Whitley Stokes

Whitley Stokes

Irish texts available on CELT, edited by Whitley Stokes

Select bibliography of works of Stokes

1830 February 28: born in Dublin; educated St Columba's College, taught by Denis Coffey, from Munster; through his father's interests got to know John O'Donovan, George Petrie and Eugene O'Curry. 
1847: entered Trinity College Dublin, graduated B.A. in 1851.
1851 October 9: became student at Inner Temple; called to the bar in 1855; practised in London until 1862 when he left for India visiting Madras and Calcutta.
1859: published "Irish Glosses from a MS. in Trinity College, Dublin" published.
1860: "A Treatise on the Liens of Legal Practitioners" published; as was A Mediaeval Tract on Latin Declension, with Examples explained in Latin and the Lorica of Gildas, with the Gloss thereon and Glosses from the Book of Armagh by the Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society, for which he received the gold medal of the Royal Irish Academy.
1861: "Powers of Attorney" published.
1862-1865: in India made secretary to the governor-general's legislative council and then secretary to the legislative department.
1864: edited and translated the Cornish mystery "Gwreansan Bys" (Creation of the World).
1865: married Mary Bazely by whom he had two sons and two daughters; Hindu Law Books published in Madras.
1874: edited and translated "The Life of St. Meriasek".
1876: Middle Breton Hours published in Calcutta.
1877-1882: law member of the council of the governor-general.
1877: made C.SI.
1879: appointed president of the Indian law commission; made C.I.E.
1882: left India for London.
1884: married Elizabeth Temple (d.1901).
1887-1888: Anglo-Indian codes (two volumes) published, with supplements.
1889-1891
1909 April 13: died in London.
1910: his daughters present his library of Celtic volumes to University College, London.

Sources:
Dictionary of National Biography

For an obituary of Whitley Stokes by Eleanor Knott, click here.

Select Bibliography of Whitley Stokes

by Donnchadh Ó Corráin

 

 

  1. (ed), Three Irish glossaries (London 1862) [1. Cormac's Glossary; 2. O'Davoren's Glossary; 3. A glossary to the Calendar of Oingus the Culdee].
  2. Goidilica or notes on the Gaelic manuscripts preserved at Turin, Milan, Berne, Leyden, with eight hymns from the Liber Hymnorum and the Old-Irish notes in the Book of Armagh (Calcutta, private print 1866).
  3. (ed), Sanas Cormaic: Cormac's glossary, annotated and translated by John O'Donovan (Calcutta 1868).
  4. (ed. & tr.), Fis Adamnain: slicht Libair na hUidre: Adamnán's Vision (Simla private print 1870).
  5. `Mythological notes', Revue Celtique 1 (1870) 256–62; 2 (1874) 197–203; 6 (1884) 267–69 [1. Luchorpáin-Laws i 70, 71, LU 2a, De senchas na torothar; 2. Rosualt-LL 118a2, DS Mag Muirisci; 3. Names for "God"; 4. Cenn Cruaich (Rawl. B 505, 175b, Spirits speaking from weapons (LU 43a; 6. Bull feast -LU 46; 6. Man octipartite]; 7. Labraid Lorc and his ears-, YBL 690–92; 8. Cred's pregnancy , Lebor Brecc; 9. Souls in the form of birds; 10. Human sacrifice-Odrán; 11. Waves; 12. Lycanthropy , LU 36b and BB 140b; 13. Magonia; 14. The Hrungnir Saga- (ed. & tr.) The combat of Munremar and Cú Roí, from Lebor na hUidre].
  6. Goidelica (2nd ed. London 1872).
  7. `The Klosterneuberg incantation', Revue Celtique 2 (1873) 112–15.
  8. (ed. & tr.), `A Middle-Irish homily on St Martin of Tours', Revue Celtique 2 (1875) 381–402 [Lebor Brecc, 59a].
  9. `Cuchulainn's death', Revue Celtique 3 (1876–78) 175–85 [LL].
  10. `On the Gaelic names in the Landnamabok and runic inscriptions', Revue Celtique 3 (1876–78) 186–91.
  11. `A parallel', Revue Celtique 3 (1876–78) 443–44 [Story of Brigit and Beccán, fr. Lebor Brecc, 63b].
  12. (ed. & tr.), Three Middle-Irish homilies on the Lives of saints Patrick, Brigit and Columba (Calcutta 1877), i.e.
    Betha Phatraic [LB]; Betha Brigte [LB]; Betha Choluim Chille [LB]
  13. (ed. & tr.), Tidings of Doomsday [Scél laí bratha]Revue Celtique 4 (1880) 245–57, 479 [Lebor na hUidre, 31–34].
  14. (ed. & tr.), `On the Calendar of Oengus', Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, Irish Manuscript Series 1 (Dublin 1880).
  15. The Irish passages in the Stowe Missal with some notes on the Orleans glosses (Calcutta: privately printed 1881).
  16. (ed. & tr.), Togail Troi: the destruction of Troy (Calcutta private print 1881) [LL 217a–244b, 406b–08b].
  17. (ed), Saltair na Rann: a collection of early Middle Irish poems, Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modern Series 1/3 (Oxford 1883).
  18. `On the Calendar of Oengus', Revue Celtique 5 (1883) 339–80 [A recast of the preface to the RIA edition, revised].
  19. `Irish folklore', Revue Celtique 5 (1883) 391–92 [the cause of toothache].
  20. `Another parallel', Revue Celtique 5 (1883) 393–94 [passages in Lives of Colum Cille and Patrick compared to Buddist legend].
  21. `Addenda and corrigenda to Togail Troi', Revue Celtique 5 (1883) 401–04.
  22. (ed. & tr.), `The Irish passages in the Stowe Missal', Kuhn's Z Vergleich Sprachforsch 26 (1883) 497–519.
  23. (ed. & tr.), `The destruction of Troy', W. Stokes & E. Windisch (ed), Irische Texte ser2 1 (Leipzig 1884) 1–142 [Togail Troi , H. 2. 17].
  24. (ed. & tr.), `Extracts from the Franciscan Liber Hymnorum', Revue Celtique 6 (1884) 264–66 [prefaces].
  25. `On the metre rinnard and the Calendar of Oengus as illustrating the Irish verbal accent', Revue Celtique 6 (1885) 273–97 [metrics] [contains ed. of Fiacc's Hymn, Inc. `Genair Patraic in-Nemthur'].
  26. `On Irish metric', Revue Celtique 6 (1885) 298–308 [metrics].
  27. `Keltic etymologies', Bezzenberger's Beiträge 9 (1885) 86–92.
  28. `Valerius Flaccus', Academy 27 (1885) 11–12 [passage in the Book of Armagh founded on a verse of Valerius Flaccus].
  29. `A few parallels between the Old-Norse and the Irish literatures and tradition', Arkiv for nordisk filologi 2 (1885) 339–41 [repr. Academy 27 (1885) 298].
  30. (ed. & tr.), `Find and the phantoms', Revue Celtique 7 (1886) 289–307 [poem , LL, inc. `Oenach indiu luid in ri'].
  31. (ed. & tr.), `Early Middle Irish glosses from Rawlinson B 502', Revue Celtique 7 (1886) 374–75.
  32. (ed. & tr.), The tripartite Life of Patrick (RS 2 vols London 1887).
  33. (ed. & tr.), `Loegaire's conversion and death' Comthoth LoegaireThe tripartite Life of Patrick (RS 2 vols London 1887), ii 562–67.
  34. (ed. & tr.), `The death of the sons of Uisnech', Whitley Stokes & E. Windisch (ed), Irische Texte ser2 ii (Leipzig 1887) 109–84 [ed. Oided mac nUisnig , Glenn Masáin MS].
  35. (ed. & tr.), `The siege of Howth', Revue Celtique 8 (1887) 47–64 [Talland Étair].
  36. (ed. & tr.), `The Irish verses, notes, and glosses in Harl. 1802', Revue Celtique 8 (1887) 346–69 [texts of poems, inc. `Aurilius humils árd', `Becca na delba acht delb Dé', `Eól dam aidid Críst na cet'].
  37. (ed. & tr.), `Irish glosses and notes on Chalcidius', Kuhn's Z Vergleich Sprachforsch 29 (1887) 372–78.
  38. (ed. & tr.), The voyage of Snédgus and Mac Riagla [Imrum Snedhghusa ocus Mic Ríagla]Revue Celtique 9 (1888) 14–25.
  39. `Zimmeriana', Revue Celtique 9 (1888) 97–104.
  40. `On the materia medica of the mediaeval Irish', Revue Celtique 9 (1888) 224–44.
  41. (ed. & tr.), `On the personal appearance and death of Christ, his apostles and others', Revue Celtique 9 (1888) 364 [YBL].
  42. (ed. & tr.), `The voyage of Máel Dúin', Revue Celtique 9 (1888) 447–95, 10 (1889) 50–95, 264 [Imram curaig Máil Dúin , Lebor na hUidre YBL].
  43. (ed. & tr.), `The Old-Irish glosses in Regina Nr. 215', Kuhn's Z Vergleich Sprachforsch 30 (1889) 555–61.
  44. `Notes on the Annals of Ulster', Academy 908 (Sept 1889) 207–08, 909 (Oct 1889) 223–25, 910 (Oct 1889) 240–41 [vol I].
  45. `On Professor Atkinson's edition of the Passions and Homilies in the Lebar Brecc', Trans Philol Soc, 1889–90, [1889], 203–34. Also separatum, paginated 1–32.
  46. (ed. & tr.), Lives of the saints from the Book of Lismore, Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modern Ser 5 (Oxford 1890).
  47. `Hibernica', Kuhn's Z Vergleich Sprachforsch 31 (1890) 232–55, 33 (1893) 62–86, 35 (1897) 150–53, 35 (1898) 587–96 [1. Glosses in Palatine 68; 2. Glosses in the Book of Armagh; Note in Würzb mp.thi.f.61; 4. The fragments in the Reichenau Bede; 5. Extracts from Palatine 830-(a) A list of Irish kings, (b) Poem on Adam's head inc. `Cenn ard Adaim étrocht rád', (c) Poem on Adam's 124 children inc. `Cethror cóic fichit iar fír', (d) Poem on the war btw tribe of Benajamin and the others inc. `Ben romarbsat fir gaba', (e) Dialogue btw Patrick and Brigit inc. `A Brighit a n*mhingen'; 6. Glosses in Bodl. 70; 7. Notes on Laud 460; 8. The glosses on the Bucolics; 9. Glosses in the Book of Armagh (corrections); 10. An ancient poem on Cú Chulainn-Dindshenchas of Srub Brain , H.3.3 inc. `Tathus drecht dron-amhnus'; 11. athláech; 12. A gloss in Regina 255; 13. bruiden and Goth. baúrd; 14. uag and Goth. aug�aesc and Lat. aesculus; 16. Glosses on Eutychius; 17. Etymologies-25].
  48. (ed. & tr.), `A note on Fiacha Muillethan', Revue Celtique 11 (1890) 41–45 [Lec.].
  49. `A legend of Abraham', Academy 37/ 207 (1890) [On the Talmudic legend and its mention by Muirchú].
  50. `Glosses from Turin and Rome', Bezzenbergers Beiträge 17 (1891) 133–46.
  51. `The Irish ordeals, Cormac's adventure in the Land of Promise and the decision as to Cormac's sword', Whitley Stokes & E. Windisch (ed), Irische Texte ser3 1 (Leipzig 1891) 183–229, 283.
  52. `On the linguistic value of the Irish annals', Trans Philol Soc, 1888–90 [1890], 365–433 [A revised ed. in Bezzenbergers Beiträge 18 (1892), 56–132, which see].
  53. The second battle of MoyturaRevue Celtique 12 (1891) 52–130, 306–08 [Harl. 5280; obscure and apparently obscene passages are omitted; Thurneysen edited these lacunae in 1918].
  54. (ed. & tr.), Life of St Féchin of ForeRevue Celtique 12 (1891) 318–53. Translation also available.
  55. (ed. & tr.), `Adamnan's Second Vision', Revue Celtique 12 (1891) 420–43.
  56. (ed. & tr.), `The Bodleian Dinnshenchas', Folk-Lore 3 (1892) 467–516 [Rawl. B 506].
  57. (ed. & tr.), `The Borama', Revue Celtique 13 (1892) 32–124, 299 [LL].
  58. (ed. & tr.), The Battle of Mag Mucrime, Revue Celtique 13 (1892) 426–74 [LL].
  59. `On the linguistic value of the Irish annals', Bezzenbergers Beiträge 18 (1892), 56–132.
  60. (ed. & tr.), `On the metrical glossaries of the mediaeval Irish', Trans Philol Soc, 1891–94 (1893) 1–103.
  61. (ed. s& tr.), `On the metrical glossaries of the mediaeval Irish', Bezzenberger's Beiträge 29 (1893) 1–120.
  62. `On the Bodleian fragment of Cormac's Glossary [Laud 610, 79a–86a]', Trans Philol Soc, 1891–94 (1893], 149–206. My photocopy is a separatum, separately paginated, 1–58.
  63. (ed. & tr.), `The Edinburgh dinnshenchas', Folk-Lore 4 (1893) 471–97 [Kilbride MS 16].
  64. (ed. & tr.), The Voyage of the Hui Corra [Imram curaig hUa Corra]Revue Celtique 14 (1893) 22–69 [Book of Fermoy 170a–77].
  65. (ed. & tr.), `Old-Irish glosses on the Bucolics', from a MS in the Biblioth�que nationale', Revue Celtique 14 (1893) 226–37.
  66. (ed. & tr.), `The violent deaths of Goll and Garb', Revue Celtique 14 (1893) 396–449 [Aided Guill meic Carbada ocus Aided Gairb Glinne Rige,, LL].
  67. `Old-Irish glosses on the Bucolics', Trans Philol Soc, 1891–94 [1893], 297–307.
  68. Urkeltischer Sprachschatz (Göttingen 1894).
  69. (ed. & tr.), `The prose tales in the Rennes dindshenchas', Revue Celtique 15 (1894) 272–336, 418–84; 16 (1895) 31–83, 135-67, 269-312].
  70. (ed. & tr.), Félire hÚi Gormáin: the Martyrology of Gorman, HBS 9 (London 1895).
  71. (ed. & tr.), `The annals of Tigernach', Revue Celtique 16 (1895) 374–419 [txt fr. Rawlinson B 502]; 17 (1896) 6–33, 116–263, 337–420 [txt fr. Rawlinson B 488]; 18 (1897) 9–59, 150–303, 374–91 (repr. 2 vols, Felinfach 1993).
  72. `The Annals of Ulster', The Academy 1271 (Sept 1896) 182–83, 1273 (Sept 1896) 223–24 [vol. III].
  73. `A Celtic leechbook, Z Celt Philol 1 (1897) 17–25.
  74. `Cuimmín's poem on the saints of Ireland', Z Celt Philol 1 (1897) 59–73.
  75. The Gaelic abridgement of the book of Ser Marco PoloZ Celt Philol 1 (1896–97) 245–73, 362–438. This includes an English translation.
  76. (ed. & tr.), Cóir Anmann [Fitness of Names], Whitley Stokes & E. Windisch (ed), Irische Texte ser3 2 (Leipzig 1897) 285–444, 557.
  77. The Gaelic MaundevilleZ Celt Philol 2 (1899) 1–63, 226–312, 603–04. This includes an English translation.
  78. (ed. & tr.), `The Irish version of Fierabras', Revue Celtique 19 (1898) 14–57, 118–67, 252–91, 364–93 [Egerton 1781, Laud 610, H.2.7].
  79. (ed. & tr.), `The Lecan glossary', Archiv für celtische Lexikographie i (1898) 50–100, 324.
  80. (ed. & tr.), `O'Mulconry's Glossary', Archiv für celtische Lexikographie i (1898) 232–324, 473–81, 629.
  81. `Notes on the St. Gallen Glosses', Z Celt Philol 2 (1899) 473–79.
  82. (ed. & tr.), `The Bodleian Amra Choluimb Chille', Revue Celtique 20 (1899) 31–55, 132–83, 248–89, 400–37; 21 (1900) 133–36 (corrections).
  83. `Fifty Irish etymologies', Bezzenberger's Beiträge 25 (1899) 252–58.
  84. (ed. & tr.), Three Irish medical tracts Irish medical glossariesArchiv für celtische Philologie 1 (1899) 325–47.
  85. `A collation of the second edition of O'Clery's Irish glossary', Archiv für celtische Philologie 1 (1899) 348–59.
  86. Festschrift Whitley Stokes zum siebzigsten Geburtstage am 28. February 1900 (Leipzig 1900).
  87. (ed. & tr.), Acallamh na Senórach, Whitley Stokes & E. Windisch (ed), Irische Texte ser4 1 (Leipzig 1900).
  88. `Da Choca's Hostel', Revue Celtique 21 (1900) 149–65, 312–27, 388–402 [with marginal annotations].
  89. The destruction of Dind RígZ Celt Philol 3 (1901) 1–14, 225.
  90. A list of ancient Irish authorsZ Celt Philol 3 (1901) 15–16 [poetics].
  91. The battle of Carn Conaill or Cath Cairnn ChonaillZ Celt Philol 3 (1901) 203–219, from Lebor na hUidre].
  92. `Amra Senáin', Z Celt Philol 3 (1901) 220–25.
  93. `Irish etymologies', Z Celt Philol 3 (1901) 467–73.
  94. `On a passage in Cath Cairn Chonaill', Z Celt Philol 3 (1901) 572–73.
  95. (ed. & tr.), The Destruction of Da Derga's HostelRevue Celtique 22 (1901) 9–61, 165–215, 282–329, 390–437.
  96. (ed. & tr.), `The Lebar Brecc tracte on the consecration of a church', Miscellanea linguistica in onore di Graziadio Ascoli (Turin 1901) 363–87.
  97. `Irish etymologies', Indogermanische Forschungen 12 (1901) 185–95.
  98. `Irish etymologies', Z Celt Philol 3 (1901) 467–73.
  99. [Notice of] Glossary to volumes I–V of the Ancient Laws of Ireland], Z Celt Philol 4 (1902) 347–76.
  100. (ed. & tr.), `The death of Muirchertach mac Erca', Revue Celtique 23 (1902) 395–437, 24 (1903) 349 [YBL].
  101. (ed. & tr.), `On the deaths of some Irish heroes', Revue Celtique 23 (1902) 303–48, 438; 27 (1906) 202 (corrections) [ed. LL, Laud 610, Egerton 1782 `Fíanna bátar i nEmain', by Cináed úa Artacáin (*985)].
  102. (ed. & tr.), `The battle of Allen', Revue Celtique 24 (1903) 41–70 [Cath Almaine, YBL w/ vll.].
  103. (ed. & tr.), `The death of Crimthann son of Fidach and the adventures of the sons of Eochaid Muigmedón', Revue Celtique 24 (1903) 172–207 [YBL facs 186–190a, vll. BB; ed. & tr. O'Grady, Standish H., Silva gadelica (2 vols, London 1892) , BB 263b].
  104. (ed. & tr.), `The wooing of Luaine and the death of Athirne', Revue Celtique 24 (1903) 270–87 [Tochmarc Luaine * Aidedh Aithairne , YBL w/ vll.].
  105. `On the Copenhagen fragments of the Brehon laws', Z Celt Philol 4 (1903) 221–33 [law manuscripts].
  106. (ed. & tr.), `The songs of Buchet's house', Revue Celtique 25 (1904) 18–38, 225–27 [Esnada Tige Buchet , LL, Rawl B 502].
  107. (ed. & tr.), Tidings of the Resurrection [Scéla na hEsérgi]Revue Celtique 35 (1904) 232–59 [Lebor na hUidre]. Translation also available.
  108. (ed. & tr.), The Life of Fursa [Betha Fursa]Revue Celtique 25 (1904) 385–404. Translation also available.
  109. (ed. & tr.), `Irish riddles', Celtic Review 1 (1904) 132–35.
  110. (ed. & tr.), `O'Davoren's glossary', Archiv für celtische Lexikographie ii (1904) 197–504.
  111. Félire Óengusso céli Dé; the martyrology of Oengus the culdee, HBS 29 (London 1905, repr. Dublin 1984).
  112. (ed. & tr.), `The colloquy of the two sages', Revue Celtique 26 (1905), 4–64 [Immacalam in dá thuarad , Book of Leinster w/ vll. Rawl B 502 YBL].
  113. (ed. & tr.), `The adventure of St Columba's clerics', Revue Celtique 26 (1905) 130–70 [Echtra clérech Choluim Cille, YBL].
  114. (ed. & tr.), `Three legends from the Brussels manuscript 5100–4', Revue Celtique 26 (1905) 360–77 [1. Coirpre Crom and Maels*echlainn's soul; 2. Coirpre Crom and S. Ciarán; 3. Colmán mac Duach and Guaire; correction in Revue Celtique 27 (1906) 203].
  115. `Notes on the second edition of the Martyrology of Oengus', London 1905, Z Celt Philol 6 (1908) 235–42.
  116. (ed. & tr.), `The Irish abridgement of the "Expugnatio Hibernica"', Engl Hist Rev 20 (1905) 77–114 [ H. 2. 7].
  117. (ed. & tr.), `Glossed extracts from the Tripartite Life of Patrick', Archiv für celtische Lexikographie iii (1905) 8–38.
  118. (ed. & tr.), `The eulogy of Cú Roí: Amra Chonrói', Ériu 2 (1905) 1–14 [ H. 3. 18].
  119. (ed. & tr.),`The evernew tongue', Ériu 2 (1905) 96–162, 3 (1907) 34–35.
  120. (ed. & tr.), The martyrology of Óengus the Culdee, HBS 29 (London 1905, repr. Dublin 1984).
  121. (ed. & tr.), `The glossary in Egerton 158', Archiv für celtische Lexikographie iii (1906–07) 145–214, 247–48, 290.
  122. The birth and life of St Moling, Revue Celtique 27 (1906) 257–312; addenda and corrigenda, ibid. 28 (1907) 70–72. Issued as a separatum Paris 1906, with separate pagination, and again in 1907 in a revised edition in LondonTranslation also available.
  123. (ed. & tr.), The fifteen tokens of doomsday [Airdena inna cóic lá ndéc roa mbráth]Revue Celtique 28 (1907) 308–26, 432 [BM Add. 30512].
  124. (ed. & tr.), `The Stowe glossaries', Archiv für celtische Lexikographie iii (1907) 268–89 [C.I. 2].
  125. `On two Irish expressions for "right hand" and "left hand"', Ériu 3 (1907) 11–12.
  126. `Notes on the Evernew tongue', Ériu 3 (1907) 34–35.
  127. (ed. & tr.), The Training of Cú Chulainn [Do fhogluim Chonculainn]Revue Celtique 29 (1908) 109–52, 312–14 [Egerton 106].
  128. (ed. & tr.), `Old-Irish glosses at Laon', Revue Celtique 29 (1908) 269–70.
  129. (ed. & tr.), `Tidings of Conchobar mac Nessa', Ériu 4 (1910) 18–38 [LL; birth on a stone, ius primae noctis, marcheta, gáu flatho, kingship; Conchobar coeval with Christ; rights of a king: he never judged lest he judge falsely (�10), never in danger in battle because of battle champions (�11), mercheta (�12); late derivative and parody (cf. Fergus �13)].
  130. (ed), `Poems ascribed to S. Moling', O. J. Bergin, R. I. Best, Kuno Meyer, J. G. O'Keeffe (ed), Anecdota from Irish manuscripts ii (Halle a. S. 1908) 20–41 [ Brussels MS 5100–4].
  131. (ed. & tr.), `Gaelic glosses', Celtic Review 5 (1909) 291–94.
  132. (ed. & tr.), In Cath Catharda: The Civil War of the Romans, Whitley Stokes & E. Windisch, Irische Texte ser 4, ii (Leipzig 1909).
  133. & Strachan John, (ed. & tr.), Thesaurus palaeo-hibernicus (2 vols, Cambridge 1901–03, Supplement by Whitley Stokes, Halle a. S. (1910), repr. in two volumes, Dublin 1985).

Bibliography created by Prof. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Department of History, University College Cork.
Updated with added hyperlinks by Beatrix Färber 2012.

Whitley Stokes: Obituary

by Eleanor Knott (Folklore 20/3 (Sep. 1909) 356–360)

p. 356

There are some persons whose vitality and enthusiasm seem actually to increase with years; at however ripe an age death may step in and claim them, we should still feel that they had died young. Such a figure was that of Dr. Whitley Stokes, the great scholar whose death on April 13th of this year, at the age of 79, deprived Celtic learning of its chief and head. His very presence seemed to infuse intellectual energy into the atmosphere around him. In his neighbourhood the most unlearned began to feel that there must reside some secret, unsuspected magic even in such recondite studies as mediaeval Irish or Breton glosses. For, prodigious worker as he was, and abstruse as were the matters which had most attraction to his mind, his manner of attack upon them was as far removed as is possible from that of the pedant. He combined to a quite exceptional degree the laborious erudition of the trained philologist with the cultivated instinct of the man of letters. The same enthusiasm which led him, in younger days, to turn for relief and refreshment to the editing of Cornish plays and Irish tales and glossaries when immersed in the dry details of compiling commentaries on Hindu Law Books and old Indian statutes, or in what he himself liked to point to as the greatest undertaking of his life, the codifying of the Anglo-Indian Statutes, made him in later years an editor whose instinct was almost infallible for the best and most important specimens of Irish literature, whether from a philological or a literary point of view. It is curious to remember that Dr. Stokes' Celtic studies, which are those with which his name will always be

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most closely connected in the minds of European scholars, were pursued during many years while he was living in Madras, far from libraries and manuscripts, and farther still from any fellow-sympathy in such subjects. His Goidelica appeared first in Calcutta in 1866, and his Old-Welsh Glosses on Martianus Capella are dated from the "Screw Steamer 'Surat' between Aden and Bombay, 1872." Born in Dublin in 1830, he qualified as a barrister in 1855, and went out to India in 1862, occupying there a succession of important posts in the High Court and Legislative Council, and becoming law-member of the Council of the Governor-General in 1877. During this period, besides his great legal undertakings, he framed a scheme for collecting and cataloguing the Sanscrit manuscripts of India. But, during all this period, he was devoting large portions of his leisure to the prosecution of works of Celtic scholarship. He turned his attention particularly to those old Irish glosses, on the foundation of which the scientific study of Celtic grammar and philology must rest. The work of his life in this department was fitly crowned by the publication of two monumental works,—in 1894 of the Urkeltischer Sprachschatzin conjunction with Prof. Bezzenberger (being the second volume of Prof. Fick's Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Germanic Language), and in 1901–3 of the Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus (containing a complete collection both of the Biblical and non-Biblical glosses and scholia extant on the continent), in conjunction with Prof. Strachan, whose early death Celtic scholarship has been so recently called upon to lament.

 

But philology was only one of the branches of Celtic research which occupied Dr. Stokes' attention. There is, indeed, hardly any side of the wide field of Celtic studies which has not been illumined and opened up by his labours. Through him, more than through any other single worker, the whole mediaeval literature of Ireland, historical, hagiological, and romantic, has been laid open to the student, and, through his admirable translations, simple, lucid, and idiomatic, to the general reader also. Some of these works appeared separately, while others were contributed to Irische Texte, of which he was joint-editor with Prof. Windisch; to the Revue Celtique, in which his contributions have for many

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years formed one of the main features; to �riu, and to the Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie, or were brought out in Anecdota Oxoniensia, the publications of the Royal Irish Academy, and elsewhere. All we can here attempt is to indicate a few of the more important of these publications, under the various heads into which they may be grouped. In history, he edited the oldest Irish annals which can be assigned to a special date and author, viz. the eleventh-century Annals of Tighernach, written partly in Irish and partly in Latin, of which several fragmentary copies remain. In hagiology, Three Middle-Irish Homilies, or the Lives of Ss. Patrick, Brigit, and Columba (1871), and the Corpus of material relating to St. Patrick, which was published in the Rolls Series, and named, from the fullest of these lives of the saint, The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick (1887).

Equally important from the point of view of early social history and folklore, was the publication of the collection of Irish saints' lives from the Book of Lismore. Connected with these are the martyrologies of Oengus the Culdee, and of Gorman, the former of which, in particular, sheds invaluable light upon the ecclesiastical and social conditions of the ancient Celtic church. In romance, there is no cycle to which his prolific pen has not made valuable contributions. The Battle of Moyturabelongs to the most ancient legendary cycle of the early gods; such tales as the Tragical Death of the sons of Usnech, the Destruction of the Hostal of Da Derga, and of the Hostal of Da Choga, the Siege of Howth, and the Death of Cuchulainn, illustrate the heroic period of Ireland; the Battles of Crinna, of Allen, and of Carn Conaill, the Destruction of Dind Righ, and the tale of Boromha, the legendary-historic period.

He had a special affection for those tales of oversea voyages which connect themselves with visions of the unseen world both in Irish Pagan and Christian literature, and which furnish us with some of the most radiant dreams of the ancient Celts: Cormac's Adventure in the Land of Promise and the Voyage of Maelduin illustrate the pagan ideal, and those of Snedgus and Mac Riagla, the Sons of O'Corra, of Columcille's Clerics, and pieces like the First and Second Visions of Adamnan, the Vision of Fursa, the Two Sorrows of Heaven's Kingdom, the Ever-new Tongue,

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and Tidings of Doomsday reveal the ancient Christian fancy reflecting upon the same problems, and show how insensibly the pagan conception passed over into the Christian scheme of things. He also made additions to our knowledge of the mediaeval Irish student's acquaintance with classical and contemporary literature by his editions of the Irish Tale of Troy, the Gaelic Maundeville, and the Gaelic Marco Polo, etc.

We may truly say that by means of this one scholar's editions alone there might be constructed a very ample and correct picture of social life in ancient Ireland; while by his works alone, and especially, perhaps, by means of those most unpromising to the general student, such as the various topographical poems and prose pieces known as Dindshenchus, the old collection of proper names with their explanations known as Coir Anmann, the ancient glossary ascribed to Cormac, the Abbot-King of Cashel, who died in 908, or the metrical eulogy of St. Columba or Amra Coluimcille, and the poem-book called Saltair na Rann, and the Dialogue of the Sages, there is to be found a mass of material relating to the folklore traditions of Ireland such as cannot be equalled elsewhere.

The folklore side of his subject was one that had a special attraction for Dr. Stokes. He was a member of the Folk-Lore Society from 1882 until his death. His own editions are uniformly accompanied by the most voluminous notes illustrating the ancient customs and beliefs, and the mythology and folklore of Ireland by comparison with that of other countries. Among the ancient Irish traditions and customs to which he drew attention may be mentioned, (a) the existence of heathen baptism, (b) compulsory fasting of cattle, (c) the belief that human souls assume the form of birds in paradise, (d) the tradition that Our Lord was born through the head of the Virgin, and (e) the appeal of Adam and Eve to the River Jordan to call upon its beasts and fishes to "fast" with them upon God, in order to procure from Him forgiveness for their transgression.

To his Irish studies Dr. Stokes added a knowledge of Breton and of the now extinct Cornish tongue, and in early life he published a middle-Cornish poem on The Passion, a Cornish Mystery

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on The Creation of the World, and a Cornish drama on the Life of St. Meriasek, besides Middle-Breton Hours, a middle-English Play of the Sacrament, etc.

Dr. Stokes' magnificent physique made him a striking figure in any company, while his large courtesy, his kindness to students, whose efforts he was never too busy to read and criticise and to further by suggestions from his vast stores of knowledge, and his sense of humour and varied interests made him a host whose hospitalities can never be forgotten. If, among the Celtic specialists, blows that resounded like the smiting of the hammer of Thor were sometimes dealt out, the more obscure learner was safe from such terrors; he always found in Dr. Stokes a patient and kind adviser. Among the interests of his later years the School of Irish Learning in Dublin, designed to give sound grammatical and paleographical training to students of the Celtic languages, held a foremost place, and he aided and encouraged the undertaking in every way.

On his seventieth birthday, several of the leading Celtists of Europe paid honour to Dr. Whitley Stokes by combining to present him with a "Festschrift" to which each contributed a part, and which is preceded by a graceful and glowing expression of homage to the work and genius of the great Irish scholar whose labours it was designed to commemorate. Among the contributors are the names of Kuno Meyer, L. Chr. Stern, R. Thurneysen, F. Sommer, K. Brugmann, and E. Windisch. In the preface, in commenting on words printed by Hermann Ebel, in his second edition of the Grammatica Celtica of Zeuss, published in 1871,—"Post ipsum conditorem ac parentem grammaticae celticae haud facile quisquam invenietur, qui melius meritus sit de omnibus huius doctrinae partibus quam Whitleius Stokes,"—the writer, Dr. Windisch, adds, Das müssen wir heute, dreissig Jahre später, erst recht bekennen!

 

 

ELEANOR HULL.

 

 

For a chronology of Whitley Stokes and Irish texts edited and translated by him, see here.

 

 

For a select bibliography of Whitley Stokes see here.
Rendered into HTML by Beatrix Färber in November 2010.

 

 

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