Scél Saltrach na Rann in Leabhar Breac: An
Edition, Translation and Analysis
Do-bertair a draíde co Forann íar faicsin dó na flesci buí i lláim Moyse 7 do-gníat tria brechtrad druad nathracha fota fír-dathacha do fleisc álaind ḟin-dargait fo daiġ co-marbtis Moyse
(‘After he saw the rod which was in Moses’ hand, Pharaoh’s druids were brought to him, and they turned their splendid white-silver rods, through druidic spells, in a blaze into long white serpents so that they might kill Moses.’)
The words above are taken out of Scél Saltrach na Rann, a
prose version of the skillfully crafted series of poems Saltair na
Rann which paraphrases the old and new testament and is believed
to have been composed in the 10th century. The prose version of
Saltair na Rann is preserved in manuscripts dating mainly from
the 14th and 15th centuries, but has presumably been compiled not much
later than Saltair na Rann itself. Among these
manuscripts is Leabhar Breac, where the prose rendering is
subdivided into two sections. Beginning with the story of Jacob, the
second section is furthermore transmitted in five additional
manuscripts. Of special interest in this regard is the text in
Leabhar Breac, as it, with regard to content and linguistic
ornamentation, seems to represent the most evolved stage within the
textual development, using much extra biblical and exegetical
The goal of this thesis is to provide an edition as well as a translation of the second part of Scél Saltrach na Rann, and in a further step to produce a linguistic and textual analysis of the text in order to draw possible parallels with broader medieval theological traditions as well as with medieval Irish popular believe.
- "Three Sheepish Episodes from Scél Saltrach na Rann as Contained in Leabhar Breac" in: Allerlei Keltisches: Studien zu Ehren von Erich Poppe - Studies in Honour of Erich Poppe, Berlin: Curach Bhán Publications 2011, pp. 105-114.
- "To Hell and Back - Dead Souls in Scél Saltrach na Rann," at the 14th international Congress of Celtic Studies, Maynooth 2011.
- "Schönheit und Wunder oder Tod und Teufelswerk? - Schnee in den Mittelalterlichen Quellen Irlands," at the Keltologisches Kolloquium, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelmsuniversität Bonn, February 14th 2012.
- Together with Patrick J. Zecher: "Scél Saltrach na Rann and Do Fhádbail na Croiche – Two perspectives on Jews and Hebrews in Leabhar Breac," at the 1. International Celtic Studies Postgraduate Seminar 2012, Philipps-Universität Marburg, August 18th 2012.
- International Celtic Studies Postgraduate Seminar 2012 at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, Agust 17th-19th 2012. Together with Julia Damm, Claudia Zimmermann, Jan Niehues and Patrick J. Zecher.