EMILI: Early Medieval Irish Latinate Inscriptions

KIK-004. Killamery 4. Pseudo-penannular Brooch

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Description: A silver (with gold, glass and amber) pseudo-penannular brooch consisting of a ring and a freely moving pin (h: (length of pin) 0.31) of Hiberno-Viking style (Whitfield and Okasha 1992, 55-60). The brooch belongs to a group of Irish brooches dated broadly to the ninth century, labelled 'Ardagh - type' penannular brooches by Ó Floinn (1990, 187-192).
Text: The inscription is incised (Macalister (1949, 26): 'scratched') on the back of the brooch in a single-line, above the left panel. The letters are set without framing lines and are not in a straight line. The text is not integrated into the design of the brooch. All these features suggest that the text is not primary but was incised after the brooch was completed (Whitfield and Okasha 1992, 59).
Letters: The letters are in insular script (including the Rs), lightly incised [even scratched] and very small in comparison with the scale of the brooch (Whitfield and Okasha 1992, 59), varying between 2.5 and 4.0 mm.

Date: Unknown.

Findspot: Found by a labourer digging in a field in the parish of Killamery in the Summer of 1858. It is not clear if the brooch is associated with the monastic site. Of the monastic site only a high cross (KK030-008004-), two cross-slabs (KK030-008005-; KK030-008011-), a stone cross (KK030-008013-), the remains of a church (KK030-008003-) and two bullaun stones (KK030-008006-; KK030-008008-) are currently visible at the location (Archaeology.ie).
Original location: Killamery (Cill Lamraí), Co. Kilkenny, approx. 52.475399, -7.445995.

Last recorded location: National Museum of Ireland (Inv. no. R165)





1: Macalister (1949, 26): CIARODUIR M AT


'[the possession] of Cíarodur son of [?]'


As pointed out by Okasha (1992, 59) Ciarodur is a recorded masculine Old Irish personal name, here probably in the genitive (O'Brien 1962, 545 and 418, the latter quoting a form in the genitive). It is a compound of cíar 'dark, black' and odur 'dun, greyish brown'.

Bibliography: Graves 1858-1859, 242-250 ; Macalister 1949, 25-26, no.573 ; O’Brien 1962, 545, 418 ; Ó Floinn 1990, 187-192 ; Whitfield and Okasha 1992, 55-60
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