Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1339 (H 2. 18) = Book of Leinster
  • s. xii2
Boyle, Elizabeth, “The poetics of irony in Middle Irish literature”, North American Journal of Celtic Studies 5:2 (Autumn, 2021): 194–213.  

This article seeks to establish a poetics of irony in Early Middle Irish literature centring on anticlerical irreverence, misogyny, and ethnic stereotyping. Using a cluster of tenth-century narratives in the Book of Leinster, this study reads within and between texts to attempt to delineate conventions of genre and style which can be used to make the case for ironic readings of these and other texts. It is tentatively suggested that such anecdote-length humorous texts may have been used for pedagogical purposes, and the relationship between anticlerical texts and those which critique poets is briefly explored.

McCay, David, “The Dindshenchas in the Book of Leinster”, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 2021.  
This thesis explores the nature of the Dindshenchas in the Book of Leinster (s. xii2). The Dindshenchas is a twelfth-century compilation of stories, in prose and verse, which explain the etymologies and origins of medieval Irish place names. The textual history of the Dindshenchas is complex and not yet fully understood, however, the Book of Leinster, as the earliest manuscript, and the only to contain the so-called ‘Metrical Dindshenchas’, is evidently an important witness. Furthermore, the Book of Leinster is codicologically complex, being constituted out of several smaller manuscripts, which are the works of different scribes. In this thesis I explore the nature of the Dindshenchas in this manuscript from a material perspective. An investigation of the codicology reveals that the Dindshenchas was produced by four compilers, independent from one another to varying degrees. Furthermore, these individual collections were themselves compiled over a period of time as poems and items of prose were accumulated. The Dindshenchas in the Book of Leinster, then, is the product of many acts of compilation. This thesis interrogates these acts and their motivations, sitting at the intersection of the material and the conceptual. The physical and visual make-up of the collections – their paratext, mise-en-page, and ordinatio – are used to illuminate the critical categories, interpretations and intellectual frameworks of the compilers. Chapter I considers the nature of dindshenchas as portrayed in the scholarly literature, before situating its etymological kernel within the frameworks of medieval Etymologia and history-writing. Chapter II investigates the codicology of the Dindshenchas in the Book of Leinster in detail, defining the various codicological units which make up the corpus and providing insights into the processes of their compilation. The implications of this research on our understanding of the textual development of the Dindshenchas are profound and will be considered at the end of this chapter. Chapter III discusses the Prose Dindshenchas, exploring the ways in which it was used to structure historical narratives, and its interaction with the wider literary tradition as a text intended for consultation. Finally, Chapter IV turns to the so-called ‘Metrical Dindshenchas’, questioning the motivations behind the individual acts of compilation which produced so diverse a collection and, by extension, the nature of dindshenchas poetry as a meaningful historical category. Cumulatively, this thesis provides greater insight into the Dindshenchas, the Book of Leinster, and the contemporary critical and intellectual environment of the twelfth-century Irish scholars who compiled them.
Yocum, Christopher Guy, “Text clustering and methods in the Book of Leinster”, in: Elliott Lash, Fangzhe Qiu, and David Stifter (eds), Morphosyntactic variation in medieval Celtic languages: corpus-based approaches, 346, Berlin, Online: De Gruyter Mouton, 2020. 85–112.  
For a list of texts, see

Most investigations of the Book of Leinster (hereafter LL) have used close reading, historical, and philological techniques to identify authors within LL (for instance, see Mac Gearailt 1993; Bhreathnach 2002; Mac Gearailt 1997–1998; Ó Lochlainn 1941–1942; Ó Lochlainn 1943–1944; Mac Eoin 1982: 113–114). While this has met with some success, the methods used are by their nature idiosyncratic and prone to individual scholarly opinion. One notable exception is Derick Thomson’s paper The Poetry of Niall MacMhuirich which attempts to use statistical methods to attribute authorship of poems to Niall MacMhuirich (Thomson 1970). This paper will use methods of anonymous authorship attribution, which has been developed within the discipline of machine learning and statistical analysis to accomplish two goals: first, to demonstrate the means and methods of unsupervised machine learning techniques in early Irish literature and second, to discuss the implications of the application of this methodology to LL with a view towards a larger research project.

The paper will proceed in four stages. First, some scholarly literature concerning LL is reviewed. Second, the methods of data gathering, along with certain related problems, as well as the algorithms used in the analysis are commented upon. Third, the outcome of the analysis is summarised. Fourth, the paper concludes with an examination of the contribution the analysis makes to the debate surrounding the authorship of LL

Carey, John (ed.), Táin bó Cúalnge from the Book of Leinster: reassessments, Irish Texts Society, Subsidiary Series, 32, London: Irish Texts Society, 2020.
Carey, John, “Connachta cid dia tá int ainm”, Celtica 32 (2020): 127–144.
Cleary, Christina, “Critical notes and signs in the Book of Leinster Táin bó Cúailnge”, in: John Carey (ed.), Táin bó Cúalnge from the Book of Leinster: reassessments, 32, London: Irish Texts Society, 2020. 90–121.
Shercliff, Rebecca, “A critical edition of Tochmarc Ferbe: with translation, textual notes and literary commentary”, unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge, 2019.  
This thesis provides a critical edition of the longest extant version of the medieval Irish text Tochmarc Ferbe (‘The Wooing of Ferb’), accompanied by translation, textual notes and literary commentary. Tochmarc Ferbe is found in two manuscripts, the Book of Leinster (LL) and Egerton 1782. This comprises three versions of the text: a short prose account in Egerton 1782, and a long prosimetric account in LL, followed in the same manuscript by a poetic account. After a preliminary analysis of the relationship between these three versions, the edited text of the long prosimetric version (LL-prose) is presented, alongside a facing-page translation. Issues arising from the text, in terms of interpretational difficulties, literary features and metrical analysis of the poems, are discussed in the form of textual notes. A particular focus is the prevalence of textual correspondences between Tochmarc Ferbe and other medieval Irish tales, many of which are identified as direct textual borrowings by the author of this text. The thesis concludes with a literary commentary focusing on the role of women in the LL-prose version. It is argued that its depictions of a wide range of female characters challenge traditional assumptions about medieval Irish attitudes towards women, which tend to focus on their supposed passivity and negativity. The portrayals of two female characters are singled out as especially noteworthy. Queen Medb, frequently viewed as the archetypal expression of negative attitudes towards power-wielding women in medieval Irish literature, is shown to receive a positive depiction in this text. Meanwhile, the main female protagonist Ferb is characterised by her use of speech, which dominates the text in a manner almost unparalleled in medieval Irish literature. It is argued that she subverts the usually passive role of lamenter by channelling her grief into an active force, offering an alternative model of positive female action.
Ó Macháin, Pádraig, “A poem on Diarmaid Mac Murchadha in the Book of Leinster”, Celtica 30 (2018): 14–23.  

Transcription and normalised edition of a fragment of an early bardic poem on Díarmait mac Murchada (7 qq, beg. Easbach díth Diarmata Duirgean) attested in a late addition to the Book of Leinster (p. 178); with discussion, notes and English translation; also includes a brief discussion of other verse pointing to Díarmait Mac Murchada as patron of the Book of Leinster.

Schlüter, Dagmar, “Peripheral or Europeanized? Remarks about continental and external influences on the Book of Leinster”, in: Wolfram R. Keller, and Dagmar Schlüter (eds), ‘A fantastic and abstruse Latinity?’: Hiberno-Continental cultural and literary interactions in the Middle Ages, 12, Münster: Nodus Publikationen, 2017. 86–101.
Schlüter, Dagmar, “Medieval manuscripts and cultural memory. The case of the Book of Leinster”, in: Jan Erik Rekdal, and Erich Poppe (eds), Medieval Irish perspectives on cultural memory, 11, Münster: Nodus Publikationen, 2014. 61–79.
Duncan, Elizabeth, “A reassessment of the script and make-up of Lebor na Nuachongbála”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 59 (2012): 27–66.
Poser, Thomas, Dagmar Schlüter, and Julia Zimmermann, “Migration und ihre literarische Inszenierung. Zwischen interkultureller Abschottung und transkultureller Verflechtung”, in: Michael Borgolte, Julia Dücker, Marcel Müllerburg, Paul Predatsch, and Bernd Schneidmüller (eds), Europa im Geflecht der Welt. Mittelalterliche Migrationen in globalen Bezügen, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2012. 87–100.  
Discussion of Lebor gabála on pp. 93-95.
Elín Ingibjörg Eyjólfsdóttir, “The Bórama: the poetry and the hagiography in the Book of Leinster”, PhD thesis, University of Glasgow, 2012. URL: <>. 
This thesis is the first attempt at analysing the Bórama with a detailed analysis of the poetry read alongside the prose, as well as a detailed discussion on the hagiographical material found at the core of the text. Chapter 1 examines the text, with particular attention on issues of composition, chronological order or disorder and other temporal anomalies, as well as the connection with other texts, especially those situated within the Book of Leinster (LL) manuscript. This is to address the issue of what the purpose of the text is, to support the argument that this is a compiled text, possibly by a single author or compiler, drawing on an extensive knowledge of literary works. It examines what the central focus of the text is and also illustrates Moling as the central character of the text, and crucial to the text in whole. In addition it will discuss the issue of classification, something that scholars have contended with for many years. The poetry of the Bórama serves as the focal point of Chapter 2. There I demonstrate the various metres represented in the poetry, and cover a broad discussion on the issues the poems raise in the debate on the Bórama. It illustrates that the poems are an integral part of the text, and that without them the understanding of the text has been severely affected. The following chapter, Chapter 3, is devoted to the numerous saints who occur in the poetry of the Bórama. In the poems, interspersed throughout the text of the Bórama, there is a great number of saints mentioned at various instances with varying purposes. The purpose of their inclusion as well as in which situation they are represented in the text is discussed extensively. Their locality and affiliations will, as far as possible, be explored in terms of their connection to Leinster or Moling. Chapter 4 will be dedicated to the discussion of Moling, the central character of the text. It will explore how he is represented in the text of the Bórama, as compared to other texts where he is also a key figure. It will be shown that the Bórama, in LL, is a central text to his hagiographical corpus. Material concerned with Moling will also be looked at in terms of what they contribute to his legend. It will draw together the traits Moling exhibits in the extant sources and how his literary persona develops. The chapter will then conclude with the suggestion that LL was invaluable to the development of the legend of Moling. In the final final section of the thesis I will draw together the main issues of each chapter in order to provide a conclusion and iron out any remaining issues. I will also highlight the numerous issues this thesis has raised during the course of the research undertaken and which would serve as future projects centred on the text.
Schlüter, Dagmar, History or fable? The Book of Leinster as a document of cultural memory in twelfth-century Ireland, Studien und Texte zur Keltologie, 9, Münster: Nodus Publikationen, 2010.
Ó Dónaill, Caoimhín [ed. and tr.], Talland Étair, Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts, 4, Maynooth: Department of Old and Middle Irish, National University of Ireland, 2005.
Manning, Gerald, “The later marginalia in the Book of Leinster”, Celtica 24 (2003): 213–222.
Bhreathnach, Edel, “Two contributors to the Book of Leinster: Bishop Finn of Kildare and Gilla na Náem Úa Duinn”, in: Michael Richter, and Jean-Michel Picard (eds), Ogma: essays in Celtic studies in honour of Próinséas Ní Chatháin, Dublin: Four Courts, 2002. 105–111.
“Trinity College, Dublin”, Anne-Marie OʼBrien, and Pádraig Ó Macháin, Irish Script on Screen (ISOS) – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1999–present. URL: <>.
Mac Gearailt, Uáitéar, “The language of some late Middle Irish texts in the Book of Leinster”, Studia Hibernica 26 (1991–1992): 167–216.
Mac Gearailt, Uáitéar, “Cath Ruis na Ríg and twelfth-century literary and oral tradition”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 44 (1991): 128–153.
Backhaus, Norbert, “The structure of the list of remscéla Tána bó Cualngni in the Book of Leinster”, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 19 (Summer, 1990): 19–26.
Swartz, Dorothy Dilts, “Balance in the Book of Leinster Táin bó Cúailnge and in classical rhetoric”, Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 6 (1986): 29–46.
Ó Concheanainn, Tomás, “LL and the date of the reviser of LU”, Éigse 20 (1984): 212–225.
Lehmann, Ruth P.M., “‘The calendar of the birds’ and ‘A grave marked with Ogam’: two problem poems from the Book of Leinster”, Études Celtiques 17 (1980): 197–203.
Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 17, 1980: <link>
OʼBrien, M. A. [ed.], Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1962.  
comments: Reprinted in 1976 and 2005, with an introduction by J. V. Kelleher.
CELT – pp. 1–332 (Rawl. B 502): <link>
334–439   “Genealogies from the Book of Leinster”
An edition of genealogies from the Book of Leinster that are not otherwise found in Rawlinson B 502, with variant readings from the Book of Lecan and the Book of Ballymote.
Gwynn, Aubrey, “Some notes on the history of the Book of Leinster”, Celtica 5 (1960): 8–12.
Grosjean, Paul, “Deux textes inédits sur S. Ibar”, Analecta Bollandiana 77 (1959): 426–450.
442–450   “Texte du Livre de Leinster et commentaire”
Bieler, Ludwig, “Insular palaeography, present state and problems”, Scriptorium 3 (1949): 267–294.
Persée: <link>
Gwynn, E. J., The metrical dindsenchas, 5 vols, vol. 5, Todd Lecture Series, 12, Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1935.
Internet Archive – vol. 5: <link>  : View in Mirador
11   [General introduction] “II. The first recension: (a) Book of Leinster”
Best, R. I. [ed.], “Story of Mael Ruain of Tamlacht”, in: J. Fraser, Paul Grosjean, and J. G. OʼKeeffe (eds), Irish texts, fasciculus I, London, 1931. 34–35 + fasc. V: 100 (corrigenda).
Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link>
Best, Richard Irvine, and H. J. Lawlor, The martyrology of Tallaght: from the Book of Leinster and MS. 5100–4 in the Royal Library, Brussels, Henry Bradshaw Society, 68, London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 1931. xxviii + 264 pp.
Best, R. I. [ed.], “Amairgen son of Ecet Salach”, in: J. Fraser, Paul Grosjean, and J. G. OʼKeeffe (eds), Irish texts, fasciculus I, London, 1931. 32–34 + fasc. V: 100 (corrigenda).
Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link>
Dobbs, Margaret E., “On the settlement of the Fotharta and the Laigsi”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 16 (1927): 395–405.
de Paor, Áine, “The common authorship of some Book of Leinster texts”, Ériu 9 (1921–1923): 118–146.
Thurneysen, Rudolf, Die irische Helden- und Königsage bis zum siebzehnten Jahrhundert, Halle: Niemeyer, 1921.  

Contents: Part 1 (chapters 1-23): Allgemeines; Part 2 (chapters 1-85): Die Ulter Sage.

Internet Archive: <link>
33   [1.12] “Das Buch von Leinster (LL)”
Abbott, T. K., and E. J. Gwynn, Catalogue of the Irish manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co, 1921.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
158–219   Abbott, T. K., “1338–1365”
MSS 1338 (p. 158); 1339 (pp. 158-161); 1340 (pp. 161-164); 1341 (pp. 164-165); 1342 (p. 165); 1343 (p. 166); 1344 (pp. 166-167); 1345 (ppp. 167-169); 1346 (pp. 170-171); 1347 (p. 172); 1348 (pp. 172-173); 1349 (pp. 173-174); 1350 (p. 174); 1351 (pp. 174-176); 1352; 1353 (p. 176); 1354 (pp. 176-178); 1355 (pp. 178-179); 1356 (pp. 180-184); 1357 (pp. 184-185); 1358 (pp. 185-186); 1359 (p. 187); 1360 (pp. 187-192); 1361 (pp. 192-199); 1362 (p. 199); 1363 (pp. 199-216); 1364 (p. 216); 1365 (pp. 216-219)
Gwynn, Lucius, “Leabhar gabhála and the Book of Leinster”, Ériu 8 (1916): 114–116.
MacNeill, John, “Poems by Flann Mainistrech on the dynasties of Ailech, Mide and Brega”, Archivium Hibernicum 2 (1913): 37–99.
Meyer, Kuno [ed. and tr.], “The song of the sword of Cerball”, Revue Celtique 20 (1899): 7–12.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Atkinson, Robert [ed.], The Book of Leinster sometime called the Book of Glendalough: a collection of pieces (prose and verse) in the Irish language, compiled, in part, about the middle of the twelfth century, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1880.
Gilbert, John T. [ed.], Facsimiles of national manuscripts of Ireland, vol. 2: Part 2, London: Public Record Office of Ireland, 1878.
Gilbert, John T. [ed.], Facsimiles of national manuscripts of Ireland, vol. 1: Part 1, Dublin: Public Record Office of Ireland, 1874.
OʼCurry, Eugene, Lectures on the manuscript materials of ancient Irish history, delivered at the Catholic University of Ireland during the sessions of 1855 and 1856, Dublin, 1861.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive – Originally from Google Books: <link>, <link>, <link> Internet Archive – multiple copies: <link>
181–202   [Lecture IX] “Of the chief existing ancient books”

Results for Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1339 (2)
  • s. xii2
  • Áed Úa Crimthainn [abbot of Terryglass], Anonymous [LL scribe for bishop Finn of Kildare], Anonymous [LL scribe T], Anonymous [LL scribe U], Anonymous [LL scribe M], Anonymous [LL scribe S]