Bethu Brigte ‘The Life of (St) Brigit’

  • Old Irish
  • prose
  • Irish hagiography
  • Old Irish
  • Secondary language(s): Hiberno-Latin
9th century (?)
prose (primary)


Irish hagiographyIrish hagiography

Irish hagiographyIrish hagiography


Brigit of Kildare
Brigit of Kildare
(c. 439/452–c. 524/526)
patron saint of Kildare, whose cult spread both within and outside of Ireland.

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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 hAodha, Donncha [ed.], Bethu Brigte, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1978.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link>
Edition, with translation, introduction and notes
[ed.] Plummer, Charles [ed.], J. Fraser, and P. Grosjean, “Vita Brigitae”, in: J. Fraser, Paul Grosjean, and J. G. OʼKeeffe (eds), Irish texts, fasciculus I, London, 1931. 2–18, i (corrigenda) + fasc. V: 100 (corrigenda).
Celtic Digital Initiative: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], Lives of saints from the Book of Lismore, Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modern Series, 5, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890.
CELT: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive: <link>
319–331 An edition, with translation, of passages that have been selected for comparison with the Middle Irish Betha Brigte and the Vita prima direct link
[tr.] OʼBrien, M. A., “The Old Irish Life of St. Brigit: Part I. Translation”, Irish Historical Studies 1:2 (September, 1938): 121–134.

Secondary sources (select)

Connolly, Seán, “Verbal usage in Vita Prima Brigitae and Bethu Brigte”, Peritia 1 (1982): 268–272.
OʼBrien, M. A., “The Old Irish Life of St. Brigit: Part II. Introduction and notes”, Irish Historical Studies 1:4 (September, 1939): 343–353.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
June 2012, last updated: January 2024