verse beg. Brathir Fursu, cóir a rad

  • Early Irish
  • verse
Brief Irish poem (5 qq) on Fursa and other saints supposed to have been the offspring of Brónach daughter of Miliuc.
First words (verse)
  • Brathir Fursu, cóir a rad
  • Early Irish
verse (primary)
Number of stanzas: 5 qq.



(fl. 7th century)
Irish monk and missionary

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Brónach of Kilbroney
No short description available

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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.] Ó Riain, Pádraig [ed.], Corpus genealogiarum sanctorum Hiberniae, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1985.
131 [id. 702.]
[dipl. ed.] OʼSullivan, Anne [ed.], The Book of Leinster, formerly Lebar na Núachongbála, vol. 6, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1983. xv + pp. 1327-1708.
CELT – pp. 1327–1595 (excl. pp. 1596–1708): <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Hamann, Stefanie, “St Fursa, the genealogy of an Irish saint—the historical person and his cult”, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 112 C (2012): 147–187.  
The Irish saint Fursa (d. 649) is renowned for his visions of the otherworld, transmitted in a near-contemporary Vita. He also appears in the Irish martyrologies and genealogies, the latter attributing to him a variety of pedigrees on his father's as well as his mother's side. This paper aims to show that by combining evidence from different types of sources; biographies, genealogies (Corpus genealogiarum sanctorum Hiberniae and Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae), martyrologies (Félire Óengusso, Martyrology of Donegal and Martyrology of Cashel), and several Irish saints' Lives, it is possible to single out the most probable strand of tradition for the saint's origins. As it turns out, Fursa's differing genealogical affiliations mirror the subsequent shifts in political and ecclesiastical developments in Irish medieval history. Viewed from this perspective, the genealogies can supply valuable source material necessary for a biographical approach to a personality of the early Middle Ages.
Dennis Groenewegen
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March 2023, last updated: June 2023