Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T300012

The Wooing of Étaín

Author: [unknown]

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

Osborn Bergin and R. I. Best

translated by Osborn Bergin and R. I. Best

Electronic edition compiled by Benjamin Hazard

proof corrections by Benjamin Hazard, Janet Crawford

Funded by University College, Cork and
The Higher Education Authority via the LDT Project

2. Second draft.

Extent of text: 10635 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a Department of History project at University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—

(2005) (2011)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T300012

Availability [RESTRICTED]

Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.



    Manuscript Sources
  1. Dublin, Trinity College Library, H 2. 16, Leabhar Buidhe Lecain: Yellow Book of Lecan, col. 876–877 (facs. p 175a–b). See Robert Atkinson (ed.), The Yellow Book of Lecan, a collection of pieces, prose and verse, in the Irish language, in part compiled at the end of the fourteenth century, published from the original manuscript in the library of Trinity College, Dublin by the Royal Irish Academy with an Introduction, Analysis of contents and Index (Dublin 1896). For catalogue details see T. K. Abbott and E. J. Gwynn (eds.), Catalogue of the Irish manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Dublin 1921) MS. 1318, pp 94–110, 342–48.
  2. Dublin, National Library of Ireland, MS G 4 (Vellum; A.D. 1391) a fragment formerly belonging to the main part of the Yellow Book of Lecan) col. 985–97. For catalogue details see Nessa Ní Shéaghdha (ed.), Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the National Library of Ireland (Dublin 1967) fasc. 1, 28–31.
  3. London, British Library, Egerton 1782, fo. 106r–108v. See Robin Flower and S.H. O'Grady (eds.), Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the British Library [formerly the British Museum] (London 1926 repr. Dublin 1992) volume 2, 259–98.
  4. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 23 E 25, Lebor na hUidre, 10636–10707; 10790–10915. For full details see R. I. Best and Osborn Bergin (eds.), Lebor na hUidre: Book of the Dun Cow (Dublin 1929; repr. 1953; repr. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies 1992); for further MS details see Kathleen Mulchrone and Elizabeth FitzPatrick (eds.), Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy (Dublin 1943) 3367–3379.
  5. Dublin, Trinity College, MS H 3. 18, p. 605–606 (glossed extracts). see T. K. Abbott and E. J. Gwynn (eds.), Catalogue of the Irish manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Dublin 1921) MS. 1337, pp 140–58.
    Editions and translations
  1. Edward Müller (ed. and trans.), Scé Ailill & Étaine in Revue Celtique 3 (1878) 351–60 [Egerton version].
  2. Ernst Windisch (ed.), Tochmarc Étáine: 'Das Freien um Etain', Irische Texte mit Übersetzungen und Wörterbuch 1 (1891) 117 ff. [Egerton and LU versions].
  3. Rudolf Thurneysen, 'Etain und Ailill Anguba'ä Sagen aus dem alten Irland (Berlin 1901) 77 ff. [translation of Tochmarc Étaíne II from YBL and LU].
  4. Arthur Herbert Leahy (ed. and trans.), Courtship of Etainä Heroic Romances of Ireland: translated into English prose and verse, with preface, special introductions and linguistic notes by John Strachan (2 vols. London 1905–06) [Egerton and LU versions].
  5. Myles Dillon, Tochmarc Étaíne, Irish Sagas (Dublin 1959) 11–23 [based on the combined sources].
  6. Christian J. Guyonvarc'h, La Courtise d'Étaín, Celticum 15 (1966) 283–327 [French translation].
  7. Jeffrey Gantz, The Wooing of Étaíne, Early Irish myths and sagas (London 1981) 39–59 [based on the combined sources].
    Further reading
  1. George Kittredge, Sir Orfeo, American Journal of Philology 7 (1886) 186–202. [The plot for Tochmarc Étaíne is closely related to the way the medieval English romance, Sir Orfeo, differs from the classical Orpheus myth].
  2. Heinrich Zimmer, Keltische studien: Über den compilatorischen charakter der irischen sagentexte in sogenannten Lebor na hUidri, Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiete der Indogermanischen Sprachen 28 (1887) 585–94.
  3. Ludwig C. Stern, Das Märchen von Étáin, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 5 (1905) 522–534.
  4. Ludwig C. Stern, Das Märchen von Étáin [LU 129a–131b German translation], Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 6 (1907) 243.
  5. Alfred Nutt (ed.), Tochmarc Étaíne, Revue Celtique 27 (1906) 325–39.
  6. Henri Gaidoz, Le mal d'amour d'Ailill Anguba, in: Osborn Bergin and Carl Marstrander (eds.), Miscellany presented to Kuno Meyer by some of his friends and pupils on the occasion of his appointment to the chair of Celtic philology in the University of Berlin (Halle 1912) 91–101.
  7. Lucius Gwynn, The two versions of Tochmarc Étaíne, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 9 (1913) 353–6.
  8. Lucius Gwynn, Cináed úa hArtacáin's poem on Brugh na Bóinne, Ériu 7 (1914) 210–38.
  9. Rudolf Thurneysen, Die irische Helden- und Königssage, (Halle 1921), Kap. 73; 47;77; 78.
  10. Joseph Loth, Le nom de Laënnec: un cas difficile d'Onomastique (Quimper 1927) [Lagenáco-s, irl. laigen 'lance'].
  11. Sarah Michie, The Lover's Malady in Early Irish Romance, Speculum 12 (1937) 304–14.
  12. Rudolf Thurneysen (ed.), Tochmarc Étaíne, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 22 (1941) 3–23.
  13. Margaret Dobbs, The silver basin of Étaín, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 24 (1953–4) 201–3.
  14. Gerard Murphy, 'A Bé Find, in rega lim', in Early Irish Lyrics: eighth to twelfth century (Dublin 1956, repr. 1998) 104–107.
  15. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Tochmarc Étaíne, in Irisleabhar Mhá Nuad (1962) 89–96.
  16. Françoise Le Roux, Commentaire du texte de la Courtise d'Étain, Celticum 15 (1966) 328–75.
  17. John Carey and John T. Koch, The Celtic Heroic Age: literary sources for ancient Celtic Europe and early Ireland and Wales (Aberystwyth 2000) 135–55.
  18. Thomas Charles-Edwards, Tochmarc Étaíne: a literal interpretation, in: Michael Richter and Jean-Michel Picard (eds.), Ogma: essays in Celtic studies in honour of Próinséas Ní Chatháin (Dublin 2002) 165–81.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Osborn Bergin and R. I. Best, Tochmarc Étaíne in Ériu. Volume 12, Dublin, Hodges Figgis (1938) page 137–196


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Editorial Declaration


Text has been checked and proof-read twice.


The electronic text represents the edited edition. Footnotes are marked note type="auth" n="". The original Irish text from YBL,including editorial introduction, is available in a separate file.


Direct speech is marked q.


When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, the page-break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the tale; div1=the version of the tale; page-breaks are marked pb n="".


Names are not tagged, nor are terms for cultural and social roles.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the version.

Profile Description

Created: Translation by Osborn Bergin and R. I. Best. (1937)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The text is in English.
Language: [GA] Two words are in Irish.

Revision History