Texts

Preface to the Fáeth fiada

  • Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Irish religious texts, prose introduction to verse
Short Middle Irish preface to the Old Irish poem which it calls Fáeth fiada. It tells that Saint Patrick composed the ‘hymn’ (immun) in order to protect himself and his retinue from the malicious intentions of King Lóegaire and that Patrick's recitation of it made them appear in the shapes of deer before the king and his men (Benén appears as a fawn following the wild deer). Performative significance is attached to the poem through the claim that those who recite it will be protected from harm.
Initial words (prose)
  • Patraicc dorone in n-immun-sa
Author
Anonymous
Language
  • Middle Irish
Form
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
Cf. Bethu Phátraic(1)n. 1 Ed. and tr. Whitley Stokes, The tripartite Life of Patrick: with other documents relating to that saint (1887): 46–48, followed by the poem.

    Classification

    Irish religious texts

    Subjects

    Saint PatrickSaint Patrick / St Patrick (fl. 5th century) – No short description available
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    Lóegaire mac NéillLóegaire mac Néill (fl. 5th century) (ass. time-frame: Id:Lóegaire mac Néill) – according to medieval Irish tradition, high-king of Ireland, son of Níall , and a contemporary of St Patrick
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    Benignus of ArmaghBenignus of Armagh
    Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.
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    Temair
    Temair ... Tara
    County Meath

    Sources

    Notes

    Ed. and tr. Whitley Stokes, The tripartite Life of Patrick: with other documents relating to that saint (1887): 46–48, followed by the poem.

    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.

    See also the bibliography for Fáeth fiada.
    [ed.] Binchy, D. A., “Varia. III [1. The old negative form of dia ‘if’; 2. (bó) trelaeg; 3. Atromriug; 4. The date of the so-called ‘Hymn of Patrick’]”, Ériu 20 (1966): 229–237.
    234–237
    [ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley, and John Strachan (eds.), Thesaurus palaeohibernicus: a collection of Old-Irish glosses, scholia, prose, and verse, 3 vols, vol. 2: Non-Biblical glosses and scholia; Old-Irish prose; names of persons and places; inscriptions; verse; indexes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903.  
    comments: Reprinted by DIAS in 1987, together with Stokes' supplementary volume.
    Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link> Wikisource: <link>
    354 Text of Middle Irish preface and poem, with a translation. The edition is based on TCD 1441, with textual variants given in the footnotes. direct link
    [ed.] [tr.] Carey, John, King of Mysteries: early Irish religious writings, 2nd ed. (1998), Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000.
    130 Text (‘eclectic text with normalised spelling’) and translation based on Stokes and Strachan

    Secondary sources (select)

    Binchy, D. A., “Varia. III [1. The old negative form of dia ‘if’; 2. (bó) trelaeg; 3. Atromriug; 4. The date of the so-called ‘Hymn of Patrick’]”, Ériu 20 (1966): 229–237.
    Borsje, Jacqueline, “Druids, deer and ‘words of power’: coming to terms with evil in Medieval Ireland”, in: Ritari, Katja, and Alexandra Bergholm (eds.), Approaches to religion and mythology in Celtic studies, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2008. 122–149.
    UvA Digital Academic Repository: <link>
    134ff
    Kenney, James F., “Chapter III: The Irish church in the ‘Celtic’ period”, in: Kenney, James F., The sources for the early history of Ireland: an introduction and guide. Volume 1: ecclesiastical, Records of Civilization: Sources and Studies 11, Revised ed. (1929), New York: Octagon, 1966. 156–287.
    272–274 (§ 101) [id. 101.]
    Bernard, J. H., and Robert Atkinson, The Irish Liber hymnorum, 2 vols, vol. 2: Translation and notes, Henry Bradshaw Society 14, London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 1898.  
    comments: Volume 1: Text and introduction
    Volume 2: Translation
    Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books (missing: pp. 18-19): <link>
    208–212
    Contributors
    Dennis Groenewegen
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