verse beg. M’óenurán dam isin slíabh

  • Early Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry
First words (verse)
  • M’óenurán dam isin slíabh
multiple versions
Ascribed to: Colum CilleColum Cille
(fl. 6th century)
founder and abbot of Iona, Kells (Cenandas) and Derry (Daire).
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The first recension of the poem is anonymous in both extant manuscripts. The second recension comes with an attribution to Colum Cille. The prose introduction to the YBL copy reads Colum cilli cecinit ocus se oc imthecht a oenar; ocus is coimdi do'n tí nod geba ag dul for sed (‘Colum Cille recited it while passing alone; and it will be a protection to the person who will repeat it going on a journey’).
  • First recension :
  • Language
    • Early Irish
    verse (primary)
    Number of stanzas
    11 or 17


    Early Irish poetryEarly Irish poetry


    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.] Greene, David, and Frank OʼConnor, “40: Faith”, in: David Greene, and Frank OʼConnor [Michael O'Donovan], A golden treasury of Irish poetry, A.D. 600 to 1200, London: Macmillan, 1967. 161–164.
    [ed.] [tr.] Carney, James P. [tr.], Medieval Irish lyrics, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.  
    comments: Edition, with introduction, English translation and notes, of a selection of Irish and Hiberno-Latin poems.
    42–47 [‘Fate’] First recension.
    [ed.] [tr.] Carney, James P., “M’aenarán dam isa sliab”, Éigse 2 (1940): 107–113.
    Critical edition, with English translation and notes, from NLI G 3 and TCD 1337 (first recension).
    [ed.] Meyer, Kuno [ed.], “Mitteilungen aus irischen Handschriften: Gedichte aus Laud 615”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 7 (1910): 300–304.
    Internet Archive: <link>
    302–303 Laud Misc. 615 version (second recension).
    [ed.] [tr.] OʼDonovan, John [ed. and tr.], “An ancient poem attributed to St. Columbkille; with a translation and notes”, The Miscellany of the Irish Archaeological Society 1 (1846): 1–15.
    Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>, <link>
    Version from the Yellow Book of Lecan (second recension).
    [ed.] [tr.] OʼKelleher, Andrew, and Gertrude Schoepperle, Betha Colaim Chille: Life of Columcille. Compiled by Manus O'Donnell in 1532. Edited and translated from manuscript Rawlinson B. 514 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, University of Illinois Bulletin, 15.48, Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois, 1918.
    Internet Archive: <link>, <link>, <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>, <link>
    180−181 The quatrain cited in the Ó Domhnaill life of Colum Cille (and the narrative context here provided for the poem).

    Secondary sources (select)

    Borsje, Jacqueline, “Celtic spells and counterspells”, in: Katja Ritari, and Alexandra Bergholm (eds), Understanding Celtic religion: revisiting the pagan past, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2015. 9–50.  
    The encounter between the old and new religious functionaries in conversion tales of Ireland often takes the form of confrontations between druids and saints. The religion of the saints is clearly Christianity; the religion of the druids remains vague, but is usually referred to as ‘magic’. Modern scholarship sees itself challenged by a double task. Not only do we know thanks to the nativist-revisionist debate that we cannot take descriptions of pre-Christian Irish religion at face value but we are also aware of the idea of a dichotomy between magic and religion that has dominated scholarship for centuries, but which has its roots in ideology. This paper will address the question of how we could work with these often-biased descriptions of Celtic religion. First, reflection upon methodologies used in analysing religious phenomena in medieval Irish texts will be offered. Then case studies will be presented, taking as a starting point the theory suggested by W.M. Lindsay and Michael Herren: some forms of verbal power generally known as loricae were perhaps forms of verbal defense that missionaries in the Celtic lands used against verbal attacks in the form of spells by the religious functionaries that they encountered. Can we find out anything about the form and content of these native formulae?
    (source: academia.edu)
    UvA Dare repository: <link>
    Dennis Groenewegen
    Page created
    October 2011, last updated: December 2022