Boyle (Elizabeth)

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Boyle, Elizabeth, “Early medieval perspectives on pre-Christian traditions in the Celtic world”, in: Heiduk, Matthias, Klaus Herbers, and Hans-Christian Lehner (eds), Prognostication in the medieval world: a handbook, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2021. 55–65.
Boyle, Elizabeth, History and salvation in medieval Ireland, Studies in Medieval Ireland and Britain, Abingdon, New York: Routledge, 2021.  
History and Salvation in Medieval Ireland explores medieval Irish conceptions of salvation history, using Latin and vernacular sources from c. 700–c. 1200 CE which adapt biblical history for audiences both secular and ecclesiastical.

This book examines medieval Irish sources on the cities of Jerusalem and Babylon; reworkings of narratives from the Hebrew Scriptures; literature influenced by the Psalms; and texts indebted to Late Antique historiography. It argues that the conceptual framework of salvation history, and the related theory of the divinely-ordained movement of political power through history, had a formative influence on early Irish culture, society and identity. Primarily through analysis of previously untranslated sources, this study teases out some of the intricate connections between the local and the universal, in order to situate medieval Irish historiography within the context of that of the wider world. Using an overarching biblical chronology, beginning with the lives of the Jewish Patriarchs and ending with the Christian apostolic missions, this study shows how one culture understood the histories of others, and has important implications for issues such as kingship, religion and literary production in medieval Ireland.

This book will appeal to scholars and students of medieval Ireland, as well as those interested in religious and cultural history.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “The afterlife in the medieval Celtic-speaking world”, in: Pollard, Richard Matthew (ed.), Imagining the medieval afterlife, Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 114, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. 62–78.  

This chapter assesses the evidence from the medieval Celtic-speaking world for visions of heaven, hell, and the intermediary state. It begins with a critique of twentieth-century scholarship, which tended to focus its attention on the most fantastical vision texts at the expense of explicating a more representative sample of primary sources. The disparity is noted in the survival rate of texts from medieval Ireland as opposed to medieval Wales, and it is argued that medieval Welsh conceptions of the afterlife need to be pieced together from fragmentary references in religious poetry and other sources. By contrast, many extended descriptions of the afterlife survive from medieval Ireland – both freestanding vision texts and vision narratives embedded in sources of other genres. These are assessed in the context of an argument that more close readings of visions are needed before medieval Irish and Welsh geographies of the afterlife can be fully understood.

Boyle, Elizabeth, “Biblical history in the Book of Ballymote”, in: Ó hUiginn, Ruairí (ed.), Book of Ballymote, Codices Hibernenses Eximii 2, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2018. 51–76.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “The twelfth-century English transmission of a poem on the threefold division of the mind, attributed to Patrick of Dublin (d. 1084)”, in: Keller, Wolfram R., and Dagmar Schlüter (eds), ‘A fantastic and abstruse Latinity?’: Hiberno-Continental cultural and literary interactions in the Middle Ages, Studien und Texte zur Keltologie 12, Münster: Nodus Publikationen, 2017. 102–116.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “Allegory, the áes dána and the liberal arts in medieval Irish literature”, in: Hayden, Deborah, and Paul Russell (eds), Grammatica, gramadach and gramadeg: vernacular grammar and grammarians in medieval Ireland and Wales, Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 125, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2016. xvi + 226 pp. 11–34.
Boyle, Elizabeth, and Liam Breatnach, “Senchas Gall Átha Clíath: aspects of the cult of St Patrick in the twelfth century”, in: Carey, John, Kevin Murray, and Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh (eds), Sacred histories: a Festschrift for Máire Herbert, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015. 22–55.  

This Festschrift contribution comprises the first edition, translation and detailed discussion of Senchas Gall Átha Clíath (‘History of the Foreigners of Dublin’), a late Middle Irish (twelfth-century) poem on the conversion of the people of Dublin to Christianity. Anachronistically, the conversion is attributed to St Patrick, and the poem is discussed in the context of the production of local hagiography and anachronistic charter material in twelfth-century Ireland and Britain in response to Canterbury’s claims to ecclesiastical hegemony. Introduction and source analysis by Elizabeth Boyle; edition, translation and textual notes by Liam Breatnach.

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Boyle, Elizabeth, “Eschatological themes in Lebor na hUidre”, in: Ó hUiginn, Ruairí (ed.), Lebor na hUidre, Codices Hibernenses Eximii 1, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2015. 115–130.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “De tribus habitaculis animae”, in: Carey, John, Emma Nic Cárthaigh, and Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh (eds), The end and beyond: medieval Irish eschatology, vol. 1, Celtic Studies Publications 17.1, Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2014. 527–545.
Boyle, Elizabeth, and Deborah Hayden (eds), Authorities and adaptations: the reworking and transmission of textual sources in medieval Ireland, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2014.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “On the wonders of Ireland: translation and adaptation”, in: Boyle, Elizabeth, and Deborah Hayden (eds), Authorities and adaptations: the reworking and transmission of textual sources in medieval Ireland, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2014. 233–261.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “Sacrifice and salvation in Echtgus Úa Cúanáin’s poetic treatise on the Eucharist”, in: Mullins, Juliet, Jenifer Ní Ghrádaigh, and Richard Hawtree (eds), Envisioning Christ on the cross: Ireland and the early medieval west, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013. 181–194.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “Lay morality, clerical immorality, and pilgrimage in tenth-century Ireland: Cethrur macclérech and Epscop do Gáedelaib”, Studia Hibernica 39 (2013): 9–48.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “The authorship and transmission of De tribus habitaculis animae”, The Journal of Medieval Latin 22 (2012): 49–65.  
This paper argues that Aubrey Gwynn’s attribution of the Latin treatise De tribus habitaculis animae to Patrick, bishop of Dublin (d. 1084), is based on flawed argumentation. The manuscript evidence and the early transmission of the text suggest that it should be regarded as the work of an unknown pseudo-Patrick. Stylistic features are highlighted which argue against the author of De tribus habitaculis animae being identified with the author of the corpus of poetry also attributed to Patrick of Dublin. The English transmission of the text, and its ascription to a sanctus Patricius episcopus, is discussed in relation to English interest in the cult of St. Patrick in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.
(source: Brepols)
Boyle, Elizabeth, “‘The impiety of the intellect’: Whitley Stokes and the Pre-Raphaelites”, in: Boyle, Elizabeth, and Paul Russell (eds.), The tripartite life of Whitley Stokes (1830-1909), Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011. 44–58.
Boyle, Elizabeth, and Paul Russell (eds.), The tripartite life of Whitley Stokes (1830-1909), Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “Eschatological justice in Scéla laí brátha”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 59 (Summer, 2010): 39–54.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “A Welsh record of an Anglo-Saxon political mutilation”, Anglo-Saxon England 35 (2006): 245–249.  
A previously unidentified annal-entry in the Welsh chronicles Brut y Tywysogion and Brenhinedd y Saesson records the blinding of the sons of Ealdorman Ælfhelm as part of the ‘palace revolution’ of 1006. This article discusses how the Old English names Wulfheah and Ufegeat were recorded by Welsh scribes in accordance with Welsh phonological and orthographical norms. Possible Anglo-Saxon sources for the annal-entry are briefly considered and the transmission of the annal-entry in the Welsh sources is analysed.
Boyle, Elizabeth, “Stranger in a strange land: an Irish monk in Germany and a vision of the afterlife”, Quaestio Insularis 6 (2005): 120–134.


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Dennis Groenewegen
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March 2018, last updated: May 2021