« PreviousContinue »
Now as to the Roman inscription, which, as usual, is inscribed in a contrary direction to the Ogham, it runs in two lines, on the front face, FANONI MAQVIRINI. Strange to say, it sets forth two Gaedhelic names and the Oghamic formula, “ Maqi.” The names are critically distinct from the Ogham, having no resemblance whatsoever except in the letter F of the first name. On the back of the stone we have another, in Roman characters,
The inscription on the front face was certainly inscribed by a Gaedhal, and to the memory of a Gaedhal. FANON is the same type of name as Faelan, Faifne, Faelchu, Fallomhan. RINI is the same as Rian, Ruan, so frequent in Gaedhelic names; and is found on an Ogham monument at Kinard, co. Kerry, in the form of Riani.
We are offered two solutions for the difficulties of this monument: first, that the Roman was an attempt to render the Ogham into Roman characters, though in an Irish form ; secondly, that the names are entirely distinct, and that this stone has done duty as a monumental one for different persons at different periods. I have no hesitation in adopting the latter as the true solution of the difficulty. It is far more probable that the Gaedhal, who occupied a large portion of the west coast of Britain at some remote period, brought with them this simple and archaic form of letters; and that they subsequently disused them for the Roman characters, which during the occupation of that people became so prevalent in the country; than that they should first have adopted the letters of a literate and highly civilised people, and then ultimately have fallen back upon this primitive character. Mr. L. Jones considers, and I think with good reason, that the double line inscription on the face is older than the single line on the back. He writes: “The palæographic character of one side of the stone is not the same as that of the other. The twolined inscription is older than the other. The one may be carried back to the Romano-British times, the other may very well be of the seventh century.” (Ibid. p. 139.)
Mr. L. Jones' palæographic argument for the superior antiquity of the two-line inscription is strengthened by the Gaedhelic names and formula expressed in it. The name Rini, already alluded to as being found on a termini, or boundary stone, at Kinnard, co. Kerry, in the form of Riani, appears to have been a tribe or family name prevalent among a race who occupied the neighbouring district of Cornwall, and who appear to have imposed their name on several localities in that county, as Ruan Major, Ruan Minor, and Ruan Lanihorne.1 The same has occurred in the county of Kerry, in the neighbourhood of the Kinnard inscription, where we have a district called Tir-Ruan, or Ruan's land. That the names Rini, Riani, Ruani, Ruan, are identical there cannot be the slightest doubt.
We have, then, three distinct individuals commemorated on this pillar-stone. In Ogham, “ Faccuci, the son of Cuici”; in Roman, “ Fanoni, the son of Rini”; and finally, “Sasramni.” This interesting monument I conceive to be an important link in the chain of evidence which connects the Gaedhal of the south of Ireland with western Britain. Many more such links will be found by a comparison of the inscribed stones of both countries, and of the names to be found on them.
A most singular discovery has been made at Loughor, in Glamorganshire, of a Roman altar of a rude character, evidently formed out of what was originally an Ogham pillar-stone. As this monument will be described in the next number of the Arch. Camb. by Mr. Longueville Jones, I shall not at present further refer to it.
RICHARD RolT BRASH, M.R.I.A. 1 The following inscription on a pillar-stone near “Michael” is given by Borlase, RVANI HIC TACIT. (Antiq. Cornwall, p. 364.)
DESCRIPTION OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE
CHURCH OF ST. SEIRIOL,
PUFFIN ISLAND, OFF ANGLESEY,
The church of St. Seiriol, which stands on the summit of Puffin Island, Anglesey, has been so frequently described by various antiquaries, that it is almost needless to mention that the tower is the only part which remains visible to the eye at the first glance. There are, however, remains of foundations yet to be seen on three sides of the tower. Those on the easterly side are tolerably distinct, and of the following measurements. From the eastern doorway of the tower there is the foundation of a wall extending, north, three yards; east, five yards; south, sis yards; at right angles to which it runs west, three yards and a half; north, one yard; and west again, three yards, to the tower. This is marked a in the plan. Parallel to the east wall of A, at two yards distance, is another wall, B, joining a by a wall on the north, but not connected on the south side. On the north and west of the tower are numerous remains of foundations ; but too indistinct to be measured with any degree of accuracy, owing chiefly to the luxuriant growth of nettles.
However, on the west side of the tower there is still to be seen the foundation of a wall (c) running from it west, six yards ; south, seven yards; west again, three yards ; within which there is now a sheep-pen, and on the south side of the tower a cottage; so that it is impossible to trace any foundations there. About five yards north of, and in a direct line with the part of the wall (c) running north and south, is another wall (D), which runs north nine yards, and there ends; but has been apparently continued over an underground passage (e) built of gritstone, rough and undressed. In height it is three feet, and in breadth two, covered over