Prof Máire Ní Mhaonaigh

Professor of Celtic and Medieval Studies

Fellow at St John's College

Contact Information

St John's College, Cambridge CB2 1TP (+44-01223-338667)
Department of ASNC
Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP
Office S-R.42 (+44-1223-767318), Email:

Departmental and College Responsibilities

  • Research Co-Ordinator, Department; memeber of the Research Strategy Working Group for the School of Arts and Humanities; and member of the University's Research Policy Committee
  • Director of Studies in ASNC for St John’s College
  • Teaching in Medieval Irish Language and Literature (Part I, Paper 8; Part II, Paper 8); Medieval Welsh Language and Literature (Part I, Paper 7; Part II, Paper 7); Celtic Philology (Part II, Paper 12); Palaeography and Codiology (Part I, Paper 10); Law and Lawlessness (Part II, Paper 4); Textual Criticism (Part II, Paper 10)
  • Supervision in Medieval Irish Language and Literature; Medieval Welsh Language and Literature; The History of the Gaelic-speaking Peoples
  • Supervision of graduate students in Celtic Literatures, History and Languages
  • Fellow, St John’s College

Academic Interests

Medieval Irish Language, Literature and History; Vikings; the Norse-Gaelic Interface; Celtic Philology; Medieval Welsh Language and Literature; Insular Literature in its European Context; Medieval Manuscripts

Funded Projects

  • Senior Research Fellow, British Academy/Leverhulme Trust, ‘Viking Stereotypes and Medieval Irish Narrative’ (2016-17)
  • Principal Investigator for the Leverhulme Trust funded project 'Converting the Isles'
  • Principal Investigator for the Isaac Newton Trust funded pilot project, 'Converting the Isles: Mapping Conversion' (2014-2016):

Academic Roles (a selection)

  • Chair and Board Member, School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and Member of Council
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies
  • Co-editor, Studies in Celtic History (Boydell and Brewer)
  • Viking Congress, Council Member
  • Member of Advisory Board, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures of Asia, Africa and Europe, University of Hamburg
  • Member of Advisory Board, Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures, The Queen's College, University of Oxford

Selected Publications

  • 2023 'Technology, Writing and Place in Medieval Irish Literature', in Technology in Irish Literature and Culture, ed. Margaret Kelleher and James O'Sullivan, Cambridge Themes in Irish Literature and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 137-53
  • 2023 'Medieval Glossaries in a Multilingual Context', in Medieval Glossaries from North-western Europe: Tradition and Innovation, ed. Annina Seiler, Chiara Benati and Sara M. Pons-Sanz, The Medieval Translator 19 (Turnhout: Brepols), 85-96
  • 2022 (with Michael Clarke), Medieval Multilingual Manuscripts: Case Studies from Ireland to Japan, Studies in Manuscript Cultures, 24 (Berlin: De Gruyter)(, including co-written Introduction, 1-10 (
  • 2022 'International Vernacularisation c. 1390 CE, the 'Book of Ballymote' in Medieval Multilingual Manuscripts, ed. Clarke and Ní Mhaonaigh, 209-29 (
  • 2022 'Irish Influence on Old Norse Literature? Immram to Hvítramannaland', in Celts, Gaels and Britons: Studies in Language and Literature from Antiquity to the Middle Ages in Honour of Patrick Sims-Williams (Turnhout: Brepols), 91-112
  • 2021 'Irish World Annals and Universal Chronicling: Medieval Irish Scholars and their Global Turn', Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 40, 1-34 
  • 2021 (with Elizabeth Tyler), 'The Language of History-writing in the Ninth Century: An Entangled Approach', Journal of Medieval History 47:4-5, 451-71 (
  • 2020 (with Rory Naismith and Elizabeth Ashman Rowe), Writing Battles: New Perspectives on Warfare and Memory in Medieval Europe (London and New York: Bloomsbury), including co-written introduction (1-5) and article 'Writing a Battle: the Case of Stamford Bridge' (165-76)
  • 2020 'Medieval Irish Battle Narratives and the Construction of the Past', in Writing Battles, ed. Naismith, Ní Mhaonaigh and Rowe, 131-45
  • 2020 (with Michael Clarke), 'The Ages of the World and the Ages of Man: Irish and European Learning in the Twelfth Century', Speculum 95:2, 467-99 (
  • 2019 (with Colmán Etchingham, Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, and Elizabeth Ashman Rowe), Norse-Gaelic Contacts in a Viking World: Studies in the Literature and History of Norway, Iceland, Ireland and the Isle of Man, Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe 29 (Turnhout: Brepols)
  • 2019 (with Sharon Arbuthnot and Gregory Toner), A History of Ireland in 100 Words (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy)
  • 2019 (with Gregory Toner, Sharon Arbuthnot, Dagmar Wodtko and Marie-Luise Theuerkauf), revised version of eDIL,
  • 2018 ‘Universal History and the Book of Ballymote’, in The Book of Ballymote: Codices Hibernenses Eximii II, ed. Ruairí Ó hUiginn (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy), pp 32-48
  • 2018 ‘Perception and Reality: Ireland c. 980-1229’, in The Cambridge History of Ireland, Volume 1, 600-1550, ed. Brendan Smith (Cambridge: University Press), pp 131-56
  • 2018 ‘Writing in Medieval Ireland in the First-Person Voice’, in A History of Irish Autobiography, ed. Liam Harte (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp 23-37
  • 2018 ‘Verbal Play in Early Medieval Ireland’, in Il Gioco nella Società e nella Cultura dell’Alto Medioevo, Spoleto 20-26 aprile 2017, Settimane di Studio della Fondazione Centro Italiano di Studi Sull’Alto Medioevo LXV (Spoleto: Fondazione Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo), pp. 605-26
  • 2017 (edited with Nancy Edwards and Roy Flechner), Transforming Landscapes of Belief in the Early Medieval Insular World and Beyond: Converting the Isles II, Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages 23 (Turnhout: Brepols), including co-written Introduction (pp. 1-20) and Conclusion (pp. 493-513)
  • 2017 'From Story to History: Narrating Conversion in Medieval Ireland', in Transforming Landscapes of Belief, ed. Edwards, Ní Mhaonaigh and Flechner, pp. 207-27
  • 2017 ‘Glorious by Association: the Clontarf Obituary of Brian Boru’, in Medieval Dublin XVI: Proceedings of Clontarf 1014-2014, National Conference marking the Millennium of the Battle of Clontarf, ed. Seán Duffy (Dublin: Four Courts Press), pp. 170-87
  • 2017 ‘The Peripheral Centre: Writing History on the Western ‘Fringe’’, Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, 4, pp 59-84 (
  • 2016 (edited with Roy Flechner) The Introduction of Christianity into the Early Medieval Insular World: Converting the Isles I, Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages 19 (Turnhout: Brepols)
  • 2016 (with Richard Dance and Rosalind Love) “Books most needful to know”: Contexts for the Study of Anglo-Saxon England, ed. by Paul Szarmach, Subsidia 36, Old English Newsletter Publications, including my article ‘Légend hÉrenn ‘The Learning of Ireland’ in the Early Medieval Period’
  • 2016 ‘Caraid tairisi – literary links between Ireland and England in the eleventh century’, in Adapting Texts and Styles in a Celtic ContextInterdisciplinary Perspectives on Processes of Literary Transfer in the Middle Ages, Studies in Honour of Erich Poppe, ed. Axel Harlos and Neele Harlos (Münster: Nodos Publikationen), pp 265-88
  • 2015 ‘The Hectors of Ireland and the Western World’ in Sacred Histories: A Festschrift for Máire Herbert, ed. John Carey, Kevin Murray and Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh (Dublin: Four Courts Press), pp 258-68
  • 2015 ‘Seanchas traidisiúnta, idirnáisiúnta: cruthú na staire in Éirinn san aonú agus sa dara haois déag’, in Litríocht na Gaeilge ar fud an Domhain I: Cruthú, Caomhnú agus Athbheochan, ed. Máirín Nic Eoin, Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail and Regina Uí Chollatáin (Dublin: Arlen House), pp 1-21
  • 2015 ‘The Growth of Literature: the Celtic connection’, in H.M. Chadwick and the Study of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic in Cambridge, ed. Michael Lapidge, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 69/70 (Aberystwyth: Department of Welsh), pp 183-9
  • 2015 ‘A man of two faces: Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill in Middle Irish sources’, in The Vikings in Ireland and Beyond: Before and After the Battle of Clontarf, ed. Howard Clarke and Ruth Johnston (Dublin: Four Courts Press), pp. 232-52
  • 2014 ‘‘The metaphorical Hector’: the literary portrayal of Murchad mac Bríain’, in Classical Learning and Literature in Medieval Ireland, ed. Ralph O’Connor, Studies in Celtic History 33 (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer), pp. 140-61
  • 2014 ‘Poetic authority in Middle Irish narrative: a case study’, in Authorities and Adaptations: The Reworking and Transmission of Textual Sources in Medieval Ireland, ed. Elizabeth Boyle and Deborah Hayden (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), pp. 263-9
  • 2012 ‘A neglected account of the Battle of Clontarf’, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 59, pp. 143-67
  • 2012 ‘Of Bede's ‘five languages and four nations’: the earliest writing from Ireland, Scotland and Wales’ in The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature, ed. Clare A. Lees (Cambridge, 2012), pp. 99-119
  • 2011 ‘Cormac mac Cuilennáin: King, Bishop and ‘Wondrous Sage’’, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 58, pp. 109-28
  • 2011 ‘Mongán's Metamorphosis: Compert Mongáin ocus Serc Duibe Lacha do Mongán, a Later Mongán Tale’, in TOME: Studies in Medieval History and Law in Honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards, ed. Fiona Edmonds and Paul Russell (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer), pp. 207-16
  • 2009 ‘Of Saxons, a Viking and Normans: Colmán, Gerald and the monastery of Mayo’ in Anglo-Saxon/Irish Relations before the Vikings, ed. James Graham-Campbell and Michael Ryan (Oxford, 2009), pp. 411-26
  • 2009 ‘Celtic and Anglo-Saxon kingship revisited: Alfred, Æthelred and Brian Bórama Compared’ in Dublin in the Medieval World: Studies in Honour of Howard B. Clarke, ed. John Bradley, Alan J. Fletcher and Anngret Simms (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2009), pp. 83-97
  • 2007 Brian Boru: Ireland's Greatest King? (Stroud: Tempus Publishing, 2007)
  • 2006 ‘Pagans and Holy Men: Literary Manifestations of Twelfth-century Reform’, in Reform and Renewal: Ireland and Twelfth-century Reform, ed. Damian Bracken and Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel (Dublin: Four Courts Press), pp. 143-61
  • 2006 ‘Literary Lochlann’ in Cànan & Cultar/ Language and Culture: Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 3, ed. Wilson McLeod, James E. Fraser and Anja Gunderloch (Edinburgh: Dunedin Press), pp. 25-37
  • 2006 ‘Classical Compositions in Medieval Ireland: the Literary Context’ in Translations from Classical Literature: Imtheachta Aenias and Stair Ercail ocus a Bás, ed. Kevin Murray, Irish Texts Subsidiary Series 17 (London and Dublin), pp. 1-20
  • 2006 ‘The Literature of Medieval Ireland, 800-1200: from the Vikings to the Normans’ in The Cambridge History of Irish Literature, ed. M. Kelleher and P. O’Leary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2 vols, vol. I, pp. 32-73
  • 2005 ‘Cogadh Gáedhel re Gallaibh and Cork’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 110, 73-83
  • 2004 ‘Niall Noígíallach’s Death-tale’, in Cín Chille Cúile: Texts, Saints and Places, Essays in Honour of Pádraig Ó Riain, ed. John Carey, Máire Herbert and Kevin Murray (Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications), pp. 178-91
  • 2002 ‘Tales of Three Gormlaiths in Medieval Irish Literature’, Ériu 52, pp. 1-24
  • 2001 ‘The Outward look: Britain and Beyond in Medieval Irish Literature’, in The Medieval World, ed. P.A. Linehan and J.L. Nelson (London: Routledge), pp. 381-97
  • 2000 ‘Nósa Ua Maine: Fact or Fiction?’ in The Welsh King and his Court, ed. Thomas Charles Edwards, Morfydd E. Owen and Paul Russell (Cardiff: University of Wales Press), pp. 362-81
  • 1998 ‘Friend and Foe: Vikings in Ninth- and Tenth-century Irish Literature’, in Ireland and Scandinavia in the Early Viking Age, ed. Howard B. Clarke, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh and Raghnall Ó Floinn (Dublin: Four Courts), pp. 381-402
  • 1998 A New Introduction to Giolla an Fhiugha (The Lad of the Ferule) and Eachtra Cloinne Rígh na h-Ioruaidhe (Adventures of the Children of the King of Norway), Irish Texts Society Subsidiary Series 8 (Dublin and London: Irish Texts Society)
  • 1997 ‘Some Middle Irish Declensional Patterns in Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib’, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 49-50, pp. 615-28
  • 1996 ‘Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib and the Annals: a Comparison’, Ériu 47, pp. 101-26
  • 1995 ‘Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib: Some Dating Considersations’, Peritia 9, pp. 354-77
  • 1992 ‘Bréifne Bias in Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib’, Ériu 43, pp. 135-58
  • 1992 ‘Einige Bemerkungen zu den Verbalstammbildungen in Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib’, in Akten des ersten Symposiums deutschsprachiger Keltologen (Gosen bei Berlin, 8-10 April, 1992), ed. Martin Rockel and Stefan Zimmer, Buchreihe der Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 11 (Tübingen: Niemeyer), pp. 161-82