Agallamh Leborchaim‘A dialogue with Leborcham’
verse beg. A ingen a lúath, a láeb, a Leborcham, cía Ultu ána acca?

  • Late Old Irish, Early Middle Irish
  • Ulster Cycle

A prose introduction, including a list of Ulster women, and passage of rosc that are found as part of the early Irish tale Talland Étair. According to the tale, Leborcham is sent north to warn the wives of Ulster heroes and notables of the impending misfortunes of their husbands in battle. Her warning is uttered in the form of a rosc in which she presents a vision of the bloody outcome of the fight. Scholars like Dobbs have regarded the text as an interpolation, although this view may be open to debate.

Agallamh Leborchaim
‘A dialogue with Leborcham’
The title is a modern invention adopted by Dobbs (1949), presumably based on the introduction preceding the rosc: Mugain tra ró:boí oca h-acaldaim-si inna hechlaige (Ó Dónaill 2015) = Mugain tra ró bòi oca h-acallaim seo na Leborchaimi (Dobbs). A possible alternative title based on the opening and concluding words is Célmaine Leborchaim do mnáib Ulad.
First words (verse)
  • A ingen a lúath, a láeb, a Leborcham, cía Ultu ána acca?
First words (prose)
  • Is and sin trá luid Leborcham fo-thúaid riasint shlúag co célmainiu do mnáib Ulad
Concludes: Is ed célmaine in sin ruc Leborcham do mnáib Ulad.
  • Late Old Irish Early Middle Irish
  • According to Ó Donaill (2005), the rosc “has a mixture of OIr. and MIr. readings which are common to both texts [of Talland Étair] and which exist separately in the two mss”.


Ulster Cycle
Ulster Cycle
id. 1797


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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Ó Dónaill, Caoimhín [ed. and tr.], Talland Étair, Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts, 4, Maynooth: Department of Old and Middle Irish, National University of Ireland, 2005.
41–42 (metre), 47–48 (critical edition), 57–58 (translation), 108–129 (variants and textual notes)
[dipl. ed.] Best, Richard Irvine, and M. A. OʼBrien, The Book of Leinster, formerly Lebar na Núachongbála, vol. 2, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1956. xi + pp. 261-470 + 2 pl.
CELT – pp. 400-470: <link>
429–431 LL version.
[ed.] [tr.] Dobbs, Margaret E. [ed.], “Agallamh Leborchaim”, Études Celtiques 5 (1949): 154–161.
Dennis Groenewegen, Patrick Brown
Page created
May 2011, last updated: October 2021