Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T302018

Buile Suibhne

Author: [unknown]

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

J. G. O'Keeffe

translated by J. G. O'KeeffeElectronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber

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

2. Second draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 21240 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
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(2001) (2009)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T302018

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


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    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 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. In instances where other readings were preferred this is shown in the footnotes.
  2. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 23 K 44, p. 131–180; a paper MS, written in 1721–1722 by Tomaltach Mac Muirghíosa. 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, Brusseles 3410, fo. 59a–61b; a MS written by Michael O'Clery in 1629. It is a brief summary of the version in B and K. The whole verse except for three stanzas is omitted. The text is appended to the Irish electronic edition, G302018.
  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 Brussels Bibliothèque Royale 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 34 (1913) 326–330.
  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. & transl.), 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. In: 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 (The Frenzy of Suibhne) being the Adventures of Suibhne Geilt. A Middle-Irish Romance. First edition [One volume. xxxviii + 198 pp. ix–xiii Summary, xiii–xv Mansuscripts, xv–xix Date of Tale, xix–xxx The Battle of Magh Rath, xxx–xxxii Suibhne Geilt, xxxii–xxxv Origin, xxxvi–xxxviii The Composition, 3–159 Text (even pages) and translation (odd pages), 161–173 Notes, 174–178 Brussels MS. 3410, 179–192 Glossary of the rarer words, 193 Index of First Lines of Poems, 194 Index of Places and Tribes, 198 Index of Persons.] David Nutt, 17 Grape St., New Oxford St. for the Irish Texts SocietyLondon (1913) . Irish Texts Society (Comann na Sgríbheann Gaedhilge). , No. 12 [1910]


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present text represents odd pages 3–159 of the volume.

Editorial Declaration


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


Direct speech is tagged q.


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=""; line-breaks are marked lb; lines of poetry and speakers of dialogue are marked.


Personal names and place names have not been tagged.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the paragraph.

Profile Description

Created: Translated by J. G. O'Keeffe. Date range: 1912–1913.

Use of language

Language: [EN] The text is in English
Language: [LA] There is one word in Latin.
Language: [GA] There are a few untranslated Irish words, either of uncertain meaning/interpretation, or technical terms.

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Revision History