Lebor gabála Érenn‘The book of the taking of Ireland’
- Middle Irish, Early Modern Irish
- Cycles of the Kings, Irish legendary history, Mythological Cycle
The various manuscript witnesses of the Lebor gabála are typically subdivided into a number of classes according to the recension or redaction to which these copies are thought to belong (such as A, B, M and C below). This does not mean that the manuscript texts of each recension present a uniform, homogeneous picture. In fact, these often exhibit innovations (interpolation, cross-contamination, rearrangement, etc.) that come with the scribe or that have been adopted from the exemplar. Nevertheless, there are also classes of closely related manuscript copies that form what might be called ‘subrecensions’.(1)n. 1 See R. Mark Scowcroft, ‘Leabhar Gabhála. Part I: the growth of the text’, Ériu 38 (1987) and R. Mark Scowcroft, ‘Mediaeval recensions of the Lebor Gabála’ in Lebor gabála Érenn... (2009).
Lists of manuscripts and other details specific to each recension will be treated separately. See the following pages:
- The four main medieval recensions or redactions
- Recension A = R1 (Macalister) = a (Scowcroft) = A (Thurneysen, Van Hamel):
- Recension B = R2 (Macalister) = b (Scowcroft) = BI (Thurneysen) = Ba (Van Hamel):
- Míniugud recension = Min (Macalister) = m (Scowcroft) = BIII (Thurneysen) = Bb (Van Hamel):
- Recension C = R3 (Macalister) = c (Scowcroft) = C (Thurneysen, Van Hamel):
- Middle Irish Early Modern Irish
- Middle and Early Modern Irish.
The earliest references to the invasions tradition are in the Cambro-Latin compilation Historia Brittonum, and the poem Can a mbunadas na nGaedel by Máel Muru Othna, both dated to the 9th century.
Following the example of R. Mark Scowcroft, ‘Leabhar Gabhála. Part I: the growth of the text’, Ériu 38 (1987), the compilation may be divided into five distinct tracts:
 The origins and wanderings of the Goídil » entry
A. Introductory matter » entry
 De gabálaib Érenn » entry
 De fhlaithiusaib Érenn » entry
 Comaimsera ríg in domuin ocus gabal nÉrenn / fri rígaib Érenn » entry
 Christian kings of Ireland » entry
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.
Concerning this section in the recensions which he calls R1, Min, R2 and R3, Macalister writes that it “has suffered modification in translation from the original Latin and in subsequent transmission [...] and in consequence two versions R1 and R2, differing widely, have come into being. [...] The version [of this section] in Min need not detain us: it does not differ essentially from R1. We turn now to R3, which in this section is very clumsy and awkward patchwork, based upon the two earlier versions, with the addition of some extraneous matter. [...] The close relationship of his [the compiler's] MS of R1 (*Q), to F, observed in the preceding section is here maintained.”
Secondary sources (select)
page name: Lebor gabála Érenn
page url: https://codecs.vanhamel.nl/Lebor_gab%C3%A1la_%C3%89renn
numerical alternatve: https://codecs.vanhamel.nl/index.php?curid=4019
page ID: 4019
page ID tracker: https://codecs.vanhamel.nl/index.php?title=Show:ID&id=4019
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