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    Medieval Irish medical verse in the nineteenth century: some evidence from material culture

    Hayden, Deborah (2021) Medieval Irish medical verse in the nineteenth century: some evidence from material culture. Irish Historical Studies, 45 (168). pp. 159-177. ISSN 0021-1214

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    . This article presents an edition and translation of an Irish didactic poem found in a large compilation of remedies, charms and prayers that was written in the early sixteenth century by the Roscommon medical scribe Conla Mac an Leagha. The contents of this poem, and of the treatise in which it occurs more generally, are of inherent interest for our understanding of the history of medical learning in medieval Ireland. However, the poem is also of particular significance due to the fact that its penultimate stanza, which invokes the authority of one ‘Colmán mac Oililla’, is attested in two much later sources that provide insight into the transmission and reception of medieval Irish medical texts in the early nineteenth century, as well as into the relationship between manuscript, print and material culture during that period. The two sources in question, one of which is a previously unprovenanced signboard now kept in the Wellcome Collection in London, can both be connected with the work of the Munster ‘herb doctor’ Michael Casey (1752?–1830/31), who in 1825 advertised the publication of a new herbal containing cures derived from much earlier Irish-language medical manuscripts

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Hayden, D. (2021). Medieval Irish medical verse in the nineteenth century: Some evidence from material culture. Irish Historical Studies, 45(168), 159-177. doi:10.1017/ihs.2021.50 Copyright: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
    Keywords: Irish didactic poem; Colmán mac Oililla; Wellcome Collection in London
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Arts and Humanities Institute
    Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Celtic Studies > Early Irish (Sean Ghaeilge)
    Item ID: 16704
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Deborah Hayden
    Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2022 15:43
    Journal or Publication Title: Irish Historical Studies
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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