Book of Invasions

Called also the Book of Conquests.

On the arrival of our forefathers from Spain. B.C. 1699, we find particular mention made of Amergin, son of Milesius, and of Lugad, the son of Ith, both of whom are called in our old writings Ced Barda h-Er, or “The first Poets of Ireland.” And, after the lapse of over thirty-five centuries, we retain fragments of the writings of these ancient bards, in the old historical Record, entitled Leabhar Ghabhaltus, or the “Book of Invasions.” A copy of that book, which was transcribed in the twelfth century, is mentioned by Dr. O’Connor in his catalogue of MSS. preserved in the Duke of Buckingham’s library, at Stowe. Dr. O’Connor observes—“That we should refer this species of poetry to a very remote age, no one who has read Strabo will wonder. The Hiberni derive their origin from the Iberi; and Strabo (Lib. 3) mentions a people of Iberia and Bœtica, who could produce poems nearly 6,000 (six thousand) years old. Let, however, the specimens of Irish poetry still remaining speak for themselves. The oldest Saxon poetry extant is King Alfred's.”—Cat. Stowe I. 23.

A Book of Invasions was chiefly compiled by the O’Clerys of Donegal, in the beginning of the seventeenth century at the monastery of Lisgoole, in Fermanagh, under the patronage of Bryan Roe Maguire, first Baron of Enniskillen. This book was compiled from numerous ancient records, and the works of the bards, etc., and gives an account of all the ancient colonies that peopled Ireland, and made conquests in the country: as the Partholanians, Nemedians, Fomorians, Firbolgs, Tuatha de Danans, Milesians, and Danes. This great work contains vast information on Irish history and antiquities; there are copies of it in Trinity College, Dublin.