'Poems of Ossian, in the original Gaelic, with a literal translation into Latin - volume I'

John Beugo (Engraving) and Alexander Runciman (Illustration)1807

National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

The Ossianic poems were popularised in 1762 by Scottish poet James Macpherson, who had supposedly uncovered early manuscripts and tales passed down through oral storytelling before translating them from Gaelic into English. They are narrated by Ossian himself, who is shown here in armour in the frontispiece of Sir John Sinclair’s 1807 edition of 'The Poems of Ossian in the original Gaelic'.

The engraving is purportedly after a drawing by Alexander Runciman, the most prominent Scottish Ossianic artist of the eighteenth-century. As he appears at the time of his narration, Ossian is depicted as an elderly blind man recounting tales of the past. His armour is likely a reference to notes of the epic mood observed throughout the poems.

[Shelfmark Oss.81]


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