Mac Cana (Proinsias)

(1926 – 2004)

Mac Cana (Proinsias): Celtic mythology.
London: Hamlyn, 1970. 141 pp.
[= BILL 4876.]

Rev. by
Myles Dillon, in Celtica 10 (1973), pp. 258-259.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Conservation and innovation in early Celtic literature.
In ÉtC 13 (1972–1973), pp. 61–119.
Discusses the evolution of the early Irish literary tradition, commenting particularly on the problem of the influence of Christian Latin learning.

Paper read to the 4th ICCS, Rennes 1971.

Mac Cana (Proinsias): Mongán mac Fiachna and Immram Brain.
In Ériu 23 (1972), pp. 102–142.
[1.] The prose of Cín Dromma Snechta; [2.] The contextual affinities of Immram Brain; [3.] The incarnation and the birth of Mongán; [4.] Instances of the wonder-child in insular Celtic tradition. See also P. Mac Cana, in Ériu 26 (1975), pp. 33-52.
Mac Cana (Proinsias) (ref.)
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Nodiadau amrywiol: [5.] mi na vi Aneirin.
In BBCS 24/4 (May 1972), pp. 483–484.
On the syntactic pattern of the type X+nad+X ‘X and yet not X’, common to Irish and Welsh.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): On Celtic word-order and the Welsh ‘abnormal’ sentence.
In Ériu 24 (1973), pp. 90–120.
[1.] The evidence reconsidered; A. Nominativus pendens; B. The transferred subject in Irish; C. Initial subject with non-relative verb; D. Noun-initial as mark of explanation or response; E. Noun-initial as a stylistic, quasi-rhetorical feature; F. Miscellaneous instances of noun-initial sentences; [2.] Verb-initial the primary construction in British?; [3.] Breton and Cornish word-order; [4.] The spread of noun-initial order in Southern British.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The topos of the single sandal in Irish tradition.
In Celtica 10 (1973), pp. 160–166.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The rise of the later schools of filidheacht.
In Ériu 25 (1974), pp. 126–146.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): On the ‘prehistory’ of Immram Brain.
In Ériu 26 (1975), pp. 33–52.
[1.] Analogues and sources; [2.] Imacallam Choluim Chille ocus ind Óclaig; [3.] The concluding section of the Imacallam; [4.] The conceptual antiquity of the Imacallam; [5.] Ritual question and answer; [6.] Mag nÉolairg and Mag Fuinnside [relation to Lough Foyle]. Cf. P. Mac Cana, in Ériu 23 (1972), pp. 101-142.
Mac Cana (Proinsias) (ref.)
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The sinless Otherworld of Immram Brain.
In Ériu 27 (1976), pp. 95–115.
[1.] The interpretatio Christiana; [2.] The sinless Otherworld; [3.] The Land of Women. Cf. P. Mac Cana, in Ériu 26, pp. 33-52.

Republ. in The Otherworld voyage in early Irish literature, pp. 52-72.
Mac Cana (Proinsias) (ref.)
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Two notes: [1.] On the word láech ‘warrior’.
In Celtica 11 (1976), pp. 125–128.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Two notes: [2.] On a title in the MIr. tale-lists.
In Celtica 11 (1976), pp. 128–132.
Suggests that the original title of Orgain Ben(n)e Cé in Middle Irish tale-lists was Orgain Béc(c)e. Cf. M. Dobbs in SGS 6 (1949), pp. 137-138 [BILL 2490].
Mac Cana (Proinsias): An instance of modified narrative repetition in Fled Bricrenn.
In Ériu 28 (1977), pp. 168–172.
ad LU 8507-50.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Notes on the early Irish concept of unity.
In Crane Bag 2/1-2 (1978), pp. 57–71.
Republ. in The Crane Bag book of Irish studies, ed. by Mark Patrick Hederman and Richard Kearney (Dublin, 1982), pp. 205-219.
Sharpe (Richard): Hiberno-Latin laicus, Irish láech and the devil’s men.
In Ériu 30 (1979), pp. 75–92.
Lat. laicus ‘layman’ introduced to Irel. and developed the rare subsidiary meaning ‘lay tenant’ in ecclesiastical context; laicus develops pagan connotations, hence ‘brigand’. In a separate line of development, Lat. laicus ‘layman’ borrowed into Ir. as láech at an early date primarily in legal texts; láech ‘warrior’ may have developed on the principle that ‘men’ are ‘warriors’ (see P. Mac Cana, ‘On the word láech “warrior” ', in Celtica 11 (1976), pp. 125-128); láech ‘warrior’ in turn influences Lat. laicus, which acquires the rare meaning ‘warrior’; láech ‘pagan’ occurs as a calque on laicus ‘pagan’.
Mac Cana (Proinsias) (ref.)
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Regnum and sacerdotium: notes on Irish tradition.
In PBA 65 (1979), pp. 443–479 (= Rhŷs lecture, 1979).
Sep. issued London: O.U.P., 1981. [same pagin.]
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Women in Irish mythology.
In Crane Bag 4/1 (1980), pp. 7–11.
Republ. in The Crane Bag book of Irish studies, ed. by Mark Patrick Hederman and Richard Kearney (Dublin 1982), pp. 520-524.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The learned tales of medieval Ireland.
Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1980. ix + 159 pp.
Edition of tale-lists (list A) from MSS TCD H 2. 18 and H 3. 17; (list B) from MSS RIA 23 N 10, Bodleian Rawlinson B 512, BL Harley 5280; two minor lists from NLS MS Adv. 72.1.7, and from BL Harley 432 (introduction to the Senchas Már). Includes (extensive discussion of) The structure and evolution of the-tale lists.

Rev. by
Pádraig Ó Riain, in Éigse 19/2 (1983), pp. 433-436.
Karl Horst Schmidt, in ZCP 39 (1982), pp. 308-310.
J. E. Caerwyn Williams, in StC 16-17 (1981-1982), pp. 389-392.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Literature in Irish.
Aspects of Ireland, 8. Dublin: Department of Foreign Affairs, 1980. 69 pp.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Mythology in early Irish literature.
In The Celtic consciousness (1982), pp. 143–154.
Early Irish literary tradition exemplified by Noínden Ulad, Immram Brain, and Caillech Bérri.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): David Greene (1915–1981).
In Ériu 34 (1983), pp. 1–10.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Three syntactic notes: 1. la with vn. to denote concomitant action.
In Celtica 15 (1983), pp. 55–57.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Three syntactic notes: 2. fri ‘of, about, concerning’.
In Celtica 15 (1983), pp. 57–58.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Three syntactic notes: 3. Labraid Lúath Lám ar Claideb.
In Celtica 15 (1983), pp. 58–59.
Argues against interpretation of lúathlám as a close compound (see Myles Dillon, Serlige Con Culainn (1941; see BILL III: 5012)). Prefers Labraid Lúath Lám ar Claideb as a genitival clause with zero copula, lit. ‘whose hand is swift on the sword’.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Varia: V. A note on the use of direct speech in Saltair na Rann.
In Ériu 35 (1984), pp. 206–208.
On the use of arsé ar, arsí ar to mark direct speech, and some modern equivalents.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Early Irish ideology and the concept of unity.
In The Irish mind (1985), pp. 56–78.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Varia: XII. A note on the prepositional relative.
In Ériu 36 (1985), pp. 210–212.
Lapidge (Michael), Sharpe (Richard), Mac Cana (Proinsias) (forw. auth.): A bibliography of Celtic-Latin literature, 400-1200 / by Michael Lapidge and Richard Sharpe; with a foreword by Proinsias Mac Cana.
RIA DMLCS-AP, 1. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1985. xxii + 361 pp.
Rev. by
Klaus Bitterling, in Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch 29 (1994), pp. 83-86.
Pádraig A. Breatnach, in CMCS 12 (1986), pp. 122-124.
George H. Brown, in Speculum 64/2 (Apr., 1989), pp. 461-462.
Léon Fleuriot, in ÉtC 24 (1987), pp. 347-348.
Guido Hendrix, in Bulletin de théologie ancienne et médiévale 14 (1989), pp. 585-586.
Michael W. Herren, in Peritia 5 (1986), pp. 422-427.
Karl Horst Schmidt, in ZCP 44 (1991), pp. 297-298.
Hubert Silvestre, in Scriptorium 41 (1987), pp. 175-177.
Charles D. Wright, in Envoi 1 (1988), pp. 227-231.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Christianisme et paganisme dans l’lrlande ancienne.
In Rencontres de religions (1986), pp. 57–74.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Fianaigecht in the pre-Norman period.
In Béaloideas 54–55 (1986–1987), pp. 75–99.
Repr. in The heroic process (1987), pp. 75-99.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Eirreadh nuachair: nótaí breise ar an deasghnáth.
In Fs. de Bhaldraithe (1986), pp. 86–93.
Further to Celtica 8 (1969), pp. 174-181.
Mac Cana (Proinsias) (ed.), Meslin (Michel) (ed.): Rencontres de religions: actes du colloque du Collège des Irlandais tenu sous les auspices de l’Académie royale irlandaise, juin 1981 / édités par Proinsias Mac Cana et Michel Meslin.
Paris: Les belles lettres, 1986. 138 pp.
Rev. by
Karl Horst Schmidt, in ZCP 43 (1989), pp. 238-239.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Ernest Gordon Quin (1910–1986).
In Ériu 38 (1987), pp. 1–3.
de Bhaldraithe (Tomás): Varia: III. Nóta ar an gclásal coibhneasta réamhfhoclach.
In Ériu 38 (1987), pp. 207–208.
ad P. Mac Cana, in Ériu 36 (1985), p. 210–212 [Varia XII: A note on the prepositional relative].
Mac Cana (P.) (ref.)
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Myth into literature in early Ireland.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The poet as spouse of his patron.
In Ériu 39 (1988), pp. 79–85.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Placenames and mythology in Irish tradition: places, pilgrimages and things.
In NACCS 1 (1988), pp. 319–341.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): James Patrick Carney (1914–1989).
In NSCS 3 (Nov. 1989), pp. 15–17.
Carney (James Patrick) (hon.)
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Notes on the combination of prose and verse in early Irish narrative.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): On the accusative of destination.
In Ériu 41 (1990), pp. 27–36.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Word-order in Old Irish and Middle Welsh: an analogy.
In Celtic language, Celtic culture [Fs. Hamp 1] (1990), pp. 253–260.
On the pattern particle-copula + subject/object + verb.
Mac Cana (Proinsias), Ó Baoill (Dónall): The prepositional relative in Irish.
In Celtica 21 (1990), pp. 253–264.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Irish maccóem, Welsh makwyf.
In Ériu 42 (1991), pp. 27–36.
Incl. some discussion of univerbation of noun + adj., e.g. londubh.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Further notes on constituent order in Welsh.
In Studies in Brythonic word order (1991), pp. 45–80.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): On the early development of written narrative prose in Irish and Welsh.
In ÉtC 29 (1992), pp. 51–67.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): laíded, gressacht ‘formalized incitement’.
In Ériu 43 (1992), pp. 69–92.
[1.] Tactical noise and tactical magic; [2.] Incitement by exhortation and by insult; [3.] laídid, gressaid, grísaid; [4.] The incitement motif in Modern Irish; [5.] The role of inciter; [6.] The early Welsh evidence.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Ir. buaball, W bual ‘drinking horn’.
In Ériu 44 (1993), pp. 81–93.
Some discussion of ad(h)arc, corn, bleide, coppán, hirlas (W).
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The historical present and the verb ‘to be’.
In Ériu 45 (1994), pp. 127–150.
[1.] The historical present in ModIr; [2.] The historical present in MW; [3.] The historical present with conjunction + verb ‘to be’ in MW; [4.] An anomalous usage in MidIr; [4.] Ó Criomhthain and the narrative present of the verb ‘to be’; [5.] Conclusions.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Notes sur les analogues insulaires de la légende de Mélusine.
In Mélanges Kerlouégan (1994), pp. 419–437.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Mythology and the oral tradition: Ireland.
In The Celtic world (1995), pp. 779–784.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Narrative openers and progress markers in Irish.
In Celtic florilegium [O Hehir studies] (1996), pp. 104–120.
Discusses the use of three related fronting devices (verb-second order, nominativus pendens, and initial adverbial phrases).
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Y canu mawl yn Iwerddon cyn y Normaniaid.
In Beirdd a thywysogion (1996), pp. 122–142.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The Irish analogues of Mélusine.
In Islanders and water-dwellers (1996), pp. 149–164.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): BUPNS reprints 8: Caille Conaill.
In Ainm 7 (1996), pp. 158–160.
Repr. from BUPNS 1/2 (Spring 1953), pp. 46-48; [also. repr. as BUPNS 1 (1955), pp. 31-32].
Mac Cana (Proinsias), Ó Baoill (Dónall P.): On the extended use of ag before verbal nouns.
In Ériu 47 (1996), pp. 185–191.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): A literary footnote: the nun of Beare.
In SGS 17 (1996), pp. 205–212.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Prosimetrum in Insular Celtic literature.
In Prosimetrum (1997), pp. 99–130.
Mac Cana (Proinsias), Ó Baoill (Dónall P.): Gnéithe den chéasta sa Nua-Ghaeilge.
In Dán do oide [Ó Cléirigh essays] (1997), pp. 265–280.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Varia: III. 1. Insula Fortium: Ynys y Kedeirn/Kedyrn.
In Ériu 48 (1997), pp. 273–274.
On the possible connection between W Ynys y Kedeirn/Kedyrn in the story of Branwen uerch Lyr and Lat Insula Fortium in the Navigatio Brendani.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Varia: III. 2. lethenach/leathanach ‘page’.
In Ériu 48 (1997), pp. 275–276.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Ir. ba marb, W. bu farw ‘he died’.
In ZCP 49–50 (1997), pp. 469–481.
Discusses the idiomatic use of copula + marb ‘to die’ (as oppposed to the stative use of copula + predicative marb ‘he is dead’) and argues that it occurs in tenses other than the preterite, except in case of omission of the copula, where the idiom is confined to the past tense. Includes a collection of examples and a brief account of its substitution by competing idioms such as téit bás, téit éc, fuair bás.
McCloskey (James): Varia: II. Trí nóta comhréire.
In Ériu 49 (1998), pp. 165–169.
1. On the absence of a before (transitive) verbal nouns when the object is not present in dialects of Donegal and Kerry; 2. ad J. McCloskey, in Ériu 46 (1995), pp. 159–164; addition of an example of ‘subject object a + verbal noun’ from Co. Waterford; 3. ad P. Mac Cana and D. P. Ó Baoill, in pp. 266-267 of Dán do oide: essays in memory of Conn R. Ó Cléirigh (Baile Átha Cliath 1997): on the use of impersonal forms of auxiliary verbs (, déan) with non-finite forms of the main verb.
Mac Cana (P.) (ref.), McCloskey (J.) (ref.), Ó Baoill (D. P.) (ref.)
Mac Cana (Proinsias) (revr.): BUPNS reprints 19: Review: The Parish of Seagoe: Its place-names and history, Part 1 (Place-names). By Rev. Bernard J. Mooney (Bennett, Newry, 1954).
In Ainm 8 (1998), pp. 192–194.
Repr. from BUPNS 2/1 (Spring 1954), pp. 19-21.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Complex adjectival predicates in Insular Celtic.
In Fs. Watkins (1998), pp. 439–450.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The mythology of medicine.
In 2000 years of Irish medicine (1999), pp.  9– 12.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Varia: III. Variations on a proverb.
In Ériu 50 (1999), pp. 173–176.
Proverb concerning the relationship between animals (fox, cat) and their skins: geall le / re sionnach a chraiceann and its use in two poems.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Varia: IV. By way of analogy.
In Ériu 50 (1999), pp. 177–178.
Similarities between the praise of an epic bull of the Basotho people of southern Africa and Táin bó Cuailnge.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Les analogues irlandais de la légende de Mélusine.
In Mélusines continentales et insulaires (1999), pp. 247–262.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): J.E. Caerwyn Williams: Celtegwr.
In Y traethodydd 154 (1999), pp. 251–256.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): J. E. Caerwyn Williams.
In StC 33 (1999), pp. 354–357.
Carey (John) (ed.), Koch (John T.) (ed.), Lambert (Pierre-Yves) (ed.): Ildánach ildírech: a festschrift for Proinsias Mac Cana / edited by John Carey, John T. Koch, and Pierre-Yves Lambert.
CSP, 4. Andover, MA: Celtic studies publications, 1999. xvii + 312 pp.
Rev. by
Sharon Arbuthnot, in CMCS 43 (Summer, 2002), pp. 96-99.
Pierre-Yves Lambert, in ÉtC 35 (2003), pp. 396-401.
Séamus Mac Mathúna, in ZCP 55 (2006), pp. 231-240.
Mac Cana (Proinsias) (hon.)
Boivin (Jeanne-Marie) (ed.), Mac Cana (Proinsias) (ed.): Mélusines continentales et insulaires: actes du colloque international tenu les 27 et 28 mars 1997 à l’Université Paris XII et au Collège des Irlandais / réunis par Jeanne-Marie Boivin et Proinsias MacCana.
NBMA, 49. Paris: Honoré Champion, 1999. 350 pp.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Notes of structure and syntax in Fled Bricrenn.
In Reassessments on Fled Bricrenn (2000), pp. 70–91.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The motif of trivial causes.
In Seanchas [Fs. Byrne] (2000), pp. 205–211.
Discusses two Irish examples, extracted from ‘The Quarrel about the Loaf’ (Ériu 1.128) and Fled Dúin na nGéd.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Note on the motif of the wading giant in Irish and Welsh.
In Northern lights [Almqvist essays] (2001), pp. 141–147.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Collège des Irlandais Paris and Irish studies.
Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2001. xiv + 190 pp.
Rev. by
Pádraig Ó Riain, in Peritia 16 (2002), pp. 514-515.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Teicht do Róim.
In Téada dúchais (2002), pp. 71–89.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Notes on the legend of Louernios.
In Ogma [Fs. Ní Chatháin] (2002), pp. 138–144.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The ingen moel.
In Ériu 52 (2002), pp. 217–227.
Perhaps originally meant ‘servant girl’; cf. Mx inney / inneen-veyl ‘hand-maid, maid-servant’. Also on the use of maol, esp. with women’s names, e.g. Aoibheall mhaol and Gráinne Mhaol in ModIr verse.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Varia: V. 1. lettáeb.
In Ériu 53 (2003), pp. 179–180.
On the use of leth ‘half’ (vs. DIL s.v. leth ‘side’) to indicate ‘one of a natural pair’.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Varia: V. 2. Irish leth-, Welsh lled ‘quite, considerably’.
In Ériu 53 (2003), pp. 180–181.
Represents a semantic development from leth- ‘half’; Irish exx. include leithdeimhin ‘almost certain’, leath-gharbh ‘quite wild’, leath-mhall ‘late enough’, leath-shéidte 'blown strongly’.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Ériu 1904-2004.
In Ériu 54 (2004), pp. 1–9.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Praise poetry in Ireland before the Normans.
In Ériu 54 (2004), pp. 11–40.
Traces it to the 6th c. and argues that the shortage of examples is due to its oral character and to the refusal on the part of the scriptoria to record it, against G. Murphy (in Best2 1317). Includes fragments collected from K. Meyer 1919 (Best2 1326).
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Ireland and Wales in the Middle Ages: an overview.
In Ireland and Wales in the Middle Ages (2007), pp. 17–45.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): The cult of the sacred centre: essays on Celtic ideology.
Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2011. viii + 344 pp.
Rev. by
John Carey, in JRSAI 140 (2010), pp. 99-102.
Maxim Fomin, in Éigse 38 (2013), pp. 352-358.
Chris Lynn, in UJA 69 (2010), pp. 194-195.
Bernhard Maier, in CMCS 65 (Summer, 2013), pp. 94-96.
Joseph Nagy, in Speculum 89/2 (Apr., 2014), pp. 507-510.
Gearóid Ó Crualaoich, in Béascna 8 (2013), pp. 205-210.
Seosamh Ó Dufaigh, in Clogher record 20/3 (2011), pp. 582-585.
William Sayers, in StH 39 (2013), pp. 155-170.
Mac Cana (Proinsias): Húas mo lebrán ind línech: Welsh and Irish cognates.
In Saltair saíochta [Fs. Mac Eoin] (2013), pp. 117–123.