Sanas Cormaic ‘Cormac’s glossary’

  • Old Irish, Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Irish glossaries, Irish texts on language and literature
multiple versions
Ascribed to: Cormac mac Cuilennáin
Cormac mac Cuilennáin
(d. 908)
bishop and king of Munster

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Longer version:
B =
pp. 255a–283a (facsimile) cols 3–87
C (2) =
pp. 77–102
Scribe: Dubhaltach Mac Firbhisigh.
Shorter version:
F =
p. 179a–179b
Fragment ~ YBL, §§ 1224-34 and 1268-75
f. 75r–75v
Entries for Mug Éme and Prull
The sigla in italics represent the versions as listed by Stokes.
  • Old Irish Middle Irish
  • Secondary language(s): Greek language Hebrew language Welsh language Old Norse Old English Pictish language
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Textual relationships
Related: Irish glossary from TCD 1337, pp. 623-628Irish glossary from TCD 1337, pp. 623-628Medieval Irish glossary in TCD 1337, pp. 623-628. Many of the entries are known from other works and learned compilations, such as Sanas Cormaic.LomanLoman

Medieval Irish glossary, with headwords under L–U, based on a long version of Sanas Cormaic.

Associated items
Cen cholt for crib cernineCen cholt for crib cernineA quatrain of verse purporting to represent the first satire in Ireland.Dinnshenchas of Cnocc RafannDinnshenchas of Cnocc RafannDinnshenchas of Cnocc RafannFinn and the jester LomnaeFinn and the jester LomnaeAn anecdote told in Sanas Cormaic, under the entry for ‘Orc tréith’.GaireGaire

A brief story about Néde and Caier under the entry for ‘Gaire’ in Sanas Cormaic.

PrullPrullSanas Cormaic/RincneSanas Cormaic/Rincne

Entry for ‘rincne’ in Sanas Cormaic, with an anecdote about Ferchess, Mac Con and Finn úa Báiscni.

Uga Corbmaic meic CuilendáinUga Corbmaic meic CuilendáinEarly Irish religious poem (29qq) attributed to Cormac mac Cuilennáin. What appears to be a full copy of text is attested in a single manuscript, while fragments of it also turn up as citations elsewhere.


Irish glossariesIrish glossaries

Irish texts on language and literatureIrish texts on language and literature

Irish glossariesIrish glossaries


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.

[dig. ed.] Russell, Paul, Sharon Arbuthnot, and Pádraic Moran, Early Irish glossaries database, Online: Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge, 2010–. URL: <http://www.asnc.cam.ac.uk/irishglossaries>.
[ed.] Stokes, Whitley [ed.], Three Irish glossaries: Cormac’s Glossary, O’Davoren’s Glossary and a glossary to the Calendar of Oengus the Culdee, London: Williams and Norgate, 1862.
TLH – ‘Cormac’s Glossary’ (pp. 1-44): <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
[ed.] Stokes, Whitley [ed.], and John OʼDonovan [tr.], Sanas Chormaic: Cormac’s Glossary, Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society, Calcutta: O.T. Cutter, 1868.
Internet Archive: <link> HathiTrust: <link>, <link> Google Books: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “On the Bodleian fragment of Cormac’s Glossary”, Transactions of the Philological Society 22 (1891–4, 1894): 149–206.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link>, <link>
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno [ed.], “Sanas Cormaic. An Old-Irish glossary compiled by Cormac úa Cuilennáin, king-bishop of Cashel in the tenth century”, in: Osborn Bergin, R. I. Best, Kuno Meyer, and J. G. OʼKeeffe (eds), Anecdota from Irish manuscripts, vol. 4, Halle and Dublin, 1912. 1–128 (text), i–xix (introduction).
Internet Archive – vols 1-5: <link> Internet Archive – vols 3-5: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Russell, Paul, “Poets, power and possessions in medieval Ireland: some stories from Sanas Cormaic”, in: Joseph F. Eska (ed.), Law, literature and society, 7, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008. 9–45.
Russell, Paul, “The sounds of a silence: the growth of Cormac's Glossary”, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 15 (1988): 1–30.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
January 2011, last updated: January 2024