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Texts

Acallam na senórach‘The dialogue of the ancients’

  • Middle Irish
  • prose, verse
  • Finn Cycle
Author
Anonymous
Manuscripts

Five manuscript witnesses:

  1. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 610 ff. 59–72 and ff. 123–146 = part of the Book of the White Earl [c. s. xv1]
    ff. 123r–146rbeginning: ‘Fer Muman andes ⁊ ro boí ac denam tshelga laithi naen annso’
     
    Incomplete, due in part to chasms in the manuscript and due in part to omission. The six fragments correspond approximately to lines 2044-2235, 2401-3520, 3723-3909, 4079-7355, 7399-7546, 7597-7986 of Stokes' edition.
  2. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson B 487 [s. xv + s. xvii]
    ff. 12ra–52vb
     
    Four fragments.
  3. Chatsworth (Derbyshire), Book of Lismore [s. xv]
    ff. 159–197
     
    Ten fragments.
  4. Dublin, University College, MS Franciscan A 4 [s. xv-xvi(?)]
  5. Dublin, University College, MS Franciscan A 20 (a) [s. xvii1]
Language
  • Middle Irish
  • late Middle Irish (or very early Classical Irish)
Form
prose, verse (primary)
prosimetrum

Classification

Finn Cycle

Sources

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.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “Acallamh na senórach”, in: Windisch, Ernst, and Whitley Stokes (eds.), Irische Texte mit Wörterbuch, 4 vols, vol. 4:1, Leipzig, 1900. 1–438, ix–xiv.
Celtic Digital Initiative: <link> CELT – corrected edition (without Stokes’ notes): <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Edition, with translation of the parts left untranslated by O'Grady.
[ed.] O'Grady, Standish Hayes, Silva Gadelica (I–XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish, vol. 1: Irish text, London: Williams & Norgate, 1892.
Digitale-sammlungen.de: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>, <link> CELT – various: <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>
94–233 Edition, from the Book of Lismore version.
[tr.] O'Grady, Standish Hayes, Silva Gadelica (I–XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish, vol. 2: translation and notes, London: Williams & Norgate, 1892.
Digitale-sammlungen.de: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
101–265 Translation.
[ed.] Dillon, Myles [ed.], Stories from the Acallam, Mediaeval and Modern Irish Series 23, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1970.
Six stories, corresponding to lines 1-120, 329-353, 354-468, 718-871, 949-1002 and 1868-1934 of Stokes' edition.
[tr.] Dooley, Ann, and Harry Roe (trs.), Tales of the elders of Ireland, Oxford's World Classics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
The first translation into English of the whole text.
[tr.] Harmon, Maurice [tr.], The dialogue of the ancients of Ireland: a new translation of Acallam na senórach, Dublin: Carysfort Press, 2009.
A free, literary translation that is not intended for scholarly purposes.

Secondary sources (select)

Connon, Anne, “The Roscommon locus of Acallam na senórach and some thoughts as to tempus and persona”, in: Doyle, Aidan, and Kevin Murray (eds), In dialogue with the Agallamh: essays in honour of Seán Ó Coileáin, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014. 21–59.
Dooley, Ann, “The European context of Acallam na senórach”, in: Doyle, Aidan, and Kevin Murray (eds), In dialogue with the Agallamh: essays in honour of Seán Ó Coileáin, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014. 60–75.
Carey, John, “Acallam na senórach: a conversation between worlds”, in: Doyle, Aidan, and Kevin Murray (eds), In dialogue with the Agallamh: essays in honour of Seán Ó Coileáin, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014. 76–89.
Nagy, Joseph Falaky, “Some strands and strains in Acallam na senórach”, in: Doyle, Aidan, and Kevin Murray (eds), In dialogue with the Agallamh: essays in honour of Seán Ó Coileáin, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014. 90–108.
Parsons, Geraldine, “The narrative voice in Acallam na senórach”, in: Doyle, Aidan, and Kevin Murray (eds), In dialogue with the Agallamh: essays in honour of Seán Ó Coileáin, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014. 109–124.
Ó Cadhla, Stiofán, “Gods and heroes: approaching the Acallam as ethnography”, in: Doyle, Aidan, and Kevin Murray (eds), In dialogue with the Agallamh: essays in honour of Seán Ó Coileáin, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014. 125–143.
Connon, Anne, “Plotting Acallam na senórach: the physical context of the ‘Mayo’ sequence”, in: Sheehan, Sarah, Joanne Findon, and Westley Follett (eds.), Gablánach in scélaigecht: Celtic studies in honour of Ann Dooley, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013. 69–102.
Dooley, Ann, “Speaking with forked tongues: gender and narrative in the Acallam”, in: Sheehan, Sarah, and Ann Dooley (eds), Constructing gender in medieval Ireland, The New Middle Ages, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 171–190.
Dooley, Ann, “The deployment of some hagiographical sources in Acallam na senórach”, in: Arbuthnot, Sharon J., and Geraldine Parsons (eds.), The Gaelic Finn tradition, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012. 97–110.
Nagy, Joseph Falaky, “Keeping the Acallam together”, in: Arbuthnot, Sharon J., and Geraldine Parsons (eds.), The Gaelic Finn tradition, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012. 111–121.
Ó hUiginn, Ruairí, “Fiannagheacht, family, faith and fatherland”, in: Arbuthnot, Sharon J., and Geraldine Parsons (eds.), The Gaelic Finn tradition, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012. 151–162.
Connell, Sarah, “Writing on the land of Ireland: nationality, textuality, and geography in the Acallam na senórach”, Hortulus: The Online Graduate Journal of Medieval Studies 7 — Space/place in the medieval imagination (2011). URL: <http://hortulus-journal.com/journal/volume-7-number-1-2011/connell/>.
Parsons, Geraldine, “Whitley Stokes, Standish Hayes O’Grady and Acallam na Senórach”, in: Boyle, Elizabeth, and Paul Russell (eds.), The tripartite life of Whitley Stokes (1830-1909), Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011. 185–195.
Schlüter, Dagmar, “‘For the entertainment of lords and commons of later times.’ Past and remembrance in Acallam na senórach”, Celtica 26 (2010): 146–160.
Donahue, Annie, “The Acallam na senórach: a medieval instruction manual”, Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 24–25 (2004/2005, 2009): 206–215.
Parsons, Geraldine, “Acallam na senórach as prosimetrum”, Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 24–25 (2009): 86–100.
Parsons, Geraldine, “The structure of Acallam na Senórach”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 55 (2008): 11–39.
Nagy, Joseph Falaky, “Acallam na senórach: a ‘tri-cycle’?”, in: Wiley, Dan M. [ed.], Essays on the early Irish king tales, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008. 63–83.
Nagy, Joseph Falaky, “Life in the fast lane. The Acallam na Senórach”, in: Fulton, Helen [ed.], Medieval Celtic literature and society, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005. 117–131.
Ó Coileáin, Seán, “The setting of Géisid cúan”, in: Carey, John, Máire Herbert, and Kevin Murray (eds.), Cín Chille Cúile: texts, saints and places. Essays in honour of Pádraig Ó Riain, Celtic Studies Publications 9, Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2004. 234–248.
Dooley, Ann, “The date and purpose of Acallam na senórach”, Éigse 34 (2004): 97–126.
Dooley, Ann, “Arthur of the Irish: a viable concept?”, Arthurian Literature 21 (2004): 9–28.
McTurk, Rory, “Acallam na senórach and Snorri Sturluson’s Edda”, in: Ó Catháin, Séamas, and Patricia Lysaght (et al., eds), Northern lights: following folklore in north-western Europe. Aistí in adhnó do Bho Almqvist: essays in honour of Bo Almqvist, Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2001. 178–189.
Roe, Harry, “Acallam na senórach: the confluence of lay and clerical oral traditions”, in: Byrne, Cyril J., Margaret Harry, and Pádraig Ó Siadhail (eds.), Celtic languages and Celtic peoples: proceedings of the Second North American Congress of Celtic studies, held in Halifax, August 16-19, 1989, Halifax, Nova Scotia: D’Arcy McGee Chair of Irish Studies, Saint Mary’s University, 1992. 331–346.
Nagy, Joseph Falaky, “Compositional concerns in the Acallam na senórach”, in: Ó Corráin, Donnchadh, Liam Breatnach, and Kim R. McCone (eds.), Sages, saints and storytellers: Celtic studies in honour of Professor James Carney, Maynooth Monographs 2, Maynooth: An Sagart, 1989. 149–158.
Murphy, Gerard, “Acallam na Senórach”, in: Dillon, Myles [ed.], Irish sagas, Thomas Davis Lectures, Dublin, 1959. 122–137.
Nuner, Robert D., “The verbal system of the Agallamh na senórach”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 27 (1958–1959): 230–310.
Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen,Dagmar Schlüter
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