Texts

Betha Adamnáin‘The Life of Adomnán’

  • Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Irish hagiography
Early Middle Irish Life of Adomnán, abbot of Iona (d. 704), written about the middle of the tenth century.
Initial words (prose)
  • Accinge sicut uir lumbos tuos
Language
  • Middle Irish
  • early Middle Irish
Date

According to the latest editors, Herbert and Ó Riain, the text was written about 950 (968?), at a time when the centre of Columba's familia moved from Iona to Kells (Co. Meath).

Provenance
Origin: Ireland
Ireland
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Cenandas
Cenandas, Cenannas ... Kells
County Meath
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Form
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Associated items
Mór do ingantu do-gníMór do ingantu do-gní

Two elegiac stanzas attributed to Adomnán and preserved in his Irish Life.

Classification

Irish hagiography

Subjects

AdomnánAdomnán
(fl. c.628–704)
Adomnán mac Rónáin was abbot of Iona (r. 679–704) and author of the Latin Life of St Columba and an account of the holy places of the Near East (De locis sanctis). He is credited with the proclamation of the Lex innocentium or Cáin Adomnáin at the Synod of Birr.
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Sources

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.] Herbert, Máire, and Pádraig Ó Riain, Betha Adamnáin: The Irish life of Adamnán, Irish Texts Society 54, London: Irish Texts Society, 1988.
CELT – edition: <link>
[ed.] Best, R. I. [ed.], “Betha Adamnáin”, in: Bergin, Osborn, R. I. Best, Kuno Meyer, and J. G. O'Keeffe (eds), Anecdota from Irish manuscripts, vol. 2, Halle and Dublin, 1908. 10–20.
Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link> Internet Archive – vols 1-5: <link>
[tr.] Joynt, Maud, “The Life of Adamnan”, The Celtic Review 5:18 (October 1908, 1908–1909): 97–107.
Internet Archive: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Wadden, Patrick, “Trácht Romra and the Northumbrian episode in Betha Adamnáin”, Ériu 62 (2012): 101–111.
Carey, John, “Varieties of supernatural contact in the Life of Adomnán”, in: Carey, John, Máire Herbert, and Pádraig Ó Riain (eds.), Studies in Irish hagiography: saints and scholars, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001. 49–62.
Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
July 2011, last updated: September 2021