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Book Of Deer

A ninth-century manuscript associated with the Cistercian Abbey of Deer in north-east Aberdeenshire. Written in Latin, it contains the Gospel of St John, parts of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and the Apostles' Creed. It would have been of little value or interest but for the 12th-century additions in Gaelic; the monks' intention in writing the Gaelic notes was to provide a record of grants of land and immunities awarded to their monastery, and in so doing they bequeathed to posterity a valuable social document. Not only do the notes give solid documentary evidence about the tenor of the monks' lives, but they also give a good indication of the kind of Gaelic spoken by the upper
classes of northern Scotland during that period. Also included in the notes is the legend of the founding of the monastery by St Columba and his pupil Cosgrach.

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