Mc Carthy (Daniel P.)

  • s. xx–xxi
  • (agents)
Mc Carthy, Daniel, “The paschal cycle of St Patrick”, in: Immo Warntjes, and Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (eds), Late antique calendrical thought and its reception in the early Middle Ages: proceedings from the 3rd International Conference on the Science of Computus in Ireland and Europe, Galway, 16-18 July, 2010, 26, Turnhout: Brepols, 2017. 94–137.  
Notwithstanding the substantial corpus of early medieval references to St Patrick and his works, the only account we have of a paschal cycle associated with him is that provided by Cummian in his letter addressed to Ségéne of Iona and Béccán the hermit composed in c.AD 633. In this letter, Cummian identified himself and his community with Patrick, but he furnished only limited technical details for both Patrick’s cycle and the cycle he indicated that he and his community had recently adopted. However, critical examination of Cummian’s account shows that Patrick had adapted the 532-year paschal cycle compiled by Victorius of Aquitaine in AD 457, and that this was the cycle that Cummian’s community and other influential southern Irish churches resolved to adopt at the synod of Mag Léne in c.AD 630. Consequently, Cummian’s account of Patrick’s cycle, the earliest attested reference to him, holds significant implications for both the chronology of Patrick’s mission to Ireland, and for the expansion of his cult in the seventh century.
Mc Carthy, Daniel, “Representations of tonsure in the Book of Kells”, Studia Celtica 51 (2017): 89–103.  

Four Insular documents from the seventh and eighth centuries show that a major controversy took place amongst the Insular churches regarding the shape of the tonsure worn by clerics. Those who followed the customs of the Roman church wore a coronal tonsures, oval or circular in plan, while those belonging to some earlier Irish and British churches wore a delta tonsure, triangular in plan. This paper critically examines six figures in the Book of Kells proposed to have been illustrated with tonsures. Three of these at ff. 32v, 34r and 273r all show Jesus with the delta tonsure. The haloed figure above the second Canon table at f. 2v is likewise shown with the delta tonsure. On the other hand, the mounted figure at f. 255v is shown with a coronal tonsure and is explicitly coupled to the words ‘unum’ and ‘peccauerat’ of Luke 17:1 and 17:3 respectively. In Luke 17:1-3 Jesus censures all those who give cause for temptation to sin, saying it would be better that they were cast into the sea with a mill-stone about their neck. Consequently, by this graphic presentation of the coronal tonsure the compilers of Kells expressed their strong disapproval of it. A sixth figure at f. 182r proposed by James McIlwain in 2008 to be illustrated with the coronal tonsure is shown in fact to represent Pontius Pilate wearing an oval cap. Thus the five illustrations of tonsure in the Book of Kells represent a graphic polemic, exalting those who wore the delta tonsure, but directed against those who wore the Roman coronal tonsure.

Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “Analysing and restoring the chronology of the Irish annals”, in: Ralph Kenna, Máirín MacCarron, and Pádraig MacCarron (eds), Maths meets myths: quantitative approaches to ancient narratives, Springer, 2017. 177–194.  
Substantial annalistic chronicles of Irish affairs exist in a number of medieval versions, but they exhibit considerable variation both in the sequences of events and the chronological apparatus used to link each year to the Julian calendar. Of these, the Anno Domini years of the Annals of Ulster have been principally relied upon by historians. However, these are demonstrably incorrect from the seventh to the eleventh centuries. Moreover, its remaining chronological data of ferials and lunar epacts at the kalends of January, that is, the day of the week and the age of the moon on 1 January, are almost all interpolations by a later scribe. On the other hand, the Annals of Tigernach and the Chronicum Scotorum have only kalends and ferials marking the commencement of each year from the Incarnation up until the mid-seventh century. Because these kalends and ferials are susceptible to scribal miscopying they were dismissed by historians and textual scholars as “hopelessly confused”. However, analysis of the 28 year cycle of the ferials reveals that they possess a powerful error-correction property. Exploitation of this property has enabled the restoration of all the missing kalends and erroneous ferials of the Annals of Tigernach and Chronicum Scotorum, as well as of the closely related Annals of Roscrea, known collectively as the Clonmacnoise group. Using computer table structures, the kalends and ferials and events of these three have been synchronized with the Anno Domini years over the range AD 1–1178, and this tabulation, with cross-references to the other Irish medieval annals, has been made available online at www.irish-annals.cs.tcd.ie. In this chapter the process of analysis, correction, and synchronization is illustrated, taking the year of the death of St Patrick as an example.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The chronology of Saint Columba’s life”, in: Pádraic Moran, and Immo Warntjes (eds), Early medieval Ireland and Europe: chronology, contacts, scholarship. A Festschrift for Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, 14, Turnhout: Brepols, 2015. 3–32.  
Between Adomnán’s Vita Columbae and Bede’s account in his Historia ecclesiastica, Saint Columba’s life and missionary career are the best recorded of all early Irish ecclesiastics. Further, and in great contrast to his 5th-century British missionary predecessor, Saint Patrick, Columba’s chronology has not been the subject of controversy in modern times. At least from the 17th-century scholarship has been almost unanimous that Columba died in AD 597, a date that derives from Adomnan’s assertion that he died on Sunday, and that he left Ireland in AD 563, which likewise derives from Adomnán’s statement that his mission had lasted 34 years. However, Dáibhí Ó Cróinin’s identification in 1985 that Padua, Biblioteca Antoniana, I 27, 76r-77v preserves a copy of the paschal table followed by the early Irish church demonstrated that the feria of the kalends of January was the primary chronological criterion used by early insular Christian scholars to identify each successive year. It was this discovery that prompted examination of the ferial data preserved in the Clonmacnoise group of Irish annals, which in turn revealed that annals were compiled contemporaneously with Columba’s life, and hence that the annalistic account of Columba predates those of Adomnán and Bede by a century. These ferial data locate Columba’s obit unmistakeably at AD 593, and this four-year discrepancy raises serious doubt regarding the veracity and honesty of Adomnán’s account of Columba’s life.
Mc Carthy, Daniel, “Ruaidhrí Ó Caiside’s contribution to the Annals of Ulster”, in: Seán Duffy (ed.), Princes, prelates and poets in medieval Ireland: essays in honour of Katharine Simms, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013. 444–459.
Jaski, Bart, and Daniel Mc Carthy, The Annals of Roscrea: a diplomatic edition, Roscrea: Roscrea People and Roscrea Heritage Society, 2012. xxxvi + 66 pp.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “TCD MS 1282 (the Annals of Ulster): a scholar’s book and exemplar”, in: W. E. Vaughan (ed.), The Old Library: Trinity College Dublin, 1712–2012, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012. 33–39.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The study and use of numbers in early Irish monasteries”, in: Charles Doherty, Linda Doran, and Mary Kelly (eds), Glendalough: City of God, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011. 223–237.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “On the arrival of the Latercus in Ireland”, in: Immo Warntjes, and Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (eds), The Easter controversy of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages: its manuscripts, texts, and tables. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Science of Computus in Ireland and Europe, Galway, 18–20 July, 2008, 10, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011. 48–75.  
The hypotheses published in 1733 by van der Hagen regarding the supposed computistical parameters and Roman origin of the Latercus, the 84-year Paschal tradition followed by the early Insular churches, and the alleged forged status of Paschal tracts cited by Insular authors are profoundly mistaken when viewed beside the evidence of the copy of the Latercus discovered by Dáibhí Ó Cróinín in Padua MS I 27. Furthermore, the computistical features of this Padua copy are in accordance with Aldhelm’s attribution of the Latercus to Sulpicius Severus. Examination of references to the use of the Latercus in Ireland made by Columbanus, and others cited by Bede, together with the evidence of the synchronization of lacunae in the Irish annals with the embedded papal and Anglo-Saxon chronicles, imply that the Latercus arrived in Ireland in circa 425. Consideration of the provenance of the contemporaneous fifth-century Annalistic entries indicates that the Latercus was first established in the province of Leinster.
(source: Brepols)
Jaski, Bart, and Daniel Mc Carthy, A facsimile edition of the Annals of Roscrea, Online: School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College, 2011–. Word 97 document. URL: <http://www.scss.tcd.ie/misc/kronos/editions/AR_portal.htm>. 
The Irish chronicle known to modern scholarship as the ‘Annals of Roscrea’ is found only in the manuscript Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale 5301-20 pp. 97−161. It was first registered in print in the comprehensive catalogue of the manuscripts in the Burgundian Library at Brussels published in 1842, and an edition was published by Dermot Gleeson and Seán Mac Airt in 1959. Recent research has shown that the principal scribe, the Franciscan friar Fr Brendan O’Conor, transcribed his source, ‘mutila Historia D. Cantwelij’, in two successive phases and then in a third phase it was annotated and indexed by his fellow Franciscan Fr Thomas O’Sheerin. This research has also shown that the edition of Gleeson and Mac Airt is incomplete, having omitted the pre-Patrician section of the chronicle. Hence this, the first full edition of the work, has been prepared in facsimile form so as to make clear the successive phases of compilation of the text, to provide an accurate account of its orthography, to identify the relationship of its entries to those of other chronicles, and to furnish an AD chronology consistent with the other Clonmacnoise group chronicles.
comments: 1. A 30-page introduction describing the only manuscript of the Annals of Roscrea, namely [[Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, MS 5301-5320

|Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale 5301-20]], followed by an account of the principles used in the compilation of the facsimile edition.

2. The facsimile edition formatted as a 65-page A4 document, representing a page-by-page facsimile of the 65 pages of MS Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale 5301-20, pp. 97-161.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The Irish annals: their origin and evolution V to XI sec”, in: Centro Italiano di studi sull’Alto Medioevo (ed.), L'irlanda e gli irlandesi nell'alto medioevo (Spoleto, 16-21 aprile 2009), 57, Spoleto: Presso La sede del Centro, 2010. 601–617.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “Bede’s primary source for the Vulgate chronology in his chronicles in De temporibus and De temporum ratione”, in: Immo Warntjes, and Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (eds), Computus and its cultural context in the Latin West, AD 300–1200: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on the Science of Computus in Ireland and Europe, 5, Turnhout: Brepols, 2010. 159–189.  
Mommsen’s 1898 assumption that Bede had compiled the Vulgate chronology of his De temporibus and De temporum ratione has been simply reiterated by scholars ever since. But critical collation of Bede’s chronicles with the Irish Annals leads to the conclusion that their common features, including their Vulgate chronology, derive from a common source that originated in a chronicle compiled by Rufinus of Aquileia († 410). By the year 538, Rufinus’ chronicle was being continued in Ireland, and this continuation was transferred to Iona before the end of the sixth century. Around 687, Adomnán, then abbot of Iona, presented to Aldfrith, king of Northumbria, a copy of the world history in the Iona annals extending as far as the reign of the emperor Justinian, who ruled 685–695, and also a copy of his own De locis sanctis. By 703, these works had reached Bede and he compiled epitomes of them both. Subsequently, in 725, he again edited this copy of the Iona annals to compile his world-chronicle in De temporum ratione. Thus it was Adomnán’s copy of the Iona annals that served as Bede’s primary source for the Vulgate chronology of his De temporibus and De temporum ratione.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., The Irish annals: their genesis, evolution and history, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008.  
comments: Contents: Chronicles and annals: origins, compilation, taxonomy and nomenclature (p. 1); Witnesses to the annals: the primary manuscripts (18); Annalistic literature (61); World history in Insular chronicles (118); The Iona chronicle (153); The Moville and Clonmacnoise chronicles (168); Liber Cuanach and its descendants (198); The Armagh and Derry chronicles (223); The Connacht and Fermanagh chronicles (245); The Regnal-canon chronicles (271); Final compilation stages (304); Reliable annalistic chronology (342); Epilogue (355); Twelve centuries of Irish chronicling: from Bethlehem to Bundrowes (355); Necessity for a comprehensive analysis of chronicle features (357); Outstanding chronicle compilations (358); Manuscript witnesses to the annals (361); Survey of annalistic verse up to A.D. 1000 (364); The regnal-canon (368); Bibliography (375) and index (393).
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The original compilation of the Annals of Ulster”, Studia Celtica 38 (2004): 69–96.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., and Aidan Breen, The ante-Nicene Christian Pasch: De ratione paschali. The Paschal tract of Anatolius, bishop of Laodicea, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2003.  
comments: Critical edition and study of De ratione paschali, a Latin translation of the paschal tract by Anatolius, bishop of Laodicea
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “On the shape of the insular tonsure”, Celtica 24 (2003): 140–167.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The chronological apparatus of the Annals of Ulster AD 82–1019”, Peritia 16 (2002): 256–283.  
The view of Mac Airt and Mac Niocaill in their 1983 edition of AU that the annals of f 12–14 of TCD 1282 are indeed part of the Annals of Ulster has recently been vindicated. Analysis of the chronological apparatus of f 12–14 reveals that their author was responsible for the introduction of Dionysiac epacts and continuous Anno Domini into the Irish annals. He accomplished this by an extraordinary series of interpolations into the pre-Palladian section of the Iona Chronicle that he used as source, demonstrating both his computistical skill and profound indifference to historical chronology. By AD 431 his apparatus was accurately synchronised with all the Dionysiac chronological criteria, and he continued with it, re-ordering many events through the fifth and sixth centuries. In the seventh century he omitted a single kalend, which put all his subsequent apparatus in arrears by one year. Collation of AU with the other annals indicates that his compilation continued to c.1019 and was completed shortly after 1022. This compilation is identified with AU’s ‘Liber Cuanach’, and Cuan hua Lothcháin (†1024) is proposed as the author.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “Topographical characteristics of the Vita prima and Vita Cogitosi sanctae Brigitae”, Studia Celtica 35 (2001): 245–270.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The chronology and sources of the early Irish annals”, Early Medieval Europe 10:3 (2001): 323–341.  

The chronology of much of the Irish annals has hitherto been most uncertain, particularly from the fifth to the eighth century, which has seriously hindered their use as historical sources. This paper demonstrates that the oldest chronological apparatus preserved in these annals is the kalend-plus-ferial and, further, that the ferial data recorded in the Annals of Tigernach and Chronicon Scotorum may be restored and constitute a cogent sequence from the Incarnation up to the middle of the seventh century. When this chronology is calibrated using events for which we have independent chronological information, it emerges that thirteen kalends were removed from the Iona Chronicle between the Anno Domini years 424–664, and thus we may recover the original chronology of that chronicle. Collation of this chronology with those of the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of Inisfallen shows that both preserve derivative and corrupted chronologies; this collation has been made available on the World Wide Web at http://www.cs.tcd.ie/Dan.McCarthy/chronology/synchronisms/annals-chron.htm.

Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The chronology of S. Brigit of Kildare”, Peritia 14 (2000): 255–281.  

This is a critical chronological and textual analysis of all annalistic entries on the life of St Brigit of Kildare. It emerges that AT and CS have best preserved the chronology originally given Brigit in the Iona chronicle which placed her death at ad 524, aged 86 years. AU and AI transmit a later tradition, subsequently interpolated into the Iona chronicle, that she died aged 70. It is argued that the author of the original Iona chronicle entries was St Columba, a competent computist and near-contemporary of Brigit. Hence his chronology is trustworthy. To check this, a chronological evaluation of the earliest surviving Vitae S. Brigitae reveals that the chronology of all the individuals found jointly in the Vita I and the annals is consistent, implying that both sources have transmitted a chronology which is essentially correct, a result which supports the historical priority of Vita I over Vita II. Finally, examination of the context of Cogitosus’s date for Brigit’s death shows that he aligned it to correspond with existing non-christian celebrations already held in Kildare.

Mc Carthy, Daniel P., and Aidan Breen, “À propos du synode de Whitby. Étude des observations astronomiques dans les Annales irlandaises”, Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l'Ouest 107:3 (2000): 25–56.  
comments: French version of the article previously published as Daniel P. Mc Carthy • Aidan Breen, ‘An evaluation of astronomical observations in the Irish annals’, Vistas in Astronomy 41 (1997).
Persée: <link>
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The status of the pre-Patrician Irish annals”, Peritia 12 (1998): 98–152.  
This investigation of the pre-Patrician material in Irish annals first reviews the historiography, then examines the chronology of Roman imperial successions, and reveals a conflation of Eutropius’s Breviarium with Jerome’s Chronicle. Collation with Bede’s Chronicon maior shows these annals and Bede have a common source. The annals preserve more of this source and its chronological apparatus. The Alexandrian episcopal succession in AT derives directly from Rufinus’s History, and the errors suggest that he himself constructed it. The Hebrew succession in Bede and AI reveals divergences from Jerome’s chronology, not plausibly the work of Bede but appropriate to Rufinus. Hence the hypothesis that Rufinus compiled a chronicle in the early fifth century, that it came to Ireland with the 84-year paschal table of Sulpicius Severus, and that it was used in Iona in the mid-sixth century as the basis for the Iona Chronicle.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The chronology of the Irish annals”, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 98 C (1998): 203–255.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., and Aidan Breen, “Astronomical observations in the Irish annals and their motivation”, Peritia 11 (1997): 1–43.
Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The biblical chronology of James Ussher”, The Irish Astronomical Journal 24 (January, 1997): 73–82.


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