Lebor Bretnach ‘The book of the Britons’

  • Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Irish legendary history, Adaptation
Middle Irish adaptation of the Historia Brittonum ascribed to Nennius
  • Middle Irish
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Textual relationships
(Possible) sources: Historia BrittonumHistoria Brittonum
Related: Irish story of SilviusIrish story of Silvius

A short Irish account of Silvius, son of Ascanius and father of Brutus of Troy. The text is indebted to the Irish adaptation of the Historia Brittonum known as Lebor Bretnach, which it quotes in places, but also adds material to it, such its opening passage on Vulcan the smith.


Irish legendary historyIrish legendary history



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.] Hamel, A. G. van [ed.], Lebor Bretnach: the Irish version of the Historia Britonum ascribed to Nennius, Dublin: Stationery Office, 1932.
Irishmanuscripts.ie – PDF: <link> Google Books: <link>  : View in Mirador
[ed.] [tr.] Todd, James Henthorn, Leabhar Breathnach annso sis: the Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius, Dublin: Irish Archaeological Society, 1848.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Digitale-sammlungen.de: <link> Digitale-sammlungen.de: View in Mirador

Secondary sources (select)

Clancy, Thomas Owen, “Scotland, the ‘Nennian’ recension of Historia Brittonum, and the Lebor Bretnach”, in: Simon Taylor (ed.), Kings, clerics and chronicles in Scotland, 500–1297: essays in honour of Marjorie Ogilvie Anderson on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000. 87–107.
Dumville, David N., “The textual history of Lebor Bretnach: a preliminary study”, Éigse 16:4 (Geimhreadh 1976, 1975–1976): 255–273.
Dumville, David N., “‘Nennius’ and the Historia Brittonum”, Studia Celtica 10–11 (1975–1976): 78–95.
Dennis Groenewegen, Patrick Brown
Page created
May 2011, last updated: January 2024