Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G302018

Buile Shuibhne

Author: Unknown

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

J. G. O'Keeffe

Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber

Proof corrections by by Vibeke Dijkman, Maxim Fomin

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

2. Second draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 23020 words


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(2001) (2008) (2013)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: G302018

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    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS B IV I, p. 82a–95b. A paper MS, written between 1671 and 1674 by Daniel O'Duigenan. The following text is taken from this MS. Where other readings were preferred this is shown in the footnotes.
  2. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 K 44, p. 131–180. A paper MS, written in 1721-1722 by Tomaltach Mac Muirghiosa. It is not derived from B. More important variants are given in the footnotes. Many stanzas contained in B are not in K.
  3. Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, MS 3410, fo. 59a–61b. This MS was written by Michael O'Clery in 1629. It is a brief summary of the version in B and K. The whole of the verse except for three stanzas is omitted. The text is appended.
  1. James G. O'Keeffe, Buile Shuibhne (The Frenzy of Suibhne). Being the Adventures of Suibhne Geilt. A Middle-Irish Romance. Edited, with Translation, Introduction, Notes and Glossary. 38 + 198 pp., 8vo, London, Irish Texts Society, Vol XII. [from Stowe B. IV 1, fol. 82a Br. Bibl. Roy. 3410, fol. 59a, with readings from a 23 K 44] Ériu 1, 1904, pp. 113-121.
  1. See under Editions.
  2. Gerard Murphy (ed.), Early Irish Lyrics: eighth to twelfth century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1956. [58 items; texts reconstructed and normalized according to the editor's dating; Engl. transl., notes, glossary.] 45. Súanach sin, a Éorann án (Suibne and Éorann), 118–123; 46. A bennáin, a búiredáin (Suibne in the woods), 122–137; 47. Mór múich i túsa in-nocht (Suibne in the snow), 138–141.
    Secondary literature
  1. Georges Dottin, Buile Shuibhne [Notice] In: Revue Celtique XXXIV (1913) 326–30.
  2. Kenneth H. Jackson, The motive of the treefold death in the story of Suibhne. In: Féil-Sgríbhinn Eóin Mhic Néill, 1940, 535–550.
  3. Nora K. Chadwick, Geilt. In Scottish Gaelic Studies 5 (1942) 106–153. [History and function of the geilt in Irish (Buile Suibne, Cath Almaine, etc.), Welsh and early Norse literature.]
  4. Roland M. Smith, King Lear and the Merlin tradition. In Modern Language Quarterly 7 (1946) 153–174.
  5. J. Vendryes, [ad Buile Shuibhne Best 2nd, edition 1238) 1301] In: Études Celtiques 4 (1941/48) (fasc.2, 1948) 320–322. (Notes critiques sur des textes, no. 9.)
  6. James Carney, 'Suibne Geilt' and 'The children of Lir'. In. Éigse 6 (1948/52) (pt.2, 1950) 83–110.
  7. Kenneth H. Jackson, A further note on Suibhne Geilt and Merlin. In: Éigse 7, (1953/55) (pt. 2, 1953) 112–116, 120 [add.]. Criticism of Carney in Éigse 6.
  8. Ruth P. Lehmann, A study of the Buile Shuibhne. In: Études Celtiques 6 (1953/54) 289–311; 7 (1955/56) 115–138.
  9. James Carney, The origin of Suibne Gelt. In: Studies in Irish literature and history. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1955, Appendix B, 385–393.
  10. Birgit Bene[scaron], Spuren von Schamanismus in der Sage Buile Suibhne. In: Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 28 (1960/61) 309–334.
  11. Gearóid S. Mac Eoin, Gleann Bolcáin agus Gleann na nGealt. In: Béaloideas 30 (1962) [1964] 105–120.
  12. Brian Ó Cuív, in: Éigse 11 (1964/66) (pt.2, 1965) 155–156. [Review of Mac Eoin in Béaloideas 30].
  13. David Greene & Frank O'Connor (eds. & trans.), Binne liom um na tonna. In: A Golden treasury of Irish poetry, A.D. 600 to 1200. London: Macmillan, 1967, 179–180.
  14. Donncha Ó Crualaoich, 'Eolchaire mo mhendatáin. Staidéar ar scéal Meán Ghaeilge. In: Irisleabhar Mhá Nuad 1970, 94–103.
  15. Vernam Hull, 'A note on Buile Shuibhne', Celtica 9 (1971) 214.
  16. Pádraig Ó Riain, 'A Study of the Irish Legend of the Wild Man', Éigse 14.3 (1972) 179–206.
  17. Joseph Falaky Nagy, 'The Wisdom of the Geilt', Éigse 19 (1982) 44–60.
  18. John Carey, 'Suibhne Geilt and Tuán Mac Cairill', Éigse 20 (1984) 93–105.
  19. Seán Ó Sé, 'Buile Shuibhne: Sliocht', Oghma 6 (1994) 111–118.
  20. Annette Pehnt, 'From Tree to Poetree: Rewritings of Buile Shuibhne in the Twentieth Century', Proc Harv Celt Coll 15 (1995) 162–174.
  21. Joseph Falaky Nagy, 'An Introduction to the 1996 Edition of Buile Suibhne (The Frenzy of Suibhne)', ITS, Subsidiary Series 4, Dublin 1996.
  22. Susan Shaw Sailer, 'Leaps, Curses and Flight: Suibne Geilt and the Roots of Early Irish Culture', Études Celtiques 33 (1997) 191–208.
  23. Alexandra Bergholm, 'Academic and neopagan interpretations of shamanism in Buile Suibhne: a comparative approach', Studia Celtica Fennica 2 — Essays in honour of Anders Ahlqvist (2005) 30–46.
  24. Alexandra Bergholm, 'Folly for Christ's Sake in Early Irish Literature: The Case of Suibhne Geilt Reconsidered', Studia Celtica Fennica 4 (2007) 7–14.
  25. Alexandra Bergholm,"'Betwixt and between': theorising liminality and sacredness in Buile Suibhne', in Katja Ritari and Alexandra Bergholm (eds.), Approaches to religion and mythology in Celtic studies (Newcastle 2008) 243–263.
  26. Fearga Ó Béarra, 'Buile Shuibhne: vox insaniae from Medieval Ireland', in Classen, A. (ed) Mental Health, Spirituality, and Religion in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age (Berlin and New York 2014) 242–289.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Buile Shuibhne. J. G. O'Keeffe (ed), First edition. [One volume. vii + 111 pp. iii-vii Preface, 1-83 Text, 85-91 Notes, 92-96 Brussels MS. 3410, 97-106 Glossary of the rarer words, 107-109 Index of places, 110 Index of persons.] Dublin Institute for Advanced StudiesDublin (1931) (Reprinted 1975) . Mediaeval and Modern Irish Series. , No. 1


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CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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The present text represents pages 1-83 and 92-96 of the volume.

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


Where the printed edition has instances of æ carrying the acute accent (lines 243, 416f, 598, 646, 648, 715, 726, 780, 958, 1278, 1288, 1318, 1546, 1707, 1797, 1818, 1875, 2179, 1320, 1354, 1391, 1393); this has been rendered æ without accent in the SGML file. Due to some HTML browsers not interpreting f[dot ], s, F, S etc. as characters carrying a punctum delens, the punctum delens above a character is rendered by the corresponding character + h.


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When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page break, the break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the tale; div1=the paragraph. Page-breaks are marked pb n=""; linebreaks are marked lb n=""; lines of poetry and speakers of dialogue are marked.


Personal names and place names have not been tagged.

Line-breaks are numbered.

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Profile Description

Created: By one or more unknown author(s). The story belongs to the Middle Irish period. Date range: 1200-1300?.

Use of language

Language: [GA] The text is in Late Middle Irish (and early Modern Irish).
Language: [LA] There is one word in Latin.
Language: [EN] The witness list is in English.

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Revision History