Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Muirchú's Life of Patrick (Author: Muirchú maccu Machtheni)

Chapter 1


I 11 (10). (i) At the end and termination of the holy voyage the boat of the holy man, laden with marvels from across the sea and with spiritual treasures, reached a convenient port in the district of Cúalu, a well-known harbour of ours called Inber Dee. (2) There it seemed to him


that nothing was more fitting than first of all to redeem himself. Hence he made for the northern parts and went to see that pagan, Miliucc, whose slave he once had been, bringing him a double price to buy himself free from slavery, an earthly and a heavenly one, to free from captivity the man whom he had formerly served as a captive. He turned the bow of his boat to an island east of the coast, which to the present day is named after him. (3) Then, leaving Brega and the territory of Conaille and that of the Ulaid on his left side, he finally entered the inlet of Bréne. (4) He and those who were with him in the boat landed at Inber Sláne, hid their small craft, and went a short distance inland in order to rest there. They were found by the swineherd of a man who was good by nature, although a pagan, whose name was Díchu. He lived in the place where there is now the barn named after Patrick. (5) The swine-herd, thinking they were thieves or robbers, went to tell his master Díchu (about them), and led him upon them unawares. (6) Díchu had come with intent to kill them, but when he saw the face of holy Patrick the Lord changed his mind for the better, and Patrick preached the faith to him, and there and then he believed Patrick—the first man to do so—and the holy man stayed with him for a few days. (7) However, as he was anxious to go without delay to visit the said man, Miliucc, and bring him the price (of his freedom) and in this way, after all, to convert him to the faith of Christ, he left his boat with Díchu and set out on his way by land to the territory of the Cruithni until he came to Slíab Miss, from which mountain, a long time ago, when he was serving there as a captive, he had seen the angel Victoricus leave the imprint of his swift step on the rock of another mountain, and ascend into heaven before his eyes.