno hospitio non conmaneant nec in uno curru a villa in villam discurreant nec adsidue invicem confabulationem exerceant.

A monk and a virgin, he from here and she from elsewhere, shall not stay together in one guesthouse, nor shall they travel about in one carriage from settlement to settlement, nor shall they persist in carrying on conversation together.