The Earliest States of Eastern Europe
DG-2013, 324-364

Genealogies and early historical writing in Ireland

N. Y. Zhivlova

Thе article deals with genealogies as a source for the early medieval
history of Ireland. Ancient historians regarded genealogies as an important
364
part of life of Celts; a considerable body of genealogical texts is known
for medieval and early modern Wales. The Irish and Welsh genealogies
have a number of common features, such as genealogies of the saints and
genealogical tracts on women.
Early medieval Irish scholars did not attempt to create a narrative history
of the country after the introduction of Christianity; only by the eleventh and
the twelfth centuries historical texts as such were beginning to appear. This
(and the huge amount of the genealogical texts preserved) makes genealogies
a key source for the study of medieval history of Ireland. Genealogies
are a medium for researching political history (dynastic marriages and
succession) and social history as well: they refl ect existing hierarchies of
tribal groups and dynasties in a symbolic form, through relationships of
their legendary ancestors. Genealogies were very often adjusted to changing
political situation, and this makes their study even more complicated. The
contradictions between different versions of the genealogical corpora allow
us to reveal different stages in creation of the texts. In this article the most
ancient genealogical texts from Leinster, Munster and Northern Ireland are
examined. Genealogies are considered in connection with legal and narrative
texts; they also played an important role in the legitimization of the power
of medieval Irish kings.

Keywords:
Ireland, Wales, the Middle Ages, Irish genealogies, kingship, Uí Néill, Éoganachta
References

Калыгин В.П. Этнонимика и теонимика древних кельтов // Этимология,
2000–2002. М., 2003. С. 222–233.
Калыгин В.П. Язык древнейшей ирландской поэзии. М., 1986 (2-е изд.: 2003).
Николаев Д.С. Ранняя ирландская поэзия и проблема палеофольклора: Дис.
... канд. филол. наук. М., 2011.
Abbott T.K., Gwynn E.J. Catalogue of the Irish manuscripts in the library of
Trinity College, Dublin. Dublin; L., 1921.
Birley A.R. The Roman Government of Britain. Oxford, 2005.
Braund D.C. The Aedui, Troy, and the Apocolocyntosis // The Classical
Quarterly. N.S. 1980. Vol. 30, N 2. P. 420–425.
Breatnach L. A companion to the Corpus Iuris Hibernici. Dublin, 2005.
Broun D. The Birth of Scottish History // The Scottish Historical Review. 1997.
Vol. 76, N 201, part 1: ‘Writing Scotland’s History’: Proceedings of the 1996
Edinburgh Conference. P. 4–22.
Broun D. The Charters of Gaelic Scotland and Ireland in the Early and Central
Middle Ages. Cambridge, 1995. (Quiggin Pamphlets on the Sources of
Mediaeval Gaelic History; 2).
Carey J. A New Introduction to Lebor Gabála Érenn. L., 1993.
Carey J. From David to Labraid: Sacral kingship and the Emergence of
Monotheism in Israel and Ireland // Approaches to Religion and Mythology
in Celtic Studies. Cambridge, 2008. P. 2–27.
Carey J. The ancestry of Fénius Farsaid // Celtica. 1990. Vol. 21. P. 104–112.
Carney J. The Dating of Archaic Irish Verse // Early Irish Literature — Media
and Communication — Mündlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit in der frühen
irischen Literatur. Tübingen, 1989. P. 39–55.
361
Carney J. Three Old Irish Accentual Poems // Ériu. 1971. Vol. 22. P. 23–80.
Charles-Edwards T.M. Early Christian Ireland. Cambridge, 2000.
Charles-Edwards T.M. The chronicle of Ireland. Liverpool, 2006. (Translated
texts for historians; 44).
Charles-Edwards T.M. The context and uses of literacy in early Christian Ireland //
Literacy in Medieval Celtic Societies / Ed. by H. Pryce. Cambridge, 1998.
P. 62–82.
Charles-Edwards T.M. Wales and the Britons, 350–1064. Oxford, 2013.
Cunliffe B. Iron Age Communities in Britain: An Account of England, Scotland,
and Wales from the Seventh Century BC Until the Roman Conquest. L.,
2005.
Dumville D.N. Kingship, Genealogies and Regnal lists // Early medieval
kingship. Leeds, 1977. P. 72–104.
Dumville D.N., Grabowski K. Chronicles and annals of mediaeval Ireland and
Wales: The Clonmacnoise-group Texts. Woodbridge, 1984. (Studies in Celtic
History; 4).
Evans N. The present and the past in medieval Irish chronicles. Woodbridge,
2010. (Studies in Celtic History; 27).
Ireland C. Aldfrith of Northumbria and the Irish Genealogies // Celtica. 1991.
Vol. 22. P. 64–78.
Jaski B. ‘We are of the Greeks in our Origin’: New Perspectives on the Irish
Origin Legend // Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies. 2003. Vol. 46. P. 1–53.
Jaski B. The Genealogical Section of the Psalter of Cashel // Peritia. 2003.
Vol. 17–18. P. 295–337.
Kelleher J.V. The Pre-Norman Irish genealogies // Irish historical studies.
Vol. 16. 1968. P. 138–153.
Kenney J.F. The sources for the early history of Ireland; an introduction and
guide. N.Y., 1929. Vol. 1: Ecclesiastical.
Koch J.T. Llawr en asseð (CA 932) “The Laureate Hero in the War-Chariot”:
some recollections of the Iron Age in the Gododdin // Études Celtiques.
1987. Vol. 24. P. 253–278.
Koch J.T. When Was Welsh Literature First Written Down? // Studia Celtica.
1985–86. Vol. XX/XXI. P. 43–66.
Lapidge M., Sharpe R. A Bibliography of Celtic-Latin literature, 400–1200.
Dublin, 1985.
Herbert M. Iona, Kells, and Derry: The History and Hagiography of the Monastic
Familia of Columba. Oxford, 1988.
Mac Cana P. Notes on the Combination of Prose and Verse in Early Irish Narrative //
Early Irish literature — media and communication — Mündlichkeit und
Schriftlichkeit in der frühen irischen Literatur. Tübingen, 1989. P. 125–147.
Mac Neill J. On the reconstruction and date of the Laud Synchronisms // ZCP.
1915. Vol. 10. P. 81–96.
Mac Niocall G. The Medieval Irish Annals. Dublin, 1975.
362
Mac Shamhráin A.S. and Byrne P. Prosopography I: Kings named in Baile
Chuinn Chétchataig and The Airgialla Charter Poem // The Kingship and
Landscape of Tara. Dublin, 2005. P. 159–224.
Mac Shamhráin A.S. Nebulae discutiuntur? The emergence of Chlann Cholmáin,
sixth-eighth centuries // Seanchas: studies in early and medieval Irish
archaeology, history and literature in honour of Francis J. Byrne. Dublin,
2000. P. 83–97.
Mahon W. Glasraige, Tóecraige, and Araid: Evidence from Ogam // Proceedings
of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium. Vol. VIII. 1988. P. 11–30.
McCone K. Zur Frage der Register im frühen Irishen // Early Irish Literature —
Media and Communication — Mündlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit in der frühen
irischen Literatur. Tübingen, 1989. S. 57–97.
Ní Bhrolcháin M . The Manuscript Tradition of the Banshenchas // Ériu. 1982.
Vol. 33. P. 109–135.
Ní Dhonnchadha M. The beginnings of Irish vernacular tradition // L’Irlanda e
gli Irlandesi nell’alto Medioevo: Spoleto, 16–21 aprile 2009. Spoleto, 2010.
P. 533–600.
Nicholls K.W. The Irish Genealogies: Their value and defects // The Irish
Genealogist. 1975. Vol. 5. № 2. P. 256–261.
Nicholson E.W.B. The Dynasty of Cunedag and the ‘Harleian Genealogies’ //
Y Cymmrodor. 1908. Vol. 21. P. 63–104.
Ó Buachalla B. Na Stíobhartáigh agus an t-aos léinn: Cing Séamas // PRIA.
1983. Vol. 83C. P. 81–134.
Ó Corráin D. Creating the Past: The Early Irish Genealogical Tradition. Carroll
Lecture 1992 // Peritia. 1998. Vol. 12. P. 177–208.
Ó Corráin D. Irish Origin Legends and Genealogy: Recurrent Aetiologies //
History and Heroic Tale: A Symposium. Proceedings of the Eighth International
Symposium organized by the Centre for the Study of Vernacular Literature
in the Middle Ages. Held at Odense University on 21–22 November, 1983.
Odense, 1985. P. 51–96.
Ó Cuív B. Catalogue of Irish language manuscripts in the Bodleian library at
Oxford and Oxford College Libraries. Dublin, 2001. Part 1: Descriptions.
Ó hUiginn R. Fergus, Russ and Rudraige: a Brief Biography of Fergus Mac
Róich // Emania. 1993. Vol. 11. P. 31–40.
Ó Muraíle N. The Celebrated Antiquary Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh (c. 1600–
1671): His Lineage, Life and Learning. Maynooth, 2002.
Ó Muraíle N. The Irish genealogies — an overview and some desiderata //
Celtica. 2010. Vol. 36. P. 128–145.
Ó Riain P. A Dictionary of Irish Saints. Dublin, 2011.
Ó Riain P. The Psalter of Cashel: A Provisional List of Contents // Éigse. 1989.
Vol. 23. P. 107–130.
O’Hart J. Irish Pedigrees; or, The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation. Dublin,
1892. Vol. 1.
363
Pender S. O’Ferrall’s Linea Antiqua (National Library of Ireland MS.) //
Analecta Hibernica. 1941. N 10. P. 289–292.
Plassmann A. Gildas and the Negative Image of the Cymry // Cambrian medieval
Celtic studies. 2001. Vol. 41. P. 1–15.
Poppe E. The list of sureties in Cáin Éimíne // Celtica. 1990. Vol. 21. P. 588–
592.
Powell N.M.W. Genealogical narratives and kingship in medieval Wales //
Broken Lines: Genealogical Literature in Medieval Britain and France.
Turnhout, 2008. P. 175–202.
Radner J.N. Early Irish historiography and the signifi cance of form // Celtica.
1999. Vol. 23. P. 312–325.
Rodway S. Mermaids, Leprechauns, and Fomorians: A Middle Irish Account of
the Descendants of Cain // Cambrian medieval Celtic studies. 2010. Vol. 59.
P. 1–17.
Roymans N. Ethnic Identity and Imperial Power: The Batavians in the Early
Roman Empire. Amsterdam, 2004.
Scowcroft M. Leabhar Gabhála Part II: The Growth of the Tradition // Ériu.
1988. Vol. 39. P. 1–66.
Sharpe R. Medieval Irish Saints’ Lives. An Introduction to Vitae Sanctorum
Hiberniae. Oxford, 1991.
Simms K. Medieval Gaelic Sources. Dublin, 2009.
Smyth A.P. The Earliest Irish Annals: Their First Contemporary Entries, and the
Earliest Centres of Recording // PRIA. 1972. Vol. 72C. P. 1–48.
Thornton D.E. Kings, Chronologies, and Genealogies: Studies in the Political
History of Early Medieval Ireland and Wales. Oxford, 2003.
Thornton D.E. Orality, literacy and genealogy in Early Medieval Ireland and
Wales // Literacy in medieval Celtic societies / Ed. H. Pryce. Cambridge,
1998. P. 83–98.
Thurneysen R. Aus dem irischen Recht IV. 6. Zu den bisherigen Ausgaben der
irischen Rechtstexte. I. Ancient Laws of Ireland und Senchas Már // ZCP.
1927. Bd. 16. S. 167–196.
Toner G. Authority, Verse and the Transmission of Senchas // Ériu. 2005.
Vol. 55. P. 59–84.
Walsh P. Irish men of learning: studies. Dublin, 1947.
Watkins C. Indo-European Metrics and Archaic Irish Verse // Celtica. 1963. Vol.
6. P. 194–249.