Lebor gabála Érenn, first redaction ‘The book of the taking of Ireland’

  • Middle Irish
  • prose, prosimetrum
  • Cycles of the Kings, Irish legendary history, Lebor gabála Érenn, Mythological Cycle
This page is currently a placeholder. It is intended to describe the so-called first recension of Lebor gabála Érenn.
F (Scowcroft, Macalister) =
A copy of 44 pages (22 folios), the first part of which is now bound with the Book of Fermoy:
F1 (Macalister) =
ff. 1–8 pp. 1–16
Fragment bound in front of the Book of Fermoy.
F2 (Macalister) =
ff. 9–22
The order of the folios is disturbed.
Two fragments, with the verse reduced or omitted
  • Middle Irish
  • Middle Irish

11th-12th century
prose, prosimetrum (primary)
Associated items
A chóemu cláir Chuinn choímfhinnA chóemu cláir Chuinn choímfhinn

Middle Irish poem (25 qq) attributed to Eochaid úa Flainn concerning the first settlements of Ireland by Cessair and Partholón. The poem as we have it was incorporated in the Lebor gabála Érenn and is common to all major recensions.

A Emain idnach óebindA Emain idnach óebind

Middle Irish poem which is concerned with the origins of Emain Macha and is attested as a poem incorporated in recensions of Lebor gabála Érenn. While the Book of Leinster version seems to break off after 16 qq, the longer version which occurs in other recensions (46 qq) has a final quatrain which attributes the poem to Eochaid úa Flainn.

Capa is Laigni is Luasad grindCapa is Laigni is Luasad grind

Early Irish poem (9 st.) in Lebor gabála Érenn concerning the arrival of three fishermen from Spain to Ireland before the Flood.

Dinnshenchas of Emain MachaDinnshenchas of Emain MachaProse story relating the dinnshenchas for Emain Macha.Éstid a éolchu cen ónÉstid a éolchu cen ónMiddle Irish poem attributed to Flann Mainistrech, embedded in a number of recensions of the Lebor gabála Érenn (Min, A and C, but not in B).Góedel Glas ó tát GoídilGóedel Glas ó tát GoídilDo flaithiusaib ⁊ aimseraib hÉrend iar CreitimDo flaithiusaib ⁊ aimseraib hÉrend iar CreitimA king-list in continuation of Réim rígraide. The greater part runs from Lóegaire mac Néill in the 5th century to Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (d. 1022), while a final section deals with a number of ‘kings with opposition’ until Ruaidrí mac Toirrdelbaig Ua Conchobair (late 12th century).


Cycles of the Kings
Cycles of the Kings
id. 80
Irish legendary historyIrish legendary history

Lebor gabála Érenn
Lebor gabála Érenn
id. 4019
Mythological CycleMythological Cycle


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.] Macalister, R. A. S., Lebor gabála Érenn: The book of the taking of Ireland, 5 vols, Irish Texts Society, 34, 35, 39, 41, 44, Dublin: Irish Texts Society, 1932–1942.
Internet Archive – Vol. 1 (1938 ed.): <link> Internet Archive – Vol. 2 (1939 ed.): <link> Internet Archive – Vol. 3 (1940 ed.): <link> Internet Archive – Vol. 4 (1941 ed.): <link> Internet Archive – Vol. 5 (1956 ed.): <link>
[ed.] Carey, John, “Lebar gabála, Recension I”, unpublished PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 1983.
Edition of the text except for the king-lists.
[tr.] Carey, John [tr.], “[Various contributions]”, in: John T. Koch, and John Carey (eds), The Celtic Heroic Age. Literary sources for ancient Celtic Europe and early Ireland & Wales, 4th ed., 1, Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2003. [Various].
§ 108. Translation of the first recension.

Secondary sources (select)

Carey, John (ed.), Lebor gabála Érenn: textual history and pseudohistory, Irish Texts Society, Subsidiary Series, 20, Dublin: Irish Texts Society, 2009.
Scowcroft, R. Mark, “Leabhar Gabhála. Part I: the growth of the text”, Ériu 38 (1987): 79–140.  
Scowcroft, R. Mark, “Leabhar Gabhála. Part II: the growth of the tradition”, Ériu 39 (1988): 1–66.  
Hamel, A. G. van, “On Lebor Gabála”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 10 (1915): 97–197.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
June 2012, last updated: January 2024