On 6/4/05 01:10, "TOM SMITH" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Micheál Ó Catháin wrote-
> "Some further checking would need to be done in the annals to see that there
> wasn't another intervening abbot in Cluain Ioraird".
> The following obits for Clonard abbots appear in the Annals around the 10th
> century, with Annals of Ulster dates first and Annals of the Four Masters
> dates second.
> /885 Cucongalta
> 926/924 Colman Mac Aillealla
> 932/930 Ferdomnach son of Flannacán
> 942/940 Mael Mochta
> 944/942 Mael Feichéne
> 954/952 Céilechair, son of Robhartach
> 956/954 Maenach
> 973/971 Bécán, son of Lachtnan
> 993/992 Tuathal, son of Ruba
> 1008/1007 Fachtna
> 1015/1013 Flaithbertach, son of Domnall
> BaBr §10 states "Then there will be the prophecier (cultivator?) of the two
> Clúains, that is, Clúain Iráird and Clúain Mac Nóis before (for?) 83years.
> He will be both of God and a man (he will be God¹s and he will be man¹s)."
> "It will be certain that he will turn great into small, small into great.
> That is a king of two regions." "That is a great mercy," said Bricín."
> BaBr §53 states ³Then there will be the golden head upon the pillar of iron
> in Clúain Iráird, that is, a bright face upon a troublesome column for a
> period of twenty-seven years (literally, nine years times three) with
> wisdom, with chastity, with a monastic rule.² ³God is merciful,² said
> As Micheál pointed out, BaBr §10 could equally refer to either Colman Mac
> Aillealla or Céilechair, son of Robhartach, who were both abbots of Clonard
> and Clonmacnoise, ( I think Flaithbertach, son of Domnall, is just a little
> too late for the text). If the period of twenty-seven years in BaBr §53
> refers to the length of the abbot's rule then only one candidate can fit the
> description, i.e. Colman Mac Aillealla. Furthermore the use of the word
> "colomain" twice in the paragraph may be a play on his name "Colman". I
> think therefore that BaBr §10 now refers to Céilechair, son of Robhartach.
> I will post an update on the kennings shortly.
> Tom Smith
Good on you Tom, I had missed Mael Feichéne totally, even the second time.
And in AU, he is described as "comarba Finnia" so that does away with the
slight possibility I had been working on before that Céileachair's
description as comharba Fhinnín in his obit might mean to historians that he
was also "episcopus" of Clonard and that that would be evidence that §53
refers to 27 years in the office of bishop of Clonard. So no possibility of
actual evidence from AU now.
However, I would still hesitate to make that switch of which you speak -
Colmán to §53 and Céileachair to §10 - a certain one. The coincidence of 27
years being the period between the deaths of these two men and the period
mentioned in §53 of BaBr is strange enough to make one want to make sense of
that rather than take it to mean a 27 year term of office for Colmán when
his obit comes 39/41 years after the obit for the previous abbot of CI as
you give them above.
27 years may still refer to the bishopric without that having any connection
to the title "comarba Fhinnain" as I previously might have supposed, but we
do not have any evidence so far of Céileachair being a bishop.
Also, if only one of the two were to be associated with CMN, would it not
probably be Colmán? He was the first to hold both offices together and, as
far as I remember, he was the one who had the high-cross built in CMN. His
association with CMC would seem stronger than Céileachair's, but of course
that is after 1,000 years rather than the ??? Less than 100 years ????
involved for the author of BaBr.
Colmán's reputation (if my memory is actually correct on that one) as the
abbot responsible for the cross may of course come into play in a second way
with your attempts to tie him to §53 on the basis of 'colomuin' in the text.
However, that would be bringing the cross at CMN into a paragraph which
refers only to CI by name.
As nothing seems concrete in either case, I would advise an open mind for
BTW, the "son of Robhartach" appellation after Céileachair is a confusion
arising in Chronicon Scotorum. Robhartach of Iona died in the same year as
Céileachair and the two entries became one during textual transmission.
BaBr following or not following errors or variations in the annals may prove
useful of course in deciding which set of annals it is most closely related
to. It is intriguing that the dates of the churchmen you have identified up
to now coincide with a period when the major collections were moving away
from each other textually. It raises the question if some scriptorium (or
indeed scriptoria) may have needed a list of churchmen in order to bring
annals up to date and if such a list might be the backbone on which BaBr is
There is much fun to be had with BaBr and the annals yet!