Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T100028

The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius

Author: unknown

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

translated by James Henthorn ToddElectronic edition compiled by the CELT Team

Funded by University College, Cork and
Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 19100 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—

(2002) (2008)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T100028

Availability [RESTRICTED]

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


    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS H. 3. 17. (D). A miscellaneous volume, containing tracts from centuries 14, 15 and 16. Formerly in possession of Duald Mac Firbis and Edward Lhuyd. In this MS, the copy of the Leabhar Breatnach is on p. 806 b; probably written in the 14th or early 15th century and forms the basis of Todd's edition. Errors have been corrected by the editor, collating MSS. B and L.
  2. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Book of Ballymote, written in the 14th century (B). In the order of sections this MS differs from D; it contains various interpolations.
  3. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Book of Lecan, written in 1427 (L).
  4. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, a 12th century fragment in Lebor na hUidre (U). Fragment starts with 'acht ceana, a rig, ol se' (p. 94, section XIX) and runs until end of section XXIV.
  5. The Book of Ui Maine, written before 1423, when the scribe Faelán Mac an Gabhann died. This MS was not accessible for consultation by Todd.
    The Latin Nennius: editions and translations
  1. Nennii Historia Britonum ad fidem codicum manuscriptorum recensuit Josephus Stevenson. Londini, 1838.
  2. British History and Welsh Annals. Nennius edited and translated by John Morris. London & Chichester, 1980.
    The Irish Nennius: editions and translations
  1. Rev. Edmund S. J. Hogan, The Irish Nennius from L. na Huidre [1a. Text and translation]. (Todd Lecture Series VI), Dublin, 1895. (Fragments of Sex Aetates mundi. and of the in Historia Britonum).
  2. Heinrich Zimmer, [Latin transl. of the Irish Version of the Historia Brittonum of Nennius] in: Chronica Minora Saec. IV-VII. Ed. Theodor Mommsen, Mon. Germ. Hist. Vol. III, 1898, 143-219.
  3. A. G. van Hamel, Lebor Bretnach. The Irish version of the Historia Britonum ascribed to Nennius. Edited from all the manuscripts [with the Latin version]. Irish Manuscripts Commission. Dublin, 1932.
    Secondary literature
  1. Arthur de la Borderie, L'historia Britonum: attribuée à Nennius et l'historia Britannica: avant Geoffroi de Monmouth par Arthur de la Borderie. Paris, 1883
  2. Heinrich Zimmer, Nennius Vindicatus. Über Entstehung, Geschichte und Quellen der Historia Brittonum, Berlin 1893, esp. 215-225.
  3. Max Förster, War Nennius ein Ire? In: Finke-Festschrift, Marburg 1925, 36-42.
  4. Sir H. Howorth, 'Nennius' and the 'Historia Britonum', Archaeologia Cambrensis. 6 Ser. XVII. 1917, 87-122, 321-45; 1918. XVIII. 199-262.
  5. A. H. Krappe, Note sur une épisode de l' Historia Britonum de Nennius, Revue Celtique XLI (1924) 181-188.
  6. F. Liebermann, Nennius the author of the Historia Brittonum. In: Essays in Medieval History presented to T. F. Tout. Manchester 1925, 25-44.
  7. J. Loth, Remarques à l'Historia Britonum dite de Nennius, Revue Celtique XLIX (1932) 150-165; LI (1934) 1-31.
  8. Rudolf Thurneysen, Zu Nemnius (Nennius), Zeitschrift fü celtische Philologie XX (1936) 97-137 185-191.
  9. David N. Dumville, 'Some aspects of the chronology of the Historia Brittonum', Bull Board Celt Stud 25 9 (1974) 439-445.
    Reviews and Notices
  1. J. Vendryes, Études Celtiques III, 1938, 168-170 [Notice].
  2. I. Williams, Notes on Nennius. 2 Facs (Univ. of Wales Board of Celtic Studies Bulletin VII. 1935, 380-389.)
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Leabhar Breathnach annso sis: The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius. Edited with a translation and notes [from the Books of Lecan and Hy Many] by James Henthorn Todd, D.D., M.R.I.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, etc.. James Henthorn Todd First edition [16 + 288 + 130pp.] Irish Archaeological SocietyDublin (1848)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present text represents odd pages 23-287 of the volume. Editorial preface and introduction have been omitted. The Irish text is available digitally in a separate file (G100028). The original text ended with the end of section XXIV. The text following section XXIV is contained in an appendix; it includes wonders of the Island of Britain and the Isle of Man; a tract on Pictish history (XXVII to XXIX) with a poem in section XXX; an abridged translation of Bede's History; and the Legend of St Cairnech.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been checked and proofread twice. All corrections and supplied text are tagged.


The electronic text represents the edited text; errata have been integrated and rendered corr resp="JHT" sic="". Circumflexes on Latin characters and superscript desinences of Latin ordinals have been removed silently. Place names, personal names; names of days and months are capitalized.


Soft hyphens are silently removed. Words containing a hard or soft hyphen crossing a page-break have been placed on the line on which they start.


DIV0=the whole document; DIV1=the Historia DIV2=the section within Historia; paragraphs and page-breaks are marked.

Standard Values

Dates are partly tagged. A complete tagging is envisaged in a future edition.


Personal names, collective names and place-names are not tagged. Neither are names of professions and social roles. Numbers are not tagged. Such tagging is envisaged in a future edition.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the Historia.

Profile Description

Created: Translation by James Henthorn Todd. (c.1847)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The Translation is in English.
Language: [LA] Many words and phrases in Latin.
Language: [GA] Two words in Middle Irish.
Language: [OS] Two words in Old Saxon(?)
Language: [CY] A word in Welsh(?).

Revision History