Texts

Acallam bec‘Little colloquy’

  • Late Middle Irish, Early Modern Irish
  • prose, verse
  • Finn Cycle
A prosimetric narrative, related to Acallam na senórach, concerning the wanderings of Caílte and other survivors of the Fían at the time of Patrick’s advent in Ireland. While the dialogue between Patrick and a representative of Finn’s old fían is central to both Acallam na senórach and the later Agallamh na seanórach, the meeting between Patrick and Caílte occupies comparatively little space in this text.
Title
Acallam bec
‘Little colloquy’
or in modernised form, Agallamh bheag. The text is known by this title since in 1870 William Hennessy claimed it to be known as such, though citing no evidence for this usage.(1)n. 1 William M. Hennessy, ‘On the goddess of war of the ancient Irish’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 10 (1870); William M. Hennessy • C. Lottner, ‘The ancient Irish goddess of war’, Revue Celtique 1 (1870–1872): 54.
Manuscripts
Modern transcripts
Language
  • Late Middle Irish Early Modern Irish
  • Late Middle Irish or early Classical Irish (Kühns).(3)n. 3 Julia S. Kühns, ‘Some observations on the Acallam bec’ in The Gaelic Finn tradition... (2012): 124.

Date
According to Dooley, Acallam bec “is probably to be dated a little later” than the late 12th or early 13th-century Acallam na senórach.(2)n. 2 Ann Dooley • Harry Roe, Tales of the elders of Ireland (1999): xxxi.
Form
prose, verse (primary)

Classification

Finn Cycle

Sources

Notes

William M. Hennessy, ‘On the goddess of war of the ancient Irish’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 10 (1870); William M. Hennessy • C. Lottner, ‘The ancient Irish goddess of war’, Revue Celtique 1 (1870–1872): 54.
Ann Dooley • Harry Roe, Tales of the elders of Ireland (1999): xxxi.
Julia S. Kühns, ‘Some observations on the Acallam bec’ in The Gaelic Finn tradition... (2012): 124.

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.

[ed.] [tr.] Kühns, Julia S., “An edition and translation of the Agallamh beag from the Book of Lismore”, unpublished MPhil dissertation: University of Glasgow, 2006.
Theses.gla.ac.uk – PDF: <link>
The only complete edition and translation to date.
Portions of the text
[ed.] [tr.] Hyde, Douglas [pseud. An Craoibhín, ed. and tr.], “An Agallamh Bheag”, Lia Fáil 1 (1927): 79–107.  
Partial edition with translation into Modern Irish.
Celtic Digital Initiative: <link>
Incomplete
[ed.] [tr.] Power, Maura [ed. and tr.], “Cnucha Cnoc os cionn Life”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 11 (1917): 39–55.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Hyde, Douglas [ed. and tr.], “The cooking of the Great Queen (Fulacht na Mórrigna)”, The Celtic Review 10 (1916): 335–350.
Internet Archive: <link>
Episode only.
[tr.] Pennington, Walter [tr.], “The Little Colloquy”, Philological Quarterly 9:2 (1930): 97–110.
Celtic Digital Initiative: <link>
Translation of Hyde 1927b.

Secondary sources (select)

Kühns, Julia S., “Some observations on the Acallam bec”, in: Arbuthnot, Sharon J., and Geraldine Parsons (eds.), The Gaelic Finn tradition, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012. 122–138.
Hyde, Douglas, “The Reeves manuscript of the Agallamh na senorach”, Revue Celtique 38 (1920–1921): 289–295.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Murphy, Gerard, Fianaíocht agus rómánsaíocht: The Ossianic lore and romantic tales of medieval Ireland, Irish Life and Culture 11, Dublin: O Lochlainn, 1955.
Contributors
C. A.,Dennis Groenewegen