Mac Dathó Was His Name

There was a famous king of Leinster. Mac Dathó was his name. He had a hound; the hound defended the whole of Leinster. The hound’s name was Ailbe, and Ireland was full of its fame. Messengers came from Ailill and Medb asking for the hound. Moreover at the same time there came also messengers from Conchobar Mac Nessa to ask for the same hound. They […]

Táin Bó Cúailnge

But I who have written this story, or rather this fable, give no credence to the various incidents related in it. For some things in it are the deceptions of demons, other poetic figments; some are probable, others improbable; while still others are intended for the delectation of foolish men. — Colophon (Latin) at the […]

Provided I Be Famous, I Am Content to Be Only One Day on Earth

‘He did still another exploit,’ said Fiachu mac Fir Fhebe. ‘Cathbad the druid was with his son Conchobar mac Nessa. There were with him a hundred active men learning the druid’s art — that was the number that Cathbad used to instruct. One of his pupils asked him for what that day would be of […]

I Myself Shall Be a Hound

‘Indeed we know that boy’, said Conall Cernach, ‘and we know him all the better in that he is a fosterling of ours. Not long after the deed which Fergus has just related, he performed another exploit.’ ‘When Culann the smith prepared a feast for Conchobar, he asked Conchobar not to bring a great crowd […]

The Death of the Boys

‘Another time he was playing ball in the playing-field east of Emain, he alone on one side against the thrice fifty boys. He kept defeating them in every game in that way all the time. Eventually the boy began to belabour them with his fists and fifty of them died. Whereupon he fled and hid […]

The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn

‘He was reared,’ said Fergus, ‘by his father and mother at the Airgthech in Mag Muirthemne. He was told the famous tales of the youths in Emain. For,’ said Fergus, ‘thrice fifty youths are usually there engaged in play. This is how Conchobor spends his time of sovereignty: one third of the day spent watching […]

The Eulogy of Cú Chulainn

‘What manner of man,’ asked Ailill, ‘is this Hound whom we have heard of among the Ulstermen? What age is that famous youth?’ ‘I can tell you that,’ said Fergus. ‘In his fifth year he went to the boys in Emain Macha to play. In his sixth year he went to learn feats of arms […]

The Death of Cú Chulainn in the Chronicon Scotorum

Kal. vi. A.D.432 From the death of the hero, Cucullainn, to this year, there are 431 years; from the death of Conchobhar Mac Nessa, 412 years. Patrick, i.e. the Archbishop, comes to Hibernia, and begins to baptize the Scoti, in the ninth year of Theodosius the younger, the first year of the episcopate of Sixtus, 45th Bishop […]

Chronicon Scotorum, Annal CS432

Kal. vi. A.D. 432 From the death of the hero, Cucullainn, to this year, there are 431 years; from the death of Conchobhar Mac Nessa, 412 years. Patrick, i.e. the Archbishop, comes to Hibernia, and begins to baptize the Scoti, in the ninth year of Theodosius the younger, the first year of the episcopate of Sixtus, 45th […]