Hello everyone, I am so excited to be speaking at the 37th Annual Harvard Celtic Colloquium on 6 October! My presentation topic will be
‘The Prose Preface to the Félire Óengusso: Scribes, Editors and Text Arrangement’
In this paper I re-examine the transmission and composition of the Prose Preface to the Félire Óengusso (or Martyrology of Óengus), an Old Irish metrical martyrology which now only survives in manuscripts dated to the 15th century or later. In his 1880 and 1905 editions of this martyrology, Whitley Stokes neglected four out of the seven extant copies of the Preface, seemingly having overlooked the copies in RIA MS 23.P.3 and NLI MS G10 altogether. Close examination of all manuscript witnesses, however, reveals a multi-layered transmission of the Prose Preface and throws up questions regarding its composition. I will present the texts from the previously unprinted copies and discuss scribal arrangement of the Preface, with particular attention being paid to the arrangement of the text in the Leabhar Breac (RIA MS 23.P.16), UCD OFM MS A7 and Brussels MS 5100-4. I will also revisit the questions of stemma and date in light of this new analysis.