Leabhar Gabahála
The Book of the Conquests of Ireland

The Recension of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh
MS. 23K32, RIA
Ed. and Trans. R.A.S. Macalister and Eoin Mac Neill
(Dublin, Hodges, Figgis & Company - 1916).


1. We forbear from the discussion of the six days' work, which was usual in the beginning of every other old Book of Conquests, because they are related better in the Holy Scripture, and because it is more right for divines to treat of them and not for other men ; who may have enough to treat of and to write without it. However, it appertains to us to speak of the ages of the world, from the creation of Adam ; as our own old men of letters have written in their old books, in the path of the Seventy-two, and of the notable and learned men of letters of the Church, who follow their lead in enumeration of the ages; for though there is variety and difference of setting forth in the enumeration of the same ages among many men of letters, it is the Seventy-two, with those that follow them in their estimate and calculation, that the ancient men of letters of the Irish have followed the most, one after the other.

2. The calculation of the Seventy-two respecting the four first ages of the world —

From Adam to the Flood
From the Flood to Abraham
From Abraham to David
From David to the Babylonish Captivity
the fifth age
From the Captivity to the birth of Christ



3. For this reason have the men of letters who followed the Seventy-two added the number of years of the fifth epoch to the four first ages, namely, to complete the number of years 5199 ; and that is the tale of years from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ.

4. Of the authors who follow the Seventy-two, regarding the four first ages, there are — Eusebius, who counts in his Chronicle from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ 5199 : Orosius, in the first chapter of his first book, says that there are from Adam to Abraham 3184, and from Abraham to the birth of Christ 2015. Their total together is 5199. Those are the two leading historians of the Church of Christ. Further, S. Hieronymus said in his "Epistle to Titus" that six thousand years of the age of the world were not completed till then. Then S. Augustine says in the tenth chapter of the twelfth book De Ciuitate Dei that he does not reckon from the creation of man till then, six thousand years. Let it be said of both these that they agree with those named before them in the reckoning of calculation, from the creation of the world to the birth of Christ, 5199. Another proof of the same reckoning is the Roman Martyrology, which makes certain that the fullness of years of the ages from the creation of the world to the birth of Christ is 5199 -

5. These are the books of conquests that were to hand in writing this record of the conquests of Ireland. The Book of Baile Ui Maoil-Chonaire, which Muirghes, son of Paidin ua Maoil-Chonaire, wrote out of the Book of the Dun Cow, that was written in Clonmacnois in the time of S. Ciaran : the Book of Baile Ui Cleirigh, which was written in the time of Maol-Shechlainn Mór, son of Domhnall, king of Ireland : the Book of Muinter Duibhghenain, from Senchua of Ui Oilella, which is called the Book of Glendaloch, and the Book of the Uachongbhail : together with other books of conquests and of history besides.

6. Here is a summary of the matters that are in the following book —

The conquest of Cesair, first, before the Flood in the first page
The conquest of Partholon after that
The conquest of Neimhedh
The conquest of the Firbolg
The conquest of the Tuatha De Danann
The conquest of the sons of Mil, to Maol-Shechlainn Mor

Page 3
Page 10
Page 17
Page 21
Page 27

N.B. — The pagination of this index does not correspond to the pagination of the MS. It must have been copied unintelligently from an older exemplar.

création : 20/11/2009

  Previous Previous