St Patrick's epistles

Transcriptions of the seven medieval manuscript witnesses

Folio from Salisbury MS223 containing the beginning of St Patrick's Confessio. With kind permission by the Salisbury Cathedral Library.

Saint Patrick of Ireland (also Patrick of Armagh) is especially well-known for the celebrations around the day of his presumed death on March 17. Patrick was a historical personage and a writer of letters, two which survive today. These are the two epistles known as Confessio and Epistola ad milites Corotici). These texts are important historical sources for Patrick's life and mission and Christianity in fifth-century Britain and Ireland.

The Royal Irish Academy’s Saint Patrick’s Confessio Hypertext Stack project makes a variety of resources related to the historical Patrick and both of his epistles freely available for research, including facsimile images of the manuscripts and text-critical editions. However, the project did not publish transcriptions of each manuscript witness. This edition tries to fill this gap by providing electronic transcriptions of all seven medieval manuscript witnesses of Confessio and Epistola.

These electronic transcriptions are encoded with the TEI P5 standard using a document-centred editing approach focusing on scribe-related and textstructural features. This website presents different views on the transcription data and possiblities for cross-comparison of readings. It is hoped that this new kind of edition will augment already existing editorial work and facilitate the analysis of the medieval documents.