Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T100005A
Annals of the Four Masters
Background details and bibliographic information
Translated by John O'DonovanElectronic edition compiled by Emma Ryan
Funded by University College, Cork and
Seoirse Ó Luasa, An Caifé Liteartha, An Daingean, who donated a copy of the Annals of the Four Masters to the CELT Project.
2. Second draft, revised and corrected.
Proof corrections by Emma Ryan, Marcos Balé
Extent of text: 86490 words
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts; a project of University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland (2002)
Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T100005A
Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.
[The precise relationship between MSS 14 (below) is a matter for scholarly debate. Two views have been put forward, that of Walsh and Mooney (for bibliographical details of their publications, see below). According to Walsh, MSS 1 and 4 are what remains of the set presented to the patron, Ferghal Ó Gadhra; MSS 2 and 3 are the copies forwarded to Louvain for possible printing. According to Mooney, MSS 1 and 3 are the set presented to the patron, Ferghal Ó Gadhra; MSS 2 and 4 are what remains of the set forwarded to Louvain. It is more likely that Walsh's view is correct. For an excellent and fully documented discussion of the problem, see Nollaig Ó Muraíle, The autograph manuscripts of the Annals of the Four Masters, Celtica 19 (1987) 7595.]
- Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 1220 olim C iii 3; paper; s. xvii; five hands, including Míchél Ó Cléirigh and Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh; 522 folios. Annals from AM 2242 to AD 1171. Used by Dubhaltach Mac Fir Bhisigh, who refers to it as belonging to Fearghal Ó Gadhra. For a description of the MS, see Kathleen Mulchrone & Elizabeth FitzPatrick, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy fasc. 26 (Dublin 1943) 3276-82; Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'The autograph manuscripts of the Annals of the Four Masters', Celtica 19 (1987) 7595: 8892.
- Dublin, University College L, OFM, A 13; paper; s. xvii; an autograph copy but scribal signatures are absent in the body of the text. The hands resemble those of Míchél Ó Cléirigh, but there are other hands including marginal notes by John Colgan. Annals from AM 2242 to AD 1169. For a description of the MS, see Myles Dillon, Canice Mooney, & Pádraig de Brún, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Franciscan Library, Killiney (Dublin 1969) 2427; Paul Walsh, 'Extracts from the Franciscan manuscripts of the 'Annals of the Four Masters'', Irisleabhar Muighe Nuadhad, 1916, 17-24; Ó Muraíle, op. cit. 9495.
- Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 687 and 688 olim 23 P 6 and 23 P 7; paper; s. xvii; the scribes are Míchél Ó Cléirigh, Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, and Conaire Ó Cléirigh, and two others. Annals from 1170 to 1616. For a description of the MSS, see Lilian Duncan, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy fasc. 17 (1936) 21122114; Ó Muraíle, op. cit. 95; annals from 1170 to 1616); Paul Walsh, 'Manuscripts of the Four Masters (R.I.A. 23 P 6 and 7 [=MSS 687-8]) Ir Book Lover 24 (1936) 81-3; Ó Muraíle, op. cit. 95.
- Dublin, Trinity College Library, 1301 olim H. 2. 11; paper; s. xvii; the scribes are Conaire Ó Cléirigh and two other Ó Cléirigh scribes. Annals from 1334 (beginning acephalous) to 1605 in 466 folios. For a description of the MS, see T. K. Abbott and E. J. Gwynn, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the library of Trinity College Dublin (Dublin 1921) 8283; Ó Muraíle, op. cit. 9294.
- Dublin, Trinity College Library, 1300 olim H. 2. 9 and H. 2. 10; paper; s. xviii (1734-5) scribe: Hugh O'Mulloy (Aodh Ó Maolmhuaidh); a transcript of MS 1 made for John O'Fergus. For a description of the MS, see T. K. Abbott and E. J. Gwynn, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the library of Trinity College Dublin (Dublin 1921) 82.
- Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 988 and 989 olim 23 F 2 and 23 F 3; paper; s. xviii; scribe not named; the text was transcribed in the house of Charles O'Conor of Belanagare, and apparently under his supervision. This is a transcript of MS 1. For a description of the MS, see Kathleen Mulchrone, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy, fasc. 22 (1940) 282930.
Editions and Translations
- Charles O'Conor (ed.) Rerum Hibernicarum scriptores veteres iii: Quatuor Magistrorum Annales Hibernici usque ad annum M.CLXXII. ex ipso O'Clerii autographo in Biblioteca Stowense servato, nunc primum uersione donati ac notis illustrati (Buckingham, 1826) [O'Conor's edition, though based on MS (i) is seriously defective].
- John O'Donovan (ed. & trans.) Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616. Edited from MSS in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy and of Trinity College Dublin with a translation and copious notes, 7 vols. (Dublin 1848-51; repr. Dublin, 1856; repr. Dublin, 1990.) [volumes i-ii: pp v-vi (dedicatory letter of the editor) + pp vii-liv (introductory remarks, including original documents) + pp lv-lxi (epistle dedicatory of Míchél Ó Cléirigh) + pp lxiii-lxxi (contemporary approbations of the work) + pp 2-1187 (text and translation) + pp 1189-93 (addenda and corrigenda); volumes iii-vi: pp 2-2375 (text and translation) + pp 2377-2494 (a genealogical appendix, including original documents) + 2494-8 (addenda et corrigenda); volume vii: pp 405 (indexes). There are three separate paginations: volumes i-ii, volumes iii-vi, and volume vii, each having separate pagination. The edition of volumes i-ii, AM 2242-AD 1171, is made from a corrected copy of Charles O'Conor's edition (Buckingham, 1826). This edition is based on MS 1 which was not available to O'Donovan. O'Donovan collated the text so derived with MS 5 and MS 6, both eighteenth-century transcripts of MS 1. MS 2 was not known to O'Conor or O'Donovan. The text of the remainder of the Annals (volumes iii-vi) is edited from MS 3 collated with MS 4.]
- Owen Connellan, The Annals of Ireland, translated from the original Irish of the Four Masters (Dublin, 1846) [Annals from 1171 to 1616].
- Henri Lizeray, Le livre des quatre maîtres: Annales du royaume d'Irlande, depuis les origines jusqu'à l'arrivée de saint Patrice (Leroux, 1882).
- George Petrie, 'Remarks on the history and authenticity of the Annals of the Four Masters', Trans Roy Ir Acad 16 (1831) 381-93 [repr. O'Donovan, op. cit. i, pp vii-xix].
- Sir John T. Gilbert, 'The Celtic records of Ireland', Ir Q Rev 1 (1852) 588-700 [notice of O'Donovan's edition].
- Eugene O'Curry, Lectures on the manuscript materials of ancient Irish history (Dublin, 1861; repr. Dublin, 1878) 141-61 [note O'Curry's translation of John Colgan's remarks about Míchél Ó Cléirigh (143-45) and his sardonic comments on the Stowe sale of Irish MSS and the attitude of Lords Macaulay and Ashburnham].
- P. Mac Suibhne, 'A great historical work: the Annals of the Four Masters', J Ivernian Soc 7 (1915) 66-93.
- Paul Walsh, 'Extracts from the Franciscan manuscripts of the 'Annals of the Four Masters'', Irisleabhar Muighe Nuadhad, 1916, 17-24.
- E. J. Gwynn, 'Miscellanea', Ériu 9 (1921-23) 27-30: 27-8 [verse fragments in Annals of the Four Masters].
- Paul Walsh, 'Extracts from the Franciscan manuscript of the Annals of the Four Masters', in Paul Walsh, Gleanings from Irish manuscripts, 2nd ed. (Dublin, 1933) 69-85.
- Paul Walsh, 'The Four Masters', Ir Book Lover 22 (1934) 128-31.
- Paul Walsh, 'The convent of Donegal, 1632-36', Ir Book Lover 23 (1935) 109-15.
- Brendan Jennings, Michael O Cleirigh, chief of the Four Masters, and his associates (Dublin, 1936) [an inadequate account of the MSS, otherwise very valuable].
- Paul Walsh, 'Manuscripts of the Four Masters (R.I.A. 23 P 6 and 7 [=Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MSS 687-8])', Ir Book Lover 24 (1936) 81-3 [repr. for the most part in a chapter of his The Four Masters and their work].
- Paul Walsh, 'Slips in O'Donovan's Four Masters, vol. V', Ir Book Lover 25 (1937) 100-02.
- M. A. O'Brien, 'Miscellanea Hibernica, 5: a wrong entry in AU and FM [A.D. 603], Études Celtiques 3 (1939) 365.
- Paul Walsh, 'The dating of Irish annals', Ir Hist Stud 2, (1941) 355-75.
- Canice Mooney, 'Irish Franciscan libraries of the past', Ir Ecclesiast Rec, 5th ser., 60 (1942) 223-4.
- Colm Ó Lochlainn, 'John O Donovan and the Four Masters', Ir Book Lover 29 (1943-5) 4-8.
- Paul Walsh, The Four Masters and their work (Dublin, 1944).
- Michael Duignan [notice of Walsh's Four Masters and their work], Éigse 4 (1943-4) 312.
- Helena Concannon, 'John O'Donovan and the Annals of the Four Masters', Studies (Dublin) 37 (1948) 300-7.
- Colm Ó Lochlainn, 'Annals of the Four Masters', Ir Book Lover 31 (1949-51) 126-8.
- Alexander Boyle, 'Fergal Ó Gadhra and the Four Masters', Ir Ecclesiast Rec, 5th ser, 100 (1963) 100-14.
- Cathaldus Giblin, 'The Annals of the Four Masters', in Liam de Paor (ed.) Great books of Ireland (Dublin, 1967) 90-103, repr. in Benignus Millett & Anthony Lynch (ed.) Dún Mhuire, Killiney, 1945-95 (Dublin, 1995) 135-43.
- David Greene & Frank O'Connor, A golden treasury of Irish poetry (London, 1967; repr. Dingle, 1990) 107-9, 200-01 [edition of restored text and translation of four verse epigrams that occur s. aa. 606, 614, 1022, and 1088].
- Breandán Ó Buachalla, 'Annála ríoghachta Éireann is Foras feasa ar Éirinn: an comhthéacs comhaimseartha', Studia Hibernica, 22-3 (1982-3) 59-105.
- Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'The autograph manuscripts of the Annals of the Four Masters', Celtica 19 (1987) 75-95.
- Donnchadh Ó Corráin, 'Vikings II: Ross Cam', Peritia 10 (1996) 236.
- Nollaig Ó Muraíle, The celebrated antiquary: Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh (c.1600-71): his lineage life and learning (Maynooth, 1996) 6-10, 100-101, 186-89.
- Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'Cathal Ó Mac Maghnusa: his time, life and legacy', Clogher Rec 16/2 (1998) 45-64.
- Donnchadh Ó Corráin, 'Ad Annals of the Four Masters, 823-24', Peritia 13 (1999) 141.
- William O'Sullivan, 'The Slane manuscript of the Annals of the Four Masters'. Ríocht na Mídhe [Journal of the County Meath Historical Society] 10 (1999) 78-85.
- Pádraig A. Breatnach, 'Irish records of the Nine Years' War: a brief survey, with particular notice of the relationship between Beatha Aodha Ruaidh Uí Dhomhnaill and the Annals of the Four Masters'. In Ó Riain, Pádraig (ed.), Beatha Aodha Ruaidh: the life of Red Hugh O'Donnell. Historical and literary contexts (Irish Texts Society, subsidiary series 12) (London 2002) 124-147.
- Daniel P. Mc Carthy, on his website at http://www.cs.tcd.ie/misc/kronos/chronology/synchronisms/annals-chron.htm offers comprehensive information on two traditions of dating used in the Irish Annals, together with two ancillary articles, 'Chronological synchronisation of the Irish annals', and 'Collation of the Irish regnal canon'.
- Daniel P. Mc Carthy, The Irish Annals: their genesis, evolution and history (Dublin 2008).
The edition used in the digital edition
- Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616. Edited from MSS in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy and of Trinity College Dublin with a translation and copious notes.. in Volume 1: translationJohn O'Donovan (ed), First edition [Seven volumes. Volumes iii: pp vvi (dedicatory letter of the editor)+ pp viiliv (introductory remarks, including original documents) + pp lvlxi (epistle dedicatory of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh) + pp lxiiilxxi (contemporary approbations of the work) + pp 21187 (text and translation) + pp 118993 (addenda and corrigenda); volumes iiivi: pp 22375 (text and translation) + pp 23772494 (a genealogical appendix, including original documents) + 249498 (addenda et corrigenda); volume vii: pp 405 (indexes). There are three separate paginations: volumes i-ii, volumes iiivi, and volume vii, each having separate pagination. The whole work extends to 4167 pp.] Hodges & SmithDublin (1848-51) (repr. 1856) (repr. 1990)
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts
The present text represents pages 3-565 of the translation of volume 1, being the years A. M. 2242 to A. D. 902, in the chronology of the compilers. That chronology deviates from the historical chronology, but it has not been corrected in this edition. All editorial introduction, notes and indexes have been omitted. Editorial corrigenda are integrated into the electronic edition. Missing text supplied by the editor is tagged sup. Missing translation omitted by the editor is tagged .
Translation supplied by persons other than the editor is tagged sup with appropriate responsibility id.
Text has been checked and proofread three times. All corrections and supplied text are tagged. The Annals of the Four Masters is an extremely large and complex work. Any corrections of errors in the original text, as edited by O'Donovan, corrections to O'Donovan's translation, or to this digital edition of his translation are welcome. They will be credited to the scholars who make them.
The editors of this digital edition reproduce O'Donovan's translation, with a few obvious corrections, in full knowledge of its limitations. Its limitations are particularly evident in the translations of the embedded verse in Old and Middle Irish, many of which (given the stage of development of Irish studies in the mid-nineteenth century) are approximations or mistaken. Their correction cannot be undertaken in this digital edition and must await a new scholarly edition of the Annals as a whole. O'Donovan omits diacritics in the English translation, but quantities are
marked in the digital edition of the Irish text, and this should be consulted on this point.
The electronic text represents the edited text. The editor's divisions of words have been retained.
Quotation marks are rendered q.
Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, the page-break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.
div0=the body of annals; div1=the individual annals (i.e. the annalistic matter gathered under one year); div2=the annalistic entry; paragraphs are marked; passages of verse occurring within paragraphs are treated as embedded texts and the stanzas are marked lg and metrical lines are marked l. Page-breaks are marked pb n=""; words in languages other than English are tagged.
Dates are encoded in the format yyyy-mm-dd.
This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the Annal.
Refs: EVENT (<DIV2>)
This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the Annal.
Created: Translation by John O'Donovan (for source text see CELT file G100005A)
Date range: c.1846-1850.
Use of language
Language: [EN] The text is in English.
Language: [LA] Some fifty formulaic words, including editor's corrections, are in Latin.
Language: [GA] A few terms are in Irish.