23rd November, evening
5) Aoibhinn Nic Dhonnchadha: "Medical writings in Irish: translations
of the works of Bernard of Gordon" (statutory public lecture 2001).
Nic Dhonnchadha is currently working on an edition of the Irish
translations of Bernard of Gordon's Lilium Medicinae "Lily of
medicine", a very successful handbook of medical science of the high
middle ages. The Irish translations are very long books, 300.000+
words IIRC. The lecture was a bit too much centres on MSS and their
relations. One thing that provoked general amusement: Bernard says in
his book that getting pissed once a month is good for your health. In
one of the MSS an Irish scribe wrote a quatrain that getting drunk
thrice is better.
Afterwards Malachy McKenna's book "The Spiritual Rose" was launched,
a religious Modern Irish text in the dialect of South-East Ulster
(Fergus Kelly called it a particularly dull text, yet highly
interesting from the linguistic PoV).
I skip the next three papers. They have already been dealt with by
9) Brian Ó Curnáin: "An córas forainmneach i nGaeilge Iorras
Aithneach". As my spoken Irish is too poor, I couldn't follow this
10) Paul Russell: "Vita Griffini filii Conani: the original Latin
life of Gruffudd ap Kynan". Russel argued that the heavily corrected
Latin text of a life of Gruffud ap Cynan revealed an underlying
earlier Latin text, different from the Welsh one, from which it was
so far believed to be translated.
11) Dan McCarthy: "The chronology of Saint Colum Cille". This was one
of my favourites. Drawing on a statement in the Vita Columbae by
Adomnán, it has been accepted that Colum Cille died on Sunday 9 June
597. Dan McCarthy argues that Colum Cille actually died 4 years
earlier, and that Adomnán chose Sunday as the day of Colum Cille's
death for dramatic purposes. The whole paper can be read at:
Dan McCarthy, who is lecturer in computer arithmetics (!), has done
an enormous amount of research in synchronising Irish annals, see:
At the end of the paper Donnchadh Ó Corráin gave a strong statement
of support for Dan McCarthy's synchronisms of early ME Irish history,
urging people to use McCarthy's synchronised dates in the future,
followed by an asterisk to indicate the reconstruction.
12) Jan Erik Rekdal: "The other causa for Maghnus Ó Dohmnaill's
rewriting of the Life of Colum Cille". I didn't listen to this.
13) Michael Herren: "Patrick and Auxerre". Another candidate for
"favourite paper". Herren argued very persuasively that there is no
cogent evidence against the assumption that Patrick spent some time
in Gaul prior to his coming to Ireland, and that there is some
internal evidence in Patrick's theology that would rather point to
early 5th century Gaul than to Britain. There is a longish abstract