EMILI: Early Medieval Irish Latinate Inscriptions

GAL-005. Templebrecan 5: Inscribed Stone

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Description: National Monuments Service Record Number: GA110-010014-. An inscribed stone of limestone (w: 0.14 x h: 1.18) re-used as building material.
Text: The inscription is pocked with a small point (Higgins 1987, 382) in a single line. Waddell (1973, 9) notes that it is carved on a 53cm long raised band and that the surface of the stone is damaged after the word CANOIN.
Letters: The lettering is half-uncial. One of the minuscule N's is rounded, the other has a flattish top. The two A's also differ from each other. One is in a normal minuscule form, the other is almost square. One of the Os is smaller than the others, and the two Rs are also different from each other. One is shaped like an open-bowed P, the other more like a normal half-uncial R. The final I and N may have wedge-shaped finials (Celtic Inscribed Stones Project).

Date: Unknown.

Findspot: First mentioned in 1878 by Petrie (CISP) at Teampall Bhreacáin ['Breccán's church'] (GA110-010001-). The site is a monastic complex known as na Seacht Teampaill/the Seven Churches, including Teampall Bhreacáin... and a number of associated domestic buildings (GA110-010006- to GA110-010013-), four leachtaí (GA110-023001- to GA110-023003- and GA110-023009-) and numerous cross slabs (GA110-023010- and GA110-023013- to GA110-023024-) (Archaeology.ie; Waddell 1973, 5-27; Monasticon Hibernicum Database).
Original location: Templebrecan (Teampall Bhreacáin), in the townland of Onaght (Eoghanacht), Inishmore (Árainn), Co. Galway, 53.145963, -9.777803.

Last recorded location: At the findspot, on the internal wall-face of the W gable near the south corner, of Teampall Bhreacáin (Archaeology.ie; Macalister 1949, 7).

Interpretive

OR(ÓIT) AR II CANOIN

Diplomatic

ORARIICANOIN

Translation:

A prayer on behalf of the two canons

Commentary:

There does not appear to be an abbreviation stroke over the OR (usually for oróit). This also appears to be the case in the now lost Templebrecan 3.

This is the second inscription from Templebrecan to contain a Roman numeral (see also Templebrecan 4), which are otherwise rare in Irish inscriptions (I have not yet found another example). An inscribed cross-base from Inishcaltra, Co. Clare mentions 'ten persons' (dechenboir), likewise unidentified (Okasha and Forsyth 2001, 48-9).

Bibliography: Higgins 1987, vol. 2, 382, no.102 ; Macalister 1949, 7, no.535 ; Okasha and Forsyth 2001, 48-9 ; Petrie 1878, vol. 2, 21, Plate XIV ; Stokes and Strachan 1903, 288 ; Waddell 1973, 9, 16, no.1
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