Lebor Gabála Érenn
Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of the Taking of Ireland) is the Middle Irish title of a loose collection of poems and prose narratives recounting the mythical origins and history of the Irish from the creation of the world down to the Middle Ages. An important record of the folkloric history of Ireland, it was compiled and edited by an anonymous scholar in the 11th century, and might be described as a mélange of mythology, legend, history, folklore and Christian historiography. It is usually known in English as The Book of Invasions or The Book of Conquests, and in Modern Irish as Leabhar Gabhála Éireann or Leabhar Gabhála na hÉireann.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Textual variants and sources
- 3 Modern criticism
- 4 Contents
- 5 O'Rahilly's interpretation
- 6 See also
- 7 Sources
- 8 External links
- 9 Notes
Purporting to be a literal and accurate account of the history of the Irish, Lebor Gabála Érenn (hereinafter abbreviated as LGE) may be seen as an attempt to provide the Irish with a written history comparable to that which the Israelites provided for themselves in the Old Testament. Drawing upon the pagan myths of Celtic Ireland – both Gaelic and pre-Gaelic – but reinterpreting them in the light of Judaeo-Christian theology and historiography, it describes how the island was subjected to a succession of invasions, each one adding a new chapter to the nation's history. Biblical paradigms provided the mythologers with ready-made stories which could be adapted to their purpose. Thus we find the ancestors of the Irish enslaved in a foreign land, or fleeing into exile, or wandering in the wilderness, or sighting the "Promised Land" from afar.
Four Christian works in particular seem to have had a significant bearing on the formation of LGE:
- St Augustine's De Civitate Dei, The City of God, (413–426 AD)
- Orosius's Historiae adversum paganos, "Histories," (417)
- Eusebius's Chronicon, translated into Latin by St Jerome as the Temporum liber (379)
- Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae ("Etymologies"), or Origines ("Origins") (early 7th century)
The pre-Christian elements, however, were never entirely effaced. One of the poems in LGE, for instance, recounts how goddesses from among the Tuatha Dé Danann took Gaelic husbands when the Gael invaded and colonised Ireland. Furthermore, the pattern of successive invasions which LGE preserves is curiously reminiscent of Timagenes of Alexandria's account of the origins of another Celtic people, the Gauls of continental Europe. Cited by the 4th-century historian Ammianus Marcellinus, Timagenes (1st century BC) describes how the ancestors of the Gauls were driven from their native lands in eastern Europe by a succession of wars and floods.
Numerous fragments of Irish pseudohistory are scattered throughout the 7th and 8th centuries, but the earliest extant account is to be found in the Historia Brittonum or "History of the Britons," considered by some to have been written by the Welsh priest Nennius in 829–830. This text gives two separate accounts of early Irish history. The first consists of a series of successive colonisations from Iberia by the pre-Gaelic races of Ireland, all of which found their way into LGE. The second recounts the origins of the Gael themselves, and tells how they in turn came to be the masters of the country and the ancestors of all the Irish.
These two stories continued to be enriched and elaborated upon by Irish bards throughout the 9th century. In the 10th and 11th centuries, several long historical poems were written that were later incorporated into the scheme of LGE. However, most of the poems on which the original version of LGE was based were written by the following four poets:
- Eochaidh Ua Floinn (936–1004) from Armagh – Poems 30, 41, 53, 65, 98, 109, 111
- Flann Mainistrech mac Echthigrin (died 1056), lector and historian of Monasterboice Abbey – Poems ?42, 56, 67, ?82
- Tanaide (died c. 1075) – Poems 47, 54, 86
- Gilla Cómáin mac Gilla Samthainde (fl. 1072) – Poems 13, 96, 115
It was late in the 11th century that a single anonymous scholar appears to have brought together these and numerous other poems and fitted them into an elaborate prose framework – partly of his own composition and partly drawn from older, no longer extant sources – which paraphrased and enlarged upon the verse. The result was the earliest version of LGE. It was written in Middle Irish, a form of Irish Gaelic used between 900 and 1200.
Textual variants and sources
From the beginning, LGE proved to be an enormously popular and influential document, quickly acquiring canonical status. Older texts were altered to bring their narratives into closer accord with its version of history, and numerous new poems were written and inserted into it. Within a century of its compilation there existed a plethora of copies and revisions, with as many as 136 poems between them. Five recensions of LGE are now extant, surviving in more than a dozen medieval manuscripts:
- Míniugud (Min): this recension is closely related to the Second Redaction. It is probably older than the surviving MSS of that redaction, though not older than the now lost exemplar on which those MSS were based. The surviving sources are suffixed to copies of the Second Redaction.
- Second Redaction (R²): survives in no less than seven separate texts, the best known of which is The Great Book of Lecan (1418).
- Third Redaction (R³): preserved in both The Book of Ballymote (1391) and The Great Book of Lecan.
- O'Clery's Redaction (K): written in 1631 by Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, a Franciscan scribe and one of the Four Masters. Unlike the earlier versions of LGE, this redaction is in Early Modern Irish but was admitted as an independent redaction by Macalister because there are indications that the author had access to sources which are no longer extant and which were not used by the compilers of the other four redactions. The work was compiled in the convent of Lisgool, near Enniskillen. O'Clery was assisted by Gillapatrick O'Luinin and Peregrine O'Clery (Michael O Clery's third cousin once removed, and one of the Four Masters).
The following table summarises the extant manuscripts that contain versions of LGE. Most of the abbreviations used are taken from R. A. S. Macalister's critical edition of the work (see references for details):
|A||Stowe A.2.4||Royal Irish Academy||R²||A direct and poor copy of D|
|B||The Book of Ballymote||Royal Irish Academy||R³||B lost one folio after β, β¹ and β² were derived from it|
|β||H.2.4||Trinity College, Dublin||R³||A transcript of B made in 1728 by Richard Tipper|
|β¹||H.1.15||Trinity College, Dublin||R³||A copy, made around 1745 by Tadgh Ó Neachtáin, of a lost transcript of B|
|β²||Stowe D.3.2||Royal Irish Academy||R³||An anonymous copy of the same lost transcript of B|
|D||Stowe D.4.3||Royal Irish Academy||R²|
|E||E.3.5. no. 2||Trinity College, Dublin||R²|
|F¹||The Book of Fermoy||Royal Irish Academy||R¹||F¹ and F² are parts of one dismembered MS, F|
|F²||Stowe D.3.1||Royal Irish Academy||R¹|
|H||H.2.15. no. 1||Trinity College, Dublin||R³|
|L||The Book of Leinster||Trinity College, Dublin||R¹|
|Λ||The Book of Lecan||Royal Irish Academy||R², Min||First text of LGE in The Book of Lecan|
|M||The Book of Lecan||Royal Irish Academy||R³||Second text of LGE in The Book of Lecan|
|P||P.10266||National Library of Ireland||R²|
|R||Rawl.B.512||Bodleian Library||R², Min||Only the prose text is written out in full: the poems are truncated|
|V¹||Stowe D.5.1||Royal Irish Academy||R², Min||V¹, V² and V³ are parts of one dismembered MS, V|
|V²||Stowe D.4.1||Royal Irish Academy||R², Min|
|V³||Stowe D.1.3||Royal Irish Academy||R², Min|
|K¹||23 K 32||Royal Irish Academy||K||Fair copy of the author Michael O Clery's autograph|
- K is contained in several paper manuscripts, but K¹, the "authoritative autograph", takes precedence.
For many centuries LGE was accepted without question as an accurate and reliable account of the history of Ireland. As late as the 17th century, Geoffrey Keating drew on it while writing his history of Ireland, Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, and it was also used extensively by the authors of the Annals of the Four Masters. In 1905 Charles Squire defended the antiquity of these legends with this statement: "The scribes of the earlier Gaelic manuscripts very often found, in the documents from which they themselves were copying, words so archaic as to be unintelligible to the readers of their own period. To render them comprehensible, they were obliged to insert marginal notes which explained these obsolete words by reference to other manuscripts more ancient still". Recently, however, the work has been subjected to greater critical scrutiny. One contemporary scholar has placed it in "the tradition of historical fabrication or pseudohistory"; another has written of its "generally spurious character" and has drawn attention to its many "fictions", while acknowledging that it "embodies some popular traditions. The Irish archaeologist R. A. Stewart Macalister, who translated the work into English, was particularly dismissive of it: "There is not a single element of genuine historical detail, in the strict sense of the word, anywhere in the whole compilation".
While scholars are still highly critical of the work, there is a general consensus that LGE does contain an account of the early history of Ireland, albeit a distorted one. The most contested claim in the work is the assertion that the Gaelic conquest took place in the remote past—around 1500 BC—and that all the inhabitants of Christian Ireland were descendants of these early Gaelic invaders. O'Rahilly, however, believed that the Gaelic conquest – depicted in LGE as the Milesian settlement – was the latest of the Celtic occupations of Ireland, taking place probably after 150 BC, and that many of Ireland's pre-Gaelic peoples continued to flourish for centuries after it.
The British poet and mythologist Robert Graves may be cited as one of the relatively few modern scholars who did not share the scepticism of Macalister and O'Rahilly. In his seminal work The White Goddess (1948), Graves argued that ancient knowledge was transmitted orally from generation to generation by the druids of pre-literate Ireland. Taking issue with Macalister, with whom he corresponded on this and other matters, he declared some of LGE's traditions "archaeologically plausible". The White Goddess itself has been the subject of critical and sceptical comment; nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that Graves did find some striking links between Celtic and Near Eastern mythology that are difficult to explain unless one is willing to accept that myths brought to Ireland centuries before the introduction of writing were preserved and transmitted accurately by word of mouth before being written down in the Christian Era.
LGE was translated into French in 1884. The first complete English translation was made by R. A. Stewart Macalister between 1937 and 1942. It was accompanied by an apparatus criticus, Macalister's own notes and an introduction, in which he made clear his own view that LGE was a conflation of two originally independent works: a History of the Gaedil, modelled after the history of the Israelites as set forth in the Old Testament, and an account of several pre-Gaelic settlements of Ireland (to the historicity of which Macalister gave very little credence). The latter was then inserted into the middle of the other work, interrupting it at a crucial point of the narrative. Macalister theorised that the quasi-Biblical text had been a scholarly Latin work entitled Liber Occupationis Hiberniae ("The Book of the Taking of Ireland"), thus explaining why the Middle Irish title of LGE refers to only one "taking", while the text recounts more than half a dozen.
There now follows a brief outline of the text of LGE. The work can be divided into ten "books":
A retelling of the familiar Judaeo-Christian story of the creation, the fall of Man and the early history of the world. In addition to Genesis, the author draws upon several recondite works for many of his details (e.g. the Syriac Cave of Treasures), as well as the four Christian works mentioned earlier (i.e. The City of God, etc.).
Early history of the Gaels
A pseudo-Biblical account of the origin of the Gaels as the descendants of the Scythian prince Fénius Farsaid, one of seventy-two chieftains who built the Tower of Babel. His grandson Goídel Glas, whose mother is Scota, daughter of a Pharaoh of Egypt, creates the Irish language from the original seventy-two languages that arose at the time of the dispersal of the nations. His descendants, the Gaels, undergo a series of trials and tribulations that are clearly modelled on those with which the Israelites are tried in the Old Testament. They flourish in Egypt at the time of Moses and leave during the Exodus; they wander the world for four hundred and forty years before eventually settling in the Iberian Peninsula. There, Goídel's descendant Breogán founds a city called Brigantia, and builds a tower from the top of which his son Íth glimpses Ireland. Brigantia can probably be identified with Corunna, north-west Galicia, known as Brigantium in Roman times; A Roman lighthouse there known as the Tower of Hercules has been claimed to have been built on the site of Breogán's tower.
This book, according to Macalister's scheme, constitutes the first interpolation in the Liber Occupationis. Cessair is the granddaughter of the Biblical Noah, who advises her and her father, Bith, to flee to the western edge of the world on account of the impending Flood. They set out in three ships, but when they arrive in Ireland two of the ships are lost. The only survivors are Cessair, forty-nine other women, and three men (Cessair's husband Fintán mac Bóchra, her father Bith, and the pilot Ladra). The women are divided among the men, Fintán taking Cessair and sixteen women, Bith taking Cessair's companion Bairrfhind and sixteen women, and Ladra taking the remaining sixteen women. Ladra, however, soon dies (the first man to be buried on Irish soil). Forty days later the Flood ensues. Fintán alone survives by spending a year under the waters in a cave called "Fintán's Grave". Afterwards known as "The White Ancient", he lives for 5500 years after the Deluge and witnesses the later settlements of the island in the guises of a salmon, an eagle and a hawk.
Three hundred years after the Flood, Partholón, who, like the Gaels, is a descendant of Noah's son Japheth, settles in Ireland with his three sons and their people. After ten years of peace, war breaks out with the Fomorians, a race of evil seafarers led by Cichol Gricenchos. The Partholonians are victorious, but their victory is short-lived. In a single week, they are wiped out by a plague – five thousand men and four thousand women – and are buried on the Plain of Elta to the southwest of Dublin, in an area that is still called Tallaght, which means "plague grave". A single man survives the plague, Tuan mac Cairill, who (like Fintán mac Bóchra) survives for centuries and undergoes a succession of metamorphoses, so that he can act as a witness of later Irish history. This book also includes the story of Delgnat, Partholón's wife, who commits adultery with a henchman.
Thirty years after the extinction of the Partholonians, Ireland is settled by the people of Nemed, whose great-grandfather was a brother of Partholón's. During their occupation, the land is once again ravaged by the Fomorians and a lengthy war ensues. Nemed wins three great battles against the Fomorians, but after his death his people are subjugated by two Fomorian leaders, Morc and Conand. Eventually, however, they rise up and assault Conand's Tower on Tory Island. They are victorious, but an ensuing sea battle against Morc results in the destruction of both armies. A flood covers Ireland, wiping out most of the Nemedians. A handful of survivors are scattered to the four corners of the world.
One group of the seed of Nemed settled in Greece, where they were enslaved. Two hundred and thirty years after Nemed they flee and return to Ireland. There they separate into three nations: the Fir Bolg, Fir Domnann and the Fir Gálioin. They hold Ireland for just thirty-seven years before the invasion of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
Tuatha Dé Danann
The Tuatha Dé Danann are descendants of another group of the scattered seed of Nemed. They return to Ireland from the far north, where they have learned the arts of pagan magic and druidry, on or about 1 May. They contest the ownership of Ireland with the Fir Bolg and their allies in the First Battle of Moytura (or Mag Tuired). The Tuatha Dé are victorious and drive the Fir Bolg into exile among the neighbouring islands. But Nuada, the king of the Tuatha Dé, loses his right arm in the battle and is forced to renounce his crown. For seven unhappy years the kingship is held by the half-Fomorian Bres before Nuada's physician Dian Cécht fashions for him a silver arm, and he is restored. War with the Fomorians breaks out and a decisive battle is fought: the Second Battle of Moytura. Nuada falls to Balor of the Evil Eye, but Balor's grandson, Lugh of the Long Arm, kills him and becomes king. The Tuatha Dé Danann enjoy one hundred and fifty years of unbroken rule.
The story of the Gaels, which was interrupted at the end of Book 2, is now resumed. Íth, who has spied Ireland from the top of Breogán's Tower, journeys to Ireland to investigate his discovery. There he is welcomed by the rulers, but jealous nobles kill him and his men return to Iberia with his body. The Milesians, or sons of his uncle Míl Espáine, set out to avenge his death and conquer the island. When they arrive in Ireland, they advance to Tara, the royal seat, to demand the kingship. On the way they are greeted in turn by three women, Banba, Fodla and Ériu, who are the queens of the three co-regents of the land. Each woman welcomes the Milesians and tells them that her name is the name by which the land is known, and asks that it remain so if the Milesians are victorious in battle. One of the Milesians, the poet Amergin, promises that it shall be so. At Tara they are greeted by the three kings of the Tuatha Dé Danann, who defend their claim to the joint kingship of the land. It is decided that the Milesians must return to their ships and sail out to sea to a distance of nine waves from the shore, so that the Tuatha Dé Danann may have a chance to mobilise their forces. But when the Milesians are "beyond nine waves", the druids of the Tuatha Dé Danann conjure up a ferocious storm. The Milesian fleet is driven out to sea but Amergin dispels the wind with his poetry. Of the surviving ships those of Éber land at Inber Scéine (the Shannon estuary) in the west of the country, while those of Érimón land at Inber Colptha (the mouth of the Boyne). In two ensuing battles at Sliabh Mis and Tailtiu, the Tuatha Dé Danann are defeated. They are eventually driven out and the lordship of Ireland is divided between Éber and Éremón.
Roll of the pagan kings of Ireland
Modelled on the Biblical Books of Kings, this book recounts the deeds of various kings of Ireland, most of them legendary or semi-legendary, from the time of Éber and Érimón to the early 5th century of the Christian era.
Roll of the Christian kings of Ireland
A continuation of the previous book. This book is the most accurate part of LGE, being concerned with historical kings of Ireland whose deeds and dates are preserved in contemporary written records.
The manner in which Celtic-speaking peoples came to be in possession of the island of Ireland is still a matter of conjecture. However, four separate invasions or migrations were distinguished by the Celtic scholar T. F. O'Rahilly (see O'Rahilly's historical model; the dates given below are highly doubtful):
- Pretanic – Between about 700 and 500 BC P-Celtic-speaking people colonised Britain and Ireland from the continent. There is no real evidence of an organised military invasion, but by the 6th century ancient Greek geographers knew these islands as "the Pretanic Isles". In Britain they were absorbed by later invaders, except in the extreme north, where they were known to the Romans as Picti, or "painted peoples." In Ireland their descendants – wherever they managed to preserve some measure of cultural, if not political, independence – were known as the Cruthin, a Gaelic or Q-Celtic form of Priteni, which is believed to be their original name for themselves. The name "Britain" is thought to be derived from Priteni.
- Bolgic or Ernean – The Builg or Érainn were various names of another P-Celtic-speaking people who invaded Ireland around 500 BC. They might be linked with the continental Belgae, and of the same stock as the Britons. According to their own traditions, they came to Ireland via Britain. In Irish pseudohistory they appear as the Fir Bolg, a name which was variously interpreted as meaning "men of bags" (Latin viri bulgarum) or "belly men", though "men of the thunderbolt" would probably be more accurate.
- Laginian – Around 300 BC three closely related tribes arrived in Ireland, known as the Laigin, the Domnainn and the Gálioin. They are speculated to have been P-Celtic-speaking tribes from Armorica (Brittany). In Ireland they conquered the southeastern quarter of the country – which became known as Laighean, or Leinster, after them – and the west (Connacht). The Érainn, however, would have remained in control of the north and south. This is perhaps how Ireland first came to be divided into four provinces. Some of these tribes also settled in Britain (possibly from Ireland). In the southwest the Domnainn (Latin: Dumnonii) gave their name to Devon, while in the northwest they founded Dumbarton and the Kingdom of Strathclyde.
- Goidelic or Gaelic – Around 100 BC a Q-Celtic-speaking people invaded Ireland, traditionally said to be people from north-western Iberia where Gallaecian was spoken although O'Rahilly favoured Aquitania, in southwest Gaul. They arrived in two separate contingents: the Connachta, who landed at the mouth of the Boyne and carved out a fifth province for themselves (later known as Meath) around Tara between Ulster and Leinster; and the Eoganachta, who insinuated themselves into Munster and gradually became the dominant force in the south of the country. Goidel — or Gael — may have originated as a P-Celtic name that the native population gave to these invaders, but in any event they themselves adopted the name.
So how is this reconstruction of the history reflected in LGE? To begin with, if the Cruthin had an invasion myth, no trace of it remains in LGE, which supports the belief that their colonisation of the country was a lengthy process of gradual migration. And the first two "takings" of Ireland – those of Cessair and Partholón – seem to be wholly fanciful, with no direct historical value at all.
The next taking, however, that of the Nemedians, may well have been a mythologised version of the historical Bolgic invasion of the 5th or 6th century BC. This belief is supported by many details in the text of LGE, a discussion of which is beyond the scope of this article.
The next two takings would also seem to have a historical basis. We can identify the Fir Bolg and their allies with the Érainn again, invading the country for a second time because their ancestors the Nemedians were portrayed as having abandoned the country (which the historical Érainn probably never did). The Tuatha Dé Danann might be a wholly mythical people who have been substituted for the historical Lagin, Domnainn and Gálioin. It has been suggested that this confused state of affairs arose because the Laginian invasion was not a true taking, since the Laginians only conquered about half the country. Nevertheless, the First Battle of Moytura probably does reflect an historical victory of the Lagin over the Érainn in County Sligo (the location of two townlands known as West and East Moytirra), by virtue of which the Lagin conquered the western province. The Second Battle of Moytura, however, would then have been entirely fictional, as most likely were the Fomorians.
The Milesian invasion is clearly a semi-legendary version of the historical Goidelic invasion. Éber and Éremón (whose names mean simply "Irishman" and "Ireland", respectively) have replaced the historical leaders of the Eoganachta and Connachta respectively. In the case of Éber, the allusion may be to Iberia, an ancient name for the Iberian Peninsula, whence doubtless warriors of Celtiberian stock originated and emigrated to Ireland. The name of their father Míl Espáne is similarly derived from the Latin Miles Hispaniae, "a soldier of Hispania." O'Rahilly, however, believed that the Goidelic invaders of Ireland came from south-western Gaul and not Iberia. See O'Rahilly (1946) for further discussion.
The Roll of the Kings before the Introduction of Christianity contains much that is of interest to historians, but a lot of it is confused and bowdlerised. For example, the story of Túathal Techtmar, who is depicted as a High King of Ireland in the early 2nd century of the Christian era, is thought to be another version of the Goidelic invasion, Túathal Techtmar being in reality the historical antecedent of Éremón. Éber's real antecedent, Mug Nuadat, would then be similarly displaced. There are also doublets of the Bolgic and Laginian invasions in the stories of two other kings, Lugaid mac Dáire and Labraid Loingsech. These bowdlerisations may have been politically motivated: by providing the pre-Gaelic peoples of the island with pedigrees going back to Míl, the Gaels hoped to deny them any prior claim to the country, and so justify the Gaelic conquest.
As mentioned earlier, The Roll of the Kings after the Introduction of Christianity is the most accurate part of LGE. For the most part, these kings are familiar to us from other sources. It should also be pointed out that whereas the first eight books of LGE are usually regarded as part of the Early Mythological Cycle, the last two books are properly assigned to the Historical Cycle.
- Leabhar na nGenealach
- James Ware (historian)
- The Book of Invasions – a rock concept album by Horslips
- Lebor Gabála Érenn, original text edited and translated by R A Stewart Macalister, D. Litt
- Part I: Irish Texts Society, Volume 34, London 1938, reprinted 1993. ISBN 1-870166-34-5.
- Part II: Irish Texts Society, Volume 35, London 1939. ISBN 1-870166-35-3.
- Part III: Irish Texts Society, Volume 39, London 1940. ISBN 1-870166-39-6.
- Part IV: Irish Texts Society, Volume 41, London 1941. ISBN 1-870166-41-8.
- Part V: Irish Texts Society, Volume 44, London 1956. ISBN 1-870166-44-2.
- O'Rahilly, T.F. Early Irish History and Mythology. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1946.
- Scowcroft, R.M. "Leabhar Gabhála Part I: The growth of the text', Ériu 36 (1987). 79–140.
- Scowcroft, R.M. "Leabhar Gabhála Part II: The growth of the tradition." Ériu 39 (1988). 1–66.
- Carey, John. "Lebor Gabála and the Legendary History of Ireland." In Medieval Celtic Literature and Society, ed. Helen Fulton. Dublin: Four Courts, 2005. pp. 32–48.
- Carey, John. A new introduction to Lebor Gabála Érenn. The Book of the taking of Ireland, edited and translated by R.A. Stewart Macalister. Dublin: Irish Texts Society, 1993.
- Carey, John. The Irish National Origin-Legend: Synthetic Pseudohistory. Quiggin Pamphlets on the Sources of Mediaeval Gaelic History. 1994.
- Ó Buachalla, Liam. "The Lebor Gabala or book of invasions of Ireland." Journal of the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society 67 (1962): 70–9.
- Ó Concheanainn, Tomás. "Lebor Gabála in the Book of Lecan." In A Miracle of Learning. Studies in Manuscripts and Irish Learning. Essays in Honour of William O'Sullivan, ed. Toby Barnard et al. Aldershot and Bookfield: Ashgate, 1998. 40–51.
- Online Index to the Lebor Gabála Érenn (Book of Invasions) based on R.A.S. Macalister's translations and notes, CELT.
- Lebor Gabála Érenn, Books 1–8, Mary Jones' Celtic Literature Collective.
- Book of Invasions, Timeless Myths.
- Irish genes, Breakingnews.i.e.
- Myths of British ancestry, Prospect magazine.
- A brief overview and large genealogical chart of Mythological Cycle narratives in the LGE are hosted at Jones' Celtic Encyclopedia.
- Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae 15:9
- According to John O'Donovan, Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (1849), pp. xxiii–xxiv, the manuscript K1 in the Royal Irish Academy is actually a fair copy of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh's autograph made by his fellow-master Peregrine O'Clery. The author's original manuscript was probably sent to Louvain.
- Charles Squire, Celtic Myth and Legend (1905), p. 13.
- John Carey, in an introduction to the 1993 edition of R. A. Stewart Macalister's English translation; Francis John Byrne, in his Irish Kings and High-Kings (pp. 9–10) refers to the work as "a fantastic compound of genuine racial memories, exotic Latin learning and world history derived from Orosius and Isidore of Seville, euhemerised Celtic mythology, dynastic propaganda, folklore, and pure fiction".
- T. F. O'Rahilly (1946), p.264.
- R. A. Stewart Macalister, Irish Texts Society, Volume 35, p.252. Macalister later softened his opinion.
- T. F. O'Rahilly (1946), p. 264 and pp. 154 ff. O'Rahilly's opinions, however, are not uncontested.
- Graves (1948), p. 48 and p. 100.
- For one example see Graves (1948), pp. 229 ff. Graves was impressed by the fact that even though the pre-Christian Druidic alphabet of Ireland had letters named after Irish trees, several of these names were phonetically identical or nearly identical to their Phoenician and Greek counterparts: aleph and ailm (pronounced alev); beth and beith; resh and ruis (pronounced rush); nun and nin; eta and eadha; yodh and idho; mu and muin.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica, "A Coruña".
- Harry Mountain, The Celtic Encyclopaedia, p. 380
- Orosius, Historiae Adversum Paganos, 1:2:71 and 1:2:80 and Isidore of Seville, Etymologies, 14:6:6