Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The History of Ireland (Author: Geoffrey Keating)

Section 4


Of the creation of the first father from whom we have sprung,i.e. Adam, here, and of his race to Noah, and from that to Noahs children's children, until the genealogical account of each tribe which obtained possession of Ireland is given by us completely up to Noah; and also the kinship of each people of these same with each other.

In the beginning Adam was created, the sixth day of the age of the world: the fifteenth year of the life of Adam, Cain and his sister Calmana were born: the thirtieth year of the life of Adam, Abel and his sister Delbora were born: at the end of a hundred and thirty years of the life of Adam, Seth was born, according to the Hebrews, as is read in Polychronicon.

Of the age of the fathers from Adam to Noah, and the length of the period from Adam to the deluge; and the genealogy of Noah to Adam.

Noah was son of Lamech, son of Mathusalem, son of Enoch, son of Iared, son of Malaleel, son of Cainan, son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam: for it is of the race of Seth are all those who live after the deluge, and all the race of Cain were drowned under the deluge. And, according to the Hebrews, it is the length from the creation of Adam to the deluge, one thousand six hundred and fifty-six years; it is therefore the ancient author recited this verse:—

    1. The first period of true life,
      from when Adam is to the deluge;
      Six years, fifty, a clear saying,
      on six hundred, on a thousand.

Here is how another antiquary agrees with the same calculation:—

    1. Six years and fifty,
      and six hundred, as I count,
      And a thousand, as I calculate,
      from Adam to the deluge.


Yet another ancient author agrees with the same computation:—

    1. Ten hundred years, six hundred fair,
      on fifty, with six years,
      As I reckon, it is known without blemish,
      from the deluge to the beginning of the World.

Here is the age of every man from whom Noah sprang in the direct line:—Adam thirty and nine hundred years; Seth twelve years and nine hundred; Enos five years and nine hundred; Cainan ten years and nine hundred; Malaleel nine hundred but five years wanting of them; Jared two years and three score on nine hundred; Enoch five years and three score on three hundred; Mathusalem nine years, three score, on nine hundred; Lamech seventeen years, three score, on seven hundred; Noah ten years, two score, on nine hundred.

Here is the assurance of the ancient writer on the age of every patriarch of them, as is read in the poem which has for beginning:— Father of all, Ruler of Heaven, &c.:—

    1. Thirty (and) nine hundred fair years,
      The life of Adam to be narrated;
      Ten years together with all that (was)
      The age ofhis yellow-haired wife:
    2. The life of Seth, that is known to me,
      Twelve (years) and nine hundreds;
      Five years nine hundred, it has been heard,
      Until death took away Enos;
    3. Ten years nine hundred, without reproach,
      The age of the son of Enos,
      Cainan: Nine hundred but five, with renown,
      The life of Malaleel of mighty deed;
    4. Two years, sixty, (and) nine hundred,
      To Jared before going to death;


      Three hundred, sixty, (and) five, it has been heard,
      For Enoch before going into Paradise:
    5. Nine years sixty, with renown,
      And nine hundred of years,
      That is the life, glorious,
      Which was given to Mathusalem;
    6. The life of Lamech, it is mentioned to thee,
      Seven hundred, seventy, and seven:
      The life of Noah, pure bright his fame,
      Fifty and nine hundred years.

When, indeed, God saw the race of Seth transgressing his own covenant, where he had commanded them not to make intermixture or alliance with the race of the wicked Cain, and that they had not observed that injunction, he sent a deluge to drown all the people, except Noah and his wife, whose name was Coba, and his three sons, Sem, Cham, and Japheth, and their three wives, Olla, Oliva, and Olivana: for Noah had not mixed with the race of Cain, and he was righteous. After the subsiding of the deluge, Noah divides the three parts of the world among his three sons, as the antiquary says:—

    1. Sem took his place in Asia;
      Cham with his children in Africa;
      The noble Japheth and his sons,
      It is they who obtained Europe.

Of the genealogical account of those three sons from whom were sprung the seventy-two tribes who were building the tower.

Twenty-seven sons had Sem, including Arphaxad, Asshur, and Persius; and it is from his seed (came) the Hebrews. Thirty sons had Cham, and of those were Cus and Canaan.


Fifteen from Japheth, and of those were Gomer and Magog. Here is a rann certifying those kindreds to have come from the three sons of Noah:—
    1. Thirty gentle sons, a clear fact,
      Sprang from Cham, son of Noe;
      Seven and twenty are from Sem,
      Fifteen (are) from Japheth.

Many of the people of Asia, and the people of all Europe have descended from Japheth. The people of Scythia are of the posterity of Magog, son of Japheth, and especially the tribes who occupied Ireland after the deluge, before the sons of Mileadh, as we shall show in (relating) the invasions of Ireland after the deluge. Nevertheless, we shall set down here at first, concerning the invasions of Ireland before the deluge, according to some antiquaries, before we shall treat of the real occupation of it which was made after the deluge.