Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: Bóroma

by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan (Kathleen M. O'Brien)

© 2000-2007 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.2, updated 26 March 2007

Descriptive Bynames: Bóroma


This byname seems to be unique to Brían Bóroma, the high king who died at the battle of Clontarf in 1014. This phrase "refers specifically to the Bórama or Leinster tribute imposed on the Leinstermen by the Tara kings" [see Research Notes below]. There is also a location whose placename is based on this tribute. What is unclear is whether Brían's byname is a reference to the placename or to the cattle-tribute itself.


What we know as a set of Irish Annals are manuscripts that were each compiled during a particular time period, usually using older material as sources. For example, when the Annals of the Four Masters were written from 1632 to 1636, they covered events that occurred centuries and millenia before (including legendary history). So, when an entry in this set of annals refers to a person who lived in the year 738, the spelling used for that person's name is very likely not using the spelling that would have been used in 738.

Standard forms of this name (based on spelling systems of different periods) would be:

Frequency & Dates:

Number of men found in the annals with this name: 1
Found in Years: 992, 1001, 1014, 1023, 1064, 1065, 1068, 1114, 1117, 1118, 1119, 1134, 1142, 1151, 1167, 1172, 1194, 1224, 1305, 1370

Research Notes:

[Answering a question about a standardized form of this byname:]

DIL s.v. bóraime gives his name as Brían Bóroma.

The word is a compound that apparently appears in several forms; it means '(cattle-)tribute, prey' and refers specifically to the Bórama or Leinster tribute imposed on the Leinstermen by the Tara kings. It apparently produced a place-name, which has been offered as an explanation of Brian's byname. [email from Talan Gwynek - 07 Jun 2006]

"At last the Norse yoke was broken by two remarkable men, Malachy (Mealsechlainn), king of Meath, and Brian Boru 'of the Tributes'." [Curtis, p. 25]

[Documentation for the location Bóroma in existence pre-1600:]
[email from Talan Gwynek - 22 Jun 2006]:
It is unquestionably a place-name, as noted in the DIL, whether or not that's the basis of the epithet. The editors of the DIL don't commit themselves, but they note that Kuno Meyer, an authority on early Irish, was of the opinion that it was. Certainly the idea's been around for a while in popular culture:

takes it back to ca.1600 [email from Talan Gwynek - 22 Jun 2006]

Annals of the Four Masters [A, entry M877.12]

Indreadh Mumhan ó tá Boraimhe co Corcaigh la Flann, mac Maoilechlainn.


Munster was plundered, from Boraimhe to Corcach, by Flann, son of Maelseachlainn.

Annals of the Four Masters [B, entry M1116.7]

Creach-shluaighedh lá Toirrdhealbhach Ua c-Conchobhair i Mumhain, gur ro loiscc & gur ro mhúr Boromha & Cenn Choradh, & ro marbhadh sochaidhe lais. Do-bert buar & broid iomdha lais no go t-taratt an m-broid do Dhia & do Fhlannán.


A predatory excursion was made by Toirdhealbhach Ua Conchobhair; and he burned and demolished Boromha and Ceann-coradh, and killed many persons. He took many cows and prisoners, but he restored the prisoners to God and to Flannan.

[email from Talan Gwynek - 22 Jun 2006]:
From Hogan's Onomasticon Goedelicum:
ó B. co Corcaig, Fm. i. 526; al Bél Boroimhe on W. bank of Shannon, nr. Killaloe; Boromha, now Béal Borumha, earthen fort on bank of the Shannon, 1 m. N. of Killaloe, Fm. ii. 1002, K. 171 a; now Belboroo, or Borowe, Ac. 222, Mi., Cr.


Rc. xviii. 37, Ai. 31 b; Creach la Tairrdelbach Húa Concobair a Mumain cor' loisc 7 cor' mur Boroma 7 Cend Coradh; v. Boraime; Béal Borumha fort, 1 m. N. of Killaloe, Cenncorad 1 m. S. of it, Fm. ii. 1002, Tp. Ch. 318, Obr.

These all refer to the same place and show that the EIr word is found in both spellings. As it says in the first entry, the place is apparently now Belboroo or Borowe. Most of the abbreviations are to inaccessible sources or self-explanatory, but 'Fm.' is 'Four Masters', followed by volume and page number, and 'al' is 'alias'.


Further information about the byname Bóroma, may be found in:

The Sources page lists the Annals referenced below. Information about secondary sources is included on that page as well.

Raw Data

In the table below, I have separated individuals with a blank line. That is, when there are multiple entries in the annals that refer to a single person, those entries are grouped together.

Within the list of entries refering to a single person, I have sorted the entries primarily by orthography when it is obvious that what I am seeing is the same entry showing up in multiple annals. The entries that tend to use older spellings are listed first.

NOTE: The Annals referenced below under the code letters A, B, C, E, & F tend to use later spellings than the other Annals. In some cases, the spellings listed in these Annals may not be appropriate for the year referenced in the Annal entry.

In some Gaelic scripts, there is a character that looks approximately like a lowercase f, but without the crossbar. This character (represented by an underscored , e, in the entries below) sometimes represents e and sometimes ea depending upon the context of the text.

[Standardized form of this man's name]
AnnalsEntryContextCitation (formatting preserved)
[Brían Bóroma mac Cennétig] (d. 1014)
BM982.8Brian mac Ceinnéittigh
TT992.1Brian Boroma
TT1001.7Brían Boroma
LCLC1014.3m-Brían m-Bóromha mac Cinnéidigh .i. rí Ereann
BM1013.11Brian mac Cindéittigh, áirdrí Erenn
LCLC1014.3Bríain Bóromha
LCLC1014.3Brian mac Ceindeidig mic Lorcain, airdrigh Goeidel Erenn & Gall Brettan
LCLC1014.3an t-airdrigh .i. Brian mac Ceinneidigh
TT1023.6Tadhg mac Briain Boroma
TT1064.2Donnchadh mac Briain Boroma, rí Muman
LCLC1064.3Donnchad mac Briain Boroimhe, airdrígh Muman
UU1065.10Donnchadh mc Briain Boruma
BM1068.5Murchadh ua Briain, .i. an Scéth Ghirr, mac Donnchadha, mic Briain Boroimhe, ríogh-dhamhna Mumhan ["Murchadh, i.e. of the Short Shield, Ua Briain, son of Donnchadh, son of Brian Borumha, royal heir of Munster"]
MCB1MCB1114.2Brian mac Murchadha An Sgeith Ghirr mic Dondchadha mic Briain Boramha
MCB1MCB1114.2Domnall mhac mic Muirceartaigh mic Taidhg mic Briain Boramha
MCB1MCB1117.10An Diarmaid-sin O Briain mac Toirrdealbhaigh mic Taidg mic B(riain Boramh)a
MCB1MCB1118.1Brian mac Murchadha An Sgeith Girr mic Dunnchadha mic Briain (Boramha)
MCB1MCB1118.2Toirrdealbhaigh mic Diarmada mic Taidhg mic Briain Boromha
MCB1MCB1118.3Muircearttach mac Toirrdealbhaigh mic Taidhg mic Briain Boramha
MCB1MCB1119.4Muircirtac mac Toirrdealbhaigh mic Taidhg mic Briain Borama, airdrigh Eireann
MCB1MCB1134.4tri mic Diarmada mic Toirrdealbhaigh mic Taidhg mic Briain Boramha
MCB1MCB1142.1Concubur mac Diarmada mic Toirrdealbhaigh mic Taidhg mic Briain Borumha, ri Mumhan
TT1151.3Bríain Boraime
MCB1MCB1167.10Domhnall Mor O Briain mac Toirrdealbhaigh mic Diarmada mic Toirrdealbhaigh mic Taidhg mic Briain Boramha
MCB1MCB1172.2Domhnall Mor mac Toirdealbhaigh mic Diarmada mic Toirdealbhaigh mic Taidhg mic Briain Boramha
MCB1MCB1194.2Domhnall Mor mac Toirrdealbhaigh mic Diarmada mic Toirrdealbhaigh mic Taidhg mic Briain Boramha
U2U1224.1Brian Boroma
U2U1305.1Brian Boruma
U2U1370.8Brian Borumha

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