There are roughly 400 known ogham inscriptions on stone monuments scattered around the Irish Sea, the bulk of them dating to the 5th and 6th centuries. Their language is predominantly Primitive Irish, but a few examples record fragments of the Pictish language. Ogham itself is an Early Medieval form of alphabet or cypher, sometimes known as the "Celtic Tree Alphabet".
There are a number of different numbering schemes. The most widespread is CIIC, after R. A. S. Macalister. This covers the inscriptions known by the 1940s. Another numbering scheme is that of the Celtic Inscribed Stones Project, CISP, based on the location of the stones; for example CIIC 1 = CISP INCHA/1. Macalister's (1945) numbers run from 1 to 507, including also Latin and Runic inscriptions, with three additional added in 1949. Ziegler lists 344 Gaelic ogham inscriptions known to Macalister (Ireland and Isle of Man), and seven additional inscriptions discovered later.
The inscriptions may be divided into "orthodox" and "scholastic" specimens. "Orthodox" inscriptions date to the Primitive Irish period, and record a name of an individual, either as a cenotaph or tombstone, or documenting land ownership. "Scholastic" inscriptions date from the medieval Old Irish period up to Modern times.
The vast bulk of the surviving ogham inscriptions stretch in arc from County Kerry (especially Corcu Duibne) in the south of Ireland across to Dyfed in south Wales. The remainder are mostly in south-eastern Ireland, western Scotland, the Isle of Man, and England around the Devon/Cornwall border. The vast majority of the inscriptions consist of personal names, probably of the person commemorated by the monument.
Other articles related to "ogham inscription, ogham, inscriptions":
... Parsons (eds.), Roman, Runes and Ogham ... Medieval Inscriptions in the Insular World and on the Continent, Donington Shaun Tyas (2001) ... Notes on the Ogam inscriptions of southern Britain, in C ...
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