The Celtic Literature Collective

The Klosterneuburg Incantation

Cris finnáin dumimdegail imum imacuáirt.
Naramtairthea innsét timcellas intuaíth.

Ramthi lám indulé[m]an [dimdegail] mubrond.
Lurech dé dumimdegail otamind gombond.

Cris finneain muchris argalar arches
Arupt[h]aib ban mb[a]eth araech adamles.

Cris eoin muchris ralég súidi nglan.
Claid fega fer sóid uptha ban.

Cris nathrach muchris nathair imátá
Náramgonat fir naramillet mná. Durennaib romóra fomóir imátá.

Fobrut muri dam fo[r]sarabi inrí
Fotrochlanib [dam] fochochlan mubi.

Mucholmoc ramcharastar arfégad arfis.
Isairai ramcharastar uair istend mochris.

1. Cris finnáin dumimdegail imum imacuáirt. nar amtairthea innsét timcellas intuáith
2. Raucthi láin induleán mubrond. lurech dé dumimdegail otamind gombond.
3. Cris fimieain muchris argalar arches aruptaib banm*beth (+) afraech adamles.
4. Cris eoin muchris ralég súidi n*glan. daid ferga fer soid upta m*ban.
5. Cris nathrach muchris nathair imátá náramgonat fir naramillet mná.
6. durennaib romóra fomóir imátá
7. Fobrut muridam fosarabi inrí. fotrochlanib fochochlan mubí.
8. Mucholmoc ramcharastar arfégad arfis. isairai ramcharastar uair istend mochris.


Finnán's belt surrounds and protects me
not-me (?) may overcome the path which encircles the tribe

May the hand of the Creator come to me and protect my body
May the breastplate of God protect me, crown to sole.

The belt of John who acquired pure knowledge is my belt1

My belt is of the serpent, a serpent that wraps around
May men not wound me, women not destroy me,
May the belt protect me from stabbings

Under the cloak of Mary, which the King has blessed
Under your winding-sheets, little hooded Mo Bí

Mo Cholmóc has loved me by seeing me
He loves me because of my strong belt.


Finnán's girdle to-my protection aorund-me around
not-me-may-overcome the path [?] which-encircles the túath

May-come-to-me hand of-the Creator to-protection of-my body
lorica of-God to-my protection from crown to sole.

The belt of John who acquired pure knowledge is my belt1

My belt is a snake belt, a snake that wraps around:
may men not wound me, may women not destroy me.
from points very-big may-me-protect which-is-around

Under cloak of-Mary to-me upon-which-has-been the King
under your little (= dear?) winding-sheets ?? to-me, under little-hood of-Mo Bí

Mo Cholmóc has-loved-me (has fallen in love with me?) because-of looking (consideration?, because-of knowledge
It-is therefore he-has loved-me (has fallen in love with me?) because is firm my girdle

1. OR: My belt is John's belt. It/he has acquired pure knowledge.

Ebel, Hermann. Grammatica Celtica. ed. Johann Kaspar. Berlin, 1871.

Stokes, Whitley. "The Klosterneuburg Incantation." Revue Celtique. vol. 2, 112-15.

The translation comes from the OLD-IRISH-L list, dating from December 2004. Much of the literal translation is the work of David Stifter. I have attempted to take his literal translation and make it readable; I'm not sure I succeeded.