Cath Ruis na Ríogh for Bóinn (modern versions)

  • Early Modern Irish, Modern Irish
  • prose, prosimetrum

Early Modern version or versions, of the tale of the battle of Ros na Ríg on the Boyne, written in a mix of prose and verse. It has been argued, foremost by Uáitéar Mac Gearailt, that it derives from a Middle Irish recension that is distinct from that contained in the Book of Leinster and that the latter represents a particular scribal innovation which draws on a common ancestor.

First words (prose)
  • Tráth fá raibhe Conchubhar mac Fachtna Fethaig áird-rígh Uladh a meirtne ⁊ a móir-cheas sé ré chían ⁊ h-aimsir fhada
The beginning of the text in Hogan’s edition.
(a) Version from NLS Adv. 72.2.9
Copy from Adv. MS 72.2.9.
(b) Version from NLS Adv. 72.2.2
(c) Version in 18th-century copies
pp. 118–128
beg. ‘Tráith fá raibhe Conchubhur mac Fachtna Fáthach áirdrigh Uladh a méirtne ...’
A MS of Maynooth from before 1795
(d) Version from John Colgan’s manuscripts (?)

According to a catalogue of John Colgan’s manuscripts in the Louvain library (now in UCD MS A 34; see Gilbert), two contained a version of Cath Ruis na Ríogh.

  • Early Modern Irish Modern Irish
prose, prosimetrum (primary)
verse (secondary)
Textual relationships
Related: Cath Ruis na Ríg (for Bóinn)Cath Ruis na Ríg (for Bóinn)The Middle Irish version of the tale of the battle of Ros na Ríg as represented by the Book of Leinster text.



Cú Chulainn
Cú Chulainn
Young Ulster hero and chief character of Táin bó Cuailnge and other tales of the Ulster Cycle; son of Súaltam or Lug and Deichtire (sister to Conchobor); husband of Emer (ingen Forgaill)

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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.] Hogan, Edmund [ed. and tr.], Cath Ruis na Ríg for Bóinn, Todd Lecture Series, 4, Dublin, 1892.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>

Edition based on RIA MS E iv 3, i.e. the Stowe MS (“the best of the modern texts”), with variants from other 18th-century copies (c above).

Secondary sources (select)

Mac Gearailt, Uáitéar, “Leaganacha de Cath Ruis na Ríg: an deilbhíocht idir 1100-1650”, in: Pádraig A. Breatnach, Caoimhín Breatnach, and Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail (eds), Léann lámhscríbhinní lobháin: The Louvain manuscript heritage, 1, Dublin: National University of Ireland, 2007. 168–197.
Mac Gearailt, Uáitéar, “Cath Ruis na Ríg and twelfth-century literary and oral tradition”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 44 (1991): 128–153.
Thurneysen, Rudolf, Die irische Helden- und Königsage bis zum siebzehnten Jahrhundert, Halle: Niemeyer, 1921.  

Contents: Part 1 (chapters 1-23): Allgemeines; Part 2 (chapters 1-85): Die Ulter Sage.

Internet Archive: <link>
363–376 On the relationship between the LL text and the modern versions. Argues that the modern versions are ultimately based on the LL text.
d'Arbois de Jubainville, Marie-Henri, Essai d'un catalogue de la littérature épique de l'Irlande: précédé d'une étude sur les manuscripts en langue irlandaise conservés dans les Iles Britanniques et sur le continent, Paris: Thorin, 1883.  
comments: Addenda are to be found in Kuno Meyer, ‘Anecdota from the Stowe MS. n° 992’, Revue Celtique 6 (1883–1885): 187–191. Reprinted: Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1969.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Gilbert, J. T., “The manuscripts of the former College of Irish Franciscans, Louvain”, in: Historical Manuscripts Commission, Fourth report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, part 1: report and appendix, London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, for H. M. Stationery Office, 1874. 599–613.
HathiTrust: <link> Google Books: <link>
611 col. 2 Manuscripts in Colgan’s library in Louvain.
Dennis Groenewegen
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June 2024