Outsiders in Acallam na Senórach and the positing of French literary influence on the text

Geraldine Parsons
University of Glasgow

Claims made on behalf of Acallam na Senórach include assertions of its status as a ‘repertory of aristocratic and chivalrous tales’, by Donnchadh Ó Corráin, and, in Ann Dooley’s view, ‘a high chivalric text with the same underlying cultural assumptions as can be posited for romances of chivalry elsewhere in twelfth-century Europe’. Such assessments arise from close readings of relatively few episodes from this lengthy work. Drawing on those sections and others, this paper considers the treatment of various types of ‘outsider’ to revisit the positing of French literary influence on some key themes and motifs of the Acallam.