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O'Curry, O'Longan, and O'Beirne catalogued a little more than half the manuscripts in the Academy, and the catalogue filled thirteen volumes containing 3448 pages; to these an alphabetic index of the pieces contained was made in three volumes, and an index of the principal names, in addition to some other material in thirteen volumes more.
From an examination of these books one may roughly calculate that the pieces catalogued would number about eight or ten thousand, varying from long epic sagas to single quatrains or stanzas, and yet there remains a great deal more to be indexed, a work which after a delay of very many years is happily now at last in process of accomplishment.
Coelius Sedulius, the 5th century author of the Carmen Paschale, who has been called the "Virgil of theological poetry", was probably also Irish: the 9th-century Irish geographer Dicuil calls him noster Sedulius ("our Sedulius"), and the Latin name Sedulius usually translates to the Irish name Siadal.
Two works written by Saint Patrick, his Confessio ("Declaration", a brief autobiography intended to justify his activities to the church in Britain) and Epistola ("Letter", condemning the raiding and slaving activities in Ireland of a British king, Coroticus), survive.
The Library of Trinity College, Dublin, also contains a great number of valuable manuscripts of all ages, many of them vellums, probably about 160.
The British Museum, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the Advocates Library in Edinburgh, and the Bibliothèque Royale in Brussels are all repositories of a large number of valuable manuscripts.
These epics generally contain verses of poetry and often whole poems, just as in the case of the French chantefable, Aucassin et Nicollet.
After the substantially pagan efforts may come the early Christian literature, especially the lives of the saints, which are both numerous and valuable, visions, homilies, commentaries on the Scriptures, monastic rules, prayers, hymns, and all possible kinds of religious and didactic poetry.
Nor is there any lack of free translations from classical and medieval literature, such as Lucan's Bellum Civile, Bede's Historica Ecclesiastica, Mandeville's Travels, Arthurian romances and the like.
They were written in Latin some time in the 5th century, and preserved in the Book of Armagh, dating to around 812, and a number of later manuscripts.
The 6th-century saint Colum Cille is known to have written, but only one work which may be his has survived: the psalter known as the Cathach or "Book of Battles", now in the Royal Irish Academy.
The Amra is written in archaic Old Irish and is not perfectly understood.
It is preserved in heavily annotated versions in manuscripts from the 12th century on.