A Dictionary of the Old-Irish Glosses
in the Milan Codex Ambrosianus C 301 inf.

Codex Ambrosianus C301 inf.
Codex Ambrosianus C301 inf. (Milan Codex folio 30, column b, top 5 lines)

Dictionary of the Old Irish Glosses in the Milan MS Ambr. C301 inf.

In the study of the language history of Irish, the so-called Old Irish glosses (edited in W. Stokes & J. Strachan, Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus, Cambridge 1901-3) take up a special position. They are almost the only testimonies of Old Irish from contemporaneous manuscripts. Therefore their language, unlike that of most other material transmitted in later manuscripts, is not liable to show interferences with the younger linguistic stages, viz. Middle and Modern Irish. The largest corpus within the glosses is formed by the Milan glosses (Thes. i 7-483), interlinear and marginal notes to and translations of a Latin commentary on the psalms in the manuscript Ambrosianus C301 inf. kept at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan.

It is the aim of this project to compile the entire Old Irish language material of the Milan glosses in one special dictionary. This will allow scholars to use not only the raw text of the glosses, but the entire lexical material in a clear and easily accessible manner. The lexicon will provide complete information about the phonology, morphology and syntax of the lexemes, information that due to the unusual complexities of Old Irish would be very hard to get otherwise. The model for this project is Kavanagh's dictionary of the Old Irish glosses from Würzburg (Séamus Kavanagh, A Lexicon of the Old Irish Glosses in the Würzburg Manuscript of the Epistles of St. Paul. Herausgegeben von Dagmar S. Wodtko, Wien: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften 2001).

The lexicon will be published both as a printed book as well as in digitalised form, which will permit maximum usability. On the basis of this lexicon, research into the phonology, morphology, morpho-phonology and syntax of the language of this text will be much facilitated. As a further consequence, a clearer picture of the state of the language at the beginning of the 9th century will emerge, with consequences for future grammars, books and articles about Old Irish. Publication of the dictionary is planned for 2012 or 2013 in the series of the Prähistorische Kommission of the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften.


Principle researcher: Dr. Aaron Griffith (University of Vienna)

Director: Prof. Dr. David Stifter (National University of Ireland Maynooth; formerly University of Vienna)


Project funded by FWF (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung), project number P19137-G03


The project ran from 1.11.2006 to 31.1.2011; its size was € 110.364,03.

As a starting point for the compilation of a dictionary and a database of the Old-Irish glosses from the Milan MS Ambr. C301 inf., Dr. Aaron Griffith typed in the entire text as found in Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus (Thes. Pal.). Those corrections and additions found at the end of volumes 1 and 2 of Thes. Pal. were silently included. While the project progressed, further necessary revisions that became apparent during the work were included in the text so that its final version, available for download below, occasionally differs from the one in Thes. Pal. Basis for the revision was primarily the facsimile edition of the glosses (Richard I. Best, The Commentary on the Psalms with glosses in Old-Irish preserved in the Ambrosian Library (MS. C 301 inf.). Collotype facsimile, with Introduction, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy 1936). Especially difficult passages were checked against the manuscript itself during a visit to Milan in December 2010 by Dr. Griffith. Also helpful was Graziadio Isaia Ascoli's Il Codice irlandese dell'Ambrosiana [= Archivio glottologico 5-6], Roma: Ermanno Loescher 1878-9. All errata of Thes. Pal. are recorded in the files entitled "ml_corrections" below. Where there is a divergence between Thes. Pal. and the text offered here, our version should be followed.

Our acknowledgments go to the FWF (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung) for funding this project, to the staff of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, esp. Dr. Gianantonio Borgonovo, to the Prähistorische Kommission of the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, esp. Dr. Michaela Lochner.

For further corrections, suggestions and remarks please contact Dr. Aaron Griffith.


Aaron Griffith and David Stifter


For download (pdf):

Note: there have been some problems with the Windows download. Please contact Aaron Griffith if you are affected by this.

NameSizeAuthor/EditorLast Change
Milan Glosses Database (for Apple)73 MB (!)A. Griffith12.09.2013
Milan Glosses Database (for Windows)56 MB (!)A. Griffith12.09.2013
Conversion conventions48 KBA. Griffith08.10.2009
Corrections and Revisions
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (up to Ml. 27d7)163 KBA. Griffith16.08.2007
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 27d9-40a15)217 KBA. Griffith15.11.2007
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 40a16-50d03)190 KBA. Griffith10.04.2008
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 051a02-062a02)149 KBA. Griffith08.10.2009
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 062a07-074d13)106 KBA. Griffith18.02.2010
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 075a11-090d19)125 KBA. Griffith18.08.2010
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 090d20-105b10)139 KBA. Griffith24.10.2010
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 105b11-120c10)92 KBA. Griffith07.12.2010
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 120c11-133d5)98 KBA. Griffith21.10.2011
Corrections to Thes. Pal. (Ml. 133d6-end)67 KBA. Griffith21.10.2011
Complete Text
Ml. 2a1-27d8 (Thes. Pal. i 7-56)505 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith08.10.2009
Ml. 27d9-40a15 (Thes. Pal. i 57-106)558 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith08.10.2009
Ml. 40a16-50d3 (Thes. Pal. i 107-156)506 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith08.10.2009
Ml. 50d4-62a6 (Thes. Pal. i 157-206)460 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith08.10.2009
Ml. 62a7-75a10 (Thes. Pal. i 207-256)541 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith18.02.2010
Ml. 75a11-90d19 (Thes. Pal. i 257-306)559 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith18.08.2010
Ml. 90d20-105b10 (Thes. Pal. i 307-356)552 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith24.10.2010
Ml. 105b11-120c10 (Thes. Pal. i 357-406)529 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith07.12.2010
Ml. 120c11-133d5 (Thes. Pal. i 407-456)560 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith21.10.2011
Ml. 133d6-146d1 (Thes. Pal. i 457-483)313 KBentered and edited by A. Griffith21.10.2011

Author: Aaron Griffith
Last change: Martin Braun,

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