Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Lebor na Cert (Author: unknown)

section 10

    1. Tara is a house where Conn's son dwelt,
      seat of warriors at Liathdruim;
      I can remember what she awards
      to her chieftains.
    2. Each king whom strong Tara shall accept,
      and who shall possess the land of Ireland,
      is the noblest of all the host
      of fertile Ireland.
    3. If it be a king who belongs to Tara
      and who is best of the chieftains,
      everyone should submit to the righteous king
      of true judgement by coming to his house.
    4. He is bound to govern the hosts
      once they join his gathering;
      they are bound to bring to him
      in Tara a hostage for every man.

    5. p.125

    6. Tara does not belong to him
      unless there be a reliable historian
      who may tell his lord
      the stipend of each man.
    7. Let him not give anyone more than is right,
      so that he may not give a false judgement;
      let there be no strife in his house,
      for that is one of his chief tabus.
    8. Let him not make war against
      the host of the province of Conchobor:
      let sheltered Tara not be laid waste
      by the warfare of the descendants of Rudraige.
    9. He is entitled to be in mighty Tara
      with everyone subject to him;
      when he is not himself prepared for battle,
      his provincial kings are at his command.
    10. The worthy king of the Ulaid
      owes him a feast each seventh Samain,
      and to send it to him without stint,
      on the border of Lind Luathgainne.
    11. The amount of the feast that is due there
      to the king of Tara of the stout blades
      is twelve vats of each kind of ale
      with the proper supply of food.
    12. He goes afterwards to Tara
      with his retinue;
      they make the journey eagerly
      so that they may discover their stipend.
    13. The king of Emain Macha is entitled
      —every noble who accepts generous hospitality,
      is not the son of a weakling—
      to a payment that is fitting.

    14. p.127

    15. Half of the warm house is assigned
      to that company from Emain Macha,
      and they take—we do not think it unfair—
      an equal half with all the rest of Ireland.
    16. Wine is to be served to them in Tara
      so that their spirits rise,
      coloured drinking-horns sharp-pointed,
      chess-boards and chessmen.
    17. The width of his face in gold
      is given to the great and mighty king,
      two hundred cows, two hundred horses,
      and two hundred chariots, no false judgement.
    18. Twelve ships in a stately fleet
      from the king of Tara of the combats
      should be sent for the prince's sons
      for it is a princely escort.
    19. Twelve poisoned spears, twelve swords


      twelve garments of many colours
      for the prince's sons.
    20. The fairest bride in Tara
      from among the high-spirited queens
      should be given to him
      as he chooses if he be unwedded.
    21. Protection of the red spear with its retinue
      should be given to the king of Ulster of many boasts,
      if he be in Tara of the towers,
      a sanctuary which none dares to violate.
    22. The Gailenga shall pay the cost of his horses,
      the Fir Breg the cost of his troops,
      if he be in Tara of the tribes,
      for they are of his own people.

    23. p.129

    24. His portion in the house of Tara
      -he should be pleased with it—
      is sixty beeves, twenty pigs,
      and twenty fiitches in a great load (?).
    25. Twenty handfuls of herbs,
      twenty glistening seagulls' eggs,
      twenty hives of bees
      shall be given him together.
    26. That is all he is entitled
      to from the king of radiant Tara,
      and I say and repeat that
      it is no mere nothing.
    27. After that the king of Cualnge
      returns home with the troops
      to distribute his stipends,
      having rested at the end of his journey.
    28. To the king of Ráith Mór Maige
      he owes more than a royal fee,
      for his is the noblest service (?)
      and he is the first to receive a stipend.
    29. He is entitled, if you ask it,
      to eight coloured cloaks,
      two ships and a gleaming shield for each shoulder,
      if he be not king of the Ulaid;
    30. A set of chess and white brandub,
      eight horns and eight cups.
      eight hounds, eight horses,
      and eight spears together.
    31. The king of Mag Coba of the light,
      slender weapons is entitled to
      seven hounds, seven horses,
      and seven spears together.

    32. p.131

    33. The Cenél nEógain are bound to go on a hosting with him,
      and the Cenél Conaill without fail;
      they do not fail him at a muster,
      their duty is to rally to him.
    34. The king of Airgialla is entitled to
      his horse in return for his hostages,
      no false judgement, and the king of noble Cenèl Conaill
      is entitled to sit opposite to him in every place.
    35. The king of the honourable Uí Briúin is entitled
      to his splendid French horse;
      the king of Conmaicne is entitled
      to a hound, a horse and choice garments.
    36. The reason why the king of Ulaid
      of the mighty weapon gives them those gifts
      is that their power may be in his house,
      and that they may come with him to Tara.
    37. The gessa of the king of Ulaid of Emain
      and of his famous lands (?) are:
      to approach the lair of a boar at any time (?)
      to see it being attacked;
    38. To listen to the birds of the valley
      of noble Loch Swilly,
      and to bathe in the month of May
      eastwards on beautiful Loch Foyle.
    39. Those are the severe tabus of the high king
      of the province of the Branch-red House;
      if he be used to do those things,
      he will never succeed to Tara.
    40. Among the lucky things of the great king
      of Ulaid are to spend Easter at Caendruim,
      to have his stewards in Tailtiu of the triple rampart,
      and that Emain shall harbour his daughters (?);

    41. p.133

    42. That he have a fleet upon Loch Cuan,
      that he be connected by marriage with the king
      of the cold Foreigners, that Eanach Caín
      be of good repute and that his stewards be in Tara. T.
    43. The king of Naas owes a great banquet,
      hard to provide, twenty vats
      of each kind of ale
      with their provision in addition.
    44. The stipend of the king of the Laigin of Lore
      from the king of Tara of the stronghold
      —O ye who are in your house—
      I have it in memory:
    45. A hundred sons of princes of lasting fame
      go with him to the rampart of Tara;
      a maiden for every man shall be in Tara,
      jealous (?) and slender.
    46. Seven gilt chariots which he brings
      with him to a banquet,
      seven score coloured garments
      for the prince s Sons.
    47. Then the king of the Laigin returns home
      with his warriors, making the journey
      to the fort of Naas,
      and distributes his stipend.
    48. If the valiant Uí Chennselaig
      have the great kingship,
      they have the distribution of its wealth
      to their princes and kings.
    49. The king of the fair Uí Fhaeláin is entitled
      to seven coloured cloaks for every goodly mantle(?),
      and four ships on the lake
      so that their prows be in a fleet(?).

    50. p.135

    51. The king of cold Uí Fhailge is entitled
      to four coloured shields,
      it is a good stipend, four horns
      of every colour and four swords for battle.
    52. The noble king of Osraige is entitled
      to twelve hounds with a good litter,
      twelve horses without fail (?)
      with goodly chariots.
    53. The king of Uí Chennselaig of the spoils
      has control of the house of Tara;
      this is the truth for all time,
      for it is the house of the king of Laigin.
    54. The king of the keen Uí Gabla is entitled
      to a gold ring for each finger;
      and the fair king of the Fortuatha is entitled
      to a gold armlet from the white-hot coals (?).
    55. I observe the gessa of the king of the Laigin:
      that he be challenged to give battle in his own country,
      that the Foreigners revolt against him,
      and that he sends hostages to Dublin.
    56. Moreover, that the king should not be respected,
      that Coemgein should not be held in high regard,
      not to go to Naas...
      are among the gessa of the noble king.
    57. To maintain Brigit in her property
      is one of the lucky things of the Laigin kings,
      and to pay her rent in his house,
      and to go every month to Tara.
    58. The king of Cashel of the spoils
      has a duty to go to the rampart of Tara
      with forty charioteers to
      present his banquet.

    59. p.137

    60. The king of Temair of the towers
      has a duty to go with the same number,
      and none of them a churl's son,
      to hold the banquet of the Erainn.
    61. In Temair Luachra the king of Munster
      and his tribes owe thirty vats
      with their provision,
      it is good cheer.
    62. He is entitled to a week's refection
      at Temair Luachra Degaid in the west,
      and not to depart until he
      distribute his stipend.
    63. This is the firm stipend
      which is due from the high king of Ireland,
      eight horses, eight yoked chariots,
      eight rings, and eight horns.
    64. Eight score cloaks,
      eight bright shields on goodly arms,
      seven plough-teams in a handsome file,
      and seven score cows with their calves(?).
    65. A cauldron shall be given to the king of Cashel
      as is due by the king of Tara
      who renders without fail,
      and it shall be brought to Temair Luachra.
    66. Then the king of Munster
      of heroic battles
      distributes to his valiant champions (?),
      both king and queen.
    67. The noble king of the Déisi is entitled
      to eight good horses that will be prized,
      eight green cloaks, and
      eight brooches of findruine.

    68. p.139

    69. The king of Uí Liatháin of the sea is entitled
      to eight horns, eight swords,
      and eight good horses
      from the king of Cashel without exchange.
    70. The king of great Uí Echach is entitled
      to a breastplate and a spear for battle,
      two rings of red gold,
      and two sturdy horses.
    71. The king of dark Dáirine is entitled
      to receive from the king of Cashel
      of the conflict eight pointed swords for the fight,
      eight ships, and eight coats of mail.
    72. To the king of long Loch Léin
      he owes a friendly complement,
      twenty cows, twenty horses,
      and twenty ships, no unjust judgement.
    73. The king of Ciarraige of the hill is entitled
      to twenty horses
      —no cause of harm—
      sixty white cows, and sixty cups.
    74. The king of the fair Uí Chonaill is entitled
      to his Easter rainment from the king of Cashel,
      his flashing blade with bright colour
      and his spear as well.
    75. The king of Éile is entitled
      to his country free as far as Sliab Bladma,
      without liability for service outside it,
      unlike any other king, unless fair battle should claim him (?).
    76. The reason why the king of Munster
      of noble nature gives them all
      this is that the men may be thankful
      that they are not delayed in Tara.

    77. p.141

    78. The three lucky things of the king of fair Cashel
      are to have a queen from Connacht,
      to have a fleet on the noble Shannon
      and to hold Cashel.
    79. His three unlucky things in turn
      are to declare war on the Laigin,
      to be maintÁined in fair Cashel,
      and not to go to Tara.
    80. He is entitled to a handsome and merry banquet
      from the king of populous Limerick,
      thirty vats, as is known,
      with their excellent provision.
    81. The king of fruitful Thomond is entitled
      to a friendly reward, thirty cows,
      two hundred horses, and three gold rings—
      no unjust judgement.
    82. Four ships with a boat,
      it is a pleasant rule,
      two shields for every ship,
      two swords, and two coats of mail.
    83. The chieftain of Limerick
      from Liathmuine is entitled
      only to this much in truth,
      and to the daughter of the king of Tara.
    84. The king of Corco Baiscind is entitled to a horn,
      forty horses, and a royal garment from the king of Thomond of many journeys
      —it is no false judgement.
    85. The under-king of Corco Mruad is entitled
      to the ship of his choice on the day of an expedition,
      from the king of Thomond of the tribes,
      two hundred cows, and his blessing.

    86. p.143

    87. I award the daughter of the strong king of Thomond
      to the king of Corco Mruad
      so that she be his wife wherever he be (?)
      after he comes into the house of the king of Tara.
    88. The tabus of the king
      of broad Limerick are...
      to take part in a council of three,
      and to confide in the queen.
    89. The lucky things of the virtuous king
      are to have nine in his goodly council,
      to be of handsome appearance,
      and to aspire to Tara.
    90. The prince of Cruachain
      —do not conceal it—
      is entitled to forty vats at a feast
      from the noble king of Ireland and not to go to it alone.
    91. The valiant king of Gaela is entitled
      to his reward from him now, sixty cows,
      two hundred horses, and four armlets,
      no unjust award.
    92. Four gilt horns to the prince
      of Cruachain of the royal line,
      which he brings with him to the drinking feast
      and keeps in his house in the west;
    93. Four red shields,
      four coloured helmets,
      four coats of mail in addition,
      and four spears for battle.
    94. It is a tabu for him that Cruachain
      should be three times plundered;
      it is lucky for him to have a fleet on Loch Rí;
      if he beyond all others do that, he will often win Tara.

    95. p.145

    96. The great king of Uí Máine is entitled
      to four horns for the drinking feast,
      twenty cows, twenty horses,
      and clothing for two hundred men, no false judgement.
    97. The fair king of Uí Fhiachrach is entitled
      to four ships with a
      boat, thirty women,
      and three horns.
    98. The king of the Three Tribes,
      although the ignorant know it not,
      is entitled to twenty beeves, twenty pigs,
      and twenty flitches in a great load (?).
    99. The generous king of Luigne is entitled
      to four ornamented shields,
      four tunics with red gold,
      and four ships, no mean effort.
    100. That is all he is entitled to
      from the prince of bright Cruachain;
      they owe him attendance at each meeting
      and to come to Tara.
    101. The king of Mide of the market is entitled
      to seven plough-teams that plough the land
      and seven score flocks
      from the famous king of Ireland.
    102. The king of populous Brega is entitled
      to twenty horses, no shame,
      with goodly trappings
      not to be denied.

    103. p.147

    104. The king of Saithne is entitled to this,
      a horse, and two score cows,
      his cauldron and his vat,
      for their closeness of kinship (?) is no less.
    105. The king of the Déisi tonight is entitled
      to twenty beeves and twenty wethers,
      and the king of Luigne is entitled
      to twenty horses with their saddles.
    106. The king of Gailenga is entitled
      to a spear with a socket of wrought gold
      and twenty splendid bridles
      with red enamel and carbuncle.
    107. Thus are due from him
      the stipends of the chiefs of Mide,
      and they should not be withheld (?) by force,
      but they should be brought to Tara.
    108. The tabus of the king of Cenél nEógain
      in his house are to have a queen from Connacht,
      to be at peace with Dál nAraide
      and to be at war with Cenél Conaill.
    109. Alone the king of Laise
      of the warriors goes east from his house;
      twenty horses are due to him
      for his journey, that is his stipend.
    110. The King of heaven and solid earth,
      may we all do His will,
      so that we may be established in His house,
      for it is happier than Tara.