Bardic Poetry Workshop

Trinity College Dublin


Bardic Poetry One-day Workshop

Friday May 12th 2017

The Long Room Hub



Morning Sessions:

9.00-9.45:  Down at the coalface: taking the text from the manuscripts.

Dr Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh. The focus in this session will be on palaeography, using such tools as the Simms Database and Irish Script on Screen.


9-45-10.30:  Shaping the material: using metrics to establish a reliable text.

Dr Mícheál Hoyne. The focus in this session will be on metrics using traditional sources like the grammatical tracts, Ó hEódhasa’s Rudimenta.


10.30-11.00:  Coffee break


11.00-11.45:  Establishing a stemma: how to choose between variant readings.

Dr Eoin Mac Cárthaigh. The focus in this session will be on measuring the reliability of the different manuscript witnesses and recovering the original text, using such tools as the grammatical tracts and the digital database of texts.


11.45-12.30:  What does it all mean? Trying to make sense of a quatrain.

Dr Damian McManus. The focus in this session will be on interpreting the text with particular reference to motifs and syntax, drawing on the Simms database, the digital database of texts and the 17th-century tracts.


12.30-2.45:  Lunch break

Lunch in The Duke (Duke St, off Dawson St), from 12.30-1.30pm and an opportunity to visit exhibitions of manuscripts containing Bardic poetry in TCD and RIA (1.30-2.45). See further below.


Afternoon sessions:

2.45-3.30:  Who’s it for? Recovering the historical background to a poem.

Dr Katharine Simms. The focus here will be on persona, locus, tempus and causa or who, where, when and why, with a demonstration of how to use the Simms database.


3.30-4.15:  Desiderata: what needs to be done?

This session will look at possibilities for the future with reference in particular to how technology can promote the study of this material and what projects need to be undertaken.


4.15:  Wine Reception


Exhibitions in TCD and RIA libraries

For the benefit of those attending the Workshop three manuscripts containing Bardic poetry (TCD 1298/H.2.7 = a fragment of the Book of Uí Mhaine; TCD 1363/H.4.22 = the Seithfín Duanaire; TCD 1318/H.2.16 = Yellow Book of Lecan) will be on display in the Henry Jones Room in the Old Library in TCD, and a further three (The Book of Uí Mhaine, The Book of Fermoy and Leabhar Chlainne Suibhne) in the Royal Irish Academy. An extended lunch-break (12.30-2.45) will allow time for participants to visit these between 1.30 and 2.45. The organisers would like to express their thanks to both institutions for arranging these exhibitions, in particular to Ms Caoimhe Ní Ghormáin, Assistant Librarian, Manuscripts and Archives Research Library (TCD), and Ms Siobhán Fitzpatrick, Librarian (RIA).

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