Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G106500C

The Metrical Dindshenchas

Author: Unknown

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

Edward Gwynn

Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber and Saorla Ó Corráin

Funded by University College, Cork and
The Connacht Project, the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Political Change, NUI Galway and
the HEA via the LDT Project

2. Second draft.

Extent of text: 34770 words


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(2004) (2008)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: G106500C

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Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


Hardcopy copyright lies with the School of Celtic Studies (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies).


Todd Lecture Series
Text ID Number: 9


    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 1229 (alias 23 E 25 alias Lebor na hUidre). Three main scribes, including Máel Muire mac Célechair meic Cuind na mBocht (slain by raiders at Clonmacnoise in 1106); see Kathleen Mulchrone and Elizabeth FitzPatrick, Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy xxvi–xxvii (Dublin 1943) 3367–3379.
  2. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1339 (H 2.18, Book of Leinster), pp. 151–170 and 191–216 of facsimile.
  3. The Rennes MS, ff. 90–125.
  4. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 12 (Book of Ballymote), vellum; 1384–1406 pp. 349–410.
  5. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 2 (Book of Lecan), vellum; written in the years immediately preceding 1417, pp. 461–525.
  6. Dublin, Trinity College Library, H 2 16 (Yellow Book of Lecan), pp. 438–455 of facsimile.
  7. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS H 3 3 (1322).
  8. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS H 2 15 b (1317), pp. 157–end (a copy of H).
  9. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS E 4 1 (1436).
  10. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS H 2 4, pp. 462–590 (an 18th cent copy of B).
  11. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS H 1 15 (1289), pp. 409–532 (an 18th cent copy of B).
  12. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, The Book of the Hui Maine, Stowe, D II 1, ff. 143–169.
  13. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Stowe, D II 2.
  14. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Stowe, B II 2. A fragment.
  15. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Stowe, B III 1.
  16. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Reeves, 832, pp. 61–197.
  1. The corresponding prose versions of the poems contained in this file were published in Stokes' edition of the Rennes Dindshenchas, RC 15 and 16.
    Secondary literature: a selection
  1. There is an online bibliography on the Royal Historical Society website at; and journals devoted to the study of names and place names such as BUPNS, 1st and 2nd series, and Ainm have their own webpages at
  2. James Norris Brewer, The beauties of Ireland: being original delineations, topographical, historical, and biographical of each county. 2 vols. 1823-26. [Contains only the province of Leinster and the county of Cork with general introduction. No more published.]
  3. G. H. Orpen, 'Ptolemy's map of Ireland'. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 4th series 24 (1894) 115-28.
  4. Alexander Bugge, Caithreim Chellachain Chaisil. The victorious career of Cellachan of Cashel or the Wars between the Irishmen and the Norsemen in the middle of the tenth century. With translation and notes. Christiana, 1905.
  5. H. Cameron Gillies, The place-names of Argyll, London 1906.
  6. Patrick Power, The place names of Decies, London 1907.
  7. Edmund Ignatius Hogan, Onomasticon Goedelicum, Locorum et tribuum hiberniae et scotiae. An index, with identifications, to the Gaelic names of places and tribes. Dublin and London 1910. An electronic edition which was compiled by the Locus Project, na Ranna Gaeilge, University College Cork, is available online at
  8. Patrick Power, Place-names and antiquities of South East Cork, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 34, section C, nos. 1 and 9, 1917-18.
  9. Rudolf Thurneysen, Die irische Helden- und Königsage bis zum siebzehnten Jahrhundert (Halle a. S. 1921), reprinted Hildesheim (Olms) 1980, 36-45.
  10. Paul Walsh, 'The earliest records of Fermanagh', Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 5th series 34 (1924) 344-55.
  11. Liam Price, Place names of County Wicklow: the Irish form and meaning of parish, townland, and local names, Wexford 1935.
  12. Éamonn O'Tuathail, 'Notes on some Irish place names'. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 67:1 (1937) 77-88.
  13. C. Ó Lochlainn, 'Roadways in ancient Ireland', in: Féil-sgríbhinn Eóin Mhic Néill, ed. J. Ryan (Dublin 1940) 465-74.
  14. Liam Price, The place-names of County Wicklow. 7 pts. Dublin 1945-67.
  15. Thomas F. O'Rahilly, On Ptolemy's geography of Ireland, in: Early Irish History and Mythology, Dublin 1946 (repr. 1999) 1-42; 453-66.
  16. Edward O'Toole, Place names of County Carlow, Carlow 1947.
  17. Hugh Shearman, Ulster (The County Books series), 1950.
  18. Julius Pokorny, Die Geographie Irlands bei Ptolemaios, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 24 (1954) 94-120.
  19. Paul Walsh, The place-names of Westmeath, Dublin 1957.
  20. James J. Tierney, Ptolemy's map of Scotland, Journal of Hellenic studies 79 (1959) 132-148.
  21. Liam Ó Buachalla, 'An early 14th century placename list for Anglo-Norman Cork', Dinnseanchas 2 (1966) 1-12.
  22. K. W. Nicholls, 'Some place-names from 'The Red Book of the earls of Kildare''. Dinnseanchas 3 (1968-69) 25-37, 61-62.
  23. K. W. Nicholls, 'Some place-names from Pontificia Hibernica'. Dinnseanchas 3:4 (1969) 85-98.
  24. T. J. Hughes, 'Town and baile in Irish place-names'. In: Irish geographical studies in honour of E. Estyn Evans, eds. N. Stephens, R.E. Glasscock (Belfast 1970) 244-58.
  25. Margaret Gelling, 'The Place-Names of the Isle of Man', Journal of the Manx Museum, 7:87 (1971) 168-75.
  26. Charles Thomas, 'The Irish settlements in post-Roman western Britain: A survey of the evidence', Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, ns, 6:4 (1972) 251-74.
  27. Éamonn de Hóir, 'The anglicisation of Irish place-names', Onoma, 17 (1972) 192-204.
  28. Deirdre Flanagan, 'Settlement terms in Irish place-names', Onoma, 17 (1972) 157-72.
  29. Magne Oftedal, 'Scandinavian place-names in Ireland', in: Bo Almquist, David Greene (eds.), Proceedings of the Seventh Viking Congress, Dublin, 15-21 August 1973 (Dublin 1976) 125-33.
  30. C. Bowen, 'A historical inventory of the Dindshenchas', Studia Celtica 10 (1975-76) 113-137.
  31. Myles Dillon, 'The Irish Settlements in Wales'. Celtica, 12 (1977) 1-11.
  32. Breandán Ó Ciobháin, Toponomia Hiberniae 1, Barúntacht Dhún Thuaidh (Barony of Dunkerron North). Dublin 1978.
  33. John Field, Place-names of Great Britain and Ireland, Newton Abbot 1980.
  34. Tomás Ó Concheanainn, 'The three forms of Dinnshenchas Érenn', Journal of Celtic Studies 3 (1981) 88-131.
  35. Thomas Fanning, 'Early Christian sites in the barony of Corkaguiney', in: Donnchadh Ó Corráin, (ed.), Irish antiquity: essays and studies presented to Professor M.J. O'Kelly (Cork 1981) 241-46.
  36. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'The barony names of Fermanagh and Monaghan', Clogher Record: Journal of the Clogher Historical Society 9 (1984), 387-402; 11:3 (1982-5) 387-402.
  37. Deirdre Flanagan, 'The Christian impact on early Ireland: place-names evidence', in: Próinséas Ní Chatháin & Michael Richter (eds.), Irland und Europa–Ireland and Europe. Die Kirche im Frühmittelalter–the early Church (Stuttgart 1984) 25-51.
  38. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, Mayo Places: Their Names and Origins. 1985.
  39. K. W. Nicholls, 'Medieval Leinster dynasties and families: three topographical notes', Peritia 5 (1986) 409-15.
  40. Breandán S. Mac Aodha, 'The element áth/ford in Irish place-names'. Nomina 11 (1987) 115-22.
  41. Proinseas Mac Cana, Place-names and mythology in Irish tradition', in: G. W. MacLennan (ed.), Proceedings of the first North-American Congress of Celtic Studies, Ottawa 1988, 319-341.
  42. Helmut Jäger, 'Medieval landscape terms of Ireland: the evidence of Latin and English documents', in: John Bradley (ed.), Settlement and society in medieval Ireland: studies presented to F. X. Martin, OSA (Kilkenny 1988) 277-90.
  43. Liam Mac Mathúna, 'The topographical vocabulary of Irish: patterns and implications'. Ainm 4 (1989-90) 144-164.
  44. Breandán S. Mac Aodha, 'Lake-names on Mercator's map of Ireland'. Nomina, 12 (1989 for 1988/9), 11-16.
  45. Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, 'The place-names of Rathlin Island'. Ainm 4 (1989-90) 3-89.
  46. T. S. Ó Máille, 'Irish place-names in -as, -es, -is, -os, -us'. Ainm 4 (1989-90) 125-143.
  47. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some place-names from miscellaneous Irish annals', Ainm 4 (1989-90) 180-193.
  48. Jeffrey Spittal, John Field, A reader's guide to the place-names of the United Kingdom: a bibliography of publications, 1920-1989, on the place-names of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. Stamford, 1990.
  49. A. J. Hughes, 'Irish place-names: some perspectives, pitfalls, procedures and potential'. Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, 14:2 (1991) 116-148.
  50. Cathal Dallat, 'Townlands: their origin and significance', in: Tony Canavan (ed.), Every stoney acre has a name: a celebration of the townland in Ulster (Belfast 1991) 3-10.
  51. A. S. MacShamhrain, 'Placenames as indicators of settlement', Archaeology Ireland, 5:3 (1991) 19-21.
  52. Alan Mac An Bhaird, 'Ptolemy revisited', Ainm 5 (1991-93) 1-20.
  53. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some placenames from 'The Annals of Innishfallen'', Ainm 5 (1991-93) 21-32.
  54. Place-names of Northern Ireland, general editor Gerard Stockman. 6 Vols. [v. 1. County Down I, Newry and South-West Down, eds. Gregory Toner and Mícheál B. Ó Mainnín; v. 2. County Down II, The Ards, eds. A.J. Hughes and R.J. Hannan; v. 3. County Down III, The Mournes, ed. Mícheál B. Ó Mainnín; v. 4. County Antrim I, The baronies of Toome, ed. Patrick McKay; v. 5. County Derry I, The Moyola Valley, ed. Gregory Toner; v. 6. County Down IV, North-West Down, Iveagh, ed. Kay Muhr;.] Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, 1992-1996.
  55. Place-names of Northern Ireland, general editor Nollaig Ó Muraíle. Vol. 7: County Antrim II, Ballycastle and North-East Antrim, ed. Fiachra Mac Gabhann. Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, 1997.
  56. Art Ó Maolfabhail, 'The role of toponymy in the Ordnance Survey of Ireland', Études celtiques 29 (1992) 319-325.
  57. Gillian Fellows Jensen, 'Scandinavian place-names of the Irish sea province', in: J. A. Graham-Campbell (ed.), Viking treasure from the north-west: the Cuerdale hoard in its context (National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside Occasional Papers 5) (Liverpool 1992) 31-42.
  58. Tomás G. Ó Canann, 'Áth Uí Chanannáin and the toponomy of medieval Mide'. Ríocht na Mídhe [Journal of the County Meath Historical Society] 8:4 (1992-93) 78-83.
  59. Michael B. Ó Mainnin, 'The mountain names of County Down'. Nomina 17 (1994) 31-53.
  60. Deirdre & Laurence Flanagan, Irish place-names. Dublin 1994.
  61. Adrian Room, A dictionary of Irish place-names. Revised edition. Belfast 1994.
  62. Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, 'Placenames and early settlement in County Donegal', in: William Nolan, Liam Ronayne, Mairead Dunlevy (eds.), Donegal: history & society. Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county (Dublin 1995) 149-182.
  63. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'Recent publications relating to Irish place-names', Ainm 6 (1994-95) 115-122.
  64. Micheál Ó Braonáin, Príomhshruth Éireann. Luimneach 1994. [A poem by a Roscommon poet on the River Shannon (1794) listing 30 tributaries and over 300 place-names.]
  65. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some place-names from 'The annals of Connacht'' Ainm 6 (1994-95) 1-31.
  66. Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, 'Early ecclesiastical settlement names of county Galway', In: Gerard Moran, (ed.) Galway: history & society: interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county (Dublin 1996) 795-815.
  67. Simon Taylor, 'Place-names and the early church in eastern Scotland', in: Barbara Elizabeth Crawford, (ed.), Scotland in dark age Britain, (Aberdeen 1996) 93-110.
  68. Brian Ó Cuív, 'Dinnshenchas: the literary exploitation of Irish place-names', Ainm 4 (1989-90) 90-106.
  69. Tomás Ua Ciarrbhaic, 'North Kerry placenames', The Kerry Magazine 7 (1996) 33-34.
  70. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some place-names from the Annals of Tigernach', Ainm 7 (1996-97) 1-27.
  71. Gregory Toner, 'A reassessment of the element Cuilleann', Ainm 7 (1996-97) 94-101.
  72. Gregory Toner, 'The backward nook: Cúil and Cúl in Irish placenames', Ainm 7 (1996-97) 113-117.
  73. Kay Muhr, 'The Northern Ireland Placename Project 1987-97', Ainm 7 (1996-97) 118-119.
  74. Conleth Manning, 'Daire Mór identified'. Peritia 11 (1997) 359-69.
  75. Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, 'Place-names as a resource for the historical linguist', in Simon Taylor, The uses of place-names (St. John's House Papers, 7) (Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural, 1998) 12-53.
  76. Seosamh Ó Dufaigh, 'Medieval Monaghan: the evidence of the placenames'. Clogher Record: Journal of the Clogher Historical Society, 16:3 (1999) 7-28.
  77. Patrick McKay, A dictionary of Ulster place-names. Belfast: Queen's University of Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1999.
  78. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'The place-names of Clare Island', in: Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, Kevin Whelan, (eds.), New survey of Clare Island, volume I: history and cultural landscape (Dublin 1999) 99-141.
  79. Gregory Toner, 'The definite article in Irish place-names'. Nomina, 22 (1999) 5-24.
  80. Sharon Arbuthnot, Short cuts to etymology: placenames in Cóir Anmann, Ériu 50 (1999) 79-86.
  81. Patrick McKay, A dictionary of Ulster place-names, Belfast 1999.
  82. Kevin Murray, 'Fr Edmund Hogan's 'Onomasticon Goedelicum', ninety years on: reviewers and users', Ainm 8 (1998-2000) 65-75.
  83. Art Ó Maolfabhail,'Ar lorg na Breatnaise in Éirinn', Ainm 8 (1998-2000) 76-92.
  84. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some place-names from 'Fragmentary Annals of Ireland'', Ainm 8 (1998-2000) 41-51.
  85. Gregory Toner, 'Settlement and settlement terms in medieval Ireland: Ráth and Lios'. Ainm 8 (1998-2000) 1-40.
  86. Michael J. Bowman, Place names and antiquities of the Barony of Duhallow, ed. by Jean J. MacCarthy, Tralee 2000.
  87. Eoghan Ó Mórdha, 'The placenames in the Book of Cuanu', in: Alfred P. Smyth (ed.), Seanchas: studies in early and medieval Irish archaeology, history and literature in honour of Francis J. Byrne (Dublin 2000) 189-91.
  88. Kay Muhr, 'Territories, people and place names in Co. Armagh', in: A. J. Hughes, William Nolan (eds.), Armagh: history & society: interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county (Dublin: Geography Publications, 2001) 295-332.
  89. Kay Muhr, 'The early place-names of County Armagh'. Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, 19:1 (2002) 1-54.
  90. Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames/Foclóir Stairiúil Áitainmneacha na Gaeilge, London: Irish Texts Society 2003. [Volume 1 of Hogan's revised Onomasticon.]
  91. Petra S. Hellmuth, 'The Dindshenchas and Irish literary tradition', in: John Carey, Máire Herbert and Kevin Murray (eds.), Cín Chille Chúile, Texts, Saints and Places, Essays in honour of Pádraig Ó Riain, Aberystwyth 2004.
  92. Pádraig Ó Riain, Diarmuid Ó Murchadha and Kevin Murray, Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames, Fascicle 3 [C-Ceall Fhursa] (London: Irish Texts Society 2008).
  93. Rudolf Thurneysen, Die irische Helden- und Königsage bis zum siebzehnten Jahrhundert (Halle 1921; reprinted Hildesheim: Olms 1980) passim.
  94. Whitley Stokes (ed. & tr.), 'The prose tales in the Rennes dindshenchas', Revue Celtique 15 (1894) 272–336, 418–84; 16 (1895) 31–83, 135–67, 269–312.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. The Metrical Dindshenchas. in Volume 3Edward Gwynn (ed), Second reprint [x + 562 pp. words] Dublin Institute for Advanced StudiesDublin (1991) (first published 1906) (reprinted 1941)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present text represents even pages 2–466 of the volume. All editorial introduction, apparatus, extensive notes and footnotes have been omitted. The English translation is available as a separate file. Editorial addenda and corrigenda from volume 3, pp. ix-x, and volume 5, pp. 130-141, are integrated in the electronic edition.

Editorial Declaration


Text proofread twice. Text supplied by the editor is tagged sup resp="EG". Corrections are tagged corr sic resp="EG"; where the emendation is tentative, the corresponding 'cert' attribute has been allocated a value of 40 per cent. Corrections suggested in writings by Kuno Meyer, Rudolf Thurneysen and , Patrick Dinneen are marked; æ and accented æ, ae have been changed to ae, áe.


There are no quotations.


CELT Practice. Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break or line-break, this break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the whole text; div1=the volume; div2=the individual poem; page-breaks and line-breaks are marked. The text is based mainly on the Book of Leinster. Folio numbers of the manuscript are not indicated in the printed edition. Passages in verse are marked by poem, stanza and line.

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Dates are standardized in the ISO form yyyy-mm-dd.


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Canonical References

This text uses the DIV2 element to represent the poem.

Profile Description

Created: By one or more unknown authors in Irish monastic scriptoria. Date range: Middle Irish period.

Use of language

Language: [GA] The text is in Old and Middle Irish.
Language: [LA] Some abbreviations are in Latin.

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Revision History