Tre-gort crand / tre-crand cú

  • Early Irish
  • prose

A brief, possibly early Irish text, or versions of a text, on the relative life-lengths of several creatures, trees and other phenomena. Some versions conclude with the observation that God is eternal (bithbeo Dia).

First words (prose)
  • Tre-gort crand / tre-crand cú
  • Early Irish
  • Carney suggests that it is “a very archaic piece of lore, and was doubtless committed to writing, perhaps in variant versions, in the Old Irish period”.
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
Carney and Stokes note the existence of a metrical version (10 qq) in the Book of Fermoy (RIA 23 E 29), p. 156.
Related: Bliadhain don cuaille co certBliadhain don cuaille co cert



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.] Carney, James P., “The Ó Cianáin miscellany”, Ériu 21 (1969): 122–147.
129–130 An inventory of relevant texts, a parallel edition of BB and NLI G 3, with English translation, and a transcription of NLI G 2.
[ed.] Meroney, Howard, “The alphabet of the world”, Journal of Celtic Studies 2 (1953–1958): 173–188.
Version from Egerton 118.
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno, “Miscellen 2. Finguine, 3. Die Lebensalter”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 5 (1905): 184.
Internet Archive: <link>
[‘3. Die Lebensalter’] Version from TCD 1337.

Secondary sources (select)

Meroney, Howard, “The alphabet of the world”, Journal of Celtic Studies 2 (1953–1958): 173–188.
Flower, Robin [ed.], Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the [British Library, formerly the] British Museum, vol. 2, London: British Museum, 1926.
Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], Lives of saints from the Book of Lismore, Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modern Series, 5, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890.
CELT: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive: <link>

A similar text from the Book of Lismore, with some discussion; notes similar texts in Egerton MSS 118 and 133.

Stokes, Whitley, “Correspondence. The legend of the oldest animals”, The Academy 34 (1888): 241–242.
Journal volume:  Internet Archive: <link>
Moore, Norman, W. R. Lethaby, Jul. Claerhout, Adolfo Coelho, and T. W. Rhys Davids, “[Replies to W. Stokes:] The legend of the oldest animals”, The Academy 34 (1888): 258 (Moore); 274; 291; 356.
Journal volume:  Internet Archive: <link>