EMILI: Early Medieval Irish Latinate Inscriptions

GAL-006. Templebrecan 6: Cross Carved Pillar

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Description: National Monuments Service Record Number: GA110-023024-. A large, roughly rectangular cross carved pillar, presumably of local limestone (w: 0.49 x h: 1.34x d: 0.18) bearing an incised two-line ringed Latin cross with a circular centre and roughly T-shaped terminals. Below this a second transom on the shaft ends with circular terminals.
Text: The inscription is almost illegible and runs just underneath the ringed cross. The cross and the inscription have been executed by pocking with a small tool, probably a point and have been neatly and precisely worked (Higgins 1987, 363).
Letters: The lettering is half-uncial but the letters are too indistinct and the reading too uncertain to say much more (Higgins 1987, 363).

Date: Tenth or eleventh century A.D.?

Findspot: First mentioned in 1878 by Petrie (Celtic Inscribed Stones Project). This is one of four cross slabs (see also GA110-023021-, GA110-023022- and GA110-023023-) now associated with St Brecan’s Grave (GA110-023009-) (Archaeology.ie). St Brecan’s Grave is one of five leabaí or grave-plots (see also GA110-023001-, GA110-023002-, GA110-023003- and GA110-023005-) associated with Teampall Bhreacáin ['Breacán's church'] (GA110-010001-) and Teampall an Phoill (GA110-010003-) [part of a wider ecclesiastical complex known as na Seacht dTeampaill 'the Seven Churches']. The multiple grave plot is labelled ‘St Brecan’s Grave’ by Robinson (1980). However, Waddell (1973, 26) equates the grave with Leaba Bhreacáin (GA110-023001-). It consists of a rectangular area (5m NNE-SSW; 2m NNW-SSE) bounded by a kerb of thin limestone slabs. The enclosed area is further subdivided into five slab-covered graves (Archaeology.ie; Waddell 1973, 5-27; Monasticon Hibernicum Database).
Original location: Templebrecan (Teampall Bhreacáin), in the townland of Onaght (Eoghanacht), Inishmore (Árainn), Co. Galway, 53.145874, -9.777290.

Last recorded location: At the findspot, St Brecan’s Grave, standing against its W edge, the northernmost example (Archaeology.ie).

Interpretive

CRONMAOIḶ

Diplomatic

CRONMAOI.

1: Petrie (1878, 22, Plate XV): CRONMAOL or CRONMAEL

Translation:

of Cruindmáel?

Commentary:

The reading followed here is by Higgins (1987), which differs from Petrie's reading and drawing, which do not agree with each other. The text would appear to simply contain a personal name, presumably Cruindmáel (a compound of cruind 'round, circular' and máel 'crop-headed, shorn, tonsured'). The expected Old Irish genitive of this name would be Cruindmaíl. CRONMAOIL could be a later (Middle Irish) spelling of this form.

Bibliography: Higgins 1987, vol. 2, 363, no.85 ; Macalister 1949, 7, no.536 ; Petrie 1878, vol. 2, 22, Plate XV ; Waddell 1973, 21, no.14
Text constituted from:

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