Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G105003

Genealogies from Rawlinson B 502

Author: unknown

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

Michael O'Brien

Electronic edition compiled by Donnchadh Ó Corráin

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

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Proof corrections by Donnchadh Ó Corráin , Dara Mac Domhnaill

Extent of text: 57965 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
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Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: G105003

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


Text is copyright to the School of Celtic Studies (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies).


[The hard copy text is not a full edition of all the genealogical material in MS Rawlinson B 502. The editor omits f. 130b13-134b55 i.e. (1) Scélshenchas Lagen: Orguin Denna Ríg (edited and translated by Whitley Stokes, The destruction of Dind Ríg, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 3 (1901) 2-8 [edited from Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1339 (Book of Leinster, olim H. 2.18], and edited from Rawlinson B 502 by David Greene in Fingal Rónáin and other stories, Mediaeval and Modern Series 16 (Dublin 1955) 18-23 (text only); (2) Tairired na n-Déssi (edited and translated by Kuno Meyer, The expulsion of the Dessi, Y Cymmrodor 14 (1901) 104–34); (4) Esnad Tige Buchet (edited and translated by Whitley Stokes, The songs of Buchet's House, in Revue Celtique 25 (1904) 18–38, 225–27 [from MS 1339 (Book of Leinster, olim H. 2.18) and from Rawlinson B 502, with variants from Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1318 (Yellow Book of Lecan, olim H. 2. 16)], and re-edited by Greene, loc. cit., 28–31 (text only) [mainly from from Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1339 (Book of Leinster, olim H. 2.18) mainly]; (5) Comram na Clóenferta, (6) Orgguin trí mac Diarmata meic Cerbaill [edited by Kuno Meyer, Hibernica Minora, being a fragment of an Old-Irish treatise on the psalter ... with an appendix containing extracts hitherto unpublished, Anecdota Oxoniensia: texts and documents chiefly from manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and other Oxford libraries, Mediaeval and Modern Series 7 (Oxford 1894) 70–73 (text), 73–75 (translation) [from Rawlinson B 502]; re-edited by Greene, loc. cit., 48-54 (text only)). The text beginning on p. 117 should have been marked as acephalous. This part of the text Do fhaithiusaib Érenn. The missing portion corresponds to the text printed in R. I. Best, Osborn Bergin and M. A. O'Brien (ed), The Book of Leinster i (Dublin 1954) 56–77, lines 1802–2444. The editor omits the poem, Temair Breg baili na fian (138a52–139b29). This is edited with introduction and translation by Maud Joynt, Echtra mac Echdach Mugmedón, Ériu 4 (1908) 91–111. After the genealogies printed here end (Rawlinson B 502, facsimile, p. 163) there are several genealogical poems which O'Brien did not print. These are: (1) 163a1-29: Cétrí ro gab h-Érind uill (14 stanzas on the kings of Ailech who were kings of Ireland), edited (without translation) from Rawlinson B 502 with variants from Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 536 (olim 23 P 12, the Book of Ballymote) 79a (facsimile pagination) and from four later manuscripts by Tadhg Ó Donnchadha, Leabhar Cloinne Aodha Buidhe (Dublin 1931) 282-87; (2) 163a30-b17: Inn eól dúib in senchas sen (22 stanzas on the kings of Cashel from Óengus mac Nad Fraích to Cormac Mac Carthaig; (3) 163b18-164b20: Mide maigen clainne Cuind (57 stanzas on the kings of Meath), edited (with translation and copious annotation) from the Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1339 (Book of Leinster, olim H. 2. 18 by John MacNeill [Eoin Mac Néill], in Poems by Fland Mainistrech on the dynasties of Ailech, Mide and Brega, Archivium Hibernicum 2 (1913) 82–92, re-edited by R. I. Best and M. A. O'Brien, The Book of Leinster iv (Dublin 1965) 803-09; there are other copies of this poem in Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 619 (olim D iii 2), Dublin, Royal Irish Academy MS 1080 (olim B. iv 2) 70, Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 756 (olim E 26 245, and Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 1225 (olim D ii i) 6; the poem is attributed to Fland Mainistrech, but it is not his work; (4) 164b21-165a35: Síl nÁeda Sláine na sleg (34 stanzas on the kings of Ireland and of Meath descended from Áed Sláine) edited (with translation and copious annotation) from the Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1339 (Book of Leinster, olim H. 2. 18) by John MacNeill [Eoin Mac Néill], in Poems by Fland Mainistrech on the dynasties of Ailech, Mide and Brega, Archivium Hibernicum 2 (1913) 92–99, re-edited by R. I. Best and M. A. O'Brien, The Book of Leinster iv (Dublin 1965) 810–04; the poem is attributed to Fland Mainistrech but is not his work (Francis John Byrne, Proc Roy Ir Acad (C) 66 (1968) 392); (5) 165a36-b48: A fhir théit i mag Medba (34 stanzas on the kings of Connacht who had their seat at Crúachain, from Amalgaid son of Fiachna to Tairdelbach Ua Conchobair who became king of Connacht in 1106), edited with translation by Maximilian Friedrich Liddel, A poem on the kings of Connacht, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 9 (1913) 461–69; (6) 165b49-166a35: A chlann Chóelbad meic Cruind crúaid (21 stanzas on the kings of Dál nAraide); 166b36-c33: Ulaid úaisle Inse Fáil (27 stanzas on the kings of Ulster to Niall mac Duinn Slébe (ob. 1113).]


    Manuscript source
  1. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson B. 502, olim The Book of Glendalough (written c. AD 1130. For a description of the manuscript and a lits of its contents see Kuno Meyer (ed), Rawlinson B 502, a collection of pieces in prose and verse in the Irish language compiled during the eleventh and twelfth centuries now published in facsimile from the original manuscript in the Bodleian Library with introduction and indexes (Oxford 1909); see also F. J. Byrne, 1000 years of Irish script (Oxford 1979), 13 (section 4); Pádraig Ó Riain, The Book of Glendalough or Rawlinson B. 502, Éigse 18 (1981) 161–76; Pádraig Ó Riain, NLI G 2 f.3 and the Book of Glendalough, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 39 (1982) 29–32; and Pádraig Ó Riain, (1999). 'Rawlinson B 502 alias Lebar Glinne Dá Locha: a restatement of the case', Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 51 (1999) 130–147. The genealogical texts have generally not been translated, apart from short excerpts.
    Digital images of MS Rawlinson B. 502
  1. These are available at
    Major Irish genealogical codices
  1. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1339 (olim H. 2. 18, Book of Leinster); references are to the facsimile (R. Atkinson (ed), The Book of Leinster (Dublin 1880), and this codex has been used to supply three short passages in the present edition.
  2. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 535 (olim 23 P 2, the Book of Lecan); references are to the foliation of the facsimile, which is different from the foliations of the manuscript (K. Mulchrone (ed), The Book of Lecan, Leabhar Mór Mhic Fhir Bhisigh Leacáin (Dublin 1937), and this codex has been used to supply five short passages in the present edition.
  3. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 536 (olim 23 P 12, the Book of Ballymote); references are not to the manuscript but to the pages and columns of the facsimile (R. Atkinson (ed), The Book of Ballymote (Dublin 1887).
  4. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 610; references are not to the manuscript but to page and line of Kuno Meyer (ed), The Laud genealogies and tribal histories, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 8 (1912) 292-338.
  5. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1298 (olim H. 2. 7).
    Comment on the text
  1. Francis John Byrne, [Review of Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae], Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 29 (1962/64) 383-85.
  2. Brian Ó Cuív, [Review of Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae], Éigse 10 (1961/63) 328-32.
  3. John V. Kelleher, The pre-Norman Irish genealogies, Irish Historical Studies 16 (1968/69) 138-53 [Review of Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae].
    Literature on Irish genealogical texts.
  1. Kuno Meyer, The Laud genealogies and tribal histories, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 8 (1912) 292-338.
  2. John MacNeill, [=Eoin Mac Neill], Notes on the Laud genealogies, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 8 (1912) 411-18.
  3. John MacNeill, [=Eoin Mac Neill], Early Irish population groups: their nomenclature, classification and chronology, Proc Roy Ir Acad (C) 29 (1911-12) 59-114.
  4. Kuno Meyer, Über die älteste irische Dichtung, Abh d. k. Preuss Akad Wiss, Jahrgang 1913, 6 (Berlin 1913) (text and translation into German of some of the earliest genealogical verse in Rawlinson B 502).
  5. John MacNeill, [=Eoin Mac Neill] (ed & tr), Poems by Fland Mainistrech on the dynasties of Ailech, Mide and Brega, Archivium Hibernicum 2 (1913) 37-99.
  6. John MacNeill, [=Eoin Mac Neill], On the reconstruction and date of the Laud Synchronisms, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 10 (1915) 81-96.
  7. Paul Walsh, Genealogiae regum et sanctorum Hiberniae (Maynooth 1918).
  8. Eoin MacNeill, Celtic Ireland (Dublin 1921; repr. Dublin 1981).
  9. Margaret E. Dobbs, The genealogies of the Southern Uí Néill, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 20/1 (1933) 1-29.
  10. Michael Duignan, The Uí Briúin Bréifni genealogies, J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 64 (1934) 90-137, 213-56.
  11. Michael Duignan, Notes on the history of the kingdom of Bréifni, J Roy Soc Antiq Ire 65 (1935) 113-40.
  12. M. A. O'Brien, The oldest account of the raid of the Collas (circa A. D. 330), Ulster J Archaeol 2 (1939) 170-77 (text and translation of Rawlinson 142a10-b30, with introduction and genealogical table).
  13. Séamus Ó Ceallaigh, Gleanings from Ulster history (Cork 1951; 2nd. edition with introduction, additional chapter and indexes, Draperstown 1994).
  14. T. F. O'Rahilly, Early Irish history and mythology (Dublin 1946).
  15. John V. Kelleher, Early Irish history and pseudo-history, Studia Hibernica 3 (1963) 113-27.
  16. Francis John Byrne, The rise of the Uí Néill and the high-kingship of Ireland (Dublin [1970]).
  17. Kathleen Hughes, Early christian Ireland: introduction to the sources (London 1972).
  18. Gearóid Mac Niocaill, Ireland before the Vikings (Dublin and London 1972).
  19. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Ireland before the Normans (Dublin and London 1972).
  20. Francis John Byrne, Irish kings and high-kings (London 1973).
  21. Michael O'Brien, Old Irish personal names, Celtica 10 (1973) 211-36.
  22. Francis John Byrne, Senchas: the nature of Gaelic historical tradition, J. G. Barry (ed), Historical Studies 9 (Belfast 1974) 137-59.
  23. K. W. Nicholls, The Irish genealogies: their value and defects, Ir Genealogist 5/2 (1975).
  24. David N. Dumville, Kingship, genealogies, and regnal lists, P. H. Sawyer & I. N. Wood (ed), Early medieval kingship (Leeds 1979) 72-104.
  25. Pádraig Ó Riain, Irish saints' genealogies, Nomina 7 (1983) 23-29.
  26. Pádraig Ó Riain (ed), Corpus genealogiarum sanctorum Hiberniae (Dublin 1985).
  27. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Irish origin-legends and genealogy: recurrent aetiologies, Tore Nyberg, I[oslash]rn Pi[oslash] et al. (ed), History and heroic tale: a symposium, Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium, Centre for the Study of Vernacular Literature in the Middle Ages (Odense: Odense Universitetsforlag 1985) 51-96.
  28. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Historical need and literary narrative, D. Ellis Evans, John G. Griffith and E. M. Jope (ed), Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Celtic Studies ... Oxford ... 1983 (Oxford 1986) 141-58.
  29. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Legend as critic, T. Dunne (ed), The writer as witness: literature as historical evidence, Historical Studies 16 (Cork 1987) 23-38.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae. Michael O'Brien (ed), First edition (1962); reprinted exactly, Dublin 1986 (apart from a short introduction (pages ix–xvi) by John V. Kelleher, largely devoted to explaining O'Brien's hitherto unexplained sigla and abbreviations). [vii + 764pp] School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced StudiesDublin (1962)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The electronic text represents pages 1-332 of the O'Brien's edition. All the editorial preface, list of contents, introduction, indexes, and codicological notes are omitted. O'Brien cites variants from 5 other major genealogical codices cited above. These variants have been omitted. Editorial corrigenda made in the original edition or in the electronic edition are integrated into the electronic edition and appropriately marked. Missing text supplied by the editor in the body of the work is tagged SUP. Editorial and scribal corrections entered in the body of the work are tagged CORR and the original reading is kept in the SIC attribute. Words that are mistaken or in an unusual form, but not indicated by the editor, are here tagged SIC. Significant spaces within verse lines in the print edition (whether intended as caesurae or line-breaks) are rendered SPACE.

The entities s and f are rendered respectively sh and fh. There are hardly any length marks in the original manuscript. These are supplied throughout as macrons in O'Brien's edition. For convenience sake these macrons are rendered as acutes in the electronic text and the few original acute marks in the manuscript are rendered as macrons. The word mac in all its forms occurs thousands of times in these texts. Except when it forms an integral part of a personal name, occurs in verse, or where there might be ambiguity, the abbreviated form is here rendered m. or mc as appropriate, as it is in the manuscript, and O'Brien's mechanical expansions have been ignored. The abbreviation h. is used as an abbreviation for Irish Úi, Úa, úa, úi throughout. O'Brien expands the many thousands of examples of this as Húa, Húi Húu, húa húi, húu, where appropriate, and marks the expansion mechanically in italic. This laborious and unnecessary usage in here abandoned. Unless the word is spelt out in full (in which case the h is separated from what follows by a hyphen), the expanded forms Úi, Úa, Úu, úa, úi, úu are used throughout the electronic edition.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been thoroughly checked and proofread four times. It is difficult to create an electronic edition of a text as long, as complex, and as varied as this lengthy collection of genealogical tracts. There will be errors and ambiguities in this text as there are in the original edition. Readers are invited to submit corrections and emendations both of this electronic edition and of the edition on which it is based. Improved manuscript readings and corrections of scribal errors that may have escaped editors are also sought. Any improvements will be credited to the scholars who submit them.


The electronic text represents and edited version of the hardcopy editions. Normal CELT conventions have been applied to the text: text divisions, word segmentation, and capitalisation in proper names.

In the case of proper names of peoples and individuals, all components of the names are capitalised except for the medial article. O'Brien's attempts to categorize, by case distinctions, the nature of these elements has been ignored.

O'Brien prints parts of the text (usually substantial pedigrees in tabular form: thus usage has been abandoned. O'Brien does not provide page and line references, nor does he indicate (on many occasions) the beginnings and ends of individual genealogical texts. Neither does not he segment the text into numbered sections and subsections, and unusually he indexes the text from the page references of the facsimile (not the foliation of the manuscript). This (and the citation of an unusually large number of variants, significant and insignificant) gives the printed text a rebarbative appearance, and makes it difficult to refer to in the usual manner. Numbered sections (DIV1), sub-sections (DIV2) and numbered paragraphs (P have been supplied in the electronic edition. O'Brien does not number stanzas of verse. In the electronic edition, verse is by convention placed within numbered paragraphs as embedded text, and where the verse form is stanzaic the stanzas are numbered. A small number of verse passages are either non-lineated in the edition, or the edition reproduces the manuscript lineation. These are marked as non-lineated rosc and ms lineated rosc respectively.


The small number of quotations are tagged Q except in verse, where they are contextually obvious.


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


DIV0=the whole work; DIV1=the individual section; DIV2=the individual sub-section. Passages of verse occurring within text paragraphs are treated as embedded texts and, where stanzaic, stanzas are enumerated in the structural mark-up. The page-breaks of the printed texts and the folio numbers of the manuscript are marked.


Names (persons, groups,dynasties, tribes, peoples, places) are not tagged (these may be tagged in a future edition). Some offices and titles are tagged. Numbers are tagged.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the Section.

Page and colum references to the facsimile are tagged MLS n="nnn" unit="facsimile page & column". When a word crosses a facsimile page or column the word is completed before the new page and column number is marked.

Page-numbers of the printed text are tagged PB n="nnn". A canonical reference can be made from the page numbers of the text and the running paragraph numbers (added in the electronic edition).

Profile Description

Created: By unknown authors in Irish monastic scriptoria. Date range: 550-1130, various and unknown..

Use of language

Language: [LA] A considerable portion of the genealogies, especially the earlier ones, are in Latin. Many formulaic expressions are in Latin.
Language: [GA] Most of the text is in Old and Middle Irish.

Revision History