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The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius

Author: unknown

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translated by James Henthorn ToddElectronic edition compiled by the CELT Team

Funded by University College, Cork and
Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 19100 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
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(2002) (2008)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T100028

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    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS H. 3. 17. (D). A miscellaneous volume, containing tracts from centuries 14, 15 and 16. Formerly in possession of Duald Mac Firbis and Edward Lhuyd. In this MS, the copy of the Leabhar Breatnach is on p. 806 b; probably written in the 14th or early 15th century and forms the basis of Todd's edition. Errors have been corrected by the editor, collating MSS. B and L.
  2. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Book of Ballymote, written in the 14th century (B). In the order of sections this MS differs from D; it contains various interpolations.
  3. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Book of Lecan, written in 1427 (L).
  4. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, a 12th century fragment in Lebor na hUidre (U). Fragment starts with 'acht ceana, a rig, ol se' (p. 94, section XIX) and runs until end of section XXIV.
  5. The Book of Ui Maine, written before 1423, when the scribe Faelán Mac an Gabhann died. This MS was not accessible for consultation by Todd.
    The Latin Nennius: editions and translations
  1. Nennii Historia Britonum ad fidem codicum manuscriptorum recensuit Josephus Stevenson. Londini, 1838.
  2. British History and Welsh Annals. Nennius edited and translated by John Morris. London & Chichester, 1980.
    The Irish Nennius: editions and translations
  1. Rev. Edmund S. J. Hogan, The Irish Nennius from L. na Huidre [1a. Text and translation]. (Todd Lecture Series VI), Dublin, 1895. (Fragments of Sex Aetates mundi. and of the in Historia Britonum).
  2. Heinrich Zimmer, [Latin transl. of the Irish Version of the Historia Brittonum of Nennius] in: Chronica Minora Saec. IV-VII. Ed. Theodor Mommsen, Mon. Germ. Hist. Vol. III, 1898, 143-219.
  3. A. G. van Hamel, Lebor Bretnach. The Irish version of the Historia Britonum ascribed to Nennius. Edited from all the manuscripts [with the Latin version]. Irish Manuscripts Commission. Dublin, 1932.
    Secondary literature
  1. Arthur de la Borderie, L'historia Britonum: attribuée à Nennius et l'historia Britannica: avant Geoffroi de Monmouth par Arthur de la Borderie. Paris, 1883
  2. Heinrich Zimmer, Nennius Vindicatus. Über Entstehung, Geschichte und Quellen der Historia Brittonum, Berlin 1893, esp. 215-225.
  3. Max Förster, War Nennius ein Ire? In: Finke-Festschrift, Marburg 1925, 36-42.
  4. Sir H. Howorth, 'Nennius' and the 'Historia Britonum', Archaeologia Cambrensis. 6 Ser. XVII. 1917, 87-122, 321-45; 1918. XVIII. 199-262.
  5. A. H. Krappe, Note sur une épisode de l' Historia Britonum de Nennius, Revue Celtique XLI (1924) 181-188.
  6. F. Liebermann, Nennius the author of the Historia Brittonum. In: Essays in Medieval History presented to T. F. Tout. Manchester 1925, 25-44.
  7. J. Loth, Remarques à l'Historia Britonum dite de Nennius, Revue Celtique XLIX (1932) 150-165; LI (1934) 1-31.
  8. Rudolf Thurneysen, Zu Nemnius (Nennius), Zeitschrift fü celtische Philologie XX (1936) 97-137 185-191.
  9. David N. Dumville, 'Some aspects of the chronology of the Historia Brittonum', Bull Board Celt Stud 25 9 (1974) 439-445.
    Reviews and Notices
  1. J. Vendryes, Études Celtiques III, 1938, 168-170 [Notice].
  2. I. Williams, Notes on Nennius. 2 Facs (Univ. of Wales Board of Celtic Studies Bulletin VII. 1935, 380-389.)
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Leabhar Breathnach annso sis: The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius. Edited with a translation and notes [from the Books of Lecan and Hy Many] by James Henthorn Todd, D.D., M.R.I.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, etc.. James Henthorn Todd First edition [16 + 288 + 130pp.] Irish Archaeological SocietyDublin (1848)


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CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present text represents odd pages 23-287 of the volume. Editorial preface and introduction have been omitted. The Irish text is available digitally in a separate file (G100028). The original text ended with the end of section XXIV. The text following section XXIV is contained in an appendix; it includes wonders of the Island of Britain and the Isle of Man; a tract on Pictish history (XXVII to XXIX) with a poem in section XXX; an abridged translation of Bede's History; and the Legend of St Cairnech.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been checked and proofread twice. All corrections and supplied text are tagged.


The electronic text represents the edited text; errata have been integrated and rendered corr resp="JHT" sic="". Circumflexes on Latin characters and superscript desinences of Latin ordinals have been removed silently. Place names, personal names; names of days and months are capitalized.


Soft hyphens are silently removed. Words containing a hard or soft hyphen crossing a page-break have been placed on the line on which they start.


DIV0=the whole document; DIV1=the Historia DIV2=the section within Historia; paragraphs and page-breaks are marked.

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Personal names, collective names and place-names are not tagged. Neither are names of professions and social roles. Numbers are not tagged. Such tagging is envisaged in a future edition.

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This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the Historia.

Profile Description

Created: Translation by James Henthorn Todd. (c.1847)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The Translation is in English.
Language: [LA] Many words and phrases in Latin.
Language: [GA] Two words in Middle Irish.
Language: [OS] Two words in Old Saxon(?)
Language: [CY] A word in Welsh(?).

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T100028

The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius: Author: unknown


EGO Nemnius Elvodugi discipulus, aliqua excerpta scribere curavi, i. e. I have taken pains to write certain fragments, and I am Nenamnis a disciple of Eludach, because the folly and ignorance of the nation of Britannia have given to oblivion the history and origin of its first people, so that they


are not commemorated in writings nor in books. But I have brought together the histories that I found in the Annals of the Romans, out of the chronicles of the learned saints, viz.: Isidore, and Jerome, and Eusebius, in the Annals of the Saxons and Gae1s, and what I discovered from the tradition of our own old men.

Britonia insola a Britinia filio Isocon dicta est, i. e. the island of Britain is named from Britan, or some say that it was from one Brutus it was named, i. e. the first consul that was of the Romans; but Albion was the first name of the island of Britain. Eight hundred thousand paces is the length of the island of Britain. Two hundred thousand paces is its breadth. Eight and twenty principal caers or cities are in it; and these following are their names, according to the learned of Britain:—


Caer-Gortigern. Caer-Grutus. Caer-Mencest. Caer-Luill. Caer-Medguid. Caer-Colun. Caer-Gusdirt. Caer-Abrog. Caer-Caradog. Caer-Brut. Caer-Machod. Caer-Lunaind. Caer-Oen. Caer-Irangin. Caer-Pheus. Caer-Loninoperuisc. Caer-Grugan. Caer-Sant. Caer-Legun. Caer-Gnidiud. Caer-Breatan. Caer-Leiridoin. Caer-Pendsa. Caer-Druithgolgod. Caer-Luiticoit. Caer-Urnocht. Caer-Eilimon.

Numerous are its caers or cities besides these; innumerable its raths or forts and its fortified castles. Four races inhabit the island of Britain, viz.: the Gaels, the Cruithnachs Picts, the Britons, and the Saxons. The island Guta is to the south of it, Abonia, i. e. Manaind, is on the west between them and Eri Ireland; and the islands of Orck are to the north of it. Eri extends beyond


the island of Britain far to the south-west. But the island of Britain extends beyond Eri far to the north-east.

Innumerable are its lochs and its rivers. Two principal rivers are in it, viz.: Tamus and Sabraind; it is upon them that the ships and barks of the island of Britain sail, with the jewels and wealth of the whole island of Britain.

The Britons at first filled the whole island with their children, from the sea of Icht to the sea of Orck, both with glory and excellency.

Now after the deluge the world was divided into three


parts; between the three sons of Noe, viz.: Eoraip, Affraic, and Asia. Sem was in Asia; Cam in Affraic; Jafeth in Eoraip. The first man of the race of Jafeth that came into Eoraip at the beginning was Alanius, with his three sons; viz.: Isacon, Gothus or Armion, and Negua. Isacon had four sons, Francus, Romanus, Britus, Albanus. Now Armion had five sons, Gotas, Uilegotas, Cebetus, Burgandus, Longobardus. Negua had three sons, Vandalus, Saxo, Boarus. It is from Saxo, son of Negua, that the Saxons are descended; but it is from Britus the Britons come. He is the son of Isacon, the son of Alanius, the son of Fethuir, the son of Ogaman, the son of Tai, son of Boidhbh, son of Semoibh, son of Athacht, son of Aoth, son of Abar, son of Raa, son of Asra, son of Iobaith, son of Ioban, son of Japeth, son of Noe, son of Laimiach. Thus it is recorded in the histories of Britain.

Furthermore it is related in the Annals of the Romans, that Aenias the son of Anacis arrived in Italy after the destruction of Troy, and took to wife Lavina the daughter of Ladin, son of Pan, son


of Pic, son of Saturn, &c. After having slain Turn, and after the death of Ladin the king, Aenias took the kingdom of Ladianda; and the city of Alba Longa was founded by Ascan, son of Aenias, and he married a wife, and she bore him a son, viz. Silvius, shortly after.

Silvius afterwards married a wife, and she became pregnant, and it was told to Ascan that his son's wife was pregnant; and he sent a messenger to his son to say that he would send his Druid to give an opinion on his wife, to know whether it was a son, or whether it was a daughter she was about to bring forth. The Druid went, and after his return the Druid said to Ascan, that it was a son that was in her womb; and said that he would be powerful, and that he would kill his father and his mother, and that he would be hated by all. In fact his mother died in giving him birth. He received a name, viz. Britus, and afterwards he was nursed.

Now Britus was the son of Silvius, son of Ascan, son of Aenias, son of Anacis, son of Caipen, son of Essarc, son of Tros, son of Airic, son of Idus, son of Dardain, son of Jove, son of Sardain, son of Ceil, son of Polloir, son of Zororastres, son of Mesraim, son of Cam (filii maledicti ridentis patrem), son of Noe.


Moreover, Tros, son of Airictondus, had two sons; viz., Ilium Ilus and Asarcus; it was by him i. e. by Ilus was founded Ilium, i. e. Troy he had a son, Laimidoin, the father of Priam. Assarc, moreover, was the father of Capen, Capen was the father of Anacis, Anacis the father of Aenias, Aenias the father of Ascan, the grandfather of Britan exosus, i. e. of Britan the abhorred. It was in this way that our noble elder Guanach deduced the pedigree of the Britons, from the Chronicles of the Romans.


After many years subsequently, according to the prophecy of the Druid, it happened to Britus to be shooting arrows in presence of the king, i. e. his father, and an arrow from him pierced the temple of the king, and the king died immediately there, i. e. his own father and afterwards he was driven out of Italy, to the islands of the Torrian Mediterranean sea, and the Greeks expelled him out of the Islands in revenge for Turnn, who had been killed by Aenias. After this he came to France, and Torinis was founded by him, and he was not suffered to remain there, but came afterwards into the island of Britain, where he took possession of the kingdom, and the island was named from him, and became full of his children and his descendants. And thus was it first peopled, according to the Romans.


Janus, i. e. Jan, King of Eperda, was the first king that took possession of the Roman territory; and it is from him was named the month of January. Saturn after him. Joib Jove after him. Dardan, son of Joib, after him. Piccus, son of Joib, after him. Faunus, son of Piccus, reigned twenty years. Latin, his son, fifty years. Aenias, three years. Ascan thirty-four years. Silvius twelve,


until his son, viz., Britus, killed him, as we have said. Silvius was the name of every king from that time until the coming of Romul, himself the son of Rea Silvia, daughter of Numitor, son of Proc Silvius, son of Aventine Silvius, son of Aramulus Silvius, son of Agrippa Silvius, son of Tibern Silvius, son of Alban Silvius, son of Ascan Silvius, son of Postam Silvius; he and Britus were brothers, and they were the two sons of Silvius, son of Ascan, son of Aenias.

Postomus was sovereign of the Romans, thirty-nine years. Britus was sovereign of the island of Britain thirty years. Postomios his brother, was sovereign of the Romans as we have said. Heli, the priest, was prince of the children of Israel; and it was in his presence the ark was taken into captivity, and was brought back soon after.

From the conquest of Britus to the conquest of the Picts in the islands of Orc, were nine hundred years, and they took the northern


third part of the island of Britain by force from the Britons, and they dwell there unto this day.

Afterwards the Gaels took the same division occupied by the Picts; and they made a treaty with the Picts against the Britains.

The Saxons afterwards took the island of Britain in the time of Marcian the King. But Gortigearn was then King of Britain, i. e. the crew of three ships came out of Germany under two brothers, viz., Ors and Aigeast, so that they drove the Britons into the borders of the island.


The first man that took Eri was Parrtalon, with a thousand men, i. e. a thousand between men and women; and they multiplied in Eri, into many thousands, until they died of a plague in one week, in judgment for the murder that he committed on his father and on his mother.


Nemed afterwards inhabited Eri. He was the son of one Agnoman; his race dwelt long in Eri until they went into Spain, flying from the tribute imposed on them by the Muiridi, i. e. the Fomorians.

The Viri Bullorum, i. e. the Firbolg, afterwards, and the Viri Armorum, i. e. the Fir-Gaileoin, and the Viri Dominiorum, i. e. the Fir Domnann: these were the race of Nemed.

Afterwards the Plebes Deorum, i. e. the Tuatha De Danann, took


Ireland; it was of them were the chief men of science; as Luchtenus, artifex; Credenus, figulus; Dianus, medicus; also Eadon, his daughter, viz. the nurse of the poets; Goibnen, faber. Lug, son of Eithne, with whom were all the arts. Dagda the Great (son of Ealadan, son of Dealbaith) the king. Ogma, brother of the king; it was from him came the letters of the Scots.

It was these men that defeated in a great battle the mariners, i. e. the Fomorians, so that they fled from them into their tower, i. e.


a very strong fortress on the sea. The men of Eri went against them to the sea, so that they fought with them until the sea closed upon them all, except the crew of one ship; and thus they the Irish took the island afterwards. Or, according to others, it was the descendants of Nemed, with Fergus Leith-dearg the red sided, son of Nemed, that destroyed the tower, &c.

Afterwards came a company of eight, with eight ships, and dwelt in Eri, and took possession of a great portion of it.

But the Firbolg seized upon Mann, and certain islands in like manner, Ara, Ili, and Rachra.

The children of Galeoin also, the son of Ercal Hercules, seized


the islands of Orc, i. e. Istoreth, son of Istorine, son of Aigin, son of Agathirir, were dispersed again from the islands of Orc, and then came Cruithne, son of Inge, son of Luithe, son of Pairte, son of Istoreth, son of Agnaman, son of Buan, son of Mar, son of Fatheacht, son of Javad, son of Japheth; so that he seized the northern part of the island of Britain, and his seven sons divided his territory into seven divisions, and each of them gave his name to his own portion.

The seven sons of Cruithne are Fib, Fidach, Fotlaid, Fortrean, Cat, Ce, Cirig. As Columbcille said.

    1. Seven of the children of Cruithne
      Divided Alba into seven portions;
      Cait, Ce, Cireach of the hundred children,
      Fib, Fidach, Fotla, Foirtreann.

And Aenbeagan, son of Cat, son of Cruithne, took the sovereignty of the seven divisions. Finacta was Prince of Eri at that time, and took hostages of the Cruithnians.

Now five men of the northern Cruithnians, i. e. five brothers of


their father Cruithne, went from the islands of Orc, to the Franks, and founded a city there, viz., Pictatus or Inpictus, so called from the pick-axes; and they came again to this island, i. e. to Eri, where they were for a long time, until the Gaedil drove them across the sea to their brethren.

The sons of Liathan, son of Ercal, seized the country Dieimptorum, and Guer, and Guigelle, until Cohenda and his sons expelled them out of Britain.


The learned of the Gaels give the following account of the


adventures of their ancient chiefs. There was a certain nobleman in exile in Egypt, after he had been banished out of the kingdom of Scythia, at the time when the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea, and Forann Pharoah, with his host, was drowned. The army that escaped without being drowned, banished out of Egypt the aforesaid noble exile, because he was the son-in-law of the Forann that was drowned there; i. e. Forann Cincris.

Afterwards the Scythians went, with their children, into Africa, to the altars of the Philistines, to the wells of Salmara, and between the Ruiseagde, and Mount Iasdaire, and across the River Mba1b, through the Mediterranean to the pillars of Hercules, beyond the sea of Gadidon to Spain; and they dwelt in Spain afterwards, until the sons of Miled Milesius of Spain came to Eri, with thirty boats, with thirty couples in each boat, at the end of a thousand and two years after Forann was drowned in the Red Sea. Rex autem eorum mersus est, i. e. the king, viz., Donn, was


drowned at Tigh-Duinn. Three goddesses at that time held the sovereignty of Eri, namely, Folla, and Banba, and Eire, until three battles were gained over them by the sons of Milead, so that the sons of Milead afterwards took the kingdom.

Contentio magna facta est, i. e. there grew up a great dispute between the two sons of Milead, concerning the kingdom, until their Brehon pacified them, viz. Amergin of the white knee, son of Milead; and he was their poet. And this is the peace which he made, viz., to divide Eri into two parts, and Eber took the northern half, Herimon, the southern half, and their descendants inhabit this island to the present day.

Now the Britons took possession of this island in the third


age of the world. But it was in the fourth age of the world that the Gaels seized upon Eri. In the same age the Cruithnians took the northern quarter of the island of Britain. But it was in the sixth age that the Dalriada came, and took the district of the Cruithnians, and it was at that time also that the Saxons took their portion of the island from the Britons.

But after many ages the Romans took the sovereignty of the world, and they sent an ambassador to the island of Britain, to demand hostages and pledges, such as they had taken from every other country. The ambassadors, however, went away displeased without hostages; and the king, viz., Julius Caesar, was enraged with the Britons, and came with sixty ships to the mouth of the river Tames. Now Bellinus was king of the island of Britain at that time. And Dolabellus, pro-consul of the King of Britain, went to meet Julius Caesar, and the soldiers of the king were cut down; in the meantime tempestuous weather and storm broke his ships, and


the king was driven back without victory to his country. He came again, however, at the end of three years, with three hundred ships, to the same bay; but Dolobellus put spikes of iron in the fording place of the river, in preparation for the battle, so that the Roman soldiers fell by this invisible stratagem, i. e., by the seeds of batt1e.

Notwithstanding, a rally was made by Julius, and battle was given in the land which is called Tinnandrum, so that he broke that battle before him, and took the sovereignty of the island, forty-seven years before the birth of Christ, ab initio mundi 5035.

Now Julius, the first king of the Romans, who took the


island of Britain, was killed in his own senate; and it was in his honour that the Romans gave the month of July its name, at the end of seven and forty years after the birth of Christ.

ii. Cluid Claudius was the second king that took possession of Britain, at the end of forty and four years after the birth of Christ, and he brought a great slaughter upon the Britons, and he penetrated to the islands of Orc, after causing a slaughter of his people, and after a great loss of his people by the chieftain whose name was Cassibellaunus. He reigned thirteen years and seven months, when he died in Magnantia of the Longobards, as he was going to Rome from the island of Britain.

After one hundred and forty-seven years from the birth of Christ, the Emperor and the Pope, viz., Eleutherius, sent clerks from them with letters to Lucius King of Britain, in order that the king might be baptized, and the other kings of Britain in like manner.

iii. Severus was the third king that came to Britain; and it was


by him was made the Saxon ditch against the barbarians, i. e. the Cruithnians, 2130 paces long, and the name of that ditch among the Britons was GUAUL. And he commanded another ditch to be made against the Gaels and the Cruithnians, i. e. Cladh na muice, and he was afterwards killed by the Britons, with his chieftains.

iv. Carausius afterwards came bravely to avenge Severus on the Britons, so that the King of Britain fell by him, and he assumed the royal robes in spite of the king, i. e. of the emperor; so that Alectus, the Roman champion, killed him, and he himself viz. Alectus seized the kingdom afterwards for a long time.

v. Constantinus, son of Constantine the Great, son of Helena, took the island of Britain, and died, and was buried at Caersegeint, i. e. Minantia, another name for that city; and letters on the gravestone


point out his name, and he left three seeds in the green of that city, so that there is not a poor man in that city.

vi. Maxim was the sixth emperor that took Britain. It was at that time that the consulship was begun among the Romans, and no king was called Caesar from thenceforth. It was in the time of Maxim that the noble venerable prelate St. Martin flourished; he was of Gaul of Ulexis.

vii. Maximian took the kingdom of Britain, and he led the armies of Britain against the Romans, so that Gratian, the emperor, fell by him, and he himself took the empire of Europe; and he did not suffer the armies he had brought with him to go back to their wives and their children, nor to their lands, but gave them many lands, from the place where there is the lake on the top of Mount Jove, to Canacuic on the south, and westward to the Mound Ochiden, a place where there is a celebrated cross, and these are the Britons of


Letha, and they remained in the south ever since, and it was for this reason that foreign tribes occupied the lands of the Britons, and that the Britons were slaughtered on the borders of their land.

But Gratian, with his brother Valentinian, reigned conjointly six years. It was in his time lived the noble prelate in Milan, a teacher of Catholicity, viz. Ambrose.

Valentinian and Theothas Theodosius were in joint sovereignty eight years. It was in their time was assembled the synod in Constantinople of three hundred and fifty clerks, to banish the heresy of Macedon, viz., the denying the Holy Ghost. And it was in their time the noble priest Cirine Hieronymus flourished at Bethlehem Judah, the catholic interpreter.

The same Gratian, as we have said, and Valentinian, reigned until Maximen Maximus was made king by the soldiers in the island of Britain, and went across the sea to France; and the king, Gratian, was set at liberty by the treacherous counsel of the master of the soldiers,


Parassis Merobladis; and the king fled to Lugdon, and was taken there and put to death.

Maximen and his son Victor reigned jointly. Martin was at Torinis at that time. But Maximen was stripped of his royal robes by the consuls, i. e. by Valentinen and Theothas, at the third stone from the city Eigilia Aquileia, and his head was cut off in that place. His son Victor also fell in France by the hand of the count whose name was Arguba; from the creation of the world are 5690 years, to this event, according to all the chronicles.

It is thus the elders of the Britons have recorded their history, viz., that there were seven Roman emperors who had dominion over Britain. But the Romans say that there were nine of them over the Britons: that is to say, that the eighth was Severus the second, who died as he was going to Rome from the island of Britain. The ninth was Constantine, who was sixteen years in the kingdom of the island of Britain when he died. Four hundred and nine years were


the Britons under Roman tribute. But afterwards the Britons drove out the Roman power, and did not pay them tax or tribute, and they killed all the Roman chiefs that were in the island of Britain.

Immediately, however, the power of the Cruithnians and of the Gaels advanced in the heart of Britain, and they drove them to the river whose name is Tin Tyne. There went afterwards ambassadors from the Britons to the Romans with mourning and great grief, with sods on their heads, and with many costly presents along with them, to pray them not to take vengeance on them for the chiefs of the Romans who were put to death by them. Afterwards Roman chiefs and consuls came back with them, and they promised that they would not the less willingly receive the Roman yoke, however heavy it might be.

Afterwards the Roman knights came, and were appointed princes and kings over the island of Britain, and the army then returned home. Anger and grief seized the Britons from the weight of the Roman yoke and oppression upon them, so that they put to death the chieftains that were with them in the island of Britain, the second time. Hence the power of the Cruithnians and Gaels increased again over the Britons, so that it became heavier than the Roman tribute, because their total expulsion out of their lands was the object aimed at by the northern Cruithnians and Gaels.

After this the Britons went in sorrow and in tears to the Roman senate, and thus we are told they went with their backs foremost for shame; and a great multitude returned with them, i. e. an innumerable army of Romans, and sovereignty and chieftainry was assumed over


them afterwards. But again the Roman tribute became oppressive to the Britons, so that they slew their kings and chieftains the third time.

Afterwards there came Roman chieftains across the sea, and gained a very great victory over the Britons, so that they vindicated the honour of their people upon them, and they plundered the island of Britain of its gold, and of its silver, and took from it its satin, and its silk, and its vessels of gold and silver, so that they returned home with victory and triumph.


Now it came to pass after the aforesaid battle, and after the slaughter of the Roman chieftains three times by the Britons, after they had been four hundred and forty-nine years under the Roman tribute, that Gortigern, son of Gudal, took the chief sovereignty of Britain, and he was oppressed by the fear of the Cruithnians and Gaels, and by the power of Ambrose, King of France and Letavian Britain.


There came three ciulae out of Germany (i. e. three barks) into exile, in which were the two brothers, Ors and Engist, from whom are the Saxons; this is their genealogy, viz.: Ors and Engist were the two sons of Guectilis, the son of Guigte, son of Guecta, son of Guta, son of Boden, son of Frealaif, son of Fredolf, son of Finn, son of Freann, son of Folcbhall, son of Gaeta, son of Vanli, son of Saxi, son of Neag.

Britas, son of Olon, from whom are the Britons of Leatha, was


the son of Eolonn, son of Feithiver, son of Ogaman, son of Tai, or Teo, son of Bob, son of Sembob, son of Athacht, son of Aoth, son of Abar, son of Raa, son of Eassa, son of Joban, son of Jonan, son of Jafeth, son of Noe.

Now Gortigern held in peace, under the Romans, the government of the Cruithnians, and he gave up to them i. e. to the Saxons, the island whose name is Teineth Thanet, but Roinn is its British name. Gradian and Aequit were in the sovereignty of the Romans at that time. But it was from the birth of Christ, three hundred and forty-seven years; and it was in the time of that king, viz., of Gortigern, that Saint German came to preach in the island of Britain, and God wrought miracles and many wonders by this ecclesiastic in the island of Britain, and he healed many, and brought them under baptism and faith.


After the arrival of German in the island of Britain, he went to the fortress of the warrior whose name was Benli to preach


to him. German stopped with his clerics at the door of the fortress. The porter went to the king with the message of the clergyman; the king said, with an oath, that if the clergy were to remain until the end of a year at the door of the fort, they should not come in. The porter came with this answer to German. German came away from the door in the evening, and did not know what road he should go. But one of the servants of the king came out of the fortress, and bowed down before German, and brought him with him to his cabin kindly and cheerfully. And he had no cattle but one cow with her calf, and he killed the calf, and boiled it, and gave it to the clergymen. And German ordered that its bones should not be broken; and on the morrow the calf was alive in the presence of its dam.

On the next day German repaired to the door of the fortress to pray an interview with the king. And then there came a man


running and full of sweat from head to foot; and he knelt to German, and German said, ‘Dost thou believe in the Holy Trinity?’ and he replied, ‘I believe.’ And German baptized him and gave him a kiss: and he said unto him, ‘Arise, now thou shalt die, and the angels of God are awaiting thee.’ And he went cheerfully into the fortress, and was put to death by the king, for the king was accustomed to put to death every one of his people that did not come before sun-rise to do the work of the palace.

German passed the whole of that day till night at the door of the fortress, until the same i. e. the first mentioned servant came; and German said to him, ‘Take care, take care that none of thy people be in this fortress this night.’ He immediately brought out with him the nine sons he had in the fortress, and he brought the clergyman with him to his house again; and they all kept watch. And the fire of God immediately came from heaven upon the fortress, so that it burned the people of the fortress, both men and women, one thousand persons, through the anger of God and of German; and it remains a ruin to the present day.

On the following day this servant, with his sons and the people of the district, in like manner were baptized; and German blessed him and his children. His name was Caiteal, and through


the word i. e. blessing of German, he became a king, and his sons became kings, and their seed have ever since been in the land called Pogus; ut dicitur in the psalms, suscitans a terra inopem, et de stercore erigens pauperem.

Now, the Saxons remained in the Isle of Teineth Thanet, and Gortigern was feeding and clothing the Saxons, that they might fight for him against Pictland. But when the Saxons had multiplied, the Britons not only refused to feed or clothe them, but the Britons warned them all to go away.

[gt ]

But Hengist, who was an experienced, wise, cunning, and subtle man, made answer to them (for he saw that the Britons were feeble without soldiers, without arms), and he said to the King Gortigern in private: ‘Let us make good counsel; let us send into Germany for soldiers, that we may be numerous against our enemies.’ Gortigern answered, ‘Let ambassadors go for soldiers;’ and they went; and there came eighteen ships with chosen soldiers out of Germany. In this fleet came his daughter to Hengist: she was the fairest of the women of all Lochland.


After this Hengist prepared a great banquet for Gortigern and his army in the royal house, which is called Centic Elinit; and none of the Britons knew the Saxon language except one man only. The daughter of Hengist proceeded to distribute the feast, viz., wines and ales, in vessels of gold and silver, until the soldiers were inebriated and cheerful; and a demon entered Gortigern, from love of the daughter of Hengist, and he sent the linguist to Hengist to ask her for the king; and he said, that ‘whatever he would ask for her dowry should be given to him.’ Hengist, by the advice of the Saxons, said, ‘Let there be given to us the land which is named Congarlona in the Saxon language, and Ceint in the British language.’


Gortigern cheerfully gave them the dominions of Gurangona, and he lay with the daughter and loved her much.

And Hengist said to Gortigern: ‘I will be thy father and thy counsellor, and if thou takest my advice the other tribes will not be able in any way to molest thee; and I will send to Lochland for my son, and for the son of his mother's sister, and they will fight against the enemy who have reached as far as the wall Gual.’ Gortigern said, ‘Let them be invited;’ and they were invited; and there arrived Ochta, son of Engist, and Ebisa, with forty ships; and they plundered the Orkney islands on coming from the north, and they took many lands as far as the Friseg sea, that is the sea which is to the north of the Gaedhal. And ambassadors were further sent by Hengist for more ships, and a new force used to arrive every year, so that they increased, and filled the land from the island of Teneth to Cantarborgh.

The devil deeming it but little the evil that Gortigern had done, induced him to cohabit with his own daughter, so that she bore him a son. When German heard of this, he went, accompanied by a clergyman


of his nation, i. e. British, to criminate and check Gortigern; and he assembled all the laity and clergy of Britain for this purpose, and also for the purpose of consulting about about the Saxons. But Gortigern told his daughter, ‘When they are all assembled together, give thou thy child into the breast of German, and say that he is his father.’ And the daughter did so. German received the child, and said unto him, ‘I will be thy father,’ said he; and German asked for a razor, scissors, and a comb, and gave them into the hands of the infant; and this was done; and German said: ‘My son, give these into the hand of thy carnal father’; and the infant advanced, and gave the comb, the scissors, and the razor, into the hand of Gortigern, and said, ‘O my master,’ said he, ‘do thou tonsure me, for thou art my carnal father. German is my father in the faith.’ Gortigern blushed at this, and became much enraged, and fled from the assembly; and he was cursed by all the British people, and excommunicated by German also.


And afterwards Gortigern invited to him twelve Druids, that he might know from them what was proper to be done. The Druids said to him, ‘Seek the borders of the island of Britain, and thou shalt find a strong fortress to defend thyself against the foreigners to whom thou hast given up thy country and thy kingdom, for thine enemies will slay thee, and will seize upon thy country and lands after thee.’ Gortigern, with his hosts and with


his Druids, traversed all the south of the island of Britain, until they arrived at Guined, and they searched all the mountain of Herer, and there found a Dinn over the sea, and a very strong locality fit to build on; and his Druids said to him, ‘Build here thy fortress,’ said they, ‘for nothing shall ever prevail against it.’ Builders were then brought thither, and they collected materials for the fortress, both stone and wood, but all these materials were carried away in one night; and materials were thus gathered thrice, and were thrice carried away. And he asked of his Druids, ‘Whence is this evil?’ said he. And the Druids said, ‘Seek a son whose father is unknown, kill him, and let his blood be sprinkled upon the Dun, for by this means only it can be built.’

Messengers were sent by him throughout the island of Britain to seek for a son without a father; and they searched as far as Magh Eillite, in the territory of Glevisic, where they found boys a-hurling; and there happened a dispute between two of the boys, so that one said to the other, ‘O man without a father, thou hast no good at all.’ The messengers asked, ‘Whose son is the lad to whom this is said?’ Those on the hurling green said, ‘We know not,’


said they, ‘his mother is here,’ said they. They asked of his mother whose son the lad was. The mother answered, ‘I know not,’ said she, ‘that he hath a father, and I know not how he happened to be conceived in my womb at all.’ So the messengers took the boy with them to Gortigern, and told him how they had found him.

On the next day the army was assembled, that the boy might be killed. And the boy was brought before the king, and he said to the king, ‘Wherefore have they brought me to thee?’ said he. And the king said, ‘To slay thee,’ said he, ‘and to butcher thee, and to consecrate this fortress with thy blood.’ The boy said, ‘Who instructed thee in this?’ ‘My Druids,’ said the king. ‘Let them be called hither,’ said the boy. And the Druids came. The boy said to them, ‘Who told you that this fortress could not be built until it were first consecrated with my blood?’ And they answered not. ‘I know,’ said he; ‘the person who sent me to you to accuse you, is he who induced you to tell this lie; howbeit, O king,’ said he, ‘I will reveal the truth to thee; and I ask of thy Druids, first, what is concealed beneath this floor before us?’ The Druids said, ‘We know not,’ said they. ‘I know,’ said he; ‘there is a lake of water there; let it the floor be examined and dug.’ It was dug, and the lake was found there. ‘Ye prophets of the king,’ said the boy, ‘tell what is in the middle of the lake?’ ‘We know not,’ said they. ‘I know,’ said he, ‘there are two large chests of wood face to face, and let them be brought out of it.’ It was examined, and they were brought forth. ‘And O Druids,’ said the boy, ‘tell what is between those two


wooden chests?’ ‘We know not,’ said they. ‘I know,’ said he; ‘there is a sail-cloth there.’ And it was brought forth, and the sail was found rolled up between the two wooden chests. ‘Te11, O ye learned,’ said the boy, ‘what is in the middle of that cloth?’ And they answered not, for they understood not. ‘There are two maggots there,’ said he, ‘namely, a red maggot and a white maggot. Let the cloth be unfolded.’ The sail-cloth was unfolded, and there were two maggots asleep in it. And the boy said, ‘See now what the maggots wiIl do.’ They advanced towards each other, and commenced to rout, cut, and bite each other, and each maggot drove the other alternately to the middle of the sail and again to its verge. They did this three times. The red maggot was at first the feeble one, and was driven to the brink of the cloth; but the beautiful maggot was finally the feeble one, and fled into the lake, and the sail immediately vanished. The boy asked the Druids: ‘Tell ye,’ said he, ‘what doth this wonder reveal?’ ‘We know not,’ said they. ‘I will reveal it to the king,’ said the boy. ‘The lake is the kingdom of the whole world, and the sail is thy kingdom, O king. And the two maggots are the two powers, namely, thy power in conjunction with the Britons, and the power of the Saxons. The red maggot, which was first expelled the kingdom, represents thy power; and the white maggot, which occupied the whole sail except a little, represents the power of the Saxons, who have taken the island of Britain, except a small part, until ultimately driven out by the power of the Britons. But do thou, O king of Britain, go away from this fortress, for thou hast not power to erect it, and search the island of Britain and thou shalt find thine own fortress.’ The king said, ‘What is thy name, O boy,’ said he. The youth replied, ‘Ambrose,’ said he, ‘is my name.’ (He was Embros Gleutic, king of Britain.) ‘Tell


thy race,’ said the king. ‘My father, said he, was a Roman consul, and this shall be my fortress.’ Then Gortigern left the fortress to Ambrose, and also the government of all the west of Britain, and went with his Druids to the north of the island of Britain, that is, to the land which is called Gunnis, and built a fortress there, which city is named Caer Gortigern.


After this, Gortimer the victorious, son of Gortigern, with his brother Catigern, rose up against Hengist and Orsa, and the Britons fought fiercely along with them, so that they drove the Saxons


to the island of Teineth, and the Britons took this island thrice from them; so that forces arrived to their assistance out of Germany, and they fought against the Britons, and were one time victorious and another time defeated.

And Gortimer gave them four battles, viz., a battle on the bank of the Deirgbeint; a battle on the bank of Rethenergabail, in which Orsa and Catigern, son of Gortigern, were slain; and a battle on the shore of the Iccian sea, where they drove the Saxons to their ships, muliebriter; and a battle on the banks of Episfort. Gortimer died soon after, and he said to the Britons shortly before his death, to bury him on the brink of the sea, and that the strangers would never afterwards come into the island. The Britons did not do this. After this the power of the Saxons increased, for Gortigern was their friend on account of his wife.


Now it came to pass after the death of Gortimer, and after the peace between Hengist and Gortigern, that the Saxons committed an act of treachery upon the Britons; that is, the Britons and Saxons were assembled together in equal numbers in one place, as if in peace, viz., Hengist and Gortigern, neither party having arms; but the Saxons carried knives concealed between them and their sandals, and they killed all the Britons who were there except Gortigern alone, and they fettered Gortigern, and he gave the one-third of his land for the sparing of his life viz., All-Saxan, and Sut-Saxan, and Mitil-Saxan.

Now German had admonished Gortigern to put away his wife, that is, his own daughter; but he fled away from German, and concealed himself in the land which is named Gortigernmain; and German, with the clergy of Britain, went after him, and remained there for forty days and nights; and Gortigern fled again from the clergy to his fortress, and they followed him and tarried there three days and three nights fasting. And the fire of God from heaven burned Gortigern there, with all his people. Others assert that


he died of grief and tears, wandering from place to place. Another authority asserts that the earth swallowed him up the night on which his fortress was burnt.

He had three sons, viz., Gortimper, who fought against the Saxons; Catigern; Pascant, to whom Ambrose the king of Britain gave Bocuelt and Gortigernmain, after the death of his father; Saint Faustus, his son by his own daughter, and whom Germain baptized, fostered, and instructed, and for whom he built a city on the brink of the River Raen. Nennius said this.

Fearmael, who is now chief over the lands of Gortigern, is the son


of Tedubre, son of Paistcenn, son of Guodicann, son of Morut, son of Alltad, son of Eldoc, son of Paul, son of Mepric, son of Briacat, son of Pascent, son of Gortigern, son of Guatal, son of Guatulin, son of Glou. Bonus, Paul, and Muron were three other sons of Glou, who built the city of Caer Gloud, i. e. Glusester, on the banks of the Severn. German returned home,/SUP[gt ] to his own country.

At this time Patrick was in captivity in Eri with Miliuc; and it was at this time that Pledius was sent to Eri to preach to them. Patrick went to the south to study, and he read the canons with German. Pledius was driven from Eri, and he went and served God in Fordun in Mairne. Patrick came to Eri after studying, and baptized the men of Eri. From Adam to the baptizing of the men of Eri were five thousand three hundred and thirty years. To describe the miracles of Patrick to you, O men of Eri, were to bring


water to a lake, and they are more numerous than the sands of the sea, and I shall ,therefore, pass them over without giving an abstract or narrative of them just now.

After the death of Gortigern, the power of the Saxons prevailed over the Britons. Ochta, the son of Hengist, assumed government over them. Arthur, however, and the Britons fought bravely against them, and gave them twelve battles, viz., the first battle at


the mouth of the river Glein; the second, the third, the fourth, and the fifth battle, on the brink of the river Dubhglas; the sixth battle on the brink of the Bassa; the seventh battle in the wood of Callidon, that is, Cait Coit Cleiduman; the eighth battle at Lesc Guinidon; it was here Arthur carried the image of Mary on his shoulder, and drove out the Pagans; the ninth battle at the city of Legion;


the tenth battle at Robruid; in the twelfth battle there were slain, by the hand of Arthur, eight hundred and forty men in one day, and he was victorious in all these battles. And the Saxons sought assistance from Germany, and it was from thence they brought their kings until the time of Ida, who was the first king that ruled over them at this side of Inbher Onic, that is, to the north of Umbria Humber. Ida was the son of Ebba. Enfled, the daughter of Edwin, was the first of the Saxons that was baptized in the island of Britain.


The first wonder of the island of Britain is Loch Lemnon; there are sixty islands and sixty rocks in it, and sixty streams flow into it, and one stream out of it, that is the Leamain.


The second wonder is the mouth of the stream Tranon, which is filled from the bottom with one wave, and ebbs like every other sea.

The third wonder is the fiery waters.

The fourth wonder is the fountain of salt which is there.

The fifth wonder, i. e. two bubbles of froth at the mouth of the Sabrain.


They encounter and break each other, and move back again, and come in collision, again, and thus continue perpetually.

The sixth wonder is Loch Heilic, which has no water flowing into it or out of it; and there are different kinds of fishes in it at every side; and it reaches, in its depth, only to a man's knee; it is twenty cubits in length and in breadth, and has high banks.

The seventh wonder, apples upon the ash tree at the stream of Goas.

The eighth wonder, a cave which is in the district of Guent, having wind constantly blowing out of it.

The ninth wonder, an altar which is in Loingraib. It is supported in the air, although the height of a man above the earth.

The tenth wonder, a stone which is upon a carn in Bocuilt, with the impression of the paws of Arthur's dog in it; and though it should be carried away to any part of the world, it would be found on the same carn again.


The eleventh wonder, a sepulchre which is in the land of Argingi, which one time measures seven feet, another time ten, another time twelve, and another time fifteen feet in length.

The twelfth wonder is a stone in a cataract in Brebic.

The thirteenth is a quern which constantly grinds, except or Sunday, in Machlin in Cul. It is heard working under ground. The well of the grain is in Meadon, that is, a well from which grain flows without ceasing.

There is in the same district a well from which the bones of birds are constantly thrown up.

There are also innumerable birds there on a certain rock, and they dive under the sea as if into the air.

There are also limpets on the rocks there, viz., limpets at Ceoil thirty thousand paces from the sea.

There is a valley in Aengus, in which shouting is heard every Monday night; Glen Ailbe is its name, and it is not known who makes the noise.


The first wonder is a strand without a sea.


The second is a ford which is far from the sea, and which fills when the tide flows, and decreases when the tide ebbs.

The third is a stone which moves at night in Glenn Cindenn, and though it should be cast into the sea, or into a cataract, it would be found on the margin of the same valley.


The Cruithnians came from the land of Thracia; they are the race of Gueleon, son of Ercal Hercules. Agathyrsi was their name. Six brothers of them came at first, viz., Solen, Ulfa, Nechtan, Drostan, Aengus, Leithenn. The cause of their coming was this, viz, Policornus, king of Thrace, fell in love with their sister, and proposed


to take her without giving a dower. They after this passed across the Roman territory into France and built a city there, viz., Pictavis, called a pictis, i. e. from their arms. And the king of France fell in love with their sister. They put to sea after the death of the sixth brother, viz., Leithinn; and in two days after going on the sea their sister died. The Cruithnians landed at Inbher Slaine, in Hy-Ceinnselagh. Cremhthann Sgiathbhel, King of Leinster, said that he would give them welcome on the expulsion of the Tuatha Fidhbha. Drostan, the Druid of the Cruithnians, ordered that


the milk of seven score white cows should be spilled in a pit where the next battle should be fought. This was done, and the battle was fought by them, viz., the battle of Ard-leamhnachta, in Hy-Ceinnselagh. Every one of the Picts whom they wounded used to lie down in the new milk, and the poison of the weapons of the Tuatha Fidhbha did not injure any of them. The Tuatha Fidhbha were then slain. Four of the Cruithnians afterwards died; namely, Drostan, Solen, Nechtain, and Ulfa. But Gub, and his son Cathluan, acquired great power in Eri, until Herimon drove them out, and gave them the wives of the men who had been drowned along with Donn, namely, the wife of Bres, the wife of Buas, &c.

Six of them remained as lords over Breagh-mhagh. From them are derived every spell, every charm, every sreodh, and augury by voices of birds, and every omen. Cathluan was monarch over them all, and he was the first king of them that ruled in Alba. Seventy kings of them ruled over Alba, from Cathluan to Constantine, who was the last Cruithnian that reigned. The two sons of Cathluan were Catinolodar and Catinolachan; their two champions were Im, son of Pern, and Cind, the father of Cruithne; Cras, son of Cirech, was their hero; Uaisneimh was their poet; Cruithne their artificer; Domhnall, son of Ailpin, was the first Gadelian king, till he was killed.


First, Britus, son of Isacon, possessed Britain. The clan Neimhidh obtained it after Britus, that is after Glun. The Cruithnians possessed it after them, after they had come out of Eri. The Gaedhil possessed it after that, that is, the sons of Erc, son of Eochaidh.

Cruithnechan son of Lochit, son of Ingi, went over from the sons of Mileadh to the Britons of Foirtren, to fight against the Saxons, and he defended the country of Cruithen-tuath for them, and he himself remained with them i. e. with the Britons. But they had no women, for the women of Alba had died. And Cruithnechan went back to the sons of Mileadh, and he swore by heaven and earth, and the sun and the moon, by the dew and elements, by the sea and the land, that the regal succession among them for ever should be on the mother's side; and he took away with him twelve women that were superabundant with the sons of Mileadh, for their husbands had been drowned in the western sea along with Donn; so that the chiefs of the Cruithnians have been of the men of Eri from that time ever since.

    1. THE CRUITHNIANS who propagated
      In the land of noble Alba,


      With glorious illustrious might,
      From what region did they come?
    2. What cause also moved them
      From the countries of war?
      To traverse the waves over the floods,
      In what number of ships did they embark?
    3. How were they named before they came
      To attain their sovereignty?
      They were named from their own weapons)—
      And what was the name of their country?
    4. Thracia was the name of their country,
      (Until they spread their sails,


      After they had resolved to emigrate),
      In the east of Europe.
    5. Agathyrsi was their name,
      In the portion of Ercal-Itbi
      From their tattoeing their fair skins
      Were they called Picts.
    6. The Picts, the tribe I speak of,
      Understood travelling over the sea,
      Without mean, unworthy deeds,
      The seed of Geleon son of Ercal.
    7. Of them six brothers
      With alacrity, unflinching,
      For glory's sake set out;
      The seventh [gt ]was their sister.
    8. Solen, Ulpha, Nechtain,
      Drostan the powerful diviner,
      Were their names and their order,
      Aengus and Leithenn.

    9. p.133

    10. The absolute sovereign of populous Thrace
      Sought their lovely sister,

      (It was the cause of conflict)
      Without gift, without dowry.
    11. They came away with her, the good men,
      From their lands, from their flocks,
      A company of three ships in good order,
      Three hundred and nine persons.
    12. They stepped on land from the surrounding sea
      Of France,—they cut down woods,
      They built a city with their many weapons,
      Which was named Pictabis.
    13. Pictabis a Pictis
      They named their city;
      It remained a good and free name
      Afterwards upon the fortress.
    14. The king sought their sister
      By battle fiercely,
      And in consequence of his anger
      They were driven upon the sea.

    15. p.135

    16. On the shore of the sea was shattered,
      A ship, swift sailing, well manned,
      There remained, as we know,
      With her the sixth brother.
    17. They were in Pictavia,
      With success attaching to them;
      Their name was renowned
      At the place where Elair was.
    18. They stole away thence together
      In haste, under sorrow,
      At the end of two tempestuous days,
      Their sister died with them.
    19. Passing by Britain in their voyage,
      To Eri the delightful
      They directed their course,
      And reached Inbher Slaine.
    20. They cut down the plundering host of Fea,
      Who were aided by poison,
      By their fierce deeds,
      In the battle of Ard-leamhnacht.

    21. p.137

    22. The heroes valiant and numerous
      Cut down knotty woods,
      With wonderful arts;
      From the Britons was their origin.
    23. Dead was every one they struck,
      If but his blood they shed,
      So that he wasted away on that account,
      Whether he were a dog, or whether he weren a man.
    24. A Cruithnian Druid, of friendship,
      Discovered a cure for those thus wounded,
      New milk in which were washed
      Those who lay wounded on the earth.
    25. The herds of cows of the tribes were brought,
      By just Cremhthann the headstrong,
      Until the herd was milked
      On the green of Ard-leamhnacht.
    26. They cut down the troops of Fea, of sharp weapons,
      Leaving them without tillage and without produce,


      By their defeat in the battle
      Cremhthan Sciathbel of horses was protected.
    27. The Cruithnians settled themselves
      On the lands of the three plains,
      Until dread of their arms
      Had seized the noble Gaels.
    28. Soon after that died
      Four of the noble brothers,
      Solen, Neachtan, Drostan,
      Aengus, the prophetic pillar.
    29. From the south was Ulfa sent
      After the decease of his friends;
      In Rachrann in Bregia
      He was utterly destroyed.
    30. Cathluan was elevated by them,
      (No despicable chieftain),


      As king over them all,
      Before they set out to another country.
    31. For to them spake Erimon
      That out of Eri they should go,
      Lest they should make battle
      For Teainhairm, as a possession.
    32. Three hundred women were given,
      To them they were agreeable,
      But they were most cunning,
      Each woman and her brother.
    33. There were oaths imposed on them,
      By the stars, by the earth,
      That from the nobility of the mother
      Should always be the right to the sovereignty.
    34. They set out from Eri
      On their oath-bound expedition,
      Without families, without cavalry,
      With Cathluan, son of Caitminn.
    35. Catmolodor the hard-knobbed,
      And Cathmachan the bright,


      Were glorious youths,
      The two valiant sons of Cathluan.
    36. His hardy, puissant champions,
      Heavy, stern, was their trampling,
      Cing, victorious in his victory,
      Im, son of Pernn, were their names.
    37. Huasem was the name of his poet,
      Who sought out the path of pleasantry.
      Ruddy was his hero,
      Crus, son of Cirigh Cetlim.
    38. Cruithne, son of just Cing,
      Attended to their courtship,
      So that he brought a company of fair women,
      Over Athmagh, over Athgort.
    39. There remained of them behind in Ealga,
      With many artificers and warriors,


      Who settled in Breagh-magh,
      Six demon-like druids.
    40. Necromancy and idolatry, druidism,
      In a fair and well-walled house,
      Plundering in ships, bright poems,
      By them were taught.
    41. The honoring of sredhs and omens,
      Choice of weather, lucky times,
      The watching the voices of birds,
      They practised without disguise.
    42. Hills and rocks they prepared for the plough,
      Among their sons were no thieves,


      They prepared their expedition
      Here at Inbher Boinne.
    43. They passed away from us
      With the splendour of swiftness,
      To dwell by valour
      In the beautiful land of Ile.

    44. p.149

    45. From thence they conquered Alba,
      The noble nurse of fruitfulness.
      Without destroying the people or their houses,
      From the region of Cat to Forcu.
    46. Cathluan gained battles
      Without flinching or cowardice,


      His onsets were not without fierceness,
      Until he had slain the Britons.
    47. Thus did they conquer Alba,
      Noble, gentle-hilled, smooth-surfaced,
      With many an Amlaff,
      Down to Cinaeth mac Alpin,

    48. p.153

    49. For plundering known places,
      And greens, without remorse,
      For not practising inactivity,
      For this are they called Cruithnians.
    50. Fifty kings of plundering career,
      Every one of them of the race of Eochaidh,
      From Fergus, most truly,
      To the vigorous Mac Brethach.
    51. Six kings and six times ten
      Of them who attended to bloody plunder:
      They loved merry forays,
      They possessed the sovereignty of the Cruithnians.
    52. The Cruithnians who propagated.



Cruithne, son of Cing, pater Pictorum habitantium in hac insula, c. annis regnabat. He had seven sons. These are their names, viz., Fib, Fidach, Foltlaig, Fortrend, Caitt, Ce, Circing.

Circing lx. annis regnavit.

Fidach xl. annis regnavit.

Fortrend xl. annis regnavit.

Foltlaid xxx. annis regnavit.

Gatt i. e. Caitt xii. annis regnavit.

Ce xii. annis regnavit.

Fidbaid i. e. Fib xxiiii. annis regnavit.

Geide Ollgothach lxxx. annis regnavit.

Oenbegan c. annis regnavit.

Ollfinachta lx. annis regnavit.


Guidedh Gaeth, a Briton, l. annis regnavit.

Geascuirtibont [...] xxx. of them thenceforward, and Bruide was the name of every man of them, et regnaverunt Hiberniam et Alboniam per .cl. annos, ut invenitur in the books of the Cruithnians:

Bruide Pante was the name of the first Bruide.

Bruide Urpante,

Bruide Leo.

Bruide Gant.

Bruide Gund.

Bruide Urgann.

Bruide Urgaint.

Bruide Fet.

Bruide Urfexir.

Bruide Feoir.

Bruide Cal.

Bruide Urcal.

Bruide Cint.

Bruide Arcint.

Bruide Fet.

Bruide Urfet.

Bruide Ru.

Bruide Eru.

Bruide Gart.

Bruide Cinit.


Bruide Cind.

Bruide Uip.

Bruide Uirup.

Bruide Gruith.

Bruide Urgrith.

Bruide Munait.

Bruide Ur.

Bruide Gidgie.

Bruide Crin.

Bruide Urcrin.

Bruide Urmain.

Regnaverunt .cl. ann. ut diximus; and Alba was without a king all along until the time of Gud, the first king that possessed all Alba by consent or by force.

Others say that it was Cathluan, son of Caitming, who first possessed the sovereignty by force in Cruithentuath and in Eri, for sixty years, and that after him succeeded Gud for fifty years.

Taram c. annis regnavit.

Morleo xv. annis regnavit.

Deocillimon xl. annis regnavit.

Cinioiod, son of Artcois, vii. annis regnavit.

Deort l. annis regnavit.

Blieblith v. annis regnavit.

Deototreic frater Tui xl. annis regnavit.

Usconbest xx. annis regnavit.

Crutbolc vii. annis regnavit.


Deordivois xx. annis regnavit.

Uist l. annis regnavit.

Ru c. annis regnavit.

Gartnait iiii. ix. annis regnavit.

Breth, son of Buithed, vii. annis regnavit.

Uipo-ignavit xxx.

Canatulacma iii. annis regnavit.

Uradach-vetla ii. annis regnavit.

Gartnait-duipeir lx. annis regnavit.

Tolorc, son of Aithiur, lxxv.

Drust, son of Erp, c. annis regnavit, and gained a hundred battles. Nonodecimo anno regni eius Patricius sanctus episcopus ad Hiberniam pervenit.

Tolorc, son of Aniel, iiii. annis regnavit.

Nectan-mor-breac, son of Eirip, xxxiiii. annis regnavit. Tertio anno


regni ejus Darlugdach, abbatissa Cille-Dara de Hibernia exulat pro Christo ad Britiniam; secundo? anno adventus sui immolavit Nectonius anno uno Apurnighe Déo et sanctæ Brigidæ, præsente Darlugdach, quæ cantavit alleluia super istam hostiam.

Dartguitimoth xxx. annis regnavit.

Galamarbith xv. annis regnavit.

Two Drests, i. e. Drest, fil. Budros, xv. annis regnaverunt communiter. Drest, fil. Girum, solus v. annis regnavit.

Galum-cenamlapeh iiii. annis regnavit.

Gartnait, fil. Girom, vii. annis regnavit.

Cailtaine, fil. Girom, anno regnavit.

Talorg, fil. Murtolic, xi. annis regnavit.

Drest fil. Manaith, uno anno regnavit. Cum Brideno i. anno.

Bruide Mac Maelcon xxx. annis regnavit. In octavo anno regni ejus baptizatus est a sancto Columba.


Gartnait, fil. Domnach, xi. annis regnavit.

Neachtain nepos Verp. xx. annis regnavit.

Cinhoint, fil. Lutriu, xix. annis regnavit.

Gartnait, mac Uiud, v. annis regnavit.

Tolorc frater eorum duodecim annis regnavit.

Tolorcan, fil. Enfret, iiii.

Gartnairt, fil. Donuel, vi. annis regnavit et dimidium anni.

Drusc frater ejus vii. annis regnavit.

Bride, fil. Fle, xx. annos regnavit.

Taran, fil. En-fidaid, iiii.

Brei, fil. Derilei, xi. annis regnavit.

Nechtan, fil. Derilei, x. annis regnavit.

Drest et Elpen conregnaverunt lv. annis.

Onbes, fil. Urgurt, xxx. annis regnavit.

Breite, fil. Uugut, xv. annis regnavit.

Cinoid, fil. Juuredeg, xv. annis regnavit.

Alpin, fil. Uuoid, iii. annis regnavit et dimidium anni.

Drest, fil. Talorcan, i. anno regnavit.

Talorcan, fil. Drostan, v. vel xv.

Talorcen, fil. Onust, xii. et dimidium annis regnavit.

Canul, fil. Tang. v. annis regnavit.

Cuastantin, fil. Uurguist, xxxv.


Uidnust, fil. Uurgust, xii. annis regnavit.

Drost, fil. Constatin, et Tolorc, fil. Uuthoil, iii. annis conregnaverunt.

Unen, fil. Unest, iii.

Urad, fil. Bargot, iii. annis regnavit, et Brod. i. anno regnavit.

Cinaed, fil. Alpin, xvi. annis regnavit.

Domhnal, fil. Alpin, iiii. annis regnavit, et Custantan fil. Cinaeda xx. annis regnavit.

Aedh, fil. Cinaed, i. anno regnavit.

Girig mac Dungaile xi. vel. iii. annis regnavit.

Domhnall, fil. Constantini, xi. annis regnavit.

Constantin, fil. Aedh, xlv. annis regnavit.

Maelcolaim, fil. Domhnall, ix. annis regnavit.

Cuilein, fil. Ildoilb, fil. Constantini, iiii. annis regnavit.

Cinaed, vel Dubh, fil. Mailcolaim, vii. annis regnavit.

Cuilein i. et dimidio anni regnavit.

Cinead, fil. Dubh, viii. annis regnavit.

Maelcolaim Mac Cinaeda xxx. annis regnavit.

Donnchad Ua Mailcolaim vii. annis regnavit.

Macbeathad Mac Fin Mic Laig xvi. annis regnavit.

Lulach v. months.

Maelcolaim Mac Colaim Mic Donnchaid after him.


Britinia insola oceani cui quondam Olbiian nomen erat, is eight hundred thousand paces in length, two hundred thousand in breadth, and in circumference five thousand seventy and eight times forty. There are in it eight score cities, and five languages, viz. the Saxon language, and the British language, and the Cruithnian language, and Gaelic, and Latin.

Anno xlmo. ante nativitatem Christi, i e. forty years before the birth of Christ, came Galus into the island of Britain; he lost his ships and his army on his first expedition, and he lost Labienus the tribune, but at length he took the hostages of the island of Britain.

Cluids Ceissir, the fourth king after Juil, came into the island of Britain even to the island of Orc.

Ab incarnatione Domini clvi. Marcus Antonus with his brother, i. e. Lucidus Aurelius Commodus, devastated the island of Britain.

Ab incarnatione Domini clxxxix. Severus Afer Tripolitanus came into the island of Britain. Leipis was the name of the city in Africa where he was born; he was the seventeenth king after Juil:


it was for him was made the Saxon ditch; he died at Caer Abrog. He had two sons, Basianus and Geta. It was he (the former) that succeeded to the kingdom by the name of Anton.

Ab incarnatione Domini cclxxxiii. Dioclistan, the thirty-third king after Juil, and Maximin, came into the island of Britain. It was in their time that Carausius held the sovereignty of Britain seven years, until Alectus killed him, and held the sovereignty himself for three years, until Asclipidotus killed him, and became king himself for ten years. Dioclistan, in the east of the world, was persecuting the Christians, and Maiscimen in the west.

It was in that persecution over the world that Saint Albain—and Aron, and Juil, chiefs of the city Leigionum at that time,—died.

Constanst, king of Britain, was the father of Constantine, son of Eiline (Helena), the concubine of Constantin. Etrobus wrote that it was in the island of Britain that Constantin took sovereignty at first; for his father had exercised dominion over France and Spain in the life-time of Dioclistan.

Ab incarnatione ccclxvi. Gradianus was the fortieth king from Juil. It was in his time that a certain Maxim took the sovereignty of Britain.


Ab incarnatione Domini ccccxciv. Arcatus was sovereign of the world son of Toetas Theodosius, the forty-third king after Augustus. Pilacius Pelagius a Briton, adopted heresy, and destroyed the Christians.

Ab incarnatione D. (ccccv.) Forty-four years [gap: text unintelligible] two years before Eolair Alaric, King of the Gaeth Goths, Gradian the champion is made king of the Britons; and then Constantine, afterwards [gap: text unintelligible] until Constantinus Comes killed him at the command of Honorius. Constans, his son, came from being a monk, and took the kingdom.

Now Rome was destroyed afterwards in the thousandth one hundredth and year from its foundation. That was the end of the Roman dominion over the island of Britain, after cccclxx. years from the time when Juil took the island of Britain. The Romans extinguished it as to its military power, and there were left in it no warriors nor men of learning, and the Romans carried them off, and would not suffer them to return.

It was then that the Gaedhels and the Cruithnians, two border tribes, took captives and spoil.

There went ambassadors from the Britons with presents along with them, to the Romans, to seek relief; and there came to them a valiant army across the island, who attacked the Cruithnians and


Gaedhels; and they returned to their home then. Immediately the enemy came, and mowed down the Britons like a ripe corn field.

The ambassadors were sent again, and a legion came to the assistance of the Britons, and fought against the enemies of the Britons, and the ditch which the second Severus made was repaired by them; it was of stones this time, i. e. seven feet broad and twelve high from sea to sea; of sods they found it, and they fortified it so that they might not be required to come again to assist them; and they departed.

When the Gaedhels and the Cruithnians heard this they came upon them (i.e. upon the Britons) as wolves upon sheep.

Ab incarnatione cccc.xxii. Theothas junior post Honorium the forty-fourth king after Augustus.

Appendix 1






SARRAN assumed the sovereignty of Britain after this, and established his power over the Saxons and Cruithnians. And he took to wife the daughter of the king of Alban, viz., Babona, daughter of Loarn, son of Erc. And it was not she that was married to him, but her sister, viz., Erc, daughter of Loarn, until she eloped with Muiredhach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall, to Eri, and she bore him


four sons, viz. Muircheartach Mac Erca, and Fearadhach, and Tighearnach, and Maian.

And Sarran had issue by Babona; and there were begotten by them five sons, viz., Luirig, and Cairnech, and Bishop Dallain, and Caemlach; and he i.e. Sarran died after victory and after triumph in the house of Martin.

Luirig then succeeded to the throne, and he extended his power over the Saxons, and he forcibly built a fort within the precincts of the monastery of Cairnech his brother. Muircheartach Mac Erca


happened to be at that time with the king of Britain, learning military science, after he was expelled from Ireland for having killed the Crossans, and after having been subsequently expelled from Alba, for having killed his grandfather, Loarn, king of Alba. It happened that he was at that time getting his arms consecrated by Cairnech, the son of his mother's sister; then Cairnech said to him, ‘Thou shalt be king of Eri and of Britain for ever, and shalt go to heaven after, provided thou canst but prevent Luirig from exercising his power against the Church.’ Then Mac Erca went to the king, and after he came he told his message, viz.: ‘Build not thy city’ (said he) ‘in the precincts of Cairnech the bishop.’ ‘As God is my judge,’ says Luirig, ‘I think more of the power of the pet wild fawn he has, than of his own power, or of the power of the Lord God whom he adores.’ Mac Erca returned to Cairnech, and told him the result. Great wrath suddenly seized Cairnech, et dixit, ‘My prayer to my Lord, to my God, is, that that very fawn may be the cause of his death, and by thy hand, O Mac Erca!’ Cairnech then commanded Mac Erca to go forth and destroy his brother, and he Mac Erca immediately took upon himself to fight him; and he went forth at the command of Cairnech to destroy the king. And God worked a great miracle there for Cairnech, viz. he sent a wild fawn out of the mountain into the king's assembly,


and the host all went in pursuit of it except the king himself and his women. Et dixit Mac Erca, ‘If you had been just, my Lord, towards your cleric, it is certain that it would give increased happiness to have the royal robe on Luirig.’ Then Mac Erca thrust his battle staff into the king's side, so that it was balanced: and he returned to his cleric, and the head of the king with him, as a token; et dixit, ‘Lo, here is thy brother's head for thee, O Cairnech.’ Et dixit Cairnech, ‘Leave me the bone, and eat thou the marrow, and every third coarb shall be thine for ever, here and in Eri.’

Then he (Mac Erca) took the hostages and the power of the district into his own hands, conjointly with Cairnech, for seven years, as also the supreme sovereignty of Britain, and Cat, and Orc, and Saxonland.

And Mac Erca then committed an additional sin, that is, he took to himself the wife of Luirig, after many battles and conflicts with the king of France, to take his daughter from him, until at last the


daughter fell into Mac Erca's hands, and she bare him four sons, viz. Constantine, and Gaedhal-Ficht (from whom descend the kings of Britain, and the kings of Britain-Cornn); Nellenn (a quo gens


Nellan), and Scannal, the other son, a quo gens Scannail; i. e. it is in Eri the descendants of the two last are.

Now a great synod of the clergy of Europe was made at Tours of Martin, viz., three hundred and thirty-seven bishops, with the coarb of Peter, to meet Cairnech, Bishop of Tours and Britain-Cornn, and of all the British, to cast out every heresy, and to reduce every country to the discipline of the Church. And the chieftainship of the martyrs of the world was given to Cairnech, because martyrdom was his own choice. And Cairnech found thrice fifty bishops who made it also their choice to accompany Cairnech in pilgrimage, and that number went to Lien in pilgrimage for the sake of Mac Erca and Muiredhach.

Cairnech then set out to the Britons of Cornn or Carnticeon, and a city was built by him under ground, in order that he might not see the earth, nor the country, nor the sky; and he increased the strength and sovereignty of Mac Erca for a year, and he (i.e. Cairnech) came to Eri before him, so that he was the first bishop of the Clann-Niall and of Temhar (Tara), and he was the first martyr and the first monk of Eri, and the first Brehon of the men of Eri also.


Now, after this the Franks and the Saxons made war against Mac Erca, and he destroyed their country and their cities after a long contest; and the country and the power of the territories adjacent


to him were also destroyed by the greatness of his power and of his strength; and after this he came with a large fleet to take the sovereignty of Eri. He landed at Fan-na-long on the Boyne, where he burned his ships, from which circumstance comes the name of Fan-na-long; and he killed the provincial kings of Ireland afterwards, and took their sovereignty by right for ever, for himself and for his descendants. And then the power and strength of Britain was destroyed after him.



i. Inis-Gluair in Irrus Domhnann; this is its property, that the corpses that are carried into it do not rot at all, but their nails and hair grow, and every one in it recognises his father and grandfather for a long period after their death. Neither does the meat unsalted rot in it.


ii. Loch n-Echach; its property is: a holly tree that is placed in it for seven years, the part of it that sinks into earth will be stone, the part that remains in the water will be iron, and the part that remains above water will be wood.

iii. The well of Loch Con in Connaught; its property is, with regard to the lake that is near it, there are five feet in difference of height between them at all times. Whether the lake swells or shrinks the well imitates it in each change continually.

iv. The well of Gabhal Liuin in Oirghialla; its property is, that human hair upon which it is poured will become immediately grey.


v. The well of Sliabh Bladhma: its property is, if any one gazes on it, or touches it, its sky will not cease to pour down rain until mass and sacrifice are made at it.

vi. The well of Rath Both in Tir-Conaill: its property to every one who seeks it is, that if his life is to be long it rises up against him, and salutes him with a great murmur of waves. If his life is to be short it sinks down suddenly to the bottom.

vii. A well of sweet water in the side of the Corann; the property


of that well is, it fills and ebbs like the sea, though it is far from the sea too.

viii. The carn of the strand of Eothail. It is not the less seen when the tide is full than when it is at low ebb, and notwithstanding that the tide rises over the large rocks on the beach around it to and fro.

ix. A stone in Loch na n-Onchon, in a mountain near Glenn-da-Loch; its property is, if it be struck with a wand by way of assault, rain will ensue, and sunshine after.

x. These are the three wonders of Teamhar, viz.: a youth of


seven years of age begetting children; and the grave of the dwarf which measured five feet for every one, whether small or large; and the Lia Fail, i.e. the stone which shouted under every king whom it recognised in the sovereignty of Teamhar.

xi. There is a mill-pond at Cluain-fearta Molua; its property is, the people who bathe in it at the neck of the pond become lepers: it injures not if entered in any other place.

xii. The grave of Mac Rustaing at Rus-Ech, in Cailli Follamhain,


in Meath, no woman has power to look at without an involuntary shriek, or a loud, foolish laugh.

xiii. The children of Cailli Fochladh, viz., two daughters, Crebra and Lesra were their names; they spoke from the wombs of their mothers, and what they said was, ‘Come, O Saint Patrick! and save us.’


xiv. The descendants of the wolf are in Ossory. They have a wonderful property. They transform themselves into wolves, and go forth in the form of wolves, and if they happen to be killed with flesh in their mouths, it is in the same condition that the bodies out of which they have come will be found; and they command their families not to remove their bodies, because if they were moved, they could never come into them again.

xv. Great thunder happened in the time of Donogh, son of


Donall, son of Murrough, king of Ireland, which killed one thousand and ten persons in the territory of Corco Baiscinn, and divided Inis-Fithi into three parts.

xvi. Three wonders at Clonmacnois. A man without a head during the space of seven years. Inte Bucuc was his name, i.e. Maltamain. The blind man who used to dive into the Shannon and bring forth an eel in each of the forks of his hands and feet. The grave which was dug in Cluain, and it was not known or heard that there was an interment there, and there was a great-bearded man found in it, covered with drops of red blood, and a covering of green birch brooms about him. Fifteen feet long was he, and there were thirty feet of earth over him.

xvii. Loch Laigh, in the territory of Umaile, in Connaght, ran off into the sea, so that nothing of it remained but its place.


xviii. Loch Leibinn changed into blood during nine days, so that it became sods of blood like unto parboiled entrails.

xix. A shower of blood was shed in the time of Hugh, son of Niall, so that sods of blood were found about Cianacht, at Dumha Dessa.

xx. The infant boy who spoke at Craebh Lasre in a month after his birth, and who disclosed many tidings.

xxi. On a certain day the poet Mac Coisi was at the Boyne,


where he perceived a flock of swans; whereupon he threw a stone at them, and it struck one of the swans on the wing. He quickly ran to catch it, and perceived that it was a woman. He inquired tidings from her, and what had happened unto her, and what it was that sent her thus forth. And she answered him: ‘In sickness I was’, said she, ‘and it appeared to my friends that I died, but really it was demons that spirited me away with them’. And the poet restored her to her people.

xxii. There are two wells in Airthera, to the eastward of Ardmacha. He who tastes of the one of them is immediately dead. If the other well is gazed upon three times, it immediately swells, and drowns the person who so gazes. Hence it is that people dare not touch them, except wretches i. e. the desperate alone.

xxiii. Congalacha, son of Mailmithigh, was at the fair of Taillten on a certain day, and he perceived a ship in the air. He saw one of them the crew cast a dart at a salmon. The dart fell down in the presence of the fair, and a man came out of the ship after it. When his head came down it was caught by a man from below.


Upon which the man from above said, ‘I am being drowned’, said he. ‘Let him go’, said Congalach; and he was allowed to come up, and he went away from them, swimming in the air, afterwards.

xxiv. A certain pilgrim of the Gaedhelians happened to arrive at Torinis of Martin, on his way from Rome. There he saw his mother distributing milk and flesh meat to the poor of the Lord. He took away from her the cover of the muidh vessel which contained the milk, and she was looking for it in his presence. And the mother had not gone thither at all, but it was in Ros Ailither she made her distribution at home. And it was in honour of Martin she made it. And it was Cantighern, mother of Ua Dangal, son of Baethamhnas, that made the distribution. And he shewed the cover of the vessel to his mother in a year after his coming home, and she recognised it, and it fitted exactly her own muidh. So that it is manifest from this that every distribution of alms that is made in Martin's Cave is as effectual as if distributed at Toirinis of Martin.

xxv. The couple man and wife who are alive to the east of Clonard. Bablu and Biblu are their names.

xxvi. There is a stone in a church in Ulster whose practice it is to shed blood three days previous to a plunder of the church.

xxvii. The lake of Suidhe Odhrain, in Sliabh Guaire, migrated and went into the Fabhal.


xxviii. A great stone cross which was on the green of Slaine, in Bregia, was taken up into the air, and was shattered in the air, so that its shreds and fragments were carried to Tailten, to Tara, and to Finnabhair abha.

xxix. The well of Maell-Gobhann, in Leinster. The Deach-Fleseach the wand transformer is its name. Over the River Liffey it is. Its property is: the ash wand that is put into it is immediately made into a wand of hazle; and if it be hazle that is thrown into it, it will be ash at coming out of it.

xxx. A belfry of fire which was seen at Ross Dela, during the space of nine hours, and black birds, without number, coming out and going into it. One great bird was among them, and the smaller


birds used to nestle in his feathers when they went into the belfry. And they all came out together. And they took up dogs with them in their talons, and they let them drop down to earth and they dead. The birds flew away from that place afterwards, and the wood upon which they perched bent under them to the ground. And the oak upon which the said great bird perched was carried by him by the roots out of the earth, and where they went to is not known.

xxxi. The island of Loch Cre, in the territory of Eile. No female bird, or female animal, whether beast or man, dare enter upon it. And no sinner can die on it, and no power can bury him on it.

xxxii. The mill of Cille Cess in Osraighibh. It will not grind on the Lord's day, except for guests. And it will not grind even a handfull that has been stolen. And women dare not come into it.

xxxiii. The ducks of the pond of Seanboth of Colman. Though


they were put by mistake of night, with the water of the pond, into a pot upon a fire, and although all the woods of the earth were burned under that pot, they would not be injured, nor would the water become hot.

xxxiv. There live not then, toads nor serpents in all Eri, and even though they be brought from other places unto it they die immediately; and this has been tested. Except the mouse, the wolf and the fox, there has not been, and there shall not be, any noxious animal in it. And it is temperate of heat and cold. The sea will come over it seven years before the day of Judgment. Finit. Amen. Finit.




Maelmura of Othain cecinit.

    1. Let us sing the origin of the Gaedhel,
      Of high renown in stiff battles,


      Whence did the mighty stream of ocean
      Waft them to Eri?
    2. What was the land in which they originally lived,
      Lordly men, Fenians?
      What brought them, for want of land,
      To the setting of the sun?
    3. What was the cause that sent them forth
      Upon their wanderings?
      Was it in flight, or for commerce,
      Or from valour?
    4. What is the proper name for them,
      As a nation,
      By which they were called in their own country?
      Scuit or Gaedhil?

    5. p.225

    6. Why was Fene said to be
      A name for them?
      And Gaedhil — which is the better,
      Whence was it derived?
    7. Although thou revealest it not to me,
      But leavest me ignorant,
      For thou art learned in the stream of history
      Of the sons of Miledh,
    8. Yet if God be willing, thou shalt have to-day,
      Not to-morrow,
      The order of the history of the sons of Miledh,
      As it happened.
    9. The royal son of righteous Noah, Japheth,
      From him is our descent,
      Of the Greeks are we, in our origin,
      In our laws.

    10. p.227

    11. Of the most illustrious people that enjoyed
      A bloody sovereignty
      In this world of woe; from the rising of the sun
      To its setting.
    12. A valiant prince took dominion over the world,
      The wide-spread, noisy world;
      Nembroth his name, a man by whom was built
      The very great tower.
    13. Fenius came unto him out of Scythia,
      Upon an expedition,
      A man illustrious, wise, learned,
      Ardent, warlike.
    14. There was but one language in the world
      When they met,
      Twelve languages and three score
      When they parted.

    15. p.229

    16. A great school was founded by Fenius, to instruct
      In all knowledge,
      A man deeply learned, who excelled
      In every language.
    17. A son was born to Faenius Farsaidh,
      Who separated from him for ever,
      On the building of the tower by the men of the world,
      Nel, whom he loved.
    18. News came to Forann
      With great eclat,
      Of Nel, son of Fenius, who knew
      All languages of the world.
    19. Nel was carried southwards to Egypt,
      Heroes of dark blue weapons,


      The daughter of Forann was given
      Unto him afterwards.
    20. The beauteous Scota bare a son to Nel,
      After his arrival in Egypt,
      A hero of a hundred fights, Gaedhal Glass,
      Endowed with sovereign righteousness.
    21. The Feni from Faenius are named,
      Not small their renown.
      The Gaedhil from Gaedhuil Glass are called,
      The Scots from Scota.
    22. In great peace were they with Forann,
      And in great pride;
      They recited poems in their assemblies,
      They recited battles.
    23. The hosts of the people of God Forann permitted
      To go forth from him through fear,
      He followed in their track fiercely
      To the sea Romhuir.

    24. p.233

    25. Forann was drowned with all his multitude
      Of mighty chariots
      The people of God reached their own country,
      The sea did not drown them.
    26. The children of Nel raised Forann's ire,
      So that they were sorrowful,
      Because they joined not in revenge
      Along with the champion.
    27. But when Forann returned not
      From his onward journey,
      The people of Egypt were dreaded by the sons of Nel
      Lest they should enslave them.
    28. They seized the ships of Forann,
      They deserted their country
      And in the night time over the track
      Of the Red Sea they passed.
    29. They passed by India, by Asia,
      The way they knew;
      To Scithia, with noble might,
      Their own country.

    30. p.235

    31. Over the surface of the Caspian sea they passed,
      A faithful band,
      They left Glas in Coronis,
      On the Sea of Libis.
    32. Sru, son of Esru, went afterwards,
      He was without dejection,
      Round by the gloomy north rapidly
      To Slieve Riffi.
    33. He settled in fiery Golgatha,
      A noble deed;


      There dwelt his descendants without disgrace
      Two hundred years.
    34. Brath, son of Deagath, performed
      A royal journey,
      From thence with great speed northwards,
      To the north of the world.
    35. It was then he passed from Gaethligh
      To the islands;
      Royal his fleet, ploughing the sea
      Of sparkling Tarrian.
    36. By Creid, by Sicil, they sailed
      In their course,


      By the columns of the mighty Hercules,
      To Espain the peninsular.
    37. The grandson of the red Deatha of the royal line,
      Royal his companions,
      Took Espain, the very great man,
      The man Bregond.
    38. Brigantia was the name of the city
      Of an hundred chieftains;


      The tower of Breogan, his delightful seat
      On which he sat.
    39. North-east from the tower was seen Eri,
      As far as the land of Luimnech;
      On a winter's evening was it discovered by Ith,
      Son of Breogan, ruler of troops.
    40. It was at Brentracht he landed
      With the people of his household,
      He was the first of his conquering tribe who died,
      He died at Slemnaibh.
    41. South-eastwards Ith is carried to Spain,
      His strength being gone,
      With might the sons of brave Miledh returned
      To revenge him.

    42. p.243

    43. Donn, Colptha, Amergin of the white knee,
      A hero mighty, wide-ruling;
      Ir and Eber, Herimon,
      The six sons of Miledh.
    44. The son of Ith, Lugaid, the fair, the plundering,
      Victorious, warlike,
      Over the wide sea passed
      To avenge his father.
    45. The descendants of Breogan, ardent, vigorous,
      As we enumerated them,
      Blod, Corp, Cualgne, Righbhard,
      Tighern, son of Brig.
    46. There were also four and twenty plebeians,
      Who were not proud,
      To attend on the chiefs without fail
      In the expedition.
    47. I shall recite unto you all their names,
      As I have received them,
      After their enumeration; there were two of them
      In attendance on each chieftain.

    48. p.245

    49. Aidhne, Aile, Assal, Mitte,
      Morba, Mide,
      Cuib, Cliu, Cera, Sair, Slan, Lighe,
      Life, Line.
    50. Ligean, Traig, Dollotar, Aire,
      Nai, Dess, Aine,
      Fea, who obtained a fertile territory,
      Femin, Fera.
    51. The sons of the fruitful Breogan decided,
      It was done without deceit,
      That these stout yeomen should be attendants
      Upon the kings.
    52. Cruithne, son of Cing, took their women from them,
      It is directly stated,
      Except Tea, wife of Herimon,
      Son of Miledh.
    53. Great labour did they all undergo
      In every tumult,


      With the wife of Bress, the wife of Bass,
      And the wife of Buaighne.
    54. They fought Banba at Sliebh Mis with her hosts,
      Faint, wearied;
      They fought Fothla at Ebhlinne, murmuring,
      Eire at Uisneach.
    55. The Tuatha Dea sent them forth,
      According to the laws of war
      From the firm land over nine waves
      Of the broad sea.
    56. Herimon went forth with half the host
      In proud array,
      Round the north (it was without sorrow),
      To Inbher Colptha.

    57. p.249

    58. Donn went with the other half
      In progressive order,
      He died as he was sailing, without strength,
      At the south of Irrus.
    59. There was raised for him a cairn with the stone of his race,
      Over the broad sea,
      An ancient stormy dwelling; and Tech Duinn,
      It is called.
    60. This was his great testament
      To his numerous children,
      'To me, to my house, come ye all
      After your deaths.'
    61. At Inbher Scene they landed,
      The story is not concealed,
      The rapid great stream in which bathed
      Fial, wife of Lughadh.

    62. p.251

    63. They spread themselves through Eri, to her coasts,
      As is recorded,
      They made an alliance with the Firbolg,
      And with the sons of Nemhedh.
    64. There were no charming, noble wives
      For their young men;
      Their women having been stolen, they made alliance
      With the Tuatha Dea.
    65. Unto them was given the half of all the land,
      To the boisterous sea,
      After this just and judicious league,
      And after this alliance.
    66. Herimon took the north
      As the inheritance of his race,
      With their antiquity, with their prosperity,
      With their rights;

    67. p.253

    68. With its fortresses, with its troops,
      Fierce, active;
      With their rash fights,
      With their cattle.
    69. Eber took the south of Eri,
      The order was so agreed on,
      With its activity, with its power,
      With its harmony;
    70. With its victories, with its grandeur,
      With its hospitality,
      With its vivacity combined with hardiness
      With its loveliness, with its purity.
    71. Of the race of Herimon are the Lagenians,
      Of fame renowned,
      Leth-Cuinn, Conacht, Niall of the south,
      Niall of the North.

    72. p.255

    73. The Fotharts, the Deisi, Mogh Lamha's race,
      With the warrior of Cualgne,
      The men of Dalriada, Corco-Rinne,
      And Corco-Roeda.
    74. The kings of the race of Eochaidh Doimhlen,
      The pillars of his houses,
      And the kings of Argiall, from Buichne
      To Loch Febhail.

    75. p.257

    76. Fir da Ghiall, who dwell from Grian to Coradh,
      Without contempt,
      The good sons of Maine, Breasail, Fiachra, Dallan,
      And Domhlen the faithfull.
    77. Blackness, darkness, dimness, greyness,
      The Fothads, the plunderers
      Aendia, Trennia,
      Coennia of chariots.
    78. Corpre Arad, Arad Tire,
      Arad Cliathach,
      Latharn, Benntraighe, Ionmanaich,
      Dal Finn Fiatach.

    79. p.259

    80. The families of Corpraighe and of Dartruighe,
      Fertile is their territory,
      A mighty host, victorious, the race of Herimon,
      Son of Miledh.
    81. The descendants of Eber are the Eoghanachts
      In every place,
      At Ani, Loch Lein, Caisel, Glendamain,
      And Ros-argaid.
    82. Eochaidh of Raithlinne, without oppression,
      Magnificent their apparel,
      The Eoghanachts wherever they are found
      In the lands of Mumhan.
    83. The nobles of Dal Cais, Dal Cein the numerous,
      Of illustrious valour,


      Dal Mogha, Dal Corc, Dal Ceata,
      The Galengs, the Delbhna.
    84. The Tratraighe wherever they are found,
      The Luighni are of the same race,
      Lugaid-Lage, Liguirne,
      And Mogh-Nuadhait.
    85. The fame of the race of Lugaidh son of Ith,
      As a great straight rolling wave,


      The Ernai, Arbhraighe, Musca, Bascan,
      Are the sons of Lugaidh.
    86. Lughaid-Orcthe, Lughaid Gala,
      Derga, Oen-aibhle
      The King of Dun-Kermna, Berre,
      Lughaid Laighde.
    87. Eri is full of the race of Ir,
      Son of Miledh,
      Midir, Rudhraighe, King Fachtna Fathach,
      With their warlike kinsmen.
    88. Ciar with his foot-soldiers, Conmac with his

      Of great wealth,


      The Corca-Dallan, the Corca-Eoluim,
      The Corcumruaidh.
    89. Dal mBuain, Confinn, of powerful deeds,
      Of fierce valour,
      Mogh Roith, the protector, are all of the race of Fergus
      The son of Ross.
    90. The kings of the race of Fachtna, the Dal n-Araidhe,
      Warlike, fierce,
      The seven Laigse of Leinster the wealthy,
      The seven Soghans.

    91. p.267

    92. The race of Conall Glas, son of Ech,
      Spread themselves listlessly
      To Magh Fothaid, to Magh Uisnigh,
      To Magh Moghna,
    93. To Magh Sulidhe, to Fernmaigh,
      To Magh Macha,
      To Inbher Buais, of bursting torrents,
      To the land of Aiche.
    94. Eocho Mairedha, the rebellious son,
      Of wonderful adventure,
      Who was overwhelmed in lucid Linnmhuine,
      With the clear lake over him.
    95. The heroes of the race of Righbard, son of Brige,
      Of valour undaunted,


      Corc-Oiche, humblers of the proud, without fear,
      The noble Dal Selle.
    96. Six tribes who are not of Breoghan's people,
      Who hold lands:
      The Gabraighe Succa, Ui Tairsigh,
      Galeons of Leinster.
    97. Fully have we made our Chronicle,
      Who will criticise it?
      It has its middle, and its beginning,
      And its end.
    98. It is certain to me that whatsoever I have related,
      Since the first invasion of Eri,


      There will be found to be nothing more true
      Or more plain.
    99. Sufficiently have we followed their true history,
      Much more do we know.
      The race of Bregon, as it is handed down,
      From whence is their origin.



Of the Dalriadans, of whom we have lately spoken, we have no doubt of the truth of the little we have attempted of their origin and genealogy in this book. We set down, however, here an ancient poem of the history of the Kings of Scotland.

Thus it speaks, although it is defective in counting the kings in the last quatrain, and according to other accounts:


    1. O all ye learned of Alba!
      Ye well skilled host of yellow hair!
      What was the first invasion — is it known to you?
      Which took the land of Alba?
    2. Albanus possessed it, numerous his hosts;
      He was the illustrious son of Isacon,
      He and Briutus were brothers without deceit,
      From him Alba of ships has its name.
    3. Briutus banished his active brother
      Across the stormy sea of Icht.
      Briutus possessed the noble Alba,
      As far as the conspicuous promontory of Fothudan.
    4. Long after Briutus the prosperous, the good,
      The race of Nemhidh took it,


      Erglan, after having disembarked from his ships,
      After the destruction of Conaing's tower.
    5. The Cruithnians seized it afterwards,
      After they had come from the plain of Eri,
      Seventy noble kings of them
      Possessed the Cruithnian plain.
    6. Cathluan was the first king of them,
      (I tell unto you briefly),
      The last king of them was
      The brave hero Cusaintin.
    7. The children of Eochadh after them
      Seized upon Alba, after great wars;
      The children of Conaire, the comely man,
      Chosen men were the mighty Gaedhil.

    8. p.277

    9. The three sons of Erc, son of Eochadh the valiant,
      Three who obtained the blessing of Patrick,
      Seized upon Alba, exalted was their courage,
      Loarn, Feargus, and Aongus.
    10. Ten years was Loarn (it is known to fame)
      In the government of the bounds of Alba,
      After the generous, courageous Loarn,
      Seven and twenty years reigned Fergus.
    11. Domhangart, the son of noble Fergus,
      Numbered for five turbulent years;
      Twenty-four without a battle
      Are assigned to Comhghall, son of Domhangart.
    12. Two prosperous years without contempt,
      After Comhghall, are assigned to Gabhran,
      Three years five times without interruption,
      Was Conall, son of Comhghall, king.

    13. p.279

    14. Four years and twenty in possession,
      Was Aodhan, king of many provinces;
      Ten years seven times, a glorious career,
      Was the sovereignty of Eochadh Buidhe,
    15. Connchad Cearr reigned a quarter, renowned in fame,
      Sixteen years his son Fearchar,
      After Fearchar (inspect the poems),
      The fourteen years of Domhnall.
    16. After Domhnall Breac, of the towns,
      Conall and Dungall, ten years,
      The thirteen years of Domhnall Dunn,
      After Dungall and Conall.
    17. Maeldun, son of Conall, of forays,
      Reigned seventeen years legitimately,


      Fearchair the Long, behold thou
      Passed one year over twenty.
    18. The two years of Eochadh of steeds,
      He was the brave king of royal mansions;
      For one year was king afterwards
      Aincheallach the Good, son of Fearchair.
    19. The seven years of Dungal the impetuous,
      And four to Alpin,
      The three years of Muireadhach the good,
      Thirty to Aodh, as supreme king.
    20. Four and a score, not imbecile,
      Of years Domhnall spent;
      The two years of Conall of glorious career,
      And the four of another Conall.
    21. The nine years of Cusaintin the fair;
      The nine of Aongus over Alban;


      The four years of Aodh the noble;
      And the thirteen of Eoghanan.
    22. The thirty years of Cionaoith the hardy,
      Four Domhnall of the ruddy countenance,
      Thirty years, with his vigour,
      To the hero, to Cusaintin.
    23. Two years (hard was his complexion)
      To his brother, to Aodh, of the white flowers;
      Domhnal, son of Cusaintin the fair,
      Reigned a year four times.
    24. Cusaintin, brave was his combat,
      Reigned six and two score years;
      Maolcoluim four years;
      Indolph eight, of supreme sovereignty.

    25. p.285

    26. The seven years of Dubhoda the vehement,
      And four of Cuilen,
      Twenty-seven over every clan,
      To Cionoath, son of Maoilcholuim.
    27. Seven years to Cusaintin, listen!
      And four to Mac Duibh,
      Thirty years (as verses mark)
      Was Maelcolaim king of Monaidh.
    28. The six years of Donnchad the wise,
      Seventeen years the son of Fionnlaoich;
      After Mac Beathaidh, the renowned,
      Seven months was Lughlaigh in the sovereignty.
    29. Maelcoluim is now the king,
      Son of Donnchad the florid, of lively visage,
      His duration knoweth no man
      But the Wise One, the Most Wise. O ye learned.

    30. p.287

    31. Two kings over fifty, listen!
      To the son of Donnchadh of royal countenance,
      Of the race of Erc, the noble, in the east,
      Obtained Alba, O ye learned.