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CIIC 19. Colbinstown I, Co. Kildare

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© 2016-10-22

National Monuments Service Record Number: KD032-044001-

Site Type

Ecclesiastical

Description

Site

The site, a gravel mound known as Killeen Cormac (Cell Ingen Cormaic/Cell Fhine Cormaic?) is classified as a 'Burial Ground', but may be regarded as an important early ecclesiastical site. A recent geophysical survey of the site (Greene 2013, 26-47) shows traces of a trivallate enclosure of which the burial ground is just the nucleus of a much more extensive early Christian foundation. Seven ogham stones were originally found at this site, at least one of which was broken up and re-used in the construction of a surrounding wall in the late 19th century (Macalister 1945, 26).

Monument

One of seven ogham stones, 1.57m x 0.28m x 0.28m (converted from Macalister 1945, 22). This is a so-called 'bilingual stone' with both an ogham inscription and an inscription in the Roman or Latin alphabet, though not equivalent. Although bilingual ogham stones in both ogham (in Irish) and Roman letters (in Latin) are numerous in Wales and Devon and Cornwall, only a few examples (cf. CIIC 186. Kilfountain, Co. Kerry) are known in Ireland and this one, currently on display at the National Museum in on Kildare Street in Dublin, is the most well known of these (McManus 1991, 61). This ogham stone also has what has been described as a 'blade mark' (one of Macalister's 'accidental scratches'), essentially a relatively long v-cut, just before the ogham inscription (see Newman 2009, 433-4). This cut or mark on the stone is similar to those found on CIIC 206. Kilcoolaght East I, Co. Kerry; Ratass, Co. Kerry (described as being used as `a sharpening stone for knives and other blades'); Church Island, Co. Kerry (used for sharpening 'some broad bladed implement'); CIIC 57. Greenhill I, Co. Cork, where they have been described as 'hone scores' and to another cut on CIIC 35. Tullaherin, which Macalister describes as 'an oblique mark of no importance'.

Text

2 inscriptions, one ogham (up-top-down) and one in Roman letters (vertical, up). Both inscriptions appear pocked and shallow, which may indicate the same hand for both.

Transliteration

Ogham: OVANOS AVI I/VACA/TTOS
Roman: IVVEṇ/̣ṛE DRVVIDES

Translation

? uí Éochada?
? druids ?

Commentary

  • 'IVACATTOS `yew' + `battle'', gen. *Éochada? (McManus 1991, 105, 102, 177).

  • This is one of the ogham inscriptions listed by McManus (1991, 93-4) to be among the earliest in the corpus showing no trace of vowel affection. It may be dated to the first half, or the early second half, of the fifth century (McManus 1991, 97).

  • IVVEn/rE DRVVIDES 'turned into an Ogam CELI TURLEGETTI by Macalister in a flight of interpretative fancy'. McManus suggests that the second word DRVVIDES 'might be a Latin or Primitive Irish nom. pl. of the word for 'druid'' (McManus 1991, 61) .

Locations

Found

Discovered just inside the gate of the graveyard at Killeen Cormac in townland of Colbinstown and barony of Narragh and Reban East. The original location of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie. (GPS coordinates -6.760943, 53.028577)

Original

Find location possibly original site

Last Recorded

National Museum of Ireland (NMI Ref. 1917:79), Dublin. The present location of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie. (GPS coordinates -6.254558,53.340408)

History of Recording

Discovered by Rev. J. Shearman in 1860 and reported to members of the Royal Irish Academy in 1865.

References

Websites and Online Databases

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