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Sanas Cormaic


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Irish title of the document often known in English as Cormac's Glossary, traditionally ascribed to Cormac mac Cuilennáin (d. 908), king-bishop of Cashel. Entries list a large number of old and rare words, including names from Irish literature. Many of Cormac's judgements are reinterpreted by modern commentators; for example, he places Manannán mac Lir on the Isle of Man instead of on the otherworldly Emain Ablach. In many instances Cormac is an uncritical euhemerist; he readily cites as kings or heroes personages we believe to be of divine origin. None the less, Sanas Cormaic is a constantly cited source for information on the oldest traditions.

See Three Irish Glossaries, trans. Whitley Stokes (London, 1862);Sanas Chormaic, trans. John O'Donovan, ed. Whitley Stokes (Calcutta, 1868);Sanas Cormaic [from text in the Yellow Book of Lecan], trans. Kuno Meyer (Halle, 1912).See also Paul Russell, ‘The Sound of Silence: The Growth of Cormac's Glossary’, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, 15 (1988), 1–30.

Subjects: Religion


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