Thomas Owen Clancy

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Dr. Thomas Owen Clancy is an American academic and historian who specializes in the literature of the Celtic Dark Ages, especially that of Scotland. He did his undergraduate work at NYU, and his Ph. D at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently a Reader at the University of Glasgow. In 2005 he became a Professor and became the head of Glasgow's Department of Celtic studies.

His most pioneering work came in 2001 when he effectively demolished the idea of a historical St. Ninian, reidentifying the figure as a Northumbrian spin-off of St. Uinniau (Irish St Finnian), the British missionary to whom St. Columba was a disciple, who in Great Britain was associated with Whithorn. He showed that the confusion is due to an eighth century scribal spelling error, for which the similarities of "u" and "n" in the Insular script of the period were responsible. <ref>Although subsequently Dr. James E. Fraser has argued that the mistake was probably deliberate. See "Northumbrian Whithorn and the Making of St Ninian", in The Innes Review 53 (2002), 40-59</ref> Dr. Clancy has also done ground-breaking work on the Lebor Bretnach, and has gone a long way to demonstrating that it was written in Scotland. Among his other achievements, he was the editor of The Triumph Tree: Scotland’s Earliest Poetry, AD 550-1350, a volume of translated poetry deriving from Dark age northern Britain.

[edit] Publications

  • (with Gilbert Márkus OP), Iona: the earliest poetry of a Celtic monastery, (Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 1995).
  • (ed.), The Triumph Tree: Scotland’s Earliest Poetry, 550–1350, (Canongate: Edinburgh, 1998) with translations by G. Márkus, J.P. Clancy, T.O. Clancy, P. Bibire and J. Jesch.
  • Dauvit Broun and Thomas Owen Clancy (eds) Spes Scotorum - Hope of Scots: St Columba, Iona and Scotland, (T & T Clark: Edinburgh 1999).
  • Richard Welander, David J. Breeze, and Thomas Owen Clancy (eds), The Stone of Destiny : artifact and icon (Society of Antiquaries of Scotland: Edinburgh, 2003).
  • "Fools and adultery in some early Irish texts" in: Ériu 44 (1993) 105–124.
  • "The Drosten Stone: a new reading" in: Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 123 (1993) 345–53.
  • "Annat in Scotland and the origins of the parish" in: Innes Review 46 (1995) 91–115.
  • "Iona, Scotland and the Céli Dé" in: B.E. Crawford (ed.), Scotland in Dark Age Britain (St Andrews, 1995).
  • "Women poets in early medieval Ireland: stating the case" in: C.E. Meek and M.K. Simms (eds), The Fragility of Her Sex? Medieval Irish Women in Their European Context (Four Courts Press: Dublin, 1996).
  • "Columba, Adomnán and the cult of saints in Scotland" in: Innes Review 48 (1997) 1–26; revised version in D. Broun and T. O. Clancy (eds) Spes Scotorum (see above: Books) 3–33.
  • "Lethal weapon / means of grace: Mess Gegra's brain in The Death of Conchobar" in: Æstel 4 (University of Washington Medieval and Renaissance Studies Journal, 1997) 87–115.
  • "Medieval Welsh literature" in: Peter France (ed.), The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2000) 178–81.
  • "The Scottish provenance of the ‘Nennian’ recension of Historia Brittonum and the Lebor Bretnach " in: S. Taylor (ed.),Picts, Kings, Saints and Chronicles: A Festschrift for Marjorie O. Anderson (Four Courts: Dublin, 2000) 87–107.
  • "Reformers to Conservatives: Céli Dé communities in the north-east" in: J. Porter (ed.), Church and Community in the North-East of Scotland (Aberdeen, 1999) 19–31.
  • "Personal, political, pastoral: the multiple agenda of Adomnán’s Life of Columba " in: T. Cowan (ed.), The Polar Twins: Scottish History and Scottish Literature (John Donald: Edinburgh, 2000) 39–60.
  • "A Gaelic Polemic Quatrain from the Reign of Alexander I, ca. 1113" in: Scottish Gaelic Studies vol.20 (2000) 88–96.
  • "Scottish saints and national identities in the early middle ages" in: Alan T. Thacker & Richard Sharpe (eds), Local saints and local churches in the early medieval west (Oxford University press: Oxford, 2002), 397–421.
  • "The real St Ninian," in Innes Review, 52 (2001), pp. 1–28.
  • "Philosopher-King : Nechtan mac Der-Ilei" in: the Scottish Historical Review, 83 (2004), 125–249.

[edit] Notes


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Thomas Owen Clancy

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