Irish Sagas at UCC University College Cork



About this website

In recent years, published editions and translations of many medieval Irish sagas have become available online. I approached Kevin Murray to suggest presenting material from these sources alongside modern Irish versions of these sagas. The Irish Sagas Online website provides presentations of Irish sagas in which the medieval Irish text, the modern Irish version and the English translation appear side by side on the same page, thus making the medieval Irish text more accessible to students. Links are also provided to websites with background information for each saga. Permission to use the Modern Irish versions of the sagas that appear on this website has been obtained from the holders of the Copyright and is gratefully acknowledged. Permission to use material from the CELT website was forthcoming from Beatrix Färber, Project Manager of the CELT project, and generous support for setting up the Irish Sagas Online website has been provided by the CELT project and Roinn na Sean- agus na Meán-Ghaeilge. The website was designed by Margaret Lantry.

See my description of the policy I adopted in creating these presentations of Irish Sagas.

Tom O’Donovan

A guide to using the Irish Sagas Online website

The aim of the Irish Sagas Online website is to present Irish sagas in the most attractive way possible using modern electronic resources. A central feature of the website is the presentation of a modern Irish version of each saga alongside the Medieval Irish text and an English translation.

Navigating around the website
At the left of each page of the website, there is a panel containing a list of names of the other pages which can be directly accessed from that page. Clicking on a name in that list will open the corresponding page.

A link an underlined word (or words) coloured blue in a page of the website. This may be linked to a location in the same page of the website, or to a page in an external website. If you click on the first type of link, the view will change to the new location on that page of the website.  If you click on the second type of link, the page on the external website will open.

Sometimes you may want to return to the previous page that you viewed. How this is done depends on the browser that you are using.

Sometimes you may want to open a new page in another tab, rather than replace the current page. How this is done depends on the browser that you are using.

The structure of the website
The website consists of a number of core pages (e.g. the Home page, the List of Sagas page), plus a number of pages associated with each saga.

Navigating between these pages was described above. The content of these pages is described below.

The Home page
The website opens at the Home page, which provides an introduction to the website.
Clicking on the name Sagas in the panel at the left of this page opens the List of Sagas page.

The List of Sagas page
Here the Medieval Irish titles of the sagas are listed in alphabetical order, together with the English titles.

Clicking on a Medieval Irish title that is a link will open the Title page for that saga.

The Title page
The Medieval Irish title of the saga and the English title appear at the top of this page. The page then lists the printed sources of the Medieval Irish text, the English translation and the Modern Irish version that have been used in the presentation of the saga. The names of the editors and translators are linked to biographies of these scholars in Irish on An Bunachar Náisiúnta Beathaisnéisí Gaeilge website.
In the panel at the left hand side of the Title page, a list of names of the following pages associated with this saga appears:

Text and Translation; Place and tribal names; Online sources; Background information; Irish dictionaries; Home

Clicking on Home opens the Home page. Clicking on another name in this list opens the corresponding page. These pages are described below.

The Text and Translation page
At the top of this page, there is a table of links to the Sections in the text.  Clicking on a link in this table changes the view to the corresponding Section of the text. Thus clicking on the link §5 leads to viewing Section 5 in the text.

At the end of that Section in the text, the following link appears: Back to top. Clicking on this link leads to viewing the top of the page with the table of links to Sections in the text.

At the bottom of that table, the following link appears: Complete file (PDF). Clicking on this link opens a PDF of the Text and Translation page. Viewing this PDF is probably the most convenient way to view the Text and Translation page.

The Place and tribal names page
This page provides an alphabetical list of all the placenames and all the tribal names mentioned in the saga. Where possible, identifications are provided for these, based on the online version of Hogan’s Onomasticon Goedelicum and the fascicles of the Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames where available. 

At the top of the page is a link to a Google Map of these identifiable places in the text.

For each identifiable placename, a link is provided to the modern version of that placename (in English and Irish) in the Placenames Database of Ireland.

Being aware of the location of the placenames mentioned in the saga adds a whole new dimension to the reader’s enjoyment of the saga; it enables the reader to “follow the action” of the story.

While viewing the Text and translation page (or the PDF version of this) for the saga in one tab in a window, it is recommended that the reader keep the Place and tribal names page open in another tab, and the Google Map of places in the text open in yet another tab.

The Online sources page
In this page, a link is provided to the entry for the saga in the online bibliography CODECS. This bibliography lists the editions and translations of the saga, both printed and online.

Links are provided to digital images of manuscript pages containing the Medieval text of the saga. These images come from the following websites: Irish Script on Screen and the Digital Bodleian.

Links are provided to online editions and translations of the saga. These editions and translations come from the following websites: Internet Archive, Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae, CELT and the Celtic Digital Initiative.

The Background information page
This page includes references in the Irish annals to the events and persons mentioned in the saga. Links are provided to online versions of these annals on the CELT or Internet Archive websites.

Links are provided to online editions and translations of sagas related to the current saga, e.g. sagas in which the same persons appear.

Links are provided to articles on the Wikipedia website which refer to the saga, the manuscripts in which it appears, and the persons and places mentioned in the saga.

The Irish dictionaries page
Included in this page are links to the online version of Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla (Ó Dónaill) and to eDil – Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language.

While the Text and Translation page for a saga displays a phrase in the Medieval Irish text beside the modern Irish equivalent and the English translation, these online dictionaries should be consulted to determine the meaning of an individual word in the Medieval Irish text or the Modern Irish version.