Cáin Domnaig ‘The Law of Sunday’

  • Old Irish
  • Early Irish law texts, Irish religious texts
Tract on the observance and transgression of Sunday.
The text consists of three parts:
a. The Epistle of Jesus (in Irish), dealing with the observance of Sunday
b. Three illustrations of supernatural punishment for the transgression of Sunday.
c. The Cáin Domnaig proper, a legal tract.
  • Old Irish
Textual relationships
Related: Epistil ÍsuEpistil Ísu

Old Irish version of the Sunday Letter (Carta Dominica), a letter allegedly written by Christ insisting on strict Sunday observance. In the manuscripts it is commonly found together with another Old Irish text, Cáin Domnaig.


Early Irish law textsEarly Irish law texts

Irish religious textsIrish religious texts


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.] OʼKeeffe, J. G. [ed.], “Cáin Domnaig”, in: Osborn Bergin, R. I. Best, Kuno Meyer, and J. G. OʼKeeffe (eds), Anecdota from Irish manuscripts, vol. 3, Halle and Dublin, 1910. 21–27.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Edition of the legal tract (c).
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno [ed.], “Mitteilungen aus irischen Handschriften: IV. Aus Harleian 5280. Göttliche Bestrafung der Sonntagsübertretung”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 3 (1901): 228.
Celtic Digital Initiative – all Mitteilungen of ZCP 3: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Edition of part b as it stands in Harleian 5280.
[ed.] [tr.] OʼKeeffe, J. G., “Cáin Domnaig”, Ériu 2 (1905): 189–214.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Edition and translation of the Epistle of Jesus (part a).

Secondary sources (select)

Breatnach, Liam, A companion to the Corpus iuris Hibernici, Early Irish Law Series, 5, Dublin: DIAS, 2005.  

A companion to D. A. Binchy, CIH (1978). Review article: Neil McLeod, ‘Review,A true companion to the Corpus iuris Hibernici’, Peritia 19 (2005).

209ff (§ 5.23)
Kenney, James F., “Chapter V: The monastic churches: II. The churches of the sixth to ninth centuries; general treatises”, in: James F. Kenney, The sources for the early history of Ireland: an introduction and guide. Volume 1: ecclesiastical, Revised ed., 11, New York: Octagon, 1966. 372–485.
476–477 (§ 270) [id. 270.]
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
September 2012, last updated: January 2024