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Professor Damian Mc Manus

Chair of Early Irish, Head of Department (Irish)

Chair of Early Irish, Head of Department (Centre for Irish-Scottish Studies)

Damian McManus is Professor of Early Irish in Trinity College, Dublin, and Head of the Department of Irish. He is a graduate of the University of Dublin (BA 1977), where he also completed his doctorate on 'The Latin loanwords in Early Irish' in 1982. He is an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow, a Fellow of Trinity College and Member of the Royal Irish Academy. His main areas of research are Primitive Irish, in particular the Latin loanwords and the Ogam alphabet, and Classical Modern Irish. He is author of A guide to Ogam, joint editor of Stair na Gaeilge, and has published many articles in learned journals in Celtic Studies. He was director of the Trinity-based 'Bardic Project', which published five hundred medieval Irish poems from manuscripts in Irish and British libraries (A Bardic miscellany, eds D. McManus and E. Ó Raghallaigh, 2010), and created a database of two thousand such poems ( He has also been joint editor of Ériu, the journal of the Royal Irish Academy devoted to Irish philology and literature, since 2005.
Damian McManus, 'On the use of the Urlann in Deibhidhe and Séadna metres in Classical Irish verse', North American Journal of Celtic Studies, 1, 2017, p61 - 81, Notes: [This paper examines the very considerable flexibility available to the poet in the rigid framework of the Classical Modern Irish Dán Díreach metres, Deibhidhe and Séadna, and focuses particular attention on the urlann. It introduces the concept of 'the urlann space' and 'available syllable balance' and argues that the urlann-friendliness of different metres is related to these criteria. Giolla Brighde Ó hEódhasa's statement that there should be 'one word only' in the urlann space in Deibhidhe is examined and several exceptions in the form of double-urlann couplets from all periods of Bardic poetry are presented, though it is acknowledged that the phenomenon is rare.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
'Celebrating the female: eulogies, elegies and addresses to noblewomen in late medieval Ireland' Síle Ní Mhurchú, Mícheál Hoyne(ed.), Symposium on Dánta Grádha, Proceedings of the Dánta Grádha Symposium, The School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, September 2016, DIAS, 2017, Notes: [This is the third paper in a series investigating women in Classical Irish poetry. Mothers and wives mentioned in poems to their sons and husbands were the focus of the first two, and here addresses to or eulogies/elegies for individual women in their own right are in the spotlight. These range from poems of condolence for lost relatives to beautifully-crafted celebrations of the female body, from petitions for support for a troubled poet to bold assertions of the rights and privileges due to a poet from his female patron. There is a particular focus on poems in the Roche family duanaire or poem-book in the Book of Fermoy, in which there is a higher percentage of poems to women (50%) than in any other single source for the period.], Proceedings of a Conference, PRESENTED
Liam Breatnach and Damian McManus (editors), Ériu 66 Journal of the Royal Irish Academy, 2016, Book, PUBLISHED
Damian McManus, Miscellanea on Classical Irish: 1 Cadad at -s s- boundaries; 2 The conjunctionless comparative; 3 The appositional genitive. , Ériu, 66, 2016, p111 - 134, Notes: [This set of miscellanea investigates a number of metrical and grammatical features of Classical Irish, in particular sandhi features involving the collision of two s-sounds at word boundary and an analysis of the reflexes in Classical Irish of the appositional genitive constructions of the Early-Irish type senóir cléirig 'an old man of a cleric' i.e. 'an old cleric' and demon caillige 'a demon of a hag' i.e. 'a terrifying hag'.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
'On the nature of true friendship: an edition of Eochaidh Ó hEódhasa's (ed.), Societas Celtologica Nordica 13, Studia Celtica Upsaliensia , Uppsala, 13, May 2015, Universit of Uppsala, 2016, Notes: [This paper offers a full edition of this 17th-century poem with background analysis and translation as well as metrical and linguistic commentary. The poem is not attributed to any poet in the one surviving witness but it does bear the signature of the famous Eochaidh Ó hEódhasa in the form of a duty quatrain to two former patrons (the two Aodhs), allowing for a post-1602 date, the year when the second of these died.], Proceedings of a Conference, SUBMITTED
Female ancestry and mother's kin in Classical Irish poetry' in, editor(s)Caoimhín Breatnach, Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail , Aon don Éigse. Essays marking Osborn Bergin's Centenary Lecture on Bardic Poetry (1912), , Dublin, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2015, pp193-219 , [Damian McManus], Notes: [This paper is the first of three investigating the role of women in Classical Irish or Bardic poetry. Women as ancestors and mothers is the focus here, to be followed by women as wives or partners, and finally by poems addressed to individual women in whatever capacity. This paper draws attention in particular to the bainleath or 'female half' of a patron's ancestry, i.e. his mother's family connections.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Fault-finding in the Grammatical Tracts in, editor(s)Gordon Ó Riain , Gramadach agus Prosóid na Gaeilge, Dublin, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2015, pp29 , [Damian McManus], Notes: [The late medieval Irish Grammatical and Syntactical tracts, which provide the most detailed linguistic analysis of a European vernacular language in their time, cite over four thousand couplets from the cream of Bardic poetry composed in the period from 1200 to 1450. Most of these citations illustrate the correct use of language but over three hundred are deemed faulty. This paper investigates the faults and seeks to explain what could give rise to them in such a regulated system. ], Book Chapter, ACCEPTED
Ériu, 65, (2015), Damian McManus, [joint editor], Journal, PUBLISHED
Damian McManus, 'Celebrating the female in Classical Irish poetry: the wife', Ériu, 65, 2015, p137-68 , Notes: [This is the second in a series of three papers examining the celebration of women in Bardic poetry. The papers examines the appropriate way to address a noblewoman in late medieval Irish verse, the iargcomhairc or complimentary verses attached to poems addressed to her husband, the themes of hospitality, nobility, the role of women as peacemakers, the question as to whether there is a separate discourse for the celebration of women and poems addressed to married couples. ], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Damian McManus, Varia II: IGT/BST citations: further identifications, Ériu, 65, 2015, p175 - 175, Notes: [This paper adds to the number of citations from the grammatical tracts identified in the surviving corpus of Bardic poetry.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED

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Cormac mac Airt in Classical Irish poetry: young in age but old in wisdom, and not entirely flawless in, editor(s)Matthieu Boyd , Ollam: Studies in Gaelic and related traditions in honor of Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, America, Rowman and Littlefield, 2016, pp117 - 139, [Damian McManus], Notes: [This paper investigates the role played by the legendary Cormac mac Airt as model ancestor in Classical Irish poetry. Cormac is a first-function figure, i.e. a 'king-hero' and is always portrayed as such, in contrast to, say, Cú Chulainn, the martial-hero. The portrayal of Cormac is for the most part favourable, the only stains on his character arising from his dispute with his poet and his treachery in the Battle of Crinna.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Damian McManus, Index to Bardic poems and sources, 2010, - 58, Notes: [This is an index to the Bardic poems, the texts of which, both published and unpublished, were prepared by the Department of Irish, TCD, as part of the Bardic Poetry project. It will be found at as DATABASE INDEX], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Damian McManus, Citations from the Irish Grammatical Tracts and the Bardic Syntactical Tracts, 2010, -, Notes: [This file contains the texts of all cited couplets and quatrains in the Irish Grammatical and Syntactical tracts, including the unpublished syntactical tract on the subjunctive (for details see the end of the file). The citations are arranged alphabetically for convenience and numbered consecutively. Duplicate and triplicate entries appear in italics; the bracketed number(s) at the end of these entries refer the reader to the duplicate(s) as numbered in this file. Citations which have been identified in the poetry are coloured blue and marked with an * and are followed by details of the relevant poem. It will be found at as CITATIONS], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Damian McManus, Cited Poems, 2010, - 7, Notes: [This is an index to the first lines of poems from which citations appear in the medieval Irish Grammatical and Syntactical Tracts. It will be found at as CITED POEMS], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
McManus D., Review of Literacy in Medieval Celtic Societies, by Huw Price , Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 39, 2000, p75-7 , Review, PUBLISHED
McManus D., Review of Language in Pictland. The Case Against `Non-Indo-Eurpoean Pictish, by Katharine Forsyth , Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 38, 1999, p108-110 , Review, PUBLISHED
McManus D., Review of And shall these mute stones speak?, by Charles Thomas , Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 1997, Notes: [(Post-Roman inscriptions in Western Britain, Charles Thomas, 1994)], Review, PUBLISHED
Ogham in, editor(s)P. Daniels, W. Bright , The World's Writing Systems, Oxford Univ. Press, 1996, pp340 - 345, [McManus D.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Preface in, first reprint of R.A.S. Macalister's Corpus Inscriptionum Insularum Celticarum, Four Courts Press, 1996, [McManus D.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
McManus D., Review of Metrik und Medienwechsel / Metrics and Media, by H.L.C. Tristram , Éigse, 28, 1995, p173-83 , Notes: [(ed. H.L.C. Tristram, Tübingen, 1991)], Review, PUBLISHED


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Medieval Irish: language and literature. Historical and comparative linguistics. Writing systems, in particular Ogam Classical Modern Irish Bardic poetry. The Grammatical and Syntactical tracts of the Classical Modern Irish poets.