Texts

In cath catharda‘The civic battle’

  • Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Medieval Irish literary adaptations

Medieval Irish adaptation of the first seven books of the classical Latin poem Pharsalia by Lucan. It rates as one of the longest literary prose texts to survive from medieval Ireland.

Manuscripts

Stokes based his edition on four manuscripts:

Other
Stokes also refers to five additional copies, which were not consulted by him for his edition:(2)n. 2 The photographed copies of Gaelic XLVI which Stokes had at his disposal could not be relied on because of their poor quality. Walter J. Purton told Stokes about the existence of three manuscript versions in the Royal Irish Academy.
Language
  • Middle Irish
  • Middle Irish.

Form
prose (primary)
Textual relationships

Additional sources used may include Florus' Epitome; Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (I.2).(1)n. 1 Whitley Stokes, ‘In cath catharda: The civil war of the Romans. An Irish version of Lucan's Pharsalia’ in Irische Texte mit Wörterbuch... (1909): v-vi.

Classification

Medieval Irish literary adaptations
Contents

Do chogadh síuialta na Romhanach, dia n-goireid Gaoidheil in cath cathardha

Summary:
Of the civil war of the Romans, which the Gaels call the cath catharda
Verse: Righ na nAssardha ria cach

Sloicced Cesair an inis Bretan

Summary:
Caesar's hosting in the Island of Britain
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 4r–5r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 148

Adbair in catha catharda

Summary:
The cause of the civil war
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 5v–8r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 205
Tuaruscbáil Césair
Summary:
A description of Caesar

Toccail denna Airimin

Summary:
The sack of the fortress of Ariminum
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 8v–11r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 382

Toicestal sluaig Cesair

Summary:
Of the mustering of Caesar's army
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 11v–17v » References: Stokes 1909b: line 522

Derbhairrde an catha cathardha

Summary:
The sure signs of the civil war
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 18r–24r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 818

Betha Cait

Summary:
The life of Cato
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 24v–25v » References: Stokes 1909b: line 1085

Sloicced Cesair isind Ettaild

Summary:
Caesar's hosting into Italy
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 26r–34r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 1192

Tóchestul sluaigh Poimp

Summary:
The mustering of Pompey's army

Toccail na Maisili

Summary:
The sack of the city of the Massilians
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 34v–48r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 1625

Sloicced na hEspaine / Scéla Césair

Summary:
The hosting of Spain / Tidings of Caesar
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 48v–55r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 2264

Martra muinteri Vuilt

Summary:
The martyrdom of the Vulteians
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 55v–61v » References: Stokes 1909b: line 2595

Aided Curio

Summary:
The violent death of Curio
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 62r–68v » References: Stokes 1909b: line 2860

Aided Aip

Summary:
The violent death of Appius
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 69r–69v » References: Stokes 1909b: line 3210

Echtra Cessair

Summary:
The adventures of Caesar
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 70r–73r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 3249

Aided Sceua

Summary:
The violent death of Scaeva
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 73v–82r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 3388

Tuarusccbail na Tesaile

Summary:
The description of Thessaly
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 82v–84v » References: Stokes 1909b: line 3770

Faistine an arrachta a hiffern

Summary:
The prophecy of the spectre out of hell
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 84v–95r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 3876

Cath mór Muigi na Tesaili

Summary:
The great battle at the plain of Thessaly
» Manuscript details: Franciscan A 17, ff. 95v–97r » References: Stokes 1909b: line 4312

Sources

Notes

Whitley Stokes, ‘In cath catharda: The civil war of the Romans. An Irish version of Lucan's Pharsalia’ in Irische Texte mit Wörterbuch... (1909): v-vi.
The photographed copies of Gaelic XLVI which Stokes had at his disposal could not be relied on because of their poor quality. Walter J. Purton told Stokes about the existence of three manuscript versions in the Royal Irish Academy.

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.], “In cath catharda: The civil war of the Romans. An Irish version of Lucan's Pharsalia”, in: Windisch, Ernst, and Whitley Stokes (eds.), Irische Texte mit Wörterbuch, 4 vols, vol. 4:2, Leipzig, 1909. v–viii, 1–581.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation (with preface by Windisch): <link>
[ed.] O'Grady, Standish Hayes [ed. and tr.], “The war of Pompey and Caesar: a fragment”, in: O'Grady, Standish Hayes [ed. and tr.], Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh: The triumphs of Turlough, 2 vols, Irish Texts Society26, 27, London: Irish Texts Society, 1929. Appendix E.
Vol. 1, 193–224
[tr.] O'Grady, Standish Hayes [ed. and tr.], “The war of Pompey and Caesar: a fragment”, in: O'Grady, Standish Hayes [ed. and tr.], Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh: The triumphs of Turlough, 2 vols, Irish Texts Society26, 27, London: Irish Texts Society, 1929. Appendix E.
Vol. 2, 202–240

Secondary sources (select)

Cox, Edward G., “Classical traditions in medieval Ireland”, Philological Quarterly 3 (1924): 267–284.
Meyer, Robert T., “The Middle-Irish version of the Pharsalia of Lucan”, Papers of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters 44:3 (1959): 355–363.
Stanford, W. B., “Towards a history of classical influences in Ireland”, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 70 C (1970): 13–91.
Windisch, Ernst, “Preface”, in: Windisch, Ernst, and Whitley Stokes (eds.), Irische Texte mit Wörterbuch, 4 vols, vol. 4:2, Leipzig, 1909. viii–ix.
CELT – Preface: <link>
Sommerfelt, Alf, “Le système verbal dans In cath catharda”, Revue Celtique 36 (1915–1916): 23–62, 295–334.
Journal volume:  Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Gallica: <link>
Corrections are found in the article below.
Sommerfelt, Alf, “Le système verbal dans In cath catharda”, Revue Celtique 37 (1917–1919): 230–246, 353–357 (corrections).
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Sommerfelt, Alf, “Le système verbal dans In cath catharda”, Revue Celtique 38 (1920–1921): 25–47.
Journal volume:  Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Gallica: <link>
Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen
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