Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: na nAmus

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

© 2000-2007 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.3, updated 27 March 2007

Descriptive Bynames: na nAmus


"[of] the Onsets/Attacks"


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: 1158, 1159, 1199

Research Notes:

[Answering a question about the meaning of na n-Amus:]
[info is from the DIL:] ammus is "attempt, effort; act of tempting, temptation; act of attacking, attack; guess, conjecture; act of hitting the mark". In view of MCB1437.9, you want the third sense (which is what I'd have guessed from the translation "of the onsets" anyway). [email from Talan Gwynek - 19 Jul 2002]

[Answering my question, "So, would na n-Ammus be the standardized form of this byname for pre-1200?"]
Good question. It began as a u-declension masc. noun ammus and later became an o-declension masc. noun amus, but it's not clear when this occurred. Before the change you'd have na n-Ammsae, I think; afterward, na n-Amus. [email from Talan Gwynek - 20 Jul 2002]

Per email from Africa filia Kennoci (05 Nov 2002), the hyphen in this byname is a modern editorial convention. Therefore, I have removed it from the standard forms in this page.


Further information about the byname na nAmus, 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)
[Áed na nAmus]
UU1159.3mac Aedha na n-Amus, airri Conmaicne ["the son of Aedh 'of the onsets,' sub-king [?] of Conmaicni"]
TT1158.7mac Aedha na n-Amus
BM1158.7Ferghal, mac Aodha na n-Amhus Uí Ruairc
BM1158.16mac Aedha na n-Amhus
LCLC1199.6mac Oedha na n-amus

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