Irish Liber hymnorum
- Early Irish
- prose, verse
- Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1441 (E 4. 2) = Irish Liber hymnorum [s. xiex–xiiin]
- Dublin, National Library of Ireland, MS G 24 [s. xviii]Contains transcripts.
- Early Irish
- Secondary language(s): Latin language
Early Irish prayer which invokes St Patrick and was composed, according to the prose attribution, by either Niníne the poet (éces) or Fíacc of Sleibte (Sletty, Co. Laois).Altus ProsatorAltus ProsatorLatin hymnAmra Choluim ChilleAmra Choluim Chille
Elegy on Saint Columba (Colum Cille).Ultan’s hymnUltan’s hymnHymnum sancti Cú Chuimne in laudem sanctae MariaeHymnum sancti Cú Chuimne in laudem sanctae Mariae
Early Latin hymn in honour of Mary, attributed to Cú Chuimne, who was a monk and scholar at Iona and is also credited with co-authoring the Collectio canonum Hibernensis.Cetracha sacart a línCetracha sacart a línA scrap of early Irish verse (1q only) cited the beginning of the preface (remfhocul) to Amra Choluim Chille. While in LU it occurs in the upper margin of the first page of the preface, with no explicit relationship being made to the text, it is more fully integrated into the main body of narrative in other manuscripts. The stanza gives a list of churchmen, together with their numbers, which in the context of the prose preface, would seem to refer to those who travelled with Colum Cille at the time of the convention of Druim Cetta.Cóic Mumain i Mumain móirCóic Mumain i Mumain móirTopographical poem on the five divisions of Munster.Colum Cille co Dia domerailColum Cille co Dia domerailEarly Irish devotional poem addressed to Colum Cille and usually attributed to Adomnán.
Commentary on the Amra Choluim ChilleCommentary on the Amra Choluim ChilleMiddle Irish commentary in the form of scholia accompanying copies of the Amra Choluim Chille.Cormac cain buich neoitCormac cain buich neoitEarly Irish poem (2 qq) in praise of Cormac, presumably Cormac mac Airt. It is ascribed to Colum Cille and addressed to Áed, probaby Áed mac Ainmirech.
De liberatione ScandlaniDe liberatione ScandlaniFáeth fiadaFáeth fiadaHymn of FíaccHymn of FíaccOld Irish hymn attributed to Patrick’s pupil Fíacc of Sléibte (Sletty, Co. Laois).Hymn of SecundinusHymn of SecundinusHymnum sancti Hilarii de ChristoHymnum sancti Hilarii de Christo
An early metrical Latin hymn (35 qq) on the life of Christ, written in trochaic tetrameter and attributed to St Hilary (fl. 4th century). The text is attested in a 7th-century Irish manuscript, the Bangor antiphoner, and became one of the most popular hymns in medieval Ireland.In Spirut nóeb immunIn Spirut nóeb immunBroccán’s hymnBroccán’s hymnPreface to Brigit bé bithmaithPreface to Brigit bé bithmaithPreface to the poem beginning Brigit bé bithmaithPreface to Broccán’s hymnPreface to Broccán’s hymnShort prose preface to Broccán's hymn (‘Ní car Brigit’). It tells that the hymn was composed by Broccan clóen at the behest of Ultán of Ardbraccan, who had collected the miracles (ferta) of Brigit; and that Broccán composed it in Slíab Bladma (Slieve Bloom) or in Cluain Mór Móedóc, in the reign of Lugaid mac Lóegaire and Ailill mac DúnlaingePreface to the Fáeth fiadaPreface to the Fáeth fiadaHymn of Colmán mac Uí CluasaigHymn of Colmán mac Uí Cluasaig
Early Irish verse hymn ascribed to one Colmán mac Uí Cluasaig, lector in Cork. The first divison (ll. 1-38) is regarded as the original poem, which appears to be an adaptation of a Latin prayer. The next divison (ll. 39-47), itself perhaps of mixed origin, serves as an appendix. The final one, almost certainly a later addition, invokes the chief patron saints of Ireland (Brigit, Patrick and Columba).
A single quatrain in the Liber hymnorum (TCD MS 1441, f. 31vb), which lists names of the twelve apostles. A note in at least one version of the Commentary to Félire Óengusso (31 July) gives the same quatrain but adds another quatrain with names of prominent Irish saints corresponding in part to other lists of the ‘twelve apostles of Ireland’.
Xristus in nostra insulaXristus in nostra insula
Early Hiberno-Latin hymn (3 qq) dedicated to St Brigit. The three stanzas start with the final letters of the alphabet (X-Y-Z), possibly suggesting that they originally stood at the end of an abecedarius, a longer hymn arranged from A to Z. It is prefaced with an Irish prose introduction, which attributes the poem to Ultán of Ardbraccan. MS T is accompanied with a number of Latin and Irish glosses, one of which praises Brigit with the title ‘the Mary of the Gaels’ (Maire na n.Goidel).
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.
Volume 2: Translation
Volume 2: Translation
Secondary sources (select)
The Irish Liber Hymnorum is a collection of hymns and para-liturgical material contained in two glossed and richly-decorated manuscripts from the late eleventh century. The hymns themselves, and the commentary apparatus, exhibit a pattern of alternation and even virtual merger between Latin and Old Irish. It is argued here that this interaction between languages is essential to the representation of the poems as a national poetic and spiritual canon.
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