Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G303028

Immram Brain

Author: unknown

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

Séamus Mac Mathúna

Electronic edition compiled by Emer PurcellProof corrections by Hilary Lavelle, University of Ulster at Coleraine

Funded by University College, Cork and
The HEA via the LDT Project.

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 4580 words


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


Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: G303028

Availability [RESTRICTED]

Available with prior consent of the CELT project for purposes of academic research and teaching only. The electronic edition was compiled with the kind permission of the copyright owner.


    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 1229, olim 23 E 25 alias Lebor na hUidre (written 11th-12th century) pp. 121a-24 (fol.78 of old foliation; 10088-10112 of diplomatic edition).
  2. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson B512 fols. 119al-120b2 (fols. 71-72 of original foliation). [IB is in the second part which was written in the 15th century. It is found in a gathering consisting of Tochmarc Emer (TEm) Uerba Scáthaige (VS), Forfess Fer Falgae (FFF), (IB), and Echtra Condlai (EC). This gathering opens with Baile in Scáil on fol. 101, and a note at the top of the page tells us that the text has been copied from the Book of Dub Dá Liethe. This manuscript is now lost. It was possibly compiled either by the bishop of Armagh of that name (1049-1064) or, what is more likely, for him. TEm, VS, FFF, IB and EC form a gathering in R and they were most certainly copied from the same MS. If we accept Thurneysen's view that these texts (with the exception of TEm) were contained in Cín Dromma Sneachta, this gathering probably derives, either directly or indirectly, from the Cín itself.]
  3. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 23 N 10 (= MS 967) (16th century manuscript compiled in 1575 in the house of John O'Mulconry at Baile in Chuimine (Ballycumin) on Lough Bó Deirge on the Shannon) bulk of IB is contained on pp. 56-61, was written by Aodh; he wrote the first 6 lines on p. 57 and also the sequence on pp. 58-62. Torna wrote from l.7 on p. 57 to the end of the page.
  4. London, British Library, Egerton 88, compiled by Domnall Ó Duibhdábhoireann and his pupils c. 1564. IB begins on fol. 11b col. 2, continues up to the end of fol. 12a, where it breaks off , resuming again on fol. 13a cols.1-2. Transcribed by two scribes; Hand 1 and Hand 2.
  5. London, British Library, Harleian 5280, fols. 43a-44b. Writing is in the hand of Giolla Riabach Ó Cléirigh, probably written in the first half of the 16th century.
  6. Stockholm, Royal Library, Vitterhet Engelsk II fols. 1b-4. A vellum fragment written in the 16th century.
  7. London, British Library, Add. 35090. A photograhpic reproduction of S was made for Whitley Stokes in 1875 which he presented to the Department of MSS. of the British Museum (now British Library) in 1897; he recorded this on fol. 1 in his discription of the MS.
  8. Dublin, Trinity College Library, H 4. 22, preserves an incomplete copy of IB on fols. 48b17-50a6 which runs from the beginning of the text to the end of the woman's poem, ss1-30. IB is contained within a portion of the MS assigned to the 15th century; this section runs from fols. 40-53 and is the work of 2 or more scribes.
  9. Dublin, Trinity College Library, 1318, olim H. 2.16, alias the Yellow Book of Lecan. Cols. 370-401 (Facs. pp.1-16) probably dates from the middle of the 14th century. IB begins on 1.37 of col. 395 and closes on l.44 of col.398.
  1. K. Meyer and A. Nutt, The Voyage of Bran son of Febal to the land of the living (London 1895–1897 2 vols.; reprinted Felinfach 1994).
  2. A. G. Van Hamel, Immrama, Medieval and Modern Irish Series (Dublin 1941).
  3. Séamus Mac Mathúna, Immram Brain: Bran's journey to the land of the women (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag 1985).
    Further reading
  1. Eugene O'Curry, Lectures on the manuscript materials of ancient Irish history (New York 1861).
  2. Gustav Schirmer, Zur Brendanus-Legende (Leipzig 1888).
  3. Heinrich Zimmer, Keltische Beiträge II: Brendans Meerfahrt, Zeitschrift für deutsches Alterthum 33 no. 2–4. Berlin 1889.
  4. Alfred Nutt, The voyage of Bran (2 vols, London 1895–1897)
  5. Kuno Meyer, 'Immacallam in druad Brain ocus inna banfáitho Febuil', Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 9 (1913) 339–40.
  6. St John D. Seymour, 'The seven heavens in Irish literature', Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 14 (1923) 18–30.
  7. Vernam E. Hull, 'An incomplete version of the Imram Brain and four stories concerning Mongan', Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 18 (1930) 409–19.
  8. St John D. Seymour, Irish visions of the Otherworld: a contribution to the study of mediaeval visions (London 1930, repr. 1977).
  9. H. R. Patch, The Other World according to descriptions in medieval literature (Cambridge MA 1950).
  10. Christian J. Guyonvarc'h (tr), 'La navigation de Bran fils de Febal', Ogam 9/4 (1957) 304–09.
  11. Vernam E. Hull, 'A passage in Imram Brain', Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 28 (1960–61) 256–57.
  12. Proinsias Mac Cana, 'Mongán mac Fiachna and Immram Brain', Ériu 23 (1972) 102–42.
  13. Proinsias Mac Cana, 'On the "prehistory" of Immram Brain', Ériu 26 (1975) 33–52.
  14. Proinsias Mac Cana, The Sinless Otherworld in Immram Brain, Ériu 27 (1976) 95-115.
  15. David N. Dumville, 'Echtrae and immram: some problems of definition', Ériu 27 (1976) 73–94.
  16. Christa Maria Löffler, The voyage to the Otherworld island in early Irish literature, Salzburg Studies in English Literature 101 (Salzburg 1983).
  17. John Carey, 'Time, space and the otherworld', Proc Harvard Celt Colloq 7 (1987) 1–27.
  18. John Carey, 'Otherworlds and verbal worlds in Middle Irish narrative', Proc Harvard Celt Colloq 9 (1989) 31–42
  19. Pádraig Ó Riain (Review of Mac Mathúna, Immram Brain), Éigse 23 (1989) 211–14.
  20. Manuel Aguirre, 'The hero's voyage in Immram curaig Mailduin', Études Celtiques 27 (1990) 203–20.
  21. John Carey, 'The Irish "Otherworld": Hiberno-Latin perspectives', Éigse 25 (1991)
  22. Barbara Hillers, 'Voyages between heaven and hell: navigating the early Irish immram tales', Proc Harvard Celt Colloq 13 (1993) 66–81.
  23. Séamus Mac Mathúna, 'Motif and episodic clustering in early voyage literature', Hildegard L. C. Tristram (ed.), (Re)Oralisierung, ScriptOralia 84 (Tübingen 1995) 247–62.
  24. Ludwig Bieler, 'Two observations concerning the Navigatio Brendani', Celtica 11 (1976) 15–17, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 91–93.
  25. Dorothy Ann Bray, 'Allegory in the Navigatio sancti Brendani', Viator 26 (1995) 1–10, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 175–86
  26. Mary E. Byrne, 'On the punishment of sending adrift', Ériu 11 (1932) 97–102, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 22–26
  27. John Carey, 'The location of the Otherworld in Irish tradition', Éigse 19 (1982–83) 36–43, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000)
  28. James Carney (review of C. Selmer (ed.), Navigatio sancti Brendani abbatis), Medium Aevum 32 (1963) 37–44, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 42–51
  29. James Carney, 'The earliest Bran material', J. J. O'Meara and Bernd Naumann (ed.), Latin script and letters A. D. 400–900: Festschrift presented to Ludwig Bieler on the occasion of his 70th birthday (Leiden 1976) 174–93, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 73–90.
  30. Thomas Owen Clancy, 'Subversion at sea: structure, style and intent in the Immrama', Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 194–225.
  31. T. M. Charles-Edwards, 'The social background to Irish peregrinatio', Celtica 11 (1976) 43–59, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 94–108.
  32. Proinsias Mac Cana, 'The sinless otherworld of Immram Brain', Ériu 27 (1976) 95–115, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 52–72.
  33. William Flint Thrall, 'Clerical sea pilgrimages and the imrama', Manly annivesary studies in language and literature (Chicago 1923) 276–83, repr. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000) 15–21.
  34. Jonathan M. Wooding (ed.), The otherworld voyage in early Irish literature (Dublin 2000).
  35. Fausto Iannello, "Navigatio sancti Brendani" e materia arturiana: continuità e analogie, "Atti della Accademia Peloritana dei Pericolanti, classe di Lettere, Filosofia e Belle Arti" 85 (2009) 241-253.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Immram Brain. Séamus Mac Mathúna (ed), First edition [xi + 510 pp.; vii–viii Preface; ix–xi Abbreviations; 1–32 Introduction; 33–45 Critical edition of Text; 46–58 Translation; 59–118 Edition of Extant Manuscripts; 119–214 Notes; 215–235 Glossary; Part Two, 238–285 The Otherworld Journey and 286–296 The structure and content of 'Immram Brain'; Part Three, 299–319 Metre and 321–418 Linguistic Analysis; 421–484 Appendices; 485–494 Bibliography; 495–510 Indices.] Max Niemeyer VerlagTübingen (1985) . Buchreihe der Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie.


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present text represents even pages 33–45 of the volume. All editorial introduction, notes and indexes have been omitted.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been proof-read twice.


The electronic text represents the edited text. Text supplied by the editor is tagged sup resp="SMM". Expansions to the text are marked ex.


There are no quotations.


The editor's hyphenation has been retained.


div0=the saga; div1=the section; metrical lines and stanzas are marked. Pagebreaks are marked; line-breaks are marked in the master file (but commented out). Paragraphs are marked p.


Names are not tagged, nor are terms for cultural and social roles.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the section.

Profile Description

Created: By one or more unknown author(s). The earliest extant MS is from the 11th century. The text goes back to earlier models. Date range: 750-900?.

Use of language

Language: [GA] Text is in Old and Middle Irish.
Language: [EN] Witless list and annotations are in English.
Language: [LA] Some words are in Latin.

Revision History