EMILI: Early Medieval Irish Latinate Inscriptions

GAL-011. Inchagoill Pillar

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Description: National Monuments Service Record Number: GA040-013002-. Stone cross carved pillar, described by Macalister (1945, 1) as silurian grit (w: 0.16 x h: 0.90x d: 0.15 widening to 0.3m). It has seven small equal-armed crosses with short, straight bifid terminals, two on each face except the N face which has just one.
Text: Punched/pocked on its S face below the lower cross, vertically downwards in two lines.
Letters: The Celtic Inscribed Stones Project describe the lettering as Insular half-uncial. The second A is in the 'OC' form and the D with a vertical ascender and a closed bow also has a wedge-shaped finial, as does the initial L. The Es are in the rounded uncial form, sometimes with extended horizontal strokes. The H is minuscule as are the Ms and one of the Ns. The other N is in capitalis. The G is in the shape of an angular J . Gifford Charles-Edwards (2006, 310) states that it shows the mixture of alphabets and angularisation of forms seen in the later Welsh Group I inscriptions. Angular and round l, Z-shaped g aligned with the preceding and following u, uncial e, a, h, d and o, trident m. Two bar-serifs on the Is, but fish-tails on the two accompanying crosses.

Date: Sixth century A.D. (Archaic OIr.)

Findspot: Early church site (Teampull Phádraig) about mid-point along Inchagoill island on Lough Corrib and c. 150m SW of the landing place. The inscribed stone stands in the SW corner of the graveyard, close to the medieval nave and chancel church (Archaeology.ie; Monasticon Hibernicum Database). Petrie states that a letter dated June 9 1839 between Petrie and O'Donovan discusses this stone, and that it was drawn at around this time.
Original location: Inchagoill (Inis an Ghaill), Co. Galway 53.485736, -9.316421

Last recorded location: Findspot





1: Read by Petrie (1845, 164) as 'lie lugnaedon macc lmenueh'.


Stone of Lugáed son of Menuech


Inscriptions in the Ogham script (see Ogham in 3D) generally don't have a governing word before the personal name in the genitive case (with the exception of those with initial ANM (OIr. ainm 'name') but it is understood that it would be a word meaning 'memorial' or 'stone', as we find here in the Latin script with LIE (McManus 1991, 51).

The personal name, LUGUAEDON (gen. of Lugáed), is a typically popular compound of two personal names (Lug, divine name Áed 'fire'), *lugu-ai̯don-, with compositional vowel u before vowel giving /w/ (but compare the Ogham inscription [Kilmannin CIIC 4.] where 'u' lost/dropped in LUGADDON) (McManus 1991, 117).

Regarding artificial gen. form MACCI (earlier (Ogham) MAQQI and later OIr. maic, nom. mac 'son'), this inscription is unique in containing -I spelling of this form in Latin script and can probably lay claim to being the oldest surviving Irish 'text' written in the Latin alphabet (McManus 1991, 61, 81, 90).

Regarding MENUEH, McManus (1991, 104, 178, n.25) follows MacNeill (1909, 333) in interpreting this name as *Menuech (from earlier *Minawicas, -VICAS being a common second element in Ogham inscriptions, usualy combined with a divine name). The first element may be the same as that found in mocu Min (e.g. Mo-Sinnu mocu Min) and Menraige (MacNeill (1911, 79).

Bibliography: Charles-Edwards 2006, 310 ; Higgins 1987, vol. 2, 303, no. 31 ; Macalister 1945, 1-3, no.1 ; MacNeill 1909, 333 MacNeill 1911, 79 ; McManus 1991, 51, 59-61, 81, 96, 104, 117, 178, n.25 ; Petrie 1845, 164 ; Petrie 1878, 10, 164-8 ; Rynne 1995, 205-11 ; Stokes and Strachan 1903, 288
Text constituted from:


None available.

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