BRADSHAW SOCIETY The Martyrology of Tallaght. From the Book of Leinster and MS. 5100-4 in the Royal Library, Brussels.

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Edited with an introduction, translations, notes and indices by R.I. Best and H.J. Lawlor. London: [Printed by Harrison & Sons for the Henry Bradshaw Society], 1931. Demy octavo. First edition. pp. xxviii, 262. Black cloth over bevelled boards, badge of the Bradshaw Society in gilt on upper cover, title in gilt on spine. Bookplate of King George V on front pastedown. A near fine copy.

The ‘Martyrology of Tallaght’ is the oldest of the three ancient Irish calendars of martyrs, being a little older than the ‘Félire of Oengus’, composed between 797 and 808, and the ‘Martyrology of Gorman’, composed between 1166 and 1174. It was the Inishowen historian, John Colgan, who first called it ‘Martyrologium Tamlactense’ in 1645 to distinguish it from the almost contemporary Book of ‘Oengus’. Unlike the aforementioned two, it is in prose and aims at completeness, giving first the Roman lists for each day, followed by an Irish list of Saints. A version preserved in ‘The Book of Leinster’ lacks text for over 150 days, but the missing days can be obtained from a transcript made by Micheál O Cléirigh, Chief of the ‘Four Masters’, which is now in Brussels. They were the principal sources used by Colgan in his ‘Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae’.

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