Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson B 502 is a medieval Irish
manuscript which presently resides in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. It
ranks as one of the three major surviving Irish manuscripts to have
been produced in pre-Norman Ireland, the two other works being the
Lebor na hUidre
1 History and structure 2 Contents 3 Disputed identity
3.1 Saltair na Rann 3.2 Lebar Glinne Dá Locha or Book of Glendalough
4 Notes 5 References 6 Diplomatic edition and digital reproduction 7 Further reading 8 External links
History and structure
The manuscript as it exists today consists of two vellum codices which
were originally separate works but were bound together sometime before
1648. This was done at the request of their new owner, Irish
antiquarian Sir James Ware (d. 1666), who thanks to Dubhaltach Mac
Fhirbhisigh (d. 1671) had been able to assemble a fine collection of
Irish manuscripts. Several leaves of paper with a (mainly) Latin
commentary by Ware on aspects of Irish history (fos. 13–18) were
inserted between the two manuscripts, possibly to preserve the
appearance of two distinct works. Further paper folios were added
at the end of the second manuscript (fos. 90–103), containing notes
and transcripts of documents, part of which was written in Latin.
The first manuscript, which covers folios 1-12v (six bifolia), was
compiled and written in the late 11th century or possibly at the
beginning of the 12th. The fine minuscule script suggests the
work of two professional scribes, and glosses were added by later
hands. One of these glossators has been identified as the scribe "H"
who was also responsible for adding glosses to the Lebor na hUidre.
Like the latter work, this part of Rawlinson B 502 may therefore have
been a product of the monastic scriptorium of Clonmacnoise, Co.
The greater part of Rawlinson B 502, covering fos. 19–89, is taken
up by a manuscript the text of which was written by a single scribe in
the mid-12th century. The last king of Connacht listed is
Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair
folios pages (facsimile) texts
Annals of Tigernach (Irish World Chronicle)
Paper leaves containing historical notes by Ware
Saltair na Rann ("The Psalter of Verses")
Sex Aetates Mundi (The Six Stages of the World)
Poem ascribed to Mac Cosse, beginning Ro fessa hi curp domuin dúir
Poem Fichi rig cia rim as ferr, text on kings who ruled Jerusalem,
beginning with King
Religious poem A Dé dúlig adateoch / Cethrur do-raega ní dalb
Religious poem Ro chuala crecha is tir thair
Text beginning Ad fet Augustus míl do bith i fudumnaib in mara 7 in talman Indecdai, note on monster in India.
Poem beginning Cenn ard Ádaim étrocht rád; annal for 1454
f. 47r p. 81a-b Orcuin Néill Noígíallaig (The Death of Níall Noígíallach)
f. 47r-v p. 81b-82a Gein Branduib meic Echach 7 Aedáin meic Gabráin (The Birth of Brandub son of Eochu and of Aedán son of Gabrán)
f. 47v p. 82a-b Aided Maelodráin (The Death of Maelodrán)
heading announcing Laidsenchas Lagen (fos. 47v-50v)
Poem Is mo chen a Labraid lain, dialogue between Scoriath, Labraid Loingsech and Moriath
Poem Cethri m. Airtt Mis Telmann
Poem Ochtur Criathar cid dia ta
f. 47v p. 82b-83a Orgguin trí mac Diarmata meic Cerbaill. Cf. p. 134b.
Poem Coic rig trichat do Laignib, on kings of
Poem Secht rig do Laignib na lerg, further kings of Leinster
Poem Dia ngaba apgitir Lagen, on
Poem Fedeilmid athair Echach, on battle fought by the Fothairt against the men of Munster
Poem Clanna Bresail Bricc builid, on
Poem Coic rig trichat triallsat roe, on Christian kings of Leinster
Poem attributed to Dubthach hua Lugair, Crimthann clothri coicid hErenn
Poem Ro batar laeich do Laigneib, on the birth of Brandub mac Echach, king of Leinster, and Áedán mac Gabráin, king of Dál Riada
f. 50r p. 87a-88a Poem Cathair cenn coicid Banba, the metrical Esnada Tige Buchet ("The Songs of Buchet's House"). Cf. f. 73.
Poem Do chomramaib Laigen (or Eol dam i ndairib drechta), ascribed to
Flann mac Máel Máedóc; on battles fought by
Poem A choicid choem Chairpri chruaid
leaf or leaves missing
Genealogies of Irish saints
Alphabetically arranged list of saints bearing the same name
Poem ascribed to Dallán Forgaill, Amrae Coluimb Chille ("A Poem for Colum Cille")
Prayer "Adomnan mac Ronain ro cháchain in nothainseo", beginning Colum Cilli co Dia dommerail i tias nimustias.
Poem attributed to Columba, Dia ard árlethar
Mac Lesc mac Ladain Aithech, about Mac Lesc mac Ladain and Finn, both of whom utter a number of verses
Poem "Cainnech do rigni in northainse"
f. 60r-62v p. 107b-112b Immacallam in Dá Thuarad ("The Colloquy of the Two Sages")
Gúbretha Caratniad ("The False Judgments of Caratnia")
Cóic Conara Fugill ("The Five Paths of Judgment"), legal text
Genealogies of the Laigin
Story of Labraid Loingsech and other pre-Christian kings of Leinster, including poems: Dind Rig attributed to Ferchertne; Lug sceith; Cethri meic la Setna Sithbacc, attributed to Senchán; etc.
Laigin genealogies, descendants of Cú Corb
Laigin genealogies (Dál Niad Cuirp). Includes verse.
Miniugud senchasa mac nairegda Cathair, Laigin genealogies
Laigin genealogies (Dál Niad Cuirp).
Laigin genealogies (continued)
Laigin genealogies and section on Fothairt
Genealogies, De peritia 7 genelogia Loichsi, on Lugaid Loígsech and genealogies of Loíchse
Genealogies, Duil laechsluinte Lagen
Heading Scelshenchas Laigen, announcing items folios 71v-73v
f. 71v-72r p. 130b-131b Orgain Denna Ríg (The Destruction of Dind Ríg)
f. 72r p. 131b-133b Tairired na n-Déssi (The Expulsion of the Déisi)
f. 73r-73v p. 133b-134a prose Esnada Tige Buchet (The Songs of Buchet's House). Cf. f. 50.
f. 73v p. 134a Comram na Clóenferta (The Triumph of the Sloping Mound)
f. 73v-74v p. 134b Orgguin trí mac Diarmata meic Cerbaill (The Deaths of the Three Sons of Diarmait mac Cerbaill). Cf. p. 82b-83a.
Text on pre-Christian kings of Ireland, beginning Do rochair tra Sirna Sirsaeglach mac Dein m. Demail la Rothechtaid Rotha mac Moen
List of kings of Ireland, from the age of Míl up to Brian Bóraime
Miniugud na Croeb Coibnesta, on descendants of Éremón up to the time of Eochaid Mugmedón's sons
p. 138a Echtra mac Echdach Mugmedóin (The Adventures of the Sons of Eochaid Mugmedón)
paper leaves (17th century)
The identity of the second part of the manuscript, more especially its
name and provenance, in sources long before it passed into the hands
of Rawlinson has been a matter of some controversy.
Saltair na Rann
Sir James Ware himself referred to the second part as the Saltair na
Rann by Óengus Céile Dé, after the metrical religious work of this
name beginning on the first folio (fo. 19): "Oengus Celide, Author
antiquus, qui in libro dicto Psalter-narran" and elsewhere, "vulgo
Psalter Narran appellatur" ("commonly called Psalter Narran").
Excerpts from Sex Aetates Mundi, in NLI G 3 (fos. 22va and 23r), which
twice cite the Book of
The case for identification was made by scholars like Eugene O'Curry
(1861) and James Carney (1964), but it has been argued most forcefully
and elaborately by Pádraig Ó Riain. He observed close textual
affinities between copies of texts which acknowledge their source as
being the Book of Glendalough, such as the first two items above, and
versions of these texts in Rawlinson B 502. Caoimhín Breatnach,
however, criticises his methodology in establishing textual
relationships and concludes that Lebar Glinne Dá Locha and Rawlinson
B 502 are two separate manuscripts.
An important item of evidence is the poem Cia lín don rígraid ráin
ruaid, which survives in three manuscripts: Rawlinson B 502, RIA MS 23
D 17 (which attributes its copy to the Book of Glendalough) and
National Library of Ireland
^ a b c Breatnach, "Rawlinson B 502", p. 400.
^ Ó Cuív, Catalogue of Irish Language Manuscripts in the Bodleian
Library at Oxford and Oxford College Libraries, p. 172
^ a b Ó Riain, "The Book of Glendalough: a continuing investigation",
^ a b c d e f g h i j Hellmuth, "Rawlinson B 502", p. 1475
^ Oskamp, "The first twelve folia", p. 56.
^ a b Breatnach, "Rawlinson B 502", p. 399.
^ Ó Riain, "The Book of Glendalough: a continuing investigation", p.
^ Meyer, Rawlinson B 502: a collection of pieces in prose and verse in
Breatnach, Caoimhín (2003). "Manuscript sources and methodology: Rawlinson B 502 and Lebar Glinne Dá Locha" (PDF). Celtica. 24: 40–54. Breatnach, Caoimhín (2005). "Rawlinson B 502". In Seán Duffy. Medieval Ireland. An Encyclopedia. Abingdon and New York. pp. 398–400. Hellmuth, Petra S. (2006). "Rawlinson B 502". In J. T. Koch. Celtic Culture. A Historical Encyclopedia. 5 vols. Santa Barbara, et al. pp. 1475–6. Ó Riain, Pádraig (2008). "The Book of Glendalough: a Continuing Investigation". Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie. 50: 71–88. Meyer, Kuno (Ed.) (1901). "The Expulsion of the Dessi". Y Cymmrodor. 14: 101–135. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Oskamp, H.P.A. (1972). "The First Twelve Folia of Rawlinson B 502". Ériu. 23: 56–72.
Diplomatic edition and digital reproduction
Meyer, Kuno (ed.) (1909). Rawlinson B 502: A Collection of Pieces in
Prose and Verse in the Irish Language compiled during the Eleventh and
Twelfth Centuries now published in
Genealogies from Rawlinson B 502, In Irish. Published by UCC CELT (Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition).
Breatnach, Caoimhín (1997). "Rawlinson B 502, Lebar Glinne Dá Locha
and Saltair na Rann". Éigse. 30: 109–32.
Byrne, Francis J. (ed.) (1979). A Thousand Years of Irish Script. An
Exhibition of Irish Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries. Oxford. CS1
maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Ó Cuív, B. (2001-3). Catalogue of Irish Language Manuscripts in the
Bodleian Library: MS. Rawl. B. 502, at Early Manuscripts at Oxford University. http://www.maryjones.us/jce/glendalough.html
v t e
Medieval Irish manuscripts
in the library of the Royal Irish Academy
Book of the Dun Cow Book of Lecan Book of Fermoy Book of Ballymote Speckled Book Book of Ui Maine Liber Flavus The Cathach
in the library at Trinity College, Dublin
Thomond deeds Yellow Book of Lecan Book of Leinster
in the Bodleian Library, Oxford
Rawlinson B 502 Rawlinson B 512 Laud 610
Add 40.618 Book of Lismore
See also Earl