Irish story of Albert of Germany
Brief Irish devotional story concerning a certain Albert (Ailibertus, Aliberd), bishop in Germany, who made Christ reveal to him the seven, or eight, things that are best for the soul and most pleasing to God as well as a rule consisting of 15 Our Fathers. Grosjean, with the help of suggestions made to him, has identified the story as a version on the theme of Christ’s nine answers, variants of which circulated widely throughout Europe, both in Latin and in the vernacular, in the 14th and 15th centuries and sometimes appear with an attribution to Albert(us)/Albrecht.
- Naenmur derbraithrech d'esbugaib naemtha do bi'san Almain ag fognum do Día go díchra [etc.]
A short Irish devotional story about a poor man of God who through prayer, made Christ reveal to him the nine things that are most pleasing to God. It provides a version of the so-called ‘nine answers’ or ‘nine virtues of Christ’, which circulated more widely in Europe, in both Latin and the vernacular, during the 14th and 15th centuries. It differs from another Irish version in which it is Albert of Germany who receives the responses. The present text comes with the statement that the miraculous incident took place in 1315 (mile bliadhna ⁊ tri cet ⁊ .u. bliadhna deg).
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.
Three editions: (1) one based on TCD 1337, collated with Rawl. B 513; (2) another on LFF; and (3) a third one, the Brussels text, printed in the addendum on pp. 185-187. There is no English translation, although Grosjean begins with a paraphrase.
In the first part of the article, Grosjean was not yet aware of the wider European tradition, although he printed a Swedish text from Stockholm, Kungliga biblioteket, MS Holm. A 58 (Jöns Buddes Bok), a 15th-century manuscript which also contains a translation of the Tundalus story, and surmised that a Latin source must lie behind the Irish and Swedish versions.
Many further comparanda later came to his attention, mainly through Hope Allen (below) and R. Flower’s article ‘The nine answers’ in BBCS, resulting in an addendum in the same volume of the journal.
Secondary sources (select)
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