ceann faoi eite

From CODECS: Online Database and e-Resources for Celtic Studies
Ceann faoi eite
> ceann faoi eite (also ceann fa eite or in an earlier form, cenn fo eitte)
Image: 1. Ceannfaoieitte-LUf5a.png 2. Ceann-faoi-eite.jpg 3. Ceann-faoi.png 4. Cenn-fo-eitte-RIAD1iif3vb.png 5. G1303p17-ceannfaoi.png 6. Ceann-23P12f167va.png 7. Ceann-half.png
» 1. [File] Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 E 25 (1229) = Lebor na hUidre [s. xi/xii], f. 5a
» 2. [File] Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1339 (H 2. 18) = Book of Leinster [s. xii2]
» 3. [File] Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 12 (536) = Book of Ballymote [1384 x 1406], f. 71r
» 4. [File] Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS D ii 1 (1225) = Book of Uí Maine [1394], f. 3vb
» 5. [File] Dublin, National Library of Ireland, MS G 1303 = Leabhar Í Eadhra (Book of O'Hara) [1597], p. 17
» 6. [File] Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 12 (536) = Book of Ballymote [1384 x 1406], f. 167va
» 7. [File] Rennes, Bibliothèque de Rennes Métropole, MS 598 (15489) [s. xv (?)], f. 78r

Additional images: 8. Ceann-RawlB506f11r.png » 8. [File] Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson B 506 [s. xiv + s. xvii], f. 11r

Represents in Irish: (marks continuation of text from the line below) (in the scribe's mind or in normalised spelling)
Build type: Component
Position: Baseline
Type of symbol: Punctuation
Represents: » In Irish: (marks continuation of text from the line below)

» Literally head under wing, a symbol placed within a line of Irish writing to indicate that the sentence is completed and that the following words are a continuation of the line below. It was used to make efficient use of space on the vellum.

Comments: From Michelle P. Brown, The Book of Cerne: prayer, patronage, and power in ninth-century England (1996): 120-121:
The practice of employing a zoomorphic symbol to mark places where the text of one line intrudes into the line above or below would appear to have been an Insular contribution to the repertoire of ornament of medieval manuscripts. It was generally used as a space-saving device and was especially useful in sections of verse, such as the Psalms. The feature is often referred to as the ceann fa eite or head-under-wing symbol, the term employed by Irish scribes during the Middle Ages [...] The feature is often assumed to have been of Irish derivation, owing to its frequent use in Irish manuscripts from the ninth century onwards [...] However, the earliest occurrences of the zoomorphic feature are in Southumbrian manuscripts of the second half of the eighth century [...] A further manuscript, the Book of Kells, needs to be taken into account. This work exhibits full mastery of the device. [...] The [...] popularity of the motif in Ireland may have owed a great deal to its introduction via Kells, the probable later medieval home of the manuscript [Book of Kells].

Another Irish term for this symbol is cor fa chosán (‘turn under path’). For the suggestion that the term ceann fa eite was already in use in the 14th century, see the note in Tomás Ó Concheanainn, ‘The Book of Ballymote’, Celtica 14 (1981): 17.

See also
Examples in context: Examples in other contexts, if available
Entries related in meaning: Possible equivalents matching one of the values in the transcription above, if available

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