CELT document T306001

The colloquy of Colum Cille and the youth at Carn Eolairg


Edited by Kuno Meyer

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The colloquy of Colum Cille and the youth at Carn Eolairg

Some say he was Mongan the son of Fiachna. Said Colum Cille to him: “Whence has thou come, O youth?” said Colum Cille.

Respondit iuvenis: “I have come”, said the youth, “from unknown lands, from known lands, that I may know from thee the spot in which knowledge and ignorance have died, and the spot where they were born, and the spot in which they are buried”.

Respondit Colum Cille: “A question”, said Colum Cille. “What was this lake which we see, formerly?”

Respondit iuvenis: “That I know. It was yellow, it was flowery, it was green, it was hilly, it was full of drink, it was ..., it was rich in silver, it was full of chariots. I abandoned it(?) when I was a deer before deer, when I was a salmon, and when I was a seal of great strength, when I was a roving wolf, when I was a man, I took up my abode(?) with sails, a yellow sail, it carried a green sail, it drowned a red sail under ... of blood. Women shouted to me. Though I know neither father (nor) mother ... I speak(?) to living men ... to the dead”.

Said Colum Cile again to this youth “... islands to the west of us, what is underneath them?”

The youth answered: “There are underneath them tuneful longhaired men, there are terrible pregnant kine underneath  p.317 them whose lowing is musical, there are herds of deer, there are horsely horses, there are double-heads, there are triple-heads, in Europe, in Asia, in unknown lands, a green land above its many borders(?) to its estuary(?)”

“Enough so far”, said Colum Cille. Colum Cille went aside with him to converse with him and to ask him about the heavenly and earthly mysteries. While they were conversing for half a day or from one hour to the same hour on the next day, Colum Cille's monks were looking at them from afar.

When the conversation had come to an end, they suddenly beheld the youth vanishing from them. It is not known whither he went. When his monks asked Colum Cille to make known to them something of the conversation, Colum Cille said to them that he could not tell them even one word of all that he had spoken to him, and he said it was a proper thing for men not be told.


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Title statement

Title (uniform): The colloquy of Colum Cille and the youth at Carn Eolairg

Title (extended): [Book of Lecan, fo. 181a2]

Author: unknown

Editor: Kuno Meyer

Responsibility statement

translated by: Kuno Meyer

Electronic edition compiled by: Ruth Murphy

Funded by: University College, Cork

Edition statement

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent: 1030 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of the Department of History, University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2009

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T306001

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT project for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Manuscript of the Irish text

  • Dublin, Trinity College Library, H. 3.18 part II, pp. 542-564; 16th century.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘The colloquy of Colum Cille and the youth at Carn Eolairg’ (1899). In: Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie‍ 2. Ed. by Kuno Meyer, pp. 316–317.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Kuno Meyer},
  title 	 = {The colloquy of Colum Cille and the youth at Carn Eolairg},
  journal 	 = {Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie},
  volume 	 = {2},
  address 	 = { Halle/Saale},
  publisher 	 = {Max Niemeyer},
  date 	 = {1899},
  pages 	 = {316–317}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The present electronic text covers Kuno Meyer's translation on pp. 316-317.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has been proof-read twice.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text. Text supplied by the editor is tagged sup resp="KM".

Quotation: Direct speech is marked q.

Hyphenation: Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, this break is marked after completion of the hyphenated word.

Segmentation: div0=the whole text. Paragraphs are marked p.

Interpretation: Names are not tagged, nor are terms for cultural and social roles.

Profile description

Creation: Translation by Kuno Meyer

Date: 1899

Language usage

  • The translation is in English. (en)
  • Some words are in Latin. (la)

Keywords: religious; prose; medieval

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2009-02-04: File proofed (2); markup modified. Header modified; file parsed; SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2008-01-06: Text proof-read (1); structural and content markup added; header compiled. (ed. Ruth Murphy)
  3. 2008-01: Text keyed in. (data capture Ruth Murphy)

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G306001: The colloquy of Colum Cille and the youth at Carn Eolairg (in Irish)

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