There are three copies of the following tale of treachery, love, self-devotion, and vengeance, one (LL) in the Book of Leinster, pp. 269, 270 of the lithographic facsimile, another (R) in Rawlinson B. 502; ff. 71, 72, a ms. of the twelfth century in the Bodleian library, and the third (YBL) in the Yellow Book of Lecan, cols. 754-756=pp. 112, 113a of the photolithograph published in 1896. The three copies substantially agree. But LL is slightly fuller than the others, and is therefore made the basis of the following edition. The variae lectiones of R and YBL are given as footnotes.
The tale is now for the first time printed. But it has been noticed, more or less fully, by Keating in his Forus Feasa air Eirinn, Dublin 1811, p. 350, by Conall MaGeoghagan in the Annals of Clonmacnoise, Dublin 1896, pp. 43, 44, by O'Curry, in his Lectures 251, and his Manners etc. III, 242-245, by Prof.Atkinson in the Contents to the Book of Leinster, p. 61, and by Prof. d'Arbois de Jubainville, in his Essai d'un Catalogue de la littérature épique d'Irlande, p. 184. A tale dealing, very differently, with the same subject is preserved as a scholium on the Amra Choluimb chille (YBL. col. 689, Egerton 1782, fo. 9 b), and will be published in the Revue Celtique, tome XX. Keating (ubi supra, pp. 352, 353) abridges this version.
There seems no ground for doubting the actual occurrence of the final incident of our tale, which is thus chronicled by Tigernach ( Rev. Celt. XVI, 378): Cobthach the Meagre of Bregia, son of Ugaine the Great, was burnt, with thirty kings around him, at Dind Ríg of Magh Ailbe, in the palace of Tuaimm Tenbath precisely, by Labraid the Dumb, the Exile, son of Ailill of Áne, son of Loeguire Lorc, in revenge for his father
p.2and grandfather, whom Cobthach the Meagre had killed. Warfare thence between Leinster and Conn's Half (i.e. the northern half of Ireland).
This warfare is also referred to in the title contained in R. viz. 'Scelshenchas Lagen inso sis. Orguin Denna rig inso: Bruiden Tuamma Tenbad ainm aile do, & is ed on cetna scel Lagen & tuus a ngliad. 'A legendary story of Leinster this below. This is the Destruction of Dind Ríg.1 The Palace of Tuaimm Tenbad is another name for it, and this is the first tale of the Leinstermen and the commencement of their fighting'.