EMILI: Early Medieval Irish Latinate Inscriptions

GAL-010. Templebrecan 10. Cross Slab

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Description: National Monuments Service Record Number: GA110-023018- A fragment of a cross slab, probably of local limestone (w: 0.41 x h: 0.50x d: 0.12). It bears two incised lines, which are part of the shaft of the cross.
Text: The inscription runs across the shaft of the cross in the lower quadrants. The lines are evenly and accurately pocked, probably with a small point (Higgins 1987, 327).
Letters: The lettering is half uncial. The A's are shaped like the bows of minuscule Ds with a vertical stroke joined at top and bottom by a single curved stroke out to the left. The Rs are half-uncial and the M, N and H minuscule (Celtic Inscribed Stones Project).

Date: Unknown.

Findspot: first mentioned, 1872 Ferguson, S. (Celtic Inscribed Stones Project). This is one of eight cross-slabs (see also GA110-023013- to GA110-023017- and GA110-023019- to GA110-023020-) associated with Leaba Bhreacáin ['Breacán's bed/grave'], one of five [leacht] leabaí or grave-plots associated with Teampall Bhreacáin (GA110-010001-) ['Breacán's church']. Along with Teampall an Phoill (GA110-010003-), Teampall Bhreacáin is part of a wider ecclesiastical complex known as na Seacht dTeampaill 'the Seven Churches'. Leaba Bhreacáin, is to the SW of Teampall Bhreacáin and consists of a low subrectangular platform (c. 5.1m N-S; 4-5m E-W; H 0.35m) that is defined by a kerb of limestone blocks (T 0.12-0.38m) (Archaeology.ie; Monasticon Hibernicum Database).
Original location: Templebrecan (Teampall Bhreacáin), in the townland of Onaght (Eoghanacht), Inishmore (Árainn), Co. Galway, 53.145856, -9.777971.

Last recorded location: Petrie, Crawford and Macalister incorrectly recorded this cross-slab at Teampall Bheanáin (GA119-009001-) (Waddell 1973, 19, no. 8). It is in fact at Templebrecan, forming part of the W kerbing of Leaba Bhreacáin (Archaeology.ie).






A prayer on behalf of Móenach


The personal name Móenach (meaning 'wealthy, treasure-possessing') is quite a common name in early medieval Ireland and numerous examples can be found in the annals. Without any further information it is impossible to suggest a possible identification. The name is also found in other epigraphic texts from the period, such as on a cross-slab from Scattery Island, Co. Clare where it occurs twice and with the preposition do rather than ar: OR(ÓIT) DO MOINACH and OR(ÓIT) DO MOENACH AITE MOGROIN 'a prayer for Móenach (tutor of Mogrón)' (Okasha and Forsyth 2001, 109-110).

Bibliography: Higgins 1987, vol. 2, 327, no.53 ; Macalister 1949, 4, no.526 ; Okasha and Forsyth 2001, 109-110 ; Petrie 1878, vol. 2, 18, Plate XI ; Stokes and Strachan 1903, 287 ; Waddell 1973, 19, no.8
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