An teanga bithnua (modern recension)

  • Early Modern Irish
  • prose

The so-called third or ‘modern’ recension of In tenga bithnua, preserved mainly in copies of the 18th and 19th centuries, though the oldest copy may date from the 15th century.

First words (prose)
  • Do chruthaig Dia neamh agus talamh air ttúis agus asé an Righ do rin sin ...
18th-century manuscripts:
19th-century manuscripts:
  • Early Modern Irish
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
(Possible) sources: In tenga bithnuaIn tenga bithnua
Related: In tenga bithnuaIn tenga bithnua



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.

Edition wanted
[ed.] [tr.] Dottin, Georges, “Une rédaction moderne du Teanga bithnua”, Revue Celtique 28 (1907): 277–307.
Journal volume:  Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Gallica: <link>
Edition based on a modern transcript (communicated to him by Douglas Hyde) oF a text written down in 1817. According to Flower (below), this transcript was made in 1901 and the text represents a corrupt version.

Secondary sources (select)

Nic Cárthaigh, Emma, “The Seven Heavens in the modern recension of In tenga bithnua”, in: John Carey, Emma Nic Cárthaigh, and Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh (eds), The end and beyond: medieval Irish eschatology, vol. 1, 17.1, Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2014. 211–283.
Carey, John [ed. and tr.], Apocrypha Hiberniae 2, Apocalyptica 1. In tenga bithnua: The ever-new tongue, Corpus Christianorum Series Apocryphorum, 16, Turnhout: Brepols, 2010.  
Edition, with translation and introduction, of the Book of Lismore version of In tenga bithnua and another recension found in four manuscripts.
The present publication presents the edition of an Irish treatise on the universe, composed in the ninth or tenth century. This work, which purportedly records a revelation of the mysteries of the cosmos uttered in angelic language by the soul of the apostle Philip, is characterized by the vividness of its imagery and the rich diversity of its content. Besides providing the most conservative version of the text, preserved in the Book of Lismore, the book supplies on facing pages a full critical edition of the second recension, found in four further manuscripts. Both versions are accompanied by translation. An introduction traces the text’s transmission from the time of its composition down to the final flowering of the Irish scribal tradition in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; undertakes to identify its sources in earlier apocalyptic and cosmological literature; and subjects it to an in-depth linguistic analysis in order to place the question of its date in a clearer light. Individual aspects of the work’s content are discussed in an extended commentary, while matters of specifically philological interest are covered in a section of textual notes.
(source: Brepols)
Flower, Robin [ed.], Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the [British Library, formerly the] British Museum, vol. 2, London: British Museum, 1926.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
December 2022