Ruman mac Colmáin
  • d. c.747
  • Irish poets
Ruman (Rumann) mac Colmáin
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Downey, Clodagh, “Rumann mac Colmáin, poeta optimus: life and work”, Studia Hibernica 45 (2019): 1–17.  
Rumann mac Colmáin, whose death in 747 is recorded in the Annals of Ulster, was clearly a poet of great stature. He is called poeta optimus in his death notice, and if this is a Latin rendering of ollam filed (as suggested by F. J. Byrne), then this is the first reference to a secular poet’s office in the annals. Rumann’s fame and significance as a poet may also be inferred from the name of a metre, ollbairdne Rumainn recomarcach, which seems to have been named for him. Our sources connect Rumann with Trim, in present-day Co. Meath, and some poetry still survives that is ascribed to him. In this article, the available evidence relating to Rumann’s life will be gathered and relevant historical factors will be considered with a view to ascertaining what connections Rumann may have had to political affairs. All surviving verse ascribed to Rumann that I have been able to discover will be presented and the question of authorship of that verse will be examined, taking linguistic, metrical and historical factors into consideration.