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The "Psaltar na Rann," by Ængus Cele De, or, the Culdee, second quarter of 12th century

MS. Rawl. B. 502, fol. 19

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The "Psaltar na Rann" is immediately followed by a collection of miscellaneous poems and tracts, written by the same hand on 48 leaves of vellum, and which are partially described by O'Conor, Cat. of Stowe MSS, vol. i. pp. 196–197, and more particularly by Dr. Todd, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. v., pp. 169–173. The following is (for the most part) an abstract of the list given by the latter:

(fol. 40b) "Pantecte incipit; viz. a translation made by Dubhlitir," elsewhere called Donnchuach, "O' Huathgaile of the Pandect of Cirine (St. Jerome) into Gaedhlic;" a short poem (of which the title is thus translated) on the races, languages, and ages of the world, intended probably to be prefixed to Jerome's version of the Bible.

(fol. 41) The tract "Sex ætates mundi," translated chiefly from Bede; said in O'Conor's description to be "per Ængusium filium Subnei."

(fol. 44b) Poem by Dubhlitir O'Huathghaile on the branchings of the race of Adam. See O'Reilly's Irish Writers, p. lxxix.

(fol. 45) Poem by Mac Coisse of Ross, county of Cork, on the dispersion of mankind and geography of the old world; in 264 verses.

(fol. 46) Poems on the kings of Jerusalem, the Temple worship and the Exodus.

(fol. 47) Prose account of the chaining of Eochaidh son of Enna Cinselach, king of Leinster, to the Holestone near Tullow, co. Carlow, and of the reign of Nial of the Nine Hostages.

(fols. 47–50b) Various short pieces in prose and verse on the kings of Leinster.

(fol. 50b) Poem by Flann Mac Maelmaedhoc on the triumphs of the men of Leinster.

(fol. 50b) Commencement (four quatrains) of a poem on the Leinster-men by Orthanach O'Caellama of the Curragh of Kildare. One leaf wanting.

(fols. 51–53) A catalogue of saints; from the Psalter of Cashel. Omitted in Dr. Todd's list. Eight columns in a page. At the end is written: "Hii omnes sancti (sic) invoco in auxilium meum * * * Maria sanctificari (?)*** quarum et quorum dicuntur nomina * * * et quos præscivit prædestinavit conformes fieri imaginis Filii Sui in vitam æternam in Christo Jesu. Amen."

(fols. 54–56) Account of the great council held at Dromceat, co. Derry, A.D. 596., to which is attached a short poem bearing the name of S. Columba.

(fols. 56–60) The "Amhra Colum Chille," or poem in praise of St. Columba, describing also the grief manifested at his death; written by Eochaidh Dalian or Dallan Forgaill; with a gloss. Beg. "dia dia dorogus retias inœgruis [in Gaelic script.]" See Colgan's Trias Thaumaturga, p. 470, and O'Reilly's Irish writers, p. xxxix. It is said by O'Conor (Scriptt. vol. i.,) that this tract consists of the thirteen last chapters of Adamnan's Life of Columba in Irish; but the titles of the sections, which are given in Latin, do not coincide with the latter part of Adamnan, while the commencing words identify it with Dalian's poem. This and the two articles which follow are not mentioned by Dr. Todd.

(fol. 59b) Elegy on the death of S. Columba by S. Adamnan; with a gloss.

(fol. 60) Two poems on S. Columba by S. Canice.

(fols. 60–62b) "Agallamh an da suaidh," or, Dialogue of the two sages; a dispute betweene Ferceirtne and Neide upon the succession to the Ollamh's (chief poet's or professor's) chair on the death of Adhna; with a gloss. See O'Reilly's Irish writers, pp. xviii, xix. A copy and translation of the introductory heading are given by O'Conor, Scriptt. vol. i.

(fol. 62b) The false judgments of Caratniad, chief justice to Conn of the Hundred Battles; with an interlinear gloss. "His legal decisions were worded so as to be apparently false, but on examination were always found consistent with justice and law." Todd, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. v.

(fol. 63b) A short tract on Irish grammar.

(fols. 64–88) "Incipiunt pauca de nominibus Lageniensium, et de regibus et originibus et de genealogiis et regionibus eorum:" in Irish. Miscellaneous pieces, in prose and verse, on the history of Leinster. Among poets quoted in some of the prose tracts are "Fortchern, Senchan Torpest, Orthana, Find-File, Libren, Luccrad Mac h. Riadna, Hui-Buidc B. che, Lugar-Lan-File, Hi Theig, Flan Mac Lonan, Cormac; all from king Cormac's Psaltar Caisil" (O'Conor, Scriptt. vol. i.). At fol. 75b a poet Niall is also quoted. The eight following articles are specially noticed in Dr. Todd's list:

  1. [fol. 64] Poem on the pedigree (ascending to Adam) of Laeghaire Lore, ancestor of the Leinster noble families, by Finn Mac Rossa Roe, king of Leinster.
  2. [fol. 64] Poem on the pedigree (also up to Adam) of Enna Cinselach, king of Leinster about A.D. 400, by Laidcenn Mac Bareda.
  3. [fol. 71] The destruction of Dinn Righ, a royal mansion in Carlow, and the murder of Laeghaire by his nephew Lobhradh Loingseach.
  4. Tract on the murder of the princesses at Tara by Dunlaing, a Leinster prince, in the time of Cormac Mac Art.
  5. Succession of the monarchs of Erin.
  6. Poem on Tara.
  7. [fols. 74b, 80] Pedigrees of the Heremonians and Hebereans.
  8. Poems on the kings of Cashel, on the kings of Uisneach or Meath, on the kings of Dal Araidhe, etc.

At fol. 82a, b, there occur Latin references to the Psalter of Cashel, "ut invenitur in Psalterio Caissil," and at fol. 74 is the following note, shewing that the compilation is an abridgment of some other work, "Hic plura pretermitto."

Described by Dr. Todd as occupying 39 folios, from its ending on the thirty-ninth; it occupies in reality twenty-two.


  • Creation: second quarter of 12th century


1 item

Language of Materials

  • Latin
  • Irish


MS. Rawl. B. 502, fol. 19


  • A full description is given by Dr. Todd in vol. v. of the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy , pp. 164–168, who says that "there can be little doubt that it was transcribed about the year 1100," and who thus sums up the contents: "It consists of 162 poems, of which 150 (corresponding to the number of the Psalms) contain the history of the Old Testament, and constitute probably the original work, which was hence ealled the Psalter of Poems. Then follow two poems of a penitential character, and ten on the Resurrection and the history of the New Testament."
  • O'Conor says ( Scriptt. vol. i. præf. p. lxvi.) that the work is written "distichis Hibernicis, a me diligenter numeratis, plusquam quater mille centenis et viginti octo."

Physical Facet

On parchment; in double columns


Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom