EMILI: Early Medieval Irish Latinate Inscriptions

LOU-002. Monasterboice Cross Slab

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Description: National Monuments Service Record Number: LH021-062013-. An irregular-shaped, greenish-coloured, stone cross slab, w: 0.77 x h: 1.72, with a large, three-lined frame enclosing a cross with a circular expansion at the centre and half round expansions at the terminals (Lionard 1961, 128-9).
Text: The inscription is positioned vertically (in relation to the cross) in a single line running parallel to the shaft and across two quadrants.
Letters: The inscription is in half-uncial.There are three different forms of R, the first half-uncial and angular, the second also half-uncial but more rounded and the third form is majuscule, with an open-bow. The D has a leftwards leaning ascender with a wedge-shaped finial, and the ascender of the U extends below where is it joined by the curved stroke from the left (Celtic Inscribed Stones Project). Letter height approx. 5-6cm

Date: Unknown.

Findspot: The first known mention of this cross slab is by J. Graves in 1856 (Macalister 1949, 32). The monastic remains at Monasterboice constitutes a National Monument consisting of a small enclosed graveyard (LH021-062002-) with two small churches (LH021-062003-; LH021-062004-), a round tower (LH021-062006-), three high crosses (LH021-062007-; LH021-062008-; LH021-062009-), a bullaun stone (LH021-062010-), sundial (LH021-062011-) and a number of grave-slabs (LH021-062012-; LH021-062013-; LH021-062014-)... Founded by St. Buite (later Buithe), who died about 520 and who gave his name to the place (Mainistir Buithe - the monastery of Buithe), it came to prominence in the Irish annals from the early eighth century and continued to be mentioned frequently up until the twelfth century, mainly in relation to the deaths of ecclesiastics associated with it (Archaeology.ie).
Original location: Monasterboice (Mainistir Bhuithe), Co. Louth, 53.777954, -6.417990.

Last recorded location: Lying flat on site, set in concrete and surrounded by a low iron paling on the north side of the north church.

Interpretive

OR(ÓIT) DU RUARCAN

Diplomatic

ORDURUARCAN

Translation:

A prayer for Ruarcán

Commentary:

Although there are a few examples of the name Ruarc(c) in the Annals of Ulster from the ninth and tenth centuies, I don't know of any other example of Ruarcán, with the diminutive suffix.

Bibliography: Lionard 1961, 128-129, 135 ; Macalister 1949, 32, no.581
Text constituted from:

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