A monster in the Indian Ocean*Dáibhi Ó Cróinín is responsible for the introduction, section 1 and 2; Jacqueline Borsje for the introduction, section 3 and the conclusion. Ó Cróinín is indebted to Brian Ó Cuiv and the late James Carney for their helpful comments; Borsje would like to thank Anton Wessels and Rolf Baumgarten for their advice. The investigations were supported (in part) by the Foundation for Research in the Field of Theology and the Science of Religions in the Netherlands, which is subsidised by the Netherlands Organisation for the Advancement of Research (NWO). | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



A curious anecdote in Irish, ascribed to St. Augustine, from manuscript Rawlinson B 502 (12th century) is edited and translated into English. The text describes a monster living in the Indian Ocean who attacks the sun and causes the tides by swallowing and spewing the waters. In a commentary, following the next, the monster is connected with the biblical monster Leviathan by identifying sources which may have been used for this Irish text. The main texts proposed are the Vulgate (especially the book of ), Theodore of Mopsuestia’s commentary on the in the Latin translation by Julian of Eclanum and a cosmographical treatise by pseudo-Bede.


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