Primary Sources Recommended for Study

The following reading list has been complied to offer current students on the Tripos with the primary sources for the Part I study of:

Part I Paper 4 - The Gaelic-speaking peoples from the fourth century to the twelfth

Paper co-ordinator: Dr Ali Bonner


  • Corpus Inscriptionum Insularum Celticarum, ed. R. A. S. Macalister (2 vols, Dublin, 1945-9).
  • St Patrick, Confessio and Contra Coroticum, ed. & tr. A. B. E. Hood, St. Patrick (Chichester, 1978).
  • The Annals of Ulster, edd. & tr. W. M. Hennessy & B. MacCarthy (4 vols, Dublin, 1887-1901);
    or (to A.D. 1131) edd. & tr. S. Mac Airt & G. Mac Niocaill (Dublin, 1983).
  • The Annals of Inisfallen, ed. & tr. S. Mac Airt (Dublin, 1951).
  • The Irish Penitentials, edd. & tr. L. Bieler & D. A. Binchy (Dublin, 1963).
  • Columbanus, Letters, ed. & tr. G. S. M. Walker, Sancti Columbani Opera (Dublin, 1957), pp. 2-59.
  • Life of Columbanus by Jonas, ed. B. Krusch, Ionae Vitae Sanctorum Columbani, Vedastis, Iohannis (Hannover, 1905);
    or tr. D. C. Munro, Life of St. Columban (2nd edn, Philadelphia, PA, 1895), reprinted by E. M. Peters (ed.), Monks, Bishops, and Pagans (Philadelphia, PA, 1975), pp. 75-113.
  • Cuimíne, Epistola de controuersia paschali, edd. & tr. M. Walsh and D. Ó Cróinín, Cummian's Letter (Toronto, 1988), pp. 1-97.
  • Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum: edd. & tr. B. Colgrave & R. A. B. Mynors, Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford, 1969);
    or tr. L. Sherley Price, Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Penguin Classics, London, 1990).
  • Liber Angeli, edd. & tr. L. Bieler & F. Kelly, The Patrician Texts in the Book of Armagh (Dublin, 1979), pp. 184-91.
  • Bechbretha, edd. & tr. T. M. Charles-Edwards & F. Kelly (Dublin, 1983).
  • Bretha Crólige, ed. & tr. D. A. Binchy, Ériu 12 (1934-8) 1-77.
  • Críth Gablach, ed. D. A. Binchy (Dublin 1941);
    or tr. E. MacNeill, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 36 C (1921-4) 281-306.
  • Uraicecht Becc, tr. E. MacNeill, ibid., pp. 272-81.
  • Cáin Adomnáin: ed. & tr. K. Meyer (Oxford, 1905); edd. & tr. P. P. Ó Néill & D. N. Dumville (Cambridge 2003).
  • Culdee-texts (Teaching of Mael Ruain; Rule of the Céli Dé; Monastery of Tallaght):
    ed. & tr. E. Gwynn, The Rule of Tallaght [= Hermathena 44, 2nd supplementary vol.] (Dublin 1927).
    and edd. & tr. E. J. Gwynn & W. J. Purton, 'The Monastery of Tallaght', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 29 C (1911/12) 115-79;
  • Irish charters in The Book of Kells, ed. & tr. J. O'Donovan, Miscellany of the Irish Archaeological Society (Dublin, 1846), pp. 127-58;
    or ed. & tr. G. Mac Niocaill, 'The Irish "charters"', in The Book of Kells: Commentary, ed. P. Fox (Luzern, 1990), pp. 153-65.
  • Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury 1070-89: Letters, edd. & tr. H. Clover & M. Gibson (Oxford, 1979).
  • Life of St Malachy by St Bernard, ed. A. Gwynn, in S. Bernardi Opera, edd. J. Leclercq et al., vol. 3 (Rome, 1963), pp. 295-378;
    or tr. H. J. Lawlor, St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh (London, 1920) [with full notes];
    or tr. R. T. Meyer, The Life and Death of Saint Malachy (Kalamazoo, MI, 1978).
  • Giraldus Cambrensis, Expugnatio Hibernica, edd. & tr. A. B. Scott and F. X. Martin (Dublin, 1978).
  • Giraldus Cambrensis, Topographia Hiberniae, ed. J. J. O'Meara, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 52 C (1948-50) 113-78;
    or tr. J. J. O'Meara, The First Version of the Topography of Ireland by Giraldus Cambrensis (Dundalk, 1951), revised as The History and Topography of Ireland (Harmondsworth, 1982).

Gaelic Scotland and Mann

  • A. O. Anderson (tr.), Early Sources of Scottish History, A.D. 500 to 1286 (2 vols, Edinburgh, 1922; 2nd edn, Stamford, 1990).
  • A. O. Anderson (tr.), Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers, A.D. 500 to 1286 (London, 1908; 2nd edn, Stamford, 1990).
  • Adomnán's Life of Columba, edd. & tr. A. O. Anderson & M. O. Anderson (Edinburgh, 1961; 2nd edn, Oxford, 1991);
    or tr. R. Sharpe (pb, Harmondsworth, 1995).
  • Míniugud Senchussa Fher nAlban, ed. & tr. J. Bannerman, Studies in the History of Dalriada (Edinburgh, 1974), pp. 27-156.
  • Chronicle of the Kings of Alba (A. D. 842-995), ed. M. O. Anderson, Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland (2nd edn, Edinburgh, 1980), pp. 249-53;
    or tr. [each annal separately] by A. O. Anderson, Early Sources, vol. 1;
    or ed. & tr. B. T. Hudson, Scottish Historical Review 77 (1998) 129-61.
  • Leges inter Brettos et Scottos, ed. & tr. A. Taylor, ‘Leges Scocie and the lawcodes of David I, William the Lion and Alexander II’, Scottish Historical Review 88 (2009), 207–88;
    or ed. (with commentary) F. Seebohm, Tribal Custom in Anglo-Saxon Law (London, 1902; rev. imp., 1911), pp. 307-18.
  • The Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer, ed. & tr. K. H. Jackson (Cambridge, 1972).
  • The Chronicles of the Kings of Mann and the Isles, ed. & tr. G. Broderick (2nd edn, Douglas, 1995).