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Comann na Sjpíbeann JJaefrlsc* 


Deoraidh shíor gan sgíth gan fhos 
Mianaid a d-ti'r's a n-dúthchos. 

— Egerton MS. 161 (British Museum). 












M.A. (Edin.); Ph.D. (Vienna); Coll. Jesu, Oxon. 





Printed by Ballantvne, Hanson <&> Co. 
At the Ballantyne Press 


Ere I bid my work God-speed, it is my duty and 
privilege to thank those who have personally helped 
me. The Hon. Secretary of the Society, Miss 
Eleanor Hull, made valuable suggestions and criti- 
cisms on my MS. translation in its initial stage. 
Throughout she abounded in help such as was to 
me particularly valuable. My rendering when in 
proof was subjected to further criticism by Miss 
S. Shaw Kissock, Edinburgh, whose imaginative 
insight readily re-lived the old incidents once more. 
To her acumen, independent thought, and aesthetic 
judgment, I owe still further insight, even into the 
original. She made the work, in a peculiar sense, 
her own. To these ladies I owe much. 

To the President, Mr. Douglas Hyde, LL.D., I 
am indebted in an especial way for his kindness in 
connection with this undertaking. To Professor 
Mackinnon, Edinburgh University, who with great 
courtesy and care read my MS. rendering, I tender 
thanks for very able and helpful criticism and dis- 
cussion, as well as for the generous loan of several 
books. To the veteran student of Celtic Myth and 
Saga, Mr. Alfred Nutt, I am under great obligation 
for his valuable exposition of the principles which 
in such a work as this it would be well for one to 


have in view. For all the guidance and lundness 
of Principal Rhys, LL.D., Jesus Professor of Celtic, 
who read this tale with me at Oxford, I am most 
grateful. As a native Highlander this had for me 
an entirelv unique value. How often has he not 
pointed out to me words in Cvmric cognate with 
those in this tale, thus helping to elucidate the text ! 
In showing its relation also to the circumstances of 
a far past, he opened up to me many interesting 

The care and intelligence of the house of Messrs. 
Ballantvne, Hanson & Co. in the printing have been 
of very essential assistance. The authorities for all 
verifications, isolated or otherwise, are cited through- 
out. And it will readily be believed that ere essaving 
an undertaking like this, I learned to value very highly 
the work of all fellow-labourers. 

May this tale, now as a whole accessible to the 
English reader for the first time, prove itself a feast 
as of yore. 



Preface V 

Abbreviated Titles of Works REFERRED TO . . ix 

General Introduction xi 

Special Introduction xxiv 

The Probable Date of the Text xlvii 



I. Personal Names 131 

II. Geographical Names 140 

III. Textual Notes 145 

IV. Special Notes— 

On the Chariot 183 

On Dress 186 

On Games and Amusements . . . .190 

On Curoi Mac Daire 192 

On the Revolving Castle . . . .198 
On the Champion's Covenant . . . .199 

On the Arts 207 

On Belief 209 


AFM. — " Annals of the Four Masters," ed. O'Donovan. 

Anct. Laws. — "The Ancient Laws of Ireland," vols. i.-iv. 

Bezz. Beit. — Bezzenberger's Beitráge. 

Borlase. — "Dolmens of Ireland," by W. Copeland Borlase, 3 vols. 

CL. — Celtische Lexicographie, ed. Stokes and Meyer. 

Cormac. — Cormac's " Glossary." 

CZ. — Celtische Zeitschrift, ed. Stern and Meyer. 

Ed. — The Edinburgh MS. of present text. 

Eg. — The Egerton MSS. of present text. 

FB. — Fled Bricrend. 

H. — MS. of present text (Trinity College, Dublin). 

Hib. Lect.— "Hibbert Lectures," by J. Rhys. 

Hn. — Henebry's " Dissertatio Inauguralis : a contribution to the 

Phonology of Desi-Irish," Gryphiswaldise, 1898. 
Hull. — "The Cuchulainn Saga," ed. Eleanor Hull. 
Hyde. — " A Literary History of Ireland," by Douglas Hyde. 
IB. — hnram Brain, ed. Kuno Meyer and Alfred Nutt. 
IF. — Indogermanische Forschungen. 

Ir. Texte. — Irische Texte mit Wórterbuch, von E. Windisch. 
JRHAI. — "Journal of the Royal Historical and Archasological 

Association of Ireland." 
KS. — Keltische Studien, von H. Zimmer, I.-II. 
KZ. — Zeitschrift fiir Vergleichende Sprachforschung (containing 

Zimmer's Keltische Studien). 
L. — Leyden MS. of present text. 
LG. — Leabhar nan Gleann, by George Henderson. 
LH. — Liber Hymnorum (Henry Bradshaw Society, 1897). 
LL. — " The Boolc of Leinster," facsimile, Royal Irish Academy. 
LU. — "The Book of the Dun Cow," facsimile, Royal Irish 

Ml. — The Milan Glosses, ed. Ascoli : /7 Codice Irlandese delV 

Ambrosiana. Turin. 
MR.—" The Battle of Mag Rath," ed. O'Donovan. 


A r . — Norse. 

O'C. — 0'Curry's " Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish" 

(his Lectures on the Manuscript materials are so specified). 
OE.— Old English. 
OHG.— Old High German. 

PASScot. — "Proceedings of the Antiquarian Society of Scotland." 
r. — recitative, Rosc. 
RC. — Revue Celtique. 
RR. — Cath Ros na n-Ríg, ed. Hogan. 
S. Gad. — Silva Gadelica, by S. H. 0'Grady, 2 vols. 
SG. — The St. Gall Glosses. 
SM— MacCarthy : " On the Stowe Missal." 
SR. — Saltair na Rann, ed Stokes, in Anecdota Oxoniensa. 
TE. — Toc/imarc Emere, ed Meyer in RC, and of the longer 

version in Hull. 
Three Frag. — "Three Fragments of Irish Annals," by Duald Mac 

Firbis, ed. O'Donovan. 
Trias Thaum. — Trias Thaumaturga, by Father John Colgan. 
Trans. Phil. Soc. — " Transactions of the Philological Society" 

(Strachan's investigation on " The Deponent Verb"). 
US. — Urheltischer Sprachschatz von Stohes, bearbeitet von Bezzen- 

berger (Fick's Vergleichendes Worterbuch). 
Wb. — The Wúrzburg Old Irish Glosses. 
Z?. — Grammatica Celtica : Zeuss— Ebel. 
Z/DA. — Zeitschrift fiir Deutsches Altertum. 



In the Cuchulainn Cycle of Celtic Saga Bricriu-of- 
the-Evil- {lit. venomous) Tongue is the counterpart 
of Conan of the Ossianic Cycle, of Sir Kaye of the 
Arthurian romances. He is portrayed as a personage 
of delicate if bitter satire, often like his Greek parallel, 
Thersites, a man of unmeasured words. Conan is 
described as crop-eared, spiteful, boastful, an object 
at once of ridicule and of fear among the Feni. 
Thersites was the ugliest man who came to Troy — 

" With squinting eyes and one distorted foot, 
His shoulders round and buried in his breast, 
His narrow head with scanty growth of hair." 

Bricriu is characterised by his motto, " Clearer to 
me is a whisper than to any one else a cry." x His 
place is sometimes taken by Dubthach (Duffach or 
Duach) of the Chafer Tongue, as in the " Book of the 
Dun Cow " version of the Mesce Ulad, and in § 90 of the 
present tale. Elsewhere he is described as son-of- 
Cairpre, 2 while his name is impressed upon the topo- 

1 " is irdarcu dam-sa sanas ná do nech aile égem." — LL. 264% 
n; 268 b , 37. 

2 Hull, p. 224 ; mac Carbaz'd, Wind. Ir. Texte, p. ico, where 
the contraction seems wrongly extended. 


graphy of the country, as in Lough Brickland, in the 
barony of Upper Iveagh, co. Down. 1 His palace was 
at (Dun Rudraige) Dun Rury, in North-east Ulster. 
His death was on this wise. Having come from Ulster 
to beg presents from Fergus mac Róig, Bricriu was 
wounded and lay ill at Cruachan during the whole 
war of the Táin. The day on which the men of Erin 
returned from the war, Bricriu got up for the first 
time. For his taunt {athis mór) he paid with his life. 
Forced to witness the fight between the White-Horned 
and the Dun of Cuailnge (Cooley), he was killed by 
one of the infuriated bulls. 2 That was the manner 
of his violent and tragic death. In the tale Echtra 
Nerai{=Táin Be Aingen), 3 in course of the narrative 
of the fight between the two bulls at Cruachan we 
read : 

"'What did the bulls bellow,' quoth Méve to the 
herd Buaigle, 'when the White-Horn had beaten the 
other ? ' ' I know that, my good father Fergus,' quoth 
Bricriu ; ' it is the strain which thou sangest in the 
morning.' On that Fergus glanced aside and struck 
with his fist at Bricriu's head. The five men of the 
draught-board in Fergus's hand went into the head of 
Bricriu. And it was a lasting hurt to him. Thus 
perished one of the territorial lords of Ultonia." 

The sequence of the more prominent tales of the 
Cuchulainn Cycle is inferred to be : The Demolition 
of Da Derga's Fort, the Cattle-Spoil of Cooley, the 

1 O'Donovan in AFM.; cf Loch Bricrend in Uib Echach Ulad 
(see Félire, sub Oct. 26). 

2 LL. io3 b , 44-104% 12 ; cf. Hull, p. 224. 

3 RC. 10, 227. 


Battle of Rosnaree, the Sick-Bed of Cuchulainn. 1 
If Bricriu's death took place at the end of the war 
of the Táin, the present saga must chronologically be 
assigned a place before the Táin Bó Cualnge. 

To unfold the workings of such a nature the saga 
avails itself of an old national custom. For at Celtic 
entertainments in olden times says Athenaeus, 2 quoting 
Posidonius, " there was a custom that a hind-quarter 
of pork was put on the table and the bravest man 
took it ; if any one else laid claim to it, then the two 
rose up to fight till one of them was slain. And other 
men in the theatre having received some silver or 
gold money, and some even for a number of earthen 
vessels full of wine, having taken pledges that the 
gifts promised shall really be given, and having dis- 
tributed them among their nearest connections, have 
laid themselves down on doors with their faces up- 
wards and then allowed some bystander to cut their 
throats with a sword." Nor does he omit to mention 
that the bravest, like the coryphaeus of a chorus, sat 
in the middle, the giver of the entertainment being 
seated next him. 

Diodorus Siculus, who lived in the later part of the 

1 KZ. 28, 555. Orgain Brudne Dá Dergae, Táin Bó~ Cualnge, 
Cath Ruiss na Rig, Serglige Conculaind. 

2 Athenaeus, Book iv. c. 40. Athenaeus was born in Egypt ; 
some portion of his work " The Deipnosophists " was written after 
A.D. 228. Posidonius the Stoic, an astronomer and geographer 
with whom Cicero studied at Rhodes, and who had travelled in 
Western Europe, is the authoritv quoted on this old Celtic custom : 
tÓ 8é TraXaióv <f>rjcriv ótl rrapaTedévTuv kw\tjvlov tó p.r\píov 6 icpaTiGTOS 
e\ap.fiavev éi Sé ns erepos crvvíaTavTo fiovop.axr)crovTei /tte'x/H 
davarov k.t.\. 


first century, after having mentioned the Celts as tall 
and red-haired, notes that at feasts they were attended 
by young boys and girls. " Near at hand they have 
their chimneys, with their fires well furnished with 
pots and spits full of whole joints of flesh meat, and 
the best and fairest joints in a way of due honour and 
regard they set before the persons of best quality, as 
Homer introduces the Grecian captains entertaining 
Ajax when he returned victor from his single combat 
with Hector." 1 

That such honour-portions occasioned the greatest 
rivalry among the Celtic champions we know for 
certain from Posidonius. 2 And the carrying away 
of the champion's portion from the person to whom 
it belonged was one of the crimes taken account of 
by the ancient Brehon Law, according to which the 
fine was fixed at double the champion's portion or 
honour-price. 3 This love of precedence on the part 
of the Irish could find its parallel in Nestor's 
promise, as reward of bravery to the Grecian leader 

1 See " Iliad," Book vii. 320-321 : — 

" To Ajax then the chine's continuous length 
As honoui J s meed the mightv monarch gave." 

vÚTOicnv d' Aí'aí'Ta dirjve^éeacn yépaipev 
rjpuis 'ÁTpetbrjs, evpii tcpetwv 'Ayap.efj.vcuv. 

2 /ceAroi (p-qcxiv évíore irapa. to Seirrvov p.ovop.axovcnV év yap tois 6tt\ois 
áyepdevTes <TKiap.axovcn Kai irpbs á\\f)\ovs á^poxeipífovTai, iroTé Sé /cat p.éxp<- 
Tpaviiaros ivpóiacn Kal e/c tovtov ípeBicidévTes éav /xíj éiri.cTX&cn.v 01 irapbvTes 
Kal 'éus ávaipéo-eus fpxovTai. In Athenaeus, ed. Múller, Fragmenta 
Hist. Grcec. iii. 259-260. 

Cf. the words of Diodorus : eíúdacn 5é irapd ró belirvov . . . e'/c 
Trpo^XrjtreoJS p.ovof.iax^" rrpbs á\\r)\ovs irap' ovbév Tidép.evoi ttjv tov /3/ou 
Te\evTriv — chap. xxviii. § 5, ed. Míiller, i. p. 271. 

3 "Ancient Laws of Ireland," vol. i. p. 181. 


who should enter the Trojan camp to learn the 
secrets, that "high should be his place at banquets 
and at solemn feasts." Nay, a chine of well-fed hog 1 
is specially mentioned in Homer, while a caldron is 
one of the prizes in the contest of the flying cars. 
A further reference to honour portions of meat at 
the feasts of the Gael of old is given in the note on 
the word larach (§ 20). I believe that some report a 
somewhat similar custom as in vogue in Abyssinia. 
The attention bestowed upon their guests both by 
Méve and by Blathnat involuntarily remind one of 
Hector's wife causing her maids to put caldrons on 
the fire to prepare the warrior's warm bath on his 
return from war. 2 The ways of the heroines were 
those of early times, when a Nausikaa and her maidens 
could yet wash clothes by the river-side, a scene which 
is the charm of the " Odyssey." 

From time immemorial the feast has been loved 
by all peoples. Bacchus, it was felt, loved not bad men 
nor uninstructed clowns. One has only to recall the 
classic reference to the feast given to the Celts of 
Gaul by Lyernms, the father of Bityis, who enclosed 
a fenced space twelve furlongs square, where any one 
who chose was invited to go and enjoy what was 
there prepared. The etiquette of the banquet is not 
fully detailed in the feast of Bricriu, but serving-men 
(spencers, distributors) were present, which put one 

1 év dé ffvbs ffíá\oLo pó-x lv Te6a\v1av áXoicprj, — Iliad ix. 208. 
2 k€k\€to 5' áfx<pnro\oiffív evir\oKáfj.ós Ka.Ta oCjua 
áfi<pi irvpl o~TTJo~ai Tpíiroóa fiéyav 6<ppa tt€\oíto 
"E/cropt Oepfiá \o€Tpá fJ.áxys éwoffTTjffavTi. 

— Iliad, xxii. 442-444. 


in mind of the account Athenaeus gives of the Gauls, 
among whom the cup-bearers brought round the wine 
in cask-shaped jars made either of earthenware or 
of silver, the meat being served on platters, some of 
which were brazen, some wooden, some being plaited 
baslcets. In Ireland in much later times, if we may 
trust Derricke's account, wooden vessels, not pewter, 
were the rule. 

Good malt beer was the staple drink Bricriu pro- 
vided for his guests ; to some were given " generous 
wines from the lands of France." Wine might well 
have been there. In the "Book of Armagh" account of 
St. Patrick (fol. 4. 6. 2) we find vinum in palatio Temo- 
ricz, u wine in the palace of Tara," and King Loigaire 
is spoken of as drinking wine there. The fact of 
wine being mentioned among the constituents of the 
champion's portion (§ 9) does not militate against 
the date I have assigned the language of the existing 
text. In the old Irish short version of the " Wooing 
of Emer," which Professor Kuno Meyer assigns to 
the eighth century, we read that Forgall Manach, 
father of Emer, 1 went in a Gaulish garb, as if it were 
an embassy from the king of the Gauls to confer 
with Conchobar, with an offering to him of golden 
treasures and wine of Gaul. Professor Meyer rightly 
sees here " a voice from the oldest period of Irish his- 
tory, when Gall was used in its original sense of Gallus, 
a Gaul." The phrase di órdúisib 7 fín Gall becomes 
changed in the later version to di órdúisib Finngall, 

1 Emer was a name current among old Irishwomen ; thus in 
" St. Patrick's Life " we have " the two Emers " spoken of. 


" with an offering to him of golden treasures of the Nor- 
wegians," for the redactor, finding that Norse wine 
would make no sense, deleted the conjunction, and 
made fín Gall into Finngall. The distributors no 
doubt went round from right to left, as is still pre- 
ferred by many folks in the Highlands and in Ireland. 
Athenaeus says the Gauls all drank at feasts out of the 
same cup, "the liquor being carried round from right 
to left, always turning towards the right hand, the 
way in which they worship the gods." It is, more- 
over noticeable, that the wheaten cakes were cooked 
with honey. The Gauls often put honey into their 
malt beer, called corma, a word still living in modern 
Gaelic cuirm, also cuilm, signifying feast. 

The word fled also is a thoroughly native word for 
feast or banquet, not yet discarded, being cognate 
with Cymric gwledd, older guled, " pompae," Greek 
elXairívt], " feast," Lat. voluptas, OHG. welo, Mid. 
Ger. welede, perhaps with English well. Thoroughly 
native too is the term for " champion's portion," 
curad-mír. The Gaulish cavaros passed into Greek as 
vavapos, 1 a word of which there are several spellings. 
A prince so called flourished at the commencement 
of the second century B.c. Under the Romans the 
Cavares are a people of Gaul ; Cavarinus is a king's 
name in Cassar, 2 Cavarillus is an ^Eduan chief, 3 — all 
which words are cognate as to root with Cymric 
cawr, " giant," Greek /cvpios, " lord," Sanskrit cavlra, 
" mighty," cúra, " a hero." It meets us in a proper 

1 Polybius, iv. 46, 52 ; viii. 24. 

2 De Bello GalL, v. 54. 3 Ibid. vii. 67. 



name as early as the third century B.c, when it is 
borne by a Gaul who took part in an expedition 
to Asia Minor. We may be sure that the virtue it 
denotes was highly prized among the Celts, on whom 
fell the work of conquering and assimilating the 
hostile races which they met with as the first wave 
of the Aryan migration westwards. 

Heroism ! Bravery ! 

Only the brave can receive help. 

Such is the spirit of our saga, wherein kings, nay, 
demigods and heroes, with their queens and courtiers, 
live, if under the shadow of the supernatural, yet in 
the light of the real world. One of the most notable 
remaining monuments of Irish phantasy of over a 
thousand years ago, the saga as a whole, as we have 
it, is conceived in a romantic, slightly parodistic vein, 
which presupposes an earlier version of the tale. If 
I have endeavoured to assign the language as we have 
it in its oldest strata to the last quarter of the ninth 
century, from the content of the saga itself, I am 
bound to state that it may, in a less romantic form, 
have belonged to a very primitive stage of Gaelic 
story-telling. With a realism true to fact, the wild and 
the grotesque are intermingled, here and there crossed 
with a vein of broad primitive humour, in keeping 
with the rougher, if withal naíve and simple childhood 
of the world. Amid the wildest freaks of phantasy, the 
main stress is upon fairplay, a testimony to a native 
love for justice inherent in the people. "A witling 
will give judgment, but who will give justice," 1 is still 

1 " Bheir buidire breith ach co bheir ceartas." 


a living Gaelic proverb. If here we find a portraiture 
of character which loves combat for the sake of glory 
and adventure, it loves it much more for the sake of 
fair-play and of justice. If the chief hero is sometimes 
easily dispirited, the element of danger and of the 
unlcnown is for him powerfully attractive. Over all 
is reflected the spirit of an indomitable personality. 
Native wit and ways are here almost realistically 
mirrored, but it will be found true that "the lake is 
not burdened by its swan, nor a steed by its bridle, 
nor a man by the soul that is in him." A friend's eye 
is the best looking-glass. 

From the seventh to the tenth century Gaeldom 
played a not unimportant part in European history, 
producing teachers and travellers who in their day 
were unexcelled. 1 A series of disasters then followed, 
which arrested the national literary progress at a stage 
which was almost primitive. Other developments of 
high value were to follow, lyric, epic ballad, and folk- 
tale, rich in beauty and in incident, and therewith 
the rise of the Finn-Ossian Saga. Happily, the older 

1 Men like St. Columba, Columbanus, John Scotus Erigena, 
can never be quite forgotten in the history of the West. " Let us 
not forget that the Irish, from the seventh to the tenth centurv, 
were the schoolmasters of Europe, that they taught Latin grammar 
in Paris, Lúttich, St. Gallen, Pavia, Bobbio ; that not less than 
four manuscripts of Priscian, written in Ireland at the beginning 
of the ninth centurv, were brought to the Continent, where, in spite 
of the fortunes of a thousand years, they are preserved — at Leyden, 
Carlsruhe (from Reichenau), St. Gallen, Milan (from Bobbio)." — 
Professor Zimmer of Greifswald, Prussia, in KZ. 30, 256 ; cf his 
fuller historical survey : Úbcr dic Bedeutung dcs irischen Elements 
fiirdie mittelalterliche Kultur {i.e. On the significance of the Irish 
element for Mediaeval culture). — Prcussische /ahrbiicher, 59, 27-59. 


saga of Cuchulainn was to all intents already closed. 
Though the Celtic conquest was complete, the nation 
was not of one blood, nor were the tribes firmly 
united under one central all-controlling hand. Other 
elements of discord were to follow. The last great 
king fell, but his spirit was attuned to the infmite. 
"O God ! ..." said Brian, "retreat becomes us 
not, and I myself know I shall not leave this place 
alive ; and what would it profit me if I did ? For 
Aibhell of Craig Liath (the guardian family spirit of 
the Dál Cais) came to me last night, and told me that 
I should be killed this day." * 

One may not attempt to raise the dead to life, 
not even to galvanise their words. To develop their 
heritage is a duty incumbent upon all ; if there be 
aught of worth worthily developed, it will command 
the admiration of all. Despite long unhappiness, after 
much neglect, yet still through an unbroken tradition, 
the sea-divided Gaels, whose hearts, wide as they roam, 
pine for Tír na n-Óg, Land of the Ever Young, may 
at length attain to a deeper understanding of their 
own life, with its roots far and firm in the past, and, 
in virtue of a national longing, may enable that past 
to resume its course, to attain to fuller and higher 
expression. Scotia, major et minor, must aim at 
intellectual progress and dominion, must seek after 
self-understanding. One of the best helps in this 
endeavour I conceive to be a rendering of her oldest 
sagas and romances, in as fitting a form as possible, 

1 Cogaah Gaedhel Rc Gallaibh, p. 201 ; Craig Liath = Grey 


accessible to the catholic brotherhood of letters. 
The desire to tell stories and to hear them is equally 
inherent in the savage and in the highest sovereign. 
Great art is never out of date, much less art which 
embodies the consciousness of a race. Humanity is 
marvellous. The path to life is through development 
of what is worthy in our heritage. The best in every 
one is thus ripened. In this belief I submit this tale 
as an example of old workmanship, more especially 
for those who realise that they are heirs of tradition 
and sprung from the past ín body and in mind. 
"Our dead are never dead to us until they are for- 
gotten." Nor have I rendered it for the dead but 
for the living, knowing that one day under some sky 
not necessarily mine, some one may be found who 
in this department also will say with Michael Angelo 
in his ripe wisdom, " I go yet to school that I may 
continue to learn." 

Symptoms of willingness are not absent. The 
old national music is being studied ; there has been 
essayed even a Scoto-Celtic opera. But no proper 
foundation can be laid without a full knowledge of 
the Cuchulainn Saga, the cycle which reveals the 
mind of the old Scotic nobles and people. Here 
we meet the Aryan Celt in his most distinctive mood, 
here if anywhere we have the Gael. The British 
branch of the Celtic peoples has already contributed 
its quota to our literary commonwealth. If, not 
to speak of sacred books, we blot out the name of 
Arthur and of his knights, how much of what is 
highest and most illustrious would disappear from 


the English literature of Britain ! "One may assume 
with some confidence that the names, and even the 
outlines of action and character, in the Anglo-Norman 
romances are of Celtic origin, and represent vague 
recollections of history preserved by the oral tradi- 
tion of the tribes." l 

In helping towards a further acquaintance with 
the Cuchulainn Saga one is strengthened in the sure 
knowledge that here we have no dead and dull reite- 
ration of themes colourless and outworn. The very 
strangeness of the characters may serve to stimulate 
the imagination. The love of beauty and of action, 
the ample variety of character and of incident, the 
kinship with the unknown and superhuman, the sug- 
gestiveness of its broodings upon the other world, 
its natural magic in its effort to escape the circle of 
the finite — the broken bliss of the idyll — all render 
it many-toned. The spirit does not bid us merely 
to " go back to the isle of Finn and suffer the past 
to be past," 2 but beckons us to the world of heroes, 
to Mag Mell of many flowers, "a magic land and 
full of song ; primrose is the hue of the hair, snow- 
white the fair bodies, joy in every eye, the colour of 
the foxglove in every cheek." " Fair is that land to 
all eternity beneath its snow-fall of blossoms. . . . The 
gleaming walls are bright with many colours, the 
plains are vocal with joyous cries, mirth and song 
are at home on the plain, the silver-clouded one. 
No waiting there for judgment, nought but sweet 

1 Courthope's "History of English Poetry," vol. i. p. 117. 

2 Tennyson in " Voyage of Maelduin. ' 


song to be heard. No pain, no grief, no death, no 
discord. Such is the land." x 

The hero in this tale, the after-glow of a splendour 
already dying, may step forth largely as a tribal cham- 
pion, not yet elevated like King Arthur to a type of 
Christian heroic valour. Others of his countrymen, 
like Colum-Cille, aimed at that and achieved it. It 
has its own interest in the history of culture to know 
Cuchulainn as he is — heros fortissimus Scotornm, the 
mightiest hero of the Scots. My prayer is that he 
may one day with the Court of the Red Branch 
enrich the heroic dramatic genius of Britain. For I 
trust that some are at hand who have imbibed 
the inner aspirations of the Gael, who will mould 
them anew to fresh glory through victories of ascent, 
being invisibly anointed and at one with all that is 
worthy in the Gaelic past, who know its power and 
will say of it from the heart : 

" No, I belong to the tree, I shall not decay in the shadow ; 
Yes ; and I feel the life-juices of all the world and the 

1 See MacdougalPs " Folk and Hero Tales," introd. by Nutt. 

p. XXV. 



The Manuscripts are íive in number : — 

i. LU. Leabhar Na H-Uidhri, "The Book of the 
Dun [Cow] : " a collection of pieces in prose and verse 
in the Irish language, compiled and transcribed about 
noo a.d. by Moelmuiri Mac Ceileachair. Published 
in facsimile by the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 
1870. The present tale occupies pp. 90^-1 I2 b of the 
facsimile. The scribe seems to have had an eerie 
feeling when he came to copy the description of the 
giants, and above page io5 a he wrote in Latin (no 
doubt piously crossing himself) in dei nomine ; and 
again, in dei nomine, Amen, above page ii2 b . Nothing 
could more clearly illustrate the difference in feeling 
between the good Culdee of Clonmacnois and the 
original author of the Feast of Bricriu. It indicates 
further a difference of date. The gloss in section 15, 
to the effect that Conchobar was formerly an Ultonian 
divinity, did not, in all likelihood, originate with Moel- 
muiri, but with an earlier compiler. The scribe's 
grandfather, who died in 1059, was founder of a 
community of Culdees in connection with the great 
school founded about the year 544 by St. Ciaran, in 
a curve of the Shannon at Clonmacnois — justly famed 
for love of learning and for piety. He was a man of 
such eminent and high walk, that he came to be 
known as Conn of the Poor {Conn nam Bochf). That 


he should name one of his sons Cele-char, i.e. " Culdee- 
loving," is probable from his ecclesiastical connection. 
He was predeceased by his son Maolfinden ; another 
son, Maelciarain, died abbot of Clonmacnois in 1079 ; 
another son, Gilchrist (Gillachrist), passed away in 
1085 with the repute of being the best cleric in Erin ; 
yet another son, Cormac, died abbot of Clonmacnois 
in 1099. This last son in 1089 bought over Isel 
Ciarain, " St. Ciaran's Hospital," which his father in 
1031 negotiated for on behalf of the poor, who got 
twenty cows from Conn himself, whose name was well 
known in Scotland : 

A chuinn Chluana atclos tu a hErind in nAlbain, 
A chind ordain, nochan usa do chill dargain. 
" Oh ! Conn of Cluny, thou'st been heard of from Erin 
to Alba, 
Thou art head of an order, thy church is not easy 
to plunder." 

Conn's own father, Joseph, died as anamchara, "soul- 
friend" or confessor, of Clonmacnois, in 1022. 
Joseph's father, Dunchadh-son-of-Dunadach, reader 
of Clonmacnois, died in 1005 ; Dunadach himself died 
as bishop of Clonmacnois in 953. 

The bishop's brother, Oenacán, died in 947 as 
archdeacon of Ecclais bec in Clonmacnois, where his 
father, Egertach, who died in 893, was archdeacon. 
Both the brothers were brought up by Caenchomrac 
of Inis-Endoimh, who was bishop and abbot of 
Lughmadh [epscop 7 abb Lughmhaidh]. There also 
died in Clonmacnois in 845 Egertach's grandfather, 
Eoghan, anchorite of Clonmacnois, the son of Aeda- 
can, the son of Torbach. Eoghan's father, Aedacan, 
abbot of Louth, died while on a pilgrimage to Clon- 


macnois 1 in 834, and his son Eoghan remained in 
Clonmacnois. Torbach,the father of Aedacan,abbot of 
Louth, was scribe, lector and abbot of Armagh 2 in 807. 
Torbach's father, Gorman, abbot of Louth (Gorman 
comharba Mochta Lughmhaigh), died on pilgrimage 
in Clonmacnois in 753. He was not the first Gorman 
who died thus. "The Four Masters" at the year 610 
speak of one Gorman from whom came the Mic 
Cuinn. He lived for a year on the water of Fingin's 
Well, and died on his pilgrimage in Clonmacnois. 3 
To the like effect the " Chronicum Scotorum," under 
the year 615, while the extant English version of the 
"Annals of Clonmacnois" for the year 613 state : 
"This year came in pilgrimage to Clonvicknose one 
Gorman, and remained there a year, and fasted that 
space on bread and the water of Fynin's well. He 
is the ancestor to Mic Connemboght and Moynter- 
Gorman, and died in Clone aforesaid." 4 

So much for the pedigree of the scribe of the " Book 
of the Dun Cow." His untimely death is reported in 
the "Annals of the Four Masters" under the year 
1106 A.D. : " Maolmuire, son of the son of Conn of 

1 v. " The Four Masters " under the year 834 : Aodhagan mac 
Torbaigh abb Lucchmaidh decc i?ia ailcthre hi cCluain Mic Nois j 
Eoghan rnac Aedhagáin roansidhe hi cCluain Mic Nóis conadh 
uadha rochi?iset Meic Cui?in nambocht inte. 

2 He was primate for one year, according to the " Psalter of 
Cashel," a work now lost except in extracts ; it seems to have 
existed as late as the seventeenth century (v. Hyde's " Literary 
History of Ireland," p. 266"). 

3 Gor?na?i do Mughdhornaibh ttád Meic Cui?m, ase ? oboi 
bliadain for uisce Tiobrait Finghin 7 i?ia ailithre i C/uain Mic 
Nois atbath. 

4 Spelling slightly modernised from MacGeoghan's translation 
of the "Annals of Clonmacnois," edited by Father Murphy. 
Dublin, 1896. 


the Poor, was ldlled on the floor of the cathedral 1 
(ar lar doimhliacc) of Clonmacnois by plunderers." 

In such a centre of letters, whence in the ninth 
centurv valuable documents, such as the Carlsruhe 
manuscript of Bede, were brought to Reichenau, on 
Lake Constance, there must have been a rich library. 2 
On page 37 of the L U facsimile there is an entry : 
Pray for Moelmuiri, the son of Ceilechar, i.e. the son of 
the son of Conn of the Poor, who wrote and collected this 
book from various books. From the tone of his mind, as 
evidenced by the marginal notes referred to, as well 
as from other internal evidence, it is impossible 
that he compiled the Feast of Bricriu. He simply 
copied an old recension before him. We cannot say 
with full certainty, I think, who the compiler of the 
L U recension was. Zimmer believes it was Flann of 
Monasterboice (Fland Mainistrech). On a folio of 
LU, recording the death and burial of Dathi, it is 
stated that Flann and Eochaid O'Cerin " the learned " 
made this collection from the manuscripts of Eochaid 
O'Flandacan in Armagh, and from the manuscripts of 
Monasterboice, and from other selected manuscripts, 
e.g. the Yellow Book of Armagh (as in Libur Budi 
testo asincarcar in Ardmacha), the Short Book (Lea- 
bhar Gerr) of Monasterboice, which a student had 
taken in theft across the sea, and which was never 
afterwards found (isseside ruc inmac legind leis ingait 
darmuir 7 7iifrith riam di eis). This Fland was lector 
of Monasterboice, and foremost professor among the 

1 Lit. stone-church. It was erected in 904. 

2 See Petrie's " Christian Inscriptions in the Irish Language" 
for names of the famous men at Clonmacnois. Conn's family often 
occur. For an impression of the ruins at Clonmacnois, see 
Stolces's " Life of George Petrie." 


Gael in knowledge of manuscripts, of history, of 
poetrv and of philosophy. His death took place on 
the 27th November 1056. If he was the compiler of 
the L U recension of the Feast of Bricriu, he con- 
fessedly had manuscripts before him, and from the 
blunders he committed, and which Moelmuire per- 
petuated, I should infer the document was getting 
faded. At any rate, the tale has traces of the handi- 
work of such a man as Flann, who was to a great 
extent an antiquary. This is seen chiefly in the ar- 
rangement of the several recensions of which the L U 
version is a compound. But the Egerton version, 
though from a different redaction to that of LU, 
has the beginning of the Emain-Curoi recension 
(§§ 29-32) equally early, and this renders it likely that 
we have to do with the work of some pen of earlier 
date than Flann. 

2. Eg. The Egerton Manuscript, 93 in the British 
Museum. The beginning of the tale as far 3,sforócrad 
do Bricrind fácbáil'm. § 13 is lacking. This codex is a 
vellum quarto of thirty-five folios in double columns, 
forty-five lines in each column. It has been described 
by Stokes in the "Tripartite Life of St. Patrick" 
(Introd. p. xlv.) and by 0'Curry. The first nineteen 
folios were written in 1477 by Domnall Albanach 
O'Troighti, and the remaining folios are written, as 
0'Curry notes, in three different hands, and apparently 
at different subsequent periods. Then follows (folio 
19«) the Hymn of St. Patrick, and a short religious 
tract, illegible at the end. On folio 2oa begins the 
fragment of Fled Bricrend. It has been already 
collated by Windisch, but I have added some further 
variants from my own reading of the codex. Folio 
26« to the end contains a fragment of the Táin bó 


Cúailnge, as Stokes correctly remarks, in a large 
coarse hand. 

3. H. Manuscript H. 3-17, Trinity College, Dublin 
(sixteenth century). It contains the same order as 
Eg } and has the beginning complete. It breaks off 
at what is section 40 of the LU arrangement. It is 
important as containing certain transitions which the 
compiler of LU sacrificed to his own more clumsy 
handling of the written texts before him. These 
transitions are noted in this edition in their proper 
place. H sometimes has preserved a more correct 
reading than LU } and, like Eg, represents a recen- 
sion independent of L U. 

4. L. The Leyden University Manuscript — Is Vosii 
cod. lat. quart. No. 8 (sixteenth century). It is fully 
described by Dr. Stern in Revué Celtique, xiii. 1-3 1. Its 
ancient possessor, Isaac Voss, no doubt acquired it in 
Britain in the later part of the seventeenth century. 
Its text is careless, and only by balancing its evidence 
alongside of Eg and H can it throw any light on the 
difíicult passages. It more often agrees with H than 
with Eg, but it represents the redaction which is that 
of Eg and of H, as against that of L U. 

5. Ed. Edinburgh Gaelic MS. XL., a vellum quarto 
having five layers of different origin and of diíferent 
dates. It contains a complete copy of the Mesce Ulad, 
of the Táin Bó Fráich and of seven Aideda or Death- 
Tales of the Cuchulainn cycle. On the right-hand 
margin of page 12 is written misi Domhnall. Portions 
of the MS. may have been written in the fourteenth, 
certainly in the fifteenth century. This is the only 
known codex which contains the latter portion of 
Fled Bricrend complete, and is of unique import- 
ance. But its text is most careless in point of spelling, 


and seems to belong to the sixteenth century, though 
the scribe no doubt modernised from an older MS. 
now lost. Its connection with Fled Bricrend was first 
correctly noted by Professor Kuno Meyer in the 
Revue Celtique (vii., 113, and 191). He afterwards 
more fully described it in the Celtic Magazine for 
March 1887, pp. 208-218, and again in the Revue 
Celtique (xiv., pp. 450-459) he published in 1893 the 
Edinburgh version of Cennach Ind Rúanado, i.e. sec- 
tions 91-102 of the tale, with a translation of these 
sections into English. The text here is in some 
places illegible, and though I twice collated his most 
careful transcript with the manuscript, I found these 
letters impossible to make out. I have followed 
Professor Meyer's plan in giving the Edinburgh text 
with its orthographical peculiarities as they stand. I 
have followed my own previous translation of these 
sections, but have compared his, and adopted from it 
whenever it seemed an improvement. Meyer notes 
that the text agrees with Eg against that of L U. 

I have often corrected the reading of LU in its 
own light, and in the light of these MSS., wherever 
it seemed possible or desirable, but as the text oí LU 
is itself compiled from older documents, and belongs 
to a transition period, I have not harmonised the 
forms either in nouns or in verbs, or even in the 
article, as the variations are useful landmarks in 
textual criticism, and seem to characterise a transi- 
tional linguistic stage. Wherever the text is cor- 
rected, the manuscript readings are given at the foot. 

To Professor Windisch's Irische Texte mit W'órter- 
buch I once for all acknowledge my indebtedness. 
It contains the text of sections 1-94 of the tale, with 
collations from Eg and H. I have followed, though 


not entirely, his paragraph arrangement, while in the 
division into chapters I have had Professor Zimmer's 
criticisms in Kuhrís Zeitschrift to guide me, and wish 
to aclmowledge speciallv the help and stimulus ob- 
tained from his various grammatical and literary 
studies, more minutely specified throughout. 

Order of the Versions. 
LU. Eg. H. L. Ed. 


... 13-27 























58 (beginning) 







73 (end)-y4 



• 33-41 





. 91-94... 

91-94.. . 


The blaclc lines denote that the missing sections form no part 
of the recension or compilation concerned. 

* Abridged. 

t " II y manque . . un feuillet entre fol. 6 et fol. 7, qui contenait 
le texte du chapitre 58 á partir des mots no tái, ol si, jusqu'aux 
mots conid limsa in caurathmir dans le chapitre 73." — Stern in 
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Chapter xiv. is not only a doublet to xvi. (the 
beheading game), but refers to araili libair, other 
manuscripts, in a way which proves that the com- 
piler of the version which we have in LU had two 
varving recensions before him. Conall and Loigaire 
said they would not agree to Terror's (Uath's) arrange- 
ment, for it would be impossible for them to live after 
having been beheaded, although he might. Therefore 
they declined : although other books narrate that they 
agreed to the bargain, to wit, Loigaire to cut off Terror's 
head the first day, and (on the giant's returning) that 
Loigaire shirhed his part of the bargain, and that Conall 
likewise behaved unfairly (§ 77). The compiler of LU 
uses the other books, for this whole episode (§§ 75-78) 
is absent from Eg, H, L. It was dropped so as to 
allow of but one beheading game, and in this respect 
shows greater sldll than that of the compiler of L U. 
The same desire for consistency on the part of the 
compiler of the parent-version of Eg-H-L is seen in 
§ 31, where he substitutes Dun Rudraige for Emain. 
Inasmuch as this compiler put chapters vi., vii. after 
xiii., the starting from Emain presupposed in vii. suits 
quite well — the return to Emain being expressly men- 
tioned in §§ 39, 40. H expressly at the end of § 62 
( = beginning of § 72 in that version) speaks of a 
return to Emain, which is really an inconsistency on 
the part of H, and shows that its compiler aimed at a 
harmony of two varying recensions. But the con- 
tradiction is too great for such a change as the mere 
substitution of Dun Rudraige for Emain (§ 31) to 
suffice. Cuchulainn had set out for Dun Rudraige in 
high spirits, and has shown he would contest the 
Champion's Portion against any and everybody (§ 11) ; 
he did not hesitate to contend for it against Conall 


and Loigaire combined (§ 15) ; in the course of the 
feast he upheaved the palace till the stars were visible 
from underneath the wattle (§ 25), and it was found 
that he alone could set it upright (§ 28, beginning). 
How can he say almost in the next words that he is 
tired and broken and cannot hold a duel with any 
one (§ 31): " to eat and to sleep it Iiketh me better 
than everything"; that on that day he had wrestled 
with his steed, the Grey of Macha, and came chasing 
into Emain at evening (§ 31), having made a circuit of 
the chief plains of Erin ? It was the intention of the 
compiler of the Eg-H-L redaction to smooth over as 
many inconsistencies as possible. 

Another clear proof of compilation is the uncer- 
tainty on the part of LU which is seen in § 41, where 
we are told that the heroes were sent either to seek 
Curoi mac Dairi or Ailill and Méve at Cruachan ! 
Against this, Eg in § 41 mentions Sencha as asking 
them to go to Curoi mac Dairi, which suits the inten- 
tion of this compiler, as Eg-H-L give §§ 33-41 imme- 
diately before the expedition to Curoi, whereas LU 
begins with the progress [hosting] of the Ultonians 
to Cruachan, where it is expressly stated — Eg also 
agreeing — that the heroes set out from Dun Rudraige 
(§ 43). I believe that in § 41 the Eg compiler has 
tampered less with the recension which stood before 
him, and to a certainty had all the incidents of the 
Emain-Curoi narrative in sequence. LU~ and L break 
off with the Emain-Curoi narrative at the end of the 
same sentence (§ 94), but the parent narrative cannot 
have been defective here, for Eg continues for some 
twenty-four lines further, now almost wholly illegible. 
The Emain-Curoi recension must have been shortened 
considerably at the beginning. It is curious to see 


how two compilers worlcing independently insert 
§§ 29-32 in the same place ! Further, the redactor of 
the LU compilation took the title from the Dun 
Rudraige-Ailill recension. Thus on the margin of LU 
the title of the second portion, viz. incurathmlr Emna 
Macha (the Champion's Portion of Emain Macha), is 
laclcing ; and so, too, cennach indruanada (the Cham- 
pion's Covenant) is lacking on the margin opposite 
to what corresponds with chap. xiv. of our division. 
Something like this stood there in the Dun Rudraige- 
Ailill recension, and the compiler of LU has put 
■cennach indruanada inso (the Champion's Covenant 
here) opposite chap. xvi., although his text from the 
Emain-Curoi recension has cotánic cennach indruanada 
in Emain Macha. He was clever enough to notice the 
difference afterwards, and as a fact the words in Emain 
Macha are superscribed above the title in L U, 99^, 2. 

There are especial discrepancies in the L U narra- 
tive as to Ailill and Méve's behaviour in the awarding 
of the prize. There are two versions interwoven in 
somewhat external fashion, and they are irreconcilable. 
According to the one account, each of the three chief 
heroes, during the stay in Cruachan, stays in a house 
apart (§ 54) ; according to the other, they are staying 
together, for there is no meaning in the account in 
§ 57, save on the presupposition that the three heroes 
are passing the night in the same room of the palace. 
Had chap. ix. originally followed upon chap. viii., we 
should have expected some explanation as to the change 
of arrangement respecting the stay of the heroes. Chap. 
xi., however, is in accord with chap. viii., for each of the 
three chief heroes has a house apart. In chap. ix. Conall 
and Loigaire are pictured as cowards ; the absurdity 
of their situation is depicted with grim heroic humour 


that is genuinelv Irish. Their protest against the 
validitv of the proofs is of like nature. In chap. x. Ailill 
takes the decision in hand and finds it difficult, where- 
upon Méve comes to his aid to give judgment, 
although it is reallv a further proof that is expected. 
For according to LU, judgment has been already 
given. It is needless to discuss the psychological 
development, inasmuch as § 57 (i.e. ix.) is absent from 
all the compilations save that of LU. Psychologically, 
chap. x. is only thinkable as following upon chap. xi., 
for there Loigaire and Conall mistake mock-laughter 
for real applause, whereas Cuchulainn takes real 
applause for mock-laughter. No wonder he is dis- 
posed to set aside what seems to him cannot be other 
than Méve's lying flattery (§ 61). The fine irony of 
the affair could not be better brought out, and as a 
fact, Eg and L have chap. xi. before chap. x. Again, 
in chap. xi. the heroes have a house apart (§ 63) which 
we must imagine to be the case in chap. x. where 
Méve calls upon Cuchulainn (§ 61). Chaps. viii., xi., 
x. form a sort of unity in this order, which is that of 
Eg and of L against L U. 

Whence then came chap. ix. ? It contains a test 
which Conall and Loigaire could not recognise. They 
naturally claim a further test. This behaviour was 
well fitted to inspire Ailill with fear ; he felt it would 
be very difficult for him to get them to abide by any 
verdict, while at the same time he was certain of their 
hatred. The only escape out of the difficulty was to 
send them for judgment to some one else. Now the 
contents of chap. xii. admirably harmonise with chap. 
ix., and if we suppose these two chapters to have 
formed part of a separate recension, it is clear how 
the heroes can answer Ercol (§ 66) that they have 


come for judgment. For on this view, judgment had 
hitherto not been given. I would guard the reader 
here against a possible erroneous surmise. Were 
these sections not stuck in at random from floating 
materials of folk-lore by the redactor of the version 
which the transcriber of LU followed ? No ! At 
the time of the L U compiler, the saga was fixed in 
manuscript, and we may expect to meet with doublets, 
with interpolations, with attempted harmonies, often 
unsuccessful, on the part of a clumsy, dry compiler, 
to whom the innate sense for story-telling was not 
at all a second nature ! I take it, accordingly, that 
such a compiler had two versions in manuscript of 
the Dun Rudraige-Ailill recension before him : accord- 
ing to the one version, Méve herself gave final judg- 
ment upon the heroes ; according to the other — and 
no doubt somewhat later version, showing classical 
influence certainly, and Norse influence probably — 
she sent them to Garmna and Ercol. 

The visit to Erool is narrated according to two 
versions. According to the first account, they are 
received by Ercol, who does not give judgment upon 
them, but simply sends them to Samera (§§ 67, 68). 
According to the second account, Ercol challenges 
the heroes to a combat on horseback, and gets worsted 
(§§ 69-71) by Cuchulainn. The second adventure 
ends in a return to Emain ; the first, although Samera 
speaks of Cuchulainn as cit othair ér Emna (§ 68) has 
no word of a return to Emain. The opening phrase 
of § 69 : " after that they went to the house of Ercol," 
scarcely warrants one in thinking that the heroes 
visited Ercol a second time on the return journey. 
The link " after that (iar taz'n) " is too loose f or such 
a specific inference. 


In an earlier form of this version, the reference to 
Ercol and to the fight on horseback would have been 
wanting ; very probably the expedition to Samera 
and to the Amazons of the Glen {genniíi glintti) would 
have formed its main contents in this particular 

Up to a certain point these two versions of the 
Dun Rudraige-Ailill recension were the same, and 
contained the essential contents of chaps. i., ii., iii., viii. ; 
then came a variation : the one, instead of following with 
the contents of chaps. xi., x., xiii., xiv., had the essential 
contents of chaps. ix., xii., xiii., xiv. So far as one can 
at present see, chap. ix. could at once be followed by 
chap. xii., but some clauses seem to have been missed 
out. The absence of these led to easy confusion on 
the part of the compiler. Perhaps the one repre- 
sented Ailill (§ 58) in an unhappy frame of mind, not 
knowing how to give any judgment, whereupon 
Méve came to his aid ; the other version said nothing 
whatever as to his being dispirited, but represented 
him as thinking of new tests and further feats of 
trial, when all of a sudden the energetic Méve, as 
provident lady, stepped in and ordered them off to 
Ercol. On the latter hypothesis, chap. xii., with its 
race-feats, fight with Amazons, and conflict with Ercol, 
would follow at once after chap. ix. On the former 
view, recollecting that chap. xi. [with its account of 
Méve's familiarity with Cuchulainn, and of Cuchu- 
lainn's victory at the wheel-feat, not to speak of the 
additional needle-feat (§ 65)] must precede chap. x., 
as it does 'm Eg and L, Ailill goes to his chamber 
dispirited, not knowing what to do, whereupon the 
way is clear for Méve's intervention, and her dodge 
with the cuach (§§ 58-62). But the self-consciousness 


of Conall and of Loigaire stood so high (§ 64), that 
each naturally regarded the cuach of their opponent 
as purchased (§ 74). 

Of the Ercol-Samera episode, chaps. xiii. and xiv. 
know nothing. From H chaps. ix., xi., xii. are absent 
altogether. We have thus in all probabilitv to sup- 
pose not less than three variants of the Dun Rudraige- 
Ailill recension alone, viz. : 

A. containing chaps. i., ii., iii., viii., xi., x., xiii., xiv. 

B. „ „ i., ii., iii., iv.,viii.,ix.,xii.,xiii.,xiv. 

C. „ „ i., ii., iii., viii., x., xiii., xiv. 
And one might ask whether there was not at an 

older date a still shorter version of this recension, 
minus the rhythmical speeches — a story with simple 
episodes narrating the testing of Cuchulainn's/mwztf/ 
courage. For that is what the trial with Uath amounts 
to. The axe business is part of the machinery, with 
no doubt as much basis in phantasy as when children 
are asked to credit the existence of the man in the 
moon with an axe in his hand for the sin of cutting 
trees on the Sabbath. Faith is the truth of fact. 

Zimmer has noted the difference of epithet applied 
to Fedelm in § 28, which is lacking in H, L. There 
are two ladies, Fedelm Foltchain and Fedelm Nóicro- 
thach, whereas in the preceding sections of the Dun 
Rudraige-Ailill recension, the epithet is several times 
Nóicride (of the fresh heart) : § 28 may therefore 
come from variant B. of this recension. The com- 
piler of Eg had this variant B. before him, but would 
not in any case destroy the relative harmony which 
existed, as it suited his plan otherwise. May we also 
regard it as suspicious that in § 72 Dubtach Dóeltengad 
takes the place of Bricriu, wherein LU and H agree ; 
§ 72 may here show the influence of the C. variant. 


But this Dubtach is elsewhere known for his jealousy 
and evil counsel (v. Hull, 180). It is to be noted 
that Eg, § 72, spells Cuchulainn's father's name with 
a b (Subaltam) versus mac Sualdaim in LU twice 
(§§ 28, 72). Zimmer (K.S. i. 54«) regards the form 
with b as incorrect ; Rhys has compared Houelt, a 
name on a Welsh inscription of the tenth century. 

With chap. xiv. the Dun Rudraige-Ailill recension 
closed. In place of the words nirdaimset indfir aili do 
Comadaind inbreth rodnucad do (LU, iiob, 34, 35), 
came the concluding sentence wherein Cuchulainn 
was solemnly awarded the Champion's Portion. Uath 
undertook judgment only on condition that the three 
heroes would promise to abide by it. Which they 
did. Then Uath pledged them solemnly (fonascit 
forro) to the same (§ 76). Whatever variant we follow 
in § 77, Cuchulainn solemnly pledged them not to 
dispute the Champion's Portion with him if he 
entered upon the covenant with Uath. They were 
in honour bound to keep to their word. Whosoever, 
says Zimmer, has an idea of what flr fer (a man's 
word, a man's honour, fairplay) was, and what a 
solemn pledge (nascud, fornascud, fomaidm) meant to 
the Irish heroes — parents, wife, life itself having to 
give place to it — such an one will allow that Loigaire 
and Conall could not dispute the Champion's Portion 
with Cuchulainn after their double pledge. In the 
spirit of Irish saga such knavery were unthinkable. 
But a dull compiler, whose only anxiety was to patch 
on the remaining pieces of a second recension, could 
have no scruple in paying not the slightest attention 
to this twofold pledge. 

He will either make a spoon or spoil a horn. 
And thus he converted two of the chief heroes of 


early Irish saga into knaves. He shows his want of 
insight, not to speak of delicate touch. The three 
heroes then hied them to Emain : ocns nirdaimset 1 
ind fir aili dó Coincnlainn in breth rodnucad dó. Bói in 
t-imcosnam cetna beius imón curadmir (§78)« As the com- 
piler of Eg-H-L has thrown aside the whole chapter 
for the sake of a better harmonv, one cannot restore 
the real ending of the Méve-Uath episode. But cer- 
tainly the above words in italics were not there. We 
owe them to the compiler of LU. No word of the 
solemn pledge ! Compare their conduct on a former 
occasion (§ 74), when Méve's judgment appeared 
equivocal, though there was then no solemn pledge 
given. Yet they rose up and drew their swords. 
Not likely that Cuchulainn on the occasion referred 
to in § 78, after a solemn pledge had been given, would 
allow such knavery to pass unchallenged. No man 
would. Still less the most prominent hero of a race 
among whom it is a current saying : Ls fearr an troid 
ndn t-uaigneas, " Dispute is better than solitude." 

Chap. xv., accordingly, resumes the Emain-Curoi 
recension, which was broken off at § 41. The transi- 
tion phrase, ba si comairli Ulad forro dano a cur do 
saigid Conroí dia m-brethugud (§ 78), is but a paraphrase 
or resumption of innsoighid co Conroí mic Daire for 
Sencha (Eg, 41) = norocurtis do saichthin Conroí maic 
Dairi, {LU, 41). For the rest, chaps. xv., xvi. form 
an undoubted unity. Though full of most interesting 
matter, it is not so well motived, so to speak, as is the 
Dun Rudraige-Ailill recension. Cuchulainn brings 
back with him to Emain no evidence of Curoi's award. 
He very readily takes a huff, and declares (§ 90) he is 

1 Note the verb nirdaimset, which is due to the compiler. 
This is Middle Irish for the older deponent form nirdamatar. 


not a bit anxious to win the Champion's Portion. 
The motifiov this representalion is, that in the Emain- 
Curoi recension the three heroes are much more on a 
par (an old trait) than in the other. The inmates at 
Fort Curoi, as well as Cuchulainn himself, were of 
the belief that the other two heroes had leapt of their 
own accord across the fort in order to entice Cuchu- 
lainn to do likewise — an achievement which he could 
accomplish onIy after his fit of frenzv seized him. 
The Champions Covenant (§ 91 to the end), which we 
have complete only in the Edinburgh Manuscript, 
always formed part of the Emain-Curoi recension. 
I believe I am able to assign the reason why there is 
seemingly less care bestowed on the motifs of the 
Emain-Curoi narrative. Curoi knew beforehand that 
they were coming, which is tantamount to saying 
that the magician tests and seeks the heroes, as is 
really proved from the continuation, where Curoi 
comes to the heroes at the Hostel of the Red Branch 
in Emain, when the beheading test, in presence of 
the assembled knights, sumces to make Cuchulainn's 
bravery patent to all. In the other version, where 
the heroes seek out the magician, proofs are needed 
because the knights are not eye-witnesses of the 
umpire's verdict : in the Méve-Uath episode we read 
(§ 75) that the three heroes went to Yellow, who sent 
them to Terror, and, farther on, that they had guides 
from Yellow (Budí). No word that they were ac- 
companied by knights from Emain Macha ! They 
therefore could have no proper evidence from one 
of their own number that Cuchulainn stood the be- 
heading test. Nay, so far as Conall and Loigaire 
were concerned, there were varving accounts of their 
conduct, as is expressly stated (§ 77). 


Linguisticallv, §§ 79~94 of the Emain-Curoi recen- 
sion are on the whole as old as the bulk of the Dun 
Rudraige-Ailill recension, certainly older than the 
accretions (chaps. ix. and xii.) met with in one of 
the variants of that recension. One is assuredly right 
in holding that a tale like the Emain-Curoi story was 
current in Erin during the last quarter of the ninth 
century. For anything to the contrary, I see no reason 
why, in the main essentials, it should not orally go 
back to the earliest period of Irish saga. Professor 
Windisch, however, is of opinion that the expedition 
to Curoi, while it may in itself be an old saga, does 
not belong to the oldest part of the present text, 
Curoi's name not being mentioned in any item of the 
superscription. But neither is Uath's name specified. 
In this particular it sufficed for the title to mention 
Cennach ind Ruanada, "The Champion's Covenant," 
which could also include Curoi. It is not at all likely 
that the magician's name would be mentioned in the 
title. The title, I suppose, would specify, as it does, 
in Curathmir Emna Macha, " The Champion's Portion 
of Emain Macha," and it would not therefere be 
necessary to repeat "in Emain Macha" after "the 
Covenant of the Champion." A feast at Emain is 
presupposed in §§ 29-31. Curious is Windisch's mis- 
construction of the words Liath morbrngi (§ 32), which 
he wildly distorts into Liath Morbragi twice (Ir. 
Texte } pp. 248, 252), and translates " der Graue Gross- 
haisige," which cannot be got from the context, and 
actually is not the text, which is morbrugi, "great 
plains " ! Professor Windisch would seemingly seek 
for a purely historic basis for the story, and inasmuch 
as the Méve-Uath episode (§§ 75-78) is absent from 
Eg-H and, as we now know, from L, he supposes that 


the oldest and original version left the settling of the 
contest solely to the judgment of Méve (§§ 42-65, 
72-74). He is inconsistent with himself in holding 
§§ 42-65 as continuous, for on the previous page 
(Ir. Texte, p. 248) his belief is that the contents of 
§§ 72-74 originally followed immediately upon § 62. 
He notes that only §§ 42-65 and 72-74 — putting aside 
§ 57 as being an interpolation — are free of conflicts 
with giants and beasts, presumably, therefore, more 
or less historical. This view is at variance with the 
actual statement in § 74 as well as with the whole 
movement of the tale. If Sencha's will was law, he 
could have settled the strife long before. And if 
speculation be here allowable, one might suggest 
that the Emain-Curoi recension began with a feast 
at Emain, where Dubtach Dóeltengad (Duach of the 
Chafer Tongue) took the róle of Bricriu, — a recension 
which had reminiscences of a version where it was 
Sualdam mac Roig, Cuchulainn's father, who tested 
the valour of his heroic son. This may be a possible 
inference from § 72, and may preserve a really archaic 
feature where the relation of the magician to the hero 
was that of father to son. 1 His own father may have 
been represented as testing Cuchulainn, who in his 
own turn tested and unwittingly slew his own son 
Conlaoch. I merely throw this out as a suggestion, 

1 "This conjecture is supported by the fact that in the Conte 
del Graal version of the beheading episode it is the father who 
tests the son {cf. Miss Weston's " Legend of Sir Gawain," 95, 96). 
At the time that Miss Weston was writing her book I had a strong 
impression that one of the versions of the Champion's Wager did 
represent Cuchulainn as the giant magician's son, and I was 
disappointed when, on loolcing up the story again, I could not 
verify my supposition."— ALFRED NUTT. 


because the appearance of Duach of the Chafer 
Tongue in place of Bricriu, alongside of the state- 
ment that Sualdam, Cuchulainn's father, was per- 
sonallv in attendance upon the Ultonians, seems to 
me to convey as much. 


In surveying the linguistic forms, with the view of 
ascertaining the oldest possible clate at which the main 
body of the present text could have been written f 
the following facts should be kept in view. I take 
account of : — 

The Neuter Gender. 

Traces of the neuter are still visible in the transported n of 
alleth n-aill, 12 ; alleth n-aile, 15 ; hi tech n-óil, 62, 89; fot ?i- 
aurchora, 88 ; in fecht 71-aile, 88 ; da n-droch, 45, 47, 50 ; da n-all 
n-áebda, 45 ; da n-all n-diíalcha, 45, 51 ; Mag ??i-Breg, 43 ; tírn- 
Erend, 31 ; dan-grúad, 51 ; a rígthech n-uile, 20 ;fri ed ?n-bliadna, 
34; a búaid ?i-oc ?i-Ulad, 8; lín ?n-band ??i-balc-biíada, 22; ba 
socraid arréitn ro-n-ucset, 42, where ?i is assimilated to r. 

The Article. 

Sg. nom. acc. — The old Gaelic neuter article a?i is still found in 
a ?i-dún, 25 ; alleth, 12, 15, where the ?i is assimilated ; issa?n?nag, 
45, 47, 49 ; arrígtech, 55, 15 ; a n-ed, 18, 19 ; isa tech, 3, 20, 25, 88. 

Gen. — The fuller form of the fem. occurs : inna hamsiri sin 
uli, 1 ; i?i?ia cathrach, 83 ; but the shorter forms are the usual ones, 
thus na cathrach, 80. — We have still ind íor the masc, e.g., ind laith gaile, 
14, 20 ; ind fir, 25, 75, 78 ; in tré?iftr ocus ind láith gaile, 7,1$; 
i?id randaire, 72, but also in the same section ?ia rondairij ?ia 
rannaire, 90 ; na ríg ocus ?ia toisig, 28 ; ind rigna, " the queens," 
28, whereas tair do accallaim . . na rigna (gen. sg. fem.) occurs in 
61 ; § 28 is of later date than some of the others and is absent in 
Eg. The masc. form is here wronglv used for the fem. 

xlviii PROBABLE DATE OF THE TEXT — The fuller form occurs as in the old glosses, e.g. t inna 
Idth n-gaile, 3 ; innafcr, 17 ; oc cosc inna m-dan, 29 ; inna caurath, 
56 ; but the shorter fonn also : na tíri, 93 ; na trénfer, 8, 13 ; na 
ríg ocus na tóisech ocus na láth n-gaile, 6. 

Dat. — The old labial ending of the article is dropped : forsna 
feraib aile, 82. 


We have the fem. di : a di bois, 82 ; a di laim, 31, 61, 86 (Eg.) ; 
perhaps 'mfo dibi, 13. 

Also the fem. teora : na teora futhairbe, 17, 22 (bis), 82 ; teora 
aidchi, 57 ; teora aidche, 58, but trí n-aidche, 55, whereas Eg. has 
teora n-oidche. 


The old dat. pl. in -ib is infrequent : nochtaib, 74 ; ulib, 13 ; co 
comlathaib glainidib, 55. 

The gen. fem. mori occurs with a neuter noun : fer cumachia 
mori, 75, though cumachte is neuter (v. Hog. p. 190) ; it is correctlv 
used in yj, e.g., mátan maglorci mori. 

Gradation. — The following comparatives of equalitv in -dir, 
-thir, occur : htathidir, 86 ; litathithir, 87 ; remithir, 91 ; sithidir, 
100 ; dénithir, 80 (cf. Ml. 57°, 12 and H2 b , 12 (p. 459). 

The Noun. 

Dat. sg. — cona eoch riata lais, 31 ; dá eoch, 69 ; neoch, 74, 90 ; 
do neoch, 72 ; dond gillu, 38 ; asin baliu, 88 ; baliu, 56, 88 ; iar 
n-urd, 66 ; in aim, 70 (a form still current with some speakers in 
the Western Isles) ; iar sudiu, 5, 16 (bis), 54 (bis), 56, 59, 60 (bis), 
62 ; di sudiu, 6 ; issudiu, 10 ; isintsudiu, 81 ; but also iarsudi, 25 ; 
di siídi, 57 ; innasudi, 21 ; i n-Ere, 19 versus i n-Érind, 79, 93. 
The s- stem dún makes its dat. sg. dún, 1, 43, whereas the old 
glosses have dúin . asintaig, 13, but also assintig, 13. 

Acc. pl.—fichtiu, 9 ; firu, 15 ; sciathu, 15 ; beolu, 9, 85 ; cen na 
niulu, 44 ; nonboru, 84 ; cindu, 89 ; eocho, aradu, 40 ; muru, 70. 

Gen. sg. — betho, 25, which occurs also in IB., stanza 29, in Wb. 
29% e.g., docotar iterum fri tola in betho, " they went again to 
desires of the world," in Ml. i6 c , e.g, fir bctho. As this form 
occurs in a Rosc it may be studiedly antique. 



i. co correctly takes the acc. : co tech m-Budi, 75 ; co airm, 
67 ; co déod lái, 83 ; co cathraig Conroi, 79. The dat. is wrongly 
used for the acc, e.g., co mellaib, 20 ; cusna fuiathaib, 67 ; cusna 
genitib glinni, 66. 

2. dar incorrectly has the dat. : dar bernadaib, 70 ; note varia- 
tions often in the same section, e.g., tarsin cathraig ajnmuich, 82 ; 
tar cathir a»i7nuig, 82 ; tarsin cathraig ammuig, 88. 

3. eter correctly has the acc. : eter na mná, 21 ; cf. 27 (end) ; 
eter cendail ocus fodbu, 84 ; the dative in accordance with later 
usage is met with in 25, 29, 48. 

4. fri correctly has acc. : friu, 21 ; fri biasta, 57 ; but frisna 
rannairib, 14 (bis), and in one of these the noun is written out in 

5. di, "de, of," is used correctly and not confounded with do : 
9 (bis), 11 (but also in the same breath do Ultaib), 15 (bis), 17, 22, 
25 (bis), 28 (the § where ind rigna, "the queens," occurs, v. sub 
Noun), 41, 55, 89, 90 ; di mnaib, 18, but also do ócaib, 18. Note 
that L. reads di fhin where LU. has do fín, 9 ; do rennaib ninie, 
but also de mnáib doniuin, 19. 

6. do is used for di in 3, 4, 7, 11, 59 (bis), 62, 74, 80 (bis) ; do 
na tri coecaib ingen, 54. Older texts such as IB. preserve a careful 
distinction between di and do, and some dialects of the living 
speech do so still. 

7. Note dia mnai, "to his wife," 68; dia echaib, "to his 
horses," 63. 

Affixed Pronouns. 

(Roman numerals preíixed refer to the division into 

II. gabsus meisce, intoxication seized them, 16. 

III. nóith-ium, 22 ; tint-ai, 23 ; rucc-ai, 23 ; falg-ai, 24. 
VIII. athecht-ai, 47. 

XI. gebth-i, 64 (bis). 

XV. leichth-e, 81 ; léicth-i, 87 ; also leicth-e, 25 (which Win- 
disch wrongly regards as pass. pres. sec. sg. 3) : the phrase means 
" he lets himself into the house," not " er wurde eingelassen " as 
in Windisch's Dict. p. 656. In the foregoing instances the suffíx 
is in the acc, but in /ingth-i, 86 ; cingth-i-seom, 88, it seems in the 
nominative, cf VT. lxx. 



XII. riat-ai, 71 ; dolléic im budin Chonaill, " he betoolc himself 
into the company of C," \o = dolléc-i im budin C, " he betoolc him- 
self into the company of C," 1 1 ; doecmall-ai, 96 ; tegmall-ai, 96. 

I. cid dogena-sib, 6, "what wilt thou do?" 

Windisch from his rendering, viz., " was wirst du 
ihnen thun," " what wilt thou do to them?" must 
take -sib as an affixed pronoun. It has, on the other 
hand, been held that we have here an early " analytic 
use of the 3rd sg. with pronouns of another number 
and person " (RR. xxv.). As I have left -sib in the 
text, I notice the form here, though I am inclined to 
regard it as a scribal corruption for dogena-sin. 

X. iúrtJvund, 61 (sufhxed pronoun of 1 pl.). Note no hant-ai, 
75 ; atr-ai, 78 ; also sech-ai, "past him," 17. 

It is certain those affixed pronouns occur in the old 
glosses of the eighth century, e.g., nibronach donintarr- 
ai, "(it was) not sad that he returned," Wb. ió b , 18; 
dorint-ai, 3 sg. pret., occurs in Ml. Affixed pronouns 
differ in form from suffixed ones and are of rarer 
occurrence in the glosses [cf. Sommer, CZ. i. 223). 
Mr. Strachan notes that in Saltair na Rann, "in- 
stances are very doubtful. Hence the period during 
which this formation prevailed may be reckoned from 
about the beginning of the ninth century till about the 
beginning of the tenth century, and one may with 
probability say that the usage was most extended in 
the ninth century" (CZ. ii. 484). In Wb. they are 

* Thurneysen (CZ. i. 349) now assigns the Wiirzburg glosses to the 
first half of the eighth century. Tirechan's notes and Muirchu's seem to 
date from the second half of the seventh century or the transition from the 
seventh to the eighth century. 


Infixed Pronouns. 

The system of pronominal infixation which prevails 
in the old glosses is here well represented. 

Sg. i. — do'm'rumalt, 88 ; co'tom'bert-sa, 22 (for other instances 
of tom for 1 sg. v. CZ. i. 184, § 6) ; co'tottrgaba-su, 24 ; con'onrthic- 
se, 24 (bis) ; nochon' 'oní 'tha-sa duib, 26. 

Pl. 1. — cufan'mela, 52 ; for'dún'dibni, 46 (for dun v. CZ. i. 
186, § 13) ; gle no'don'sel-ni, " clearlv he would (will) cut us," 48. 

Sg. 2. — dotdingbad-su, 94 ; atodaimet (for ad'dofdaimef), 61 ; 
for dot v. CZ. i. 188, § 19 ; cotmidem (?) 74. 

Pl. 2. — co'tob'sechaim, 29 (for other instances of tob v. CZ. i. 
190, § 25) ; atabair'ecen, 7 : a similar formation is found in Wb., 
e.g., iss um ecen, " mihi opus est." The proclitic copula takes the 
place of a preposition, and we may regard the pronoun as infixed 
rather than suffixed. Cf. CZ. i. 223. 

Pl. 3. — no's'bruend, no's'cerband, 67 (proleptic) ; no's'díbairg, 
65 ; fosfácaib, 13; ro's'gab, 44 (proleptic) ; do's'fil, 53 (cf. CZ. i. 
215, where nisfil, "non sunt ii," is cited from the old glosses) ; 
ni'sfeid, 47 (proleptic) ; to'sn'airnechtar, 55 ; inrús'dich, 22 ; 
imnrus'tecrathar, 22 ; connám'ustragat, 84 (for con-na-imm'usn'- 
agat) ; comnros'raiat, 84 (for con-imnros'ra-lat). 

N.B. — After imm- we have the form 'us' elsewhere, as in the 
Milan glosses. The first example, § 84, shows the usual nasal 
(cf CZ. i. 210, § 71 Anm.). Dr. Stohes's analysis of the last two 
forms is clearly wrong, v. Notes. 

Sg.fem. 3. — to'strúaroaib, 85 ; do's'ber, 65 ; ad'da'ci, 17. 

N.B. — 'da' is one of the most frequent forms of the 3 sg. fem. 
infixed (v. CZ. i. 204, § 56). Windisch held this form to stand for 
ad'datrcai (p. 346 of Worterbuch). 

Sg. 3 masc. used for neuter.—fatrócaib, 74 (proleptic) ; conid'- 
n'accatar, 74 ; no'dtrdírgi, 27 ; ro'dngab, 69 (cf CZ. i. 220) ; 
no'n'dlig, 14 ; da'tn'beraid dó, "give it to him," 13 ; dotrúthracar- 
sa, 9. 

Sg. 3 neut. — ro'n'uicset, 7 ; ro'n'ucset, 42, 44. 

Sg. 3fem. 's' used as tnasc. and often proleptically. — fri's'gart, 
54 ; no's'cuir, 64 ; no's'curat, 67 ; no's'traethat, 67 ; no's'cengland, 
70 (proleptic) ; no's'tuarcend, 40 ; do'sfanic, 41 ; con'os'tarraid, 40 ; 
ro's'gaph, 99 ; to's'cenn, 98 ; ro'sn'gap, 98 ; atraig, 14 (for ad'as'raig, 
" er erhebt sich ") ; atetha (for ad'dethd), 24, cf YJL. 30, 73 ; 
fo'drácaib, 26; forda'tuigithar, 45 (da for [dan ?) ; no'dglefe, 


56 ; fo'd'ruair, 56 (from fóiriní) ; dodfanic, 58 ; no'd'lemad, 76 
(proleptic) ; do'dfanic, 82 (proleptic) ; do'drigni, 89 ; notolbad 
{no'd'dolbad), 75 ; ro'dn'ucad, 78 ; ní'n'accathar, 59 ; coPn'omalt 
{co-io-fo-malt), 82 ; cot'n'erig, 74 ; cottigabtus (coddngabt'us), 30 
(proleptic) ; níléicfitis, 3. 

[N.B. — The preposition con- followed by d- becomes cot-, 
whereas the conjunction con remains unchanged, e.g., cototner- 
chloither, glossed "agor," SG. 17% 7 ; condumfel, "ut sim," Wb. 3°, 


ro'ni'bui, 44 (proleptic) ; twnvbera, 59 ; asaithgned, 25 ; atge- 
natar, 25. 

The many instances of proleptic usage point to a 
date later than that of the old glosses, especially the 
extension of 's' fem. to the masc. Fri's'gart is thus 
used in Tirechan's Notes on the Book of Armagh. 
The 's', 'sn' of the glosses is used for 3 sg. f. and 
for 3 pl., and is no doubt cognate with German sie, 
which is similarly used, and means both " she " and 
"they." The extension of it to the masc. sg. is early 
Middle Irish. The use of 3 sg. m. in apposition to 
a neuter noun also points to a date when the neuters 
were being confused. From this point of view I 
should be inclined to deny a date much before 850 
A.D. for any section of the language of Fled Bricrend 
in its present form. 

The 3 Per. Pronoun. 

ol seat, 5, 16; v. siat, "they," 29, 41 ; iat-som, 57 (a later 
section) ; siat (acc.) 29; iat (nom.), 62, 66, 74, 76; iat (acc.) 40, 
66, 67. In rotbíat, 87, we have it as verbal form. 

Note that in § 29 the verb which is still deponent 
in 20 {folmastar) has passed into the active (folmaiset). 
It is noticeable that with the exception of 5 and 16, 
the first 28 sections and §§ 79-94 dispense with eat f 


iat, and keep to verbal forms with iníixed or afBxed 
pronouns ; § 16, which announces the journey to 
Ailill and Méve, may show the hand of a redactor. 
In the Highlands of Scotland there are dialects which 
never use iat but et (open e, long if stressed, and 
dental i) invariably. In Scotland it may be said to 
be almost a dialectal test (setting pulpit speech aside). 
Putting these two facts together, viz., the absence of 
iat entirely and the use where the pronoun is used of 
eat, seat, one would be led to regard §§ 1-28 and 
§§ 79-94 as belonging linguistically to an older date, 
though to different recensions, it may be. This part 
of the tale the compiler has in all likelihood found in 
somewhat older manuscripts. 

3 Sg. Pret. Pass. in -ta, -tha. 

IX. dobretha, "was given," 57, 72. 
XI. „ „ 6 3 (bis). 

XIII. „ „ 72. 

3 Sg. Pret. Act. in -ta, -tha, -th. 

VII. dobretha, "gave," 38. 
XII. „ „ 66. 

XII. „ „ 67. 

The use of forms in -ta in the active sense is much 
later than the age of the old Irish glosses. These 
active forms have arisen by analogy and never have 
ro before them. They are sporadic formations, and 
appear for the first time in early Middle Irish and 
soon disappear. 

Professor Zimmer has shown (KZ. 28, 363) the 
untenableness of Mr. Stokes's attempt to derive them 
from an old imperfect in -tát which has no existence. 


Zimmer pointed out, for the first time, I think, that in 
strong verbs such as orgim, " I slay," bongim, " I break," 
alaim, " I rear," &c., the difference of stem, based upon 
the old accent, between the old preterite and the pret. 
pass. in tó, is non-existent ; from the oldest period 
roort meant both " he slew " and " he was slain ; " roalt, 
"he brought up " and "he was brought up." Here 
Zimmer rinds the beginning of the development. In 
Early Irish orta, alta, bretha, dobretha, gessa, as 3 sg. 
pret. pass. arose side by side of roort, "he was slain," 
alt, " he was reared," rogess, " he was entreated," and 
the existence of these two passive forms side by side 
brought about the rise of another active form along- 
side of the old one, e.g., orta by the side of roort, and 
so also alta,fechta, scnta, fosnessa, adfcta. It was then 
but a short step to use the passives bretha, dobretha, 
dobreth, asbreth in an active sense, and to put dobretha, 
dobreth alongside of dobert. The result is that if we 
take Fled Bricrend as the work of one man and of 
uniform date, the earliest redaction of the story is 
more than a century later than the age of the glosses, 
or else, if the tale be not uniform but show the hand 
of a later compiler, §§ 38, 66, 67, in which dobretha, 
" he gave," has an active sense, must be assigned a 
date later than some other portions of the text. Even 
if we suppose two old redactions, §§ 66, 67 (the judg- 
ment of Samera) may have been committed to writing 
somewhat later than the rest. In § 38 also we might 
trace the hand of one of the compilers, and it is 
noticeable that in Egerton, §§ 33-41 follow after § 74. 



IX. chat[h]aigmit-ni, 57. 
II. gabtait* a sciathu foraib, 15. 

Zimmer sees here a pronominal affix, and thinks 
that, after the pronoun lost its meaning, mit was felt 
as a simple ending. Thurneysen (CZ. ii. 79) doubts 
this, as otherwise we have pronominal affixa of the 
3 per. only after verbs in -i and -us, never in -/, and 
thinks it is due to confusion between non-relative 
endings in -it and relative endings in -te : berit berte, 
ib. 80. 

In any case, § 57 belongs to a later date. It 
shows Norse influence in the loan-word spárr, Norse 
sparri, but it might come from an Old English 
sparra. This section is absent from Eg. The gloss 
in § 15 shows the scribe's hand ; atafregat indicates 
simple misreading of/for s of the Irish script : gabtait 
and rofergaigestar are either due to a compiler or we 
have to infer that the tale was first written late in the 
ninth century. 

3 Sg. Pret. Pass. in -as. 

XII. robas, 70. 
This is Middle Irish for roboth, which is the passive 
form used in II., III., VIII. Mr. Strachan notes robas 
as appearing once in SR. 7564. As § 70 is part of 

* Cf Zimmer's two statements : — 

(1) " atafregat forlár tige 7 gabtait asclathu foraib, ' sie erheben sich auf 
dem flur des hauses und nehmen sie ihre schilde auf sich,' wo das an 
die einfache verbalform sufBgierte element mit dem der componierten 
infigierten auf gleicher stufe steht ad-ta-fregat." — KZ. 28, 319. 

(2) " atafregat fiir atasregat ; das / in atasraig, atasregat ist aus den 
formen atsraig, atraig eingeschleppt wie z.b. atrothreb fiir adrothreb aus 
atreba ( = adtreba)." — KS. I. 39. 


a whole episode, viz., The Combat against Ercol 
(§§ 69-71), it leads one to think that these sections 
may not have formed part of the original form of 
the story. One has to consider what loan-words, if 
any, are found therein — v. sub Loan- Words. 

Reduplicated Future. 

Redup. s. fut. sec. — cichsed (r.), 22, 23, from cingim ; iurthund, 
61 = iurad, sec. redup. s. fut. of orgim + affixed pronoun 1 per sg ; 
no"don'sel-ni (r.), 48, from slaiditn, 

Three of these forms occur in the Rosc, which is 
studiedly archaic ; the other has the snffixed pronoun. 
So far as the above forms are concerned they would 
suit the age of the Milan glosses, circa 750 a.d. 

3 Sg. Pres. Ind. in -nd. 

VII. co?icingenn, 34. 
VII. nostuarcend, 40. 

(noscerband, 67. 
nosbruend, 67. 
noscengland, 70. 

On this falsely so-called consuetudinal present 
(conj. sg. 3 in -nn) see Thurneysen in IF. i. 330, 
CZ. i. 343. It will be noted that the last three forms 
occur within the group §§ 69-71, which are later addi- 
tions, the first two within the group §§ 33-41, which 
in Eg. follow after § 74. These forms seem due to 
some compiler. 

3 Sg. -ad in Act. and Pass. Sense. 

X. conaccrad, 59 (pass.). 
VIII. conaccrad, 56 (act.). 

Windisch analyses both as pass. pret. sg. 3 of 


con-acraim, and adds that co n-accrad from co n- and 
ad-gaur, " I entreat, invite," is also possible. But to 
make proper sense we have to interpret § 56 in the 
active sense. This would seem to indicate that the 
language belongs to a transition stage. Note too that 
co, con, "with," wrongly takes acc, e.g., co n-Ultu immi, 
56, cf. collín n-ingen, 53. Perhaps we have to do with 
a corruption of an active sec. present, or else we 
should substitute a deponent form. 

3 Sg. Pret. in -is in Compound Verbs. 

tairblingis, 39, 40 ; iarfaigis, 39 (where Eg. has /- pret. though 
without the ro) ; fácbais, 67 ; fuacrais, 69. 

These forms may be due to the compiler, or rather 
to some redactor, as they occur in sections which 
may otherwise be suspected of belonging to a late 
recension. fácbaiside ( = fácbais-side), 67, versus fos- 
fácaib, 13 ; fodrácaib, 26 ; foracaib, 79. It leads us to 
infer that § 67 is of later date. 

Absolute 3 Sg. 5- Pret. 

Mid. Irish is the frequency of absolute forms of the 
3rd sg. s- pret., e.g. :— 

anais, 42 (but ro ansat, 72) ; íachtais, 39 (v. corroiacht of Eg.), 
40 ; garthis, 40 (Eg.) ; indlis, 43 ; ferais, 66, 68, 69, 79 ; 3 pl. 
fersat, 54. 

Note. — atchiu, 44, 45, 47, 49, for Old Irish adcíu (cf. KZ. 28, 
324) ; ottcondcadur, 99, a later form after analogv of atchonnarc, 
"I saw," for earlier conaccatar as in FB., 91 = confacadur, 100. 
Noticeable also is the 3 sg. s- pret. with ro, e.g., ro imráid, 8 ; ro 
innis, 70. 


2 Pl. in -bair. 

III. fondrancaibir, 26. 
XII. tudchaibair, 66. 
XIII. rancaibair, 73. 
XV. immatudchabair, 89. 
XV. rancaibair, 90. 

Professor Strachan (CZ. ii. 493) notes that these 
forms come from preterites which, in the other persons 
of the plural, have the deponent endings. He classifies 
them as 1 pl. and adds : " Why the final syllable 
should be -air I cannot explain ; except in simple 
verbs, the endings of the 1 and 3 pl. are in L U. 
regularly -mar (-már), -tar (tár)." Professor Strachan 
has here committed a singular oversight. The forms 
are in -bair and are 2 pl. The 2 pl. forms in -bar 
are later Irish for older -id. There are seven such 
forms in Saltair na Rann, in treating which Professor 
Strachan himself regards the -bar ending as a new 
formation fo -mar, tar. Thus — 

í -ammar 
become \ -abar 
[ < 



leblaing, 82 ; atgéoin, Jo ; atgénatnmár, 46, 48 ; atgenatar, 25 ; 
feotar, 63 [feoit, 57, ? sec. pres.]. 

Other forms such as chuala have survived till later 

5- Future. 

I Pl. tísam. 
3 Sg. the, 62 ; thí, 52. 
3 Sg. sia, 89. 

And cf. 3 sg. fut. sec. — ro sassad, 91 ; fordun'dibni, "occidet 
nos," 46. 


Absolute Forms in the Present and Future 
of compound verbs. 

(a) 2>P er - sg.—fonaiscid, 76, 77 ; íairnid, 78 ; cóemclóid, 81, 87. 

(b)— femdit, 41 ; talnit, 49 ; fácbait, 56, 57 ; ti?nnait, 
65 ; fáemit, 78 ; fonaisccit-sium, 77. 

(c) 2 per. pl. — nach antai, 75 (sec. pres. ?). 


IX. nothairned, 57. 
X. nothathiged, 63. 
XVI. nothescbad, 91. 

3 Sg. Relative Form of "biu." 

bas, 9, 13, 56, 89, 92. 


(1) dorónad, 1, 2, 3, versus dorigned, 75. The 
former is in accord with the language of the glosses 
which have also the variant durónath, the latter is 
an analogical formation after the active dorigni ; 
doronsat, 21, 42 (3 pl. pret.) may have arisen from 
dorónad, but at a date anterior to that of this text.* 

(2) dorat (never dobert) as pret. of dobiur is found 
throughout as in the glosses. But this form is stereo- 
typed and in use in Saltair na Rann and the " Book 
of Deer," and dobert itself is found in the later stratum 
of the Milan glosses (23 13 , 7) ; cf. Tur. 135. Hence 
cotombert-sa, 22, is no sign of special lateness. A 
composer of a studiedly archaic Rosc could use this 
form in the last quarter of the ninth century. 

* co derna, 8, can't be 3 sg. pret. act. as in Windisch, but 2 sg. ; 
cf. ni dernus, Ml. 39*, 1 1, a form due to analogy. 


(3) atrubart, 20, 81 ; asrubart, 80 ; but asbert is 
also in 80, and it occurs at least twice in the Milan 
glosses, which otherwise have asrubart ; asbert is the 
form in 22, 23, 24. In SR. (987 A.D.) atbert, asbert 
occur, yet once, at any rate, atrubairt, 1. 1325. Were 
it a familiar form the exigencies of metre would lead 
one to expect its more frequent occurrence in SR. 

(4) arlastar, 21, for older arlasair (with ending of 
depon. pref.), the old aorist in s of deponent verb 
ad-gladur (KZ. 28, 152); it was influenced by the 
weak s- pret. in -astar ; adgladastar, 3 sg. pret, 5, 18, 
begins a sentence without ro, which it would have in 
Old Irish before 800 A.D. 

(5) The survival of the old genitive betho, 24, leads 
me to regard this Rosc as composed not later than 
100 years after the glosses ; circa goo A.D. would 
amply satisfy all requirements. One should here note 
the form of the infixed pronoun 2 pers. pl. in the 
Rosc in § 29 (cotobsechaim) and compare co'tob'sechfidir 
di choscc alailiu, "ye will be corrected by another 
correction " (pass. fut. sg. 3). — Wb. 9 a . 

(6) nóithium. — I take this in the sense of " est mihi, 
habeo," 22, and regard it as an analogical formation 
after bóithium = romboi ; cf. bóithus failte, " they had 
welcome " ; baithium anfud, " there was to me a 
storm." If I am right in my interpretation, the date 
of the Rosc (§ 22) is the ninth century, for we have 
here an affixed pron. of the first person. On the 
other hand, SR. has a part. nóithiíxova a root signifying 
" celebrate, ennoble, multiply," with which cf noithech 
i. oirdheirc, 0'Clery's Glossary ; and again, noudh . . ut 
est noudh ainmhi i. leasainm [" nickname"]. — O'Dav. 

Deponent Forms in -ag-. 

rofergaigestar, 15. 

This form occurs in Milan glosses as deponent 
(ni fercaigedar, Ml. 24 b , 18). Stokes regards a similar 
form in VT. (Introd. lxxxix.) as Middle Irish, being 
"the use in the case of active verbs of deponential 
forms in the sg. 3 and pl. 3." 

inrabrethaigestar, 90. 
Pret. sg. 1. — roderscaigestar, 1. 

Mr. Strachan notes the frequencv of verbs in 
-aigim, and of deponent forms in the ^rd persons 
of s- pret. in LL. text of the Táin, particularly in the 
Ferdiad episode, while such are rare in theZ t/version 
of the same. 

Note the Active Forms : rocrithnaigset, 15 ; corodilsig, 40 ; 
nírrathaigsem, 43 ; mani brethaigeseo, 58 ; brethaigfetsa, 58 ; 
chathaig)nit?ii ', 58 ; fortamlaigid, 69. 

Deponent Verbs. 

Pret. sg. 3. — atgládastar, 5, 18. 

Conjunct sg. 1. — mani fetur-sa, 6. 

Pret. sg. } ) .—fáitbestár, 9. 

Perf sg. 1. — doniíthracar, 9. 

Pret. sg. 2,-—folmastar, 20, yet active form 3 pl.foimaiset, 29. 

Pret. sg. 3. — conarlastar, 21. 

Pres. sg. 3. — inunustecrathar, 22 (r.). 

? — coiblethar, 23 (r.). 

Pres. ind. sg. 3. — laimethar, 23 (r.). 

Pret. — ochsatar, 24 (r.). 

S. fut. sg. 3. — conmestar, 30 (r.), but active form 1 pl. cotmidem, 
74 ; faigbistar, 30 (a barbaric ^- fut. from fogabaim — Stokes). 

Fut. sg. 1. — conda-esur, 31 (used in subj. sense). 

Subj. sg. i—folimathar, 33, 75 ; Eg. has rotlemathar, depon. 
fut. of rolaimiur. 

gebithar, 33 (r.). 

immacomsinitar, 38 (impersonal use of depon.), 67. 


Pres. ind. sg. ^.—fordatuigithar, 45. 

r ■ \ fuasnaither } / \ 3-— V s U 8 ( r -)- 
( fuasnadar ) 

Pres. ind. sg. 3. — curethar, 48 (r.), 52 ; but active nichuir, 35 

(r.) ; cf. noscuir, 64. 

tallastár, 55 ; rothallastar, 79. 

Perf pl. 3 (?). — rodmatar, 56. 

Subj. sg. 3. — nínaccathar, 59. 

/Vítf. jg-. 3. — dligethar (r.), 71. 

/V<?.y. jg - . 3 in middle sense. — nosínithar, 78. 3. — dorumenatár, 82. 

/Vr/i j^-. i.—forcóem?iacair, 83. 

/Wj/i íf. 3. — ni fordamair, 85. 

/Vw. zW. jo-. ^.—foraithmenathar (Ms. -atar), 86. 

,, forathmefiadar, 87. 

„ datnmidethar, 88. 

/te*/ j^". 3. — rolámair, 90. 
„ ardamair, 90. 

6#<í>/. ^/. 1 .—finnamár, 94. 
Conjunct sg. 1. — rt> tallur-sa, 94. 

/Vt«. /«;/. jg: 2. — ataigther, 100, 98 (adaghaictir, L.) = attadar, 
Ed.j attaidirsi, atáigirsi, 100. 

A 7 ^/^. — atcluni-siu, 35 (pres. sg. 2) shows deponent 
forms in Wb. The active form used in Fled Bricrend 
points to decay, and hence to a date later than the 
glosses. Mr. Strachan in his excellent treatment of 
the Deponent Verbs says : "Judging simply by pro- 
babilities, I should hesitate to place any tale in which 
the deponent infiexion is well preserved later, at the 
latest, than about the middle of the ninth century, 
but that as yet is only a subjective opinion." This, 
along with other considerations, would lead us to 
regard Fled Bricrend as, in its present form, a late 
deponential text, not earlier linguistically than circa 
875 A.D. 




ór, "gold," 2, fr. aurum. 

carrmocail, " carbuncle," 2, fr. carbunculus. 

ge?n, "gem," 2, 51, fr. gemma. 

ordogud, 2, founded on ord, fr. ordo. 

senistre, 3, "windows," fr. fenestra. 

colcthib, 4, fr. culcita. 

cerchaillib, 4, fr. cervical. 

cailc, 15, fr. calx. 

laoch, 22, fr. laicus, "layman, non-cleric." 

sústaib, 48. íx.fustis, '•' a club." 

mo?-tchend, 52, 71, fr. ??iorticiniu??i, v. CZ. I. 91. 

airicul, 54, fr. oraculum (?). 

praind, 56, fr. prandium. 

dracon, 62, fr. L. dráco, fr. the Greek. 

formtha, 62, pl. nom. oífromad, formed fr. probatio. 

grán. 63, fr. L. granum. 

airthend, 63, fr. aratio. 

cubat, 64, fr. cubitus. 

ceist, 93, fr. questio. 

celebrad, 65, fr. celebrare. 

lini, dat. of //#£, 65, fr. linea. 

??iui?iter, " familia," 67, fr. ??ionasteriu??i. 

tort-aide, 68, fr. /cr/<z, "a cake." 

ethiar, 81, fr. azther. 

??iod, 84, fr. ?nodus. 

nó?ia, 91, fr. nóna. 

cepp, 91, "block." fr. cip)pus. 

caindleóracht, 92, fr. candela. 

costud, 11, fr. consuetudo; cf. m rz^v/a incostud, "kingly the 
demeanour" ; but Stokes (Bez. B. 18, p. 74) says it is founded on 
constare). It is to be distinguished from costad, v. Irische Te.xte, 
iii. 222 ; cí.do chostud ??io lenna, "to taste my ale": O.E., costianj 
O.H.G., costón; N. kostR, from which it is usually taken, but it 
may equally well be founded on the O.E. 

buirg, nom. pl., 53. " Borg is not directh/ borrowed from any 
of the Teutonic languages in which the word (O.N. borg, O.E., 
burh) is feminine. The Irish borg, gen. and nom. pl. buirg, is 
always masc. It is the Low Latin burgus." — K. Meyer in R.C. 


10, 368. Zimmer derives it from O.N. borg=0.1L. burg, burh, and 
notes that it occurs in the " St. Gall Priscian," * e.g., borc, borggdae, 
57% 6, 7. It is a synonym of the Gael. less. I am not convinced 
that very great weight, however, should here be laid upon gender. 
cuairt, 55, 86, 87, also in Mid- chiíarta. Mr. Stohes gives the 
stem as kukrti-, fr. kur, " circle," as in cruinn, " round " ; but, like 
Eng. " court," it is a loan-word from Low Latin corti, cortis, " court, 
palace." Cf Hn. p. 58, 2. 

Old English. 

rót, 34, 47, fr. rád, whence "road." The Irish word is sét, and 
Cormac etymologises it roshét, i.e., a big set! 

sparr, dat. pl. sparrib, 57, fr. O.E. sparra, from which the 
derivative verb sparrian, to fasten a door with a spar ; O.N. sparri 
{verbum sparra), whence it is derived by Zimmer (Z.f.D.A. 32, p. 
288). Section 57, however, does not occur in Eg., and as there 
are reasons for thinking it late, it must be said that nothing hinders 
a Norse origin. 

rethir, 86, "riddle," fr. hrider, "sieve" ; v. CZ. i. 96 ; Z.f.D.A. 
32, 269. 

fuinnema, 86, "winnowing," fr. vindvjan, " to winnow" ; Mid. 
Eng. windwen, CZ. i. 97. 

N.B. bethir, 8, is the word still in use for the "lightning-bolt" 
in the Highlands, and has nothing to do with the same form of 
word meaning "bear," from O.E. ber, "bear." 


fuine, 9, "cook." This word in the Celtic languages is quite 
isolated ; a tenable native derivation is sought in vain. Zimmer 
believes the Ir. icfune, " a-roasting," to come from a Norse ex- 
pression halda viít funa, "hold to the fire," " on the fire"; halt 
Fáfnis hjarta vittfuna, "hold Fafni's heart to the fire." — Z.f.D.A. 
for 1891 (vol. 35, p. 159«). Mr. Macbain (Ety. Dict.) thinks it 
unlikely, so does Mr. Strachan, but both without grounds. The 
suggested voni-, " dress," root ven, von, Lat. Venus, Eng. vene?-ate, 
is impossible. The Gaelic word from this root is fine, " a tribe," 

* A work written in Ireland between 850-860, and brought to the 
Continent before 869 (Nigra, Reliquie Celtiche, 8-15). 


Norse, vinr, " a friend." Were the two words cognate, one would 
expect the Norse side to have v- initial. Gaelic uses the word in 
the sense of roasting, e.g., fuine an tuirc, " the roasting of the 
boar." — O'Gradv's Sil. Gad. i. 86, 2. In the Highlands it means 
"to bake," a secondarv meaning from "to fire." It occurs in 
Broccan's Hymn, 1. 148 : for ten ic fune ind loig, "on the fire 
cooldng the calf." The phrase bargen . . iarna fuine tria mil, 
"loaves baked in honey," contains nothing to exclude the idea of 
"fired." By the time of 850-875 the word could easily be known 
in Ireland ; such a word must often have been heard from Vikings' 
lips, and by the end of the ninth and beginning of the tenth century, 
when a renascence, so to speak, of Gaelic literature took place, 
it would be used without any scruple. Mr. Strachan, however, 
thinks a Norse derivation is " altogether improbable." Why ? 

Native terms are found in : báttur na Danair ag luchtaisecht, 
"the Danes were cooking" — MacFirbis's "Three Fragments," sub 
atmo 851 ; imon teni oc icrgnatn na muci, " about the fire cooking 
the pig" — 0'Curry's " Man. and Cus.," iii. 161 ; cffulocht, "cook- 
ing-pit." Further : oc fuine eisc for indeoin . . . in cet lucht ro 
berbad don indeoin = lí the cooking (firing) a fish on a spit . . . the 
first lucht (potful) that was sodden on the spit" — Cormac sub Orc 
Treith ; nowadays, bruith, "boil"; Mod. Gael. a' cocaireachd, a' 
róstadh, " a-cooking, a-roasting," are not native. The usual native 
method seems to have been boiling ; the Norse funa was associated 
with holding in front of the fire, and it ís only in the sense of " firing 
the bread" that the word is used in the Highlands, but now it is 
inclusive of the preparatory processes of making dough (a' taos- 
nadh) and of kneading ; funi bargeni, "knead a cake" — Cog. 
Gaidh, p. 116. The term came in with the enslaved Norse. In 
Orgain Brudne Da Dergae cooks are called fulachtore j cooking = 
oc dénam fulochta. 

nél, "cloud," is used in 39 as synonymous with ceó, "fog," 
which occurs seven words previously. There is much probability 
that this indicates foreign influence, — "nebel." The use of the 
verbs tarblingis, iarfaigis, iachtais without ro is Mid. Ir. The 
Eg. version has ceo in both cases, and iarfxcht, corroiacht, for the 
last two verbs respectively, which is better. 


fene, 22 (r.), 53 (r.). 

fian, 30 (r.), 90 [in which section we have (1) depon. in -ag-, 
(2) na as nom. pl. m. of art., (3) the corruption demetar]. 



dibairg, 65 [this occurs in chap. xi., which is due to some 

gilla, 31, 36, 37, 38, 89. Zimmer takes it from Norse gildR, 
" stout, brawny, of full worth," O.E. gilda, " fellow," used in the 
names of Norsemen converted to Christianity instead of maol, 
" slave." In the Celtic languages it stands isolated. 

As to a direct reference to Norsemen in Fled 
Bricrend, that depends, according to Mr. Strachan, 
on Zimmer's interpretation of fiann and díbergach 
from an imaginarv Norse Tyverk (Gótt. gel. Anz. 1891, 
p. 195). " But in Glosstz Hibérnicce, 284, Zimmer 
corrects iddemergach very probably to aithdibergach, 
cf. introd. xlv. In the Arrada, Rawl. 512, B. 42^, 2, 
díberg is mentioned along with many other sins : 
sicut rongabsat fingala 7 duineorcni 7 duinetáidi 7 sicut 
rogabsat diberga 7 druidecJita, " such are fratricides and 
homicides and secret murders, with concealment of 
the body, and such as are díberga and sorceries. It 
is a priori improbable that the Vikings should figure 
in tales of so early a date, and much more conclusive 
evidence will be required before their presence can be 
accepted as an established fact." — Strachan, in Trans. 
Phil. Soc. It is to be noted that the Irish díberga put 
certain diabolical marks on their heads ; v. Muirchu's 
"Notes on the Book of Armagh " in VT. 286 n6 , where 
diberca is written as a gloss over signa sumens. Mr. 
Stokes (ib.) compares Colgan's Trias Thaumaturgata, 
p. 27), where it is said of Maguil, " Sumpsitque cum 
sociis suis signa diabolica super capita, id est Diberch"; 
cf. also " stygmata diabolica in capitibus " (Tr. Th. 556, 
col. 1). As the word is a gloss, one might think that 
a ninth-century reader used a current word, and 
identified in his mind the Norse pagan practices of 
those devoted to the Norse god Tyv with that of old 


Irish paganism. Stokes gives díberg, (i) brigandage, 
(2) a kind of brigand, fr. dí' ( = Lat. de) intensive prefix, 
and berg (acc. pl. bergd) — Félire, Prob. 42 ; compd. 
Soer-bergg (AU. 790). Cognate with Spanish bergante, 
Fr. brzgand, and other Romanic words — Bezz. Beit. 



LU Incipit Fled Bricrewd ocus \n Curathmír Ewma 
Macha ocus in Briatharchath Ba^-Ulad ocus 
Tochiw Ulad do Chr//achnaib Ai ocus Cennach 
iná Ruanada i Macha. 


1. Bói fled mór la Bricriwd Ne;//the;zga do Chon- 
chobur mac Nessa ocus do \3\taib huile. "Bliadain lan 
dó oc tiwól na flede. Dorónad iarcm tegdas chuw- 
tachta lais íri íritha'úem tomalta na flede. Conrot3.cht 
Í2Xom a tech si« la BricrzW i n-Dún Rudraige fó chos- 5 
mailius na Craébrúadi i n-Rmain Macha, acht nawmá 
roderscaigestar a tech so eter adbur ocus elathai//, eter 
cháimi ocus chumtachtae, eter úatni ocus airinigi, eter 
lígrad ocus lógmaire, et^r sochnzide ocus súachnide, 
eter irscartad ocus z'///dorus do thigib z'/zna /za/«siri 10 
sin uli. 

2. Is a//zlaid trá dorónad a tech sin : Sudigud Tige 
Midchúarta fair. Nói n-iwdada a/zd o thenid co 
fraigid, tricha tnziged i n-airdi cacha /zairinig crédumae 

co n-diórad óir friú uile. £c>/zrotacht rígi//zdae a/zd 15 
íarom do Chonchobur i n-airinuch i«d rígthige sin úas 
i//zdadaib in tige uile co n-gemaib carrmocail ocus 
lógmaraib ar chena, ocus ligrad óir ocus airgit ocus 
charrmocail ocus datha cach thíre, co /w-bo chowsolus 


Here beginneth the Feast of Bricriu, and the 
Champion's Portion of Emain, and the Ulster 
Women's War - of - Words, and the Hosting- 
of the Men of Ulster to Cruachan, and the 
Champion's Wager in Emain. 


§ I. Bricriu of the Evil Tongue held a great feast Bricriu's 

for Conchobar mac Nessa and for all the Ultonians. £ eas * in 

Dun Ru- 
The preparation of the feast took a whole year. For draige. 

the entertainment of the guests a spacious house was 

built by him. He erected it in Dun Rudraige after 

the likeness [of the palace] of the Red Branch in 

Emain. Yet it surpassed the buildings of that period 

entirely for material and for artistic design, for beauty 

of architecture — its pillars and frontings splendid 

and costly, its carving and lintel-work famed for 


§ 2. The House was made on this wise : on the The Ban- 

plan of Tara's Mead-Hall, having nine compartments <l uetin g 

from fire to wall, each fronting of bronze thirty feet 

high, overlaid with gold. In the fore part of the palace 

a royal couch was erected for Conchobar high above 

those of the whole house. It was set with carbuncles 

and other precious stones which shone with a lustre 

of gold and of silver, radiant with every hue, making 


lá ocus adaig i»ti. Ocus ^wzrotachtá dá i;/;daí 
déc \n dá erred déc U\ad impe. Ba chó;;znart iar<?m 
i^das in gníwa sin ocus i«d adbur dobreth dó déno;;z 
in tigi. Sesrech oc tabairt cecha clethi ocus mórfessiur 
di thrénferaib Ulad oc cor cacha hóenslaite, ocus 5 
tricha. ssér do pn'msaeraib hErend oc á déna//z ocus oc 
a ordogud. 

3. Dorónad da/z<? gn'aná/z la Bricri/zd fodessi;z fó 
cho;;zardus i;/zdai Conc/iobair ocus i/ma láth n-gaile. 
Conrotacht ian?m i/z gn'anan si/z do i//zde/zmaib ocus 10 
cu///taigib sai/za//zraib ocus rosudigthe senistre glai//ide 
ass íor cach leth. Cí>/zrotacht iarcm senester díb uasa 
i//zdaid-seom fadéi/z, co /;z-bo fodirc dó-som imcissiu in 
tige máir úad assa imdaí, déig ro fitir-som, ní léicfitis 
U\aid isatech. 15 

4. In tan tra bá urlam la Bricrind dénam a thige 
máir, ocus a gríanán, ocus a n-errad díb línaib do 
brothrachaib ocus brecánaib ocus cholcthib ocus 
cerchaillib, ocus a tincor do lind ocus do bíud, ocus 
nad rabi ní bad esbaid úad eter deintrub ocus comad- 20 
bur na flede, dothrét iar sin co toracht Emain Macha 

ar cend ConchobtfzV co mathib fer n-Ulad imbi. 

5. Ba hed la and sin iarcm robói óenach la hUltu 
i n-Rmain Macha. Ferthar failti fris iar sudiu ocus 
dofess^ for gúaluind Conchob<zzV. Atgladastar Conco- 25 
har co n-Ultaib ol chena. "Táit lim-sa," ol sé, "co 
tormailzV/h fleid lim." " Maith lim-sa dano," ol Conco- 
har, " mad maith la U\tu." Frisgart Vcrgus mac Róig 
ocus mathi U\ad ar chena, co n-ep^rtatár : " Ní 
ragam," ol seat, " ar bit lia ar mairb oldáte ar m-bí 30 
íar n-ar n-imchosait do Bricrind, día tísam do thomailt 

a flede." 

17 grianain, H. 25 dofeisidh, H. 

27 co tormailz<fh fleid lium, H; cotormail [ ] lí, LU. 


night like unto day. Around it were placed the 
twelve couches of the twelve heroes of Ulster. The 
nature of the workmanship was on a par with the 
material of the edifice. It took a waggon team to 
carry each beam, and the strength of seven Ulster 
men to fix each pole, while thirty of the chief arti- 
ficers of Erin were employed on its erection and 

§ 3. Then a balcony * was made by Bricriu on a Bricriu's 
level with the couch of Conchobar [and as high as Balcon y- 
those] of the heroes of valour. The decorations of 
its fittings were magnificent. Windows of glass were 
placed on each side of it, and one of these was above 
Bricriu's couch, so that he could view the hall from 
his seat, as he knew the Ulster men would not suffer 
him within. 

§ 4. When Bricriu had finished building the hall Bricriu 
and balcony, supplying it both with quilts and blankets, |, oes . ° 
beds and pillows, providing meat and drink, so that 
nothing was lacking, neither furnishings nor food, 
he straightway went to Emain to meet Conchobar 
and the nobles of Ulster. 

§ 5. It fell upon a day there was in Emain a 
gathering of the Ulster men. He was anon made 
welcome, and was seated by the shoulder of Con- 
chobar. Bricriu addressed himself to him as well as 
to the body of the Ulster men. "Come with me," 
quoth Bricriu, "to partake of a banquet with me." 
"Gladly," rejoined Conchobar, " if that please the 
men of Ulster." Fergus mac R5ig and the nobles of 
Ulster also made answer : " No ; for if we go our dead 
will outnumber our living, when Bricriu has incensed 
us against each other." 

* lit. soller. 


LÚ 6. " Bid messu dúib ém," ol se, " a n-dogen-sa, 

100 ' céin co tisaid lim." "Cid dogena-sib di sudiu," ol 

Conchobar, " cén co tíasat U \aid lat ? " " Dogén-sa 

ém " ol Búcriu " imcossáit na ríg ocus na tóisech ocus 

na láth n-gaile ocus na n-ócthigernd, commáromarba 5 

cách dib a chéli, man\ thísat lim do ól mo flede." 

" Nocho dingniam-ni airut-su sin " or Conchob^r. 

" Immacossaitiub-sa eter in mac ocus a athair, com- 

mámuirfe dóib. Mani fet&r-sa sin," or se, " im- 

mácossaítiub eter \n n-mgm ocus ammáthair. Mani 10 

íctux sin," or se, " immacossaitiub dá cích cacha 

oénmná la U\tu, commatuaircfe doib, co m-brenfat 

ocus collofat la sodain." " Is ferr a techt," ol Fergus 

mac Róig, " bid fír sucut" ol se. " Denaid imma- 

callaim d'idiu," or Sencha mac AWella, " úathad do 15 

degdáinib Ulad, mád maith lib." " Bíaid olc de," ol 

Conchobar, " cen co déntar comarli fris." 

7. Tíagait \arom mati JJlod uli i n-imacallaim. 

Ba sí comarlí Sencha doib dano ina n-imacallaim : 

" Maith tra," ol Sencha, "uair atabairece« techt la 20 

Bncrind, togaid aitzVi de ocus sudigid ocht&r claid- 

bech imbi im dul dó asintig, acht co taisfena a fled 

dóib." Dochóid Furbaide Ferbend mac Conchobuir 

lasin n-athesc sin conécid do Bncrind in n-imacallaim 

uli. " Maith lim " ol Bncriu " a denam samlaid." 25 

Tocí?mlat ass iarí?m Ulatd o Kmain Macha, cach drong 

immá rig, cach réim immá rurig, cach buden immá 

túsech. Bá halaind iar<?m ocus bá hamra in tochim 

ronuicset in trénfir ocus ind láith gaile dochzmi ind 

rígthaige. 30 

2 dogenasu, H. 3 céi tisait, H. 

5 commaromarbae doibh maine, H. 7 dígniumni, LU. 
8 commamuirfea doibh, H. 10 mátair, LU. 

12 comatuaircfea doibh, H. 13 cologhfat, H. 

20 atibecin, L; atibeic-, H. 


§ 6. " If ye come not, worse shall ye fare," quoth Bricriu's 
Bricriu. "What then," asked Conchobar, "if the threats - 
Ulster men go not with thee ? " "I will stir up strife," 
quoth Bricriu, " between the kings, the leaders, the 
heroes of valour, and the yeomen, till they slay one 
another, man for man, if they do not come with me 
to share my feast." " That we shall not do to please 
thee," quoth Conchobar. " I will stir up enmity 
between father and son so that it will come to mutual 
slaughter. If I do not succeed in doing so, I will 
make a quarrel between mother and daughter. If 
that does not succeed, I will set each of the Ulster 
women at variance, so that they come to deadly 
blows till their breasts become loathsome and putrid." 
" Sure 'tis better to come," quoth Fergus. " Do ye 
straightway take counsel with the chief Ultonians," 
said Sencha, son of Ailill. " Unless we take counsel 
against this Bricriu, mischief will be the conse- 
quence," quoth Conchobar. 

§ 7. Thereupon all the Ulster nobles assembled in Council 

council. In discussing the matter Sencha counselled of ^lster 

them thus : " Take hostages from Bricriu, since ye 

have to go with him, and set eight swordsmen about 

him so as to compel him to retire from the house as 

soon as he has laid out the feast." Furbaide Ferbenn, 

son of Conchobar, brought Bricriu reply, and showed 

him the whole matter. " It is happily arranged," 

quoth Bricriu. The men of Ulster straightway set 

out from Emain, host, battalion and company, under 

king, chieftain and leader. Excellent and admir- 

able the march of the brave and valiant heroes to 

the palace. 



8. Roimráid iarom Bncrz'u inna mmmain, dús 
cinnas doragad ar imchossáit XJ\ad, ó dodeochatar 
aittzVi na trénfer tar a chend. O roglé didz'u a imrádud 
ocus a scrútan uli inna m^main, dolluid co m-bói im 
budin Lóegaire Buadaz'g mz'c Connaid mz'c Ilíach. 5 
" Maith sin trá, a Loegaz'rz' Buadaz'g-" or se, " a balc 
bullig Breg, a brúth bullig Midi, a bethir breóderg, 

a búaid n-oc n-U\ad\ Cid dait-siu ná bad lat in 
curathmír Emna do grcs ? Mad ferr lim-sa ém," or 
se, "bid lim." " Ríge lréch n-Erend uaim-se dait," ol 10 
Bricrz'u, "acht co n-derna mo chomarli-sea." " Dogén 
'immorro" or Lrégaire. 

9. " Mad lett ém caurathmír mo thige-se, bid lat 
caurat/zmzr Emna do grés. Is cóir mo 
thige do cosnom," or se, " ni caur at/zmz'r tige meraige. 15 
Atá dabach hi talla triar and dí \3.thaz'b gaile fer 
n-UW, iarna línad do fín acneta. Ata torc secht 
m-h\iadan and ; (0 ro bo) orc becc, ní dechaid inna béolu 
acízt littiu lemnachta ocus menadach i n-erroch, ocus 
fírcroith ocus fírlemnacht issawzrud, eitne cnó ocus 20 
fírchruithnecht hi fogomur, ocus feóil ocus enbruthe 

hi gemrud. Ata bó thúir and día n-at slána a secht 
m-h\iadna ; o ro bo lóeg bec, ní dechaid fráech no 
foigdech inna béolu acht fírlemnacht ocus luigfér glas- 
feoir ocus arhar. Atát cóic fichit bargen cruithnechta 25 
and iarna fuine tría mil. Cóic méich fichet tra, iss ed 

1 immardoraidh, H. 8 búaíd, LU. 

17 acneta : i. sainemail, LU ; di fhin aicinta a tíribh Franc-, L; 
d'fin aicenta adtírib Francc-, H. 

13 The facsimile has a gap of some three letters ; then " le," 
— cf. ioo b , 1. 3 ; órobo leo orc mbec, Lj or bó beo orc bec, H 



§ 8. The hostages of the braves had gone securitv Bricriu's 
on his behalf, and Bricriu accordingly bethought resolve - 
him how he should manage to set the Ulster 
men at variance. His deliberation and self-scrutiny 
being ended, he betook himself to the company of 
Loigaire the Triumphant, son of Connad mac Ilíach. 
" Hail now, Loigaire the Triumphant, thou mightv 
mallet of Bregia, thou hot hammer of Meath, flame- 
red thunderbolt, thou victorious warrior of Ulster, 
what hinders the championship of Emain being thine 
alway ? " " If I so choose, it shall be mine," quoth 
Loigaire. " Be thine the sovranty of the braves of 
Erin," quoth Bricriu, " if only thou act as I advise." 
" I will indeed," quoth Loigaire. 

§ 9. " Sooth, if the champion's portion of my The 
house be thine, the championship of Emain is thine cliam ~ 
for ever. The champion's portion of my house is p or tion 
worth contesting, for it is not the portion of a fool's — tlie 
house," quoth Bricriu. " Belonging to it is a cal- emDlem 
dron full of generous wine, with room enough for ran t y 
three of the valiant braves of Ulster ; furthermore, — de- 
a seven-year-old boar ; nought has entered its lips scrlDe(1 - 
since it was little save fresh milk and fine meal in 
springtime, curds and sweet milk in summer, the 
kernel of nuts and wheat in autumn, beef and broth 
in winter ; a cow-lord full seven-year-old ; since it 
was a little calf neither heather nor twig-tops have 
entered its lips, nought but sweet milk and herbs, 
meadow hay and corn. [Add to this] fivescore cakes 
of wheat, cooked in honey withal. Five-and-twenty 
bushels, that is what was supplied for these fivescore 
cakes — four cakes from each bushel. Such is the 


robronnad frisna cóic fichtiu bargen sin, ocus cethri 
bargein di cach míach. Isse sin áidiu curathmir mo 
thige " or Bricriu. " Úair is tussu laéch as dech fil la 
Ultu, is dait as chóir a thabairt, ocus is dait donúth- e 
racarsa. In tan iarom bas úrlam taisbenad inna flede 
deód lái, erged do ara-so súas, ocus bid dó dob^rthar 
in curathmir." " Beit fir marba and, nó dogéntar 
samlaid" or Loegaire. Faítbestár Bricriu la sodain, 
ocus bá maith lais a menma,. !0 

10. O roscáich do iarom imcossáit hoegairi Bua- 
daig, dolléic im budin Chonaill Chernaig. " Maith 
sin," a Chonaill Cemaig," or Bricriu, " is tú laéch na 
cernd ocus na comram. At móra na comrama dait 
sech ócu Ulad ol chena. In tan tíagat Ulaid íor cricha Ic; 
echtrand, udi tri lá ocus tri n-aidche dait-siu remib íor 
áthaib ocus ilathaib. Tú tar a n-éssi dorísi oc á 
n-imdegail oc tíchtain ass, conna torgethar sechut 
na treót na torot. Cid dait-siu iarom, nád bod latt 
curat/unir Emna Mac/ia do gres ? " Cer bo mór trá 
ammuinbech dorat im Uoegaire, dorat a da cutr^mmai 
im Conall Cernach. 

11. Iar n-imchossáit Conaill Cernaig dó ian?m ama/ 

robo data lais, dolléci im budin Conculaind. " Maith 

sin," or se, " a. Chuculaind, a cathbúadaig Breg, a 

lígbrataig Liphe, a m^cdretill Rmna, a lennáz» ban 

ocus ingen, ní lesainm dait indiu Cúculaind, úair is 

tú fer aurbága fil la Ultu, dóeme ammórgr/ssa ocus 

ammóraurgala, ocus saiges a chert do ce^ óen la 

U\tu, ocus ní nad roichet Ulaid uli, rosoichi-siu 

. . 3° 

th'óenur, ocus addaimet fir hErend uli do gail ocus 

do gaisced ocus do gníma úassaib. Cid dait-siu iarom 

in cawrathmir do lécud dó nách aile do U\taib } uair 

6 beidit, H. 14 tiagta, H ; tiaghtha, L; tíagait, LU. 

16 doridisi, H. 2ó a lendain, H. 


champion's portion of my house. And since thou 
art the best hero among the men of Ulster, it is but 
just to give it thee, and I so wish it. By the end 
of the day, when the feast is spread out, let thy 
charioteer get up, and it is to him the champion's 
portion will be given." " Among them shall be dead 
men if it is not done so," quoth Loigaire. Bricriu 
laughed at that, for it liked him well. 

§ 10. When he had done inciting Loigaire the Bricriu 
Triumphant to enmity, Bricriu betook himself into ^ 1 jf 
the company of Conall the Victorious. " Hail to thee, Cernach. 
Conall the Victorious, thou art the hero of victories 
and of combats ; great are the victories thou hast 
already scored over the heroes of Ulster. By the 
time the Ulster men go into foreign bounds thou art 
a distance of three days and three nights in advance 
over many a ford ; thou protectest their rear when 
returning, so that [an assailant] may not spring past 
thee, nor through thee nor over thee ; what then 
should hinder the champion's portion of Emain being 
thine alway ? " Though great his treachery with 
regard to Loigaire, he showed twice as much in the 
case of Conall the Victorious. 

§ II. When he had satisfied himself with inciting Bricriu 

Conall the Victorious to quarrel, he hied to the ^ c \ tes 

presence of Cuchulainn. " Hail to thee, Cuchulainn, i a i nn . 

thou victor of Bregia (i.e. Bray), thou bright banner 

of the Liffey, darling of Emain, belov'd of wives and 

of maidens, for thee to-day Cuchulainn is no nick- 

name, for thou art the champion of the Ulster men, 

thou wardest off their great feuds and frays, thou 

seekest justice for each man of them ; thou attainest 

alone to what all the Ulster men fail in ; all the men 

of Ulster acknowledge thy bravery, thy valour and 

thine achievements surpassing theirs. What meaneth 


ní túalaing nech di feraib hErend a chosnam frit ? " 
"Tong a toing mo thúath immorro," or Cuculaind, 
" bid cía cen chend intí doraga día chosnam frim ! " 
Scaraid da«0 Bricn^ friu iar sodain, ocus do thaét hi 
comaitecht a slóig, ama/ na d^rnad eter in n-imchos- 5 

12. Lotár iarom dochom in tige, corragaib cách a 
lepaid and issind rígthig, eter ríg ocus rígdomna ocus 
airig ocus ócthigernd ocus maccóemu. Leth in tige 
iarcm do Conchobz^ co láthaib gaile fer n-Ulad immi, 10 
ocus alleth n-aill do bantrocht U\ad im Mugain ingin 
ioi a . HLchach Fedlig, mnaí ConchobazV. Batir hé ian?m 
bátár im Chonchobur i n-airinuch in tige, i. Fergus 
mac Róich, Celtchar mac Uthechair, Eogan mac Dur- 
thacht, ocus da mac ind rig i. Fiacha ocus Fíachaig, 15 
Fergna mac Findchóime, Fergus mac Leti, Cúscraid 
Mená Macha mac Conchobair, Sencha mac Ailella, 
tri maic Fiachach i. Rus ocus Dáre ocus Imchad, 
Muinremur mac Geirrgind, Errge Echbél, Amorgene 
mac Ecit, Mend mac Salchadas, Dubtach Dóel U\ad, 20 
Feradach Find Fectnach, Fedelmid mac Ilairchetaz^-, 
Furbaide Ferbend, Rochad mac Fathemo«, Loegairé 
Búadach, Conall Cernach, Cúculaind, Connad mac 
Mornai, Erc mac Fedelmthe, Illand mac Fergusa, 
Fintan mac Neill, Ceternd mac Fintain, Factna mac 25 
Sencada, Conla Sséb, Ailill Miltenga, Bricriu fodein 
ocus íormna. láth n-gaili Ulad ar cena ocus a m^ccaem 
ocus a n-aesa dána. 

13. Ardopetet iavom a n-aés ciúil ocus airfite, céin 
both oc taisbenad na flede dóib. O rotaisfeóin iar<?m 30 

3 cia, H. 
21 Feidhlim/í/h mac ilairched-, Hj Chilair Chétaig, LU. 


therefore thy leaving of the champion's portion for 

some one else of the men of Ulster, since no one of 

the men of Erin is capable of contesting it against 

thee ? " " By the god of my tribe," quoth Cuchulainn, 

" his head shall he lose whoso comes to contest it with 

me." Thereafter Bricriu severed himself from them 

and followed the host as if no contention had been 

made among the heroes. 

§ 12. Whereupon they entered the palace, and The 

each one occupied his couch therein, king, prince, p our * °/ 

noble, yeoman, and young brave. lhe hali ot 5^^ 

the palace was set apart for Conchobar and his a-guest- 

retinue of valiant Ulster heroes : the other half [was in 2 witn 
1 ,• f tti , .. tvt Bncnu. 

reserved] for the ladies of Ulster attending on Mugan, 

daughter of Eochaid Fedlech, wife of King Conchobar. 

The following were those who attended upon Con- 

chobar in the fore-part of the palace, namely, Fergus 

mac Roig, Celtchar son of Uthechar, Eogan son of 

Durthact, and the two sons of the king, namely, 

Fiacha and Fíachaig, Fergna son of Findchoim, 

Fergus son of Leti, Cúscraid the-stuttering-of-Macha, 

son of Conchobar, Sencha son of Ailill, the three 

sons of Fiachach, namely, Rus and Dare and Imchad, 

Muinremur son of Geirrgind, Errge Echbel, Amor- 

gene son of Ecit, Mend son of Salchad, Dubtach 

D5el Ulad, Feradach Find Fectnach, Fedelmid mac 

Ilair Chétaig, Furbaide Ferbend, Rochad son of 

Fathemon, Loigaire (Leary) the Triumphant, Conall 

the Victorious, Cuchulainn, Connad son of Mornai, 

Erc son of Fedelmid, Illand son of Fergus, Fintan 

son of Nial, Ceternd son of Fintan, Factna son of 

Sencad, Conla the False, Ailill the Honey-tongued, 

Bricriu himself, the chief Ultonian warriors, with the 

body of youths and artistes. 

§ 13. While the feast was being spread for them, 


Bricriu in fled cona imthórmaigib ulib, forócrad do 
Bricrind fácbáil in tigi de inchaib na n-atairi. Atrach- 
tatár na aittiri la sodain, ocus a claidz^ nochta na 
lámaib día innarba asintaig. Téit iarom Bricriu cona 
teglach assintig dochom a gríanázVz. Oc techt dó 5 
iarom fo díbí ind rígthaigi is and a.sbert : " In caur- 
athmír ucut," ol se, " ama/ roaurgnad, ni ca.urathmir 
tige meraige. Laéch bas dech lib do \3\taib, dam- 
bera'id dó." Fosfácaib la sodain. 

14. Atasregat ind rannaire do raind in bíd la 10 
sodain. Atsraig iarom ara Loeg^zW Buadaig i. Sed- 
lang mac Ríangabra, co n-ep^t frisna rannairib : 

" Dale sechut," ol se, " a curathmír n-ugut do Loe- 
gairiu Buadach, uair iss é nondlig sech ócu \l\ad ar 
chena. Atsraig a2.n0 Id mac Ríangabra, ara Conaill 15 
Cernaig, co n-ep^rt a cétna. Atsraig Lóeg mac 
Ríangabra, co n-ep^rt a cétna frisna rannairib : "Tu- 
caid do Choinchulaind sucut," ol se, " ní mebul do 
\5\taib uli a thabart dó ; is é gaiscedach as dech fil 
díb hé." " Ní bá fír sin," or Conall Ctrnach ocus or 20 
hoegaire Búadach. 

15. Atasregat for lár tige ocus gabtait a scíathu 
foraib ocus taurlaingset a claidfo' a triúr. Immane- 
soírg dóib, co m-bo nem tened indala leth dindrígthig 
lasna claidfo' ocus la faébra na n-gái, ocus co m-bo 25 

1 fogartar do fagb«// in tighi do incuib na n-aitt/r^, Eg. 
93, fol. 20 a . 

4 dia innarbrt asin tig dochom in grianain oc tec/it do iarom fo 
debi in rigtoige is ann asmb^rt, Eg. 

6 fo debhi, H ; debi, Eg. 7 ro haurgain, Eg. 

8 a Ulto, Eg. 10 ataregat, LU. u Seglang, Eg; atraig, LU. 

13 sechad, Egj daile sechaib, H. 13 ugat, Eg. 15 dó, Eg. 
1516 Affraig, LU; properly atsraig (v. Zimmer's Reltische 
Studien, i. 39), which became assraig, and then ss was corrupted 
to /fin copying. 

22 atarregat, Eg; atafregat, LU. 


the musicians and players performed. The moment The 

Bricriu spread the feast with its savouries, he was Musi " 
r cians 

ordered by the hostages to leave the hall. They at t k e 

straightway got up with drawn swords in their Feast. 

hands to expel him. Whereupon Bricriu and his 

followers went out to the balcony. Arrived at the 

threshold of the palace, he called out, "That Cham- 

pion's Portion, such as it is, is not the portion of a 

fool's house; do ye give it to the Ulster hero ye pre- 

fer for valour." He thereupon left them. 

§ 14. Anon the spencers rose up to serve the The sons 

food. The charioteer of Loigaire the Triumphant, ° ™~ 

to wit, Sedlang mac Riangabra, then rose up and claim 

said to the distributors : " Do ye assign to Loigaire tne sov " 

the Triumphant the Champion's Portion which is by for their 

you, for he alone is entitled to it before the other several 

young braves of Ulster." Then Id mac Riangabra, masters - 

charioteer to Conall the Victorious, got up and spalce 

to the like effect. And Loig mac Riangabra spake 

thus : " Do ye bring that to Cuchulainn ; it is no dis- 

grace for all the Ulster men to give it to him ; it is 

he who is most valiant among you." " That's not 

true," quoth Conall the Victorious and Loigaire the 


§ 15. They then got up upon the floor and donned Fighting 

their shields and seized their swords. At one another ^*^ 11 , 

the Pal- 
they hewed till the half of the palace was an atmos- ace 

phere of fire with the [clash of] sword- and spear- 

edge, the other half one white sheet from the enamel 

of the shields. Great alarm gat hold upon the palace ; 

the valiant heroes shook ; Conchobar himself and 

Fergus mac R5ig got furious on seeing the injury and 

the injustice of two men surrounding one, namely, 

Conall the Victorious and Loigaire the Triumphant 


ioi b . énlaith glegel alleth n-aile di cailc na scíath. Foceird 
armgrith mór arrígthech la sodain, ocus rocrithnaigset 
ind láith gaile, ocus rofergaigestar Conchob&r fodessin 
ocus Fergus mac Róig oc ascin ind étúalaing ocus ind 
anfír, i. in días do gabáil immon n-óenfer, i. Conall 5 
Cernach ocus Loegaire "Búadach im Choinculaind. Ní 
rabi la Ultu fer no lamad a n-etargaire, co n-ep^rt 
Sencha fri Conchob«r: " Etarscar na firu" or se ; 
ar is é día talmanda robói oc Ul/aib ind inbuid sin Conchobur* 

16. Dolluid Conchohur ocus Fergus etarro iarí>m. 10 
Dollécet a láma la tóeb fó chetóir. " Dénaid mo 
reir-se" or Stncha. " Dogenam-ne " ol seat. "Isí 
mo ríar-sa didiu," or Sencha, "in caMxathmír ucut" ol 

se "do fodail fón slóg uile innocht ocus techt immi 
iar sudiu irréir n-Ai\el/a maic Mágach, ar bid aingcess 15 
la U\tu in dal so do gleód, mani brethaigther hi 
Cruachnaib." Foda'úter iar sudiu bíad ocus lind dóib, 
ocus tairmchell dáiltenid leó, ocus gabsus meisce, 
ocus bátar failte. 


17. Briccnw ocus a rfgan ina grianán. Bá 20 
foderc dó iarom assa imduí suidigud ind rígthige, anW 

ro both and. Ro scrút inna m^main, cinnas doragad 
ar imchossait na m-ban, ama/ dorigni imcossait inna 
fer. In tan iarom roscáig do BricnW a scrutan ina 
mmmain, araa/ doragad airi, ba sí úair in sin dolluid 25 
Fedelm Nóichride cóecait ban asind rígthig immach 

* Gloss of Christian scribe. 

1 do calcib na scieth, Eg. 

9 talmanda, Hj talmaide, L U ; dia tm, Eg. 

9 Conchobur, om. Eg. 13 uccot, Eg. 15 ainces, Eg. 

18 tairmcell dailtened leo, Eg; tarimcell dailteined leó, H. 
22 romboth, H. 24 Búcrindom. Eg. 


attacking Cuchulainn. There was no one among the 
Ultonians who dared separate them till Sencha spake 
to Conchobar : " Part the men," quoth he. [For at 
that period, among the Ultonians, Conchobar was a 
god upon earth.]* 

§ 16. Thereupon Conchobar and Fergus inter- Conclio- 
vened, [the combatants] immediately let drop their ^ ar and 
hands to their sides. " Execute my wish," quoth res tore 
Sencha. " Your will shall be obeyed," they responded. order. 
" My wish, then," quoth Sencha, " is to-night to divide Sencha's 
the Champion's Portion there among all the host, and counse • 
after that to decide with reference to it according to 
the will of Ailill mac Mágach, for it is accounted 
unlucky among the men of Ulster to close this 
assembly unless the matter be adjudged in Crua- 
chan." The feasting was then resumed ; they made Mirth 
a circle round the fire and got 'jovial' and made res ore ■ 


§ 17. Bricriu, however, and his queen were in 

their soller. From his couch the condition of the 

palace was observable to him, and how things were 

going 011 withal. He exercised his mind as to how 

he should contrive to get the women to quarrel 

as he had likewise incited the men. When Bricriu Bricriu 

had done examinin^ his mind, it iust chanced as incrfces 

he could have wished that Fedelm-of-the-fresh- i a dies. 

heart came from the palace with fifty women 

in her train, in mood hilarious. Bricriu observed 

her coming past him. " Hail to thee to-night, 

* Gloss of the Christian scribe. 



iar trcmmi óil. Addaci Briccrz^ sechai. " Maith sin 
innocht, a ben Loegairi Búadaig, ní lesainm dait 
dano Fedebn Nóichri^ ar febas do chrotha ocus do 
ceille ocus do cen^/1. Conchobwr rí cóicid hFrend 
do athair, Loegaire Bnadach do chéle, acht nammá 5 
ní bo ró lim dait, conna tissad nech di mnaib U\ad 
ríut hi Tech Midchúarda, ocus co m-bad hit íarsála no 
beth bantrocht U\ad uile. Bá tú theis isatech ar thus 
innocht, doroimle caidche áis banrígnacht úas ban- 
trocht U\ad uli." Téit ass Fed^lw la sodain tar teóra I0 
fuithairbe ón tig. 

18. Tic immach iar sin Lendabair ingen Eógain 
maz'c Derthacht, ben Conaill Cernaig. Atgládastar Bricriu, co n-ep^rt : " Maith sin, a Lendabair," 

or se, "ní lesainm dait ind Lendabair, at banlendan 15 
ocus at menc/iomarc fer n-domain uli, ar do áine ocus 
t'urdarcus. A n-ed ruc do chéli di ócaib domozVz ar 
gaisciud ocus cruth, roucaiseo di mnaib U\ad." Cid 
mór tra a muinmec dorat im Fedh'm, dorat a dá 
cutrwmma im Lennab^zV fó a n-innas cetna. 20 

19. Dolluid Emer immach fo sodain cóecait ban. 
"Slan seiss, a Emer ingen Forgaill Manach!" ol 
Búcriu, "a ben ind fir as dech i n-Ére. Ní lesainm 
dait ind Emer Foltcháin, is húariud do rígaib ocus 
rígdomnaib hFrend immut. A n-ed rucc grían do 25 
rennaib nime, rucaisiu de mnáib domain ule, ar chruth 
ocus deilb ocus cen/1, ar óiti ocus áni ocus irdarcus, 

ar allud ocus érgna ocus aurlabra." Cíar bo mór trá 
a mainbech dorat im na mná aile, dorat a thri chom- 
méit im Emir. 30 

3 duit dó, Eg. 6 nir bo ró lem, H. 

9 Toroimle co haidne a?is, Eg; co aidne, L; co aidhne ais 
bannrignochta, H. u Lenabair, LU. 

17 domo, LU ; anedruch, LU j do ócaib, LU. 
30 a da qhutrumse, Eg ; a da cudruma, H ; a di cutrama, L. 


wife of Loigaire the Triumphant ! Fedelm-of-the- 
fresh-heart is no nickname for thee with respect 
to thine excellency of form and of wisdom and of 
lineage. Conchobar, king of a province of Erin, is 
thy father, Loigaire the Triumphant thy husband ; 
I should deem it but small honour to thee that any 
of the Ulster women should take precedence of thee 
in entering the banqueting hall ; only at thy heel 
should all Ultonian women tread. If thou comest 
first into the hall to-night, the sovranty of queen- 
ship shalt thou enjoy for ever over all the ladies of 
Ulster." Fedelm anon takes a leap over three ridges 
from the hall. 

§ 18. Thereafter came Lendabair, daughter of 
Eogan mac Derthacht, wife of Conall the Victorious. 
Bricriu addressed her and spake : " Hail to thee, 
Lendabair ; for thee that is no nickname ; thou art 
the darling and pet of all mankind on account of thy 
splendour and of thy lustre. As far as thy spouse 
hath surpassed all the heroes of mankind in valour 
and in comeliness, so far hast thou distinguished thy- 
self above the women of Ulster." Though great the 
deceit he applied in the case of Fedelm, he applied 
twice as much in the case of Lendabair. 

| 19. Emer came out anon with half-a-hundred 
women [in her train]. "Greeting and hail to thee, 
Emer, daughter of Forgall Manach (F. the tricky 
or shiftv), wife of the best wight in Erin ! Emer of 
the Fair Hair is for thee no nickname ; Erin's kings 
and princes contend for thee in jealous rivalry. As 
the sun surpasseth the stars of heaven, so far dost 
thou outshine the women of the whole world in form 
and shape and lineage, in youth and beauty and 
elegance, in good name and wisdom and address." 


20. Tíagait ass iarom na teóra buidni, co m-batár 
i n-óen magin, i. teóra fuithairbi on tig, ocus ní fitz> 
nech díb for araile a n-imchossait do Bricrznd. 
Dothrégat dia tig la sodain. Tochim fossad n-álaind 
n-ínmalla issin chetna fuitherbe, isi^g ma rofuc nech 5 
díb a choiss sech araile. Ind fuithairbe tanaise im- 
morro, bá miniu ocus bá lúathiu a n-imtecht issudiu. 
Ind iuithairbe immorro ba nessu don tig, iss amlaid 
ruc cach ben dia seitche ar écin ocus tuargabsat a 
lénte co mellaib a lárac do imchosnom dul isatech J o 
ar thús, úair iss ed atrubairt Bricrz^ fri cach ae timchell 
araile, issi robad banrígan in chóicid uli inti dib cétna 
ragad issatech. Ba sí méit a fothraind tra oc im- 
chossnam techta ar thossaig cách ríana chéli, anW 
bid fothrond coecat C3.vpaí dothisad and, co forcroth 15 
a rígthech n-uile, ocus co rasblangtár ind laith gaile 
dia n-gaisczW, co folmastar cach díb aidid a chéle 

21. " Anaid," or Sencha, " ní dat námait táncatár, 
acht is Bricriu dorat imcossáit eter na mná dochótar 20 
immach. Tong a toing mo thúath," or se, "mani 
íatar a tech friú, bít lia ar mairb and andaiti ar m-bí." 
íadait na dorsaide in comla la sodain. Rosaig Emer 
ingen Forcaill Mánach ben Conculaind ar lúas ríasna 
mnáib aile, co tard a druim frisin comlaid, ocus co 25 
n-arlastár úadi na dorsaide ríasin m-bantrocht or 

I búd, LU; buidni, Eg. 4 toichim, Eg. 

5 ass ingma rucc, Eg; is ing ma rouc, L; isig marwc, H ; 
sig, LU. 10 a laurc, Eg ; a da larc, H ; in da laarc, L. 

II cé ae, Eg ; cá ae, H. 17 co bfolmastor, H. 

19 nitat namaid, Eg; tangatar ann, Eg. 

20 itz> na mnaib, Eg. 21 Tongusae atoinge fh tuath, Eg. 

22 bith lia ar mairb andaiti ar m-bi, Eg; bidh lia ar mairbh ann 
andaiti armbi, H ; bít lia a mairb and andat a mbí, LU ; b- lía ar 
mairb inaid ar mbi, L. 25 co tarat, Eg; comla, Eg. 


Though great his deceit in the case of the other 
ladies, in that of Emer he applied thrice as much. 

§ 20. The three companies thereupon went out 
till they met at one spot, to wit, three ridges from 
the hall. None of them wot that Bricriu had in- 
cited them one against another. To the hall they 
straightway return. Even and graceful and easy their 
carriage on the first ridge ; scarcely did one of them 
raise a foot before the other. But on the ridge follow- 
ing, their steps were shorter and quicker. Moreover, 
on the ridge next the house it was with dimculty each 
kept up with the other ; so they raised their robes to 
the rounds of their limbs to compete in the attempt 
to go first into the hall. For what Bricriu said to 
each of them regarding the other was, that whosoever 
should first enter should be queen of the whole pro- 
vince. The amount of confusion then occasioned 
by the competition to enter the hall first was as it 
were the noise of fifty chariots approaching. The 
whole palace shook and the warriors sprang to their 
arms and made essay to kill one another within. 

§ 21. "Stay," quoth Sencha, "they are not enemies 
who have come ; it is Bricriu who has set a-quarrelling 
the women who have gone out. By the god of my 
tribe, unless the hall be closed against them our dead 
will outnumber our living." Thereupon the door- 
keepers close the doors. Emer, daughter of Forgall 
the Wily, wife of Cuchulainn, by reason of her speed, 
outran the others and put her back against the door, 
and straightway called upon the doorkeepers ere 
the other ladies [came], so that the men within got 
up, each of them to open for his own wife that she 


chena, co n-érget na íir isintig la sodam, cach fer diib 
do oslogud ríana mnái, co m-bad a ben cetna tísad 
issatech ar thús. " Bid olc ind adaig" or Conchobur. 
B^«aid a cló n-argit robói ina láim frisin n-uaítni 
créduma inna imda, co n-desitar in t-slúaig inna sudi. 5 
"Anaid," or Sencha, "ní ba cath co n-gaisczW do- 
gentar sund, acht bid cath co m-briathraz/> la sodatn." 
Tolluid cach ben fo chóim a céli ammaig, conid 
andsin dorónsat in bnatha rc/iat/i Ban-Ultfí/. 

Bríatharcath na m-ban in so. 

22. Asb^rt Fedelm Nóicride ben hoegairz Buadatg : 10 
[R.] " Cotombí?rt-sa brú sóer sruith dim chlaind com- 

cinsiu di churp ríg sceó rígnai richt forcáini 

conid cruth buidech berar úaim nóithium cruth 15 

consert la feba féne fogart geinsiu genas 
luchthond lámderg hoegazre 
lín m-band m-balcbúada beras ar íath n-U\ad 
aurslaid cr/cha comnart comnámat cen Ultu 20 


1 afir, LU; cach fir diib, LU; conergit afir isjz'/ztoich la sod- 
cech fer dib, Eg. 3 issintech, Eg. 

4 benaid, Eg; an clo, Eg; frissind uaithne, Eg; imdaige, Eg. 

8 fo chomair, Eg; fo comair a ceile, H ; fo coim, L. 

9 bánulad', Eg; bánukí/, H. 10 Fedlim, Eg. 
11 Cottambertsa, Eg; do claind comchineoil, Eg. 

13 do churp, Eg; forchaine costad, Eg. 

15 beror, Eg; noithium, Eg ; cruth coin, Eg. 

17 gensiu genas luchtdonn, Eg ; luchdonn, L; foghart geinisiu 
genas lucthonn, H. 19 m-buada, Eg; mbalc mbuadha, H. 

20 arslaig cricha comnamat cen \3\tu imme, Eg; H. omits 


might be the first to come within. " Bad [look-out] 
to-night," quoth Conchobar. He struck the silver 
sceptre that was in his hand against the bronze pillar 
of the couch and the folks gat seated. " Stay," quoth 
Sencha, "'tis not a warfare of arms that shall be held 
here ; it will be a warfare of words." Each woman 
went out under the protection of her spouse, and then 
followed the Ulster women's war-of-words. 

The Women's War of Words. 

§ 22. Fedelm of the fresh heart, wife of Loigaire The lau- 

the Triumphant, made speech : — datory 

speech of 
" Born of a mother in freedom, one in rank and in Fedelm. 

race mine elders ; 
Sprung from loins that are royal, in the beauty of 

peerless breeding ; 
Lovely in form I am reckoned, and noted for figure 

and comely, 
Fostered in warrior virtues, in the sphere of goodly 

Loigaire's hand, all-noble, what triumphs it scoreth 

for Ulster ! 
Ulster's marches from foemen, ever equal in strength, 

ever hostile — 
All by himself were they holden : from wounds a 

defence and protection, 
Loigair(e), more famous than heroes, in number of 

victories greater, 
Why should not Fedelm the lovely step first in the 

mead-hall so festive, 
Shapelier than all other women, triumphant and jealous 

of conquest ? " 


Imúsdích immustecrathar imgoin 

airdiu airdercu laechaib L,oegazre. 

lín a búada bías úas cech lréch. 

Cid nab sin Fedelm-sa Findchóem chruth- 

búadach búageltach 5 

cichs^ ría cach mnái hi Tech Midchúarda 

23. hsberi Lendabair la sodain ingen Eógain maic 
Dertacht ben Chonaill Cernaig maic Amorgeni: 
[R.] "Ar is mése crúth chéill chongraimmim 10 

coiblethar céim cruth cáin caurchasta 
i Tech Midchúarta ríg ría mnáib XJlad. 
Ar is mo chéle caam Conall coscorach credmair 
coibledar céim n-ard n-adguide 

i n-uchtu ergal n-eirrind ría cach. 15 

Cáin tintaí chucum co cernaib co cennaib 
con ruccai calca cruáidae comraicthi U\ad 
arsaid cach n-áth conid día thuil toronglai 
arslaithi a n-áthu arfich a n-gressu 
comaig laéch arabí lecht liác 20 

laimethar mac áin AmorgéTzz accalldaim 

2 airri airdárca, Eg; airriu, LU ; airri, H. 

3 lín a buad, Eg; lin mbuada, H. 

4 Cid nab- si an Fedlim si, Eg; cruth buadach buadgeltoch, 
Eg; búaigeltach, H. 

6 cichsed ria cec/i mnai a tech medrach Midchuartae, Eg. 
8 Asmbert, Eg. 9 Pámergin, Eg. 

11 coibletflr ceimm cruth casm curcasta, Eg. 

12 ricc ria mnaibh Ulad uile, Eg. 

13 cosgrach credmar, Eg; cf. coscorach cridemail in § 52. 

14 coiplethízr, Eg; coibletar, H. 15 ind ucht ergal, Eg. 

16 coin tinntaid cugam co cernaip, Eg. 

17 cruaide comruicthe, Eg. 

18 arsaidh, L ; conad dia tul tglai, Eg; arslaid, H (the / put in 
as a correction) ; fglaí, LU ; tglai, H. 

19 asrlaith, L ; arslaidh, Eg; arslaid, H. 

20 comaig laech ara bi, Eg. 21 accaldaim om., Eg ; cain, H. 


§ 23. Thereupon spake Lendabair, daughter of 
Eogan mac Derthacht, wife of Conall Cernach, son 
of Amorgen : — 

" Mine is a mien too of beauty, of reason, with grace 

of deportment, 
Finely and fairly stepping in front of the women of 

See me step to the mead-hall, my spouse and my 

darling the Conall. 
Big is his shield and triumphant, majestic his gait and 

Up to the spears of the conflict, in front of them all 

as he strideth : 
Back to me comes he proudly, with heads in his hands 

as his trophies ; 
Swords he getteth together for the clashing in con- 

flict of Ulster ; 
Guardian of every ford-way, he destroyeth them too 

at his pleasure ; 
Fords he defendeth from foemen, the wrongful attack 

he avengeth, 
Holdeth himself as a hero upon whom shall be raiséd 

a tombstone : 
Son of Amorgen noble, his is the courage that 

speaketh ; 
Many the arts of the Conall and therefore he le^adeth 

the heroes. 
Lendabair, great is her glory, in every one's eye is her 

splendour ; 
Why not the first when she enters the hall of a king 

so queenly ? " 


ar is Conall ar lín a cherd cinges ría cach laech. 
Cid nabb sin Lendabair-se lí súla cáich 
cichsed ría cach mnai hi tech ríg." 

24. Asb^t Emer ingen Forgaill Manach ben 
Conculaind : 5 

[R.] " Cotomgaba-sa chéim cruth cheill congraim- 

coibliud búada báigthir cach delb cháin chucí>m 
conid mo rosc sóer setta dóine dom gnúis gné 
ní fríth cruth ná córai ná congraim 10 

ni frith gses ná gart ná genus. 
ní frith luth seirce sóerligi na celle conomthic-se 
ar is immum-sa ochsatar Ulaid uile 
is mé a cnú chridi glé diammbé-se bséth fíade- 

tarlu. 15 

Nimmar mbith ben úadib lía céle on trath sa 

co alaile 
is Cuculaind mo chéle ní cú ches 
crithir fola for a crund. 

cobur fola for a claediub 20 

Cáin forondar a chorp hi crú 
créchta ina cháin cnis 
álta ina thóeb liss 
cáin feid a rosc rochéim inna chend síar 

1 a cerd no a cern, Eg. 2 Cid nab- si, Eg; H. omits cáich. 

3 cichsead, Eg. 4 Asmbert, Eg. 

6 ceim cruth ceill congraim;;z, Eg. 

8 baidther, Eg; cain cugam, Eg. 9 conad, Eg; seta, H. 

12 luth seirci saorlighe na gile na ceille conam ticisi, Eg; 
soergile, H 13 ochsathor, Eg. 

14 diambese die mbese (sic) basth fiadetarlae, Eg ; beith fiadetar 
liumm mar bith ben uaidib lia cele . . . H ; lie, Eg. 

16 nimmar bid, Eg ; colaile, Eg. 18 ni cu cichis, Eg. 

21 Cain forondor a corp a cru, Eg. 22 creac/it, Eg. 

24 cain feith a roscc rochain ina chind (om. siar), Eg; om. siar, H. 


§ 24. Emer, daughter of Forgall the tricky, wife of 
Cuchulainn, made speech : — 
" I am the standard of women, in figure, in grace and 

in wisdom ; 
None mine equal in beauty, for I am a picture of 

Mien full noble and goodly, mine eye like a jewel that 

flasheth ; 
Figure, or grace, or beauty, or wisdom, or bounty, 

or chasteness, 
Joy of sense, or of loving, unto mine has never been 

Sighing for me is Ultonia, — a nut of the heart I am 

clearly — 
(Now were I welcoming wanton, no husband were 

yours to-morrow.) 
My spouse is the hound of Culann, and not a hound 

that is feeble ; 
Blood from his spear is spurting, with life-blood his 

sword is dripping ; 
Finely his body is fashioned, but his skin is gaping 

with gashes, 
Wounds on his thigh there are many, but nobly his 

eye looks westward ; * 
Bright is the dome he supporteth and ever red are 

his eyen, 
Red are the frames of his chariot, and red are also 

the cushions ; 
Fighting from ears of horses and over the breaths of 


* This is a mythic reference to Cuchulainn as sun-hero. 


cáin fuálaing fuither glaini 
sírderg a sella 
ógdérg a fonnaid 
fordeirg a fortgea 

arfich ó áib ech ocus analaib fer 5 

foceird ích n-erred ind áib 
atetha cles dond cless dall cless n-eóin 
immelig loa usci atetha cless nonbair 
conboing catha cróchombág 

falgai betho borrbuidne 10 

brissid úath nadarccna 
is fer seirgeis illigu 
is crón chutma cúaride 
iss i richt mná siúil sedda U\ad uli 
corrici mo chéle-se Coinculaind 15 

cró dond glé sin samlaitz'r 
at salaig úantaind athúanaind chrisalaig 
at gairb chaithlig at cróna cutrwmma 
at crothle garmíline at búanaind bodelbas 
io3 a . is irrechtaib bo ocus dam ocus ech 20 

settai mná U \ad uli conomthici-sea." 

1 Cain fualaing fuider glaini (om. sair), Eg ; fuider glain 
isair, H; glaini sair, LU. 4 foirtchi, Eg. 

5 arfichaib ech 7 analaib, Eg (between b and e there is what 
might have been an / much faded ; Wind. wronglv read " a 
fichaib"; arfich oiblech ocus analaib, H; arfich óiblech ocus 
anal* — , L. 

6 foch^rd ich neirr^ nindaib, Eg. 

8 immasleig loa uisqi atetae cles nonbuir, Eg; immeilg, H. 
10 falgaib betha buidni, Eg; falgaibetho, H ; falgaib etho, LU. 
12 sergis illigiu, Eg. 13 cron cutma, Eg. 

14 issi 'vmucht mna siul sedda, Eg. 

16 cron donn gle sin, H ; samlaithz'r, Eg. 

17 at saXaig uanainn atanaind cns&laig, Eg ; om. athúanaind, H 

18 cutrummas, Eg. 

19 garmanline, Eg ; bo delpai, Eg; garmaline ambuanaind, H. 

20 irriuchtaib, H. 21 sedda, Eg; seddai, H; conamticcise, Eg. 


Springing in air like a salmon when he springeth the 

spring of the heroes, 
Rarest of feats he performeth, the leap that is bird- 

like he leapeth, 
Bounding o'er pools of water, he performeth the feat 

cless nonbair ; * 
Battles of bloody battalions, the world's proud armies 

he heweth, 
Beating down kings in their fury, mowing the hosts 

of the foemen. 
Others to crdnf I liken, shamming^ the travail of 

Ulster's precious heroes compared with my spouse 

He unto blood may be likened, to blood that is clear 

and noble, 
They to the scum and the garbage, as cron their value 

I reckon ; 
Shackled and shaped like cattle, § as kine and oxen 

and horses, 
Ulster's precious women beside the wife of Cuchu- 


* lit. feat of nine. 

t Some metal of inferior value. 

t Emer, who is represented as coming from the Celtic province 
of Meath, alludes to the Ultonian couvade. She implies those 
Ulster heroes were shams. 

§ <Wé>/&z«?=cow-shapes, may refer to some old practice of cow- 
worship ; cf. the Burghead stones. 


25. La sodain ba ed dogensat ind fir batar sintig, i. 
hoegaire ocus Conall Cevnach, o roleblaing a lua^ 
laith iar closin imacallma na m-ban, robrisiset cleith 
di clethaib ind rigthige fo a comartus immach, conid 

sí [sin] conar dollotar a mná chucu isintech. Cucu- 5 
laind immorro tuargaib a tech i n-aurchomair a imdái, 
comtar fod^rci renna nimi fon fraigid immach anis, 
con[id] sí sin conar dolluid a ben-som ocus cóeca ban 
cecthar de na da ban aili ocus cóeca ban a mná fodéin, 
conna bad cutrzmimus disi frisna mna aili, uair nir bo 10 
chutnmimus do-S0m fri cách. Dolleci Cuculaind 
arrígthech sís iar sudi, co n-dechatar secht ferchubat 
di fenamain in tige i talmain, co forcroth a n-dún uli 
ocus cor trascair gríanan Búcrend fri lár talman, co 
torcair Bricrz^ fodein ocus a rígan, corrabatar isind 15 
otruch for lar ind lis eter na conaib. " Aill amai" for 
Búcriu " tancatar námait a n-dún," la eirgi súas co 
opund. Co rolá cor immáw rigthech, co n-acca anw/ 
rocloénad a thech, conda tarla for a lethbeolu uli. 
Adsoirg a bossa la sodain ocus leicthe isatech iar sudi, 20 
ocus ni rabi la U\tu fer asaithgned anW rosalchad, 
conid ina labrad atgenatar. 

26. Asbért Bricrz'u friu íar<?m do lar in tigi : "Nim- 

1 issin tig Laeg. B. ocus Conall C, Eg. 

2 rusleblaing, L ; roisleab-, H. 3 iar cluais imagall-, Eg. 
4 conad sisin, Eg; conid si sin conair, H. 

6 ina urcomair. 8 conadh sisin, Eg; consisin, LU. 

9 na da ban aile co na ba cutrumz/j disi fris na mnaib uair nior 
bo chudrumz^ die fir frisna firae aile, Eg. 10 cuthrammus, LU. 

11 Tollecce C. in rigteuch, Eg. 

12 connteuch^tar VII ufercuboit, Eg; co forcroith in daun 
n-uile, Eg ; fenamain Stokes, Rem. on the Facs. p. 13, senamain, 
LU, Eg; di senmain, H. 14 cor trascair, Eg; for lar, Eg. 

14 co torchair B. bodein ocus a righan, Eg; co torcair íor 
lar, H. 16 issin otrach chacae for lar, Eg; isind otruch chaca, 

H ; isand otrach cacai, L. 18 co rollá cor imma rigteuch, Eg. 

19 contarrlae for a leith beulae {om. uli), Eg. 20 assoirg, Eg; 

adsoirgg, H. 20 tolleicti, Eg. * 21 assaitgned amail, Eg. 

23 riu iarc;;/ tollar in tiíce, Eg ; nimatarcoml^ae fleud, Eg. 


§ 25. Thus did the men in the hall behave on 
having heard the laudatory addresses of the women — 
to wit, Loigaire and Conall ; each sprang into his 
hero's light, and broke a stave of the palace at a like 
level with themselves, so that in this way their wives 
came in. Moreover, Cuchulainn upheaved the palace 
just over against his bed, till the stars of heaven 
were to be seen from underneath the wattle. By 
that opening came his own wife with half a hundred 
women attendants in her train, as also half a hun- 
dred in waiting upon the other twain. Other ladies 
could not be compared with Emer, while no one 
at all was to be likened unto her spouse. Thereupon 
Cuchulainn let the palace down till seven feet of 
the wattle entered the ground ; the whole dún shook, 
and Bricriu's balcony was laid flat to the earth, in 
such wise that Bricriu and his queen toppled down 
till they fell into thefosse in the middle of the court- 
yard among the dogs. " Woe is me," cried Bricriu, 
as he hastily got up, " enemies have come into the 
palace." He took a turn round and perceived how 
it was lop-sided and inclined entirely to one side. 
He wrung his hands, then betook himself within, 
so bespattered that none of the Ulster folk could 
recognise him. From his manner of speech only did 
they do so. 

§ 26. Then from off the floor of the house Bricriu 
made speech : " Alas ! that I have prepared you a 
feast, O Ultonians. My house is more to me than 
all my other possessions. Upon you, therefore, it is 
geis to drink, or to eat, or to sleep till ye leave my 


ator-chcmlod-sa fleid dúib tra, a U\tu" for se. " Is 
ansu lim-sa mo thech oldás mo trebad uli. Is geis 
dúib tra " ol Rncriu " ól na longud na chotlud, co 
fargbaid mo thech-sa, ama/ fondrancaibair for bar 
cind." Atsregat laith gaile fer v\-U\ad uli asin tig la 5 
sodain ocus áoherat tríamnai don tig ocus nír thúar- 
gaibset cid co tisad gaéth etorro ocus taXmain. Robo 
cheist for U\tu aní sin. " Nochonomtha-sa dúib" 
ol Sencha " acht in fer fodrácaib co claen, aitchid fris 
a facbail co diriuch." 10 

27. Asb^rtatar U\aid fri Coinculaind iar sudi a tech 
do dirgiud, ocus asbért Bncriu : " A rí lréch n-Rrend," 
for se, " man\ dirgi-siu co rop cóir, nocon fil isin 
domun nodndírgi." Doratsat U\aid uli impidi fair 
im thúaslucud na cesta. Atsraig Cuculaind la sodain, 15 
io3 b . na betis íés na fledi cen ól cen tomoltus. Dorat iarom 
Cuc^laind triam dia t&trcbail ocus forémmid. Ro 
riastrad immi iarom iar sudi, co rabi banna fola im 
bun cacha finna dó, ocus rosuíg a folt inna chend, 
corbo suas maeldub demis [a] chas chirdub ba íorcs'i 20 
fair, ocus rongab imbrith brón ocus rósini iar sudi, 
co taillfed fertraig feroclaig eter cach da asna do. 

2 Is auntsa, Eg. 3 nallong^rf na guodlxd, Eg. 

4 fondrarnecbabz/r ar for cind, Eg ; fondrancabair, H. 

5 ataregaut láit gaile Ul. uile, Eg; isin, LU. 

7 ced . . . eter é ocus tal. Rop ces, H ; Rop ceus don for Ullt. 

ind ni sin, Eg. 8 Nocham thasae, Eg; nochomtasa dauib, H. 

9 aitqi fris a fagbaz'/ co direch, Eg ; aittchidh, H. 

11 Asmbí'rtatar, Eg. 12 do dirgad, Eg. 12 a.smbert, Eg. 

13 main dirgeussu corab cóir ni con fil issin domun nod dirge, 

Eg; 15 Atfraich, Eg; atraigh, L; atraig, H. 

16 \w.cht na fleidi . . . cen tomailt, Eg; H. 17 triamain, H. 

17 forfeim, Eg; forrofem, H ; Ro riestrad imbi iersuid/// combaei 
banno folae imm bun cec/t finda doa ocus rosuig a folt inda cheunt 
conderfise (coniid3e, Eg) suas mael cas cirdub ro baei fair ocus 
rongab a brí bro ocus rosin iar svadiu co tuillfed fer troig ferogWg 
eter cech da essnae do, Eg. 

20 demischas, LU. 

21 rogab imbri bró, LU ; rongab ambnbrofair, H. 


house as ye found it on your arrival." Thereupon all 
the valiant Ulstermen went out of the house and 
tried to tug it, but they did not raise it so much as 
that even the wind could pass between it and the 
earth. That matter was a difficulty for the Ulster- 
men. " I have no suggestion for you," quoth Sencha, 
" save that ye entreat of him who has left it lop-sided 
to set it upright." 

§ 27. Whereupon the men of Ulster told Cuchu- 
lainn to restore the house to its upright position, and 
Bricriu made speech withal : " Oh king of the heroes 
of Erin, if thou set it not straight and erect, none 
in the world can do so." All the Ulstermen then 
entreated of Cuchulainn to solve the matter. That the 
banqueters might not be lacking for food or for ale, 
Cuchulainn got up and anon tried to lift the house 
at a tug and failed. A distortion thereupon gat hold 
of him, whilst a drop of blood was at the root of 
each single hair, and he absorbed his hair into his 
head, so that, looked on from above, his dark-yellow 
curls seemed as if they had been shorn by scissors, 
and taking upon him the motion of a millstone he 
strained himself till a warrior's foot could find room 
between each pair of ribs. 

§ 28. His natural resources and fiery vigour re- 
turned to him, and he then heaved the house aloft 
and set it so that it reached its former level. There- 
after the consumption of the feast was pleasant to 
them, with the kings and the chieftains on the one 
side round about Conchobar the illustrious, the noble 


28. Tancatar a ífes c^machta ocus a lucht adantha 
na dochzmi, ocus tuargaib a tech iar sudi ocus forruim 
co r'r&cht a dirgi fesin inna cetna. 


Ocus bá sam doib iarom oc tochatim na fledi, i. 
na ríg ocus na toisig isindarna leith im Concobur 5 
clothamra, im ardiíg n-amra n-U\ad. Ind rigna im- 
morro isind leith araill, i. Mugain Aitencaetrech ingen 
Echach Fedlig ben Conchobair maic Nesa, Fedelm 
Nóicrothach ingen Concobair (i. nói crotha no tad- 
bantais iorri, ocus bá aildiu cach cruth araili), Fedetm 10 
Foltchain dawc ingen aili ConchobtfzV ben hoegairi 
Buadaig, Findbec ingen Echach ben Chethirnd maic 
Fintain, Bríg Brethach ben Celtchair maic Uthichair, 
Findige ingen Echach ben Eogain maic Durthacht, 
Findchasm ingen Cathbad ben Amargm Iarngiunnaig, 15 
Derborcaill ben Lugdach Riab n-derg maic na Tri 
Find Emna, Emer Foltchain ingen Forcaill Manach 
ben Conculaind maz'c Sualdaim, Lendabair ingen 
Eógain maic Durthacht ben Conaill Cernaig, Niab 
ingen Celtchair maic Uthechair ben Chormaic Cond- 20 
longas maic Concobair. Is lia t«rem tra ocus aisneis 
ina m-bói dí degmnáib and chena. 


29. Dorala in tech ina ráithsechaib briathar oc na 
mnáib doridisi oc imarbaig cier a feraib ocus siat 

1 adartha, LU. 

Of § 28, Eg has only " tuargaib an tech iar suidz'w ocus for- 
ruirim co ruar/// a dirgi an cetna." H here agrees with Eg in 
having of this section but the phrase "tuargazd a tec/i iarsuidiu 
ocus farruz/'íim coruacht a dirghi in cetna." This chapter is 
abridged in L. 

§ 29. Iarsin tra coiscter an s\og bi?ridh . . . gualaind. Ro fas 


high-king of Ulster. Moreover, the queens were on 
the other side : Mugain Aitencaetrech, daughter of 
Eochaid Fedlech, wife of Conchobar mac Nessa, 
Fedelm of the nine-shapes, daughter of Conchobar, — 
nine "shapes" she could assume, and each shape more 
lovely than the other ; also Fedelm of the Fair Hair, 
another daughter of Conchobar, wife of Loigaire the 
Triumphant ; Findbec, daughter of Eochaid, wife of 
Cethirnd, son of Fintan ; Bríg Brethach, wife of Celt- 
char, son of Uthichar ; Findige, daughter of Eochaid, 
wife of Eogan mac Durthacht ; Findchaem, daughter 
of Cathbad, wife of Amargin of the Iron Jaw, and 
Derborcall (Devorgilla), wife of Lugad of the Red 
Stripes, son of Tri Find Emna ; Emer of the Fair 
Hair, daughter of Forcall Manach, wife of Cuchulainn, 
son of Sualdam ; Lendabair, daughter of Eogan mac 
Durthacht, wife of Conall the Victorious ; Niab, 
daughter of Celtchar mac Uthechar, wife of Cormac 
Condlongus, son of Conchobar. It would be over- 
much to recount and to declare who of noble dames 


§ 29. Once more the hall became a babel of Sencha 

words, the women lauding their men. Then essaved demands 

Conall and Loigaire and Cuchulainn to stir up dis- 

sension. Sencha, son of Ailill, got up and shook his 

sceptre. To him the Ultonians gave ear, and then 

to restrain the ladies he made speech : — 

" I restrain ye, ladies of Ulster, noble in name and 

in glory ; 


fesni, co folmaiset ind íir comergi debtha dorísi, i. 
Conall ocus hoegat're ocus Cuculaind. Atracht Sencha 
mac Ailella ocus rocroith in craib Sencha, ocus con- 
tóiset \]\aid uli fris, conid and asb^rt-scm oc cosc inna 
m-ban : — 5 

[R.] " Cotobsechaim a láichessa ána aúrdairce air- 
egda Ulad. 
anat for m-briatra bági na banaiter fergnúsi 
iccruadaib comraicthib tria úalle a n-glond. 
ar is tria chin m-ban bit fernai fer dlochtai IO 

fir i n-irgalaib immad már galgat comlud ferglunni 
ar is dia m-brígaib bsesaib bés dóib 
dofurcbat nadíccat imsúidet nadraincet 
Cotobsechaim a laicesa ana urdairci." 

30. Is and asb^rt Emer oc a frecra : 15 

[R.] " DeithbzV dam-sa a Sencha uair is am ben-sa. 
curad cáin 

. . . do mifostudh ocus infedh . . . acosc namban ar se conabe 
olc idz'r na firu. Cotobsechaim for se . . . urdairce aireddha 
U\ad anat . . . na banait^r fergnúisí i cruadh comraicthib tre 
uailli ag . . . dlochtain fir anz/rgalaib . . . comlud fer gluinni 
. . . dofurcbat nad ricat imsaidhet nadrancet, H § 29 in Eg : 
Iersin tra coister in slog. Bévid Sencha breith dina mnaib, i. 
TZ'imer ar tus issinteuch ocus na di mnaei aile gualainn frie gua- 
lainn ind. Rofass indimarbáig chettnae dona mnaib issintig 
iar riechtam 'mduna/d. Bator iarom ind fir do mifostud ocus anfeith 
lasod#z'« conerracht Sencse ; cosc na m-ban ol se [co] na be olc 
itzV nai firu. Cotaibsechaim for se a laichessa ana urd^rca U\ad. 
Anaitt bur m-bagbriatra na banaitaigt (sic) fergnuissi i cruad com- 
raictib trz'e uaill agu ar is trz'e chin m-ban bid ferna feur dlo<r/z/ai/z 
fir in «rgalaib immat margalgat comluth fergluinde ar is die m- 
brigaib btesaib bes doib dofurgbait natriccait imsuidet nadrancit. 
Có. Eg; dlochtain . . . comlud . . . dofurcbat nadricat imsaidhet 
nadrancet, H ', nadrairget, LU ; cf. § 28, where adartha is for 
adantha. It seems dialectal. 6 and 14 cotobsechal, L U. Facs. 

16 bam bensai curad cain comrmaich, L; basam bensa, H. 

§ 30. Deithbz'r damsae ón a Senchas for Eim^r bassa bensa 
curaxd cain cot n-gabz/í cruth ceill orodamned a forcetal gan 
dichell et^r cles for anahzz'^ ocus uball cl^ ocus siabz/rcles et 


Cease ye your words of contention, lest the mien of 

men folk be paler, 
In keenness of conrlict striving, amid vainglorious 

combat ; 
Through guile of women, meseemeth, men's shields 

are wont to be splintered, 
In frays the hosts of the heroes are oft contending 

in anger ; 
To woman's whims it is owing this use and wont 

among men folk — 
They bruise what there's no upbinding, and attack 

what they have not attained to : 
Heroines gallant and glorious, and noble ones, I 

restrain ye." 

§ 30. Then Emer spake and made answer : — Emer 

" Fitting for me, meseemeth, to speak as the wife of j au( j s 
a hero Cuchu- 

Who combineth in natural union graces of mind and 
of body, 

Since ever his teaching was finished and learning to 
him came easy.* 

None will be found who will equal his age, his 

growth, and his splendour : 

* Here follows an enumeration of Cuchulainn's feats. It is not 
easy to figure them mentally with accuracy, so that we can be sure 
we know what we are speaking about : word for word they mean : — 
both over-breath-feat, apple-feat, ghost- (or sprite-) feat, screw-feat, 
cat-feat, valiant-champion's whirling-feat, barbed spear, quick 
stroke, mad roar, heroes' fury, wheel-feat, sword-edge-feat, climb- 
ing against spike-pointed things (or places) and straightening his 
body on each of them. 



104*. cotngabtus cruth ceill o rodamnad a forcetul ce« 

eter chles for analaib ocus ubullchles ocus sia- 
burcles ocus cles cúair ocus cles cait ocus derg 
filliud erred nair ocus gai bolcai ocus bai brasi 
ocus bruth n-gene ocus sían curad ocus rothchles 
ocus fséburchles ocus dreim fri fogaist ocus 
dírgiúd cretti for cach n-ái. 
[R.] Ní faigbistar fer and conmestar a aes ocus a ás 

ocus a anius. 
a guth a gcés a chen/1. a anius a urlabra. 
a ág a gal a gaisced. a bruth a búaid a búadirse. 
a foraim a fómsige. a déni a tharpige 
a fíanchoscur co cles nónbair fo Choinculaind 

comchosmail." 15 

31. " Fír inna radi-siu, a ben," íor Conall Cernach, 
"tset ille in gilla clesach sin, co comairsem." " Nathó," 
for Cuculaind, " am scith aithbristi indiu, conda esur 
biád ocus co ro chotlur ni áxngén comlond." Ba fír 
ém do-Sí?m dano ani sin, fo dagin iss ed láa and sin 20 
immanarnic do-scm frisin Liath Macha hi taib Lindi 
Leith, hi Sleib Fúait. Roselaig Cuculaind chuci iar 

reliqua. Et ni fuigb^ar feur ant (sic) conmestar a aes ocus a 
fás a aines a airech^j a urlabra a ceneol a guth a gass a gal a 
ga.\sced a bruth a buaidh a buaidhirsi a foraim a foimsige a deine 
a dianchoscar no fescar co cles nonbuir for Choincú comcosmaz'/. 
Eg ^oro damnadh, H ; here H enumerates the feats like LU. 

11 a fas ocus a ainius ocus a urlabra, H. 

14 a fiancosc, L ; a fianfescur, H. 

§ 31. Fior a ben for Conaltt (sic) taet ille in gillaa clessach sin 
co comairsim. Nato for Cucu. ansgith (sic) anossae condaesar 
bíed ocus coro ouodlar. Ba fíor dossam dono innísin fo daigin 
is^í/la innsin z'wmcomhrainicc dosum frisin Liath Mochas a tasib 
Linde in Leith. Roselaith Cucu. chuice co tarat a di laim immo 
bragait co rotairmchill tir n-Er^«//fon n-ind«J sin co torra.cht ind 
oidche sin cona each rietns leis co teuch m-'Qúcrend inn Dun 
"Rudraige. Eg; . . . am scith inosa connesar . . . con cotlar . . . 
immaranic . . . corotaircelsat . . . co Dun Rud, H. 

17 naidi, L. 1£ > dígo, LU. 


Of a line that is long descended, he speaketh with 

grace and with order ; 
A brave and a valiant hero, like a fury he fights in the 

Dexterous of aim and so agile, and quick and sure at 

the hunting ; 
And find ye a man among men folk, a mould that may 

match with Cuchulainn ! " 

31. " Sooth, lady," quoth Conall the Victorious, 
"let that famous fellow {lit. gillie of feats) come 
here that we may inquire of him." " No," quoth 
Cuchulainn. "I am to-day weary and done up. I 
will not hold a duel till after I have had food and 
sleep." In sooth that was really so, inasmuch as it 
was the day on which he had fallen in with [his steed] 
the Grey of Macha by the side of the Grey Linn at 
Sliav Fuait. On its having come out of the loch, 
Cuchulainn crept up to it and put his two hands 
around the steed's neck till they twain got a-wrest- 
ling, and on that wise they made a circuit of Erin, 
until on that night Cuchulainn came chasing with 
his steed {lit. driving horse) to Emain. He got 
the Black Sainglenn in like wise from Lough Dubh 

§ 32. It was then Cuchulainn spake thus : " To-day 
have the Grey and I visited the great plains of Erin, 
namely, Bregia of Meath, the seashore marsh of 


tichtain dó asind loch, co tarat a di laim imma brágit, 
co ragaib etorro oc gleic, co rothairmchellsat tír 
n-Érend fon n-innasin, co toracht inn aidchi sz'n cona 
eoch riata leis co Emain Macha. Is fón n-innas cetna 
dano fuair in Dub Sainglend a Loch Duib Sainglm^. 5 

32. Is and asbí?rt Cuculaind ani seo : " Rosirius 
indiu ocus in Liath morbrugi Erend i. Brega Midi 
Muresc Murthemni Macha Mag Medba, Currech 
Cleitech Cerna., Lia Line Locharna, Fea Femen 
Fergna, Urros Domnand Ros Roigne, Anm (? Aíeo H) 10 
Eó. Ferr cac/i cless cotlud, diliu lim longud oldás 
cach ni. Tongu do dia toinges mo thúath, diam-sa 
saithech bíd ocus cotulta, conid cles ocus cluchi lim 
comrac fri óenfer." [Maith tra, ar Conchobar, is lor 
atáthai : agairimtell Bricrend, tucthar biad ocus lind 15 
bodesta ocus coiscter ind imforran cotair an fleid. 
Dognither samlaid ba saim doib iarsuidiu co cend tri 
la ocus teora n-aidchi.] 

§ 32. ... Locharna Fea 7 Fem. 7 Fergna Corann 7 Umall 
7 Urrus Cera . . . Turida . . . Tailtiu . . . Ros 7 Roisgne ... 7 Aíeo 
Toig do dia . . ., H 

§ 32. Issand ismb?rt Cucu. indso : 

Rosirius andiu morbruighe Erend for se i. Breughae Midiu Mu- 
rescc Murtemne Machas Mag Medba Currech. Cleitech Címae 
Aidne Aigli Asal Lia Linde Lochrandae Umall Irrus. Cera Masn- 
mag Muccraime Tenmag Tulchae Tuiride Tetba Tlaí"^/ga Taillti 
Temoir Cuala Cerrrwae Ros Ruidni Roiscne Aine. Ferr lem cech 
les quod\ud dile lem longad olda cechni. Tongusae itoingi mo 
tuath madam saitheuch bíd ocus cotaltae is cles lem ocus is cluichi 
dam comracc frie hoenfer. Maith tra ar Conc. is lor atáthai 
agairimdell Bric tucthar bíedh issintech ocus coiscter ind imorran 
co tair an fleid. Dogniter * samlaid ba saim doib iarsuidz'« co cend 
tri la ocus tri n-aidqi, Eg; is lor a fod atathai acair imdell Bric. 
tuct biadh astech or se 7 coiscter in imforrain, L ; is lor itaithi 
icairimtell Br. tugt biadh ocus lind b-esta . . . ind imfcrain . . . 
Doroigned* . . ., H; Dericnet, L; co cend tri laa 7 teourai 
n-aidhce, L. Here follows in Eg : Toichim U\ad do Cruachain 
aei sis anaa (v. § 42). 


Muirthemne Macha, Moy Medba, Currech Cleitech 
Cerna, Lia of Linn Locharn, Fea Femen Fergna, 
Urros Domnand, Ros Roigne (? . . .) Eó. And to 
sleep and to eat it liketh me better than everything. 
By the god of my folk I swear 'twould be but fun 
and frolic for me to fight a duel had I my fill of food 
and of sleep." [* " Well," quoth Bricriu, "this has 
lasted long enough. The Feast of Bricriu has to be 
celebrated ; let meat and drink {lit. food and ale) be 
got at once, and let the women's warfare be put a 
stop to till the feast be over." This was done, and it 
was a pleasant (time) for them till the end of three 
days and three nights.] 

* After Eg and H, which represent a different recension and 
pass on at once to § 42. 



33. Immacomarnic tra dóib débaid do denam im- 
ma« curadmir doridisi. Dogní Concobur ocus mathi 
UW ol chena a n-etrain, co roglethe a m-brethugud. 
"Eircid" íor Concobwr "cussin fer folimathar íor 
n-etrain, co Coinroí mac n-Dairi." Conid and asb^rt : 5 

[R.] " Alid in fer conc^rta do chách 
mac Dairi duír caemroth Curoí 
conclecht fir íorcoW nad fri góe gebithar 
fer find fíren fer maith movmemtinach. 
brugaid ar brugachus I0 

héch ar laimthenchus 
ardri ar airechus 

concMfa fír íorúh feidm airg ailfes." 



I0 4 h - 34- " Foemaim-sea sin tra" for Cuculaind. "Cet 15 

lem" for Loegatre. " A dula" for Conall 
Cemac/i. " Gabtair tra eich duin," for Cuculaind, 
" ocus indillt/r do charpat a Chonaill." "Aill amai " 
for Conall. " Éche " for Cuchulaind "íoriiir cach 
amglicu t'echrad-su utmailli do cheim ocus t'innell 20 
imtn?mmu con cingenn do charpat, con tocba clod 
cechtar a da roth rocharpait, con[id] slicht suachnid 

§ 33-41 in Eg,fol. 23 b comes after the words : Anaid or Sencha 
denaid mo riar-sae. Dodenam ol siat (end of § 74), i.e. after the 
visit to Curoi. H agrees with Eg as to order. 

§ 33. For the words " Immacomarnic ío mac n-Dairi" Eg reads : 
Isi mo riar-sa or Sencha uair nach lamtar bur m-brethugud innach 
baile oile, eirgid co Conri mac n-Daire isse rot lemathízr bur m- 
brethxxgud ar bur n-agaidh. Conad ann asp^rt S^«ca. Isi mo 
riarsa daib em . . . uair tetar breataug/^? \nrí baile aili . . . 
ro lemat far mbreathug«<^ i far nagaz'd . . . concert do cach Curu 
mac Daire conclecht fir forgoll nat fri goe gebithsi, H. 

§ 34. Faemaim fsmaim ar Cu. A dul ar Con. Cet lem ar L. 
Gaxbter teich d'idiu a Chon. ar Cu. ocus innillt^r do carpa/'. Cid 
amai for Con. Éché for Cu. forRtir cach aimglica techrada. ut- 
maille hindill. imtruime concingenn do carpat con togbann clad 
cechtar a da roth do rocarpaz/ conid s\icht suaichnid fri hed oll 
bMadna. do ogaib \J\ad cech rot riadz/J do carp^tsa a Conaill. Eg. 

7 Curui mac Dáire (om. dúir and caemroth) Eg. 

8 concle<r/z/ai fir forgall nat fri goi gebithar, Eg; nat, H and 
L; mad, LU ; gebitar, LU. 9 mormeanmnach, Eg. 

13 conc^rtfa fir foraib feidm airg ailfes. Ail-, Eg. airg ailfes 
alid. al-, LU. 20 mailli, LU. 21 imtruma concingend, H; con 
toghba clodh, H. 22 con slicht, LU. 



§ 33- Again it was their hap to quarrel about the 
Champion's Portion. Conchobar with the nobles of 
Ulster interposed with the view of settling upon the 
adjudication of the heroes. "Go to Curoi mac Dairi, Curoi is 
the man who will undertake to intervene," quoth ^j^pjj-g 
Conchobar. It was then he spake : — 

" Entreat ye of him the hardy ; in the rede which he 

dealeth for all men 
Curoí mac Dairi surpasseth ; and true the judgment 

he giveth. 
He is fair, not given to falsehood, but good and a 

lover of justice, 
Noble in mind and a guest-friend, skilful of hand like 

a hero, 
And like to a high king in leading ; he will adjudge 

ye truly. 
To ask him demandeth courage." 


§ 34. " I accept that then," quoth Cuchulainn. " I 
agree (lit. I allow it) then," quoth Loigaire. " Let us 
go then," quoth Conall the Victorious. " Let horses 
be brought us and thy chariot yoked, O Conall," 
quoth Cuchulainn. "Woe is me ! " cried Conall. 


fri ed m-b\iadna do ocbaid U\ad cach rot ríadas do 
charpat-su a Chonaill." 

35. "Atcluni-siu s/zt a Loegairi" for Conall. " Fe 
amae " for Loegaire, nachamail nachamimderg : 

" Am escid-sea for atha for ilatha 5 

co ucht anfaid irgaile re n-ocaib U\ad. 
Ni chuir form-sa remthus rerig 
con clechtaim-se cairpteoracht 
re n-arcaib ré n-erredaib ri oencairptib 
i n-dolgib i n-drobelaib hi cailtib hi cocrichaib 10 
nad clechta err óencharpait do imluad ar mési." 


36. La sodain roinled a charpat do Loegairiu, 
ocus ro leblaing ind, ocus imreid dar Mag Dá gabul, 
dar Bmiaid na Fcrairi, dar Ath Carpait F^rgusa, dar 15 
Áth na Mórrígna do Chaerthiund Clúana Da Dam hi 
Clithar Fidbaidi hi Commur Cetharsliged sech Dun 
Delca dar Mag Slicech siar hi Sléib Breg. Ro gab 
tromcheó doborda dorcha doeolais dó and sin, con- 
narb mríata dó in chonar. " Anam sund," for Loegaire 20 
fria araid, " co ro diglá in ceó dind." Tairbling 
Loegaire asa charput, ro chuir in gilla na eocho hi 
fergort bói hi comfocus dó. 

37. A m-bói and in gilla, co n-acca in scáilfer 
mór ina docham. Nir bo segunda a tuarascbáil : se 25 

§ 35. Feama for L. nacham ail nacham \mderg a Con. for Cu. 
Am esccid-sa for atha for ilatha co huc/it n-irgaile re n-ogaib Utó 
ni chuir formsa remthus re rig conclechtaimsi cairpteonzír/zz' re 
hargaib re herrév/aibh re héncair^tib indoilgib ind drobelaib a 
coilltib a coiccrichaz'3 nat c\eckta err aencarpaz'/ do imluadh ar 
meissi. Amesc. Eg. 

§ 36. Lasod«z';z rogabait a eich do L. ocus ro hinnW a carpízz* 
ocus do reblaing ind. Bn?//zais (brethais, H) intarad brot forsan 
n-echraid ag to\geckt amach for cet oir co tangatar dar Mag Da 
gabal fri UWtu dar Bermaid na Foruire dar Ath Ca.rpait Fergusa 
tar Ath na Morrigna do Caorta??;z Cluana Da dam a Clith^r 
Fidbaide a Comur Ceitrisligte dar Sligtib Duine Delgá dar Mag 
SUgec/i siar a Sliab m-Breg m-blathsolus. Is ann sin attracht 
duibnell trom tiug doborda \fol. 24 :) duibchiach dorcha doeolois 
for L. Is ann ismb<?rt som fria araid don rind sis an caroat for se 
ocus (sic) scuir na hechu co rodigla in ceo do/z fainzV. Dognithd'r 
samlaid. Ro cuir in gilli na heocha isin fergort bae i comfocuss 
do ocus ro gab ga foruiri ocus ga forcoimet iarsin. Eg. 

§ 37. Ni cian bui and conacca in scal mor chuicce ina dochom 
ise mv\\ach\eathan belremor bolcsuikr/z granna grindétanach 

8 cairmteoracht, LU. 24 So also L. 

39 donell, H. tó grenetnach, H. 


"Every one," quoth Cuchulainn, " knows well the 
clumsiness of thy horses and the unsteadiness of thy 
going and of thy turnout ; thy chariot's movement 
is most heavy ; each of the two wheels raiseth turf 
every way thy big chariot careers, so that f or the space 
of a year there is a well-marked track easily recog- 
nised by the warriors of Ulster." 

§ 35. " Dost thou hear that, Loigaire ?" said Conall. 
"Woe is me," quoth Loigaire. " But I am not to 
blame or to reproach. I am nimble at crossing fords, 
and more, to breast the storm of spears, outstrip- 
ping the warriors of Ulster. Put not on me the pre- 
cedence of kings till I practise faring before kings 
and champions against single chariots in strait and 
dirBcult places, in woods and on confines, till the 
champion of a single chariot essay not to career 
before me." 

§ 36. Thereupon Loigaire had his chariot yoked 
and he leapt therein. He drove over the Plain-of- 
the-Two-Forks, over the Gap-of-the-Watch, over the 
Ford of Carpat Fergus, over the Ford-of-the-M5rrigan 
to the Rowan Meadow of the Two Oxen in the Fews 
of Armagh (Clithar Fidbaidi), by the Meeting of the 
Four Ways past Dundalk, across Mag Slicech, west- 
wards to the slope of Bregia. A dim, dark, heavy 
mist overtook him, confusing him in such wise that 
it was impossible for him to fare farther on the way. 


mullachlethan belremur bolcsuilech, gmzdetenach 
granna grwcánach, dosmailgech docraid adetig, sé 
tailc talchar tiwse^sach, sé sotal sucach séitfidach, sé 
rengmar rigtrén rochalma, sé borb brogda bachlachda. 
Maeldub demsidi fair, arit odor immi, inar co foph a 5 
thona im sodain, sewbrisca asalcha má chossa. Mátan 
maglorci móri fria ais anW mol mulind. 

38. Cóich et na heich se a gilli ? " for se la fegad co 
andíaraid fair. " Eich Loegairz' Buadaz^-" for in 
gilla. "Fír" for se "maith in fer asa eich." Is am- 10 
laid ro raid sin la t^rcbail a mátazVz fair ocus dobretha 

gruganach adetig dur dosmailgech. Ba duibith/r gual cech n-alt 
ocus cech n-aige de o mullach co talmoin. Ba sam<z/ta fri herball 
fiadeich in mong gaeisitech gre liath consuigh- tar a formna siar 
se<?/ztair. Suile duibliatha lindachas laís. Pa meitigth/r clar 
fichille cech det glasbuide bai an egar a da drant. Ba samaha 
co rachad long forlan seo\ac/i dar a chraes gin osluicthe. Sron 
cham cuassach lais, medon brec ingal- aicci. Nosceirt fidte 
salonnmeich do thulaib a lurgan b-fiar b-focamm. Oircne mel- 
lacha grebancha lais. Sliasta sacacha sithcamma aicce se 
adbronnach lethíwztsluaistech se glunmár toncoir glasingnech. 
Ba heccr^ta ecsamaii an ier sin. Ba dub teimnige ba brogda 
bachlachda ba fuachda forgranda ba hanuairc anaebda tuaruschail 
ind fir sin. Is e ba mo d'frroib áomuin cona matan matluirge 
fadb-e (fadbuidhe, H) draigin droch denmoige co forcraid for 
deghlán a duirn do frie glend a da gualann. Araile áráit 
músccaide breclar/r/na uimbe cona himlib iarnaeidib si imtromm 
ir\mtcc/it aduar fri hanad eitig fri hairechtus aithe aenbroit na 
hároiti sin ro búi imon m-bachlach. Eg. fri \\\m\.\.echt (sic), HL. 
§ 38. Iarsin iarfoidis in t-aith<?<r/z do arad Laega/ri B. can dó 
no cuich a tig<?rna. Ní or an t-ara L. B. mac Conn. maic Iliach 
mo tige?rnasa. Is gilla daigfir ón ar an scál ocus is am\aid atbí?rt 
annisin ocus ro togaib a matán matluirge ocus dobr<?//z beim do o 
cluais co caraid. Cnetaig * (sic) ocus 'iachtais in t-araid la.sod.ain. 

1 grenetnach, LU. 13 o mull. co bond, H. 

14 consuighedh, H. 16 bui nechtar a da draint, H. 

16 Ba medigith/r clar fithcillie cech ded glasbuide boi a cechtar 
adi drant ; ba sama/ta co rachad long fo a lan seol tar a gin-craois 
foslaicti ; srón quam cuasanuch leis íct/nuch brec ingaluir aicci ; 
nuscerd f-i salannmeich do tuluib a lurg. bfíar bfoquam, L; ci. 
LL 252 b . 17 folan, H. 

24 cona madán magluircie fadbuidi dr<?n denmaide co iorcruaid 
ior delgan do fri aglend (agl^) a dhi ghual. Z. = fri aidleind a 
gualand, LL 64 a 19 ; v. KZ. xxx. 109. 

30 can do 7 cuich a tigerna, Z = iarfaigis . . . can do chuich do 
tig<?/Tia, H. 33 magluirci . . . dobreth, H. 

* cnetais 7 iachtais 7 eghmis an gille iar facvail an moir-imnid 
7 an eccoml. Fe ámae, ar haegairi ac cloisdin íact an arad. 
Lasodain atracht, Z. = cned in gilla ocus iachtá ocus eighidh ic 
facbíz// in morimnidh ocus ind ecomlainn. Fe amae for Laeg. ic 
cloistin iachtá ind aradh. Lasodain atracht, H. 


" Let us stay here," quoth Loigaire to his charioteer, 

" until the mist clear up." Loigaire alighted from his 

chariot, and his gillie put the horses into the meadow 

that was near at hand. 

§ 37. While there, the gillie saw a huge giant The 

approaching him. Not beautiful his appearance : come 

broad (of shoulder) and fat of mouth, with sack eyes ]£ e * dow 

and a bristly face ; ugly, wrinlded, with bushy eye- where 

was a 
brows ; hideous and horrible and strong ; stubborn, giant. 

violent and haughty ; fat and puffing ; with big sinews 

and strong forearm, bold and audacious and uncouth. 

A shorn black patch of hair on him, a dun covering Of the 

r giant, 

about him, a tunic over ít to the ball of his rump ; on and now 

his feet old tattered brogues, on his back a ponderous J® tr eats 
club like unto the wheel-shaft of a mill. heroes. 

§ 38. " Whose horses are these, gillie ?" he asked, 
as he gazed furiously at him. "The horses of Loi- 
gaire the Triumphant." " Yes ! a fine fellow he ! " 
And as he thus spake he brought down his club on 
the gillie and gave him a blow from top to toe. 
The gillie gave a cry, whereupon Loigaire came up. 
" What is this you are doing to the lad ? " asked 
Loigaire. "'Tis by way of penalty for damage to 
the meadow," quoth the giant. " I will come myself 
then," quoth Logaire. They struggle together. . . . 
Loigaire anon fled till he reached Emain, after having 
left his horses and gillie and arms. 


béim dón gillu o adbrond co hó. Egis in gilla. 
Doroich hoegaire fua. " Cid dia m-bá don gillu ? " 
for Loegaire. " Hi cinta ind fergoirt do milliud" for 
in t-aithech . " [Is mé] féin ticfa " for hoegaire. 
i°5 a . Immacomsinitar dóib . . Techid hoegatre iar tain, 5 
co ránic Emain Macha iar facbail a ech ocus a gilli 
ocus a armgascid. 

39. Nir bo chian iar tain, co toracht Conall Cer- 
nach in sligid cetna, co ránic in magin in ro artraig in 
ceo druidechta do hoegairiu. Artraigid in dubnel 10 
cetna dorcha doborda for Conall Cemach, connar cun- 
gain nem na talmain. Tarblingis Conall iar tain, ocus 
scurid in gilla na eochu isind fergort chétna. Nir bo 
chían dó iar sudi, co faca in scál cétna chuci. Iarfaigis 
dó, cia dia m-bo cheli. "Am celi-sea Conaill C^maig " 15 
for se. " Maith in fer," for in scál la tócbáil a lámi, co 
tarat beim dó ó hó có a fodbrond. íachtais in gilla. 
Tic Conall fo sodain. Immacomarnaic dó ocus don 
scál. Tresi cluchi ind athig. Techis Conall ón mud 
chetna ama/ ro theich hoegaire iar fácbail a armgascid 20 
ocus a ara ocus a ech, co ránic Emain Machai. 

40. Dolluid Cuculaind iar sin forsin t-sligid chetna, 
co ránic in n-inad cétna, conostarraid in dubcheó 
cétna, feib tarraid in lucht remi. Tarblingis Cucu- 

Attrac/z/ fo ceto'\r inti L. cona armgaiscc^/ do foirithin annararf'. 
ImacomrainzV do ocus don sca/ ni roibe ba de sodaz'n do L. Togb. 
in scal a matán matluirgi ocus dobr£//i beim do o cluais co caraz'd 
cortuitset a airm n-uad (sz'c) gan comus. Teichis L. iarsin fo mela 
ocus fo mebaz'/ co r'iac/U Emoin M. iar b-fagbaz'/ a ech ocus a arad 
ocus armgaiscz'í/. Eg. 10 for om. L U. 

§ 39. Nir bo cian iarsin co úacht Con. C. iarsin sWgz'd ocus 
gusan maigin a tuarcoib in dubceo druige^/a for L. roime. Ar- 
traiges in ceo cetr\a\ for Chon. conar cumaing nem na tabnozn do 
faicsin. Tuirlinges iarsin ocus tairntir in caroat ocus cuiris in 
t-ara na hechu issin b-fergort c<?/na feib roscuirit eich L. Nir bo 
cian don araid conaca in fer cetna chuige occus (sz'c) iaríacht do 
cia occa m-bissi ol se. Ac Conall C. m<7c Aim^rgin (sic) ar an t-ara. 
Maith in fer ol in scal la togbai/ in matain m. 1. ro boi ina laim 
ocus la tabazrt beimen do corro\acht in t-ara. Atcluin Con. ocus 
eirges fo ceto\r ocus immacomairnicc [dó] ocus don scal. Ni ba ferr 
son dozz foruaisligth<?rCon. feib roforuaisliged L. ocus teichzV/coriacht 
Emoin Machae iar b-fagbczz'/ a ech ocus a arm ocus arad. Eg. 

§ 40. Doluid im ina carpaz* Cu. iarniama</ ocus iar slemoin- 

2; and 3S a madain magluirci, Lj in matain maghdraighin, H. 

27 and 39 beme, H. 

31 co torracht . . . isin sli-chetna, H j con torracht, L. 

33 artraigis, H, L. 33 connar congain nem nat al. H. 

37 acambisi, Hj ciagam boise ale, L. 40 imacomraic, H. 


§ 39. Not long thereafter Conall the Victorious 
took the same \vay and arrived at the plain where the 
druidical * mist overtook Loigaire. The like hideous 
black, dark cloud overtook Conall the Victorious, so 
that he was unable to see either heaven or earth. 
Conall thereon leapt out and the gillie unharnessed 
the horses in the same meadow. Not long there- 
after he saw the same giant [coming] towards him. 
He asked him whose servant he was. " I am servant 
to Conall the Victorious," he quoth. "A good man 
he," quoth the giant, as he raised his hands till 
they gave a blow to the gillie from top to toe. The 
fellow yelled. Anon came Conall. He and the giant 
got to close quarters. Stronger were the wrestling 
turns of the giant. Conall fled, as Loigaire had done, 
having left behind his charioteer and his horses and 
came to Emain. 

40. Cuchulainn then went by the same way till he 
came to the same stead. The like dark mist overtook 
him as fell upon the tvvain preceding. Cuchulainn 
sprang down, and Laig brought the horses into the 
meadow. He had not long to wait till he saw the 
same man coming towards him. The giant asked 
him whose servant he was. " Servant (companion) 
to Cuchulainn." " A good man he," quoth the giant, 
plying him with the club. Laig yelled. Anon Cuchu- 
lainn arrived. He and the giant came to close 

* magic. 



laind ocus berid Leég na eocho sin fergort. Nir bo 
chian dó, co n-acca in fer cetna chuci, ocus imma- 
foacht de, coich dia m-bo cheh. "Celi do Choincu- 
laind " for se. " Maith in fer " for in scal la furmed in 
máta/V/ fair. Iachtais Lcég. Tic Cuculaind fo sodain, 5 
ocus immácomarnaic dó ocus don scál, ocus nostuar- 
cend cách araili díb. Traitar in scál, co rodilsig na 
eocho ocus in n-araid, ocus co ruc eocho ocus aradu 
ocus armgaisced a coceli leis, co ránic Kmaiu Macha 
cona morchoscur, ocus dorat dia fíadnaib fein íat. 10 

41. " Is let-su in curadmír" ol Bricri fri Coincu- 
laind. " Is follus as for n-gnimaib ni dligthi comar- 
dad fris eter." " Ni bá fír ani sin a Búcrz'u," for siat, 
" úair fcretammar-ni, conid aen di chardib sidchai- 
rechta dosfanic do immirt mela ocus c&machta forni 15 
immon curadmír, ocus ni léicfem-ni uaind hé air sin." 
Femdit tra Ulat'd ocus Concobz/r ocus Fergus a 
n-etergleod, roczvrtis no dosaichthin Conroí maic Dairi 
no do saicht[h]in Ailella ocus Medba co Cruachain Ai. 

chxrad a fuilt iarsin t-slighid c^/na do eitfrgleod a imrisna^ ocus 
an erf aile immon cur conas tarf in dubceo ármgechta cetna feib 
tarr in lucht c<?/na co rolin in coibeis n-dimain tarr eter nem ocus 
tahnoin. Tairlingis Cucu. isin maigin cetna ocus cuires Lasg na 
hechu isin u-férgurt. Ni ba cian ba?i ann conacas an fer cendgarb 
Cí>rpremor chuicce cona madan matluirgi ina laim ama/ tiged roime. 
Cie thusa a gille for se co haniarraid. Ni me fuil gan tigí'rna ar 
Laog i. Cu. mc Sub. Maith cach on ar [in] scal ocus togbaid 
fair in mathan m. 1. ocus dobreth beim dó o chluais co charaid. 
Garthis Laeg. Atethai Cu. a gaisced ocus foch*?rd cor n-iach 
n-erred de dochum in scail ocus do foirithin Laoich. D^zcais 
cach a cele dib, ba feig im ocus ba forgranda in feghad ocus in 
frithal- dob^rt cach for a ceile dib i. Cu. ocus in scal. Ocus 
immacomtuairg doib ocus dobem/ Cu. da beim im cech n-aen 
beim dosum i. tathbeim ocus beim co cumus co roforuaislig Cu. 
a bruth ocus a brig an scail co rodilsig na hechu ocus an araid 
ocus co rug Cu. eochu ocus aradae in lochta aile i. Con. ocus L. 
fon qma ( = cuma) cetna. Dolluid Cu. do Emoin indiaig in lochtai 
aile ocus dobr^//z a n-eochz^ ocus a n-aradse doib. Eg. 

§ 41. Is latsa in caxadmir a Cu. ar Bricr/. Ni ba fior sin ar 
Con. ocus Laegairi oir ni fetamor cia do chairdib side Conculaind 
dot fainzV do imbz'rt a comachta foirn . . . cert in cuf uaind. O ro 
feimdit Ulat'd an bur n-eitergleod innsoighzV/ co Conroi mac Daire 
for Sencha. Anaidh la breith n-aile coristai uair lemaid bur 
m-brethugz/í/ in bur b-fiadhnuse. Eg. 

11 Bricni, LU. 18 norocwrtis, LU. 19 Cruchain, LU. 

20 do etergleo an imresna 7 erruid u\ad, L ; do eterdelighud a 
imresna 7 errigh úlad, H. 21 in duibnel, H. 

22 dimaine, H. 23 7 scuris, H. 2i nir bo cian bui and 

conaca in fer mor cendgharbh C£>rpreamhar chuici cona mata« 
maghluirce ina laim ama/ tz'ced roime. — End of fragment in H. 


quarters and either pounded the other. The giant got The 

giant is 
worsted. He forfeited horses and charioteer, and WO rsted 

Cuchulainn brought along vvith him his fellovvs' ^ y 

horses, charioteers and accoutrements, till he reached lainn. 

Emain in triumph. He gave them to their rightful 


§ 41. " Thine is the Champion's Portion," quoth Bricriu 

Bricriu to Cuchulainn. " Well I vvot from your deeds cuchu- 

ye are not a vvhit on a par vvith Cuchulainn." " Not l amn 

the sov- 

true, Bricriu," quoth they, "for vve knovv it is one ranty. 
of his friends from Faéry that came to him to play 
us mischief and deal vvith us perforce as to the 
championship. We shall not forego our claim on 
that account." The men of Ulster, with Conchobar 
and Fergus, failed to effect a settlement. They sent 
them * either to go to * Curoi mac Dairi, or * else to 
go to Cruachan, to Ailill and to Méve. 

* The scribe of LU was harmonising two written accounts ; 
he is not sure which to follow. 


Tochim Ulad co Cruachain in so. 


42. [Doronsat iarom \J\aid comarli a hoeninud im 
comuaill ocus im chomdimmus in trír curad sin, ocus 
isi comarli doronsat mathi \J\ad im Conchobwr do 

io5 b . techt leo d'etergleod a cesta co tech n-Ailella maz'c 

Mágach ocus Medbi co Crúachnaib Ái] immá curad- 5 
mír ocus im imarbáig na m-ban. Bá cáin ocus ba 
háibind ocus bá socraid arréim ronucset \J\aid do 
Cruachnaib. Anais \mmorro Cuculaind colléic do 
éis in t-slóig oc airfitiud ban n-\J\ad, i. nói n-úbla clis 
ocus nói cletíne clis ocus nói scena clis, ocus ní thair- 10 
mescad nach ai alaile. 

43. Luid Lóeg mao, Ríangabra iarom a ara-som 
Conculaind día acallaim-som bale irrabe oc na cles- 
saib, co n-ep^rt fris : " A cláin trúaig," or se, " roscaíg 
do gal ocus do gaisced, dochuáid uaít in curathmír, 15 
rosíachtatar \J\aid Crúachain o chíanaib." " Nír rath- 
aigsem eter ém, a Láig ; indill dún in carpa^ trá " or 
se. Indlis Lóeg izrom in carpat, ocus lotár for érim. 
Rosíachtatar trá slóig \J\ad archena in tan sin Mag 
m-Breg. Robói di lúas ind érma ronuc Cuculaind 20 
trá ó Dún Rudraige iarná grisad dond araid tucht 

§ 42. Eg here varies (fol. 2i b ) : Dia tri la ocus teora n-aidchi 
ierom dollotor U\aid uile a m-breithemnus n-A.\\e//a mc Magach 
co Cruachnaib aei imman caradmir ocus im immarbaid na m-ban. 
Pa chaem ocus ba hasibind ocus ba (fo/. 2i b :) sochraidh in réim. 
H agrees in the opening with Eg : imbreith . . . ba cain . . . 
halainn . . . arem . . . cletine. 8 di eiss, Eg. 

10 noi cleitin clis, Eg ; nach ae arailei diph, Eg. 

13 Choncú, Eg. 14 die agallaz'w bail aroibe agan chlis, 

Eg; conderbhairt, H. 14 A claenain truaigh, Eg; a claon a 

truaigh, H ; ro scaith, Eg. 16 Ulaid Cruachnaib in tan so, Eg. 
16 Ni ro rataiges etir alteicc indill duin, Eg; Cruachna in trasa. 
ni rathaiges, H. 19 tra o/n.,Eg. Ulad Magm-Breg in tan s'm,Eg. 
20 ronucc Cucu. o Dun R., Eg. 21 grissad, Eg. imrulaid in 

Lieth Machae, Eg. 



§ 42. * [Thus to the one stead the men of Ulster 
assembled in council concerning the heroes. The 
three alike haughty and overweening. The con- 
clusion the Ulster nobles in Conchobar's following 
arrived at was, to accompany the heroes and have the 
difficulty adjudged at the abode of Ailill mac Magach 
and of Méve of Cruachan Ai] with reference to the 
Champion's Portion and the mutual rivalry of the 
women. Fine and lovelv and majestic the march 
of the Ultonians to Cruachan. Cuchulainn, however, 
remained behind the host entertaining the Ulster 
ladies, [performing] nine feats with apples, nine with 
javelins and nine with knives, in such wise that one 
did not interfere with the other. 

§ 43. Loig mac Riangabra then went to speak His 

with him to the feat-stead and said : "You sorry cnari o- 

simpleton (squinter ?), your valour and bravery have taunts 

passed away, the Champion's Portion has gone from Cuchu- 

ye ; the Ultonians have reached Cruachan long since." amn - 

" Forsooth we have not at all perceived it, my Loig. 

Yoke us the chariot then," quoth Cuchulainn. Loig 

accordingly yoked it and off they started on their 

march. By that time the Ulstermen had reached 

Magh Breg. Cuchulainn having been incited by his 

charioteer, marched with such speed from Dun Rud- 

raige, the Grey of Macha and the Black Sainglenn 

* For the section in square brackets read : Then after three 
days and three nights the Ultonians as a body went to be adjudged 
to Ailill mac Magach to Cruachan Ai. — Eg and H, where this 
comes at once after § 32 and represents a different recension. 


imruláith in Líath Macha ocus in Dub Sainglend fón 
charput dar fot chóicid Concobz*z> ocus tar Slíab 
Fuaít ocus dar Mag m-Breg, conid hé in tres carpa/ 
cetna ránic Cruachna Ai. 

44. Lasa réim ocus lasa m-borrfad tra ronucsat 5 
láith gaile fer n-\l\ad uli im Chonchobur ocus imón 
rigraid ol chenae do Chrúachnaib Ái, rolá armgrith 
mór di\naib, co torchratar na hairm asna 
fraigthib, corrabatár for ia\main, ocus rosgab sluágu 

in dúne ule, conid samlaid rombói cach óenduine 10 
isind lis bís curcas fri sruth. Asb^rt Medb la 
sodain : " Cosindiu," ol si, "ó gabusa Crúachna, 
ní chúala-sa in toraind cen na níulu and cosindossa." 
Luid F'mdabat'r la sodain ingen A'úe//a ocus Medba 
co m-bói isin n-gríanan for fordorus in dúne, co 15 
n-érbairt : " Atchíu-sa cairptech issammag a máthar- 
nait" ol si. "Cuir a samla fair," ol Medb, "a crúth a 
écosc a chongraim, delb a fir, dath a ech, tochim a 

45. " Atchíu-sa ém " ol Findabair " na dá ech filet 20 
fón charpz^ dá ech bruthmara brecglassa comdatha 
comchrótha commathi combúada comlúatha com- 
léimnecha biruich ardchind agewmáir allmair gablaich 
guipchúil dúalaich tullethain forbreca fosenga for- 
lethna forráncha cassmongaig casschairchig. Carpat 25 
fidgrind féthaidi, da n-droch duba tairchisi, dá n-all 

3 conid se, Eg. Cruach«a Aoi, Eg. 

6 Lasodain lasa reim ocus lassan m-borrfad, Eg. 

6 uli om., Eg. ~ do Cruachnaib aei, Eg. 9 rosgab crith sluag 
an dunaid uile amal bis curcas fri sruth, Eg. u Esmbert, Eg. 

12 odogab^sa, H. 13 ann anosa, H. 16 Atchiussae carpa/ 

issin mag, Eg; ca.\rpthec/i, H. 17 Cuiri samlai, Egj cuire, LU, 
but cf. § 49. lr a chruth a ecosc, Eg. 

20 Atchiussai eim ol Findab^/r na da euch failet fon carpat da 
euch bruthmczrae breucglassa, Eg. 21 comdathae comcroda, Eg. 

22 combuada combuana comluatha, H. 23 aigenmair, Eg. 

24 gobcasil, Eg. 25 fosenga forra . . . casmongaig, Eg; 

forranach, H. 26 feithendai, Eg. da nall naill naipche nim- 

naisi, Eg ; fethandai . . . doirchisi, H. 


racing in such wise with his chariot across the 

whole province of Conchobar, across Sliav Fuait (the 

country around the Fews) and across the Plain 

of Bregia, that the third chariot arrived first in 


§44. In virtue then of the swiftness and the im- The 

petuous speed with which all the valiant Ultonians an l val 
r r m Crua 

reached Cruachan under [the lead of] Conchobar chan. 

and the body of princes, a great shaking seized 

Cruachan, till the war-arms fell from the partitions 

to the ground, seizing likewise the entire host of 

the hold, till the men in the royal keep were like 

unto rushes in a stream. Méve thereupon spake : 

" Since the day I took up home in Cruachan I have 

not until now heard thunder, there being no clouds." 

Thereupon Findabair, daughter of Ailill and of Méve, 

went to the soller over the high porch of the hold. 

" Mother dear," she said, " I see a chariot coming 

along the plain." " Describe it," quoth Méve, " its 

form, appearance and style ; the colour of the 

horses ; how the hero looks and how the chariot 


§45. "Truly, I see," quoth Findabair, "the two 

horses that are in the chariot. Two fiery dappled 

greys, alike in colour, shape and excellence, alike 

in speed and swiftness, prancing side by side. Ears 

pricked, head erect, of high mettle and strangely 

bounding pace. Nostril fine, mane fiowing, forehead 

broad, full dappled ; full slim of girth and broad of 

chest, manes and tails curled, they career along. A 

chariot of fine wood with wicker-work, having two 

black revolving wheels [and two beautiful pliant 

reins.*] Its fertsi hard and straight as a sword. Its 

* Wrongly inserted, from a different recension. 


n-aébda imnaissi, fertsi crúadi colgdírgi, cret nóitech 
nóiglinne, cuing druimnech dronargda, da n-all 
n-dúalcha dronbudi. Fer find forchass foltlebor isin 
charp^/; folt dúalach tri n-dath fair, folt dond fri 
toind cind, croderg a medón, mind n-óir budi in folt 5 
fordatuigithar. Rolásat tri imrothu imma chend 
io6 a . cocairse cach ae dib hi táib alaile. Fúan cáin corcra 
n-imbi, cóicroth óir airgdide and. Scíath brec béim- 
nech, bil bán findruini. Gilech cúach cóicrind ar a 
durnd derglassid. Anblúth n-én n-ete zVzgnáith uása 10 
creit cha.rpazi." 

46. " Atgénammár asa samail in fer sin " ol Medb. 

[R.] " Greit ríg senrechtaid buáda 
barc bodbae bruth brátha 

breó digla drech curad 15 

cúinsiu chórad cride n-dracon 
altfad m-brochbúada fordundibni 
in luchthond lámdérg hotgaire 
luth la faébra foltchíp tond fri talmain tadbéim. 

Tongu-sa a tong mo thúath," ol Medb, " más co 20 
m-baraind debtha tothaet hotgaz're Buadar/z cucund, 
anW bentair foltchíb fri lár talman co n-altain aith, 
bid sí sein glicci ind air[s]lig dobera. íoroná lín atám 

1 cret no'ithec/i, Eg. z dró argait, Eg; dronairgit, H. 3 fer 
find forcas, Eg ; find fcrchas . . . datha, H ; findchass, LU. 4 fri 
toinn a chind o.roo\erc ar medon mind orbuide folt ior do tuideth-. 
Rollassat tri himsrethai, Eg ; himsrotha, H. 7 cogoirsi, Eg. 

8 corcra imbe coicroith oir airgide (om. and) Egj cain coir 
corcra, H. 9 se cuach coigrinn, Eg; sleg chuach, H ; durd, LU ; 
an bluth nen neitignaid uassa creit crai an carpaif, Eg; n-eteg- 
náith, LU. 10 anbláth, LU. 12 Atgenairuzr assa amai/ ol 

Medb, Eg; atgenamar saml-an fir sin, H. u bruth brathu, Eg. 

16 cainsiu chomrtfcride ndraccant, Eg. 17 altfaid mbeithrech 
buada fí?rduintib, Eg ; forduntibir, H. 18 in luch donn, Eg. 

19 tartbeim, Eg; dond . . . tartbeim, H. 

20 a toing, Eg; massa combaraind debthai, Eg; masa, H. 

22 amíz/ benar, Eg; foltcip, H. 

23 bid si sin glicce an airlig doberve íorwá lin atam i Cruach- 
naib mine foigligtir, Eg. 


body of \vicker-work new and freshlv polished, its 
curved yoke silver-mounted. Two rich yellow looped 
reins. In the chariot a fair man with long curling 
hair ; his tresses tri-coloured : brown at the skin, 
blood-red at the middle, as a diadem of yellow gold 
the hair at the tips. Three halos encircle his up- 
turned head, each merging into the other. About 
him a soft crimson tunic, having five stripes of glitter- 
ing gold. A shield spotted and indented, with a 
bright edge of bronze. A barbed five-pronged javelin 
flames at his wrist. An awning of the rare plumage 
of birds over his chariot's frame." 

§46. "We recognise that man," quoth Méve, 
' from his description." 

" Compeer of kings, an old disposer of conquest, 

A fury of war, a fire of judgment, 

A flame of vengeance ; in mien a hero, 

In face a champion, in heart a dragon ; 

The long knife of proud victories which will hew us 

to pieces ; 
The all-noble, red-handed Loigaire ; 
His the vigour that cuts the leek with the sword- 

edge — 
The back-stroke of the wave to the land." 

" By the god of my people," quoth Méve, " I swear 
if it be with fury of hostile feeling Loigaire the Tri- 
umphant comes to us, that like as leeks are cut to the 
ground by a sharp knife, such will be the nicety of 


hi Cruachnaib Ai, vaan'x fochlith^r a bruth ocus a 
bríg ocus a borrfad fó a réir fodein co tlathugud a 

47. "Atchíu-sa ca.rpat n-aile isa mag a mathar- 
nait," ol ind ingen, " ní mesu dothaét side." " Cuir a 5 
samla fair " ol Medb, et reliqua. " Atchíu-sa ém," ol 
si " indala n-ech fil fon cavput gabur cenand crón- 
datha cruáid dían daigerda bedgach baslethan uchtle- 
than, beras buille balcbúada tar áthu tar inbmi tar 
aittiu tar imratiu tar maige tar midglinni, co n-dasaid I0 
iar m-buáid midise a samlaib én n-etarlúamain ; nis 
feid mo rosc rán intiu for arríad rochéim ráin étruth. 
Araile ech derg taullethan drondúalach dúalchass 
drúimlethan foseng feochair fond fortrend forrgethach 
athechtai íath n-etarmaige eter mothru ocus amréthi. x 5 
Ní fogaib and imdoraid hi tír omna ríad roót. Carpat 
fidgrind fethaide, da n-droch finna umaidi, síthfe find 
forargit, cret aurard drésachtach, cuing druimnech 
dronuallach da n-all dúalcha dronbudi. Fer find for- 
chass foltlebor isin charput. Drech lethderg lethgabur 20 
laiss, fúamain find fuinechda, brat gorm crónchorcra. 
Scíath dond telbude, bil chonduáil crédumai. Luchair 

4 Atchíusse dna, Eg; issin mag, Eg. 

5 cuir a safn et reliqua, Eg; cuire, LU. 7 indala hec, Eg. 
s daigerrda, Eg. 9 bailc, H 

9 indb^ra tarraiti tar imraiti, Egj tarraitiu, H. 

11 midissi issamlaidh en etarluamuin ni feith mo rosc ran 
intiudh, Eg; indiut, LU ; mideise . . . ni feith, H. 

12 rain etruth, Eg; rám, LU ; romreth, H. 

13 dúalchass w«., Eg. 

14 fond fortren forrengach atetha ieth n-etarmoighe etir motra 
ocus aimreide, Eg; forrengach, H. 

16 itír omna riadrót, Eg. u dindroch, Eg; día n-droch, LU. 

18 find argait, Eg. 19 dronordae danallt dualcha, Eg; 

drondualízr/z, H; dia n-all, LU; but cf. § 45, 50; finn forchas, 
Eg; find forcas, H ; findchass, LU. 

20 lethd^rg lethgabor lais, Eg. 

22 donn delbuide, Eg; faltecta, H. 

22 bil catot condualaib credumae, Eg; daigerrda, Eg; bile, H. 


the slaughter he will inflict on us, whatever our num- 
ber at Cruachan Ai, unless his glowing fury, wrath 
and high-dudgeon are guarded against and assuaged 
in accordance with his very wish." 

§ 47. " Mother dear," quoth the daughter, " I see 
anon another chariot coming along the plain, not a 
whit inferior to the first." " Describe it," said Méve. 
" Sooth I see," she quoth, " in the chariot, on the 
one hand, a roan spirited steed, swift, fiery and 
bounding, with broad hoof and expanded chest, taldng 
strong vigorous strides across fords and estuaries, 
over obstacles and winding roads, scouring plains and 
vales, raging with triumph. Judge it from the like- 
nesses of soaring birds, among which my very quick 
eye gets lost from their most smooth careering in 
emulous course. On the other a bay horse, with broad 
forehead, heavy locks and wavy tresses ; of light and 
long dashing pace ; of great strength ; full swiftly he 
courses the bounds of the plain, between stone en- 
closures and fastnesses. He finds no obstacle in the 
land of oaks, careering on the way. A chariot of fine 
wood with wicker-\vork, on two bright wheels of 
bronze ; its pole bright with silver mounting ; its 
frame very high and creaking, having a curved, firmly 
mounted yoke with two rich yellow looped reins. 
In the chariot a fair man with wavy hanging hair. 
His countenance white and red, his jerkin (fuamain) 
clean and white, his mantle (brai) of blue and 
crimson red. His shield (scíath) brown with yellow 
bosses, its edge veined with bronze. In his hand 
flames a fiery, furious spear. And an awning of 


derg daigerdae ar a durn derglasaid. Anbluth n-én 
n-ete zVzgnaith úasa creit chroncharpait." 

48. " Atgenamar asa samail in fer" ol Medb. 

[R.] " Oxad leomaz';/ londbruth loga lía cáin cermnae 
cern eter cethraib curethar cruáid 5 

chend ar chend glond ar glond gleó ar gléo. 
glé nodonselní sládar iasc mbrec for ganim deirg 
dia m-bi fergi fuásnadar mac Findchoimi frind. 

Tong a toing mo thuat/i, amal sladar iasc mbrec for 
io6 b . licc derg áin co sústaib iarind, bid si sin mini na 10 
hesorgni dob/ra Conall Cevnach forni, día fuasnaith^r 

49. " Atchíu-sa carpat n-aile isammag." " Cuir 
a samail duin," ol Medb, et reliqua. " Atchiu-sa ém" 

ol ind ingen [da ech commora comalli comchroda 15 
comluathu comleimnecha biruich ardchind agenmair 
allmair gablaich gopchúil dúalaich tullethain forbrecca 
fosenga forlethna forráncha casmongaig casschair- 
chig] indala ech fil fón charp^/, ech líath lesslethan 
lond lúath lúamnach londmar lugleimnech lebor- 20 
mongach maignech toirnech trosmar tuágmong ard- 
chend uchtlethan lasaid fót fond bras fochuirse foc- 
ruáid fó a cruib calath cethardu dogréind almai 
énlaithe lúith buáda, bmd riuth for sét foscain úathu 
ech n-anailche, uiblech tened trichemruaid tatnit a 25 
cróes glomarchind. 

1 anbluth n-en n-eitignaid uassa creit croi an carpazt, Eg; an- 
bluth nen ned osa creit, H; n-etegnaith, L U. 4 Oxad leomuin, Eg. 

5 cuirethar cuf cend ar cend, Eg; crethaib, L U. 

G gle no tansellne ni sladar iasc mbecc for gairb derg, Eg. 

13 Atchiussae áono carpa/ n-aile ol an 'mgen. Tabair a tuarusc- 
bail ar Medo. Atchíusa eim ar an I. andala hech fil fon carp^/, Eg. 

21 toirnech om., Eg; trostmar, Eg. 

23 dogrinn, Eg; dogrind, TE. 

24 luthbuada, Eg; lúthbúada, TE. 

- h eudhnanalchi uiblich tined trichemruaide taithnes a crses 
glomarchind fuil fo deisfírtais in carpait, Eg. 


the rare plumage of birds over the \vicker frame of 
his chariot." 

§ 48. " We recognise the man f rom his descrip- 
tion," quoth Méve. 

" A lion that groaneth, a flame of Lug, that dia- 

monds can pierce ; 
A wolf among cattle ; battle on battle, 
Exploit on exploit, head upon head he heaps ; 
As a trout on red sandstone is cut 
Would the son of Findchoimi cut us ; should he 

rage against us, no peace ! 

" By my people's god, as a speckled fish is cut upon 
a shining red stone with flails of iron, such I swear 
will be the minuteness of the slaughter Conall the 
Victorious will execute on us should he rage against 

§ 49. " I see another chariot coming along the 
plain." " Give us its description," quoth Méve. 
"I see, in sooth," the daughter quoth, "two steeds, 
alike for size and beauty, fierceness and speed, bound- 
ing together, with ears pricked, head erect, spirited 
and powerful . . . with fine nostril, long tresses and 
broad foreheads, — full dappled, with girth full slim 
and chest expanded, mane and tail curled, dash- 
ing along. Yoked in the chariot, the one, a grey 
steed, with broad thighs, eager, swift and fleet, — wildly 
impetuous, with long mane and broad haunches, 
thundering and trampling, — mane curled, head on 
high, breast broadly expanded. From out the hard 
course he fiercely casts up clods of earth from his 
four hard hoofs, — a flock of swift birds in pursuit. 
As he gallops on the way a flash of hot breath darts 
from him ; from his curbed jaws gleams a blast of 
flame-red fire. 


50. Araile ech círdub cruaídchend cruind coelchos 
* insert cálethan cobluth dían [dúalmar]* duálach druimlethan 

dronchóchech maignech aignech bairrnech ballceim- 
nech balcbéimnech lebormongach casmongach scúa- 
plebor [drondualach, tullethan] grind immaáig iar 5 
níth aigi ech in íath, mo scing srathu sréid sergi sétid 
maige midglinne. [Ni fagaib and imdoraid hi tír 
omnáríad róot.] Carpat féthgrind fethaide, da n-droch 
ernbudi iarnda. Sithfe [find findairgit] co féthain 
findruine. Cret [urard drésachtach, sí] chréda 10 
chromglinne. Cuing druimnech dronordae. Dá n-all 
dúalcha dronbudi. [Fertsi crúadi colgdírgi]. 

51. Fer bróinech dub isin charpz^ as aldem di 
feraib \i\Lrend. Fuán cáin corcra cóir imbi. Heó 
óir int[s]laide uassa bán bruinnechur ina háthaurs- 15 
locud fris m-ben lúthu láth bulli. [Leni gelchulpatach 

co n-derginliud oir forlasrach.] Ocht n-gemma deirg 
dracondai for lár o da imlisen. Da n-gruád gormgela 
cróderca dofích uiblich tened ocus análaich. Fo- 

1 coelcossach crualethon cobluth dian dualmar druimlethíz;z 
dronchoichech bairnech balccheimnec scuablebor, Eg. 

2 dubnar L £/., Facs., dulmar, Stohcs. 
6 aig, Egj sreidid, Eg. 

8 Carpa/ fidgrind feithide dindroch findas umaeide. sithbe 
find finnarcca// co fetanaib finndruine sicreda cromglinni, Egj 
dia n-droch, LU. 

12 dronbuide, Eg. 13 is ailldem, Eg. 

14 coir corcra uimme, Egj cóicdíabail, TE.for cóir. 

15 intlaisi, Hj intlais, Eg. 

16 lut a lanbuille, Egj VII n-gema derga, Egj secht, TE. 

18 a da imcaisin da n-gruaid n-gormgela, Egj for lár cechtar 
a dimcaisen, TE. 

19 aiblech ocus analaich, Egj Here TE adds as follows : 
Do fich ruithen serci ina dreich. Atá lim ba fras do nemannaib 
ro laad ina chend. Dubithir leth dubfolach cechtar n-ai a da 
brúad. Claid^ orduirnd i n-ecrus sesta for a dib sliastaib. Gai 
gormrúad glac thomsidi la faga féig fobartach for crannaib roiss 


§ 50. " The other horse, dark-grey, head firmly knit, 
compact, fleet, broad-hoofed and slender. Firm, 
swift, and of high mettle, with curl and plait and tress, 
— broad of back and sure of foot, lusty, spirited and 
fiery, he fiercelv bounds and fiercely strides the 
ground. Mane and tail long and rlying, heavy locks 
adown his forehead broad. Grandlv he careers 
the country after winning the horse-race. Soon he 
bounds the straths, casts off languor, traverses the 
plains of the Mid Glen, finding no obstacle in the 
land of oak, coursing the way. A chariot of fine 

wood with wicker-work, having two yellowish 

iron wheels and a bright silver pole with bright bronze 
mounting. A frame very high and creaking, with 
metal fastenings. A curved yoke richly gilt, — two 
rich yellow looped reins. Thefertsz hard and straight 
as sword-blades. 

§ 51. " In the chariot a sad,* melancholy man, 
comeliest of the men of Erin. Around him a soft 
crimson pleasing-f- tunic (fúan), fastened across the 
breast, where it stands open, with a salmon-brooch 
of inlaid gold, against which his bosom heaves, 
beating in full strokes. A long-sleeved linen kirtle 
with a white hood, embroidered red with flaming 
gold. Set in each of his eyes eight red dragon gem- 
stones. His two cheeks blue-white and blood-red. 
He emits sparks of fire and burning breath, [with 
a ray of love in his look. A shower of pearls, me 
thinketh, has fallen into his mouth. Each of his 
two eyebrows as black as the side of a black 
spit. On his two thighs rests a golden-hilted sword 
(claideb), and fastened to the copper frame of the 

* Lit. black. t Of five plaits, TE. 


cheird hích n-erred n-indnae, cless níad n<?#bair uasa 
errid óencharp^zV. [Ara ar a bélaib isin charput sin 
araile forseng fánfota forbrec. Falt forchas forrúad 
for a mulluch. Gipne findruine for a etan nád leced 
a folt fúa agid. Cúachi di ór for a díb cúladaib hi 5 
taircellad a folt. Cochline ettech immi co n-urslocud 
for a díb n-ulendnaib. Bruitne di dergór ina láim dia 
tairchelland a eochu.] 

52. " Is banna ría frais ón trá," or si, " atgénammár 
asa samail in fer sin " or Medb. 10 

[R.] " Braó mara bara bledmaill blog dergthened 
tond mairnech mathrúamdae 
mórbruth m-borrbíastae 
brisiud muád mórchatha 4 

comboing tar écrait n-écomlund 15 

allbach m-bratha brógene. 
Bruth matho murtchend for cethraib 
cuirethar glond ar glond cend ar chend. 8 
Canaid cóir coscrach cridemail 

frisin Coinculaind comchosmail. 20 

Cutanméla mulend múadmraich." 

rúamantai hi cengul dá creit cróncharpait. Scíath concorda 
co comroth argit co túagmílaib óir úas a dib n-imdadaib. Focheird 
hích n-erred n-indnae immad cless comluith úas a errid óenchar- 
pait. Ara ar a bélaib isin charput sin araile forseng fánfota. 

1 nuad, Eg. 

9 or Mzdb, Eg. 

10 samlaib, Eg, or Medb om, Eg; asaml an f sin, H. 

11 broamara, Egj H. ia athruamda, Eg. 

15 cing (Jtír comboing), Egj n-eccomlaind, Egj n-egcomlaind, 
H. l6 allbach mbratha, L U 

17 bruth mathgaman for mincethf for ecraiti imirth- glonn ar 
glonn, Egj murtchét for crethaib, LU j mortcetyé>r cretaib, H. 

19 cisne cur coscrach cndamaz'/ fri C, Eg. 20 Concl. LU. 

21 Cotanmela ama/ meilius muilend muadbraicch, Egj Cutan- 
mela ama/ meles muilind muadh mbraich, H 


chariot is a blood-red spear (gai) with a sharp mettle- 
some blade on a shaft of wood well fitted to his hand. 
Over both his shoulders a crimson shield {scíaíh) with 
a rim of silver, chased with figures of animals in gold. 
He leaps the hero's salmon-leap into the air and does 
many like swift feats besides. Such is the chief of a 
chariot-royal.] Before him in that chariot there is 
a charioteer, a very slender, tall, much freckled man. 
On his head very curly bright-red hair, with a fillet 
of bronze upon his brow which prevents the hair 
from falling over his face. On both sides of his head 
patins (or cups) of gold confine the hair. A shoulder- 
mantle about him with sleeves opening at the two 
elbows, and in his hand a goad of red gold with 
which he guides the horses." 

§ 52. "Truly, it is a drop before a shower ; we 
recognise the man from his description," quoth 

"An ocean fury, a whale that rageth, a fragment of 

flame and fire ; 
A bear majestic, a grandly moving billow, 

A beast in maddening ire : 
In the crash of glorious battle 

Through the hostile foe he leaps, 

His shout the fury of doom ; 
A terrible bear, he is death to the herd-of-cattle,* 
Feat-f- upon feat, head upon head he heaps : 
Laud ye the hearty one, he who is victor fully. 
As fresh malt is ground in the mill shall we be 
ground by Cuchulainn." 

* A term of contempt for the ordinary soldiers. 
t i.e. deed. 


io7 a 


"Tong a toing mo thuat/i," ol Medb, " mád co féirg 
dothí Cúchulaind chucund, axnal meles muilend déc 
forcél braich rocruaíd, is amlaid coto[n]mélani in fer 
sin a óenur ar úir ocus grían, cía nobetis fir in cóicid 
uli immond hi Crúachain, mani fochlith*r a bruth 5 
ocus a brig." 

53. " Ocus hi fecht sa cinnas dothíagat ? " ol Medb. 

" Dóit fri dóit " or ind ingen. " leóit fri leóit. 

fuámain fri fuamain. gúalaind fri guálaind. 

bil fri bil. fonnad fri fonnad. I0 

fid fri fid. carpatf fri carpat. 

dosfil uli a baídmáthair." 
[R.] "Comlúd marc m-buada maidm toraind toll- 

trethan trom ainbthine allchlíu fri immalldu 15 

fortacrith in n-írind imtrén trómthuinset." 

" Mná finna fornochta friú " ol Medb. 

" aurchíche aurnochta etrochta. 

collín n-ingen n-aurlam n-i«chomraic 

liss aurslocthi. búirg faénbéla. 20 

Dabcha úaruisci. dérguda indlithi 

1 Tonga et reliqua mas combaraind dot?et cucunn ara<i/ meiles 
muilend mbuathbraich. tset Cucul. chugainn amat meiles dec 
n-oirccel mbraith rochruaid is amlaid cotameila an fer sin a asnar 
ar uir ocus grian cie no beitis fir an cu'igzd uile umaind mine 
foichlit- a bruth, Egj cotunmelam, Lj cotonmelam in fer sin, H ; 
cotomélam, LU ; Tothast Cucl. cucund, //. 

7 ol Medt>, Eg. 

10 bil fri bil. dos filit uile a buidmathair. fid fri fid fonnad fri 
fondad carpa/, Egj tusfuil uile a buidmathar, L. 

12 bil fri bile tas fuil uile a bhuaidhmatWr fidh fri fidh, H. 

13 Comluth mbarc, Eg. 15 fri imallad, Eg. 
10 imustren, Eg. 17 fris, Eg. 

19 iflcomraic, Egj nícomraic, H. 

20 bruigh, Egj buirc, H. 


" By the god of my people," said Méve, " I swear 
if it be with fury Cuchulainn comes to us, like as a 
mill of ten spokes grinds very hard malt, so he alone 
will grind us to mould and gravel, should the whole 
province attend on us in Cruachan, unless his fury 
and violence are subdued." 

§ 53- "How do they come this time?" quoth 

" Wrist to wrist and palm to palm, 

Tunic to tunic they stand, 
Shield to shield and frame to frame, 

A shoulder-to-shoulder band, 
Wood to wood and car to car, 
Thus they all, fond mother, are." 

" As thunder on the roof when breaking, 
With speed the chargers dash, ; 
As heavy seas which storms are shaking, 

The earth in turn they crash ; 
Anon it vibrates as they strike, 
Their strength and weight are like and like. 
High their name, 
No ill fame ! " 

Then Méve made speech : — 

" Women to meet them, and mony, in déshabille, 
Full-breasted and bare and bonnie, in number weel ; 
Bring vats of cold water where wanting, beds ready 

for rest, 
Fine food bring ye forth, and not scanty, but of the 

Strong ale and sound and well malted, warriors' 

keep ; 


bíad glan imda braichlind muád mescmar 

fei«ne fothud 
fochen in cath tothóet bess nínortar tairis." 

54. La sodain dolluid Medb for fordorus ind liss 5 
immach isin n-aurlaind ocus tri coecait ingen lée ocus 
teóra dabcha uárusci don triúr láth n-gaile do[n]dánic 
resin sluág do tlathugud a m-brotha. Ro lád roga 
dóib iar sudiu, dús in bad tech for leth dob<?rtha do 
cach fir díb, no in tech dóib a triur. " A tech for leith 10 
do cách " or Cuculaind. Iar sudiu b^rthar i tigi co 
n-dérgothaib sainamraib an ro bo dech leó dona tri 
coecvSb ingen, ocus dobreth Findabair la Coinculainn 
sech cách isin n-airicul irra bi, ocus tancatár U\aid 
uli iar sudiu, ocus luid Ailz'/Zocus Medb ocus a teglach 15 
n-uli, co rofersat faelte fri hUltu. Frisgart Sencha 
m<zc AWella : " Is maith lind " or se. 

55. Tíagait \j\aid iarom isin dún ocus dolleicth^r 

arrígtech dóib anW dorímthé7-, i. secht cúarda and 

ocus secht n-imdada o thein co fraig. Airinich cré- 2 o 

duma ocus aurscartud dergibair. Tri stéill chréduma 

1 biad nglan, Egj mbuaidhmescmízr, H. 
3 feine fothugz^, Egj feinne fothut, H . 

I fochen in cach dotast bess ninurtat tairis, Egj in cach, H. 

6 íor dorus, H. 6 isin n-aurlaind otn, Egj tri La, Eg. 

7 donainic riassin slógh, Egj dotanic, H. 

10 dus in ba tech for leith do gach duine dib no an bud sentech 
doib a triúr, Egj for leith do cach fir áib no in bad aointech, H. 

II Iarsuidz'w lotar i tigib, Egj Tech for leth . . Iar suidiu badur 
i tigz^, H. 

12 ocus an ro, LU; sainemlaib, Egj din tri L ban dobretha 
doib ocus dobretha Findabair do C, Egj dona tri L ingen do- 
bretha doib ocus dobreath, H j dobretha doibh 7 dobreth, L. 

15 Luid Mzdb ocus O'úill, Eg. 

18 Tiegait \a.rom \5\aid uile, Eg. 

20 airenech credumas i tulaigh an toige teuch n-darach go 
tugad slinnti, Egj aireíních credhuma i tul- an tighe, H. 


Let the gates of the burg be set slanting, open the 

Hail ! the battalion that's cantering won't kill us, 

ywis ! " 

§ 54. Thereupon Méve went out by the high door 
of the palace into the court, thrice fifty maidens in 
her train, with three vats of cold water for the three 
valiant heroes in front of the hosts, in order to alleviate 
their thirst {lit. heat). Choice was straightway given 
them so as to ascertain whether a house a-piece should 
be allotted them or one house among the three. 
"To each a house apart," quoth Cuchulainn. There- 
after such as they preferred of the 150 girls are 
brought into the house, fitted up with beds of sur- 
passing magnificence. Findabair in preference to 
any other was brought by Cuchulainn into the apart- 
ment where he himself was. On the arrival of the 
Ultonians, Ailill and Méve with their whole house- 
hold went and bade them welcome. "We are 
pleased," quoth Sencha, son of Ailill, responding. 

§ 55. Thereupon the Ultonians come into the fort 
and the palace is left to them as recounted, viz., seven 
"circles" and seven compartments from fire to parti- 
tion, with bronze frontings and carvings of red yew. 
Three stripes of bronze in the arching of the house, 
which was of oak, with a covering of shingles. It had 
twelve windows with glass in the openings. The dais 
of Ailill and of Méve in the centre of the house, with 
silver frontings and stripes of bronze round it, with 
a silver wand by the fronting facing Ailill, that would 


i taulaich in taige. Tech darach co tugi slinned. Di 
senistir déc and co comlathaib glainidib friu. Imdui 
A\\e//a ocus Medba immedon in tige. Airinig airgdidi 
impe ocus steill chreduma ocus flesc airgdide ocond 
airinuch ar bélaib A'úeUa adcomced midlisse in tige 5 
do chosc in teglaig do gre's. Tairmchellsat gascid fer 
n-U\ad ón dorus díarailiu dond rígthig ocus ardopettet 
a n-ses ciúil, céin both oc aurgnom dóib. Bói trá día 
farsingi in tige i tallastár formna lath n-gaile in choicid 
uli im Conchobz^r. Concob^r immorro ocus Fergus 10 
mac Róich i n-imdaí A'\\e//a ocus nonbor di láthaib 
gaile fer n-\J\ad ol chena. Tosnairnechtár fleda mora 
iar sudiu. Batár and iarom có cend trí lá ocus trí 

56. Bá iar sudiu conacrad A'úi// do Chon- 15 
chobur co n-Ultu immi, cid dia ra bi arréim. Dorrími 
Sencha iarom in caingm immá tullatár, i. im chomuaill 
in trír chaum^ immá cur^mír ocus im chomúaill na 
m-ban immá tússigecht isna fledaib, úair ní rodmatár 
a m-brethugud innách baliu aili acht ocut-su." Soch- 20 
tais AWiU la sodain, ocus ni bu fíélid leis a menma. 
"Nirbo chucum-sa ém" or sé "robo chóir dál inna 
caurath sin do thabairt, man'\ tabraitír ar miscais." 
"Ni bá nech bas ferr nodgléfe ém" or se "atai-siu." 

2 gleordha glainidhe, H. 

4 airgide, Egj stiall, Egj flesg airgit, H. 7 ard«.ypetit, H. 

8 Boi di fairsinge co tallastar formna lath gaile fer n-Ulad 'mn. 
oc aurgnam bidh doib, H. 

12 lath ngaile íer n-\]\ad olcheíiz.. Tosnairnecht, H; Tosnair- 
nechtatar fleda mora iarsuidiu, Eg. 

14 teora ocus teora n-oidche (szc), Egj oidqi, Eg. 

15 Bai iarsuidiu trath conaccrad, Eg. 

16 cid dia rabi arréim om., Egj imme. Dorime, H. 
1T calg, LU. 

19 ni rotlamathor, Egj ni rot maith, H. 

21 nir ba, Eg. 23 mine tabarthaei, Eg. ™ ar Sencha, Eg. 


reach the mid "hips" of the house so as to check the 
inmates unceasingly. The Ulster heroes went round 
from one door of the palace to the other, and the 
musicians played while the guests were being pre- 
pared for. Such was the spaciousness of the house 
that it had room for the hosts of valiant heroes of the 
whole province in the suite of Conchobar. More- 
over, Conchobar and Fergus mac Roich were in 
Ailill's compartment with nine valiant Ulster heroes 
besides. Great feasts were then prepared for them 
and they were there until the end of three days and 
of three nights. 

§ 56. Thereafter Ailill inquired of Conchobar with 
his Ultonian following what was the purport of his 
march. Sencha narrated the matter on account of 
which they had come, viz., the three heroes' rivalry 
as to the Champion's Portion, and the ladies' rivalry 
as to precedence at feasts — "They could not stand 
being judged anywhere else than here by thee." At 
that Ailill was silent and was not in a happy mood. 
" Indeed," quoth he, " it is not to me this decision 
should be given as to the Champion's Portion, unless 
it be done from hatred." "There is really no better 
judge." "Well," said Ailill, "I require time to con- 
sider." " We really require our heroes," quoth 
Sencha, "for great to timid folks is their value." 
" For that then three days and three nights suffice 
for me," quoth Ailill. "That would not forfeit friend- 
ship," answered Sencha. The Ultonians straightway 


" Maith limsa ré scrutáin da;;z fris á" or Ailz'//. 
io7 b . " Recam-ni a les ém ar curaid," ol Sencha, " ar is mór 

do midlachaib allóg." " Lór lim-sa tri lá ocus 
teóra aidchi fri sodain " ol Ailz'//. " Ní forcraid cairde aní sin " ol Senc/ia. Timgartatar Ulatd celebrad 5 
iar sudiu ocus bátár budig ocus dob^rat bmnachtain 
do Ailz'// ocus do Med£, ocus dob^rtatar mallachtain 
do BricrzW, úair iss e fodrúair a n-imchossait, ocus 
lotar dia crích iar sudiu, ocus fácbait hoegaire ocus 
Conall ocus Coinculainn día m-brethugud do Ailz'//. 10 
Ocus dob;rthe praind cetna do cach fir díb cach 
After § 56 57- Dobretha a cuit dóib ind aidchi sin, ocus 

come§§63, dolléicthe tri caittini a húaim Crúachan dia saigid, i. 
is 4 iacking 57 tri bíasta druidechta. Techit iawm Conall ocus 15 
\nEg,H, Loeg^Véfor sparrib na tigi ocus fácbait a m-biad oc 
na bíastaib, ocus feoit fón samail sin cusarnabárach. 
Nirtheig Cuculainn assa inud frissin m-bíasta rosiacht 
chuci, acht in tan dosíned in beist a bragit cosin 
n-esair, dounsi Cuchulainn béim din claidz'tt^ na cend 20 
doscirred di mar bad do charraic. Nothairned si 
sís di sudi. Nirthomail ocus nírsúan Cuculainn fon 
cruth sin co matain. Rothinsat na cait, o robo maten, 
ocus atcessa iat-som fon cruth sin arabarach. " Nach 
leór a comram sin do bor m-brethugud" or Ailz'//. 25 
" Ná tho," or Conall ocus Loegaire, " ni fri biasta 
chathaigmit-ni, acht is fri dóini." 

1 da« fris dano, LUj dam fris {pm. dano\ Eg. 
6 cairde son ar Sencha, Eg. 

6 ocus bator buide ocus dob^rtatar be«achtain dond righ ocus 
don rigain ocus dob^rtatar mallachtain do Búcrmd, Eg. 
9 Loegairi B., Eg. 
11 Ocus dobreth proinw c. do gach fer dib cech n-oidche, Eg. 

19 beis, LUj 21 doscrred, LU. 


bade farewell ; being satisfied, they left their blessing 
with Ailill and Méve and their curse with Bricriu» 
for it was he who had incited them to strife. They 
then departed from the territory of Méve, having left 
Loigaire and Conall and Cuchulainn to be judged by 
Ailill. The like supper as before was given to each of 
these heroes every night. 


§ 57. One night as their portion was assigned them, 
three cats from the Cave of Cruachan were let loose 
to attack them, i.e. three beasts of magic. Conall 
and Loigaire made for the rafters, having left their 
food with the beasts. In that wise they slept till the 
morrow. Cuchulainn fled not from his place from 
the beast which attacked him. But when it stretched 
its neck out for eating, Cuchulainn gave a blow with 
his sword on the beast's head, but [the blade] glided 
ofí as 'twere from stone. Then the cat set itself 
down. In the circumstances Cuchulainn neither ate 
nor slept. As soon as it was early morning the cats 
were gone. In such condition were the three heroes 
found {lit. seen) on the morrow. " Does not that 
trial suffice for adjudging ye ?" asked Ailill. "By no 
means," quoth Conall and Loigaire, " it is not against 
beasts we are striving, but against men." 


Before 58. Luid [arom Ail/// ina airicul ocus áober a druim 

§ 58 Bg r • í ■ 

has 63, 64, fria[£]raigid ocus ní bu sáim a mama ocus ba aing- 
cess laiss in dál dodfánic ocus nírchotail ocus ni 
roloing co cend tri lá ocus teóra n-aidche, conid and 
asbert Medb : " Is midlachda no tái " ol si. " Mani 5 
brethaige-seo, brethaigfet-sa." " Is andso dam-sa ém 
a m-brethar^W," or Ailz'//, " ocus is mairg cosa tuced." 
" Ní andsa immorro," ol Medb, " fó dáig " or si " na fil 
eter créduma ocus findruini, atá eter hoegaire ocus 
Conall Cernach. A fil á" or si " eter findruini ocus 10 
dergór, ata eter Conall Cernach ocus Coinculainn." 

59. Ba hand sin tra conaccrad hoegaire Huadach 
do Medb iar scrútan a comarli. Is and sin asb^ft 
Medb fri hoegaire: " Fochen a hoegairi Buadaig" ol 
si " is comadas caurathmír do thabairt dait, ríge lsech 15 
r\-Kvenn dait úain-ne on trath sa, ocus in c&urathmír 
ocus cuach créáuma ocus én findruini for a lar, conid 
ruca lat sech cach hi comartha m-breithe, ocus nín 
accathar nech aile occut, conid tárfas isin Craebrúaid 
Conehobuir deód lái ; in tan dob^rthar in caurathmir 20 
etruib, bád and sin tadbae do chúach fíad mathib U\ad 
uili. Bid lat in c^xxrathmir iarom ocus ní chossena 
nech do láthaib gaile fer r\-\3\ad ol chena frit, uair bid 
comarda n-aichnid la XJUu uli aní no m-bera. latt." 
Iar sudiu dob^rar in cúach do Loegairiu Buadach, 25 

1 dóbert, Eg. 

2 ocus ni ba saim lais a menma, Eg; ba haincces, Eg. 

3 dus fain/í - , Eg. 4 teora la, Eg. 5 milaechda, Eg. 
6 is andso : i. is dolig, LU. 7 a m-brethugud om., Eg. 

8 ní andsa : i. ni dolig, LU '; a b-foil, Eg; a fuil, H. 
10 áono, Eg. 13 Conid ann asmbert Medb, Eg. 

14 ar si, Eg. 16 uainde, Eg. 17 ocus én om., LU. 

18 a g-comwrthas, Eg. 20 an Xan dombírtar, Eg. 

22 uili om., Eg; H. 
24 comartha n-aithgni la \J\tu in ni b^re lat, Eg. 



§ 58. Ailill having gone to his chamber, set his 
back against the wall. He was disquieted in mind, 
for he took the difficultv that faced him to be fraught 
with danger. He neither ate nor slept till the end of 
three days and three nights. " Coward ! " Méve then 
called him, " if you don't decide, I will." " Difficult 
for me to adjudge them," Ailill said ; "it is a mis- 
fortune for one to have to do it." " There is no 
difficulty," quoth Méve, " for Loigaire and Conall 
Cernach are as different as bronze and findruini ; * 
Conall Cernach and Cuchulainn as different as find- 
ruini and red gold." 

§ 59. It was then, after she had pondered her 
advice, that Loigaire the Triumphant was summoned 
to Méve. " Welcome, O Loigaire the Triumphant," 
she quoth ; "it is meet to give thee a Champion's 
Portion. We assign to thee the sovranty of the heroes 
of Erin from this time forth, and the Champion's 
Portion, and a cup of bronze with a bird chased in 
white metal on its bottom. In preference to every 
one else, take it with thee as a token of award. No 
one else is to see it till, at the day's end, thou hast 
come to the Red Branch of Conchobar. On the 
Champion's Portion being exhibited among you, then 
shalt thou bring forth thy cup in the presence of 
all the Ultonian nobles. Moreover, the Champion's 
Portion is therein. None of the valiant Ultonian 

* White metal. 


io8 a . ocus a lán do fín aicnetai and, Ibid ina dig iarom 
for lár ind rígtaige allind robói isin chuach. "Atá 
and sin fled chaurad dait trá," ol Medb, " doroimle 
corbat cétach cetblíadnach ar bélaib óc n-U\ad uli." 

60. Celebraid hoegaire iar sudiu, ocus congarar 5 
Conall Cexnach do Meidb fon innas cetna co lar ind 
rígthaige. " Fochen a Chonaill Cernaig" ol Medb, 

" is comadas C3uvathmir et reliqua, ocus cuach find- 
ruini a3.n0 ocus én óir for a lár et reliqua." Iar sudiu 
a3.n0 iarom dob^rar do Conall ocus a lan do fin et 10 

61. Celebraid Conall, i. iar sudiu, ocus tíagair 
uadib ar chend Conculaind. "Tair do acallaim ind 
ríg ocus na rigna " ol in techtaire. Bá and bói Cúcu- 
lainn oc imb^rt fidchille ocus Lóeg xuac VÁ3x\gabra a jr 
ára fessin. " Is dom chuitbiud-sa ón," or se, " fuiris 
dobr^tha bréc im nach meraige." La sodain dolléci 
fer dina feraib fidchilli don techtaire, co m-bói for lár 

a inchinne, conid ed dochóid íor lic trascair a báis, 
co torchair eter Ailz'// ocus Medb. " Aill amai ! " ol 2 o 
Medb "iúrthund Cuchulainn," or si, "día siabairth^r 
immi." Atasraig Medb la sodain ocus luid corránic 
co Coinculainn, co tard [a] dí láim imma brágit. 
"Tabair bréc im nách n-aile" or Cuchulainn. "A 

1 aiccenta, Eg; 'foid 'vaxom ina aendig for lar etc., Eg; aicenta 
ann 7 \bid \a.rom ina aoindig, H 
3 adsin, LU ; ata sin, Eg. 

5 Celabrid dono L., Eg ; congarthar, Eg; congairt, H. 
9 iarsud/z/ dobi»rí in cuach, H. 16 fessin om., Eg. 

18 donas feraib, Eg. 

19 doluid íor ling trasccrad a bais, Eg; dochuazVz% for lar 
trascair a bais, H. 21 or si om., Eg. 

22 Atafraig Me. \asodain ocus luid comboi a b-farad Conc. ocus 
dorat a di laim imo bhragait, Eg; atfraigh, H; atafraig, LU. 

23 co tart a di laim, H. 


heroes will dispute it further with thee. For the thing 
thou art to take away with thee shall be a token of 
genuineness in the estimation of all the Ultonians." 
Thereupon the cup with its full of luscious wine was 
given to Loigaire the Triumphant. There and then * 
he quaffs the contents at a draught. " Now you have 
the feast of a champion," quoth Méve. " I wish 
you may enjoy it a hundred hundred years at the 
head of all Ulster." 

§ 60. Loigaire thereupon bade farewell. Then 
Conall Cernach in like wise was summoned into the 
royal presence. "Welcome," quoth Méve, "O Conall 
Cernach ; meet it is to give thee a Champion's Por- 
tion, with a cup of white-metal besides, having a bird 
on the bottom of it chased in gold." Thereafter the 
cup was given to Conall with its full of luscious wine. 

§ 61. Conall bade farewell. A herald was then sent 
to fetch Cuchulainn. " Come to speak with the king 
and queen," quoth the messenger. Cuchulainn at the 
time was busy playing chess with Loig, son of Rianga- 
bair, his own charioteer. " No mocking," he quoth ; 
" you might try your lies on some other fool." Having 
hurled one of the chessmen, it pierced the centre of 
the herald's brain. He got his death-blow therefrom, 
and fell betvveen Ailill and Méve. "Woe is me," 
quoth Méve; "sorely doth Cuchulainn work on us his 
fury when his fit of rage is upon him." Thereupon 
Méve got up and came to Cuchulainn, and put her 
two arms round his neck. "Try a lie upon another," 
quoth Cuchulainn. "Glorious son of the Ultonians 

* Lit. on the floor oí the palace. 


maz'c amrai U\ad ocus a lassair laech n-Erenn, ní bréc 
as áil dún immut " ol Medb. " Cía thíastaís f ormna 
laech n-Erenn uile, is duit-siu dóbmnaís remib aní 
imombethe, úair atodaimet fir hEr enn úasaib, ar 
allud ocus gail ocus gasciud, ar áne ocus óetid ocus 5 

62. Atsraig Cúculainn la sodain ocus téit la Mtáb 
co ránic a rígtech, ocus feraid Ail/// faélti friss co mór. 
Ocus dob^rar cúach dergóir dó ocus a lán do fín 
sainemail and ocus én do lic lógmair for a lár, ocus 10 
dob^rar cutramma a da súlu do dracon dó leis sech 
cách. "Atá fled chaurad dait sund tra" ol Med^. 
" Daromle corbat cétach cétblizdnacA ar belaib óc 
n-UW uli." "Ocus issí ar m-breth-ni beós," 
or Ailz'// ocus ol Medb, "uair nachat fil-siu fein hi 15 
cutrwmmus fri ócu Ulad, cona be do ben hi cutrwm- 
mus fri a mná, ocus ni forail lind corop si ceta the 
do grés ria mnáib U\ad uli ar thus hi tech n-óil. Ibid 
Cuchulainn 'mrom ina óendig allán róbói issin cúach 
ocus celebraid iar sudiu dond ríg ocus dond rígain 20 

1 a lasair, H; lassair, Eg; lassar, L U. 

2 cia tistais, Eg; H 3 rempoib, Eg; adadaimet, Eg. 
6 ar luth, Eg; H. 5 ocus oide, Eg. 

1 Atafraig, Eg; affraig, LU ; atfraig, H. 

8 co mór om., Eg; failti moir fris . . . dob^rt, H 

9 do fin aicenta and, Eg; dfin aice«tai, H 

11 sul, Eg; do leis sech cách om., Eg; Ata sund fíed curad 
duit ol Me., Eg. 13 doroimle tra cor ba, H. u douo, Eg. 

16 uair nachat fuili si ag cutrumus frie cach, ceni be do ben a 
cutramus fria mnaib \J\ad ni forail lind corabsi ceta te dogress ria 
mnaib Ulad a tech n-oil, Eg; uar nachat filsiu a cutrumus fri 
cach cepe do ben a cutrumus fri mnaib Ulad ni furail lind coropsi 
ciata the, H 

16 cona be, LU; Stohes, Rem. on the Facs. p. 14 ; cona he, Facs. 

17 orailind, LU ; where it begins a new line on the margin is : 
ocus is áillin ni. 18 ibit, LU ; iarom om., Eg. 

19 cáuch, LU; na oidig an cuach, H. 


and flame of the heroes of Erin, 'tis no lie that is to 
our lilcing where thou art concerned. Were all Erin's 
heroes to come, to thee by preference would we grant 
the quest, for, in regard to fame, bravery and valour, 
to distinction, youth and glory, the men of Erin 
acknowledge thy superiority." 

§ 62. Cuchulainn got up. He accompanied Méve 
into the palace, and Ailill bade him warm welcome. 
A cup of gold was given him full of luscious wine, 
and having on the bottom of it birds chased in 
precious stone. With it, and in preference to every 
one else, there was given him a lump, as big as his 
eyes twain, of dragon-stone. " Now you have the 
feast of a champion," quoth Méve. " I wish you 
may enjoy it a hundred hundred years at the head of 
all the Ultonian heroes." " Moreover, it is our verdict," 
quoth Ailill and Méve, " inasmuch as thou thyself 
art not to be compared with the Ultonian warriors, 
neither is thy wife to be compared with their women. 
Nor is it too much, we think, that she should always 
precede all the Ultonian ladies when entering the 
Mead Hall." At that Cuchulainn quaffed at one 
draught the full of the cup, and then bade farewell 
to the king, queen, and household all. 


[Thereafter he followed his charioteer. " My 
plan," quoth Méve to Ailill, " is to keep those three 
heroes with us again to-night, and to further test 



t Thus H, 
passes on 
to § 72. 

Passage in 
[ ] is the 
work of 
some com- 
piler. Eg 
passes on 
to § 66. 

ocus don tegluch uli -f* (ocus luitli co ranic Emain 
Macha deoidh lai ogus (sic) nirobe la hUitu rolamadh 
imcomarc sc do neoch dib atriu (sic) co tanic doibh co 
roind ocus dail isin tig). 


[Ocus luid iar sin indegaid a cheli. "Atá cómarli lim" ol 5 
Medb fri Aih7/ " fastud in trir churad út ocaind innocht doridisi, 
io8 b . ocus formtha aili do thabairt iorxo beus." " Déna" ol Ail///amrt/ 
as adlaic let fessin." Fastaitir iarom ind fir, ocus b^rtair hi Crua- 
chain iat ocus scurtir a n-eich.] 

63. Dobretha rogu doib, cid biad noragad dia 10 
n-echaib. Asb^rt Conall ocus hoegaire airthend da 
blíadan do thabairt dia n-echaib. Grán eórna \mmorro 
rothog Cuculainn día echaib. Feótar and ind aidchi 
sin. Rointir in banchuri etorro hi trí ; dobretha 
Findabair ocus cóeca ingen impi hi tech Conculainn, 15 
dobretha Sadb Sulbair ingen aile A'úella ocus Medba 
ocus cóeca ingen impi hi farrad Conaill Cernaig, do- 
bretha Conchend ingen Cheit maic Magach ocus 
cóeca ingen malle fria hi farrad hoegairi Buadaig. 
Nothathiged Medb fessin xmmorro co gnáthach sin 20 
tech i m-bói Cuculainn. Feótar and ind adaig sin. 

64. Atragat iarom matain muich íarnabarach ocus 
tíagait sin tech i m-bátar in m^crad oc cur in roth- 

8 berta, LU, Facs. 10 dobreth, Eg; do ragad, Eg. 

11 L. ocus Con., Eg; oirrthind, Eg. 13 dothog, Eg. 
13 Feoatízr (sic) and iarom roinnt/r in bantra<r/z/ a tri etorra, Eg. 

15 dobr, Eg; impi om., Eg. 

16 dobreta, LU ; dobr, Eg. 

19 impi( = mallefriaof LU) abfarrad L.B., Eg; No thaithuigíí/ 
Medb feisin comimV an tech amboi Cuc, Eg. 

21 Feotar to adaig sin om., Eg. 

Ti Atregait maid^« mó ocus tiegoit isin tech amboi an macra^ 
ag cur rothclessae. Geb- iarom L., Eg. 


them." " Do as thou deemest right," quoth Ailill. 
The men were then detained and brought to Cruachan 
and their horses unyoked.] * 

§ 63. Their choice of food was given them for 
their horses. Conall and Loigaire told them to give 
oats two years old to theirs. But Cuchulainn chose 
barley grains for his. They slept there that night. 
The women were apportioned among them. Finda- 
bair, with a train of fifty damsels, was brought into 
the stead of Cuchulainn. Sav the Eloquent (Sadb 
Sulbair), another daughter of Ailill and of Méve, 
with fifty maids in attendance, was ushered into the 
presence of Conall Cernach. Conchend, daughter of 
Ceit mac Mágach, with fifty damsels along with her, 
was brought into the presence of Loigaire the Tri- 
umphant. Moreover, Méve herself was wont to 
resort to the stead of Cuchulainn. They slept there 
that night. 

§ 64. On the morrow they arose early in the 
morning and went into the house where the youths 
were performing the wheel-feat. Then Loigaire 
seized the wheel and tossed it till it reached half 
up the side wall. Upon that the youths laughed and 
cheered him. It was in reality a jeer, but it seemed 

* This passage in braclcets is clearly the work of the com- 
piler of LU. The reading in H is .• And he went till he arrived 
at Etnain Macha at the end of day, and there ivas none of the 
Ultonians ivho ivould venture to ask news as to any of the three 
until the time came to eat and to drink in the Mead Hall. The 
narrative in Zf passes on to § 72, which seems in sequence. 



clessa. Gebthi Loegaire iarom in roth ocus noscuir 
i n-arda, co ranic midlisi in tigi. Tibit in nwcrad im 
sodain ocus dob^-at gáir dó. Bá do chuitbiud Loe- 
gairi ón. Indarra hoegaire immorro bá gair búada. 
Gebthi Conall in roth ocus ba do lár. Focheird 5 
iarom in roth co hochtaig ind rígthigi. Fochmlat in 
m^crad gair foa. Indar la Conall, bá gáir chom- 
maidmi ocus búada ; gair chuitbiuda immorro lasin 
m^craid ani sin. Gebthi Cuchulainn in roth, 
ocus ba hetarbuas tarraid hé. Focheird dano in roth 10 
i n-ardi, co rolái a ochtaig on tig, co n-dechaid in roth 
ferchubat hi taXmain fri les anechtair. Tibit in m^crad 
gáir commaidmi ocus búada im Choinculainn. Indar 
la Coinculainn immorro bá gair chuitbiuda ocus fona- 
mait foc^rdat in m^crad im sodain. 15 

65. Tic Cuchulainn do saigid in bantrochta ocus 
berid a trí coécta snáthat úadib, ocus nosdíbairg na 
tri cóecta snáthat cách indiaíd araili díb, co tarla cach 
snáthat díb hi cró araili, co m-batar ina líni fon samail 
sin. Tic iarom dia saichtin doridisi ocus dosb^r a 20 
snáthait f ein illaim cacha hoenmná díb doridisi. Molsat 
The ciause ind óic dano Coinculainn im sodain. (Timnáit iarom 
oichena) is iar sudi celebrad dond ríg ocus dond rígain ocus don 

wanting in 1111 \ 

Eg- tegluch olchena.) 

1 rothclessas Geib, Eg, 2 roscuir . . . midles, Eg. 

3 doberaid gair doba (síc) do chuitbzW L., Eg. 

4 andarla L. ba gair buada, Eg. 6 in tige, Eg. 

7 gair om., Eg; foch^rd dna (sic) in roth co rolla a oachtaz'g 
don rigtig con dechaz'd an roth ferchubat fer oglaig a taimazn fria 
lis anechtair, Eg. 

17 nos diubraic cachae dib indiaig araile cotarla cech snathat 
dib a cro a ceile combator ina line fon samat'l sin, Eg. 

19 a cró a ceile, Eg. 20 aridisi, Eg. 

21 dip, Eg; doridisi, om., Eg. Molsat ind oig im sodain Cc, 


to Loigaire a shout of applause. Conall then took 
the wheel ; it was on the ground. He tossed it as 
high as the ridge-pole of the palace. The youths 
raised a shout at that. It seemed to Conall it was a 
shout of applause and of victory. To the youths it 
was a shout of scorn. Then Cuchulainn took the 
wheel — it was in mid-air he caught it. He hurled it 
aloft till it cast the ridge-pole from off the place ; the 
wheel went a man's cubit into the ground in the 
outside enclosure. The youths raised a shout of 
applause and of triumph in Cuchulainn's case. It 
seemed to Cuchulainn, however, it was a laugh of 
scorn and of ridicule they then gave vent to. 

§ 65. Cuchulainn anon sought out the women- 
folk, and took thrice fifty needles from them. These 
he tossed up one after the other. Each needle went 
into the eye of the other, till in that wise they were 
joined together. He returned to the women, and 
gave each her own needle into her hand. The young 
braves praised Cuchulainn. Whereupon they bade 
farewell to the king, the queen, and household as 

8 4 


§§ 66-74, 
the Expe- 
dition to 
follows in 
Eg after 
the words 
don teg- 
lach uili, 

io9 a . 


66. " Éircid " ol Medb " do thig m'aiti-sea ocus 
mo mzmimi, i. Ercail ocus Garmna, ocus feraid for 
n-aigidacht innocht and. Lotar iarom rompa iar cor 
graphand doib i n-óenach na Cruachna ocus ruc 
Cuchulainn buaid ind óenaig fo thri. Ro sagat iarom 
tech n-Garmna ocus Ercoil ocus ferait faelti friu. 
" Cid dia tudchaibair ? " ol Ercail. " Diar m-brethu- 
gud dait-siu " ol iat. " Eircid co tech Samera," ol se, 
" ocus dogena íor m-brethugud." Lotar dó iarom 
ocus focertar fíadain leó. Ferais Samera faelti friu. 
Dobretha Búan ingen Samera grad do Choinculainn. 
Asbértatar iarom fri Samera, bá do brethugud dóib 
dodeochatár chuci. Fóidis Saméra iat iar n-urd 
cusna genitib glinni. 

67. Luid Loegairi ar thús. Fácbaiside a arm ocus 
a etach occo. Luid Conall fon camma cetna 
ocus fácbais a góo occo ocus dobretha a armláich 
leis, i. a claideb. Luid Cuculainn in tres adaig. 
Nosgrechat na geniti dó, imma comsinitar dóib. 
Brútir a gai ocus bristir a sciath ocus rebthair a 
étach immi, ocus noscúrat ocus nostraethat inna geniti 
hé. "Amein a Cuculainn " or Laeg "a midlach 
thruag, a siriti lethguill, dochóid do gal ocus do 

I Eirgid ar Medb co teg mo aittisiu ocus mo mz/me i. Ercuil 
ocus Garman ocus feraid bar n-aidigicht (sic) and anocht. Lotar 
rempu iar cur grafaind fo tri. Ro segait teach n-Garman iarom 
ocus Ercuil ocus ferthaz'r failti friu and. Cia dia tuchaboir ol 
Ercoil. Diermbrethugad ol iat. Eirgid co tech Saimere ocus 
dodena bur m-brethugttí/. Lotar ierom ocus fochévdait fiaduin leo 
ocus feraid Saimere failti friu, Eg. 

II I. tSaimere, Eg. 13 AsbíTtatar to chuci om., Eg. 

14 iar n-urd iatt gusna gentib glinne, Eg. 

15 Luid L. ocus fagbus a arm, Eg; iarthus L U., Facs. 

16 07n., Eg. 

18 a\ono, Eg; Roscrechsatt na genite gl'mne do, Eg. 

21 na geniti glinne, Eg. 22 a mioloeich, Eg. 

23 ocus do gaisced ar culaib an tan isit urtraig not malartaigend. 
Siabartha im C. and ide ocus imsaig na hurtracha ocus nuscerbann 
ocus nusbruigend, etc, Eg. 






§ 66. " Go to the abode of my foster-father and to 
that of my stepmother," quoth Méve — viz., Ercol 
and Garmna — " and there put up as guests to-night." 
They kept on their way, and after running a race 
at the Cruachan Gathering, thrice did Cuchulainn win 
the victory of the games. They then went to the 
abode of Garmna and of Ercol, who bade them 
welcome. " For what are ye come ? " asked Ercol. 
"To be adjudged by thee," they quoth. "Go to the 
abode of Samera ; he will adjudge ye." They went 
accordingly and guides were sent with them. They 
were welcomed by Samera, whose daughter Buan 
fell in love with Cuchulainn. They told Samera it 
was in order to be judged they had come to him. 
Samera despatched them as they were (lit. in their 
order) to the Amazons of the Glen. 

§ 67. Loigaire went first, but left his accoutrements 
(arms) and clothing with them.* Conall also went, 
and left his spears with them, but took his chief 
weapon, to wit, his sword, away with him. On the 
third night Cuchulainn went. The Amazons shrieked 
at him. He and they fought each other till his spear 
was splintered, his shield broken, his raiment torn off. 
The Amazons were beating and overpowering him. 
" O Cuchulainn," said Loig, " you sorry coward, you 

* i.e. with the Amazons. 



, bó. 

. mucci. 


si. cís. 

gaisced, in tan ata urtrochta notmalartat. Sia[ba]rthar 
co urtrachta im Choinculainn andaide ocus imsoi 
cusna húathaib ocus nosc^rband ocus nosbruend iat, 
co-mbo lán in glend día fulriud. Dobeir iarom 
bratgaisced a muntiri leis ocus imsoi co tech Samera 5 
cona choscur co airm i m-batar a muint^r. 

68. Ferais Samera faelti fris, conid andaide asbM : 

" Ní dlig comraind curadmír 

ferba a brachtchi b brothlochi 

sceó c mátai d moogthi 

tre banna miach tortaide e 4 

fri immescad cóemchóecat 

fri Coinculaind clothamra. 

Is cú ferna fodluigthe 

is bran carna comramaig. 8 

is torc tren hi fothugud 

traithaid nerta lochnamat 

amfl/ asd f tria fithicén 

is cú othair ér Emna 12 

is menc/iomarc ban búaignigi. 

is fland tedma tromchatha 

méti cénid choc^'ta 

nachasella sithethar. i6 

Cim g a fresib frithbera. 

bati longbaird loingsither. 

5 ocus imsoi cona coscar co hairm, Eg. 

§ 68. Feraid Saimera failte fris conerbairt andidhe. Ni dlig 
comroinn cnradmxr. fearba (i. bai) braichthe brotloige sceo mata 
(i. muc) mooichthi tre banna miach tortaide (i. bairgen) fri hian 
mescad csem caogad fri Co[i]ncú clothamra is fernai foglaichte is 
bran cernai comramoch is torc tren a fothz/^adh trseihaid nertai 
lochnamat amail sed tre fidaitcen is cu otair eremna is menmarc 
ban buaidnige is ííann tedma tromchathai meite cenit coiccertai 
nacha selb- siteath- ceim freisin fritbévai baiti longbairt loing- 
sither is culmaire bolgadal is cruid íechta\ mod ché>mai is gnia 
(i. [s]egda) griannai geilfine cid do arbad cutroma fri LaegtfzVi leo 
airbi no fri Conall cloth amra qid nab- hi in Einw uaneble nacha 
is ail aentuata {over tuata : no tums, thus aentumae) Ria n-aindrib 
banarduW no cinged an ollbrigach i tech medrac/i midcuarda 
conid de imrorduimse a chomraind ni dlig. Ní, Eg. 





squinting savage ! gone are your valour and your 
bravery when it is sprites that beat you." Then 
Cuchulainn was enraged at the sprites. He turned 
back upon the Horrors, and cut and gashed thetn 
till the glen was filled with their blood. He brought 
off his companv's brave banner with him and turned 
back in triumph to the seat of Samera, the place 
where his companions were. 

§ 68. Samera bade him welcome ; 'twas then he 
made speech : — 

" Not right to share the champion's fare of the cook- 

ing pit, 
Fatted kine, well-fed swine, honey and bread ; 
Through ladies' cunning take not his share 
From Culann's Hound, of name and fame. 
Cleaver of shields, raven of prey, 
That bravery wields, eager for fray — boar of battle. 
As wood takes fire, strikes his ire Emain's foes ; 
Of victory-loving women belov'd — plague of death. 
A judge in deeming, not in seeming, eye flashing 

far — 
Hostile ports where ships resort his tributes know ; 
His chariot rides the mountain-side, 
Pride of his clan, he leads the van, an eagle of war. 
Why to Loigaire, lion of fences, liken him ? 
Why unto Conall, rider of fame ? 
Why should not Emer, of mantle shining — it is our 

pleasure through grace divining — 


>> i. is is culmaire h bolgada/z.í 

• ? a da? ech " is cr " Iecnta k modcernae. 20 

bema. (?). i s gnae * grianna gelfini 
k L badb - • f , / , , , 

1 i. ségda. cid do arbad chutrummus 

fri Lóegairi leo airbi 5 

no fri Conall clothriatha. 24 

m i. foit- Cid dond Emir úanfebli m 

n i. i n n'g. nachasáil in nert nuadat n 

ría n-andrib án ard Ulad 

no chinged ind ollbrigach 28 I0 

hi Tech medrach Midchúarda 

conid de imrordaim-se 

a chomraind ni dlig." 

Ni dlig c. 32 

" Isí mo breth-sa duib tra," for se, "in cuvathmír do 15 
Choinculainn ocus tús día mnái ría mnaib Ulad, ocus 
109A a gaisced úas gaiscedaib caich cen motha gaisced 

69. Lotar dó iar tain co tech Ercoil. 
faelti friu. Feótar and ind aidchi sin. Fúacrais Ercoil 20 
comlond dó féin ocus dá eoch íorvo. Luid Uoegaire 
ocus a ech na n-agid. Marbais gerran Ercoil ech 
Uoegairi. Fortamlaigid Ercoil for Loegaire fessin, 
ocus tecis-sz'í/e remi. Iss ed conair rodngab do Emain 
dar Eis Ruaid, ocus iss ed ruc leis tásc a muintiri 25 
do marbad do Erc<?/1. Luid á.?mo Conall ión cwmma 
cetna hi teced remi iar marbad a eich do gerrán 
Ercoil. Iss ed dolluid Conall dar Snám Ráthaind 
do saicht[h]in Emna. Robáided d2.n0 Ráthand gilla 
Conaill and sin isind abaind, conid de ita Snám 30 
Rathaind o sin ille. 

17 uas gasc^aib in tsloig uile, Eg. 

19 Lotar co tech Ercaile iartoin feraid s/V/e, Eg. 

20 fograis áofto Erc, Eg. 

23 fortamluis Earc. feisin for L. ocus teith-side roime. Issed 
conair do gab tar Duip Xar Drobais tar Ess Ruaid mz'c Badairn 
ocus issed rug lais tasc a muintire do vaaxhad do Erc<?z7. Luid 
áono C, Eg. 29 Robaidí^ di^«/ Rahhend gilla, Eg. 


Of Ultonian ladies high-born and all, enter first the 

merry Mead-Hall. 
Cuchulainn's share, well I wot, 
It is not just [elsewhere] to allot. 

" My verdict to ye then : the Champion's Portion 
to Cuchulainn, and to his wife the precedence of the 
ladies of Ultonia— Cuchulainn's valour to rank above 
that of every one else, Conchobar's excepted." 

§ 69. After that they went to the abode of Ercol, 
who bade them welcome. They slept there that night. 
Ercol challenged them to combat with himself and 
with his horse. Whereupon Loigaire and his horse 
went against them. The gelding of Ercol lcilled the 
horse of Loigaire, who was himself overcome by Ercol, 
before whom he fled. He took his way to Emain 
across Assaroe, and brought tidings with him of his 
comrades having been killed by Ercol. Conall like- 
wise fled, his horse having been killed by Ercol's ; the 
way he went was across Snám Ráthaind (Rathand's 
Pool) on the route to Emain. Moreover, Conall's 
gillie, Ráthand, was drowned in the river there, and 
after him Snám Ráthaind takes its name since. 

| 70. The grey of Macha, however, killed the 
horse of Ercol, and Cuchulainn took Ercol himself 
bound behind his chariot along with him to Emain. 
Buan, daughter of Samera, went on the track of the 
three chariots. She recognised the track of Cuchu- 
lainn's framed chariot, inasmuch as it was no narrow 



70. Marbais in Líathmacha xmmorro ech Ercoil 
ocus noscengland Cuchulainn Erc<?zl fessin indiáid a 
charpait leis, co ránic Emain Macha. Luid tra Buan 
ingen Samera for lorc na tri carpat. Atgeóin slicht 
fonnaid Conculainn, fodáig nách sét czvmung no- 5 
théiged ; nochlaided na muru ocus no fairsinged ocus 
nolinged dar bmiadaib. Rolebling ind ingen trá léim 
n-úathmar ina diaid-sium for furis in charpait, co 
n-ecmaing a tul immon n-all, co m-bo marb de, conid 

de ainmnigth^r Úaig Búana. In aim tra ráncatar 10 
* for o. ir. Emain Conall ocus Cuculainn, iss and ro bas * oc a 
Egahohas cáiniud and, ar ba derb leó ammarbad, iar m-breith a 
robas. tásca do Lóegairi leis. Adfiadat iarom a n-imtechta 
ocus a scéla do Choncobz/r ocus do mathib Ulad ol 
chena. Bátár xmmorro ind errid ocus ind láith gaili 15 
ol chena oc toibeim for La^gairi don badbscel ro innis 
o chelib. 

71. Conid and asb^rt Cathbath inso sís : 

[R.] " Dimbuaíd sceóil fartbi ecland la borg dub aithech. 
dorardusi la henechgris rúanad roulad. 20 

nímárulaid Lóegazre cosnam cirt curadmír 
iar n-dorair a badbscelai. 
is Cuculaind dligethar arroét cain comram búad 

cenglathar err thrén tnuthach. indiaid erri óen- 25 

1 vcamorro om., Eg; ech Ercail iar comrac do C. fris ocus 
nuscenglan C. Erazz'/ fessin andiaigh a carp^zV do Emoin Macae. 
Luid Buan 'mgen t-Saimeri c\one for lorg na tri carpíz/. Aithceoin 
slicht Conc. i. an fonna fodaig, Eg. 

7 Roleblaing 'xaxom an 'mgen leim n-uathmar tar bí;nai ina 
diaigsium for an carp^/, Eg. 

10 In amm (amsir?) tra rainzV C. ocus Conallt (sic) Emoin is 
and robas og a c?e\ned, Eg. 13 a taisc. 15 archma, Eg. 

16 olchena om., Eg; ar L. dona badbscelaib, Eg. 19 foirtbe, Eg. 

19-20 j a norc ur baid dorairduire la heifi ruanad roulad, Eg; 
Over dorardusi LU has tlie glosses i. dochur i. trenfer ; the latter 
gloss seems to belong to another word. 

21 cert, Eg. 23 dligetar, L U; dligethar . . . buaid, Eg. 

26 andiaig err oen-carpa/t, Eg. 


track it used to take, but undermining walls, either 
enlarging or else leaping over breaches. The girl at 
last leapt a fearful leap, following him behind in his 
chariot's track till she struck her forehead on a 
rock, whereof she died. From this is named Buan's 
Grave. When Conall and Cuchulainn ieached Emain, 
they found the Ultonians holding a keen for them, 
inasmuch as they felt certain they were killed. Such 
the report Loigaire brought. They then related their 
adventures and told their news to Conchobar and to 
the Ultonian nobles generally. But the chiefs of 
chariots and the men of valour as a body were re- 
proaching Loigaire for the lying story he told con- 
cerning his fellows. 

§ 71. Then Cathbath made speech to this effect : — 

"A tale inglorious ! Base 
Outlaw, black and false, 
For shame ! thy face from sight ! 
Ultonia's Champion's Portion 
Unhappily didst thou dispute, 

Nor won it by right, 

— Thy lying upset — 
Cuchulainn with Ercol has coped, 

Victor in battle-fight ; 
Tied at íhe tail of his car, 
Hercules strong he held ; 
Nor do men conceal his feats, 

His great havoc they tell. 


Ni chelat a márgnima adrollat a mororgni. 
is err thren tairpech is cur cáin cathbúadach 
is glond catha chomramaig. is mortcend do 

is riatai di rathbriugad. is triath tailc tnuthgaile. 
Conid de imrolaim-se comraind curadmiri fris 
is dimbúaid sceoil." 
Diamb. s. 


72. Roansat ind óic día n-imratib ocus dia radse- 
chaib. Rosoich iarom co praind ocus co tomaltus 10 
dóib, ocus iss e Sualdaim mac Roig athair Conculaind 
fessin rofrithaig Ultu ind aidchi sin. Rolinad iarom 
ind aradach dabach Conchohair dóib. Dobretha a 
cuit \mmorro inna fíadnaisi iar sudiu, ocus tíagait na 
rondairi dia raind. La sodain rogabsat ind randaire 15 
in curadmír asin raind ar thús. " Cid ná tabraid in 
cauradmír ucut " ar Dubtach Dóeltengad " do churaid 
úrdalta, úair ní thudchatar in triar ucut o ríg Crúachan 
ca^ chomartha n-derb leó do thabairt in cuvadmire do 
neoch díb." 20 

73. Atsraig hoegaire Buaáac/i la sodain ocus túar- 

1 Ni chelat a márgnima om., Eg; adrollat : i. innisit, LU. 
atrulat a moroirgne, Eg. 2 is err tren tairptech, Eg. 

5 is riataige rath brugh-, Eg. y and oicc \arom, Eg. 

10 Ro soich iarom co roind ocus dail doib ocus ro linad ian?;;z 
an uradac/i dabach Concub#z> doib co ro bo lan do linn seim 
somesc ocus ise Subalt«;;z mac Roigh athatr Concul. feissin ro 
frithail an ag sin. Tobref/i immorro a cuit ina b-fiadnuse \arom 
ocus tiegoit na rafiairige dia roin, Eg. 

12 aigchi, LU. 16 arthús om., Eg. 

18 ni tangatar in triar n-ugat, Eg. 

19 n-derb ag nech dib iman curadmir, Eg; oc neoc dib ima 
curath-, H. 21 affraig, LU. 


A champion glorious, battle-victorious, 

When rageth the fray, 
Slaughter-head of the hosts, 

A lord that careers in might, 
Zealous of valour and stout ; 

With him to dispute 

The Champion's Portion, 
Unworthy a hero's repute." 


§ 72. The heroes ceased their discussions and 
their babblings and fell to eating and enjoying 
themselves. It was Sualtam mac Róig, father of 
Cuchulainn himself, who that night attended upon 
the Ultonians. Moreover, Conchobar's ladder-vat 
was filled for them. Their portion having been 
brought to their presence, the spencers came to serve, 
but at the outset they withheld the Champion's 
Portion from distribution. " Why not give the 
Champion's Portion," quoth Duach of the Chafer 
Tongue, "to some one of the heroes ; those three 
have not returned from the King of Cruachan, having 
no sure token with them, whereby the Champion's 
Portion may be assigned to one of them ? " 

§ 73. Thereupon Loigaire the Triumphant got up 
and lifted on high the bronze cup having the silver 
bird [chased] on the bottom. "The Champion's 
Portion is mine," he quoth, "and none may contest 
it with me." " It is not," quoth Conall Cernach. 
" Not alike are the tokens we brought off with us. 


gaib in cuach creduma ocus én airgit for a lár. " Is 
lim-sa in caxnadmír" for se " ocus ní chosna nech 
frim he." " Ni bá lat," for Conall Cernach, " ní hinund 
comartha tucsam lind." Cuach creduma tucaisiu, 
cuac/i findruini immorro thucusa. Is réil asiwded fil 5 
etorro, conid lim-sa in caxivathmír" " Ni ba la 
nechtar dé eter," for Cuculainn, ocus atasraig sz'de 
la sodain ocus asb^rt : " Ní tucsaid comartha tairces 
churathmír dúib," for se, " acht nirb áil don rig ocus 
don rigain cusa rancaibair tullem ecraiti frib atiwd hi 10 
tend. Ní mó a cin frib " ol se " indás na tucsaid 
úadib. Bid lim-sa 'immorro " for se " in cuvathmír, 
úair is mé thuc comartha suachnid sech cach." 

74. Tanócaib súas la sodain in cuach n-d«'cóir 
ocus én do liic logmair for a lár ocus cutr^mma a 15 
dá sula do dracoin, conidnacatár mathi U\ad uli im 
Concob^r mac Nessa. " Is mesi iarom" for se " dViges 
a cauvathmz'r, acht man\ brister anfír íorm." " Cotmi- 
dem uli " ol Conchohur ocus Fergus ocus ol mathi 
U\ad ol chena, " is let a cauvathmzr a breith Ai\e//a 20 
ocus Medóa." "Tong a toing mo thuath," for Loe- 
gaire ocus for Conall Cernach, " ni cúach cen chreic 
dait in cúach thucais, ar ro bói di sétaib ocus mainib 

2 ni rocosna nech friumb. Ni ba lat im ar C. C, Egj he 
om., Eganá H. 4 lind om., Eg. 

G isin fed . . . ni ba ra nechtar fathar it^r ol C, Egj isin fedh 
fil aturtha . . . Ni ba nechtar fatha (si'c) eter . . . atfraig sidhe 
lasodí?/« ni tz/csaid, H. 

7 atafraig, LU. 8 ocus asb^rt om., Eg. 

11 eccraide frib itinn atenn. Ni mo do«£> a chin frib or se ol tas 
a tucsaidh uad, Egj atas a tzzcsaid uadh, H. 

14 donogaib, Egj tógaibh, H. l7 mac Nessa om., Eg. 
19 Cotmideth- ar C, Eg. 20 olchena om., Eg. 
21 tongusae i toing mo (sz'c) ar L. B., Eg. 

23 An ro boi di setoib ocus do moinib it tselbai iss^/doratais 
aire, Eg. 


Yours is a cup of bronze, whereas mine is a cup of 
white metal (Jindruini). From the difference between 
them the Champion's Portion clearly belongs to me." 
" It belongs to neither of you," quoth Cuchulainn as 
he got up and spoke. " Ye have brought no token 
that procures you the Champion's Portion. Yet the 
king and queen whom ye visited were loath in the 
thick of distress to intensify the strife. But no less 
than your deserts have ye received at their hands. 
The Champion's Portion remains with me, seeing I 
brought a token distinguished above the rest." 

§ 74. He then lifted on high a cup of red gold 
having a bird chased on the bottom of it in 
precious dragon-stone, the size of his eyes twain. 
All the Ultonian nobles in the suite of Conchobar 
mac Nessa saw it. " Therefore it is I," he quoth, 
"who deserve the Champion's Portion, provided I 
have fair play." "To thee we all award it," quoth 
Conchobar and Fergus and the Ulster nobles as 
well. By the verdict of Ailill and of Méve the 
Champion's Portion is yours." " I swear by my 
people's god," said Loigaire and Conall the Victorious, 
" that the cup you have brought is purchased. Of 
the jewels and of the treasures in your possession 
have you given to Ailill and to Méve for it in order 
that a defeat might not be on record against you, 
and that the Champion's Portion might be given to 
no one else in preference. By my people's god, that 
judgment shall not stand ; the Champion's Portion 
shall not be yours." They then sprang up one after 
the other, their swords drawn. Straightway Concho- 

9 6 


§§ 75-78 

lacking in 
E?, L, H, 

in all of 

§§ 33-41 



it selbae iss ed doratais airi do Ailz'// ocus do Med£, ar 
na ructha dobag it cend, ocus ná tarta in caurathm/r 
do neoch aili ar do bélaib." "Tong a toing mo 
thuath," for Conall Cernach, " ní bá breth in breth 
rucad and, ocus ni bá lat in curathmír." Cotnerig 5 
cach díb diaraili la sodain cusna claidbib nochtaib. 
Tothaet Concobar ocus Fergus etovro iar sudiu. Tol- 
lécet alláma sís fó chétóir ocus dob^rat a claidbi ina 
trúallib. "Anaid," ol Sencha, "denaid mo ríar-sa." 
"Dogenam" or iat. 10 

75. " Eircid co Budi mac m-Bain " for se " co a 
áth, ocus dogéna íor m-brethugud." Lotar iarom a 
triur churad co tech m-Budi ocus adfíadat dó a toisc 
ocus a n-imresain immá tudchatar. " Nách dernad 
etercert dúib hi Cruachain Ái la hAilill ocus la Meidb ?" 15 
ol Budi. " Dorigned om," for Cúculainn, " ocus ní 
daimet ind fir út fair eter." " Ni didemam om," oldat 
ind fir aili, "ar ni breth eter aní rucad dún." "Ni 
hansa do nách aili íor m-brethugud," ol Budi, 
"in tan na hantai for cocí?rtad Medba ocus Aile//a. 20 
Ata lim " for Budi " nech folimathar for m-brethugud, 
i. Úath mtfc Imomain fil oc á loch. Dó dúib iarom 
dia saichthin, ocus dogena for coc^rtad." Fer cu- 
machta mori 'm t-Uath m<2C Imomain sin, 
notolbad in cach richt ba halic leis ocus no gniad 25 
druidechta ocus c^rta commain. Ba sé sin dano in 
siriti on ainmnigthzr Belach Muni in t-Siriti, ocus is 
de atbírthe in siriti de ar a met nodelbad i n-ilrech- 

76. Rancatár iarom co Úath co a loch, ocus fíadu -70 
o Budi leó. Atfíadat iarom do Úath aní má tud- 

6 lasodain om., Eg; gusna cloidmib nochtaib ina lamaib, Egj 
donoet Concobur ocus Fergus etorra iarsuidiu. Dollecet, Eg. 
8 a claithbiu, H. 10 dodenam ol siat, Egj H. 


bar and Fergus intervened, whereupon they let down 
their hands and sheathed their swords. "Hold!" 
quoth Sencha, "do as I bid." "We will," they quoth. 


§ 75. " Go forth to the ford of Yellow, son of Fair. 
He will adjudge ye." Accordingly the three heroes 
went to the abode of Yellow (Budi). They told 
their wants and the rivalries which brought them. 
"Was not judgment given you in Cruachan by 
Ailill and by Méve ? " said Yellow. " In sooth 
there was," quoth Cuchulainn, "but those fellows 
don't stand by it." " Stand by it," quoth the other 
men, " we will not ; what has been given us is 
no decision at all." " It is not easy for another to 
adjudge ye then," quoth Yellow, " seeing ye did 
not abide by Méve and Ailill's arrangement. I 
know," he continued, " one who will venture it, viz., 
Terror, son of Great Fear (Uath mac Imomain), at 
yonder loch. Off then in quest of him ; he will 
adjudge ye." A big powerful fellow was Terror, son 
of Great Fear. He used to shift his form into what 
shape he pleased, was wont to do tricks of magic 
and such like arts. He in sooth was the wizard 
from whom Muni, the Wizard's Pass, is named. He 
used to be called "wizard" from the extent to which 
he changed his divers shapes. 

§ 76. To Terror at his loch they accordingly 

went. Yellow had given them a guide. To Terror 

they told the cause for which they had sought him 



chatar día saigthin. Asbért Úath friu, nodlemad a m- 
brethugud, acht co n-daimtis nammá for a breith. 
"Fodémam" or iat. Fonaiscid iorro. "Atá cennach 
lim-sa," for se, " ocus cé bé uab-si comallas frimsa hé, 
bid he beras in curadmír." "Cinnas cennaig sin?" 5 
for siat. " Biáil fil lim-sa," for sé, " ocus a tabairt 
illáim neich uaib-si, ocus mo chend do béim dím-sa 
indiu, ocus me-si dia béim de-sium imbárach." 

77- Asb^rat immorro Conall ocus Loegaire, na 
dingentais in cennach sin, ar ni bói occo-s<9m do 10 
chzmiachta a m-bith beó iarna n-dichennad, acht 
mani rabi oca-scm. Obbsat iarom fair Conall ocus 
Loegaire in cennach sin. Cíatb^rat araili libair, co 
n-d^sat cennach fris, i. Loegaire do beim a chind 
de in cétla ocus a imgabáil dó, ocus Conall día im- 15 
gabail ón mud chetna. Atbifrt immorro Cuculainn, 
co n-dingned cennach fris, dia tuctha dó in cur admír. 
Atb^rtsat \mmorro Conall ocus Loegaire, co leicfitis dó 
in curadmír, dia n-dmiad cennach fri Úath. Fonais- 
cid Cuchulainn íorro-som cen curadmír do chosiitfm, 20 
dia n-d^mad cennach fri Uath. Fonaisccit-sium fair- 
sium a2.n0 a dénam in cennaig. Dobeir Uath a chend 
*onthe forsin lic do Choinculaind (i.* iar cor dó brechta hi 
beslfe 1 faebur in belae), ocus dounsi Cuculainn béim da biáil 
dobeir. f^- n ^ QQ ^opacht a chend de. Luid íarom fon loch 25 
uadib, ocus a bial ocus a chend na ucht. 

78. Tic íarom arabarach dia saichtin ocus non- 
sinethar Cuculainn dó forsin licc. Tairnid fo thri 
in m-bial for a munel ocus a cúl rempi. "Atrai a 
Cuchulainn ! " for Úath, " rigi laéch n-Erenn duit ocus 30 
in curadmír cen chosnam." Lotar dó a triur churad 

28 nosinithar, LU. 


out. He said he should venture on adjudgment pro- 
vided only they would adhere to it. "We will adhere 
to it," they quoth ; whereupon he solemnly pledges 
them. " I have a covenant to make with you," he 
quoth, "and whoever of you fulfils it with me, he is 
the man who wins the Champion's Portion." "What 
is the covenant ? " they said. " I have an axe, and the 
man into whose hands it shall be put is to cut off 
my head to-day, I to cut off his to-morrow." 

§ 77. Thereupon Conall and Loigaire said they 
would not agree to that arrangement, for it would 
be impossible for them to live after having been 
beheaded, although he might. Therefore they de- 
clined (shirked) that : [although other books narrate 
that they agreed to the bargain, to wit, Loigaire to 
cut off Terror's (Uath's) head the first day, and 
(on the giant's returning) that Loigaire shirked his 
part of the bargain and that Conall likewise behaved 
unfairly].* Cuchulainn, however, said he would 
agree to the covenant (bargain) were the Champion's 
Portion given to him. Conall and Loigaire said they 
would allow him that if he agreed to a wager with 
Terror. Cuchulainn solemnly pledged them not to 
contest the Champion's Portion if he made covenant 
with Terror. And they then pledged him to ratify 
it. Terror, having put spells on the edge of the axe, 
lays his head upon the stone for Cuchulainn. Cuchu- 
lainn with his own axe gives the giant a blow and 
cuts off his head. He then went off from them into 
the loch, his axe and his head on his breast. 

§ 78. On the morrow he comes back on his quest. 

* Evidently an interpolation of the compiler of LU. He ex- 
presslv refers to other books (araili libair). 



* ch. XIV. 
ends ; in 
place of the 
words the 

ending of 
the Meave- 
stood here. 
One would 
expect nir- 
the de- 

III a . 

co hEmain iar tain, ocus* nirdaimset ind fir aili dó 
Coinculainn in breth rodnucad dó. Bói in t-imcosn^m 
cetna beius imón curadmtr. Ba si comairli JJlad íorro 
dano a cur do saigid Conroí dia m-brethugud. Fa^mit- 
sium ani hi sin. 5 


79. Dollotar iar sin sin matin arnabárach a triur 
churad co cathraig Conroi, i. Cuculainn ocus Conall 
ocus hoegazre. Scorit a carptu i n-dorus na ca.thrack 
iar sin ocus tiagait isa rígthech, ocus ferais faelti móir 
friu Blathnat ingen M'md ben Conroí maz'c Dairi, ocus 10 
ní rabi Cúroí hi fus ar a cind ind aidchi sin, ocus 
rofitz> co ticfaitis, ocus foracaib comarle lasin mnái 
im réir na curad, co tísad don turus, dia n-dechaid 
sair hi tirib Scithiach, fo bith ní roderg Curui a claid^ 
i n-Erind, o rogab gaisced co n-deochaid bás, ocus 15 
nocho dechaid bíad n-Erend inna beólu, cein rombói 
ina bethaid, o roptar slána a secht m-b\'i3.dna, úair ni 
rothallastar a úaill nach a allud nach a airechas nach 
a borrfad nách a nert nach a chalmatus i n-Érind. 
Bói 'xmmorro in ben día reir co fothrocud ocus co 20 

6 Dollotar isin maitin arabarach a triur curad i. Cu. ocus 
Con. ocus L. co. caXhraig Conroi. Scuirit a cairpthi andorus na 
cathrach iarsuidiu ocus tiagait isin rigtech ocus ferais Blathnait I. 
ind ben Conrui failte friu, Eg. 
10 Blatnat, LUj mid, LU : v. Note. u ar a cind om., Eg. 

12 ocus ro x\xir ricfaitis, Egj forfagaib, Eg. 

13 co úsed, Egj ar a n-dechaid, Eg. u sceitia, Eg. 

15 nocho dechaid Stokes, Rem. on the Facs., p. 14, no dechaid 
LU. Facs. condechaz'í/ bas ocus ni dech<«V/ biad n-Eri?«í/ina beolu 
cein ro bui ambet/zczzV/ oropdar lan a VII m-bl., Eg. 

18 a uaill nach a allad nach a airdercus, Eg. 

19 nach a n*?rt nach a uaill nach a calmatus, Eg. 

20 co foilc ocus fotracadh, Eg; inmesc, Eg. 


Cuchulainn stretches himself out for him on the stone. 
The axe with its edge reversed he draws down thrice 
on Cuchulainn's neck. " Get up," quoth Terror ; " the 
sovrantv of the heroes of Erin to Cuchulainn, and the 
Champion's Portion without contest." The three 
heroes then hied them to Emain. But Loigaire and 
Conall disputed the verdict given in favour of Cuchu- 
lainn and the original contest as to the Champion's 
Portion continued. The Ultonians advised them to 
go for judgement unto Curoi. To that too they 


§ 79. On the morning of the morrow the three 
heroes, Cuchulainn, Conall and Loigaire, then set off 
to Fort Curoi. They unyoked their chariot at the 
gate of the hold, then entered the court. Whereupon 
Blathnat, Mind's daughter, wife of Curoi mac Dairi, 
bade them warm welcome. That night on their 
arrival Curoi was not at home. But knowing they 
would come, he counselled his wife regarding the 
heroes until he should return from his oriental 
expedition into Scythian territory. From the age 
of seven years, when he took up arms, until his 
demise, Curoi had not reddened his sword in Erin, 
nor ever had the food of Erin passed his lips. Nor 
could Erin contain him for his haughtiness, renown 
and rank, overbearing fury, strength and gallantry. 
His wife acted according to his wish in the matter of 


folcud ocus co lennaib imnescaib ocus co n-dérgodaib 
sainamraib, comtar budig. 

80. O thánic dóib ianwz co dérgud, a.sberi in ben 
friú iar sudiu, cach fer díb a aidchi do fairi na cath- 
rach, co tissad Cúruí, " ocus," or si, " is amlaid 5 
atrubairt Cúruí, a fari dúib íar n-aesaib." Cipé aird 
do airdib in domain tra i m-beth Curui, dochanad 
[bricht] for a chatraig cach n-aidchi, co m-bo dé- 
inithir bróin mulind, conna fogbaithe addorus do g;rs 
iar fui;zud n-grene. 10 

81. Luid iarom hoegaire ~Buadac/i dond faire in 
chétaidche, úair is hé ba sinser dóib a triúr. Robói 
isin t-sudiu faire iar sudiu co dered na haidche, con- 
naca in scath chuci aníar rodarc a sula co fota dond 
farrci. Ba dímór ocus ba grainni ocus ba úathmar 15 
laiss in scáith (sic), ar indar lais rosiacht corrici ethíar 

a arddi, ocus bá fodeirc dó folés na farrci fo a gabul. 
Is amlaid tanic a dochz/m ocus lán a da glac lais do 
lommanaib darach, ocus robói eire cuinge sesrige in 
cech lomchrund díb, acus (sic) nir aitherracht béim 20 
do bu;z chraind díb acht óen béim co oXaxdiub. Tolléci 
gécan díb fair ; leicthe hoegaire secha. Cóemclóid fó 
dí nó fó thrí ocus ní ránic cnes ná scíath do hoegairiu. 
Tolleci hoegaire fair-seom gai ocus ní ránic hé. 

2 sainemlaib comdar buide, Eg. 

3 iarom om., Egj isbert an ben friu iarsuidiu are teised cech 
fer dib oidchi do faire na catrach co úsed Curoi ocus dono ar si is 
arnlaid adub^rt Curi a faire duib iarnaesaib. Cepe aird tra di 
airdib in domaz'n ambid Curoi no cafi (?) bris for an cathraig 
comdar limaigth- broin muilinn cona fogbaide a dorus dogress iar 
b-fuined n-greine, Eg. 

7 dincanad, Lj docháineth, L U (omitting hncht). 
9 demithir, LU. u L. B. iarom, Eg. 

12 sinnser, Egj ro om., Eg. 14 conaca, Eg. 
15 radarc a sula don farrgi, Eg. 

15 granda, Eg. 16 lais a met an scaith ar andar Iais rosiacht 
coruicce eithiar ara airdi, Eg. 

13 a doch#m om., Egj a di glac, Eg. 

20 nir aitherrach, Egj do buain chroind, Eg. 
22 leicthi L. s^cae fo di no fo tri ocus ni rainic cnes na sciath do 
Tollece L. ga fairsin, Eg. 24 om. he, Eg. 


bathing and of washing, providing them with refresh- 
ing drinks and beds most excellent. And it liked 
them well. 

§ 80. When bedtime was come, she told them that 
each was to take his night watching the fort until 
Curoi should return. " And, moreover, thus said 
Curoi — that ye take your turn watching according to 
seniority." In what airt soever of the globe Curoi 
should happen to be, every night o'er the fort he 
chaunted a spell, till the fort revolved as swiftly as 
a mill-stone. The entrance was never to be found 
after sunset. 

§ 81. The first night, Loigaire the Triumphant 
took the sentry, inasmuch as he was the eldest of the 
three. As he kept watch into the later part of the 
night, he saw a giant (Scath) approaching him far as 
his eyes could see from the sea westwards. Exceed- 
ing huge and ugly and horrible he thought him, for 
in height, it seemed to him, he reached unto the sky, 
and the sheen (broad expanse) of the sea was visible 
between his legs. Thus did he come, his hands 
full of stripped oaks, each of which would form 
a burden for a waggon-team of six, at whose root 
not a stroke had been repeated after the single 
sword-stroke. One of the stakes he cast at Loigaire, 
who let it pass him. Twice or thrice he repeated it, 
but the stake reached neither the skin nor the shield 
of Loigaire. Then Loigaire hurled a spear at him 
and it hit him not. 


82. Rigid-som a láim co hoegaz're iar suidz'z/. Bói 
tra dia fot na lamae corroacht tar na teóra fuithairbe 
robátár etuvro ocond imdiburcud, conid iar sodain 
rogab ina glaic. Cíar bo mór ocus cíar bo airegda 
tra Loegaz're, tallastar i n-óenglaic ind fir dodfánic, 5 
feib thallad mac bliadna, ocus cotnomalt ett*r a dí 
bois iar sudiu, amal tairidnider fer fidchilli for tairidin. 
Tráth ba lethmarb ianw* ind innas sin, tolléci aurchor 
de la sodaz'n tar cathir ammuig, co m-bói for ind 
otruch i n-dorus ind rígthige, ocus níroslaiced in 10 
cathir and eter. Doruménatár ind fir aile tra ocus 
muinter na ca.thrac/x uli, ba léim roleblaing-seom tarsin 
cathraig ammuich día fácbail forsna feraib aile. 

83. A m-bátár and co deód lái co trath na faire, 
luid Conall Cernach issa sudiu na fari, úair ba siniu, 15 
oldás Cuchulainn. Fón innas cétna d3.n0 amal forcóem- 
nacair do hoegairiu uli ind adaig thússech. In tres 
adaig luid Cuculainn isi sudi fari. Ba sí sin tra 
adaig rodálsat na Trí Glais Sescind Úairbeóil, ocus 
Tri Búagelltaig Breg ocus Tri Maic Dornmair cheóil 20 
do orgain inna cathrach. Ba sí adaig robói hi 
tairngire don pheist robói isind loch hi farrad na 
cathrach fordiuglaim lochta in puirt uile eter dáine 
ocus indile. 

84. Búi Cuculainn tra oc frithaire na haidche ocus 25 

1 Roich- sim a laim do L., Eg. 

2 do fot na laime co riacht, Eg; futhairbe batar etorra oc 
imdiubragad conad, Eg. 

4 ciar bo hairida tarlas inn oen glaic ind fir don fainic, Eg. 
6 condomeilt, Eg. 7 tairnidth- fer fichille for tairidin, Eg. 
8 ballethmarb, Eg. 

8 dollecce urchar de tar cathraig amach, Eg. 
11 ni rohoslaiged in cathraig (?) an inb- sin 'itir, Eg. 

11 Doruimnitar, Eg. 

12 uli om., Egj tar cathraz^ amuig, Eg. 13 for na, Eg. 

15 issin suidiu, Egj ar ba sine oldas Cu. Dorala do do«<? fon 
indus C6'/na ama/ forcoemnagar do L. an adaig thoiss, Eg. 

18 luid C. issin suidiu, Egj Ba si sin tra agaid rodalsat na 
triglais sescind uarbeoil tri buageltaig Breg tri maz'c dornmair ceoil 
do orgain na catrach, Eg. 21 om., Eg. . 23 fordiuchlaim, Eg. 

25 ag frithfaire na haidce ocus batar mithurusa 'imda fair, Eg. 


§ 82. The giant stretched his hand towards Loigaire. 
Such its length that it reached across the three ridges 
that were between them as they were throwing at each 
other, and thus in his grasp he seized him. Though 
Loigaire was big and imposing, he fitted like a year 
old into the clutch of his opponent, who then ground 
him in his grasp * as a chessman is turned in a 
groove. In that state, half-dead, the giant tossed 
him out over the fort, till he fell into the mire of the 
fosse at the palace-gate. The fort had no opening 
there, and the other men and inmates of the hold 
thought he had leapt outside over the fort, as a 
challenge for the other men to do likewise. 

§ 83. There they were until the day's end. When 
the night-watch began, Conall went out on sentry, for 
he was older than Cuchulainn. Everything occurred 
as it did to Loigaire the first night. The third night 
Cuchulainn went on sentry (lit. into the seat of watch). 
That night the three Goblins (Greys) of Sescind Uair- 
beoil, the three Ox-feeders (?) of Bregia and the 
three sons of Big-Fist the Siren met by appointment 
to plunder the hold. This too was the night of which 
it was foretold, that the Spirit of the Lake by the fort 
would devour the whole host of the hold, man and 

§ 84. Cuchulainn while watching through the night 

* Lit. between his two palms. 


in b . bátar míthurussa imda fair. Tráth bá medon aidche 
dó iarom, co cúala in fothrond chuci. "Alla alla," for 
Cuculainn, " cía fil alla ! más tat carait, connámus- 
nágat, mas tat námait, commosralat ! " Conggairet 
gairm n-amnas fair la sodain. Conclith Cuculainn 5 
íorro iarom, conidammárb tarraid ta\am a rxónhrxr. 
Ataig in cendáil occo isin sudi faire mod nad mod 
indesid inna sudiu. Conggair rxonhur aile fair. Ro- 
marb trá na tri n<?«boru fó an innas cétna, co n-dmiae 
óencharnd díb et<?r cendail ocus fodbu. 10 

85. Amal rombói and iar sudiu co dered na haidche 
ocus ba scíth ocus ba torsech ocus bá mertnech, co 
cúala cmngabáil in locha i n-airddi, amfl/ bid fótrond 
fairrci dimóre. Ni fordámair trá a bruth cacha raba 

di mét a thwrse cen techt do descin in delmae móir 15 
rochuala, co n-acca in comerge dorigni in pheist. 
Dóig leis a2.n0 robói trz'cha. cubat inne uasind loch. 
Tosnúargaib súas íar sudiu isin n-aer ocus roleblaing 
dochom na cathrach ocus adrolaic a béolu, co n- 
dechsad óen na rígthige inna cróes. 20 

86. Foraithm^«athar-som la sodain a foramcliss, 
ocus lingthi i n-ardi, corbo lúathidir rethir fuinnema 

2 Alla alla or Cu. cia fil alla mas tat carait conamasnagat mas 
dait namait conamusralat, Eg. 

5 gairm n-amnw fair. lassodain conclich Cu. forru conad marb 
tarraid talom a nonbur, Eg. 7 addaig, Eg. 

8 indeiss, Eg; congarat nonbur aile, Eg. 

9 na tri nonbair, Eg; sen carn, Eg. 10 fadba, Eg. 

11 Ama/ robui, Egj anvz/ ronboi, L. 

12 meirtnech, Egj mertrech, LUj co cnaXa comgair, Eg. 

14 Ni fordamair tra a bruth ce robai do meit a toirsi cen techt 
do deicsin an delma moir ro chual-, Eg. 

10 doroine in pesf, Eg. 

17 Doigh lais robui tricha. cubat di uassan loch. Dusnuarcoib 
suas iarsuidiu isind aieor, Eg. 

20 adroilg a beolu condechsat aen na rigtoigi for craes, Eg. 

21 Forraitmedorsom, Egj foraithm^atarsom, LU. 


had many uneasy forebodings. When midnight was 
come he heard a terrific noise drawing nigh to him. 
" Holloa, Holloa," Cuchulainn shouted, " who isthere ? 
If friends they be, let them not stir ; if foes, let them 
flee." Then they raised a terrific shout at him. Where- 
upon Cuchulainn sprang upon them, so that the nine 
of them fell dead to the earth. He heaped their heads 
in disorder into the seat of watching and resumed 
sentry. Another nine shouted at him. In like manner 
he killed the three nines, making one cairn of them, 
heads and accoutrements. 

§ 85. While he was there far on into the night, tired 
and sad and weary, he heard the rising of the loch on 
high, as it were the booming of a very heavy sea. How 
deep soever his dejection, his spirit could not brook 
his not going to see what caused the great noise he 
heard. He then perceived the upheaving monster, 
and it seemed to him to be thirty cubits in curvature 
above the loch. It raised itself on high into the air, 
sprang towards the fort, opened its mouth so that one 
of the palaces could go into its gullet. 

§ 86. Then he called to mind his swooping feat, 
sprang on high, and was as swift as a winnowing 
riddle right round the monster. He entwined his 
two arms about its neck, stretched his hand till it 
reached into its gullet, tore out the monster's heart, 
and cast it from him on the ground. Then the beast 
fell from the air till it rested on the earth, having 


imón peist immá cuaird. íadaid a dá glaicc immá 
brágit iar suidz'« ocus rorigi a láim corrici ina cróes, 
co tóerbaig a cride este, co n-darala úad for tabnain, 
co torchair beim n-asclaing don pheist asind áer, co 
rabe for lár. Imbeir Cuculainn in claid^ fuirre, co 5 
n-derna minmírend di, ocus dobeir a cend co rabi 
oca isin t-sudi faire ocon chendail aile. 

87. Tráth rombói and iar suidz^ ossé aithbriste 
tróg isin dedoil na maitne, co n-acca in scáth chuci 
aníar dond [fjarrci et reliqna. " Bid olc ind adaig " ol 10 
se. " Bid messu daitsiu a bachlaig" ol Cúculainn. 
La sodain tolléci gégán díb fair. Léicthi Cuchulainn 
[secha]. Coemclóid fó dí nó fó thri, ocus ni vanic 
cnes na scíath do Choinculainn. Tolléci Cúculainn 
gai fair-seom d2.n0 ocus ni xanic. Rigid-som a láim 15 
co Coinculainn iar suiáiu día gabáil ina glaic, anW 
rogab na firu aile. Focheird Cuculainn cor n-íach 
n-eirred de la sodain, ocus foraithm^athar a foram- 
clis, ocus a claid^ nocht úasa mulluch, corbo lúathi- 
thir fíamuin, ossé etarbúas imbi imma cúaird, conid 20 
demcL rothbúali de. "Anmain in anmain a Chuchu- 
lainn !" or se. "Tabar mo thridrindrosc dam" 
ol Cuculainn. " Rot bíat" ol se "feib dothaíset lat- 

1 a di laim ima bragait iarsuidiu ocus ro ding a lam coricce a 
gualainn ina craes co tarbaig a croide eiste co tarlaicc uad for 
talmoin co torcair beim n-asclain don peist asin aieor co roibe for 
talmain. Imrid C, Eg. 

6 minmirenda, Egj ocus domb^« a cend di co roibe aice, Eg; 
donbir, L. 8 ocus se, Eg. 

9 isin degoil na mainde confaca, Eg; don fairrge etreliqua, Eg. 

12 tollege, Eg. 12 leicti Cu. sechu caemclaid, Eg. 

14 Dolleice, Eg. 15 sine sium a laim, Eg. 

18 foraithmévratar, Egj forathm^/adar, L U. 

20 ossé om., Eg. 

21 conderna retarbbura (?) de, Egj connderna retarbuara, Lj 
Anmain an anmain, Eg. 


sustained a blow on the shoulder. Cuchulainn then 
plied it with his sword, hacked it to atoms, and took 
the head with him into the sentry-seat along with 
the other heap of skulls. 

§ 87. While there, depressed and miserable in the 
morning dawn, he saw the giant approaching him 
westwards from the sea. " Bad night," says he. 
" 'Twill be worse for you, vou uncouth fellow," quoth 
Cuchulainn. Then the giant cast one of the branches 
at Cuchulainn, who let it pass him. He repeated it 
two or three times, but it reached neither the skin 
nor the shield of Cuchulainn. Cuchulainn then hurled 
his spear at the giant, but it reached him not. Where- 
upon the giant stretched his hand towards Cuchulainn 
to grip him as he did the others. Cuchulainn leapt 
the hero's " salmon-leap," and called to mind his 
swooping-feat,* with his drawn sword over the 
monster's head. As swift as a hare he was, and in 
mid-air circling round the monster, till he confused it 
by making it giddy {lit. till he made a water-wheel 
of him). " Life for life, O Cuchulainn," he quoth. 
" Give me my triad of wishes," quoth Cuchulainn. 
u At a breathf they are thine," he said. 

* The circling motion of a bird of prey suggests itself. 

t Lit. Thou hastthem as they will come to thee with thy breath. 
The three things were to be got for aslcing, provided they vvere 
asked at one breath. Thus, too, they were incitements to strife. 
In a Welsh fairy story, also, a woman gets all the animals she can 
count at one breath. 


taiaáil." " Ríge lrech n-Erend dam on trath-sa ocus 
in vxaxadmír cen chosnam frim ocus tús dommo mnái 
ría mnáib U\ad uli do gres." " Rot bia " ol se la 
sodain íó chetóir. Ní fitir, cía arluíd úad inti robói 
oc a acallaim. 5 

88. Immóradi inna menma'm iar suiáz'u alléim doch- 
úatár a sés comtha tarsin ca,thraig; ar bá mór ocus bá 
lethan ocus bá hard alléim. Ba dóig lais-seom tra, co 
m-bad ó lémum (sic) dochúatár ind laith gaile tairse. 
Dammidethar fá dí día lémaim ocus forémid. " Mairg 10 
dorumalt a n-imned dorumalt-sa cus trath-sa imma 
oamadmír " ol Cuculainn " ocus a techt úaim la féim- 
med ind lemme dochúatár ind fir aile ! " Bá sí tra 
ii2 a . bréthir dogéni Cuculainn oc na imratib-se. Nocinged 

for a chúlu etarbúas fot n-aurchora on cathraig. 15 
Docinged etarbúas dorisi asin baliu hi tairis^, 
co m-benad a thul cind frisin cathraz^-. Nolinged i n-arddi in fecht n-aile, co m-bo foderc dó 
aní nobíd isin cathraig uli. Notheiged 'm fecht 
n-aile isin talmain connici a glún ar thrommi a brotha 20 
ocus a neirt. In fecht n-aile ní thíscad a drucht 

1 Mo tri drinwroisc dam ar Cu. Rot mbia ol se feib dotissait 
la tanail, Eg. 

3 Rotmbia ol se. Lasoda/« ni fit/r Cu. cia luid, Eg ; In LU 
the stop is after fó chetóir. 

6 Imroraidhi, Eg; rochuatar, Eg. 

8 in leim ocus doig laisium tra ba do leim dochuatar an laith 
gaile tairsiu. Domidethar fa di an leim ocus foreirmV/. Maircc 
domrumalt ind imned do rumaltsa, Eg. 

12 ol Cuch. om., Eg; uaim anossa la feimd-, Eg. 

14 ba^thair dongne, Eg; oc na imratib se om., Eg. 

15 for a culaib, Eg; fot n-urchair, Eg. 

16 dono doridisi etarbuas assan baile atairissed, Eg. 

20 Noling anairdi a b-fechtus n-aile co teigeadh isin talmoin 
cotice a glun, Eg. 


"The Sovranty of Erin's Heroes be henceforth mine 
The Champion's Portion without dispute 
The Precedence to my wife o'er Ultonia's ladies 
" It shall be thine," he at once quoth. Then he 
who had been conversing with him vanished he knew 
not whither. 

§ 88. He then mused within himself as to the leap 

his fellows leapt over the fort, for their leap was big 

and broad and high. Moreover, it seemed to him it 

was by leaping it that the valiant heroes had gone 

over it. He essayed it twice and failed. "Alas!" 

Cuchulainn quoth, " my exertions hitherto about the 

Champion's Portion have exhausted me, and now I 

lose it through being unable to take the leap the 

others took." As he thus mused, he essayed the 

following feats : He would keep springing backwards 

in mid-air a shot's distance from the fort, and then 

he would rebound from there until his forehead would 

strike the fort. Anon he would spring on high till 

all that was within the fort was visible to him, 

while again he would sink up to his knees in the 

earth owing to the pressure of his vehemence and 

violence. At another time he would not take the 

dew from off the tip of the grass by reason of 

his buoyancy of mood, vehemence of nature, and 

heroic valour. What with the fit and fury that 


do rind ind feóir ar denmni ind aicnid ocus lúthige 
ind láthair ocus méit na gaile. Lasin n-adabair ocus 
lasin siabrad ro síabrad immi, fecht n-óen and cingthi- 
seom tarsin cathraig ammuig, corrabi thall immedón 
na cathrac/i i n-dorus ind rígthige. Atá inad a da 5 
traiged isind lic fil for lár na, bale irrabi 
imdorus ind rígtaige. Téit isa tech la sodain ocus 
tolléic a osnaid. 

89. Is and asbert Bláthnat ingen Mind ben Conroí : 
" Ni hosnad iar mbebail ém," or si, " is ósnad iar 10 
m-buaíd ocus coscor." Rofitir ingen ríg Insi Fer 
Falga trá a n-dodoraid (sic) tarraid Coinculainn isind 
aidchi sin. Nír bo chían áano iar sin, co n-accatár 
Coinroí chucu isa tech, ocus bratgaisced ná tri nwbor 
romarb Cuculainn laiss ocus a cindu ocus cend na 15 
bíasta. Asberi la sodain iar cor na cendaile de asa 
ucht for lár in tige : " Ba gilla comadas" or se "do 
faire duine ríg do gr/s in gilla sa, at a chomrama 
óenaidche so ule. Aní immá tudchaibair imresain," 
ol se " imma caur^mír, is la Coinculainn íar fírinne 20 
ar bélaib óc n-Erenn uile hé. Cia beth nech bas 
chalmu and," or sé, "ní fil rosía lín comram friss." 

1 a deinmne, Egj ar demni, LUj luthaige in lath- ocus med 
na gaile lassan siabf sin rosiabrad uime, Eg. 
4 cingte sium, Eg. 7 astech, Eg. 

8 dolleicc a osn as, Eg. 

9 Blathnait 'xngen Meiwd, Eg. 10 No hosn iar mebail, Eg. 

10 acht is, Eg. 

11 Ron fitz'r, Egj indsi bferfalgai andof tarraid Cu., Eg. 
13 con facatar, Egj Conroi, LUj chucta isin tech, Eg. 

15 cinda, Eg; cindnu, LUj na peiste, Eg. 

16 Isbert iarsodain, Eg. u comadus dfaire, Eg. 

18 ada comrama asnaidche annso uile. indi ima tudcabair 
imreirsi ol se iman cuf, Eg. 

21 uile hé om., Eg ; Cia beith neich bus calma ann ar se 
atassam ni b-fuil nech ro sia lin comram. Isi breth, Ef. 


raged upon him he stepped over the fort outside and 
alighted in the middle at the door of the palace. His 
two footprints are in the flag on the floor of the hold 
at the spot where was the royal entrance. He there- 
after entered the house and heaved a sigh. 

§ 89. Then Mind's daughter, Bláthnat, wife of 
Curoi, made speech : " Truly, not the sigh of one 
dishonoured, but a victor's sigh of triumph." The 
daughter of the king of the Isle of the Men of 
Falga knew full well of Cuchulainn's evil plight that 
night. They were not long there when they beheld 
Curoi coming towards them, carrying into the house 
with him the standard of the "three nines" slain by 
Cuchulainn, along with their heads and that of the 
monster. He put the heads from off his breast on to 
the floor of the stead, and spoke : "The gillie whose 
one night's trophies are these is a fit lad to watch 
a king's keep for aye. The Champion's Portion, over 
which you have fallen out with the gallant youths of 
Erin, truly belongs to Cuchulainn. The bravest of 
them, were he here, could not match him in number 
of trophies." Curoi's verdict upon them was : — 

"The Champion's Portion to be Cuchulainn's. 

With the sovranty of valour o'er all the Gael. 

And to his wife the precedence on entering the 

Mead Hall before all the ladies of Ultonia." 



Isí breth ruc Curuí doib iar suidt'u, in ca.urathmzr 
do Coinculainn ocus lathus gaile Góedel uile, ocus 
tús día mnái ría mnaib Ulad uile hi tech n-óil, ocus 
dob^rt secht cz/mala di ór ocus diirget dó illúag in 
gníma óenaidchi dodrigni. 5 

90. Celebrait iar su'idiu do Choinruí ocus dollotar 
co n-dessetár [in] Emain Mach« a triúr ria n-deód lái. 
Tráth tánic dóib iar suidz'^ co roind ocus dáil, rogabsat 
na rannaire in CA.urathmír cona fodai di lind riasind 
roind, corrabi ocaib for leth. " Is derb lind tra," or 10 
Dubthach Dóeltenga, " ní fil imchosnam lib innocht 
immá CcLurathmfr. Rolámair brethugud dúib intí 
ráncaibair." Asb^rtatar in fíanlach aile fri Coincu- 
lainn iar suidz^, ní thardad in caurathmz'r do neoch 
díb sech a chéli. Mád in rabrethaigestar immorro 15 
Cúruí dóib a triúr, ní ardamair ní de eter do Choin- 
culainn, o rancatar Kmam Maca. Asb^rt Cúculainn 
la sodain, nárbu santach fair caurathm/r do chosnam 
eter, fo bíth nárbu mó a solod dontí día tib^rtha hé 
oldás a dolod. O sin ní rorannad caur#//miír and, 20 
co tánic cennach ind rúanada i n-Rmat'n Macha. 

1 iar sodain, Eg. 3 uile om., Eg. 

4 dombert, Eg. 5 dorindi, Eg. 

7 co ndecotor EonW« Macha, E; co feoatar an Em. Machae, 
Eg; co n-demetár, L U (the blunder due to copying from a faded 

9 cona fotug do lin« iarsan roind co roibe ocaib for leith, Eg. 
12 imman cur. Ro lamair bur m-bref/mgt/d inti rangabair. 
I smberta.tar, Eg. 14 do nech sech a ceile, Eg. 

15 Mad an ro brethaigester \mmorro Curui doib a triur ni 
ardamair (ardamad ?) ni de do C. o rangatar Emrá Machae, Eg. 
17 Asmbírt, Eg; nirbo sant- (foid ?) fair cwxadmir do chosnam 
itír fo bith nir bo, Eg. 19 tibairthaei, Eg. 

21 Cenach in ruanada ind sis, Eg; cennadh an ruanado, Ed. 


And seven cumals* of gold and of silver he gave him 
in reward for his one night's performance. 

§ 90. They straightway bade Curoi farewell and 
kept on till they gat seated in Emain ere the day 
closed. When the spencers came to deal and to divide, 
they took the Champion's Portion with its share of 
ale out of the distribution that they might have it 
apart. " Sooth, sure are we," quoth Duach of the 
Chafer Tongue, " ye think not to-night of contending 
as to the Champion's Portion ? The man ye sought 
out mavhap has undertaken your adjudging." Where- 
upon quoth the other folk to Cuchulainn : "The 
Champion's Portion was not assigned to one of you 
in preference to the other. As to Curoi's judgment 
also upon those three, not a whit did he concede to 
Cuchulainn upon their arriving at Emain." Cuchu- 
lainn then declared he by no means coveted the 
winning of it. For the loss thence resulting to the 
winner would be on a par with the profit got from it. 
The championship was therefore not fully assigned 
until the advent of the Champion's Covenant in 

* A cumal had the value of three cows. 


Cennach ind Ruanada inso. 

91. Fect n-and do U\taió i n-Kmain Macha iar scís 
óenaig ocus cluchi dolluid Conchobur ocus Fergus 
Mac Róig ocus mathi U\ad ol chena asin cluchemaig 

ii2 b . ammuig, co n-desetar thall isin Craebrúaid Concho- 

buir. Ní rabi Cuculainn and na Conall Ccvnach na c 
Loegaire Búadach ind aidchi sin. Batár \mmorro 
formna lath n-gaile fer n-U\ad ol chena. Amal ro- 
bátar and trath nóna deód lái, co n-accatar bachlach 
mór forgrainne chucu isa tech. Indar leó, ní rabi la 
Ultu láth gaile rosassad leth méite fair. Bá úathmar IO 
ocus bá granni a innas in bachlaig. Senchodal fría 
chnes ocus brat dub lachtna imbi, ocus dos bili mór 
fair, méit gamlías hi tallat trtcAsát n-gamna. Súili 
cichurda budi inna cind, méit chore rodaim cechtar 
de na dá sula sin fria chend anechtair. Remithir dóit 
láma neich aile cach mér día méraib. Cepp ina láim 
chlí irraibe ere fichet cuinge do damaib. Biáil ina 
láim deis i n-deochatár tri coecait bruthdamna, búi 
feidm chuinge sesrige ina samthaig, nothescbad finna 
fri gaith ar altnidecht. 20 

92. Dolluid fond ecosc sin, corrabi inna sessom i 

1 fect n-ann, Lj fecht n-aen di, Ed. 

4 condessit-, Egj condesitar, Edj archena asan cluichimuigh, L. 

5 rauhi, Ed. e an aduid sin, Lj adhaich, Ed. 

7 and ol cenai, Eg. 

8 confacatar, Eg; deog, L. 

9 Arindar leo ni raba do Ul lat n-gaile ro soiged le . . Egj 
ar indar leo ni raibi di \J\\Uiib lathngaili, Lj ar indar leo nimbuie, 
Ed. u Sencodal, Egj indus ind odaig. 

13 mett n-gaimlies a tallait trichae n-gaimen, Eg. 

15 fri qiond aneachtar, Egj om. de Lj Ed. Remithir doid 
laime, Eg. 16 cep. ina laim cli ina raibe ere fichid cuiggi 

biail, Egj oili cech mer diau meruib, Lj remigtz'r, Ed. 

18 an dechatar tricha bruithemna. Bai feidw feisrige ina 
samtaig, Egj a ndeocatar VII. bruthdamna. 

19 nothescbad io altnidecht om., Eg; Lj Ed. 

21 a m-bun na gabla, Egj fon eccusc sin co mboi fo bun na 
gablu ronb ui a cinn na tene//i ina tsesomh, L. 



The Champion's Covenant. 

§ 91. Once upon a time as the Ultonians were in 
Emain, fatigued after the gathering and the games, 
Conchobar and Fergus mac Roig, with Ultonia's 
nobles as well, proceeded from the sporting field 
outside and gat seated in the Royal Court (///. Red 
Branch) of Conchobar. Neither Cuchulainn nor 
Conall the Victorious nor Loigaire the Triumphant 
were there that night. But the hosts of Ultonia's 
valiant heroes were there. As they were seated, it 
being eventide, and the day drawing towards the 
close, thev saw a big uncouth fellow of exceeding 
ugliness drawing nigh them into the hall. To them 
it seemed as if none of the Ultonians would reach 
half his height. Horrible and ugly was the carle's 
guise. Next his skin he wore an old hide with a dark 
dun mantle around him, and over him a great spread- 
ing club-tree (branch) the size of a winter-shed, under 
which thirty bullocks could find shelter. Ravenous 
yellow eyes he had, protruding from his head, each 
of the twain the size of an ox-vat. Each finger as 
thick as another person's wrist. In his left hand a 
stock, a burden for twenty yoke of oxen. In his right 
hand an axe weighing thrice fifty glowing molten 
masses [of metal]. Its handle would require a plough- 
team (a yoke of six) to move it. Its sharpness such 
that it would lop off hairs, the wind blowing them 
against its edge. 

§ 92. In that guise he went and stood by the 



m-bun na gabla robói hi ciund tened. " In cuimcc 
in taige duit ale " or Dub t/iac/i Dóeltengad frisin m- 
bachlach, " in tan nád fagbai inad aile and, acht beith 
i-m-bun na gab/a, mamá caindleóracht in tige as áil 
duit do chosnam, acht namá bid mó bas loscud don 
tig oldás bas suillse don tegluch." " Cid hé mo dán 
áa.7w, bes cotmidfid^ cacha bé dim airddi, co m-bad 
co'úcenn a suillsi don tegluch ocus conná bad loscud 
don tig. 

93. Acht namá," or se " ni hé mo dan do grés, atát 
dána lim chena. Aní día tudchad cuingid immorro," 
ol se, " nocon fúar i n-Érind nach i n-Alpain nach i 
n-Eoroip nach i n-Affraic nacJi i n-Assia co G?rcia 
ocus Scithia ocus Insi Orc ocus Colomna-Ercoil ocus 
Tor m-Bregoind ocus Insi Gaíd nech no chomollad 5 
fir fer frim imbi. Uair roucsaid-se for n-UW' or se 

" do slúagaib na tíri sin ule ar graiw ocus greit ocus 
gaisced, ar airechas ocus uaill ocus ordan, ar fírinne 
ocus féle ocus febas, fagabar uaib óenfer chomallas 
frim-sa in ceist immátú." 

94. " Ni cóir ém enech cóicid do brith " or Fergus 

1 In cuimci an tighi, Lj In cuimge in tige duit ale (with a 
under the é), Egj imchuimciu, Edj a g-cinn na teinig, Eg. 

3 Dubtach daeltenga in tan nach fogbaid, Egj an tan nad 
foghba inad n-aili n-ann, L. 

4 In LU after aile and a point, and then after don tegluch ; 
munad cainleora<:/z/, Egj is ail, Eg. 

6 nama a b — moam bus loscad don tig oltas vus soillsi don 
tegh/c/i 7 comad loscad don tig-, Lj moam, Ed. 

6 indas hns soillsi don teglach uile, Egj Cid e mo dan ol se 
cotmidfithíT cachambe do airdi, F.g. 

7 cowmartte, Ed. 8 coitcenw, Ed. 
11 An ni dia tudchrtí/ chuifice, Egj Inni dia tudhcuid, Lj 

nocan fhuar, L. u indsib horc, Eg. 

15 ocus co tor m-bregaind, Eg; Insi (?) gaith, Egj no chomall- 
fad, Egj nocomaildfe/, Lj ?iocoma.\\nad, Ed. 

10 ronuccsaitsiu 'mbur n-UHtaiph, Ed. 

17 na tire sin aile, Egj ar grain, Egj grai, LU (with the sign 
for h above the contraction for grd). 

18 ocus airechus ar uaill ocus ar ordan ocus firinne ar feile ocus 
innracus ocus febas, Egj ar feli 7 indracus 7 febus, L. 

20 comaillfes breith- frimb in ceist imma tu., Eg. 



fork-beam beside the fire. "Is the hall lacking in 
room for you," quoth Duach of the Chafer Tongue 
to the uncouth clodhopper, " that ye find no other 
place than by the fork-beam, unless ye wish to be 
domestic luminary ? — only sooner will a blaze be to 
the house than brightness to the household." " What 
property soever may be mine, sooth ye will agree, no 
matter how big I am, that the household as a whole 
will be enlightened, while the hall will not be burnt. 

§ 93. " That, however, is not my sole function ; 
I have others as well. But neither in Erin nor in 
Alba nor in Europe nor in Africa nor in Asia, in- 
cluding Greece, Scythia, the Isles of Gades, the Pillars 
of Hercules, and Bregon's Tower (Brigantium), have 
I found the quest on which I have come, nor a man 
to do me fairplay regarding it. Since ye Ultonians 
have excelled all the folks of those lands in strength, 
prowess, valour ; in rank, magnanimity, dignity ; in 
truth, generosity and worth, get ye one among you 
to give me the boon I crave." 

§ 94. " In sooth it is not just that the honour of a 
province be carried off," quoth Fergus mac Roich, 
" because of one man who fails in keeping his word 
of honour. Death, certainly, is not a whit nearer to 
him than to you." " Not that I shun it," quoth he. 
" Make thy quest known to us then," quoth Fergus 
mac Roich. " If but fairplay be vouchsafed me, I 
will tell it." " It is right also to give fairplay," quoth 


mac Róich "arái óenfir dothesbaid díb oc denam 
anenig, ocus bes nipe nessu éc do su'iáiu oldás dait- 
siu." " Ní oc a imgabail sin atúsa" ol se. " Fin- 
namár do cheist " ol Fergus mac Róig. " Acht 
cordamthar fír fer dam " ol se "atb/r." " Is cóir fír 5 
fer do chomollod immorro" or Sencha mac h'úella, 
"ar ní fír fer do slúag mór muinte/'da brisiud for 
óenfer n-anaichnid etorro, ocus bád dóig lind dano," 
ol Sencha, "mád cos trath-sa fogebthá óenfer, dot- 
dingbad-su sunna." " Facbaim Concob^r fri láim," 10 
ol se, " dáig a rige, ocus fácbaim Fergus mac Róig, 
dáig a cotéchta, ocus cipé díb " or se " laswis-étar 
cen mothá in dís sin, taét co tallur-sa a chend de 
innocht ocus co talla [sa mo cenn dím-sa imbarach 
dadaig]." *5 

95. " Is denpfi tra ebectsa," or Dubt/iac/t, " ni fuil an« 
nech bis fiu laoc dith . . ut . . . a n-dtgaid na deisi sin." 

1 arai . . fir do tzshaid &\b oc denam, Egj díden an oinich, L. 

2 nib nessaw, Eg. Ni oco umgabail atusa do??í> ol se indnissin, 
Eg ; 7 bes nib nessamh ecc dossuidhe odas doid-se, L. 

4 tra do cest, Eg; Findamair tra do cheisd ol F^rcus mac 
Roich acht coro damthar fir fer daumh, Lj go rodamtur, Ed. 

5 Acht co rodaiwther, Egj addaber, Eg. 

6 do chomallad friut ar Sencha m. Oil., Egj comaldnud, L. 

7 muint^rmail (?) bris, Egj nanaithgne, Egj ar ni fir daum do 
sluag mor munid tr/omuil (?) prised for, L. 

8 ocus ba doig lind ar Sencha, Eg; ba doicch, L. 

9 ma custrastai, Ed. 

10 do dingbá sun (?), Eg; Fagbaim si do«, Egj do di«gbala hi 
sunda, Ed. 

10 fria laim, Egj daich, L. 

12 Etcid be dib, Eg; lasmeit- or lasineit-, Eg; lasmasetir, Edj 
ol se ris madseidir, Lj cie be ol se, Eg. 

13 cenmotha in diassin taet co tallarsa a cend de anocht ocus 
co tallassa dimsa amarach dag, Eg ; toet contallur-sau a zethn (sic 
Sterne) de hinocht 7 cotalla mo cenn diomsa himbaruch d'adhuich, 
Lj mo cenn dimsa ambuarach dadhaigh, Ed. 

16 =afechtsa. 


Sencha, son of Ailill, " for it beseemeth not a great 
clannish folk to break a mutual covenant over any 
unkno\vn individual. To us too it seemeth likely, 
if at long last you find such a person, you will 
find here one worthy of you." " Conchobar I 
put aside," he quoth, " for sake of his sovrantv, 
and Fergus mac Róich also on account of his like 
privilege. These two excepted, corae whosoever of 
you that may venture, that I may * cut off his head 
to-night, he mine to-morrow night." 

§ 95. " Sure then there is no warrior here," quoth 
Duach, " after these two." " By my troth there will 
be this moment," quoth Fat-Neck, son of Short Head, 
as he sprang on to the floor of the hall. The strength 
then of yon Fat-Neck was as the strength of a hundred 
warriors, each arm having the might of a hundred 
" centaurs." " Bend down, bachlach," quoth Fat- 
Neck, "that I may cut your head off to-night, you to 
cut off mine to-morrow night." "Were that my 
quest, I could have got it anywhere," quoth the bach- 
lach. " Let us act according to our covenant," he 
quoth, " I to cut off your head to-night, you to avenge 
it to-morrow night." " By my people's god," quoth 
Duach of the Chafer Tongue, " death is thus for thee 

* LU ends ; tale continued by Edinburgh MS. In this clause 
LU, Eg, and Ed were at one. But there is no confusion in the 
tale, for according to § 76 the giant agrees to be beheaded first ; 
and this form of the giant's covenant is resumed in § 96, and con- 
tinued to the end. The giant in § 94 is dissembling for the nonce. 
His real mind is seen from § 95 (t). 


" Bed cusindosa on ém," ar Munremar mac Gérrgimzt. 
Dosgen;z sithe^ for lar an tig/ze lasodain. Ba he tra a 
calmatz/í an Muinremair hisen : n^rt cet cathm'úed 
antt 7 r\eri cét cetluig/^ a ccechta.r a dao úghedh. 
" Tair sis a pachlaigh, go ttallar-sa do cenn dit ano<:/// 5 
7 go ttallai-si amouoruch dimb-sa dadoig," ol Muin- 
remur. " Fogeauhai;zn-si in gec mpaile anni sin, 
diamad cdh bud al da;/z," ol an baclac/z. " Amail 
rocinwsií»" ol se, "as arak/í/ dogniamz/z : misi da gaod 
do cen;z did-sa anocht, tusa [dia gaod dim-sa] ampuo- 10 
rac/z daAaigh dia dig/zail." "Tozzgai mo thuaith" ar 
Dubthach Daoltengoi, "ni hadlaice duid eacc sam- 
\aidh, an ter muiríc anocht dia lil ambuarag/z íort. 
Is ogott-sa t'oinar mata do cumzchts. do maru/zad gach 
n-oidg/ze hocus do dig<?z7 arnaparauc/z." " ln coz;zairli 15 
ém or ataid-siu uile ass izzgnad/z lip dogen-sa," ol an Fonaisce íor a cele iarsuidiu a fir, oranga- 
baigtiur im coz;zallnad a dalai fns iarnaparag. 

06. Lasogin gepte Munremar an m-bial a laim an\aig. Secht traig/zid iaram etir di aul in biela. 20 
Adaig/z an bachW/z iaram/z a bragaid dar an ccip. 
Dombm' Muinremor bem don biail tar a bradaid go 
rogab azz cep fris anis go rotebisstzzr a cenzz gcmpoi a 
mpun izza gabla, cozzzpa lan an tcWach dia cru. htíraid 
suas la sodain 7 dcecmallai suas iarsuidiu 7 tegmallai 25 
a ceanzz 7 a cep 7 a biail inda uct 7 as v.m\aid docuaid 
asizz tig/z, 7 sr<?atach na fola asan medea, gzzrlin an 
Craep/zruaid for gach \eth 7 ba mor a n-adhuath ar ar sceoil adtaorfas doib. "Tonga 7 r." or 
Dubthach Doiltezzgo, "dia tti an bzclacA ambuarzzr/z 3° 

8 leg. áil. 19 leg. la sodain. 

22 leg. brágaid, et sic passim. 
24 cowpalan guwpalan MS. 
24 leg. atsraig. 2T leg. srethach. 


no pleasant prospect should the man killed to-night 
attaclc thee on the morrow * It is given to you alone 
if you have the power, being killed night after night 
(lit. to be killed every night), to avenge it next day." 
" Truly I will carry out what you all as a body agree 
upon by way of counsel,-f* strange as it may seem to 
you," quoth the bachlach. He then pledged the other 
to keep his troth in this contention as to fulfilling his 
tryst on the morrow. 

§ 96. With that Fat-Neck took the axe from out 
of the bachlach's hand. Seven feet apart were its 
two angles. Then did the bachlach put his neck 
across the block. Fat-Neck dealt a blow across it 
with the axe till it stuck in the block underneath, 
cutting off the head till it lay by the base of the 
fork-beam, the house being filled with the blood. 
Straightway the bachlach rose, recovered himself, 
clasped his head, block and axe to his breast, thus 
made his exit from the hall with blood streaming 
from his neck. It filled the Red Branch on every 
side. Great was the folk's horror, wondering at the 
marvel that had appeared to them. " By my people's 
god," quoth Duach of the Chafer Tongue, " if the 
bachlach, having been killed to-night, come back to- 
morrow, he will not leave a man alive in Ultonia." 
The following night, however, he returned, and Fat- 
Neck shirked him. Then began the bachlach to urge 

* " You do not care for death, then, if the man whom you slay 
to-night clings to you on the morrow." Professor Kuno Meyer 
renders it thus, but I take this clause to be addressed to Fat- 
Neck, the following to the giant. 

t The natural plan would be to behead the giant the first 
night. It is on this the story turns ; it is what " seemeth strange." 
It thus becomes clear he is a supernatural being. 


iarna marpad 'mnocht, nifuicfea íer m-pethad la 
hulltz/." Tarmcuir tra an mpatlach iarnabarach 
dagaid 7 luid Muinwremar íor mggauhal. G&bais an 
baclach ag car a achta ris. " Ni fir em do Muin/zremz/r 
g\n comaWnadh cennaig frim-sa." 5 

97. Bai dío Uaogaire Búadach h'xíus 'md adaig 
si/z. Cia dío cura.da'iph cosmis a cauradmír " or se, 
"Uladh, GlTÍus ceandach frim-sai 'mdocht? Cadi 
Laogaire Búadach ? " or se. " Sunna," or Uegaire. 
Fonaisc fon 'mnus cétna 7 ni tanaig Laogaire. Tig 10 
dío iarnamarac 7 fonaisg ar Conall Cernach mur an 
c//na, 7 ni tanaig amur dotoi/zg. 

98. Tic dio an. II II. hadaig^ 7 ba lon« 7 bá uechell 
fair hisodai/z, Tarnecctar mna U\ad u'úc ind adaig si« 
do descin ind sgeoil iongnaith ta/zaic issin Croau/z- 15 
ruain (p. 71) Boi do/zo Cúchulaind h'únss 'mnd adaigh si/z. 
Rosngap an mpach\ach gúseth la sott/zaind. Rosgaith 
pur n-gal 7 uur n-gaisgéM$, a Ullti," or se. " Mor 
menma bar ccíirad impa curathmir," ar se, " 7 nittad 
tuoXaing a cosne//za. Caiti in siartha claontruad ucad," 2 o 
ol ce "frisanapz^r CuaAaind, im pa ferr a pnathar 
olttas an hanlaig naell." "Ni hadlaig da//z cen/zagh 
írit itir," ol CuchuXaind. " Doig lium, a cuil truad, 

ar mór attadar ecc." Toscen/z Cúchu/aind cuice la 
sodoi/z. Adaig sithi beimm ndo dou piail co roben a 25 
cenn fri clet/zi na Croiphrúade, go ruscrdxth an deoch 
n-uile. Gapdi Cúchulain a cenn dofrz'tisi 7 dommbeir 
buille nde ndon/z imbialach conndíxna sligrich de. 
Atfrtfig suas iarsuithiu. 

99. Iarnapuarz/í/z a mpattzzr Uo\aid o[c] caiwcom^/ 30 
Conq\aind duss ind regad tor imgapail an pat\aig 

16 leg. Craobhrúaid. 17 leg. roscáich. 21 leg. se. 

24 leg. as = is for ar. 26 leg. teach. 29 leg. atsraig 


his pact with Fat-Neck. "Sooth it is not right for 
Fat-Neck not to fulfil his covenant with me." 

§ 97. That night, however, Loigaire the Trium- 
phant was present. " Who of the warriors that con- 
test Ultonia's Champion's Portion will carry out a 
covenant to-night with me ? Where is Loigaire the 
Triumphant ? " quoth he. " Here," said Loigaire. 
He pledged him too, yet Loigaire kept not his tryst. 
The bachlach returned on the morrow and similarly 
pledged Conall Cernach, who came not as he had 

§ 98. The fourth night the bachlach returned, and 
fierce and furious was he. All the ladies of Ultonia 
came that night to see the strange marvel that had 
come into the Red Branch. That night Cuchulainn 
was there also. Then the fellow began to upbraid 
them. " Ye men of Ultonia, your valour and your 
prowess are gone. Your warriors greatly covet the 
Champion's Portion, yet are unable to contest it. 
Where is yon poor mad wight that is hight Cuchu- 
lainn ? Fain would I know if his word be better than 
the others'." " No covenant do I desire with you," 
quoth Cuchulainn. "Likelyis that, you wretched fly*; 
greatly thou dost fear to die." Whereupon Cuchulainn 
sprang towards him and dealt him a blow with the 
axe, hurling his head to the top rafter of the Red 
Branch till the whole hall shook. Cuchulainn again 
caught up the head and gave it a blow with the axe 
and smashed it. Thereafter the bachlach rose up. 

| 99. On the morrow the Ultonians were watching 
Cuchulainn to see whether he would shirk the bachlach 
as the other heroes had done. As Cuchulainn was 

* Cuz'l, "fly" conveys a pun upon Cuchulainn's name incapable 
of being reproduced. 


anW/ docodzzr an haUach naill. Ottcondcadur \J\aid 
ira aurnuide an bacltfzg" do Co'mcculaind rosgap/z 
mifri go mor 7 ba teí/z/o maruhcaoizzdi tid doradsact 
foir 7 roha cemin leo rapatne fod a hsaogtfz'/ acht gu 
ttisad an pacltf<:/z. Comd andsin ampé'rt Conchobur íri 5 
Qo'mcualaind tairzzj - naire : " Tar mo sciath 7 tar mo 
cloidi;;z, ni rag/z go racomallnar mo pmdir frz'sizz m- 
bac/zlar/z, uair ata ecc ar mo Ceun 7 as ierr limp ecc 
co;;zm \nchaib." 

100. Ammbadzzr and \2crum deug/z loi <r<?;zfacadzzr 10 
an mpacW/z qgc. " Cadi Cúchulaind aile ? " ar ce. 
"Atu a sonda immorro" hur Cúchulaind. " Is issil o 
rad znocht, a trzzadan," or se, " as mor attaidir-si ecc. 
Gib mor ataigth<?r ecc, ni imgaptfz'/ anattruiglzzj - ." To- 
teit Cúchulaind cuge iarsuidiu 7 rigid a pmdoid darsan 15 
ccepp. Boi do meat an cipp go nach ruacht a braidi 
gid gcnuiciu a let. " Rig uaid do pratait, a trcgoin," 

ol an bacW/z. " Is confere dombíre íorm," or Cucczz- 
laind, " d[éna ?] mo rn.-A.rhad gúuath. Nimba coinp^re 
em iuc'ms fort ar^r," or se. " Toi;zgtea em," ar Cúchu- 20 
laind, " dia m-be og mu coníeri pidam sitigthzr coir 
uasatt." " Ni fedaiz;z t'airrl^h " [ol an] baclach, 
" mett an cipp hocus gairdi do pratad 7 gairdi do 

101. Rosini Cúchulaind arsuidiu an« m-braduid gu 2K 
n-dechsad f^rtraig ferocloic idz'r gach da assnoi do 7 
rosiwz't a prathoid go n-dcchaid tar an ccepp don oile 
taiph. Tocpaidh an mbachlrtr/z an m-bial suas go 
ruzcht clethi na domo. Trostt inna sencodla romm- 
baoi umon\ach ocus trí>stt mbielao 7 neri in da g 
lam/za doddnuarguib bad mett fuamo;;z fidbuidiu 

4 leg. demin. 4 robad hé ? " leg. se. 

13 leg. atáigir-si. 1U leg. go luath. 21 leg. sithidir. 

21 perhaps, corr. 


awaiting the bachlach, thev saw that great dejection 
seized him. It had been fitting had they sung his 
dirge. They felt sure his life would last only till 
the bachlach came. Then quoth Cuchulainn with 
shame to Conchobar* : "Thou shall not go until my 
pledge to the bachlach is fulfilled ; for death awaits 
me, and I would rather have death with honour." 

§ 100. They were there as the day was closing 
when they saw the bachlach approaching. "Where 
is Cuchulainn ?" he quoth. " Here am I," he answered. 
" You're dull of speech to-night, unhappy one ; 
greatly you fear to die. Yet, though great your fear, 
death you have not shirked." Thereafter Cuchulainn 
went up to him and stretched his neck across the 
block, which was of such size that his neck reached 
but half-way. " Stretch out your neck, you wretch," 
the bachlach quoth. " You keep me in torment," 
quoth Cuchulainn. " Despatch me quickly ; last night, 
by my troth, I tormented you not. Verily I swear 
if you torment me, I shall make myself as long as 
a crane above you." " I cannot slay you," quoth 
the bachlach, "what with the size of the block and 
the shortness of vour neck and of your side" (sic /). 

§ 101. Then Cuchulainn stretched out his neck so 
that a warrior's full-grown foot would have fitted 
between any two of his ribs ; his neck he distended 
till it reached the other side of the block. The bach- 
lach raised his axe till it reached the roof-tree of the 
hall. The creaking of the old hide that was about 
the fellow and the crashing of the axe — both his 
arms being raised aloft with all his might — were as 
the loud noise of a wood tempest-tossed in a night 

* According to the textual reading, it is Conchobar that 
addresses Cuchulainn. I have altered the translation to suit the 
context. The scribe is inaccurate. 


fortreg/ze a n-oid/zce gaoithi. Tairnic/: sis doridisiu 
coma co . . . irig f/Yaa pradhut 7 a cul reme. Mati 
ier n-U\adh uili oc a n-decsin 'mnus si». 

102. " Attf raiá suas, a Cúchulaind . . [p. 72] . . sbies 
do lataip/í gaoile xxier n-U\ad nó Er enn beth ar a men- 5 
maiu beth im coipeis fnt do gho'ú na gaisgo/ no firinde. 
Rige laech n-Eir^Tzw áuit on tratso 7 \n curadmir gen 

chosnum s dod mnoi ria mnaiw U\ad dogr^s 

a tteach n-oil 7 día," ar se, " cep ce nosda ceanai friut 
on trat/zsa. Tonga a toingti mo thuath, bid se fod 10 

a hsoegoil nh iaramh an paÚach 7 as e Curui 

moc Daire dodeac/zoig/z issin riucht sin do comalW 
na bretre rodnuc do Coinculaind. Oasin ttrá ni 
rocosnamadh ra Coinculaind an cura^/mir 7 it desin ata 
Cauradmir n-Eamna dogress 7 an Briaturcath B//an 15 
\]\ad 7 Ceandac an Ruanado ind-Eamuin Maca 7 
Totew n-0\ad do C/zruachnaib Aiea. Finitt. 

1 fierhafis, foiltrighe. 

4 leg. atsraig ; fierhafis atrai as in 78. Note atrá a saltair gl. 
surge fisalterium, Ml. I2Ó C 3. 
8 leg. mnáib. 
17 leg. tóchim. 


of storm. Down it came then . . . on his neck, its 
blunt side below, — all the nobles of Ultonia gazing 
upon them. 

§ 102. " O Cuchulainn, arise ! . . . Of the warriors 
of Ultonia and Erin, no matter their mettle, none is 
found to be compared with thee in valour, bravery 
and truthfulness. The sovranty of the heroes of Erin 
to thee from this hour forth and the Champion's 
Portion undisputed, and to thy lady the precedence 
alway of the ladies of Ultonia in the Mead Hall. And 
whosoever shall lay wager against thee from now, 
as my folks swear I swear, while on life he will be in 
[sore scathe]." Then the bachlach vanished. It was 
Curoi mac Dairi who in that guise had come to fulfil 
the promise he had given to Cuchulainn. 

And thus henceforth the Champiorí s Portion of Emain 

And the Ulster Women's War of Words 

And the Champion 's Wager in Emain 

A?id the Hosting of the Uitonians 

To Cruachan. 




Ailill, the Irish equivalent of the Welsh ellyll, "an elf or 
demon" — " Hib. Lect.," p. 138. Aidcd Ailella ocus Conaill Cernaig 
is given in Edin. Gael. MS. xl. Cf. D'Arbois de Jubainville's 
"Catalogue de la Littérature Epique dé l'Irlande," p. 13. 

Amorgene, " wonderful-birth," " wonderful child " — " Hib. 
Lect.," p. 570°. He was the seer of the sons of Mile on their 
entering Ireland. The story of his childhood (" Hib. Lect.," p. 563) 
reminds one of that of Taliessin, which literally means "strong 
Essin," which latter may be cognate with Ossin, Ossian. In a 
Breton Chartulary the name is written with a. g : Talgessin, where 
Talg- is cognate with Irish íailc, "strong." 

Blathnat seems to be derived from bláth, "bloom" ; cf. Cym. 
Blodeuedd, from blodeu, " flowers." — " Hib. Lect.," p. 473. The 
elopement of Blathnat, daughter of Pall-son-of-Fidhach, with 
Cuchulainn is mentioned in O'C.'s MSS. Mat., p. 590, where it is 
presumed to be the tale known as the " Tragical Death of Curoi 
mac Daire," given in Reating — see sub Falga. 

Buan : the " Rennes Dindsenchus " is as follows : " Buan, 
daughter of Samaera, gave her heart to Cuchulainn when the 
champions Loigaire Buadach, Conall Cernach, and Cuchulainn 
went to contend for the Champion's Portion. For the award thev 
fared to Emain, and thence they were sent to Ailill and Meve. 
Ailill (refusing to arbitrate) sent them to Assaroe, to Samaera, 
and he adjudged the Champion's Portion to Cuchulainn. Then 
Conall and his charioteer, Rathen, went over Snám Rathin, and 
there Rathen was drowned, whence Snám Rathin (Rathen's 
swimming-place). Then Buan followed Cuchulainn on his chariot's 
track as far as yon rock, and she lept an awful leap after (striking 
her head against the rock), and thereof she died. Whence Buan's 
Farm (Luid dano Buan indíaid Conculainn for fuillicht a carpait 
conice in n-all ucat, coro ling leim n-uathmar 'mon n-all inadíaid, 
co n-apad de. Unde Fích mBuana)"— RC. 16, 57. This story 
is found also in LL. i66 b 21. 

Cathbath, the Druid of Conchobar's court ; he prophesied of 


Deirdre at her birth, and weahened the children of Usnech by his 
spells. According to the earliest accounts, he was the real father 
of Conchobar. His son Geanain was also a Druid. The char- 
acter of the Gaelic Druids may be inferred to some extent from 
their miracles, which may be described " as mostly atmospheric, 
consisting in such feats as bringing on a heavy snow, palpable 
darkness, or a great storm, such as the ones by means of which a 
Druid tried to efifect the shipwreclc of St. Columba on Loch Ness." 
— " Hib. Lect.," p. 224. 

Celtchar mac Uthechair : After him is named Dun Celtchair, 
a very large fort near the town of Downpatriclc. His two sons 
were Glas and Menn : glas agus Meann .i. dhá mhac Uithechair. — 
Egerton MS. p. 209 (Brit. Museum). He was famed for his spear 
(luin Cheltchair). Cf LU. 95 /3 6-10; see 0'Curry, ii. p. 325; 
iii. 148. Aided Celtchuir viaic Uithechuir is found in Edinburgh 
Gaelic MS. xl., and in LL. n8 b . 

Cét mac Magach : His death tale is in Edin. Gael. MS. xl. ; 
cf. Keating. 

Conall Cernach : Cem, i.e. victory, whence is named Conall 
Ceruach, i.e. "the Victorious." — " Cormac," p. 37. Conall is 
cognate with Cymric Cynwal, from Kuno-valo-s " high (and) 
mighty one." A stone near Penzance, Cornwall, has the form 
CVNOVALI. In Conall we have "another personification of the 
sun ; for he was the son of the sister of Cuchulainn's mother, and 
her name, Findchoem, meaning white and lovelv, would seem to 
point to her as a dawn or gloaming goddess." — " Hib. Lect.," 
P- 539- For his achievements see Hull's " Cuchulainn Saga," sub 
index ; also Hyde ; and Cóir Anmann in " Ir. Texte," iii. p. 395. 

Conchohar mac Nessa : "High-Helper" ; in point of form 
still current as Conor, O'Conor. The Conor of the saga was son 
of the Druid Cathbad (Cathbath), who, on an expedition with 
thrice nine men, lcilled Nessa's twelve guardians. A'essa is a 
woman's name in gen. case. " Conchobar," says 0'Flaherty 
(Ogygia, Part III. chap. xlviii.), "had over twenty-one sons, 
whose descendants are all extinct." Through the stratagem of 
his mother he displaced Fergus-mac-Róig, the former king. 
According to Borlase (p. 817 11 ), Conchobar was "the name of the 
eponymous of a tribe called Conchuburnenses in the Book of 
Armagh and Conchubairne by Mac Firbis." The prefix con in 
this name, and also in ConaN, is cognate with Gaulish cuno, Cymric 
cwti, " altitudo," and in words like con-car, con-guas ; some would 
add such Germanic names as Húno, Húnwald. — US., p. 84. The 
name has been etymologised "high-foaming," while A'essa has 


been connected with Loch A'ess (Gaelic, Nis) from nedsa, netsa : 
Skr. nadi, "river"; Nessonis, a lake in Thessalv ; Ger. netzen, 
"to wet." — Mackay's " Urquhart and Glenmoriston," p. 575. This 
is unlikely, as the O. Ir. am-nas (§ 84 of FB) = "not-soft," -nas 
being cognate with German nass, " wet," &c, and with Greek 
vorepós "wet, damp, moist." 

Cu-chulainn, " Hound of Culann." Culann, the name of 
Conchobar's smith, Stokes suggests, is cognate with Gr. «vAÁor, 
" crippled, halt"— RC. 6, 368. This reminds one of Vulcan. This 
method of forming names is non-Aryan and betokens non-Gaelic 
influence ; cf. Semitic Obed-Edom, "servant of the god Edom," &c 

Curoi, a man's name, son of Aenghus, lord of Cinel-Laeghaire, 
see AFM. sub 793. Conroy is still an Irish surname. The gen. 
conn-ri is found on an old Ogam in Kerry, which is what corre- 
sponds to the Anglo-Irish Caher Conree. (a) Aided Conroi— 
Aithed Blatnaite, ingine Puill, maic Fidaig= Orgain Cathrach 
Conroi=Bas Conroi. — MSS. 14° c. (?) TCD. H. 2, 16, col. 776- 
780 ; 16 c. Eg. (Brit. Mus.), 88, p. 9 ; 1629, Reating ; O'Conor's 
trans., 100-102; 0'Mahony, 282-284; Haliday, 398-405. Cf. 
poem by Cinaed ua Artacain, died 975, LL. p. 31, col. 2, line 6. 
(b) Amra Conroi, 16 c, TCD. //. 3, 18, 49-58; also found as 
Appendix to Eg. 88. (c) Bás Conrói mic Dóiri, 22 G. 21, in Roy. 
Ir. Acad. (d) Secht catha in cathrach Conrui v. Cath. Muige 
Rath. ed. O'Donovan, 212; a lost tale. (e) Elegy of Conroi in 
Book of Taliessin, given in Skene's " Four Ancient Books of 
Wales" ; also in his Additional Notes to the Book of the Dean 
of Lismore ; further, and better, by Rhys, and cited elsewhere. 

Cuscraid Mend Macha : C the Dumbof Macha. "This was 
a custom of the Ulaid. Every young son of theirs who took arms 
used to enter the province of Connaught on a foray or to seek to 
slay a human being. So once upon a time Cuscraid, son of 
Conchobar, entered the province of Connaught. A cry is raised 
around him. Then Cet answered him. Cet wounded Cuscraid 
through his mouth, and shore off the point of his tongue, so that 
he was dumb (mend) thereafter." — " Ir. Texte," iii. 2 Heft, p. 405. 

Dáre : The name occurs in a Pembrokeshire inscription, 
" Tunccetare uxsor Daari," where the first word reminds one of 
Cym. tynghed, "fate," and might perhaps be rendered "fortunata " 
— Stokes, cfs. Gr. (7roTa/xo-)Sa>pios-. 

Dubthach Doel Ulad : The "Book of Lecan" says his lands 
were, after his death, inundated by Lough Neagh. Anglicised 
" Duffie," " Duffach." For further accounts see Hull. 

Echbel, lit. " horse-mouth." His sister Uinnside was Curoi's 
mother. " He lived in Alban, and his cows used to come to graze 


in Dalriada, on a headland now called Island Magee, in Antrim, 
where they were appropriated by Cuchulainn and his men, from 
whom they were then stolen by Curoi."— " Hib. Lect," p. 477, 
where Rhys takes it as a Gaelic version of the story of Cacus 
stealing from Hercules some of the heifers he had taken from 

Emer : This was not an uncommon female name in Ireland ; 
two princesses so called are spoken of in the V.T. In the High- 
lands to the present day her name survives as the ideal of beauty : 

" Is tu sgéimh na h- Eimhir' áluinn, 
Is tu gniomh na mna Gréig'." 

see a stanza in Carmichael's " Or agus Ob" where it is applied 
to one whose beauty resembled that of Emer, and whose industry 
was comparable to that of Penelope, both being incomparable. 
In another ballad she is referred to as Emhir Muinn an fhuilt 
bhuidh, " Emer the beautiful (one) of the yellow hair." For a 
reference to the " Lay of the Heads " — Emer's lament on her dead 
husband — see sub Sualdam. 

Eogan mac Durthacht (also Dcrthachf) : " Eogan," anglicised 
" Ewen," cognate with Cvmric Oivcn. " Durthacht" " is probably 
of the same origin as the reduplicate doruthethaig, 'deperdidit,' 
so that mac Durthacht would seem to have had much the same 
meaning as . . . 'son of Perdition or Destruction.' " — " Hib. Lect.," 
p. 142 11 . He was a type of darkness and treacherv, and slew the sons 
of Usnech. He was king of Farney. For other characteristics 
see Httll. 

Fedelm Nóicride : Various explanations of her name are 
given in the " Cóir Anmann " (Fitness of Names) : " Fedelm Nói- 
cruthach, ' nine-shaped,' i.e. nine shapes would come to her when- 
ever she was looked at. Or Núa-chrothach, 'fresh-formed,' i.e. 
because of her beauty a fresh form upon her was displayed to 
every one. Or Niía-chraidech, ' fresh-hearted ' was she because of 
her friendliness." — " Ir. Texte," iii. 2 Heft, p. 397. Another per- 
sonage of same name but with a different epithet is found in Brit. 
Museum, Harl., 5280, fol. 34 b : "a short story of Cuchulainn and the 
lady Felim Foltcain, one of the water-nymphs of the river Boyne." 

Fergus mac Róig : King of Ulster, immediately preceding 
Conchobar mac Nessa, by whom he was dethroned. He after- 
wards passed into Connaught to Ailill and Méve. Fergus is 
cognate with Cymric Gtergust, Gwrwst, Grwst in Llan-rwst. — 
US. p. 284. -gus, "choice." L. gustus ; hence " hyper-select." 
The sufhx is met with in Angus, "unique-choice." A Celtic 
parallel to the Greek Cronus. — " Hib. Lect.," p. 646. "Rog'> 


was his mother's name, otherwise styled " Roich, daughter of 
Eochaid, son of Dare . . . or . . Roch, daughter of Ruad, son of 
Derg Dath-fola" (Red-Blood-Hued), from the elf mounds.— " Ir. 
Texte," iii. 2 Heft, p. 407. Aided Fergus maic Roich is given in 
Edin. Gael. MS. xl. ; cf. Reating. 

Fiacha ocus Fiachaig : cf. Vipoig, Vipogeni ; Nepos Vepogeni 
Caledo (Colchester Brass Inscription). The Picts, adopting this 
name, treated the ending en "as their own genitive termination, so 
that they next inferred Vepog, the Vipoig of the list of Pictish 
kings." — Rhys. 

Findabair, " fair eyebrow." 

Forgall Manach : also Monach, from mon, "a trick" (Cormac). 

"Every featful one who performed a trick 
Was monach in the Old Gaelic." 

— " Ir. Texte," iii. 2 Heft, p. 373. 

Cognate is Cymric mynaivg t "a courteous or polite person." — 
" Hib. Lect.," p. 376. 

Furbaide Ferbenn : Fer-benn, "man (of the) horns," furdaide 
\. furbadh, " excision " ; said to have been cut out from his mother's 
womb, and was afterwards called Diarmait, son of Conchobar. — 
" Ir. Texte," iii. 2 Heft, p. 397. . 

Illand : Seems same as Iollan, another name for Oscar in the 
Fionn-Ossian-Saga. As to Illann, son of Fergus, see Hull. 

Imchad : cf " Ambigatus " for " Ambicátus," used by Livy 
where he speaks of the Celts. 

Imomain, a renowned hero of the Ultonians, was named 
Ferdomun mac Imomain, MR., p. 85. Im is intensive prefix, 
omun, cognate with Cym. ofn, Corn. own. 

Liath Macha : On the death of Cuchulainn, his charger, the 
Grey of Macha, galloped home to Emer with the sad news. He 
went round her thrice sun-wise and placed his head in her lap. 
Emer's lamentation on learning of her husband's death is given 
in LL. 123% 20, " A Leith Macha mór n-essad," &c. Cf " Iliad," 
xvii. 487-490, where the steeds of Achilles are represented as 
weeping, though they seem to be regarded exempt from death 
and age. 

Loeg the charioteer, now laogh, "calf," lit. "jumper, springer." 

Loegaire, " calf-tender," now Leary, 0'Leary. Aided Loegaire 
Buadaig is in Edin. Gael. MS. xl. ; cf. Reating. 

Lugaid Riab n-derg, said to have been killed by the three 
" Red-Heads," O'C.'s " Lectures," Appendix, p. 483 ; known also 
as Lugaid mac Conroi, and Lugaid, son of the Three Hounds ; 


cf. " Hib. Lect.," p. 472. After the seven years' interregnum which 
followed on the murder of Conaire Mór he was chosen as High- 
King of Erin. 

Méve (Medb), slain by her own sister's son, Furbuidhe, son of 
Conchobar mac Nessa, on Inis Cloithrinn, in Lough Ree, in the 
Shannon. On the traditional site of Queen Méve's head-quarters 
there have been found two inscriptions, one of which Principal 
Rhys reads : " (The stone or grave) of Fraech, son of Medb," 
where the Ogmic spelling of the name is Medvv v. JRHAI for 
1898, pp. 231, 409. The name Medb occurs as masc. in Hogan's 
" Documenta de Sancto Patricio," pp. 78, 94, 95. The name has 
been compared (US. pp. 208, 336) with the Celto-Iberian Medu- 
genus, a man's name ; with the Gall. Meduna, Medussa; with the 
Cymric, meddw, " ebrius," Ir. mid, Eng. mead, Sanskrit, mád/iu, 
" honey, sweet drink." Madhu is also the name of one of the 
Daityas, a clan of demons. According to Rhys, she " belongs to 
the ambiguous goddesses of davvn and dusk, found allied at one 
time with light, and at another with darkness" ("Hib. Lect." 
p. 444). It is noticeable in our tale that she is associated with 
"good, intoxicating, excellent malt-beer." Mr. Borlase compares 
Medeu, the name of a heathen queen in Pomerania. According 
to the description of her in the Táin, 1 she is "a beautiful, pale, 
long-faced woman with Iong flowing golden-yeIlow hair, having a 
crimson cloak fastened with a brooch of gold over her breast, a 
straight ridged spear flaming in her hand." With this one may 
compare Dion Cassius on Boadicea : " She was of large size, terrible 
of aspect, savage of countenance, harsh of voice, with a profusion 
of flowing yellow hair which fell down to her hips, a large golden 
collar on her neck, a variegated flowing vestment drawn close 
about her bosom, a thick mantle fastened by a clasp or brooch, 
with a spear in her hand." Aided Medba Cníachan (the Death 
Tale of Méve of Cruachan) is found in LL. 124, and in Edin. 
Gael. MS. xl., where it is told that "Clothru administered the 
laws of Connaught in the isle of Clothru (Inis Clothrand) on 
Lough Ree. They say that Méve killed her sister Clothru, and 
out of her sides her child, Furbaide, son of Conchobar, was taken 
with the swords. Then Méve seized the kingship of Connaught, 
and took Ailill to rule by her side. And in Inis Clothrand she 
administered the laws of Connaught. She was under a spell to 
bathe every morning in a spring at the end of the island. One 
day Furbaide went to Inis Clothrand and fixed a pole on the 

1 Pronounce with dental t, long a as in father, n as in Cologne. 


flagstone on which Méve was wont to make her ablutions. He 
tied a rope to the top of the pole, and the pole was as high as 
Méve, and he stretched the rope across Lough Ree from east to 
west. Then he toolc the rope home with him, and, when the 
vouths of Ulster were at this play, this was Furbaide's game : 
he would stretch his rope between two poles and practised slinging 
between them, nor did he leave offuntil he hit the apple that was 
on the head of the pole. One day therevwas a great gathering of 
the men of Connaught and Ulster around Lough Ree, west and 
east. And Méve went to bathe early in the morning in the spring 
above the loch. ' What a beautiful figure yonder ! ' said every- 
body. 'Who is it? ! asked Furbaide. ' Thy mother's sister,' all 
said. He was then eating a piece of cheese. He did not wait to 
pick up a stone. He put the cheese in his sling, and when Méve's 
forehead was turned towards them, he sent the piece and lodged 
it in her head. And so he killed her by one throw, and avenged 
his mother." — (Trans. by K. Meyer in Celtic Magazine, March 
1887, p. 212. I have omitted the opening as unessential, and 
made one or two slight changes.) This " Mead-goddess" appears 
in Shahespeare as Mab, Queen of the fairies. 

Mind : gen. apparently of Menn, Mcnd. I would have ex- 
tended the contraction for this word into Mid/r, as 0'Curry and 
Rhys have done, for in LU. 129/ 1 it is written Míd for Mid^r, did 
I not come across the following stanza from LL. : 

" Roort blathnat ingen mld 
orgain ossar c[2] glind 
mór gním do mnai brath a fir 
dóig is fr/ss rodasmidir." 

Here the rhyme needs Mind. Again, 0'Grady in Appendix to 
S. Gad. quotes from K. 5 as follows : " Conor [Mac Nessa's] 
daughter Blathnat was wife of Curui mac Daire ; so too was 
Blathnat, daughter of Menn, king of the men of Falga." 

Munremur mac Gerrginn, one of the heroes who claimed the 
honour of dissecting the famous pig called Muc Datho at a 
banquet given by a Leinster chieftain. After him is named Loch 
Muinreamhair, now Lough Ramor, near Virginia, co. Cavan, on 
the borders of the co. Meath. In the Cóir Anmann his name is 
mac Eirrcind; it is explained that Cet mac Magach cast a spear 
at him and struck him in the neck, which swelled so that it became 
thick, and thence his nichname ! 

Rus : Cym. Rhys (?). 

Sadb Sulbair (§ 6) : Gaul. svadu in Svadu genus, Svadu-rix ; 


Skr. svadu, "sweet"; Gr. f]8vs, "sweet"; L. suávis, "suave"; 
Eng. sweet. Sulbair is cognate with Cym. Hylafar, " eloquent." 

Sualdam occurs in the Nennian genealogies, see Cymmrodor, 
ix. 178. His son Setanta may have been an historical personage 
who became " identified with the older character of a more 
mythical Cuchulainn." An early Cymric inscription has " Hovelt," 
but it is doubtful if it may be connected ; cf Howell. In the Book 
of the Dean of Lismore's version of Emer's lament she says she is : 

" Cowf v c howalte hayve na vil agga fein ar for = 
Cumhadh Mhic Shualtaimh shéimh 
Ni bhfeil aige féin air for." 

" A'mourning the son-of-Sualtam gracious 
— Thereof no knowledge has he." x 
[no notice takes he] 

The oldest form of " Emer's Lament for Cuchulainn " is given in 
LL. 123% 20. There is a modern Irish version of great beauty 
where, on recovering her husband's head, she is represented as 
" sucking in its blood and drinking it " (" do ghabh ag sughadh a 
choda fola agus ag a h-ól"). This was to express affection. 
Deirdre also laps her husband's blood (Hyde, p. 352). It must 
have been the same feeling that prompted the wife of Gregor of 
Glenstrae, Perthshire, in her exquisitely touching lament for her 
husband, to express herself to like effect three centuries ago : 

" Chuir iad a cheann air ploc daraich 
Agus dhoirt iad fliuil mu lár 
Nan robh agam-s' an sin copan 
Dh' ólainn di mo sháth." 

Which I may translate quite literally : 

" They set his head on a bloclc of oak, 
His blood to the ground they let spill, 
An had L then by me a cuach 
I had drained thcreof my fillP 

1 The text of the modern version of the " Lay of the Ileads" in 
Cameron's ReliquiiT. Celticce, i. 71, has Shnbhalt with [Mhic Shualtamh ?] 
in the margin ; the last clause is transliterated : Ni bhfeil aige fán ar foir, 
which is rendered " Or is there respect shovvn for him." This is non- 
sense. " Cha n'eil for agam air" = "I have no notion of it," is in collo- 
quial use in the Highlands ; cha do chuir e for air duine=:he did not 
notice a man, he took note of none. 


There are two or three other references to this custom in 
Highland songs. Spenser saw after an execution at Limerick 
the executed man's foster-mother " take up his head whilst he 
was being quartered, and suck up the blood that ran from it, 
saying that the earth was not worthy to drink it, and steep her 
face and breast with it, at the same time tearing her hair, and 
crying out and shrielcing most terribly." 



Alba, now "Scotland." Some Highlanders who have learned 
nothing from modern geographv use it for the whole island from 
Sutherland to the " French sea," holding that Alba is the Gaelic 
for Breatunn. Cormac (sub Mug-Eime) has also a curious use of 
it, e.g. " when great was the power of the Gael on Britain, they 
divided Alba between them into districts, and each knew the 
residence of his friend, and not less did the Gael dwell on the 
east side of the sea than in Scotica (Ireland), and their habitations 
and royal forts were built there." Cf Byron's use of Albion, 
which also in the Greek writers means Great Britain. So too 
the Latin glossator on Fiacc's Hymn (in its present form earlv 
ninth century) at the words "'Dofaid tar Elpa huile' .i. dar sliab 
n- Elpa, ar robo ainm do inis Bretan ule ollim (recte, olim) Alba, 
ut Beda dicit in principio suae historiae, ' Britania insola (est) cui 
quondam nomen erat Alban,'" &c. — Z,//. i. 98. In other words, 
the angel brought Patrick across all Britain, so that " over Alpain" 
would be rightly used, viz., over the mount of Elpa, for this Alba 
was once a name for the whole island of Britain. Dr. Stolces 
derives the name from Albion, " white-land," cognate with L. albus, 
"white," Gr. áXcfaós, "white," áXcpoís, \tvi<ovs, Hesych., Umbr. 
alfu, Sabine, alfius, O.H.G. albiz. He thinks that in Gaulish 
there were two stems, alba?i- and albin-, whence the double name- 
forms Albanius — Albinus, Albaniani — Albiniani (now Halphen 
on the left bank of the Rhine). From the same root comes the 
name of the " Alps " in Switzerland, Gaulish "aXttí is, from "AX/3ecy, 
where b through the influence of / becomes p. These mountains 
got their name from the white snows, as Festus 1 explains : " Alpes 
a candore nivium dicti sunt, qui perpetuis fere nivibus albescunt." 

Cleitech Cerna, on the Boyne. 

Craeb Euad, now Creeveroe, name of a townland near the 
river Callan, not far from Emania. — MR. 2i8 n . Conchobar had 
three different houses, the Craeb Ruad, the Téite Brecc, the Craeb 

1 Quoted in US., p. 21. 



Derg: cf O'C. ii. 332 ; LL. fol. 106% 1 ff, io6 h , 38 ff. The first 
was the Hostel of the Kings ; the second was set apart for the 
spears, shields, and swords, an armoury, in fact, where the 
weapons were piled to prevent mischief at the revels ; in the third 
were the skulls (of enemies slain) and other trophies. Craeb Ruad 
I have rendered Red Branch, out of deference to custom, but I 
much prefer to anglicise it, Creeveroe, as raad here means " lord, 
noble," and is different from ruad, " red." The Dagda in Cormac 
is called ruadrofhessa, i.e. " lord of great Itnowledge." 0'Curry 
felt that it meant Royal, which Dr. Hyde also allows (" Lit. Hist. of 
Ireland," p. 295), while out of concession to tradition he continues 
the use of the phrase "the Heroic or Red Branch Cycle." Craobh 
in the Highlands has three meanings now : (1) a tree ; (2) a bead 
upon liquor ; (3) a stalk (Uist). 

Cruachan : Ráith Cruachan, now Rathcroghan, between Bela- 
nagare and Elphin, co. Roscommon. For list of extant remains, 
see AFM. sub A.D. 1223. Some have identified the name with 
Cruachu or Cróchan, handmaid of Etain, who eloped with Mider 
— the síde deity of the country round Bri Leith, co. Longford, east 
of Ardagh. The word is generally followed by Ai, which native 
story variously explains : (1) from ae, "liver" — -O'C. ii. 11 ; 

(2) from Ai, the name of Enna Aignech's hound — RC. 15, 469 ; 

(3) from Ae, son of Allguba — RC. 15, 469. 

Currech : cf " Broccan's Hymn," 1. 97 ; it seems to have been 
near Rildare. 

Emain Macha : The palace there in which thirty-nine of the 
Ultonian kings resided, was said to have been built by Cimbaeth, 
309 B.C. It was destroyed by the Three Collas, the grandsons of 
King Cairbre Liffechair, in the year 332 A.D. according to Tiger- 
nach. Its remains are still to be seen about two miles to the west 
of Armagh, and are, without a single exception, the most extensive 
of their kind in all Ireland. It was described by Colgan as follows 
in 1647 : " Emania propé Ardmacham, nunc fossis latis, vestigiis 
murorum eminentibus et ruderibus pristinum redolens splendorem." 
— Trias Thaum., p. 6, v. MR. 213°. Macha has been variously 
associated in tradition : (1) Macha, wife of Nemed, son of 
Agnoman, who died there ; it was said to have been the twelfth 
plain cleared by Nemed-son-of-Agnoman, who bestowed it on his 
wife ; (2) Macha, daughter of Aed the Red ; it was she who 
marked out Emain ; (3) Macha, wife of Crund-son-of-Agnoman, 
was buried there. Her story is rendered into English in LG. 
p. 304. It is now known as Navan (cnoc na h- Eamhna) which, 
overlooks the lands of the Craob Ruadh. " Around this hill, be- 


twixt the base and the summit, there is an elliptical fosse and 
moat, including n acres 3 rods and 36 perches, by which two 
smaller circular mounds or forts (one on the top and the other on 
the side of the hill) are environed. These had probablv been 
formed to protect the royal residence." — Stuart's "History of 
Armagh," pp. 578-579 ; cf Cormac sub Emain. 

Ériu, Hériu, gen. Hérenn, Érenn, fir hErend ; dat. i n-Érind. 
Other texts show the h in gen., dat., acc. Cym. Ywerddon, 
Iwerddonj Mid. Bret. Yuerdon. We are justified in holding this 
word to be cognate with Skr. pivari (pivéria), swelling, full, 
exuberant, fat ; pivara, fat, large, broad ; Gr. irUipa [1], fat, rich, 
prosperous, wealthv, plentiful ; Mount Pierus in Thessaly ; TTí(F)epla, 
the seat of the Muses. The initial h, kept in the Latinised loan- 
word Hibernia, points to an Indo-European initial p, of which 
there are several other examples. 

Ess Ruad, now Assaroe, the salmon-leap at Ballyshannon, 
co. Donegal. For stories as to the origin of the name, see RC. 
16, 32. One version takes the name from Ruad, son of Badurn, 
king of Erin ; another derives it from the Lady Ruad, who was 
drowned there. It is impossible to connect it with the paoíiios of 
Ptolemy, as has been suggested. 

Falga : glossed inse Gall indiu, i.e. " the Hebrides to-day." — 
LL. i6o b . "Falga," says 0'Curry, " is the Isle of Man, tradi- 
tionally placed under Manannan, lord of the Happy Other-World." 
In the Bodley " Dindsenchus" (IB. vol. i. 213) the Land of Falga 
is a synonym for the Land of Promise. " It is possible," says 
Mr. Nutt, " that these names date back to a period when the 
Goidels inhabited Britain, and when Man was par excellence the 
Western Isle, the home of the lord of the Otherworld." There is 
an interesting story known as " Righ Innis Fhalga," current in 
Scotland, but unfortunately I cannot find it at present. A short 
rhapsody, entitled " Forbais Fer Falgae," exists in Rawl. B., 512, 
fol. n8 b . It purports to be the invasion of the Isle of Man by 
Cuchulainn and the Men of Ulster. Of this I have myself made 
a transcript. There is another copy in Eg. 1782 ; another in 
Harleian, 5280 ; another in Eg. 88 ; for copies of the first two I 
am indebted to Mr. O'Reeffe, for the last to Miss E. Hull. The 
Rawl. offers the best text. The interesting point is thatfer Falccae 
fer Falgae is glossed fer Manant, " the men of Man," whom 
Cuchulainn cuts off in single combat, and is described as uttering 
a rhapsody on his fight with Get, king of the Fomorians. The 
LL. text may be condensed thus : Curoi's wife, Blathnat, daughter 
of Menn, king of Falga, loved Cuchulainn, and trysted him to 
come with the Ultonians to see her, so as to avenge on Curoi the 


loss of the " three red-eared cows and the caldron carried ofí from 
the siege of Falga" (to-day called " the Hebrides ") ; as also to 
avenge Curoi's shaving of Cuchulainn's hair. She bade him seek 
her on Halloween, saving she would pour out the milk of those 
cows which Curoi, along with the caldron, had brought home. 
It was to supplv this vessel that the cows yielded, and they gave 
the full of it at a milhing. She poured a whole milking into the 
stream from the fort downwards to Tralee, whereupon the stream 
became white. This was a signal for Cuchulainn to storm the 
fort and slay Curoi. Hence the name Fionnghias, " white-stream." 

So far as a certain signal is connected with a stream, it reminds 
one of an incident in the Saga of Tristan and Iseult, and there is 
something parallel in Saxo Grammaticus. 

Fea : cf. Magh Fea in "Broccan's Hymn," 1. 59 ; plain in co. 

remen, "the ancient name of the plain comprising the barony 
of Iffa and Offa East in the S.E. of the co. of Tipperary." — O'D. 
It is near Cashel. 

Góedel (§ 89) : Cambrensis writes Gaxdelij Cormac, Gaede/, 
Gaidi/, which latter is in Rawl., 512, fol. 8i b , 14; LL. gives ae 
without a mark of length (which is no isolated occurrence) ; the 
Felire has ing/oinestir nangaedel isaxsanaib, "in Glastonbury 
of the Gael in Saxonland" ; but Laud, 610, gives gaeidil, whereas 
Rawl., 505, and Leb. Brecc. 91, give goidel, goedel, to rhyme with 
toiden, toeden. The " Book of Rights " has Gaedhelga (pp. 86-87). 
The word is formed from a stem, gad, cognate with O. English 
geGada, " companion, associate," e.g. ealle his gegadan (Aelfric's 
Homilies). It signifies " companion-like, associates," and be- 
speaks a social sentiment between communities speaking the 
same language, not out of heeping with the modern motto : Clanna 
nan Gaidheal an guaillibh a chéile, " the sons of the Gael shoulder 
to shoulder." Further, the word is cognate with Gothic gadiliggs, 
" relative," O.E. gaedeling, " stammes genosse," O.H.G. gatuling, 
"cousin," O. Saxon, gaduling, "landsman, countryman," M.H. 
Ger. gaten, " to bring together," Ger. gatte, husband. The 
notion of "heeping together" is at the bottom of what is thought 
and felt to be good, a good action being readily apprehended in 
early times as one in virtue of which a course of conduct, on the 
part of the individual and of his social environment, tended, among 
other things, towards self-preserving welfare. There is no founda- 
tion for holding that the good was at first abstractly apprehended. 
Rather the reverse. In the social consciousness alone rests the 
foundation for the development of what is good. One may recall 


the words of a true friend : " Alas ! for the fact which I shall 
often mention ; it is pitiful for the Irish to continue the evil habit 
of fighting among themselves, and that they do not rise together 
against the Lochlann(er)s."— " Three Fragments of Irish Annals," 
p. 141, under the year 859. One who lays this feeling to heart 
may come to understand the intensity of the old words : 
" Gaidhel, Gaidhel! ionmain ainm." 
" Gael, Gael ! beloved the name." 

Mag mBreg, name of a large plain in East Meath — the plain 
from Dublin to Drogheda. 

Mag-Liphthe : lies principally in the present co. Kildare. 

Mag Medba, "the plain of Méve" in Oriel. 

Muresc : " sea-shore marsh ? " a place of this name is in Sligo, 
but the one here referred to was in co. Louth. 

Ros-Eó : in the plain of Bregia. O'D.'s note in AFM. sub 
836 A.D. 

Sescind Uairbeóil : cf. Esgeir Oerveil in Ireland, spolcen of in 
the Mabinogi of Kulhwch and Olwen. It is thought to have been 
on the coast of Leinster. 

Sliab Fuait : named after Fuat, son of Bile, son of Brig, son 
of Breogann. A mountain near Newtown Hamilton, co. Armagh, 
is Sliab Uait in "Annals of Ulster." Hence the/appears to be 
prothetic. Uat from *Avento-s, cognate with mons Aventinust 
as to which see Stolces in RC, 16, 52. 

Snám Rathaind, see AFM. sub a.d. 1148. O'Donovan 
thought this was probably one of the ancient names of Drumsna 
on the Shannon, on the confines of the counties of Roscommon 
and Leitrim. As to the origin of the word, a like story is told in 
the Re?ines Dindsenchus (RC, 16, 57), where Dr. Stokes renders it 
" Rathen's Swimming Place." 

Tor m-BregoÍnd : perhaps the tower of Corunna (Bregantium), 
N.W. Spain ; cf. Keating. 

Ulaid, gen. pl. U/ad n- : some derive it from u/a, " beard," 
cognate with Skr. pu/a. This is not more reliable than the series 
of guesses in the Cóir Ahmann. Ultonia, roughly spealdng, corre- 
sponds to the present-day Ulster ; Ulidia included only the N.E. 
portion of Ultonia. For the oldest form of the word, see Ptolemy. 
It seems to me to be non-Gadelic. The suffix -ster in Ulster is 
derived by Dr. Wadstein, Upsala, from -stir= Ir. tír, land + pro- 
thetic s. He found U/ad-stír in an Icelandic saga. The derivation 
hitherto has been from Norse setr, "seat, residence." 

Urros Domnand : in co. Mayo ; v. "Tale of Children of 



SUPERSCRIPTION : Tochim, lit. "march, progress, expedition"; 
fr. do-chingimj cingim, "I go"; Cym. rhy-gyngu, "to amble"; 
O. Ir. céimmj Mod. Gael. ceum, " a step." Chcmin is from a 
cognate root which has passed into French from the Gaulish. 
The rendering "hosting" is usually reserved for slúagad. At 
the very end of the tale Tochim, &c, is put last, suggesting per- 
haps that the march of the Ultonians to Cruachan belonged to a 
different recension. 

Cennach, lit. " arrangement, stipulation" ; Mod. Gael. ccannach, 
"purchasing" ; is c. air, "bother it !" lit. "it is a-purchasing it." 

Nem-thenga : Cym. nyiv, " poison " (Pen. MS. 14) + O. Ir. 
tenge; L. dingua, lingua; E. tongue. 

tomalta, fr. toim/im, do-meiim, " I eat " ; Cym. malu j L. moloj 
Ger. mahlen. The context is lit. " for serving the consumption of 
the feast." 

adbur, "material," pronounced au u r in Munster in the phrase 
ta adhbhur duine math ann, "he has the malcings of a good man 
in him" ; "usually OUR" (Hen. p. 22). A somewhat similar pro- 
nunciation exists in Sutherland. 

elathain, fr. elathaj Cym. el, "intelligence" ; Mod. Gael. eald- 
hain, " art, science," which MacAlpine writes ealain, " trade, 
occupation, profession." 

cáimi, fr. cóim, cóemj O. Cym. cumj Eng. homej Mod. Gael. 
caomh, "dear, kind, tender." See Windisch in IF. i. 

cumtachtae, connected with Ir. cúimtgim (gl. architector, gl. 
construo) ; *cum-od-tego, root in L. tego, Eng. thatchj eter cháimi 
ocus chumtachtae, lit. " both as to beauty and as to building." 

úatni, in the pl. still current in the phrase fuaithntean a bheirt- 
fhighe, "the posts of the loom" (Uist). 

airinigi, air + enech, "face" ; hence " on-facings," i.e. frontings, 

so-chraide, "magnificent" ; cf. so-cruidhe, "pulcher." 

145 K 

146 NOTES 

ir-scartad, Cym. ysgythru, " to carve, lop, prune." 
im-dorus, lit. " that which is about the door " ; Cym. drws 
(owing to its having had the accent on the second syllable). 

3 2 ' 
Sudigud Tige Mídchuarta, lit. "plan of Mead-Court House," 
where Míd is cognate with Eng. meadj cuairt, gen. cuarta, from 
*kukrti, "circuitus," root as in cor, " circle " (US. 93). Perhaps 
from Lovv L. cortis, " a courtyard, court, palace " ; " cuaird, ' a 
visit,' an old loan-word. The same word borrowed again later is 
cuairt, 'a court'" (" Hen." p. 58, 2). For full description of Tech 
Midchuarta see Petrie " On the History and Antiquities of Tara 
Hill," p. 197, being vol. 18 of Trans. of Roy. Ir. Academy, year 
1839 ; cf. Gilbert's " Facsimiles of National MSS. of Ireland," pt. 
ii. pl. liii. Petrie says : " In the ground-plan of Tech Midchuarta 
the house is shown as divided into five divisions, which are again 
subdivided into several others. Each of the two divisions extend- 
ing along the side walls is shown as subdivided into twelve imdas, 
which here means ' seats ' ; each of the two divisions adjoining 
them into eight ; and the central division is represented as con- 
taining three fires at equal distances, a vat, a chandelier, and an 
erlarcaich, besides two compartments on each side of the door 
and three in the other extremity of the house opposite the door, 
occupied by the distributors, cup-bearers, and reachta/res." This 
banqueting-house was an " oblong structure, having its lower end 
to the north and higher end to the south, with walls to the east 
and west. In these walls, according to the prose account, there 
were twelve or fourteen doors, six or seven on each side." The 
ruins measure 759 feet in length by 46 feet in breadth, but for- 
merly it was wider. Its oblong shape reminds one of the shape of 
the banqueting-hall of the king of the Arveni Bituitos (Posidonius 
in Athenaeus, ed. Didot-Muller, " Fragmenta Historicorum Grae- 
corum," iii. p. 262), which was not round, as was usually the case 
in Gaul (Strabo, IV. ch. iv.), and as Méve's palace at Cruachan 
must have been. The Mead Hall at Tara was also known as 
Long nam Ban, and is said to have held a thousand soldiers, " the 
choice part of the men of Erin." The old Norse " Speculum 
Regale," going back on a written account, says that " there (at 
Tara) the king had a fair and well-built castle, in that castle a 
fair hall and spacious, and in that hall was he wont to sit in 

imda, pl. imdada. " This word is now used in the North of 

NOTES 147 

Ireland to signify "a couch, a bed," and in a gloss on the poem 
of Kineth O'Hartigan, the word airel is explained by it ; but it 
appears from the ground-plan in the " Book of Glendalough" and 
H. 2, 16, that the imdas were the apartments where the different 
ranks sat at the banquet (Petrie's "Tara," p. 197). He also takes 
imda to mean " seat," as quoted above. It is used both for "com- 
partment, division," and for a "couch" set therein. In Duil 
Laithne (H. 2, 15) sgeng is glossed iomda, and 0'Clery defines 
sceng .i. leaba ?io both bheag ina mbí leaba, " a bed or a small 
booth wherein is a bed." A word of like spelling means " shoulder." 

The guests sat in the imdas, which could not therefore have 
been sleeping-places. The arrangement may have corresponded 
to that of the Skáli or Halls of Iceland, consisting of a nave and 
two side aisles, the walls of the aisles being low enough to be 
mounted with ease. The nave rose high on two rows of pillars 
of timber with timber roof open at the top, wainscot fittings along 
the walls of the side aisles, a wainscot panel between the pillars of 
the inner row. The wainscot had doors opening into the sleeping- 
places round the sides of the building, with other sleeping-places 
arranged in the passages or on the dais at the end. Fires often 
occupied the centre of the nave, but tables were added at times of 
feasting. Inside the nave was a row of benches with a high seat 
in the centre of each. Weapons were hung up as in Ireland along 
the wainscot behind the warriors. There were a double set of 
partitions : (1) those inside the wall, divided by loiv partitions and 
occupied by seats or benches ; (2) the sleeping-rooms outside. 
The word imda might have been applied to both, or to the seats 
which occupied the compartments. I have therefore rendered it 
(1) compartment, (2) couch, according to the context. One might 
further think of them as recesses between the pillars. 

the?iid, dat. of tene, " fire" ; sometimes a shorter form occurs 
in the phrase thein co fraig; also in Fiacc's Hymn : asin ten 
adgladastar, " out of the fire he addressed him." 

crédumae, gloss on auricalcum, SG. 73 a ; O. Cym. eniid; Mod. 
Welsh, efydd, " copper, brass." The Cymric e stands for a vowel 
which had become indistinct owing to its having stood before the 
tone syllable. 

carrmocal, gen. ail ; "applied loosely by the ancient Irish 

to any shining stone of a red colour, such as the garnet, a pro- 
duction of the country (Petrie's " Tara," 195) ; see sub Latin " Loan- 

adaig, *ad-aqt, aidche *ad-aqiá, root *aq, " to be dark " ; cf. 
L. aquilus, op-ácus ; Lith. áhlas, "blind" ; Gr. a<apov (US. 326). 

i 4 8 NOTES 

dano, ergo, etiam. 

erred, dual gen. of err, " chariot-chief," the hero who fought in 
a chariot. Stokes compares Gr. i'pSrjv, ap8rjv, apprjv, " male " ; Zend. 
arsan, "man." 

sesrech, " plough-team," fr. sé, " six." 

oen-staite : the force of oen is intensive ; slat, " rod, twig." 
Rinn iad aon duine de Chumhal, "they made one man of Cumhal, 
i.e. they made him king (Eriskay Gaelic tale) ; Cym. yslath, llath, 
whence Eng. lath. 


gríanán, "a soller, balcony, sun-bower," fr. grían, " sun." In 
Scotland gríanan occurs in place-names, eg., griajian Dhearduil, 
"the sun-bower of Derdire," at the head of Loch Etive. It is 
applicable to any sunny spot ; (2) in Sc. Ga. also " delight," e.g. 
'se sin a ghrianan, " that's his delight " ; (3) as a verbal derivative, 
bha e ga ghriananachduinn fhéin, "he was sunning himself." 

gaile, gen. of galj O. Bret. gal, "force, puissance" ; Gaulish 
Galatos, Galatiaj cf. Cym. gallu, " to be able." 

glainide, adj., " of glass," fr. glain, gloin, " glass, crystal " ; 
root in glan, "pure, clean," which occurs in Continental river 
names, Glana, a river of Gaul ; Glan, a stream near Salzburg. 
Commonly taken from root glai, whence Eng. cleanj but it might 
have come from a proto-Celtic *glasne- with root glas, whence 
E. glass. Cognate with W. glain, " crystal " ; also in Cym. glain- 
naidhi, " serpent glass," the amber of Welsh tradition. 

imcissiu, "view, sight" ; *imm-accaisiu, fr. imm, "about," and 
root oc as in L. oculus. 

nileicfitis, for ni.s.leicfitis, "they would not allow him"; the 
infixed pronoun has dropped out. 

In tan, " when." This expression seems preserved in Scotland 
as an, " when " usually 'nuair, e.g. an a thainig e (Arran), " when 
he came." With tan cf Skr. tan, " duration," táná, " continually." 

bá urlam la Bricrind : note the force of /a = "in Bricriu's 

brecánaib, "blankets," fr. brec, glossed in Ml. (9th cent.) 
tinctum, so that it applied to dyed and coloured stuffs. Blankets 
with coloured borders are called plaideachan, lit. " plaids," versus 
the p]a\n fi/angaid, "blanket" of uniform colour. Nowadays 

NOTES 149 

breacan in the Highlands means, (a) a tartan plaid, (b) tartan in 
the wider sense : b. nam Frisealach, " Fraser-tartan." 

colcthib, "beds," fr. L. culcita, which through Fr. and Low L. 
has yielded Eng. "quilt" and "cushion" (v. Skeat). 

cerchaillib, fr. L. ce?-vical, " a pillow or bolster," fr. cervix, 
"neck" ; cf. Ga. cluasag, fem. "pillow," dimin. fr. c/uas, "ear." 

tincor, *do-incor, in + cur, as in urchar, i.e. "in-put." 

lind, "drink, ale" ; Cym. llynn, "liquor" ; lly?i?ia, "potitare" ; 
Mod. Ga. lionn, leann, "beer, ale," versus bebir, "black beer, 
spruce"; iionn-dubh, " melancholy" ; eadar dha lionn, " twixt 
sinhing and swimming"; biast da lionn, "a particular kind of 
parasite" said to infest the brain. 

deintrub, " furniture " ; cf. Cym. dodrefn, " furniture " ; perhaps 
*do-intrub, "household utensils," supellex. 

toracht, *to-fo-racht, root rég as in e'irich, " rise " ; fr. tóruighe, 
"pursuer," comes Eng. Tory. 

arcend, Cym.y?iy erbyn, *are-pennjo; cf. Cym. lleidr, "robber," 
fr. L. latroj Cym. ?ieidr, naidr, "nadder." Cym. puts in a.j, as if 
these words were from *latrio, *natrio. 

óenach, same as Sc. Ga. aonach, "moor"; the root is as in 
aon, "one"; in Sc. Ga. the sense of "re-union, assembly," is in 


rig : rí, "king"; Cym. rhi dominus, baro, satrapas, nobilis 
(Davies) ; Skr. ráj ; L. rex. Gothic reihs, " ruler," herrscher, 
oberster, is a proto-Germanic loan from Old Celtic ; see Osthoff s 
Morphclogische U?itersuchu?igen, iv. To Lat. e, as in rége??i, it 
is Germ. e, á, that corresponds. 

di?ig?iia??i-ni : 1 pl. enclitic form of reduplicated future of 
do-gniu, " I make" (KZ. 30, 64). 

airut-sa, "for thy sake, on thine account"; prep. ar+tu, 
" thou." 

didiu, igitur, auiem. It is never din nor dino; cf KS. i. 23 ; 
RC. vi. 150. 

§ 7- 

ata.bair.ecen, est vobis necessitas. 
i?n dul do; i?ti has the force of " with respect to." 
taisfena : not conj. 2 sg. (as in Windisch's Wbrterbuch), but 
3 sg. from taiss-fenitn, now taisbean, " to show, reveal." 

150 NOTES 

conécid, lit. " he declared to B. the entire counsel "; cf conécestar, 
sg. 3, S.P. iii. 2 ; écaid, "narravit" (ex. athgaid, root, gadt) ; con- 
éicsitar, SR. 3771. 

buden: Cym. byddin; O. Bret. bodin, pl. bodiniou (gl. phalanges). 
Bezzenberger (US. p. 176) would compare OHG. #&«/#, " Heerde," 
Swiss, kiitt, " societv, club " ; Ger. kette (von rebhiihnern), the root 
of which, says Kluge, is gu, to drive cattle. 


diis, i.e. do/hius, ad sciendum. 

Midi, gen. of mide, regio media Hibemiae. The Rennes " Dind- 
senchus" is to the effect that Mide, son of Brath, was the first to 
light a fire in Erin for the sons of Nemed, and the wizards said, 
"'Tis an evil smoke" (mi-dé), &c, RC. 15, 297. It is connected 
with L. medius, E. mid in mid-night, mid-riff, &c, O.E. midd, 
Gaulish viedio-, in Medio-fiaTpmes, Medio-lanum. 

scrútan, founded on L. scrutor. 

im, ám, "sooth, indeed," is still used in Munster, e.g. "atá 
beirt eile tagta arís árh, le súil go bfagdaois rud éigin do bárr ár 
gcainte," p. 7, 1. 12 of Sgeuluideact ctíige muman, ag Pádruig o 
Laogaire. Baile-Atha-Cliath, 1895. 


do, "of," for di, dej Zimmer (Meltischc Studien, ii.: Ueber 
Altirische Betonung und Vershunst, Berlin, Weidmannsche Buch- 
handlung, 18S4) shows e.g. that de, di, is the accented form of the 
preposition in compounds, do the unaccented proclitic form (ib. 
p. 16). Where the accent is not on the first syllable, do appears. 
The preposition before article and noun had, as a rule, no stress, 
and hence de (of), and do (to) fell together : e.g. dotécht (de 
adventu), dodégnimaib (de benefactis), Ml. dofuil (de sanguine), 
Taur. donspirut (de spiritu), dondaum (de bove), Wb. donaib 
remepertib (de antedictis), ML. Gram. Celt. 637. These are not 
written " neglegentius," but result from phonetic difference. The 
writers of the Milan and Wiirzburg glosses wrote often as they 
spolce. Occasionally the form di, when emphasis was given it, 
was differentiated from do (ad), and there is a tendency to retain 
it in the historic script, e.g. dichorp, digeintib, dinaibferaib (ZE. 
636). For the modern language v. O'Donov. Ir. Gram. p. 300. 
In the Highlands a form dii with an obscure vowel ís often used 
in unaccented positions for de, " of." 

NOTES 151 

orc, " pig "; with / of the article prefixed it becomes torc, " boar " ; 
akin to L. porcus, whence " pork," and to E.farrowj it survives 
apparentlv in Orktiey, i.e. the isle of whales, Ga. Inis Orc, but 
also Arcamh, Arcu. 

eiíne, "kernel," survives in Ga. as eitein, "kernel of a nut," in 
North Inverness aitein. 

día tt-í*/="do" + relative pron. a n- with the substantive verb 
= cui sunt. 

/uigfe'r, "soft (green) blades (of grass) " ; in Mod. Ga. áite 
lugach is " a boggy place," such as where corn lodges. From this 
the idea of lug, " soft," suggests itself. Windisch thinks of lug, 
"little, small," the comparative now being lugha, "less," but it 
seems less suitable. 

bargen : Cym. bara, "panis"; Stokes (US. 162) cf. O. Lat. 
ferctum, "a sacrificial cake," from a lost Latin verb *fergo, "to 
bake" (v. Lindsay's " Latin Language," p. 310, § 158. 

déod, Cym. dywdd, diwedd, "end" ; fa dheoidh, "at last." 

ara, Skr. aritáj Gr. fpeTijs, "rower"; vTT-rjpÍT^s, "rower, 

fáitbestar, cffáite .i. snodha gáire, " a faint smile" (Highlands). 

fil : M. Chr. Sarauw takes it from root vel, " to see" ; impera- 
úvefeil or fil meant originally voici, afterwards it came to mean 
il y a ; feil was strongly accentedy fil originally had a weaker 
accent ; from feil comes modern Gaelic bheilj from fil comes 
modern Inshfuii. RC. 17, 276 ; fil takes the accusative after it, as 
also 'mfilus, "there are"; proleptically used mfilus tre chcnelae 
martre, "there are three sorts of martyrs" cf dosfil uli, "they 
all are." 

§ IO. 

In tan tíagat : LU. wrongly uses the absolute form tiagait, 
which is rightly employed at the beginning of § 7. Absolute 
forms in 3 sg. wrongly used point to a late date ; cf ZfDA. 23, 
I98 n . 

echtrand : Cym. eithyr, eithr, "extra, praeter." 

udi : O. Ir. huide, "journey"; oáio-nj L. pes, foot ; Skr. 
padyá ; Gr. nuíts, ttoSós- ; K.foot. 

ilathaib : the repetition of the same word with the addition of 
the suffix il, " many," is no doubt idiomatic ; lit. " over fords and 
many fords," as we should sav, " o'er many and many a ford." 

152 NOTES 

dolleci : lit. "he betakes himself." 

mac dretill, "darling, spoiled son" ; Cym. trythyll, "wanton" ; 
G. zart, "tender" ; cf. Zend. dereta, "honoured." 

lesainm, Cym. llysenw ; the other cognates of les are un- 

aurbaga, "gloriatio." Does Mod. Gael. abhbagach (i.e. auba- 
gach), " sportive, wily," belong here ? 

thoenur : h signified a strong escape of breath. 

addaimet, " they confess " ; Mod. Ga. aidich, " confess " ; 
W. addef, vb. " to acknowledge, own." 

cía a. fer, "a man." Stokes equates it with L. civis, Goth. 
heiva-frauja, "hausherr" (Ur. Spr. p. 75). 

tong, " swear," W. tyngu; cf dothocadach, " unfortunate " (V.T.), 
from do = Svs and tocad= Cym. tynged, "luck." The Welsh phrase 
is "tyngu tynged : Je heb hi mi a tynghaf" dynghet (Mabinog. 
of Math) = I swear him a destiny, cf. L.fatum and fari; "fate" 
is "what is spoken." Stokes (Ur. Sp. 121) takes it from *tag, "to 
take"; tong would thus be a case of nasalised stems like the 
Latin nasalised present stems (v. Lindsay's " Lat. Lang." pp. 464, 
471). We should thus have to compare L. tangere, "to touch." 
Among the Celts, as among other peoples, an oath was associated 
with touching some part of the body. In concluding a bargain, it 
is still usual to shake hands ; often the parties spit into the palm 
of the hand ; compare also the common sgialachd formula : air 
laimh fathair 's do sheanair, " by thy father and by thy grand- 
father's hand." 

eter, "at all" ; Mod. Ga. idir, a locative case of the stem of 
the prep. eadar, " between." 

im-chossdit, " contention " ; Mod. Ga. casaid; it might perhaps 
be cognate with W. cynhenu, " to quarrel " ; *con-sen-t- (Rhys). 
Stokes thinks Ga. casaid a loan fr. L. causatio. It has been also 
thought to be a compound, con + root, as 'mfaosaid, " confession." 

§ 12. 

eter, prep., " between " ; eter . . eter, " both . . and." O.W. ithr; 
-ntr> -thr, -ntl> -thl'm Welsh. 

maccóemu, borrowed into W. as macwy, older form macwyf, 
" youth, stripling, page, groom." 

bátár, relative form, batír, absolute form. 

formna, " the multitude," lit. " shoulders " (for+ muin, " neck "). 

NOTES 153 

§ 13- 

ardopetet : airfite ; *ar-svet-, Cym. chwythi(, " to whistle, blow" ; 
Mod. Ga.el.fcad. 

both : c/. Cym. byivyd (passive voice). 

imthórmaigib, " extras, extra dishes." 

dibi : dí, two + bí, a word still in use in Mod. Gael. ; bígh, m. 
"a post, a pillar" ; eadar dd bhigh an doruis, " between the posts 
of the door"; eadar da bhigh cC glicata, "between the portals or 
pillars of the gate (M'Alpine's " Gael. Dict."). The word accord- 
ingly was known in Islay. In Colonsay it is used in the phrase 
eadar da bhi an doruis, " betvveen the posts of the door," when 
you're ncither in nor out, but between the two (Professor Mac- 
hinnon). In Tiree, eadar an da bhi means " between the two posts 
of the outer door " = eadar an da ursainn. The phrase vvould 
never be used of any door but the outer one. The meaning seems 
to be "on the threshold" or "half in and half out" (Donald 


dale : O. Cornish, di-daul (gl. expers.) ; Ger. theilj Goth. dailsj 
Eng. deal (dole). 

mebul : Cym. niefl, "dedecus, turpitudo." 

gabtait : "sie nehmen sie (ihre schilde) auf sich." Zimmer 
(KZ. 28, 317, 319) sees here a pronominal element, " wo das an die 
einfache verbal-form suffigierte element mit dem der componierten 
infigierten auf gleicher stufe steht (ad-ta-sregat)." The older form 
is gabait. Thurneysen thinhs the forms of the third pl. with 
double dental, gabtait, gcbtait, ccsfaitit, are due to the influence 
of the relative forms gabte, gébte, cesfaite (CZ. ii. 80). 

nem : the older form of this word seems to be preserved in 
SR. line 419 : 

"mur nafaitchi, feib dasli 
rosdelbtha dofindruini, 
an-airde, adbul foneib 
otha thalmain coglangrein " (417-420). 

There it is in the dative case ; the height is referred to as " vast 
beneath heaven from the ground unto the pure (or brilliant) sun." 
Father Hogan (Todd, Lect. Ser. iv. p. 125) quotes from Stohes: 
nóemneb, " holy heaven," dat. noemnib. The spelling vvith b is 
hardly accidental, although the nasalisation preceding vvould 

154 NOTES 

obscure b to m, which is the usual spelling. Russ. ricbo, "heaven"; 
Gr. v€(j)os, "cloud"; Cym. nef " heaven " ; so too Stokes in KZ. 
28, 292, while in US. 192 he connects it with Skr. namas, "rever- 

indala, "one of two" ; still current in North Inverness-shire. 

cai/c, "azure, enamel" ; Cym. calchlasar (" Mabin. of Manawd- 
dyan," p. 47, ed. Rhys-Evans). 

foceird, fr. fo-cherdaim, "jucio, depono" ; perf. 3 sg. fo-chaird, 
"dejecit. : ' Stokes compares Gr. Kpa8áo>, «paSaiVo), "swing, shake," 
in pass. " to quiver" ; O. Norse, hrata. 

lamad, Mod. Gael., lamhj cha lamh mi, " I cannot " ; Cym. 
llafasu, " audere " ; *plamd, a. short vowel form of the root of 
/ámh, " hand," the idea being " manage to, dare to ? " 

talmanda : dia talmande = gott auf erden, dia talmaide wáre, 
"deus ex machina" (KZ. 28, 653). H. here has the better reading. 

§ l6 - 

riar, acc. irréir n-. Stokes compares Skr. prhiáti, Goth. 
frijdn, "to love" ; also TL.friend. 

gabsus meisce, lit. " intoxication seized them " ; cf nuair a 
ghabh meisce na mná (CZ. i. 296). 

tairmchell dáiltenid leo, " they came in a circle round the 
fire (0'Curry) ; "there was made by them the circle of the fire- 

amal doragad airi, "as it should come to observation" (Rhys) ; 
"it happened just to his desire" (0'Curry). . ., lit. "he sees her (go) past him." 

áis, "sovranty, power," a secondary sense of áis, óis, "aetas" ; 
cf an ainm Athar áis, " in name of the Father of Power." 

iar trommi óil-, " on being cup-shot," lit. " after the heaviness 
of drinking." With the drinking customs here portrayed one is 
involuntarily reminded of those of Scandinavia, where the women 
drank " not a little" from the same cup as the guests, and sat at 
banquets paired with the men by lot, holding out to the last ; cf 
Weinhold s Die Deutschen Frauen, 2nd ed., vol. ii. p. 125. 

maith sin : it makes no proper sense if we render it " good 
now." Perhaps we should read sen; cf ni pu sen maith, "it will 
not be good success" (" Battle of Mag Rath," p. 18). In §§ 8, 10, 

NOTES 155 

11, 18, it comes at the very beginning of the address, like as old 
folks I remember used to say beannaich romham, " bless before 
me," ere entering a house. 

ed, "quantum," survives in the Highlands, e.g. (1) de ed 's tha 
eadar riu, "what distance is there between them? (2) ed 's is 
cuimhneach leam, " as far as I remember." 

roucaiseo = rucais'\u, 19. 

muinmec=ma\nbech, 19. 

3 l 9- 

slan seiss : we should read seiss. " A safe journey" is 0'Curry's 
paraphrase, lit. " whole pleasure " or " full mate " ; cf. cha dfhuair 
e 'sheiss, " he didn't get his equal or mate." 

folt-cháin : with cáin cf Ger. schbnj Old Cymric inscription, 
cavnej as to epithets involving the word hair, cf Gr. Xaaioúpiíj, 
" shaggy-haired," &c. 

húariud, "at enmity" (OCurry) ; the context needs "jealous 
rivalry," or something such. 

óiti, " youth " ; *Joveniij L. juventus. 

irdarcus : Cym. ardderch-og, " noble, exalted, sublime." 

§ 20. 

is ing, "hardly " ; see Athinson " On Irish Lexicographv," p. 13, 
for several examples. 

futhairbe, " furrow." 

tuargabsat a te'nte, " they lifted their smochs to their buttocks " 
(///. " to the globes of their forks ") — Stokes. The author of the 
tale apparentlv had a sense of rough humour, and he here tries to 
have a broad hit at the great dames. I have rendered by " robes " 
here, as the Irish ladies' lénti of the period wer'e certainly far re- 
moved from what we associate with a "smock" now, although I 
know the Anglo-Irish of Elizabeth's day used the word. Fashions, 
even in Ireland, changed from time to time, and the details of 
garments that go by the same name differed according to rank. 
Male garments were also named lénti, and were linen kirtles (often 
rendered by the misleading term shirts, which is what the word 
would now mean), with wide sleeves down to the knees, generally 
dved with saffron. Further, they had "woollen jachets but very 
short ; plain breeches close to their thighs, and over these they 
cast their mantles or shag-rugs, which Isidore calls Heteromalte, 

156 NOTES 

fringed with an agreeable mixture of colours, in which they wrap 
themselves up and sleep upon the bare ground. Such also do 
the women cast over the garment which comes down to their 
ankles, and they load their heads rather than adorn them with 
several elles of fine linen rolled up in wreaths, as they do their 
necks with necldaces and their arms with bracelets " (J. Goode's 
account, circa 1566, given in Camden, ed. 1722, p. 1422. Bishop 
Leslie of Ross in his Latin worlc on the origin, customs, and history 
of the Scots, published at Rome in 1578, says of the female costume : 
" Bot the cleithing of the women with thame was maist decent, 
for thair cotes war syd (i.e. silk) evin to the hanckleith (z'.e. ankles) 
wyd mantilis above or playdes all embroudiret artificiouslie ; 
bracelets about their armes, iewalis about thair neck, broches 
hinging at thair halse, baith cumlie and decent and melde to thair 
decore and outsett" (Father Cody's trans. p. 94, ed. by Father 
Dalrymple for Scottish Text Society). What was true in the 
sixteenth century was true, to all intents, centuries earlier in this 

co mellaib a larach : cf. gabaid a lcnid i n-ardgabáil os mellach 
a lárnch 7 gabaid a lummain find fortocbalta i forcipul imme, " he 
tucked up his shirt over the rounds of his fork and wrapped him in 
the folds of his white cloak" (" Vision of Mac Conglinne," ed. K. 

larac : explained by P. Conell as " the leg or thigh, or the leg 
and thigh " ; lon-larg, " the hip and thigh " ; translated furca by 
Colgan ; glossed gabul in H. i. 13, p. 360, 1. 15 (MS. Trin. Coll.). 
A larach was also the name for a portion of honour at feasts ; " to 
the ollave-historian was given a larac to comfort him ; to the 
briuga a larac to satisfy him, no low saying ; to the aire ard a 
good smooth larac, honour not rude" (Petrie's "Tara"). As to 
honorific portions of meat,see "Anct. Laws," i. 49, and cf. " Odyssey," 
iv. 66. 

fothraind, gen. of fothrand, fothronnj Cym. godorun, "tumul- 
tuous noise." 

raebla?igtár=ro leblangtár, 3 pl. perf. of lingim, " I leap." 

folmastar, S. pret. sg. 3, depon. fr. fo-lámaim. 

S 21. 

arlastar : s-aorist fr. ad-gladur; " so dass sie die pfórtner von 
ihrem platze aus anrief" — Thurneysen in KZ. 28, 152 ; cf conar- 
lasar inni, Lc. 41, vvhich, as the corresponding Eg. text connar- 
laidid inna macco, "that ye may address the youths," shows, must 

NOTES 157 

mean : " that ye may address him " ; arlásar for arlásaid is an 
analogical formation ; subj. sg. 1 conidnarladur, LU, 113*7; 
pret. sg. 3, ni ariassair, LU, 1 1 4' % 3 1 ; also in SR. 3791, in sense of 
allocutus esi, Eg. conidnarlassair inrí. 

cló, congate with Cym. cloi, "obserare, claudere, concludere," 
pl. cloeu, " clavi " ; Lat. clávusj Gr. k\tjis. 

§ 22. 

"The pieces marked with R. in the margin of old MSS. are bits 
of Rosc or Retairic (Rhetoric), are hard to render into English, as 
they are jerky, ejaculatorv, allusive, or instances of aposiopesis or 
ellipsis" — Hogan's RR. xxiii. "There are no stanzas, no regular 
number of syllables in the verse — if it may be termed verse — no 
rhyme, and of course no termination." The only ascertainable 
characteristics seem to be (1) alliteration ; (2) short jerky sen- 
tences ; (3) a certain laconic and somewhat oracular diction," 
ib. xxviii. 

co.tom.bert-sa brú sóer, lit. a free womb bore me. 

costud, see sub " Loan Words." 

richt, form, appearance ; in Mod. Gael. riochd, which some- 
times means " wraithe " ; Cym. rhithj lit. " I am sprung from the 
body of a king and of a queen, in form (beauty) excelling [and in] 
manners (breeding)." 

berar, short for at-berar in sense of L. fertur, " reported " ; 
otherwise we must take it simply " is born of me." 

nóithium : v. grammatical analysis ; cf. however, mac Nessa 
nóitis morshiaig, " Mac Nessa den die grossen schaaren feierten," 
Ir. Texte, iii. 528 ; nóithi, fr. a verb meaning "celebrate, ennoble, 
multiply," v. Strachan " On Verbal System of SR.," p. 72. But I 
regard it solely as an analogical formation with a plav upon Nói- 
in Nóicride. It has nothing to do with nóidiu, "infant." 

consert la feba fene : cf rowzaltsa tm olsiadi la feba féne . hi 
costud forchaini hi fogart genussa hi congraimmin rigna . in 
ecosc so chraid . conid chuc«;« bagthir cach n-delb sóer sochraid 
etiallaib ba« búagnithi. At mathi ém na feba sin ol Cuculainn. 
LU I24 b , i.e. " I was brought up," said she, " in ancient virtues, in 
lawful behaviour, in the keeping of chastity, in rank equal to a 
queen, in stateliness of form, so that to me is attributed every 
noble grace of form among thehosts of (Erin's?) women." " Good 
indeed are those virtues," said Cuchulainn — (Kuno Meyei J s trans. 
in " Hull," p. 67). Something historical lies in the background, 
and reminds one of Reating's account of the geasa (i.e. tabus) of 

158 NOTES 

the Féni : " The first, never to receive a portion with a wife, but to 
choose her for good manners and virtues ; the second, never to 
offer violence to any wornan ; the third, never to refuse any one 
for anything he might possess ; the fourth, that no single warrior 
should ever flee before nine [i.e. before less than ten] champions " 
— (Quoted as in " Hyde," p. 373. 

feib, acc. pl. feba, "goodness, virtue," cf ani eolach Jri febaib 
fiss, " I am learned in the excellencies of knowledge " ; cognate 
perhaps with Gr. vyirjs, L. vegeo, vigeo" (Bez. Beit. xix.). 

féne : as used in this tale, it means "heroes of valour, warriors," 
being synonymous with lath gaile ; cf — 

" in muir mór conmílib scel 
triastuc Dia claind n-Israhél 
rodáil rí grene cenrainn 
forformnu féne Forainn " — SR. 3992, 

where the flight of the Children of Israel through the Red Sea 

with the King of Egypt's warriors in pursuit is described, as is 

clear from 

" doarfas fís foromm cert 

doForann doríg Egept " — ib. 3225-6. 

Saltair na Rann is a composition so near in point of date to that 
of this tale, that the meaning the word bears in the one work may 
be reasonably assigned it in the other. The reference to armed 
troops or battalions can be seen in 

a bé fc7ie fechtach — ib. 6015. 

The adjective carries with it the idea of "oppressive," &c, as when 
the troubles of the Resurrection Day are described — 

" biaid fogur fenedach 
congairib grandaib garbaib 
isindomnuch dedenach 
rian-eisseirge domarbaib" — ib. 8021-4. 

Cf. the description of the troubles following upon Herod's Slaughter 
of the Innocents in L.Br. — "there were there among the mothers 
hoarse cries . . . bruised hearts, deeds of soldiers (ferta fenned) 
. . . bared breasts (ciche nochta)" — Todd's Lect. Ser. vi. p. 81. This 
interpretation is borne out by a gloss I have noted : femen .i. bean, 
seach bafémen bafeindidh, "though she was a woman she was a 
warrior." That a heroine of old Irish saga should speak of her- 
self as trained in warrior-virtues is as it ought to be. 

NOTES 159 

fo-gart : cf Cym. gwardd " prohibition " ; vb. " to forbid." 
There is also another word, gart, gen. garta, Á.feile, "liberality, 
bounty, hospitality ; in the old version of TE, Emer says : I am 
the daughter of a king, a ruddy flame of hospitality (ingen ríg, 
richis gartd)" 

geinsiu : cf genus, "desire" — "Anct. Laws," ii. 351. 

genas, "castitas." Hence lit. "in restraint of desire, (in) 

luchthond, " grey-skinned " ; in translating, I have followed 
/uchdonn, the form in L, taking luch = loch, "a\\" + donn, " noble." 
We are precluded from taking it as representing the Mod. Gael. 
lachdunn, "tawny," for that appears as lachtna in § 91. There is 
here a poet's play upon words ; the like phrase occurs in § 46, 
where Eg. reads in luch donn, H. in luc donn., 3 sg. pres. ind., lit. " he defends them " ; cf Ml. 38°, 
where nimdichim-se is glossed vindico., "he covers them, he protects them" ; cf. Ml. 
iarsindí adcuaidsom dineuch immethecrathar crist dianechtair 
contoi talmaidiu duaisndis de fessin hic =" afler he has spoken 
of all that covers Christ without (i.e. his outward appearance), he 
suddenly turns to speak of Himself " — Strachan. 

biíageltoch, but Eg. is more correct. Windisch renders it 
eifersuchtig auf sieg," with a query quoting gealtach, "fearful, 
jealous," from 0'Reilly ; cf Norse, verfta at gjalti, "to turn mad 
with terror," where gjalti in all likelihood is borrowed from Irish 
geilt, " mad by fear." 


congraimm : cf. § 44. 

coiblethar (1. 11): Eg. and //. show we should have this spelling 
also in 1. 14, *con-velet- ; Cym. gweled, "to see, perceive, observe" ; 
" should be seen stepping" expresses the general sense. Cf 

Gen. sg. — lid, SR. 5719 ; dat. — liud, ib. 6066, the phrase being 
ar chricth, ar chéil, ar choibliud, where King David is being praised ; 
coibliud buada (LU. io2 b , 21), "a picture of graces, a sight of 
excellences." Strachan thinks coibliud may stand for com-filliud. 
A different word is coibled, " a banquet," SR. 7603 (con-fied), where 
it is used of the Feast at Cana. 

cred-mair, "big-shielded." : might formally be either pres. ind. or ro-\ess preter. of 
*do-md-sóim. The historic pres. and the pret. are often found 
together, eg. LU. 57 a , 30, dothíagat . . . co feotar, "they go . . . and 

i6o NOTES 

slept" (Strachan in Trans. Phil. Soc. for 1896, p. 166) ; cf tintaí 
Pairaicfriu, " Patriclc turned towards them" (VT. 182, 1. 27). 
comaig, pres. 3 sg. fr. co-imm-agim. 

§24., " endows me." The Eg. reading of the whole 
line is to be preferred. 

báightir, &c, " every beautiful form is pitted against me." 

sóer setta dóine : the line = so that my glance in my natural 
countenance is a free jewel of men, i.e. attracts men to my bright 

sóerligi, &c, " free love of sense," in contrast with luth seirce, 
"joy of true love." 

fíadetarlu, cí.fadhaich, vb. " to welcome" (Highlands). 

ches, "common, customary, weakly (?)." 

feid, " looks, sees " ; cf Cym. gwedd, " aspect." 

fuither, L. vitrum; may be the word is cognate, not borrowed. 
Some archaic psychology is in the baclcground ; cf. " Hib. Lect." 

foceird ích n-erred indáib ; cf. focheird hích n-erred n-indnae, 
§51. It is a stereotyped phrase for "heroes' salmon-leap" ; also 
cer n-íach, § 87 ; cor is necessary to the grammatical construction, 
ich, iach, being gen. from eó, "salmon." It is uncertain how 
indnae, indáib are to be analysed ; I have paraphrased it as " in 
air," which suits the idea but is no translation. 

atetha, 3 sg. ind. of adethaim, "ich gehe heran, ich nehme 
ergreife, erlange, finde " ; often used in the sense of berid leis; it 
always is found with an infixed pronoun, usually t, to express the 
object ; for examples see KZ. 30, 73. 

immelig—; {LU. 11 3 b ). 

conboing, " confringit " ; 3 sg. pres. fr. com-bongaim, " I brealc." 

falgai, 3 sg. pres. í, " beat down, dismay " ; " sternit 
mundi superba agmina." 

betho, gen. of bith, m. " world, existence" ; Cym. byd; Gaul. 
bitu-; root bi, " to live," whence L. vivo and E. be; cf fir betho 
(Ml. i6 c ) ; docotar iterum fri tola in betíw, "thev went again to 
desires of the world" (Wb. 29*). 

úath, Cor. uth, Bret. eus, heuz, "horror"; *pouto-, L.flutrid, 

darcna, cf. torc, " king " ; it may be dialectal or purposely 

is fer seirgeis illigu, " he is a man that hews down many 

NOTES 161 

is crón chutma cííaride, " as heavy copper the braves " (? ?). 
The last vvord may be some purposely formed distortion from cur, 
caur, "hero." 

crón, cf. crjían, " red " ; crón .i. dearg (0'Clery's Glossary) ; 
from *krok-no, cognate with Greelc npáicos, "the purple crocus" 
(Stohes). The Hebrew-Arabic karkóm, "saffron" is in that case 
a loan-word in Semitic. 

" cruan, a kind of the old art-work from abroad (anall.). Cruan 
is the red and créduma, i.e. the yellow. MaiiJme, i.e. the yellow 
and red and white" (O'Davoren). The red material to which the 
old enamel owed its colour has proved to be red oxide of copper 
(Trans. R.I.A. xxx. 280). Perhaps she compares them to verdi- 
gris or makes an equally odious comparison. 

siuil, gen. sg. of siul .i. imda, "bed" (O'Dav.), cf. Eng. " to be 
brought a-bed = to be delivered of a child" (Stokes in " Ir. Text." 
ii. 226). 


luan laith, "hero's light," otherwise called lón gaile; cf. II. v. 
as to the fire which Athene makes to burn on Diomedes' head ; 
also II. xviii. "the light which blazes from the head of Achilles ;* 

otruch, lit. " so that they were on the dung-heap." Still worse 
was the plight of Ajax — 

" Tripped up by Pallas, Ajax slipped and fell 
Amid the offal of the lowing kine, 
Which o'er Patroclus Peleus' son had slain, 
His mouth and nostrils were with offal filled." 

Iliad xxiii. 899-902. 

In the courtyard of the Homeric palace the dung was regularly 
collected from the animals stalled there ; v. Leaf's " Iliad," vol. ii. 
P- 374 n - 

adsoirg a bossa, " he beat them his palms " ; ,y-infixed used 
proleptically ; violent motion of the hands is meant ; cf insorg; 
innsorgiun .i. bidh doigh comadh inann ocus gluaisacht no imluadh 
— O'Davoren ; ionnsort, "moved" — O'Don. Suppl. 


Nimatorchomlad-sa : cf. chomollod, § 94, fr. comallaim, " to 
satisfy, fill with food (L. implere), to fulfil." Ni.mat. + "not well 



[that] a feast has been prepared for you," or with Eg. " not well 
that I have prepared a feast for you." 

longad, fr. longaim, " I eat" ; Cym. llewa, "to eat." 


riastrad, " es ergriff ihn zornes-glut " (CZ. i. 38) ; cf. Cym. 
rhwystro, " to hinder, obstruct." 

maeldub demis, " an utter (lit. black) baldness of shears " ; dub 
here rather intensifies than expresses a colour ; cf. dubh-bhreugach, 
said of one utterly addicted to lying ; demis, still in daily use in the 
North Highlands but not current in some of the southern islets ; in 
Munster it sounds as djees, the vowels being nasal, in N. Inver- 
ness djei-ish, with nasalised vowels : *di, "two" + mess, "edge" 
(Cormac), from root met, "to cut," meith, "to prune," L. meto, 
" I mow, I crop." 

cirdub : " dark-yellow," following Zimmer's explanation, kamm- 
dunhel, dunhel wie der kamm der birke gegen herbstende . . . dunhel- 
gelb, dunkel-grau (KZ. 30, 30-35). But in CZ. i. 38, he renders 
this passage tiefschwarze lockenharr. The former is more in 
accord with the colour of Cuchulainn's locks ; deep-black seems 
utterly inappropriate. To get this rendering Zimmer points to the 
phrase dubithir cir, " dunkler als der kamm [der birke gegen ende 
des herbstes] as paving the way towards cirdub, " dark-yellow, 
dark-grey." In § 50 one of Cuchulainn's steeds is described as 
cirdub, and I have made it dark-grey, for which we have the autho- 
rity of Macleod and Dewar's Gael. Dict. where the adj. ciar, however, 
is defined as dark-brown as well as "dusky, dark-grey." It would 
evince, Zimmer thinks, peculiar taste on the part of such connoisseurs 
of horses as the Irish, if their chief hero had a jet- or coal-black 
steed yoked alongside of a grey one. Even if they are symbols of 
night and day, as they are taken to be (Hull. lxxvi.), it is not 
necessary to render the epithet by "coal-black" or "jet-black," as 
CCurry (" Manners and Cust.," iii. 134) makes it, and some others. 
Coneys gives ciar, " dark-grey, dusky, gloomy, dark-brown." 
Zimmer notes that in Mod. Irish old i and old ia (i.e. Celtic e, 
European ci) are spoken alike as long i, and that if cir in cirdub 
were identical with ciar, then the present Irish pronunciation " would 
hold good for 1 100 A.D., as both ciar and cirdub occur in LU (4o a , 
42; 30% 30; io6 b , 11 ; I22 a , 45); ciardub would then be dark- 
black, dark-brown." In Scotland cir, "comb," sounds quite dif- 
ferent from ciar, "dusky." The like phrase occurs in RR. 79, 
folt cas ciorr-dubh, "curling deep-yellow hair," where Hogan gives 

NOTES 163 

the alternative of "beetle-black" and quotes Zimmer's rendering 
of " darkish-yellow or dark-grey." Stokes (U S. 64) renders it " pure 
black"; *kíro-s, "rein, schier"; cír-chorcra, "pure purple"; 
Bezzenberger compares Gr. nípis • Xú^j/os (Hesych.) ; Skr. kirána, 
"ray," kirita, "diadem." Consider, however, OE. scír, "bright," 
Mod. Eng. sheer " bright, pure, perpendicular," Gr. o-/ciepos, "shady" ; 
nor ought one to forget the steed's name, Dub Sainglend, where 
jaz'« = "especial, separate" glend from *glendo, "make clear," 
Ir. a.t-gleinn, " demonstrat," a root found in Ger. glanz, " splendour," 
Eng. glance ; hence "the black fully resplendent one." In which 
case, as cirdub must have a similar connotation, we are reduced to 
regard the horses as symbols of day and night. 

bró, gen, brón; Cym. breuan, f. hand-mill ; Corn. brou (gl. mola) ; 
Bret. breou, breoj Skr. grd-van, " stone for pressing Soma " ; 
cf. Eng. quern. 


adantha, gen. sg. of adanad, " fervour, heat, zeal " ; the reading 
adartha is corrupt (CZ. i. 87-88). 

§ 29. 

tri chin m-ban, " through the fault of women," &c. ; cf. " Thus 
brought two women's quarrel many a good knight to die" (Nibe- 
lungenlied, Adventure xiv. stanza 902) ; the whole adventure tells 
how the two queens reviled one another, " each on a full knight 
thinking that either loved full well." 

con-tóiset, pres. pl. 3 ; Cym. tau, " silent," tewi, "silence" ; cf 
Mod. Gael. tos .i. clos, e.g. thainig tos air an oidhche, " a calm came 
upon the night," i.e. "the night calmed" (Highlands). 

irgalaib, dat. of irgal : fray, strife ; Cym. arial, "thrill." 

§ 3°- 

frecra (frith-gare) ; Cym. gwrthgair. 

damnad : cf Cym. gox-dymi, " to be used to." 

forcetul, " instruction, teaching" ; *for-cant-lon root as in can, 
"'sing" ; Cym. gwarchan, " incantation." 

dírguid cretli : cf CZ. i. 83°. 

brug, i. fearann, "land" (Laws, vol. iv. p. 124, 1. 16, 17); 
" grazing-ground at some distance off " versus faitche, " lawn, 
green" ; cf Laws, vol. i. 132, 1. 11-15, 138, 1. 33-35. The word is 
cognate with Eng. march, "border, frontier," OE. mearc, Goth. 

164 NOTES 

marka, Ger. mark, Lat. margo, Cymric, bro, Cymmro, pl. Cymmry, 
" fellovv-landsmen," for *com-broges, Gaulish, AWo-broges {brogce 
Galli agrum dicuní). Perhaps it forms part of Bruiach (several 
places in the Highlands are thus named). I might have rendered 
the text by "the great Marches of Erin." Dr. Windisch has 
quite erred in rendering the context as der Liath Morbragi d.i. der 
graue Grosshalsige (Ir. Texte, p. 252 ; also 239). 

na thó no, " minime " (Z 2 . 749) ; thó is for dó, dhó; Mid. Cym. do 
ita, "yes" ; na do, "minime" (ZE. 758) ; Mod. Cym. do, "yes" ; 
na ddo, " no." 

for, also ol, " inquit," says he ; fordat ordat, " say they," also 
oldat, L. vcrbum, E. word, Gr. e'ípco, Fepéa ; *verio, " I say," Lith. 
vardas, " name," have been compared. 


brugi, plains ; Marches, Marksj Hennessey in " Mesce Ulad" 
quotes Rawl. 502, e.g.filet ann brugi blathi, "flowery plains are 
there ; cona brugaib fo blaith bil, " with its brugs under bright 

tongu do dia toinges ?no thuath, " I swear to the god my people 
swear by" ; see note sub § n. This formula is specially notice- 
able, as it has the word dia, " god " ; lit. " I swear by the god 
whom my people swear by." O'Beirne Crowe would render it, 
" I swear for an oath the oath of my territories," thinlcing we have 
here O'Davoren's déé glossed minna, "an oath" (cf Skr. divyá) ; 
but this does violence to the use of do, and cannot be accepted. 
Curiously he thought the words "to God" = ^£> dia, absurd in the 
mouth of a Pagan. That every tribe had its own god and cult 
seems the inference from this formula. 

tuath, "people," now "tenantry"; air an tuath, "in the 
country" (Lewis); "an unlearned man, plebeian, layman" 
(Coneys) ; Cym. titd, " country, nation ; Gaul. Touto, Teuto ; 
L. totus, "all"; O. Prussian, tauta, "land" ; Goth. piuda, 
" people " ; Teutonic, Deutsch, Dutch. 


etrain, " interference, intervention " ; Cym. athrywyn, " paci- 

dúr, gen. dírir ; Cym. dír, "force" ; Bret. dir, "steel"; L. 
durus; Gaul. dúro?i, dúros, US. 167. 

NOTES 165 

feidm, " effort," *ved-men, " need-service," root ved; Eng. wed; 
Lat. vas, vadis ; Skr. vivadha, " shoulder-yoke " ; " [his will be 
the] effort or exploit of a hero who will ask him." 

§ 34- 
amglicu fechrad-su, " am ungeschicktesten sind deine pferde " 
— Wind. 

imtrommu, &c, "am schwersten geht dein wagen" — Wind. 
clod: Cym. clawdd, "dyke," originally "hollow ditch." 

nacham, 1 pers. pron. suffixed : "there is no blame for me, no 
reproach for me." 


anam, conj. 1 pl. Mod. Gael. fan, " stay " ; Cym. di-anod, 
" without delay." 


a m-boi. Note force of vb. subst. " as he was there he saw." 

scáil-fer, *skatlo, as in Scathach; Goth. ga-skapjan (Bezz. 
Beit. xix.). 

rengtnar, " of big-testicle" ; cf níroásatar arenga (LU. I2i b 32, 
"his pudenda were not grown" (Strachan " On Verb Deponent," 
p. 568) ; renga rodaim, " reins of a great ox" (VT. 72, 10), properly 

ro-chalma, Cym. celfydd, " skilled." 

ton, Cym. tin, bottom. 

inar : it might seem from this that the inar was not worn by 
the higher classes. 


coich et, lit. "to whom are" ; Cym. pieu : pieu y bet, " whose is 
the grave" (" Black Book of Carmarthen," facs. p. 32); pwy pia 
hwn, " who is it who owns them " (Rhvs in Bezz. Beit. xix.). 


cungain, "cognovit" ; conna congain nem ná tahnain, " so that 
he knew not heaven nor earth" — VT. ; root gan, "to know." The 
Eg. version uses an entirely different word, meaning " was able" ; 

i66 NOTES 

root gná; as-gen-su, " intellexisti " ; eter-geutn, "agnovit" ; Cym. 
adwaen (*at-guo-gn), " I kno\v " ; L. gno-sco. 
ara, LU. seems incorrect ; see Eg. reading. 


feib, "as" ; Goth. svasve. 

§4 2 - 

co?n-di??i??tus = diomasach, "proud" (Highlands), fr. di-od-mess, 
root med, as in E. mete, L. meditari. 

colléic, "just now, for the present" (Stokes) ; calléic, omnino, 
semper, utique (Z 2 , 610). 

dia tri la ocus teora n-aidchi (Eg.) = u after three days and 
three nights." This is an idiom ; cf. dia bliadna = " after a year ; 
that day a year hence ;" bliadhain andiu—" a year to-day." 


congraim, a verbal noun with root as in L. ag-gred\or, signifying 
a certain style of movement or attitude : " carriage " perhaps might 
express it ; congraimm, " cunning, com-plexio (?), apparel, appear- 
ance" (Echtra Nerai in RC. ) ; dat. congraimmin; cf. § 23, "de- 


droch, n. " wheel " ; Cym. tro, " versio, gyrus " ; troi, " to turn, 
revolve " ; Gr. rpoxós, anvthing that runs round ; c/. Orgam Brudne 
Da Derga ; con dadercaca tria drocu ?ia carpat so, "that I viewed 
them through the wheels of the chariot." The droch was sometimes 
of brass, sometimes of iron ; the tire of the wheel was the roth, 
often so sharp that one could not step over their edge : ní etaim 
dano techt sech ?iechtar in da roth iar?idae in carpait ar afáebraige. 

all \. srian, "bridle" (0'Clery's Glossary). This must be the 
native name for bridle, as srian is from L. frénu?n. From the 
epithets attached it seems to have included bridles and reins all 
in one. The double introduction of all into the text must be due 
to a scribal blunder when comparing different versions. 

fertsi, pl. of fertas, " two shafts projecting from the chariot 
behind" (O'B. Crowe in JRIAHA for 1870, vol. i. of 4th ser. 
published in 1878). He quotes (a) ni dichti?n dano sech in da??i 
a\f\ rolin a chong?ta eter di fertais in carpat uile = " I cannot, more- 

NOTES 167 

over, come past the ox, for his horns have filled all between the two 
fertas of the chariot ; {b) when Cuchulainn came back to Emain 
he had a flock of swans tied above the chariot and a wild ox {dam 
allaid indiaid a carpait) bchind his chariot. If, then, the ox had 
filled up with its horns the space between the two fertas, and was 
in this position dragged behind the chariot, it is evident the shafts 
must have been behind. These shafts were removable at pleasure, 
for in LL. 71 a certain person asks for the fcrtas of his chariot to 
try the depths of the ford before the horses : domroced fertas mo 
carpait co rofromur in ai rias in ec'raid, " let the fertas of my 
chariot be reached me that I may try the ford before the horses." 
The shaft was given him and he sets about trying the ford. In 
TE. the phrase desfertais in charpait is rendered by K. Meyer by 
" right side of the pole of the chariot," although the pole is definitely 
spoken of a few lines farther on as sithbe. In LU. 64 a , where it is 
mentioned that the chariot has met with an accident, the phrase 
na fertse culind occurs, showing that the material could be of 
holly {cf Hull, p. 155). Crowe points to the hind-shafts seen on 
Roman coins, and concludes that (1) the chariot, like the common 
cart at present, could rest on them, (2) a board laid from one to 
the other might serve as a step for ascending and descending it. 
Such a " rest " attached behind he imagines the furis (§ 70) to 
have been,—forus, as he writes it. Cym. gwerthed, " spindle, axle, 
what turns in the axle," root vert, " to turn," has been compared. 
But a chariot had only one axle. 

?nind n-, " diadem " : note transition in sense to modern mionn, 
" oath," from the saints' insignia on which the oath was sworn. 

dronbudi : possibly the yellow meant is the colour of tanned 
leather ; dron-, " firm, compact " ; hence " heavy with," i.e. 

mind n-óir : Dr. MacCarthy, in a note on " Mind," wrongly 
asserts as to 0'Reilly's quotation from Cormac ["from mendax,i.e. 
lying"] : " To attribute this derivation to him is a cruel libel on 
Cormac who has not given the word at all." Yes ! see Cormac, 
ed. O'Donovan Stokes, p. 115, sub mindech ... ab eo quod est 
mendicus .i. bregach. 

for.da.tuigithar, " which covers him (it) " ; cf fordotuigithur, 
"Anc. Laws," ii. 284 ; orastuigithear, "Ir. Texte," iii. 18. ' 

ae=áe eorum, Z'-, 327, 337 ; perhaps when th emeaning faded 
dib was required, so that we have reduplication, "each of them of 
them"; cf however, ai, gl. "a haen," Eg. 90 fol. 17% 1, which 
Stokes equates with O. Persian aiva, "one," Gr. olos, olFos, "only.' 

bil, Cym. byl, " brim, edge " ; gwe-_/?, f. " lip." 

i68 NOTES 

fndruini, perhaps for fnd[b]r uini where bruini is cognate with 
E. bronze, lit. " white-bronze." 

anbhíth n-én n-etegnaith, "abirdplume of the usual feather" 
(Sullivan) ; but "unusual" would be more in keeping with the 
heroes' rank, so that we want neitlgnaid, which is what Eg. has, 
only that the stroke over the i is missing — a very easy slip. 


drech, " mien " ; Cym. drycli, " aspect." Either one or other is 

baraind, dat. of baraj Cym. bar, "ire, fury." 

sein, in Scotland usually written sin, but the old sound is 
exemplified in the " Book of Deer" and still prevails in Colonsay, 
parts of Uist, and in Harris, &c. 


féid, cf. Cym. gwedd, " aspect " ; but consider Cym. ym-ar- 
wedd, "se gerere" ; \x.fedim, " I bring." 

rán = ro + án, "swift, quick." 

intiu, " sees not into them," i.e. cannot follow them. I suspect 
corruption from the difference in spelling between Eg. and LU.j 
it may have arisen from the influence of étruth, for the reciter 
would no doubt gallop through this run. Even if this slight 
change may not be quite right, the rendering is not in any case 
very far from what the context demands. 

ét-ruth : ét, "jealousy," ruth ("race"?), often in chevilles, luath 
a ruth (SR. 3107, 6043). 

derg, "bay," lit. "red" ; cf Zechariah vi. 7, "and the bay went 
forth," which some versions render by " red." 

druimlethan foseng feochair fond : "broad of back, very slender, 
wild and spirited" ; delete "of light and long dashing pace" ; fond 
in the sense of "long" is questionable ; it here means "glee, trim, 
high spirit," in which sense it has passed into English asfun. 

riad, " running, going," cognate with Eng. ridej cf Gaul. réda, 
"chariot" ; Gr. e-pídos, "messenger, servant" (Bezz. Beit. xix.). 

dia, " two " ; cf dia colamain, " two columns " (Chronicon 
Scotorum, p. 206, Rolls Ser.). This form is not isolated. 

tel-bude, "with yellow thongs" (stripes) ; cf tell, *telno-s, "rie- 
men, streifen," (US. 131). 

NOTES 169 


lond-bruth loga, " fierce flame of fire " ; the god Lug may be 

lía cáin ccrmnae, lit. " a smooth cutting stone." 

curethar, &c, cf. § 52; "he firmly heaps (puts) head upon 
head, exploit upon exploit, fight upon fight." 

fúasnadar,fuasnaither: deponent forms used in middle sense 
(Strachan) ; the pass. form in the glosses is fuasnithcr (Ml. 66 d , 


N.B. — §§ 49-51 contain stoclc descriptions or runs ; in the 
present case, the Tochmarc Emere (" Wooing of Emer "), as in LU., 
contains several clauses which are absent in " Fled Bricrend." 
These are incorporated within square brackets, but in § 51 several 
lines from the same source are put at the foot of the page, but 
bracketed in the translation. The old compiler or transcriber was 
in too great a hurry, and seems to have left them unwritten. 
Similar runs abound in CampbelPs " West Highland Tales." I 
have often heard such recited ; it was quite astonishing to listen 
to the rapid diction, to observe the big drops of sweat which 
covered the reciter's brow. It needed a powerful memory and 
special training from childhood. Story-reciting in this style will 
in the course of this generation become in the Highlands a lost 
art — if, indeed, it be not wholly lost already. 


trosmar: trost-mar, as in Eg. and H., is more correct ; Cym. 
tryst-fawr, lit. "sound-great." 

ern-budi, "very yellow" (Crowe) ; cf.fcrn, "good" (Cormac) ; 
here perhaps as intensive ; uncertain. 


óencharpait : ("This is the description of) the chariot chief of a 
single-chariot" — following TE. I have taken óen- as intensive, 
cf. rinn iad aen duine dheth, " they made him a king " (Eriskay). 

ocht n-gemma : " Possibly the flashes of his eyes, or the gems 
serving as pupils in the middle of them, which are described as 
seven or eight in number (the latter, probably the original number, 
corresponding to the eight days of the Pagan week), referred to 
the days of the week respectively, as the three colours of his hair 
possibly did to the three parts of the day. And a reference to 

170 NOTES 

the appearance of the sun shorn of his rays may have been origi- 
nally involved in the fancy which made Cuchulainn's hair get 
absorbed into his body, leaving a blood-red drop marking the place 
of each individual hair, when he was engaged in any great physical 
efifort" (Hib. Lect. 437-438). 


matho, gen. of math, "bear" ; also ; Gaul. Matu- 
genos ; TevLto-matus; Cym. madawg, "fox." It may be interest- 
ing to state that the last w olf seen in Ireland was ldlled on a 
mountain in co. Kerry in 1725. 

cot.on.mela-ni, "he will grind us," where the suffixed .on. "us," 
is used proleptically, and is followed by afhxed ni, cognate with 
Cym. ni; cf. Skr. nas, " us " ; L. nos ; Gr. va> ; with gen. dual náthar 
cf Gr. vcoirepos. 

grían, Cym. graean, " gravel." 

leóit : It would be safer to render it limb, thighj cf /eo = ba\l, 
" member," sub /aarg (Cormac) ; in any case, the rendering is 
only inferred, as the glossaries fail us. 

com/úd, &c, [the] equal swiftness of the chargers of victorv 
[as] [the] outbreak of thunder [on a] hole in the roof ; to/l, " hole " 
+ c/ethe, " ridge-pole, roof." 

torann, gen. -ainn, aind, "thunder"; Cym. tarann; Gr. ropos, 
"loud"; Gaul. Taranis = ]v.p\ter. 

al/chliu, &c, "noble praise versus defamation." 

trethan, gen. of tríath, "sea"; *treiton-\ Gr. Tplrcov, -covis, 
Triton ; Treathan traigh = " sea-shore," a place-name in Deir- 
dire's " Farewell to Alba." 

finna fomochta, " fair full-naked " ; cf u Matres familiae de 
muro vestem argentumque jactabant pectore nudo prominentes et 
passis manibus obtestabantur Romanos ut sibi parcerent" (Ceesar, 
de Bel/o Gal/ico, vii. 47) ; also Fynes Moryson's " Travels," p. 181, 
tell of a nobleman who, on coming to the house of an Ulster chief, 
" was met at the door with sixteen women all naked except their 
loose mantles ; whereof eight or ten were very fair and two seemed 
very nymphs." 

aur/am n-immchomraic : " with the full number of girls readv 
together (prepared for action)" ; the stroke above the i scarcely 
means the usual n, though I left it in the text. I should expect a 
form of im-chomarc, " salute, greet." 

/iss, n. pl. of /ess, " enclosure, court " ; Cym. llys, " aula, 
palatium " ; /ios, " a house or town " (0'Clery) ; in Scotland, 

NOTES 171 

" a garden," from its being enclosed ; lios, gen. lessa, " a fort, 
house, habitation" (Conevs); anglicised as Hss, a place with an 
enclosing earthen wall, cognate with Eng. place, originally a court- 
yard, square, or piazza ; Gr. ir\arvs, " wide." 

dabcha, &c. : cf. Hector's wife, who puts the caldrons on the 
fire for warm baths for a warrior (Iliad, xxii.). 

bnirg faenbéla, " open-mouthed castles, i.e. with open gates " 
(K. Meyer, according to whom (RC. x. 368) borg, nom. pl. buirg, is 
borrowed from Low Latin burgus). It was not an uncommon 
word. It occurs in the " Fe'lire" — rolín burcu in betha, "hath 
filled the burgs (towns, cities) of the world" (Prol. v. 70). For faen, 
cf (1) dothaegat ind aingil ar a cind 7 allama foéna (LU. \ja, 37), 
"open, outstretched" ; (2) 7 si foen ann = " and she reclining 
there" (TE. in Rawlinson, ed. K. Meyer in RC.) ; (3) fáen, "pros- 
trate" (LU. 76 b ) ; (4) dá slechtain déc 7 alláma foena fri Dia, 
" their hands outstretched to God" (Rawl. 512, fol. 43 a ). 

fothud: cf fodai, § 90, where Eg. has fotitg, "sustenance, 


aur-Iaind, Cym. llan, " yard." 

faelte : cf E. weal, wealth; Ger. wohl. Rhys suggests Cym. 
gwell, "better," with which O. Slovenic veléti, "to order, wish," 
Lith. wélyti, "to wish," may be cognate ; its root = to wish. 


taulaich, dat. of taulach, which must mean " vaulting, arch " ; cf 
Cym. tyle, " acclivity, steep ascent " : a phan edrychwt y dyle 
(Rhonabwy's Dream, in Red Book, Mabinogion, p. 146, 1. 5). 

aurgnom : see " Loan Words," sub fuine. In H. it is followed 
by bidh, " preparing food," and was technically used for " cooking." 

bói trá día farsingi in tige co tatlastar : the i in L U. for co of 
Eg. is corrupt unless it stands for .\. = i.e. with co understood after 
it ; the force is : such was the width of the house that the multi- 
tude, &c, would find room in it ; cf bói tra diafot na lamae corro 
acht (§ 82), " such was, however, the length of the hand that he 

tosnairnechtár : cf. ni thairnechtar fodail (v. Wind. " Ir. Texte," 
2 te ser. i. p. 19477). There Windisch no longer regards tosnair- 
nechtár as 3 pl. perf. of tairicim, " I come," as he has given it in 
his dictionary. If one can in any way rely upon tosnairnechtatór, 

172 NOTES 

the Eg. reading, this woulcl be 3 pl. of a t- preterite with -tar 
short for -tatar. He supposes it may belong to tairec, " prepare, 
attend up, supply." Although a /- pret. taimecht from tairec may 
not be quite mormal. But he points to airnecht from airicim. 
See also his Dict. sub airnecht. 


conaccrad, pres. sg. 3 act. It must from the context mean that 
Ailill inquires (asks, entreats) of Conchobar ; do is for di; in § 59, 
however, it is 3 sg. pass., " was called (summoned)." 

ni bá nech bas ferr : note modal use of bá, " there were not any 
one that is better." 

ar is mór do midlachaib allóg. Though Sencha assumes the 
excellency of the Ultonian heroes, he may have implied that, in 
comparison with those three, all the rest of the Ultonians were 
timid ; in which case do is correct, and in that sense it is as I have 
rendered it. But if do be for di, as Windisch (Wórterbuch, 49o b , 
1. 7) assumes, the literal sense would be "for much of cowards is 
their value," i.e. their value is worth that of many cowards. 

praiítd cctna, "the same supper" ; *centinio-s, from ce't, "first." 


atcessa, " they were seen," pass. pl. pret. fr. ad-ciu. 

leór, "enough, sufficiency " ; O. Ir. lourj Cym. llawer, "many" ; 
*/averoj L. lúcrum, " gain " ; Laverna : but in view of L. plúres 
for pleores the root may befl/e, "full." 


hi comartha, " in token of " ; Mod. Gael. mar chomharradh. 
fíad: Cym. yn-gwydd, "coram" ; gwydd, "presence." 
cétach cétblíadnach : love of alliteration is manifested ; cf. blienec 
buadacc in " Book of Deer." 


tíagair, ventum est. 

tíírthund, 3 sg. redup. s- fut. of orgim, " I slay " : iúrad with 
suffixed pronoun of 1 pl. as in ocunn, immunnj " wehe sagte 
Medb. Cuchulainn wiirde uns toten, sagte sie, wenn er rasend 

NOTES 173 

wird" (KZ. 30, p. 52) ; "il nous tuera" (RC. vi. 372 11 ). Cognate 
with Ir. orgim is O. Cym. orgiat (gl. caesor). Gaul. Orgeto-nx, 
which Persson connects with Gr. épéxda, epexdfús (v. Trans. of 
Phil. Soc. for 1891-94, p. 155). 

brágit, acc. of brage, "neck, throat" ; Cym. brenant, O. Bret. 
brehant, *brágnt ; Ger. hragen, Eng. craw ; other connections are 
uncertain ; such as have been suggested suit Ir. brongidi (gl. raucaé) 

attodaimet, 3 pl. pres. fr. ad-daitnim, " confess " ; Cym. addef, 
" to aclcnowledge, own." 


airthend, "oats, seed" ; seems a loan-word fr. L. aratio, -onis, 
" agriculture, arable land," hence agricultural produce. 

ban-chnri, " the women-host"; cf. Cym. gos-gordd, "retinue, 
train " ; cordd, " a circle, tribe." 

farrad, O. Ir. in arrad, fr. *ar-sod, "by-seat"; root as in 
suidhe, " seat." 


iarna barach : Cym. boreu, "morning"; Ger. morgen. The 
final guttural a g, not a c, originally ; g became ch in presence of 
a dark vowel : *mrg, mr-ego. 

indarra = indar la. 

an-echtair, Cym. eithyr, eithr (cf. US. p. 27). 

fer-chubat, Cym. cufydd, "cubit." 

gáir, Cym. gawr, " shout." 


graphand= grafand, "horse-chasing, race" ; root as in L. grex, 
gregis + *svenni (?). 


nos cúrat, Cym. curo, " to beat." 

geniti, "damsels, amazons" ; Cym. geneth, "girl, daughter." 

siriti, " outlaws, wild fellows " ; cf Cym. dy-hiren, " a criminal." 

urtrochta — urtraig, Eg., " sprites " ; O. Ir. ertrach, "a super- 

natural being, spirit, spectre," cognate with O. Norse draugr, 

O. Eng. gi-dreog, Ger. trug, root drug, "to deceive, to harm"; 

i 7 4 NOTES 

Kluge cfs. Skr. druh, "ofifend, hurt through magic or deceit, 
fiend " ; druhina, being an epithet of Brahma, Vishnu, Siva ; 
O. Pers. drauga, "a lie" (druj, "ghost"). Drug or driug is a 
common word in North Inverness-shire for a death-light ; it is 
believed to take its departure from the house of the dying, whence 
it rises and pursues its course over the tops of high trees like a 
meteor with tapering tail, all the way to the burying-ground. 
Some are credited with such insight as to distinguish the sex of 
the person whose death it is held to portend. It is a body possess- 
ing a certain degree of heat, as I am assured on the authority of 
persons on whom it alighted in a churchyard. As a boy of five 
years of age, I recollect well enough being one of a company who 
witnessed this phenomenon, and that on that occasion it took its 
way from a certain house, keeping at a varying elevation above 
the ground ; when passing over the top of an elm-tree it broke 
into two bodies of like shape to the original. It took its course in 
the direction of the churchyard, which was two or three miles 
distant. It was not forgotten readily, for mother and son, not 
long after, died about the same time, and the funeral cortege took 
the way we saw the drug go in the gloaming of that evening. I 
take the modern Gaelic word to be a loan from the Norse ; but 
some write it dreag, in which case it might come from the O.E. 
dréag, " apparition." This phenomenon is quite different from 
" a falling star," one of Armstrong's definitions ; this latter is 
known as salchar or sgeith rionnaig. The real original of the 
drug is found in the Draug of Norway, where in the south it takes 
the form sometimes of a white ghost, sometimes of an insect, 
whereas in North Norway it haunts the sea, utters a terrible shriek, 
and is described by fishermen as a man of middle height, dressed 
in ordinary sailor's clothes. Some say he has no head, others 
describe him as having a tin plate on his neck with burning coal 
for eyes. " Like Necken, he can assume various shapes. He 
generally haunts the boat-sheds, in which, as well as in their boats, 
the fishermen find a kind of foam, which they think to be the D.'s 
vomit, and believe that the sight of it is a death warning" (Craigie's 
" Scandinavian Folklore," p. 329). 

nos-ceróand, " cuts them in pieces " ; MHG. hare, asper, 
*kargho (v. US. 80). 

muinter : Zimmer notes it is used as a collective of cele, " com- 
panion" in LU. io9 b , 8; 109^, 30; 105% 30-32. Early Irish 
writers speak of a monastery as a familiaj it is thought to be 
a loan from L. monasterium, which, however, has passed into Ir. 
as manister, gen. manestrech, dat. manistir, pl. n. monistre. 

NOTES 175 


This section is in many ways obscure ; lines 15-18 are but very 
roughly paraphrased. Some epithets I transpose in the transla- 
tion, e.g. — 

1. 2. — " fatted kine of the cooking-pit," where I put the last 
epithet at end of 1. 1. 

1. 3. — mooghthi, " well-fed," is guessed ; " full-sized " (?). 
1. 4.— Between 1. 4 and 5 there seems a gap. 
1. 5. — through (?) the incitation of the fair fifty [women ?]. 
1. j-S.—ferna, gen. oífern; Cym. gwern, " alder grove " ; " he 
is a hound of split alder [shields], he is a flesh-crow (i.e. a raven of 
fiesh) eager for fray." 

bran, " raven " ; Cym. cyg-fran, " carrion crow." 

1. 9. — he is a brave boar in aiding. 

1. io-ii. — he overcomes the strength of all enemies as fire 

through wood ; from the reading of Eg. it would seem as if 

the word had the root fid, " wood " ; I am uncertain as to the 
latter part. 

1. 12. — "noble hound of labour of Emain." 
1. 13. — m«;c^marc : root coniarc, "to ask for," as in Mod. 
Gael. iomachorc, " compliments," &c. ; hence " what is asked 
tenderly after." 

1. 14. — "he is blood of pestilence of heavy battle," or "he is a 
blood-[drop] of heavy smiting pestilence." 

1. 19. — " he is charioteer across passes" ; culmairc, properly 
an artificer who makes a chariot (Cormac). 

1. 20. — "he is a corvus proelii, man-subduing." 
1. 21. — " he is a shining countenance of a free-tribe." What is 
there in this case that there should be similarity to Loigaire, lion 
of fences (ridges ?), or to Conall the famous rider ? 

1. 25. — "what is there to the Emer," i.e. why should not Emer 
ihinfebli. From the recurrence of úan=fúan in parallel contexts, 
§§ 45) 5 1 ) tn ' s seems to befuan, tunica ; Cym.gwn, whence gown, 
" a loose robe." The gloss foltcháin, " fair-haired," merely gives 
another epithet ; cf. Emer án folt-buide, "beauteous yellow-haired 
Emer," in the Sick-bed of Cuchulainn. Strachan's analysis, úan, 
ioam+feb + lí, is not to be thought of in view of those parallels. 
It would mean " gleaming, glowing, sparkling," if one could con- 
nect it with óiblech, "sparkling"; Mod. Gael. éibheall, "a live 
coal," also éibhleag. In LU. the gloss foltchain seems to be over 
febli, which was obscure. Hence perhaps it means " of the 
gleaming mantle." The old Highland kilt is called breacan an 

i 7 6 NOTES 

fhe'iii(dh) or ebhili. Macleod and Dewar have éibh/idh; Shaw's 
Dict. gives ebhladh, " a kilt," and this corresponds to the present 
pronunciation of Islay and Colonsay — not féi/e,féi/eadh, as in the 
North, where too éibhleag becomes é/ag or eilag, with no trace of 
v = bh, which it still has in Islay and Colonsay. x Mr. Macbain 
derives féile, "kilt," from O. Ir. flal, "veil," from L. vehun. 
Armstrong marks the genitive oífia/ asfei/, but it was obsolete in 
his time, and he couldn't know. In any case, it would not give 

fhéili(dh), which is what is required. On the other hand, we have 
the verb eibhligh, "sparhle, glitter" (Coney's Dict.) ; eibhligham, 
"sparkle" (Shaw's Dict.). Inasmuch as the derivation from>*/, 
" velum," could never give the form ebhla, ebhHi, I feel tempted to 
connect uan-eb/e (Eg.), úan-feb/i (LU.) with the word in breacan 
an ebhHi, " the belted plaid," which is a continuation of the old 
lenn, spoken of as brec-lenni (Serg. Conc, 33, 21-22), the special 
form of mantle known to classic writers as sagu?n and laina (cf 
"Ir. Texte," 2 te ser. p. 214). Diodorus Siculus speaks of the 
Gaulish sagum as streaked or striped. 0'Curry confuses at times 
lenn with léine, and Stokes errs in stating that lenn was a mantle 
for females, whereas in "Orgain Brudne Da Dergae"it is often used 
of the dress of men (LU. 93, 25 ; 94, 4 ; 95 a , 3 ; 95% 3 1 )- Th e belted 
plaid (breacan an ebhHi, breacan an fhei/idh) was in full dress worn 
over the trews (cf Sobieski Stuart's "Costume of the Clans," ist ed. 
p. 102), which latter is the continuation of íhefuath-bhroc or striped 
braccae of early Irish saga ; cf na lend-brat ligda leth-fada lebar 
clannach (" Mag. Rath.," p. i8i n ), where it is wrongly rendered 
"shirts," thus confounding it with léini. 0'Curry 2 gives dublenna, 
"kilts" [plaids or shawls], lenna brecderga (LU. 90% 23) "red 
spotted white kilts (ib. p. 140), in which case he ought not to 
render lente connderg indlad, " kilts with red interweavings " 
(ib. 1 57) ; lene for dergindlait oir impe, " her kilt was interwoven 
with thread of gold" (ib. 160) ; lene cona clar argait itnmi o aglun 
cofodbrunn, "a leinidh (petticoat or kilt) from his knees to his 
hips" (ib. 106), where on the following page he quotes to the effect 
that there was a handsbreadth between the border of the /éinidh 
and the knee (bas eitir curthar a leine agas a gh/un), and con- 
cludes the leinidh was not worn by the inferior people. Windisch 
understands by leinidh a long frock (x^áv), and renders the last 
passage : "ein Rock um ihn mit einetn Randvon Siiber von seinem 
Knie bis zu seinem /Cnoche/," i.e. a fringed kyrtle or tunic, with a 
1 The mountains of Eblinni = Sliabh-Felim : v. Hennessy's " Mesca 

- " Manners and Customs," iii. 145. 

NOTES 177 

bright border that reached from the knee to the anlde. Another 
passage describes the border as extending adbrnnd co ur-glune, 
which O'C. wrongly renders " from his bosom to his noble knees " 
(ib. 143), where what is meant is " from ankle to right over the 
knee." The Gauls wore the sagum over the braccae ; the old Irish 
the lenn (plaid) over the fuathbhroc; the Highlanders of rank, 
till not so long ago, the belted plaid over the trews (truis). Breacan 
an ebfcli seems to have been named from its bright colours ; the 
colour of the mantle is sometimes referred to when a woman is 
described ; cf. mnai bruit úani, " the lady of the green mantle " 
(Serg. Conc. 13). This makes it probable that the epithet uan- 
febii has a similar application. 

1. 26. — nuadat, gl. " king " ; cf Nuada, gen. Nuadat, " king of 
the "Tuath De Danann" = Cym. " Nudd of the Silver Hand" 
(Hib. Lect, 611 ; cf US. 195). " What hinders Emer of the 
gleaming mantle that it should not be [our] pleasure in [the] 
strength of Nuada [that she], the very powerful [one], should step 
proadly in front of the noble high dames of Ultonia?" 

1. 28. — cinged : cf Cym. rhy-gyngu, "to walk ostentatiously." 
1. 30. — " whence [so that] I consider the dividing of it not right." 

ech Ercoil, "the horse of Ercol," i.e. " Hercules." Irish writers 
had a tradition that the Cruithne (Picts) came from Thrace, 
that they were the Clanna Geleoin MacErcoil and were called 
Agathyrsi. The men who penned that must have known from 
the classics that Gelonus was the father of Hercules ; cf also 
Hib. Lect. as to the origin of the old name Gaileon for Leinster. 

all : it might almost seem as if all here meant a part of the 
chariot, but this cannot be definitely made out. 

S'7 1 - : cf Cym. gorfod, "overwhelm, overcome." 
dligethar, "it is Cuchulainn who has a claim to it"; for de- 
ponent form cf LL. 346 b , 30, dligidir. 

arroét, t- pret, sg. 3 of arfoemaim, " I undertahe." 


imratib, dat. of imm-rádud, " cogitatio," fr. imm-rádim, " I con- 
sider" ; O. Cym. amraud (gl. mens). Bezzenberger cfs. Norse 
umraad (US. 34). 


178 NOTES 


fathar, Eg. " vestrum," should here be put for dé : cf nathar, 
" nostrum." 

ar ro bói=an ro bói. 


etercert, " arbitration." 

hantai, 2 pl. sec. pres. 

daimet, pres. pl. 3 of damim, " tolerate, endure " ; dideman, fut. 
pl. 1 ; the deponent form rodmatar, 56 ; O. Cym. guo-deimisuoch 
(gl. passac, i.e. sustulistis) ; Bret. gouzaff "souffrir"; Gr. ímo- 
8afj.aa> ; L. sub-domare, have been compared (US. 282). 


brechta, gen. of bricht : cf Cym. lled-rith, " enchantment." 
biáil : Ger. beilj Cym. bwyell. 


nonsinethar, used in a middle sense (with infixed pronoun). 
mune'l, Cym. mwnwgl, " neck." 


calmatus, Cym. celfydd, "ingenious." 
comtar =co mbatar. 


Windisch gives docháineth as sec. pres. of cdinim, " I weep " ; 
but clearly we have here a form of cani?n, " sing, chaunt " ; cf 
dichan brichtu (Cormac's Glossary, p. 32, sub nescoit), also Serg. 
Conc. 4& = ro chansat brechta druidechta. 


do lommanaib : do for dij lomman, " a stripped piece of timber," 
fr. lom, "bare," Cym. Iwmm, "nude" ; root lup, "to peel" ; Skr. 
lumpami, " to cut off." This word is diphthongised in Munster 
as laum, pronounced also daumj as to d for /, cf. dáidir for láidir, 
<' strong," dcimh for lámh, "hand" (some districts of Islay) ; cf L. 
lingua for dingua, " tongue. " 

NOTES 179 


bói tra : notice the force here : such, moreover, was the . . . that ; 

cf. §§ 43, 55- 

tairdin, "groove" (0'Curry) ; "lathe, turning-lathe," would 
sound too modern. 



isi sudifari (1. 18) for isa, i.e. the prep. i ft- with the neuter of 
the article. 


fothrond: Cym. godorun, "tumultuous noise." 

cía fil alla! &c. 0'Curry roughly paraphrases it : "Speak, 
spealc, whoever be there, let them speak if friends, let them 
attack if foes." Dr. Stokes makes it : " If they are friends, let 
them not fight me ; if they are foes, let them come to me" — dividing 
the words : má-s-tat carait co-ná-m-usn-ágat ma-s-tat námait co- 
m-as-r-alat (Index to Félire, sub um). This is absurd. If they 
were friends, they would naturally not intend to fight Cuchulainn ; 
his purpose must be to reassure them. Dr. Stokes's rendering 
takes away all dramatic dignity. The m in .na.m.usn. does not 
mean "me," but is part of the verb imm-agim, " circum-ago," a 
verb which yields the Mod. Gael. iomain, " shinty-play, lit. driving 
[the ball]." The literal sense is " let them not bestir themselves." 
Likewise m in com.os.r-alat does not mean "me," but belongs to 
the verb imm-lai (whence imruláith, § 43), and is for con.imm.os.r- 
alat, " let them betake themselves off, let them get away." 

ataig:, " impellit me" (Wb. io d , 26). 

mod, "work, mode" ; often in chevilles. 

dechsad : perhaps dechsat of Eg. is better ; after oen we should 
now-a-days have de (di) with the dat, and oen in that case would 
be adverbial = "at a gulp" : it opened its jaws so that the palaces 
at a gulp would go into its gullet. Some one has suggested oin, 
" a vat." 


luathidir rethir fuinnema, " with the velocity of a twisting 
wheel " (0'Curry) ; Zimmer takes the last two words as loans from 

180 NOTES 

the O.E. vindva-hriddcr, "winnowing riddle," the native cognate 
Gael. word being criatliar; O. Cym. cruitrj Corn. kroider (CZ. i. 


dedoil, "twilight" ; Cym. dydoli, "to separate." 
roth-búali, " water-wheel " ; cf. CZ. i. 98 ; bual, " the íiowing 
sluice-water" ; bual-chomhla, "a sluice" (Macleod and Dewar's 
Gael. Dict.), lit. "water-gate" ; anfhamh bhual, "the water-vole," 
often corrupted in pronunciation into labhual (Uist), labhallan 
(Sutherland) ; *bogla ; Ger. bach, E. beck, "a stream"; Icel. 

mo thiri-drindrosc, " meine drei streitpunkte " (Zimmer) ; drind, 
gen. of dre?id, " quarrel," is by poetic inversion put before rosc, 
"incitement" ; hence lit. "my three incitements to strife"; cf 
rosc-catha, "an incitement to battle" ; on the other hand, indrosc 
is glossed provcrbium (Todd, Lect. Ser. vi. 110, also ib. iv. 147). 
Hogan quotes Stohes's " Lismore Lives," p. 123 — proverb = 
arosc 11-. In RC. xi. 449, it is told that Cuchulainn got his three 
indrosc or wishes from Scathach. 


tulcind, borrowed into Cym. as talcenn, "front, forehead" 
(Rhys in Archceologia Cambrensis, Oct. 1895). 
fecht : Cym. gwaith, f. " time." 


comadas : cf Cym. cyvathas, cyfaddas, "suitable." 

co n-dessetar. I propose to correct LU. here by "itself" ; 
cf co n-desctar, § 91 ; co n-desitar, § 21. The Leyden reading, 
"till they came to Emain Macha," would give good sense. In 
any case LU. is here corrupt. 

deód—dead, "end" ; Cym. diwcdd, " finis." 

derb, Cym. cefyn-derw, "cousin"; cf Ir. derbh-bhráthair ; 
cognate with E. truc, Ger. treu. 


fianlach, often fiallach, " troop, party," is not infrequent ; gen. 
fíallaige (" Battle of Mag Mucruime," 48) ; pl. nom. is fiallaigi in 

NOTES 181 

"Annals of Ulster," sub 817 A.D. ; from fian + Iach, from *s!ougo-s 
(whence sluagh, " people "), which termination makes abstract 
collective nouns, e.g. teglach, óglach. 


cichurda may be from a like root with ciocras ; cf. Cym. pybyr, 
" strenuous, stout, vigorous." 

remithir, comparative of equality, from remor; Cym. rhefi 
" thick," rhefr, " anus, rectum, fundament " ; O. Norse ramr, 
" strong." 

N.B. — The suffíx -tero in O. Ir. had not, according to Ascoli 
(Supplementi periodici all' Archivio glottologico italiano), the 
value of a comparative of superiority. From the Milan Codex 
he gives the following examples of this suffix with the value of the 
comparative of equality : suthainidir, "as eternal"; dinnimidir, 
"as easy" ; soirbidir, "as easy" ; dénithir, "as rapid" ; demnithir, 
"as certain"; sonartaidir, "as strong"; versus déniu, "more 
rapid than " ; demniu, " more certain than " ; sonartu, sonortu, 
" stronger than." 

nothescbad, &c. These words are given only in LU, which 
may be paralleled from the Táin : cotitescfad fi?ma in aigid sroia 
ar aíi 7 ailtnidect 7 imgéri (LU. 79 b , 12), "so that it would cut 
hairs against a stream (i.e. the current bringing them against the 
edge) from its keen sharp edge"; nodídlastáis finnae for usciu, 
" they would cut a hair upon water" — O'C.'s " Man. and Cust.," iii. 
148 ( — LU. 95% 34), and again (ib. p. 150) where he makes it 
" they would sever a hair upon the surface of water." There are 
expressions more or less parallel in the Norse sagas. 


fir fer, "verum virorum, fair play," men's word of faith which 
has to be kept under all circumstances ; cf LU. no a , 22 ; yy h , 7 ; 

64% 33- 

gráin, " strength, prowess, valour " ; cf cáiniu di flaiiib in 
domuin . . . etir a s'Iuagaib, etir urud, 7 gráin 7 báig 7 c'ostud, 
which 0'Curry badly paraphrases in " Man. and Cust," iii. 92. 

las mis e'tar, "whoever else of you is able to do it" (K. Meyer). 
Windisch reads with LU. lasiwsétar, which can give no sense ; 
the LU. scribe surely meant the m sign to come in after the s, over 

182 NOTES 

which it is put, and before the i underneath ; Mid. Ir. is eidir, "it 
is possible," ftom fátaim, " I can" ; pass. pres. sg. 3, ni etar sa ón, 
"that cannot be" (Félire, civ. 1. 10). 

bachlach : this word one might render clodhopper, but it is best 
kept, as in Scotch we have bachle, bachlane, " to walk in an awk- 
ward manner, to shovel along in walking." 

cuil, gl. cidex ; Cym. cylion, " musca culex " ; L. culex. The 
diminutive cuileag, " fly," is a living word. 


mifri : cf rogab mifrigi 7 maithttechus mor foscph = " great 
weakness and heaviness came upon Joseph " (Todd, Lect. Ser. vi. 
p. 41). Windisch renders oc mifrihj "jammerte" (Ir. Texte, iii. 
494, 1. 434), and points out in a note that there and in the " Vision 
of MacConglinne " it is associated with a word for weeping ; " low 
spirits, despondency" (K. Mever in RC. 14, 458 11 ). 




We have not in this tale to do with the scvthed war-chariot 
{carpat serda) which is described in the Táin, but with the 
ordinarv chariot, the description of which emanates from a 
time when such chariots were still in use, and is substantially 
true to fact. The English words car, carriage, chariot, car- 
penter, are all ultimately of Celtic origin, which would alone 
enable us to infer that the Celts had attained no mean pro- 
ficiency in such work as these words denote. The Gauls, 
we know, fought from the esseda, 1 while they had another 
vehicle called covínus 2 or covinnarius, 3 a word the root of 
which survives in fén, " a waggon " ; in North Invemess-shire 
fíanaidh, "a peat-cart." The Cymric word cognate with the 
Gadelic, carpat, seems to have been lost, but afterwards 
borrowed as cerbj/d^ "a chariot or waggon of any kind." 
In the Highlands, putting aside Biblical diction and its 
influence as well as the heroic ballad on the chariot of 
Cuchulainn, carbad now means (i) "jaw," 5 (2) " bier," which 

1 "Vehiculi vel currus genus, quo soliti sunt pugnare Galli " (Philar- 
gyrius ad Verg. Georg. iii. 204) ; " Equitatu et essedariis . . . in proeliis 
uti consuerunt " (Qesar, de Bello Gall. iv. 24) ; cf. Propertius, Eleg. II. 
i. 86 ; Ausonius, Ep. viii., where a four-wheeled vehicle drawn by mules 
is spoken of. 

2 " Covinnos vocant, quorum falcatis axibus utuntur" (Pomponius 
Mela, iii. 6, 60). 

3 Tacitus, " Agricola," 35. 

4 It should be carbant were it not a loan-word from Irish. Rhys cfs. 
Cym. carfan, " ripples of a cart or wain-cops," in Scotch "lead-trees" ; 
carfan gwehydd, " a weaver's beam " ; carfan gwety, "abedstead." 

6 As in the saying — 

" balach is balgaire tighearn' 
dithis nach bu chóir leigeil leo ; 
buail am balach air a charbad 
buail am balgaire air an t-sr5in." 


in my [experience is the most common colloquial use of it. 
One might infer from this that the warrior of old was carried 
in his chariot to his last resting-place. His chariot was some- 
times buried with him, as is proved by the Rev. E. W. Stilling- 
fieet's "Account of the Opening of Some Barrows on the 
Wolds of Vorlcshire." 1 Very near the warrior's head were 
found "the heads of two wild boars. Inclining from the 
skeleton, on each side, had been placed a wheel, the iron tire 
and ornaments of the nave of the wheel only remaining. . . . 
Small fragments of the original oak still adhered to the iron. 
In diameter these wheels had been a trifle more than two 
feet eleven inches, the width of the iron tire about one inch 
five-eighths. The diameter of the ornaments of iron, plaited 
with copper and varnished green, which had encircled the 
nave as a kind of rim, was very nearly six inches. . . . Each 
of these wheels had originally rested on a horse." Neither of 
the horses, it would seem, measured thirteen hands ; the 
wheels of the old British chariot were also low, which was 
in all likelihood the case in Ireland, though in an Irish 
sculptured representation of the chariot the wheels are dis- 
proportionately large owing to inexperience in perspective. 2 
We read in the Táin of a fall of snow which was as high as 
the shields of the men and the wheels of the chariot (ferais 
snechta mór forru co fernnu fer 7 co drochu carpat), from which 
we might perhaps infer that this description corresponds with 
fact. From this tale we know the chariot included the parts 
following : — 

(1) The yoke (cuing), silver-mounted (§ 45), dronargda, 
lit. silver-heavy. 

(2) The pole (sithbe), mounted with bronze (§ 50), with 
silver (§47)- 

(3) The two wheels (droch). The droch we know to have 

1 "Proc. of Archaeol. Institute for 1846" (York, Pt. ii. pp. 26-32); 
cf. "British Barrows," by W. Greenwell and Professor Rolleston, Oxford, 
pp. 454-457- 

2 Cf. Wood-Martin's " Pagan Ireland," p. 247, where a drawing of a 
chariot is given from a cross at Clonmacnois. Mr. Martin errs in regard- 
ing Ir. carpatz.% from the Latin. On a cross in the churchvard at Kells, 
and at Rilclispeen, a chariot was also sculptured. 


had interstices (see Notes), and was of bronze (§ 47), some- 
times of iron (§ 50). 

(4) The rim, or felloe, or tire (roth). Sometimes this was 
so sharp that one could not step over the edge, for Loig 
on one occasion tells Cuchulainn that he could not pass over 
either of the two iron roths on account of their edginess (ar a 

(5) The fertas, pl. fertsi, apparentlv the hind-shafts (see 

(6) The body, of wicker-work (crét). 

(7) The plumage (anblnth n-én) or awning; elsewhere we 
read of the chariot having & puball ox hood, a word taken over 
from L. pupiiio. 

(8) The alls, of which there were a pair, which were pro- 
bably bridle and reins combined, and belong properly to the 

(9) There was further the dotnuin of the chariot, according 
to Hennessy the " cross-beam," but it is not specified here. 

The description of Cuchulainn's chariot has continned in 
great favour almost to the present day. Versions of it are 
given in Campbell of Islay's Leabhar Na Feinne, pp. 2-3 ; 
one of these lets us see that the carbad comhraig (fighting 
chariot) was remembered until recent times as different from 
the carbad aiaire or flialaire, a word seemingly founded on 
English palfrey with the meaning of " ambling horse " in 
Irish. It seems possible that the Higb\a.nd faiair, " funeral 
entertainment " — a word which occurs in the well-known 
" Mackintosh's Lament " — is a side form of the same word. 1 
The traditional ballad versions have a certain rhythmical 
movement, and are in a measure alliterative. One version 
distinctly assigns four horses to the chariot, 2 a late touch in- 
dicating a debased tradition, as is further shown by liathmhor 
and dubh-seimhlinn taking the place of liath macha and dubh 
sainglenn. The description of the car-borne Cuchulainn is as 
follows : On his head are seven fair hairs ; brown hair at the 
skin of his head, glossy red hair above it, fair yellow hair of 

1 Cf. carbad, "bier," a relic of the time when the dead were taken to 
the grave in the " chariot." 

2 Ceithir eich chliath-mhoir' sa chaomh charbad sin. 


the hue of gold held at the tips by the faircill. Cuchulainn's 
face is sparlding red. 1 

Macpherson did not forget to utilise the description of the 
chariot in "Fingal," 2 but his manner of treatment is charac- 
teristic. Where the Gaelic (1. 364-365) describes one of the 
horses : — 

" Bu shoilleir a dJireach s bu luath 
'Shiubhaij Sithfada b'e 'ainm." 

" Bright was its hue and swift 
its going ; Long-stride was its name." 

The corresponding English, however, is : " bright are the 
sides of the steed ! his name is Sulin-Sifadda ! " 3 He mis- 
understood the simple Gaelic ; but even the name Sithfada, as 
that of one of Cuchulainn's horses, is out of touch with 


The ladies have kirtles [lénte] (§ 9). Loigaire wears a soft 
crimson tunic \_fúan~\ having five stripes of glittering gold 
(§ 45) \ Conall, a whitish jerkin [fuamain], a mantle of blue 
and crimson red (§ 47) ; Cuchulainn, a soft crimson tunic 
[fúan] with a gold brooch at the breast, a (long-sleeved linen) 
kirtle [léine] with a white hood embroidered with gold, while 
his charioteer has but a shoulder-mantle [cochline] with sleeves 
opening at both elbows, and wears a fillet of bronze to pre- 
vent his curly bright-red hair from falling over his face (§ 51). 
All the warriors had long hair, but, so far as this saga goes, 
there is no mention of any head-dress. Further, as the heroes 
are in the travelling chariot, only such parts of the dress as 
would be visible outside the chariot-frame are likely to have 
been described. The giant has a different sort of tunic, called 
inar, and wears some sort of foot-gear termed brisca (§ 36). 
The kirtle (iéne, now-a-days shirt) was part of the dress of 
both sexes, and had a common name, for at the beginning 

1 Tha' eudan mar dhrithleanna dearg = his countenance is like unto 
red sparks. 

2 See "Fionnghal," Duan i. 345-395. 

3 " A chiabh bhuidhe 'na caoir m'a cheann " (ib. 390). 


the habits of men and women were alilce, as Tacitus says of 
the Germans, 1 nec alius feminis quam viris habitus. In later 
times different modes of life necessitated a difference of rai- 
ment. This Ihie garment was entirely different from what 
we now mean by shirt. A Latin enactment of the Dublin 
parliament for i2th July 1541 is to the effect that no lord or 
nobleman shall have in his shirt beyond 20 cubits of linen 
cloth ; no vassal or horseman more than 18 cubits ; no kern 
(turbarius) or Scot more than 16; grooms, messengers, or 
other servants of lords, 1 2 cubits ; husbandmen and labourers 
10 cubits. None of the aforesaid are to wear yellow (croceis) 
shirts on pain of forfeiting such and 20 shillings. 2 I have 
used the word kyrtle as coming close to what was meant, 
remembering what Chaucer says of the parish-clerlc in " The 
Milleres Tale," after speaking of shoes and hose : 

" Y-clad he was full small and properly 
All in a Idrtel of a light wachet ; 
Full faire and thikke been the pointes set. 
And ther-up-on he hadde a gay surplys." 

King Magnus Bare-foot (1093-1103), who imitated Irish 
modes of dress, went barelegged, and wore a short kyrtle and 
over-garments. It was the Irish or Scoto-Celtic Ihie, which, as 
Windisch rightly perceives, was no mere "kilt," but a garment 
worn upon the body with no intermediate raiment. It had a 
hood above and had long sleeves, and extended either to the 
feet or to the calf of the legs, the mode being different accord- 
ing to sex, rank, and period. It is curious we have no men- 
tion of the fuathbhroc, which was sometimes of brown leather, 3 
a wopd formed from Ix.fuath, forma, figura + broc, a loan from 
ON. brokr. We know that the breeches used by the later 

1 " Germania," c. 17. 

2 Sic "Carew Cat." p. 182, quoted in S. H. 0'Grady's " Cat. of Irish 
MSS. in Brit. Mus." 0'Grady thinks the shirt served the same use as 
the belted plaid, but reaching only to mid-thigh. The belted plaid, how- 
ever, is rather the continuant of the lenn than of the léne. Sir W. Scott 
thought the mantle, as in Derricke's " Image of Ireland," the equivalent 
of the belted plaid. A logician might infer : shirt = mantle ! But both 
views are wrong. 

3 KZ, 30, 85. 


Irish was a long garment, not cut at the lcnees, but com- 
bining in itself the sandals, the stoclcings, and the drawers 
(soccos, tibialia et fceminalia), and drawn by one pull over the 
feet and thighs. It was not fiowing, but tight, and revealing 
the shape of the limbs. 1 For the Highlands, the hose gene- 
rally worn so late as 1753 was described by Henderson 2 as 
reaching above the knee, while Burt 3 says : " Few beside the 
gentlemen wear the trouze, that is, breeches and stockings 
all of one piece, drawn on together." Over this " trouze " 
gentlemen in high dress wore the belted plaid. 

Neither is the lenn mentioned. Of it I have spoken in 
the Notes. There is no word about the timthaig oenaig or 
assembly dress spoken of in " Laud," 610, fol. q6 b ; nor of any 
of the various articles introduced to the country through 
commerce : e.g. the fallaing, from the O. Eng. falding ; the 
ochra, from L. ocrea, " greave or leggin " ; the caimmse, from 
L camisia, "a woman's shirt," ultimately from the Gaulish. 
Nothing is said of the ornaments, although we otherwise know 
they were valuable. Of the value of a mantle we may form 
some idea from the statement in Patrick's life that Cummen, 
a nun, made a mantle which was sold for a brown horse, and 
afterwards for three cows. Druids had special garments, the 
tonach druad (vestis magica, cassula magi) ; poets had a toga 
made of the skins and feathers of divers birds and named 
tugen ; ecclesiastics had habits of their own, which do not 
of course come within the scope of the saga. To enter into 
further details as to dress is not necessary here. More or less 
full native descriptions are given in Orgain Brudne Da Dergae 
and in the Táin. There are references of importance through- 
out early and mediaeval Gaelic literature. For other accounts 
outside Irish, see (1) Diodorus Siculus as to Celts of Gaul, 
quoted in " Irishe Texte," ii. 214; (2) Camden ; (3) Cam- 
brensis Eversus, ed. Kelly for Celtic Society, 1850 ; (4) Leslie, 
Bishop of Ross, De Origine, Moribus et Rebus Gestis Scotorum, 
1578 : Father Dalrymple's quaint translation is edited by Father 
Cody for Scottish Text Society; (5)Martin's " Western Islands 

1 Cambrensis Eversus, vol. ii. 209 (ed. Kelly for Celtic Soc. 1850). 

2 " History of the Rebellion," Edinburgh, 1753. 

3 Letters, &c. written in 1726. 


of Scotland"; (6) Theatrum Scotice, anno 17 18, which has a 
drawing made circa 1695, by Captain Slezer; (7) W. Pinlcer- 
ton's article, " On the Highland Kilt and the Old Irish Dress " 
in " Ulster Journal of Archa2ology," vi. 320, cf. art. "On Leather 
Cloalc," ib. ix. ; (8) J. Derriclce's " Image of Ireland," anno 
1578, curious and rare, but bitter and narrow-minded, written 
in fluent doggerel. The plates render it interesting, but they 
are seldom to be met with complete in any copy of the original 
edition. A reprint from a complete copy, once the possession 
of Drummond of Hawthornden. in the library of the University 
of Edinburgh, was edited by the late Dr. Small. A copy of 
the first edition was bought at the White Knight's sale by Mr. 
Heber for ^15 ; the same copy sold at Heber's sale for ^14, 
and it is not perfect; (9) Skene's " Highlanders " ; (10) De 
Rebus Albanicis, being the " Transactions " of the Iona Club ; 
(ii) 0'Curry " Manners and Customs " ; (12) Worlcs on High- 
land Dress, Logan ; Stewart's " Tartans " ; Lord Archibald 
Campbell's recent worlc " On Highland Dress," &c. ; Sobieslci 
Stuart's " Costume of the Clans " ; M'Ian's " Costume of 
the Clans of Scotland"; (13) M. Much's Runsthistorischer 
Atlas fiir Oesterreich-Ungam for plates of the Halstatt anti- 
quities may be added, cf pp. 161 and 159. There we 
see riders with spears, jerlcins with plaits, reaching to the 
seats. The infantry have shields covering the whole baclc 
and reaching to the lcnee. Some figures have what seem 
to be tartan trews, close fitting, no doubt the braccae ; (14) 
cf " Ir. Texte," iii. 204, ib. 193; (15) Wallcer's " History 
of Irish Bards," p. 14; (16) Major Fraser's MS. (Douglas & 
Foulis, Edin.) contains an authentic plate of a Highland 
gentleman in costume; (17) Ledwich's "Antiquities of Ire- 
land " : both he and Ware are poor; (18) cf Pennant's "Tour 
in Scotland" for dress of the Bredalbane women. For the 
dress of the old Irish we have to rely on the descriptions of 
the older sagas, accurate translations of which have yet to 



Chess-playing is referred to in § 6 1 ; clár fithcilli, the old 
name for chess-board, has its cognate in part in the Cymric 
gwydd-bzvyll game of chess ; clawr y wydd btvyll, " tabula 
latruncularia." In the story of Eochaid and Etáin we read of 
a board of silver and of pure gold, with every compartment 
on the board studded with precious stones, as also of a man- 
bag of woven brass wire. In the British Museum are some 
very curious examples of old chessmen dug up from the bogs 
of Lewis, assigned, if I remember, to as late a date as some- 
where about the twelfth century. Most of Cuchulainn's feats 
are now only dimly intelligible to us ; it would be hazardous 
to spealc of them with exactness. The wheel-feat (roth-ch/ess, 
§ 64), however, consisted in taking a wheel and hurling it so 
high inside the house with such force that it found its way 
through the roof and fell outside. Horse-races were appre- 
ciated by the ancient Gael, the phrase used being ag cor 
graphand (§ 66), where Egerton has iar cur grafaind. Whether 
horse-fights, however, were part and parcel of the native 
custom is perhaps questionable. The Grey of Macha, i.e. 
Cuchulainn's horse, kills the horse of Ercol (§ 70) after Ercol's 
gelding had killed the horses of Conall and of Loigaire (§ 69). 
These sections are later additions to the saga. They pre- 
suppose an acquaintance with classic myths. It was the 
ambition of the native story-tellers to let their heroes shine 
by setting them in relief against the prominent men of foreign 
peoples, Thus St. Brendan is credited with all the quali- 
ties of Noah, Abram, Moses, David, St. Jerome, Augustine, 
Origen, St. Matthew, St. John, St. Paul, St. Peter, John the 
Baptist and Pope Grego^. 1 In lilce manner it was felt fitting 
that Cuchulainn should be spoken of as excelling Hercules. 
It would be the natural thing for the native heroes to fight 
from their chariots, not on horseback, least of all to tolerate 
the cruel custom of the horse-fight. The latter was the 
delight of the pagan Northmen, among whom the hestavlg or 
horse-fight was the order of the day. The riders incited the 

1 See the "Voyage of St. Brendan," ed. O'Donoghue. 


horses to bite one another. At the Icelandic hestaping 
numbers of horses were brought together for this purpose, and 
umpires were chosen to decide. These Icelandic festivities 
usuallv ended with deadly blows. 1 Now this Norse word 
hestr has been borrowed into Early Irish as est, "horse" 2 and 
the practice is likely to have been witnessed in Ireland. 
In Norway the custom was not extinct till 1820; the fight 
ended with races, which took place each year in the month 
of August on Lovisae Dag? A curious name for horse-races 
has been in use in Uist, viz. oda, which seems to be from the 
Norse at, horse-fight. 4 

An interesting coincidence is the fact'that the last genuine 
oda took place in Uist in the year 1820 or so. The word 
is not known in Uist save in the district of Iochdar. In 
September 1898 I heard a most interesting and picturesque 
description of it from the late Rev. Father MacColl of Uist, 5 
whose written testimony the reader may find in Mr. Car- 
michael's full and charming description of the oda and its 
customs in his magnificent work on the traditional hymns 
and incantations of the Highlands. In Uist these races took 
place on St. Michael's Day, the patron saint of horses. The 
foreign custom was followed and incorporated with other 
ancient native usages, the whole being legalised by the priest 
opening the proceedings with mass. This remnant of old 
Highland observance strengthens, in my opinion, the proba- 
bility of Norse influence in the section referred to of the 
Feast of Bricriu. 

Perhaps even the Beheading Game is to be regarded as 
having had its origin in old Celtic custom. I have already 

1 See Weinhold's Alt-nordisches Leben, p. 309. 
4 RC. 11. 493- 

3 Norshe Bygdesagn samlede af L. Daae. Christiania, 1870: " Heste- 
kampen havde navn af Skei. Den fandt Stedt hvert Aar i August Maaned 
paa Lovisae Dag. 

4 This suggestion I owe to Mr. \V. L. Craigie, Oxford. 

5 He was one of the last Highland priests educated at the former 
Scotch College, Ratisbon. He was a good botanist, historian, and Ger- 
man scholar. From the relics of the old library at Ratisbon he brought 
back a Gaelic MS. written in the old hand, and now in the custodv of the 
Bishop at Oban. 


quoted Posidonius on Celtic entertainments, when, after the 
feast was finished, a man sometimes, in proof of bravery, 
allowed one of the bvstanders to cut his neck with a sword. 
The special mention of the axe is found in Euphorion's record 
of old Latin observance, quoted by Athenaeus : x "Among the 
Romans it is common for five minag 2 to be offered to any one 
who chooses to take it, to allow his head to be cut off with an 
axe, so that his heirs might receive the reward ; very often 
many have returned their names as willing, so that there has 
been a regular contest among them as to who had the best 
right to be beaten to death." 

To the incident in the judgment of Uath some might com- 
pare sacred legends such as that of St. Denys. 3 


It has been suggested that Curoi mac Dairi's fortress is 
not to be identified with Caher Conree, Kerry ; that the triad 
called the Three Buagelltaig of Bregia (§ 83) seem to indicate 
that Curoi's fort was much nearer Mag Breg than was Caher 
Conree in the Dingle peninsula. " Cu Rí is not to be equated 
with Cú Rói. In fact, this is a case of two utterly distinct 
names having been hopelessly confounded. . . . In a field 
near the foot of the Caher Conree mountain lies a low crom- 
lech. . . . It has the name on it of a man called Cú Rí in its 
early genitive form of Conu Ri. So the western hero was 
Cu Ri. . . ." For Curoi's fortress we have probably to look 
" somewhere in the county of Wicklow or of Wexford. Where- 
ever it was, Curoi was used to travel eastwards from it." 4 
In the "Book of Taliessin " he is the subject of a Cymric 
poem entitled "The Elegy of Corroi," in which the sea is 
treated as " Corroi's wide well " ; the poet then says he has 

1 " The Deipnosophists," Bk. iv. ch. 40. 

2 ^20 sterling. 

3 See Vita S. Dionysii auctore Hilduind, c. 32, in Migne's Patrologia 
Latina, vol. cvi. col. 47. 

4 Rhys, " On the Early Irish Conquests of Wales and Dumnonia," in 
" Proceedings of Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland," vol. xxi. 
(published 1892), pp. 642-657. 


been startled by Corroi's death-wail ; then follow two lines 
touching upon his assassin's crime. A reference is added as 
to Corroi's early fame. It consists of two stanzas of twelve 
lines each, which may now be given as translated by Rhys : — 

" Thy broad fountain replenishes the world : 
It comes, it goes, it hurries to Dover. 
The death-wail of Corroi has startled me ; 
Cold the deed of him of rugged passions, 
Whose crime was one which few have heard of. 
Daire's son held a helm on the Southern Sea, 
Sung was his praise before his burial. 
Thy broad fountain replenishes Nonneu : 
It comes, it goes, it hurries to Dover ; 
But mine is the death-wail of Corroi ; 
Cold the deed of him of rugged passions, 
Whose crime was one which few have heard of. 

" Thy broad fountain replenishes thy tide, 
Thine arrow speeds for the . . . strand of Dover. 
Subjugator, vast is thy battle-front, 
And after Man it is to the towns 
They go . . . of Gwinion^dd. 1 
Whilst victorious the space of . . . morning, 
News am I told of men on the ground, 
The adventures of Corroi and Cuchulainn, 
Of many a turmoil on their frontier, 
Whilst the head of a gentle host was . . . 
The noble fort that falls not nor quakes. 
Blessed is the soul that meant it." 

But why should a Cymric poet sing the praises of this 
Irish prince more than that of any other ? Because, says 
Rhys, " Cúrói was Carausius, and the Taliessin poet has 
mixed the Irish story of Curoi's death with that of Carausius." 
He adds : " The a in the unaccented syllable of Carausius had 
talcen the place of an or u as in Kanovio, instead of Conovio, 
on a milestone bearing the distance of eight miles from 

1 District south of Cardigan. 



Conovium, a name which, in its connection with the river, 
still is in Welsh Conwy with an o. On the other hand, the 
Rói of Curoi is quite a regular representative of an early 
Goidelic Rausi or Ravesi, or the like. The name . . means 
the ' hound of Rói.' " Carausius seized the reins of govern- 
ment in Britain in 287 a.d. Eumenius calls him Menapi<z 
civis, while Aurelius Victor terms him Batavice alumnus, and 
Eutropius designates him vilissime natus. Ptolemy places a 
Mava7rta 7róXis in Ireland, somewhere in co. Wicldow or 
Wexford, probably some site near Wexford Haven. As to 
Curoi's being of low origin, that " need not have meant 
anything more than that he belonged, which is very possible, 
to a family of the ancient non-Celtic race here." The name 
survives on a Christian monument at Penmachno, in a retired 
valley tributary to the Conwy. It reads in barbarous Latin, 
"Carausius hic jacit in hoc congeries lapidum"; also in 
Vorago Ceruus in the Menai Straits (Nennius), in modern 
Cymric Pull Cerys (Pool of Cerys). These names, says 
Rhys, go back "possibly to a time when the great admiral 
and his doings had already entered the domain of mythology." 
The inference I should draw from what has been set forth 
is, that the Cymric poem may have referred to Carausius, but 
that the poet in part confused the events of that hero's life 
with the more archaic adventures of Curoi and Cuchulainn 
which the Cymric poet could have heard narrated by many 
of the Gaels who took part in the early Irish conquests of 
Wales. The name Cú Rói is often written Curuí, e.g. once 
in § 89, twice in § 90, thrice in § 80, while in § 79 Curui and 
Cúrbi alternate in the same sentence. The Egerton variant 
for § 80 once has Curi; the Edinburgh version has Curui, 
§ 102. It should be noted that in the second part of this 
name the mark of length is over the l. Nor must we forget 
a phonetic fact which may easily be illustrated in Ireland 
as well as in the Highlands, viz., ui being sounded as i, some- 
what like ee in Eng. seed. Thus I have marked brih as a 
Connaught pronunciation of bruith, " boil." In Henebry 
(pp. 44-46) one may find more examples of ui as /, I, accord- 
ing as it is short or long. One cannot set aside the persistency 
of Irish tradition in locating Curoi's fortress somewhere in 


the south-west. In the Mesca U/ad, Curui mac Daire's 
fortress is at Tara-Luachra, where he feasts Ailill and Meve, 
who have given him their youngest son in fosterage. This 
place was in the neighbourhood of Abbeyfeale, on the borders 
of Limericlc and Kerry. x 

The escapades of Curoi's wife, Blathnat, with Cuchulainn 
formed the subject of a well-known Irish romance. One 
November eve Cuchulainn came to the vicinity of Fort Curoi, 
nor had he long to wait ere he saw its waters turning white, 
a signal agreed upon between himself and Bláthnat. 2 The 
sequel was that " Cuchulainn entered Cúroi's fort unopposed 
and slew its owner, who happened to be asleep with his head 
on Bláthnat's lap. Cuchulainn toolc away Bláthnat, with the 
famous cows and caldron ; but he was not long to have 
possession of his new wife, for Cúroi's poet and harper, called 
Ferceirtne, resolved to avenge his master ; so he paid a visit 
to Cuchulainn and Bláthnat in Ulster, where he was gladly 
received by them; but one day when the Ultonian nobles 
happened to be at a spot bordering on a high cliff, Ferceirtne 
suddenly clasped his arms round Bláthnat, and flinging him- 
self with her over the cliff, they died together." 3 

Cahir Conri, Dunsobhairce (now Dunseverick, Antrim), 
Dun Cearmna (on the old Head of Kinsale, co. Cork) formed 
a triad of the old buildings in Erin. As to the first, situated 
nearly midway between the bay of Tralee on the north and 
that of Castlemaine on the south, while it is 2796 feet above 
the sea-level, I may quote from a description by the late John 
Windele in the "Ulster Journal of Archagology" for the year 
1860 (vol. viii. p. 118), where it is stated that nowhere does 
the wall exceed nine feet in height : " its greatest present 
breadth is n ft., but its probable original width was not 
more than 6 ft. No cement was anywhere used in its con- 
struction . . . its whole length is . . . 360 ft. . . . Beyond 

1 Manners and Customs, iii. 132. 

2 For references see notes on Blathnat, Curoi, Falga. 

3 " Hib. Lect." p. 474, where he classifies Curoi among the darlc 
divinities, a sort of Dis or Pluto. Much the same view is talcen in 
Standish 0'Grady's " Hist. of Ireland" (p. 220"), where he views Curoi 
" as the great Southern marine genius corresponding to Manannán amongst 
íhe Northern Irish." 


the rampart, a further examination disclosed no appearance of 
earthwork, fosse, or outer circumvallation. . . . There is out- 
side the wall a remaricable hollow, about 4 ft. across." 

" Inside the wall," Dr. Wood says, "there are six or eight pits, 
and he was informed that formerlv there were twelve of them. 
These pits offer a curious subject for investigation, as they may 
probably have formed sites for sunlcen residences, similar to 
those of the ancient Britons." 

Mr. Standish 0'Grady : spealcs of Cahir Conroi (sic) as a 
" cyclopean structure of immense extent on the Slieve Mish 
range, beyond Tralee, and perched upon the very edge of a 
steep cliff overhanging the sea, and the two gatehouses are 
still in existence opposite the wide entrance. The lalce is 
dry, but the soil, a cut-away bog, shows that it (the lalce) must 
have been there once, and the stream that runs down the 
hill-side is still called the Finn-glas or white-stream. Here 
too is a place of giant stones still called Cuchulainn's House, 
and a vallev, — the Valley of the Stable, where the great cham- 
pion stabled his giant steeds, and where weird neighings are 
heard at night, according to local fairy lore." Mr. 0'Grady, 
moreover, adds, that the walls at the top are 14 feet thick, 
and below, where the ledge, which runs round the cathairs 
on the inner side, begins, are 22. Some of the stones of 
this wall are 14 feet long. It is probably one of the greatest 
of the kind in Europe." I have not been up the mountain 
myself, and I can merely observe that O'Donovan, at least 
when he edited the " Battle of Magh Rath," thought the wall 
to be but " a natural ledge of rocks." Even, however, if that 
were so, there would be sufficient basis for the human phan- 
tasy to work upon so as to depict the place as the abode of a 
more than human lord. It is emphatically in the character 
of the superhuman that Curoi meets us in the saga ; he is a 
being "of imagination all compact," even if the Celtic phan- 
tasy may here have received some underlying impulse from 
the clash of hostile races. For some (non-Celtic tribe?) of 
Erin, Curoi may have filled the position of Cuchulainn, and as 
soon as the early Celtic phantasy absorbed the mythic brood- 

1 " History of Ireland," p. 220 ; cf. 0'Curry's " Manners and Customs," 
iii. 80. 


ings of a conquered, and, in course of time, more or less 
assimilated race, it did so the more easily by branding that 
being as a type of the forces of darlcness and of dread. Later 
on something analogous took place when the Christian spirit 
stereotyped the gods of the Celtic mythos as the demons 
expelled from Paradise. 

But the gods do not easily die, neither does the spirit 
which gave them life. The names change, the substance is 
eternal. The Curoi of the saga is a great magician, really 
an other-world power, at any rate a water-demon like Grendel. 
In the Dun Rudraige-Ailill recension the heroes set out to 
seek a magician, going first to Yellow-son-of-Fair (Budi mac 
Bain) at his ford (§ 75), next to Terror-son-of-Greatfear (Uath 
mac Imomain) at his loch (§ 76). In the Emain-Curoi re- 
cension, as they set out to seek Curoi a magic mist surrounds 
them and they happen to meet with the magician (scál, § 37). 

Cuchulainn alone overcame him, for Conall and Loigaire 
fied. So, too, in the encounter with the cats at Cruachan, 
Cuchulainn alone fied not. In the conflict at Fort Curoi, 
Cuchulainn alone is a match for the sirens and for the water- 
demon, the spirit of the lake. Cuchulainn alone is victor. 
Zimmer, who keeps clear of vague mythologising, interprets 
this in the sense that Cuchulainn alone, like certain classic 
heroes, could force his way to the underworld. 1 

Above all, when the heroes arrive at Fort Curoi, a castle by 
the sea, it turns out (§ 79) that Curoi knew beforehand of 
their coming and had made plans accordingly. This is equal 
to saying that the magician seeks the heroes. That such was 
the real intent is revealed by the fact that when Curoi returns 
a second time in disguise in order to confirm his judgment, 
the scene passes at the Hostel of the Red Branch. The 
other-world spirit puts himself at the service of a mortal. 
The man who acts with courage gets the aid of the higher 

1 "Hierin liegt wol, dass Cuchulainn urspriinglich allein in die unter- 
welt vordrang " (Z. f. D. A. 32, 332-333)- 



The whirling castle meets us in the saga as Curoi's strong- 
hold, which revolved as swiftly as a millstone (§ 80). And 
in Chaucer's " House of Fame " we meet — 

" An hous that Domus Dedali 
That Laborintus cleped is. 

And evermo, so swift as thought, 
This quevnte hous aboute wente, 
That never-mo hit stille stente. 

Ne shalt thou never cunne ginne 
To come in-to hit, out of doute, 
So faste hit whirleth, lo, aboute." 

Yet its entrances are as numerous as the leaves on the 
trees ; on the roof are a thousand holes ; its doors were ever 
open ; it was sixty miles in length, and ever full " of dyvers 
accident." The underlying idea is similar in both. 1 

The German poem Diu Krdne has lilcewise a revolving 
castle, the ramparts of which are surmounted with human 
heads. On having spurred his steed through the entrance, 
he is received by a dwarf, who brings him to a chamber where 
a strangely attired man, carrying an axe on his shoulder, 
entertains him. After the meal, he offers Gawain the choice 
of smiting off the host's head that evening (provided the host 
were allowed to do to him the same to-morrow), or of allowing 
his host to smite off his visitor's head on the spot. The first 
alternative is accepted, but there are only two feints at strilcing 
off the head. Gawain's courage has been tested and proved. 
His host is Gansguoter, a magician, with whom Arthur's 
mother had eloped, and the uncle of Amurfina, Gawain's 
lady-love. Miss Weston 2 notes that the three blows of the 

1 Cf. further on Gaelic ground, the whirling rampart in " Vovage of 
Maelduin," cxxxi. ; Campbell's " West Highland Tales," iii. 406, for a 
castle full of evervthing, even to a herd for the geese. 

2 "The Legend of Sir Gawain," p. 94. In the abstract there given on 
p. 93 the giant is called Uath mac Denoms.m, vvhich should be Imomain. 


oldest Irish MS. are only found in the English version. In 
none of the existing Anglo-Norman romances is the tale told 
as in " Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight." In all the other 
versions, except in the English one, the strange man pro- 
poses (as an alternative in some) to cut off the hero's head, 
it being allowed to behead himself in turn. But this form 
of the champion's covenant is evidently absurd. Gawayne 
delivers his blow and is quite tranquil as he sees his ad- 
versary's head roll off; it is only when he sees the Green 
Knight talce it up that he comprehends with whom he has 
to do. Nevertheless, he faithfully lceeps to his plighted word, 
which he would not have given had he from the first per- 
ceived he had to do with a supernatural being. Such a being 
it would be useless to defy. The superiority of the English 
poem is here incontestable, and proves that it does not depend 
on the existing Norman-French versions. It is, on the other 
hand, in certain respects in close agreement with the Irish. 
Some say that Bláthnat was a daughter of Conchobar, whose 
son-in-law Cuchulainn would thus be. It is likely that in an 
older version Cuchulainn's father, Sualtam, took the place of 
Curoi (§ 72). But we otherwise know that not Sualtam but 
Conchobar was suspected to be Cuchulainn's father, — a con- 
fusion which was introduced perhaps through the dimly 
remembered relationship with Bláthnat. The clash of hostile 
mythologies as well as of hostile races may have introduced 
this confusion, but enough light is left whereby to see that 
the purport of his being so keen as to the championship was 
heightened by the prospect of an other-world bride. 


The beheading incident is specially interesting and im- 
portant as it is paralleled in the early English alliterative 
romance of " Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight." x 

1 Ed. by Sir F. Madden ; also by the Rev. Dr. Richard Morris for 
Early English Text Society. In my resumé of the incidents I condense 
from Morris's outline. 


The knight has in one hand a holly-bough, and in the other 
an axe huge and unmeet, the edge of which was as keen as a 
sharp razor. He seeks the most valiant of the heroes of the 
Round Table that he may put his courage to the proof, and thus 
satisfy himself as to the fame of Arthur's court. " If any be so 
bold in his blood that dare strike a stroke for another, I shall give 
him this rich axe to do with it whatever he pleases. I shall abide 
the first blow just as I sit, and will stand him a stroke, stiff on this 
floor, provided that I deal him another in return." To such effect 
is his challenge. It is accepted. The Green Knight adjusts him- 
self on the ground, bends slightly his head, lays his long lovely 
locks over his crown, and lays bare his neck for the blow. 
Gawayne then gripped the axe, and, raising it on high, let it fall 
quickly upon the knight's neck and severed the head from the 
body. The blood burst from the body, yet the knight never 
faltered nor fell, but boldly he started forth on stiff shanks, and 
fierceh/ rushed forward, seized his head and lifted it up quickly. 
Then he takes to his horse. His head by the hair he holds in his 
hands, and sits as firmly in his saddle as if no mishap had ailed 
him, though headless he was. Holding the head in his hand, he 
directed the face toward the "dearest on the dais." The head 
lifted up its eyelids and looked abroad, and thus much spoke with 
its mouth : 

" Loke, Gawayne, thou be prompt to go as thou hast promised, 
and seek till thou find me according to the promise made in the 
hearing of these knights. Get thee to the Green Chapel, I charge 
thee, to fetch such a dint as thou hast dealt, to be returned on 
New Year's morn. As the Knight of the Green Chapel I am 
known to many, wherefore if thou seekest thou canst not fail to 
find me. Therefore come, or recreant be called." He then rode 
off. To what kingdom he belonged knew none there, nor knew 
they from whence he had come. The appointed season came 
round, and Sir Gawayne took his way, falling in with satyrs and 
giants. At last he arrived at an immense forest, where he per- 
ceived a dwelling in the wood set upon a hill. It was the loveliest 
castle he ever beheld. He approached it. The drawbridge is 
let down, and he is now in the castle of the Green Knight, who, 
however, is for the nonce divested of his supernatural character, 
and appears to Sir Gawayne simply as the bold lord of the land. 
There follows a most noble and princely feast, after which his host 
promises to direct Sir Gawayne to the Green Chapel, two miles 
away, to be there by the appointed time. They make a covenant 
between them, in accordance with which they are to exchange 


whatever luck they may win. After meat and mass the great lord 
takes to the chase. Meanwhile the lady of the castle recognises 
the stranger as Sir Gawayne, who, however, is too deeply engrossed 
with the thought of his forthcoming adventure at the Green 
Chapel to turn his mind to love. The third day he accepts her 
girdle, in virtue of possessing which he cannot be wounded or slain 
by any man under heaven. This is his "jewel for the jeopardy" 
awaiting him at the Green Chapel. He took it to save himself 
when it behoved him to suffer. Thereafter he starts forthe Green 
Chapel and comes to a round hill by the side of a stream. He 
walks about the hill, which had a hole at one end and on each 
side ; he roams up the rock and hears a wondrous noise. It 
whirred like the water at a mill. Then appeared the "man in 
green " to give him his covenanted stroke. At first, as the axe 
came gliding down, Gawayne shrank a little, but said he would 
shrink no more until the axe had hit him. Once more the Knight 
aims but withholds his hand. Once again he let fall his axe on 
the bare neck of Sir Gawayne, and hammered fiercely, yet only 
severed the hide, causing the blood to flow. Thereupon Gawayne 
quoth : " Our covenant stipulates one stroke, and therefore now 
cease." Then the Green Knight made answer : " Bold knight, be 
not so wroth ; no man here has wronged thee ; I promised thee a 
stroke, and thou hast it, so hold thee well pleased. . . . Two blows 
I aimed at thee, for twice thou kissedst my fair wife ; but I struck 
thee not, because thou restoredst them to me according to agree- 
ment. At the third time thou failedst, and therefore I have given 
thee that tap. That woven girdle, given thee by my own wife, 
belongs to me. I know well thy kisses, thy conduct also, and the 
wooing of my wife, for I wrought it myself. I sent her to try 
thee." . . . The Green Knight suffered Gawayne, who had confessed 
clean, to keep the girdle as a token, and invited him to his castle 
for the New Vear's feast. " Nay," quoth Gawayne, " God requite 
your kindness. Commend me to your wife, who with her crafts 
beguiled me. But it is no uncommon thing for a man to come to 
sorrow through women's wiles ; for so was Adam beguiled with 
one and Solomon with many. Samson was destroyed by Delilah, 
and David suffered much through Bathsheba. It were indeed 
great bliss for a man to love them well and believe them not. But 
God reward you for your girdle, which I will ever wear in remem- 
brance of my fault ; and when pride shall exalt me, a look to this 
love-lace shall lessen it." The Green Knight tells his right name. 
" I am called Bernlak de Hautdesert, through might of Morgan la 
Fay, who dwells in my house. She wrought this, hoping to have 


grieved Guinever and affrighted her by means of the man that 
spoke with his head in his hand. She is even thine aunt, Arthur's 

Sir F. Madden conjectured this romance to have been 
written by Huchowne of the Awle Ryale (Hugon of the Aula 
Regalis), mentioned in Andrew Wyntoun's " Cronykill of 
Scotland," x whom some suppose to have been the same as 
Sir Hew of Eglintoun (1361-81). This view has been con- 
tested by Morris, but Trautmann 2 shows the dialectal peculia- 
rities may be due to the scribe, while he offers considerations 
which tend to show that the alliterative Morte Arthure and 
the Pystyl of Swete Swsane are the work of Huchowne. At 
the same time Trautmann thinks that (1) Pearl, (2) Cleanness, 
(3) Patience, (4) Sir Gawayne and the Green Xnight (all 
contained in a British Museum MS., " Cotton Nero, A.X.," 
which is regarded as a vellum of the i4th century) were written 
by another author, who belonged to the West Midland dis- 
trict, the English-Welsh speaking borderland. Most of the 
critics hold " Sir Gawayne " to be a free imitation of a French 
romance, the English poet having both borrowed and in- 
vented. That he borrowed is quite certain, e.g. in the lines — 

" He sayned hym in sy/>es sere 
& sayde ' cros Kryst me sfiede'" (11. 761-762), 

we have a non-English idiom 3 ; cros Kryst is French, and it 
would likewise be the order in Celtic. An eminent French 
authority thinks it extremely probable that the English version 
is simply a reproduction of a lost French poem, 4 going back 
ultimately upon Breton narratives. We should then have to 

1 Bk. v. ch. 12. 

2 Anglia (Z. f. Eng. Phil., No. I. pp. 109-149). 

3 I am indebted to Professor Napier, Oxford, for having drawn my 
attention to this. 

4 Gaston Paris in Histoire Littéraire de la France, t. xxx., Paris, Im- 
primerie Nationale, mdccclxxxviii : " Le Vert Chevalier est la version 
plus ou moins fidéle d'un poéme francais ou anglo-normand, dérivant 
directement du méme théme que les autres mais l'ayant mieux conservé. 
C'est bien d'ailleurs un theme celtique, car on le retrouve dans l'épopee 
irlandaise," (pp. 76-77). 


regard the beheading game as one of the parallel incidents 
current among both branches of the Celtic stock, the Gaelic 
narrative alone having been preserved. The theme in both 
is Celtic : in the one case Norman-French court-life and the 
religious environment of the period are reíiected ; in the other 
the theme is left in its earlier undeveloped simplicity. 

It is most improbable that this incident should be of 
English origin. A linlc in the transmission is found in certain 
Norman-French romances ; its real origin is in old Celtic life. 
The links in the process of transmission are obscure. I have 
not formed any final opinion upon the subject. But there 
are some things one ought not to forget. Some features of 
the Mabinogion point to Gadelic influence. Soon it will come 
more and more to be asked how much in the Mabinogion is 
traceable to the mythic-heroic traditions of the Gadelic race 
which inhabited parts of the present-day Wales down to the 
sixth century, — traditions which gradually filtered into the 
Cymric speech. There are certain Gadelic words, too, which 
appear as loans in Brythonic. Principal Rh^s thinks the 
borrowing was made " from the Goidelic of the native Goidels 
of this country, and not from Ireland," 1 — the Cymric word 
cerbyd, "chariot," is an instance. 

Possibly the very name Cymry (*Com-broges), "fellow- 
march men, dwellers in the same land," was assumed at a 
time when it was felt the race was not homogeneous, but 
composed of men speaking more than one language. The 
Cymric emigration to Armorica took place in the latter part 
of the fifth and in the early part of the sixth century. " The 
dominant language among them must have been Brythonic ; 
but many of them probably as yet used Goidelic, and for some 
time, po ~ibly, after they settled in Brittany." 2 What evidence 
is there of early contact with Brittany upon purely Irish 
ground ? Zimmer 3 shows the work known in Ireland under 
the title Cui/menn was in all probability one of the Latin 

1 "Goidelic Words in Brythonic," v. Arch. Cambrensis, Oct. 1895 ; cf. 
IB. ii. 20-21. 

5 Rhys in Arch. Cambrensis for 1895, p. 297. 
3 Nennius Vindicatns, Berlin, 1893, p. 257. 


recasts of the work of Hippolytus. And connected with 
Cuilmenn is the following narrative : — 

" Guaire Aidne, whose father Colman died as ruler of 
Connaught in 617, succeeded to the throne and died as king 
of Connaught in 662. He is famed in ancient Gaelic story by 
reason of his liberality and strife with Diarmait mac ^Eda 
Slane. His bards were on one occasion assembled in his 
palace and in the enjoyment of his hospitality, when he 
suddenly called on them for the recitation of the famous 
epic, the Táin Bo Cualnge (the Cattle-Raid of Cualnge). It 
turned out that none present could manage it entirely. There- 
upon the chief poet, Senchan Torpeist, summoned a meeting 
of all the bards and story-tellers and professional poets of 
Ireland, in order to make sure if any one of them could recite 
the Táin completely" — (Ocus asbertatar nadfetar di acht bloga- 
namma; asbert iarum Senchán riadaltu dus cia dib noragad 
arabennacht itire Letha dofoghlaim na Tana berta insúi sair 
dareis in Chuilmeinn Dolluid Ninnie 7 Murgen mac Sencháin 
dothecht sair — LL. 245% 4-9) = " And they said they knew but 
fragments of it. Then Senchán spoke to his pupils to find 
out whether one of them for a blessing's sake would not go to 
the Bretagne for the purpose of learning the Táin which the 
' wise man ' (insí/i) in exchange for the Cuilmenn had brought 
along with him to the East." 

Dallan Forgaill died at the end of the sixth century as 
chief-poet of Ireland, and was succeeded in office by Senchán 
Torpeist, so that this event, Zimmer rightly perceives, cannot 
extend very far into the reign of Guaire Aidne (617-662). 
Zimmer fixes on the year 630, for by that time the Cuihnenn 
had come to Ireland, apparently had been given in exchange 
for a MS. of the celebrated Gaelic Táin. As this MS. had 
gone to Brittany, the Cuiimenn must have come from there. 
Now the Briton Gildas is the only one who bears the title 
sui, "wise,"in those times for whom the circumstances and 
events fit. He had acquired fame through his work De 
Excidio Britannorum, composed before 547. On his return 
journey from Rome he stayed in Brittany among his country- 
people, who since the middle of the fifth century had sought 
a new home there in consequence of the oppressions of the 


Angles and Saxons. Since 547, in consequence of the plague 
in Britain, many more joined them. In the territory of Vannes, 
on the peninsula Rhuys, Gildas had founded a cloister, where, 
according to the Irish Annals (A U. and Tigernach) and the 
Annales Cambrice, he died at an advanced age in 570. The 
PCavigatio Gildas in Hibernia is recorded in the Annales 
Cambrice under the year 565. Accordingly, after a ten years' 
stay in Brittany, well versed in the topics of the place, he 
undertoolc this journey to Ireland in 565. Without further 
epithet, he is frequently referred to as súi, "sapiens ille," and 
had at that date brought the Cuilmenn to Ireland and left it 
there in exchange for a manuscript of the Táin Bo Cualnge. 

The direct inference is that the " Táin Bo Cualnge " ??iust 
have been written in Gaelic before the year 565. And if the 
Tain Bb Cualnge, why not other texts ? 

Thus there was abundant possibility for the beheading 
incident, which ultimately talces its rise out of old Celtic 
custom, finding its way into Brittany, and of being further 
transmitted, whether orally or in writing, both on the Continent 
and in Britain. It at length meets us in the Norman-French 
romances. Everything we know of as regards the beheading 
game favours a Celtic origin. But that it is exclusively Gadelic 
need not at once follow from the silence of Cymric testimony. 

It will prove convenient to add here a short account of a 
romance containing some parallel incidents, the more especially 
as it is not so readily accessible. I mean, of course, the story 
of "The Mule without the Bridle" (La Mule sans Frein), a 
free imitation of which appeared in 1777, and served as the 
basis for Wieland's Som?ner?nárchen, oder das Maulthier ohne 
Zaum, wrongh/ attributed by him to Chrétien de Troies. For 
the purpose of ready comparison I give Professor W. P. Ker's 
summary : x — 

Paien de Maisiéres, the author, begins by saying that the old 
ways are best. The poem is dated c. 1200 provisionally, but 
apparently the poet had a taste for an older style that was coming 

1 It appeared in Folklore for Sept. 1898, p. 268. The original is to be 
found in Meon's Nouveau Recueil de Fabliaux, vol. i. p. 1 (1823). 


into fashion about that time, and preferred to keep closely to the 
original fairy tale in its natural shape. 

A damsel riding on a mule without a bridle came to Arthur's 
court and asked for the help of a knight to recover her bridle for 
her. Kay set out on a mule till he came to a forest high and 
great, full of beasts, lions, tigers, and leopards, and these came 
and knelt to him for the knowledge they had of the lady, and for 
the honour of the mule. Then he passed out of the forest and 
came to a valley full of fiery serpents and scorpions and an evil 
odour and cold wind ; thereafter to a pleasant plain and a clear 
fountain, and then to the river of Dread and the narrow bridge 
(c/. MacdoualFs " Folk and Hero Tales," p. 94). 

And there he turned and went home again ; the beasts of the 
forest were no longer friendly, but for the sake of the mule they 
let him go by. 

Then Gawain took up the adventure, and passed through the 
same places, and rode across the narrow bridge. On the other 
side he found a narrow path leading to a castle ; there was broad 
water round the castle, and knights' heads on spikes all about, 
except on one spike. And the castle was always turm'ng, like a 
mill-wheel or a top. Gawain spurred the mule and made a rush 
for the gate as it came round ; the mule got through with the 
loss of half her tail. 

Gawain rode through the castle, but found no one, till at last a 
dwarf appeared, who greeted him by his name, but would not 
answer any question, and went away again. Then Gawain came 
to a deep hole under an arch, out of which there ascended a large 
villain with a gisarne, "black as one from the Morians' land or one 
of the sunburnt villains of Champagne." 

The villain entertained Gawain, waited on him at table, made 
his bed for him, and then proposed the beheading game (ajeu 
parti) : " Cut off my head to-day and I will cut off yours to- 
morrow." x 

Gawain accepted the challenge and beheaded him. The 
villain picked up his head and went back to his cellar. The next 
day Gawain stood the test, and allowed the villain his stroke, but 
the villain let him off because he had played fair. 

Gawain then asked for the bridle. But first he had to fight 

1 G. Paris states the conditions proposed in La Mule sans Frein thus : 
"Choisis, lui dit-il, on de me trancher la téte ce soir á condition que je 
trancherai la tienne demain matin, ou d'avoir la tienne tranchée ce soir 
á condition de trancher la mienne demain matin " (a laaina in the French 
text here, but see La Couronne de H. du Tiirlin, v. 13,112). 


with two lions, and next with a wounded lcnight, who was used to 
fight with all who came seeking the bridle, whose heads were on 
the spilces outside, as Gawain had seen. Then he had to face two 
fiery serpents. After that the sulky dwarf appeared again, this 
time with an invitation from his lady to Gawain to come and dine 
with her. Then he should have the bridle. 

" You have killed my wild beasts," said the lady, who, how- 
ever seemed to bear no ill-will to Gawain. The villain and the 
dwarf waited at dinner. The lady was sister of the damsel of the 
mule, and gave Gawain the bridle. She would fain have per- 
suaded Gawain to stay with her and be her lord and lord of all 
her castles. But Gawain answered that he must go back to the 
court of the king The villain stopped the whirling of the castle 
as Gawain rode out. Then befell a great marvel. For when 
Gawain had crossed the bridge he looked back, and saw all the 
streets of the place full of multitudes of people, carolling, singing, 
and dancing in great joy. The villain was still standing above 
the gate, and Gawain asked him who they were. " Sir," said he, 
" these were hidden in the crypts for the cruelty and pride and 
rage of the beasts that you have killed. But now they say, in 
their language, that God has delivered them by your hand and 
illumined them with all good things. The people that were in 
darkness have joy of this sight ; greater gladness can never be." 
Then Gawain too was glad, and turned and left the place, and as 
he rode back the beasts of the forest made obeisance to him. 

As he rode into the meadows under the king's castle. the 
queen saw him, and hnights and damsels went out to welcome him 
home. The damsel of the bridle thanked him and kissed him ; 
and though the king and queen besought her, and she would gladly 
have obeyed, yet it was beyond her power to stay, nor would she 
have any escort, but called for the mule to be brought and took 
her leave and rode away alone. 


The tale affords testimony to the existence of carving (§ 1), 
the architecture being in wood. Chief-artificers are spoken 
of (§ 2), the word saer there used meaning in Modern Gaelic 
"a carpenter," which itself is of Celtic origin. The bed- 
furnishings (§ 4) imply that weaving was well known. Musi- 
cians, singers, and professional artistes were recognised 


(§§ I2 j J 3)- ^o doubt such offices were largely hereditary, as 
the caste system prevailed. Thus Riangabair's two sons 
are charioteers. We read of the enamel of the shields (§ 15), 
of a curved yoke silver mounted (§ 45), a chariot-pole bright 
with silver mounting (§ 47), a curved yoke richly gilt (§ 50), a 
pole with bright bronze mounting or veining (§ 50), a shield 
with a rim of silver, chased with figures of animals in gold 


Méve's residence had twelve windows with glass in the 
openings (§ 55) — the word for which (comla) is explained in 
the old glosses by Latin valvce, "leaves, folds." One may 
imagine rows of flint glass beads to have been set between 
borders of wood, so arranged as to serve for ornament and 
for the admission of more or less light. Panes are hardly to 
be thought of. Beads of translucent glass intermediate in 
texture between the earliest Celtic opaque glass and the 
crystalline glass which the Celts made in the days of Pliny l 
have been occasionally found with the Celtic ornaments in 
Wiltshire. 2 And Stokes from the adverb anall, i.e. " from 
abroad," which occurs in O'Davoren's description of crnan, 
thinks the Irish learned to make enamel from the Britons. 
The art. however, may have been known, while certain fine 
examples of workmanship might have been got through 
merchants from Gaul as well as from Britain. 

We meet with silver, gold (very abundant at one time in 
some districts of Ireland, as the magnificent relics in Dublin 
prove), findrui?ie, with cups of these chased in precious 
stones (§§ 59, 62, &c). An enamelled cup of bronze found in 
Linlithgowshire has been described by Dr. J. Anderson, 3 
while the remains of iron chariots, horse-trappings, and 
armour decorated with enamel and the red Mediterranean 
coral (or what is described as such) have been found in the 
East Riding of Yorkshire, including a spear-head and sword, 
both of iron, the latter in a curious sheath of bronze orna- 
mented with studs of red coral. 4 References to what has 
been found on Irish soil may be found in Mr. Wood- 

1 Nat. Hist. xxxvi. c. 66. 2 Trans. Roy. Ir. Acad. xxx. 283. 

3 Proc. Soc. Scot. Antiq. vii. 45. * Archaiologia, xliii. 475. 


Martin's " Pagan Ireland," an Archseological Sketch. Our 
tale tells of needles (§ 65), of an axe (§ 76, &c), of 
swords (passim), of a five-pronged javelin (§ 45), of shields 
with edge of bright bronze (§ 45), of a brooch of inlaid 
gold (§ 51), of spears (§ 47). The reference to enamelling 
is in accord with what we otherwise know about it as 
having been one of the Celtic arts. Thus Philostratus, 1 
one of the household of Julia Domna, wife of the Emperor 
Severus, in a notice of the variegated trappings of horses in a 
painting of a boar-hunt, says : " The barbarians who live 
in the ocean form such colours on heated brass, and the 
colours adhere to it, becoming as hard as stone, thus pre- 
serving the designs made in them." It is the fact that horse- 
trappings of bronze or brass, decorated with coloured enamels, 
have hitherto been found in the British Islands alone. 2 Horse- 
trappings inlaid with crimson enamel form part of the Petrie 
Collection. 3 

Our tale precedes the age of the Christian inscriptions ; 
such a phrase as is met with in § 23 — "on whom shall be 
raised a tombstone " — implies the rarity and consequent 
distinction of such. We may think perhaps of the Ogam 
inscribed stones. 

There is evidence of abundant slcill in dyeing raiments ; 
we have a crimson tunic (§ 45), a white jerkin (§ 47), a 
mantle of blue and crimson (§ 47), a kirtle with a white hood 
(§ 51). In the skill of the daughters of Erin in this matter 
I can most readily believe from my personal knowledge of 
that of their relatives — the old native women of the Highlands 
of Scotland. 


The saga affords several glimpses of the old religious 
mythos of the Gael, whose phantasy of old was apt to see 
in every aspect of nature something almost equally divine. 

1 "The Icones of Philostratus," i. ch. 28. 

2 C/. Anderson's " Scotland in Pagan Times : The Iron Age," p. 125. 

3 " Observations on Use of Red Enamel in Ireland," by M. Stolces, in 
Trans. Roy. Ir. Acad. xxx. 281. 



The childhood of every nation is naive. Nature is yet full 
of gods. Do we not still cry to see in her something that 
is ours? Simple lives have always the heart open to the 
mystery of the wind and to the power of the sea. There is 
perhaps a condition wherein Wordsworth would have no need 
to cry — 

" Great God ! I'd rather be 
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn : 
So might I standing on this pleasant lea, 
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ; 
Have sight of Proteus coming from the sea ; 
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn." 

The present story arose under such a condition. It tells 
of the Amazons of the glen (genniti glinne), which yet survive 
in Ireland as geilt glinne, 1 sprites of the firmament or demons 
of the air. "They are," says the late Mr. O'Beirne Crowe, 
" evil spirits, and represent the traditional fallen angels who 
in their descent had reached the earth only." The old vision 
is grown not a little dim even in the ninth century but still 
Uath of Loch Uath rises from the bosom of the lake, brazen 
adze in hand, to decide in favour of Cuchulainn. 'Twas by 
the banks of an enchanted loch the foremost champion of 
Scotia had seized the Grey of Macha and the black Sainglend, 
his unrivalled steeds. Nor did it escape the Christian redactor 
that King Conchobar was formerly accorded divine honour 
though he was almost oblivious of Cuchulainn's superhuman 
origin. But Cormac, 2 prince, bishop, and scholar, thus 
explains : — 

" Art, 'a god,' unde dicitur Eochaid find fuath n-airt, 
i.e. ' Eochaid the Fair with the form of a god,' i.e. from the 
comeliness of the man. Item Cuchulainn post mortem 
dixisse perhibetur domemaid art uasal, "a noble art, i.e. a 
noble god was put to death.' " This word art seems cognate 
with Mercurius — Artaius, the Gallo-Roman title of Mercury. 

1 See " Bláith-Fhleasg de Mhílseánibh na Gaoidheilge le Padruig O 
Briain Baile-Atha-Cliath," 1893, pp. XI > I21 '■> c f- " Manners and Customs," 
iii. 450; bánánaig 7 boccánaig 7 geniti glinni, LU. 79 b , 15, 20; cf. LU. 

77 b . 34- 

2 Ed. " O'Donovan," Stokes, p. 3, sub. Art. 


There is further testimony as to its meaning in the following 
gloss : 

fuath arta .i. fuath .i. dealb dee nam art deus dicitur ! = 
fuath arta, i.e.fuath, i.e. form of a god, for a god is called art. 

One may be sure that in an earlier age Cuchulainn was 
felt to have been divine also. Uath (i.e. Terror) survives in 
Modern Gaelic as fuath, "spectre, apparition, hobgoblin, 
demon"; O. Ir. fuath, "figura, forma." A Highland story 
about such a being is referred to in Mr. W. G. Stewart's 
"Popular Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the High- 
landers of Scotland" (pp. 3-7). He is there named Fhua 
Mhoir Bein Baynac, i.e. the Big Fuath or Goblin of Ben 
Baynac. He is described as " wholly invulnerable to all the 
weapons of man, with the exception of a large mole on his 
left breast," which mole was the size of a common bonnet. 
His female consort was Clash?iichd (recte Glaistig) who had 
her abode in Craig Aulnaic, Strathdown, Banffshire. The 
following folk-rhyme proves belief in the Fuath as well as in 
a number of other beings of similar character who are not yet 
extinct in the Highlands : 

" Bho gach gruagach is ban-slth 
Bho gach ml-run agus br5n 
Bho gach glaistig is ban-nigh 
Gach luch-sith agus luch-feóir ; 
Bho gachfuath bhiodh feadh nam beann 
Bho gach greann bhiodh teann da m'thóir, 
Bho gach uruisg measg nan gleann 
Teasruig mi gu ceann mo 15." 2 

Almost every loch and river in the Highlands was until 
the present generation regarded as the habitat of some mythic 
creature. About a dozen years ago I remember speaking 

1 " Irische Texte," iii. 360. The boys in North Inverness-shire 
amused themselves at night by taking a burning stick out of the fire, and 
setting it round in a circle, exclaiming : 

" Dilean dealbhan Dé, tha na feidh air an loch 
Thu Mac Shimi air an fhéill s cha tig feidh dhachaigh nochd." 

2 For original with English translation, see "Ancient Hymns and 
Incantations of the Highlands," by Alexander Carmichael. 


with a Highland worthy of the Clan Chattan. His great- 
grandfather — Iain Beag Dubh — had fought at Culloden and 
he himself would knock any one down who said a word 
against the Prince. He told me how after Culloden the 
Duke of Cumberland said to a Highland nobleman : " One 
Englishman is fit to slay eleven Highlanders." " Now's the 
time to try them," said the nobleman, who there and then 
went to the tent of some Highlanders taken prisoners. Iain 
Beag Dubh, after getting food and three hours' rest, came out 
to meet the English trooper. Having thwarted the thrust of 
the Englishman's spear with his Highland shield, he killed 
the bravest man in Cumberland's army with his claymore. 

After which I asked him about the water-bull which I 
knew he was credited with having personal experience of. 

" Do they see any beasts in Loch Bruiach ? " " Well, I 
was passing alongside of it one night, and I heard the lowing 
of the water-bull. When there is nobody about he comes out 
on the banks of the loch ; at times he eats the grass that 
grows at the bottom of the loch. It sufhces if he gets his 
snout above water." "And is he really there, though?" 
" Yes indeed he is there — a ghu-i-a " — and he added as if 
to confirm the matter, " there are many of them in the river 

I remember another man narrate that the tarbh-boighre 
inhabited the same loch, that he had one horn, and was seen 
grazing by the banks at certain times with his fiock of kine. 
As for rivers being held to have been haunted by the baobh 
I can recall the words of one who sang for me the Fingalian 
lay telling of Fionn's dog Bran ; my informant told how she 
herself had seen the baobh or washing woman by the river 
Glass. "The baobh was washing ( — a portent of drowning — ) 
and had many blue ribbons on her with a red tassel in her 
bonnet. I went down to the river's bank. 'I put God 
between me and thee.' Ah ! devil, how strong thou art ! 
Whereupon she went oíf plup plap, and the birds cried gog- 


1 " Chunna mise 'bhaobh 's mi'm shuidh' fagus do'n abhuinn. Bha i 
'nighe 's móran ribeanan uaine oirre, 's tostal dearg 'na bunaid. Cha nii 


I may add that I inquired of her who the Feni (Fayn 
or Fingalians, Fenians of the Ossian Saga) were. "A 
powerful people, but they are now put down by the 
Gospel," she answered. "Are they still alive?" I aslced. 
"U! it is they that are, and were they able to arise they 
would conquer the world. They are lying san Z)un Fhionn 
on their elbows, but if the trumpet be blown a third time 
they will arise and conquer the world. There were fellows 
lilce yourself who blew it twice already; then they fled in 
fear. They have left them worse than they found them (i.e. 
on their elbows, twixt sleeping and walcing, as they are re- 
puted to be in Tomnahurich at Inverness)." The sleep of 
the Fairy Knoll knows of an awalcing. 

In the feast of Bricriu the phrase ceo druidechta " magic 
(//'/. druidical) mist " pre-supposes some sort of cult which 
many call druidism. That a certain control over natural 
agencies was held to be within the druid's power is certain. 
Consider the lot assigned to the druid in the saga of the 
Children of Uisnech. 1 The miracles of the druids were 
" mostly atmospheric, consisting of such feats as bringing 
on a heavy snow, palpable darlcness, or a great storm, such 
as the one by means of which a druid tried to effect the 
shipwreck of St. Columba on Loch Ness in Scotland." 2 They 
practised initiatory rites such as baptism, for we often read : 
" Druids came to baptize the child into heathenism and they 
sang the heathen baptism over the child." Sometimes a 
druid is expressly said to have been from Britain, as in the 
case of Mainchenn. 3 What of virtue they taught pre-supposed 
some belief in transmigration ; re-birth was sure to the brave. 

When Christianity was finding its way into the hearts of 
the people, the popular belief in the síd or fairy mound was 
so far on the side of its doctrine of immortality. The good 

bhán thun na bruaich'. ' Tha mise 'cur Dia eadar mi agus thu'. Ah ! 
'dhiabhoil, is tu tha laidir. Bi falbh thu ! ' 'S dh'fhalbh 's b'e sin a 
phlobartaich s a phlabartaich s thug na h-eoin gog-gog-gog ! " 

1 This name may have to do with celestial phenomena. Some High- 
landers still call the Milky Way, " Sliochd Uis," short for Uisne, which 
with some is Uisinn. 

2 "Hib. Lect." 224. 3 Ib. 2, 62. 


beings or gods of ancient Scotia had become, as they are 
called in the " Book of Armagh," dei terreni, local and more 
or less friendly powers dwelling in the síd or fairy lcnoll. What 
the " Book of Leinster" calls aaim Cruachna (LL. 290% 4), 
" Cruachan Cave," is elsewhere called std Cruachna, " the 
Fairy Mound of Cruachan." 

Druidical or magic rites could not be regarded with such 
complacent eyes by Christians ; its rites were often barbarous 
and brutal, so that Christian belief was early anxious to show 
how the inhabitants of the fairy knoll were to be differentiated 
from the followers of druidic magic or wizardry. When the 
goddess of the síd comes to carry off Connla the Red, she 
distinctly tells him that Druidism is not loved, that it has 
progressed to little honour on the Great Strand ; the Righteous 
One with his many wondrous hosts would soon come, whose 
law would destroy the spells of druids from journeying on the 
lips of a black lying demon. Such a sentiment is due solely 
to a re-telling of the story of Conndla, in the spirit of a later 
time. Thurneysen regards síd as cognate with Latin sidus, 
"a star," from which he infers that the síde were originalh/ the 
stars — pointing to stellar worship. Stokes, however, would 
equate it with Sabine noven-sídes ; Latin, noven-x*7<M / Latin, 
sedes ; Greek, é'Sos, "a seat of the gods " ; the statue in a 
temple. Whatever the derivation may be, the belief in the 
síd included veneration for all the chief natural phenomena, 
mountains, streams, lakes, which were thought of as peopled 
with beings more powerful than man, who could often be 
controlled by druidical arts. It may also have included a 
certain worship paid to the "funeral mound where dwell the 
shades of the ancestors." 

There is certain evidence as to the existence of druids in 
Ireland, e.g. in the Tripartite Life of Patrick, the tonach 
druad = vestis magica, cassula magi, a special garment for 
wizards, is expressly spoken of, while in St. Patrick's Hymn 
there is a special clause entreating Christ's aid against the 
spells of women, 1 smiths, and druids. On the other hand, 

1 Possibly fairy women. The phrase, however, is simply : fri brichta 
ban 7 goband 7 druad. 


neither Fiacc's Hymn nor Orgain Brudne Da Dergae have 
the word for druid. In the latter archaic tale the word 
druth, which O'Currjr 1 renders "druid," does occur, but it 
does not mean druid, but is cognate with Old Norse trudr, 
"a fool," and means in its Gaelic context a species of juggler. 
In Fiacc's Hymn the tribes of Gaeldom are said to have 
worshipped elves (slde). 

Cathbath in the Feast of Bricriu appears solely in the rdle 
of afi/idh, though he elsewhere figures as druid of Conchobar's 
court, and in the Táin has a hundred pupils in daily attend- 
ance. Mr. O'Beirne Crowe held that druidism was never a 
properly established system in Erin. " The stray and perhaps 
the many druids whom the Roman persecution in Gaul and 
Britain drove over here, were looked up to as magicians, and 
as such were taken into the keeping of our kings and princes. 
In this irregular way, however, Irish druidism was spreading 
and organising itself in due course, though it had not time for 
development before the arrival of Patrick. This accounts 
for the easy conversion of Ireland to Christianity. How 
would our Apostle have fared in an attack on Gaulish druidism 
about a century before the Romans had broken up its highly 
organised constitution ? . . . In the Book of Armagh we find 
for the first time the druids of Tara brought out in bold 
relief; but this is done for the sole purpose of exalting the 
Christian hero who was soon to destroy their power." Accord- 
ing to this view the filidh, "seer, poet," cognate with Cymric 
givelet, " to see ; sight ; vision " ; preceded the druid by many 
centuries as the chief minister of religion. 2 " After the intro- 
duction of our irregular system of druidism which must have 
been about the second century of the Christian era, the fiiidh 
had to fall into something like the position of the British 
hards, but still retained much of their ancient functions." 
The Gaulish druidism he terms metempsychosis, the Irish 
druidism transformation of one body into another. Thus in 
Scéla na Esérgi, metaformatio is illustrated by the change of a 
human body into that of a wolf, while in the tale of Tuan mac 

1 " Manners and Customs," iii. 145. 

2 Bezzenberger compares Veleda (Tacitus' Germania, VIII.) the name 
of a prophetess. 


Cairill, Fintan becomes a deer, then a boar, then a hawlc. 
On this latter point it suffices to refer to Mr. Nutt's study of 
the Celtic Doctrine of Re-birth. 

I have only to refiect on folk customs and beliefs within 
the range of my own knowledge, to be thoroughly convinced 
that outside a certain small circle the old native folk-lore was 
in full force when the Feast of Bricriu was written, but the 
saga only exhibits a fraction of it. The old belief has 
been very tenacious. An American publication of last year, 
on the authority of Freemarís Jour?ial, notes that in a Gaelic 
version of the Lord's Prayer, which up to a very recent period 
existed in parts of Cork and Kerry, instead of " Lead us not 
into temptation," na lig sinn an draoidheachd was said, mean- 
ing "allow us not into druidism (or wizardry)." And in the 
Highlands, the corp-creagha or " clay-body " is quite familiar 
to many now living. The witch sticks an abundance of pins 
and nails into the effigy of the person on whom she will vent 
her ill-wishes, puts the effigy into a burn that it may the 
sooner perish, fondly believing that all the ills which flesh is 
heir to will in a correspondingly short time overtake the 
person she desires to victimise. Popular belief is very mixed 
and complex. Perhaps even after the present generation 
has leapt from the Leucadian rock, some survivors will be 
found who will still in some small measure retain a memory 
of the old customs at Halloween, Hogmanay, May-Day, 
and the First Monday of the Quarter ; witches may be held 
to have the power of shifting themselves into the shapes 
of hares, and the silver coin put in the gun may help 
to make their adversary's shot effective ; hooping-cough may 
be thought to be cured by the sight of a rider on a roan 
steed, or by drinking upon an adjacent estate water from a 
holy well out of a live horn spoon ; he who will not reverently 
place his finger in last farewell upon the corpse may be held 
unable to forget the dead ; the magician may yet contrive to 
cure heart complaint by essaying to fashion a heart from 
boiling lead poured through a rusty key into a wooden water 
vessel, wherein are placed coins and water raised in the Triune 
name from a stream where pass the living and the dead ; 
some may yet try to avert murrain from their flocks by burying 


before sunrise, in the Holy Name, on land outside their own 
estate-bounds, portions of animals that have died of disease. 
The navel of a child may be charred by fire, and the powder 
thereof put on water and given the child to drink upon the 
eighth day. Children will continue to be born, and some 
wise woman may yet insist upon opening every iron lock on 
box or on door, at the time within the dwelling, as she may 
likewise do when a soul is passing, lest any hindrance be put 
in its way. The bridle of the water-horse — the last relic of 
Manannan's steed — may be called to aid, in making things 
hidden known ; the future may be held to yield its secrets by 
gazing through the shoulder-blade of the bear ; the horoscope 
or frlth may yet be cast. A spell for checking a íiow of 
blood may be handed down in certain families ; water running 
from a mill-sluice, and mixed with the brains of the dead, 
may be given to be drunk from out a skull, and may be held 
as a cure for epilepsy. Some image like Naomh Og may be 
left to the King of Inis Cé ; some fairy changeling of Clonmel 
may possibly be tried by fire ; the belief in the birth-debility 
or couvade may not become entirely extinct ; some dis- 
appointed one will yet make speed to some warlock of 
Strathdown for sacred water to cure the bewitched cattle ; 
though perchance too timid to ask their enemy to be called 
up in vision before them in the water-vessel, they will be 
ready to prove its possibility by quoting the case of King 
Saul and the witch of Endor. In that day, as now, no spirit 
may address a mortal until mortal man has first spoken to it. 

" Oh mightie love ! Man is one world, and hath 
another to attend him." 

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