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Proceedings of 2012 conference on Lebor na hUidre now available…

01 December 2015
Lebor na hUidre (LU) is the oldest extant manuscript written entirely in the Irish language. It contains the earliest versions of some of the most celebrated sagas: Táin Bó Cuailnge, Togail Bruidne Da Derga, Fled Bricrenn, Mesca Ulad, Tochmarc Emere and several others, in addition to much material of a historical or religious nature. Included in the latter is Amra Choluim Chille, believed by many to be the oldest text in Irish.

Since R.I. Best’s important study ─ ‘Notes on the script of Lebor na hUidre’, Ériu 6 (1912), 161-74, and Best and O.J. Bergin’s diplomatic edition of the text published in 1929, the content and composition of this unique manuscript have been the subject of research and discussion.  Research has also been facilitated by the availability of high-quality digital images of the entire manuscript on Irish Script on Screen ( and a digitised version of the 1929 edition on CELT (

In November 2012, the Royal Irish Academy Library and Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge, Maynooth University organised a conference to mark the centenary of Best’s ground-breaking study of LU and to explore afresh not only the content, language and palaeography of the manuscript itself, but also the cultural, intellectual and political milieu into which it came into existence.

The conference papers are now available in the first of a new Academy series which will contain up-to-date research on the early Irish manuscripts ─ Codices Hibernenses Eximii. 

The first volume of this series, Lebor na hUidre is now available.  Containing much scholarship that is new, this is a landmark study of one of the great treasures of Ireland.

Contributors include: Elizabeth Boyle, Liam Breatnach, John Carey, Elizabeth Duncan, Máire Herbert, Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Ruairí Ó hUiginn, Nollaig Ó Muraíle and Gregory Toner.

To purchase a copy at €55 plus postage go to the Lebor na hUidre publication page.

Codices Hibernenses Eximii, vol. 2, The Book of Ballymote (due 2017).

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