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Two Tales about Finn

Author: Unknown

File Description

Kuno Meyer

Translated by Kuno MeyerElectronic edition compiled by Beatrix FärberProof corrections by Beatrix Färber

Funded by The HEA via PRTLI 4

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 1800 words


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College Road, Cork, Ireland


Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T303013

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


    Manuscript sources for the Irish text
  1. D IV 2: f 88Ra-Rb (used by Meyer).
  2. YBL: III, col. 951-952 (facs.: p 212a-b).
  1. Kuno Meyer, Two Tales about Finn, in: Revue Celtique 14 (1893), pp. 241-9 (pp. 242-5) [D IV 2].
  2. Vernam Hull, Two Tales about Finn, in: Speculum 16 (1941), pp. 322-33 (pp. 323-8) [YBL].
    Secondary Literature
  1. Arthur C. L. Brown, The Grail and the English Sir Perceval, Modern Philology 18 (1920-21) 201-28 and 661-73.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Kuno Meyer, Two Tales about Finn in Revue Celtique. Volume 14, Paris, Émile Bouillon (1893) page 242–243; 246–247


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CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The electronic text covers pages 242–243 and 246–247.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been proof-read once.


The electronic text represents the edited text including footnotes. Text supplied by the editor is marked sup resp="KM"; footnoted editorial corrections take the form of corr sic="" resp="KM" Missing portions of text are indicated by gap.


Quotations are rendered q.


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


div0=both stories; div1=the individual story


Names of persons (given names) and places are not tagged.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the story.

Profile Description

Created: Translation by Kuno Meyer (1892)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The translation is in English.
Language: [GA] A few terms are in Irish.
Language: [LA] One formulaic word is in Latin.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T303013

Two Tales about Finn: Author: Unknown


Bruiden Átha

Once Find O'Baiscne was at the Head of the Curragh. He had been without a wife for a long time. Then he went towards the Suir, and at Dún Iascaig

Now Cahir on Suir

on the Suir saw the daughter of a herdsman washing her head. Badamair was her name. And he took he with him, and she lived with him.

Currech Lifi of Leinster, from whom Rath Cuirrig is named, it is he who had killed her foster-brother, namely Dub


O'Duibne, from whom Diarmait, son of Duibne was descended. Now Finn once went to size Currech. But Currech went westward, cut off the head of Finn's wife, even Badamair, and took it with him to the east. However, Finn went after him, took off his head and carried it with him to the west. Hence the Head of Currach is so named, and hence was sung:
    1. Currech Lifi with his splendour,
      . . .king to whom he yielded,
      His head was taken from him far
      To the mountain above Badamair.

That Currech was a son of Fothad Canainne's mother. Now this Fothad was lying in wait for Finn, till at last they made peace, and Finn prepared an ale-feast for Fothad and then invited him to it. However, there was a gais on Fothad to drink ale without dead heads in his presence. That was difficult at the time. For there was Cormac's peace in Ireland to the end of seven years, that no man should be slain. "However, there are places where the slaying of a man is a vested right", saith Finn, namely, the highway of Midluachair1, and the Ford of Ferdiad2, the Ford of the Hurdles3, the Gowran Pass4, the Ford of Nó5, the Wood of Bones6, Conachlad, the two Paps of Anu in Luachair Dedad7

Then Finn went to the two Paps of Anu Finn, to compass the slaying of a man.

‘Let us go,’ said Teit, daughter of Mac Niad, sister of Fothad, ‘the ale-feast which Finn is preparing for my brother, shall be for us. Le t us go drink it’, said she to her husband, Finn Mac Regamain was his name. They go westward


in their chariot together, the woman behind, he in front. As they came past Finn O'Baiscne, Carrfiaclach Mac Connla sent a cast after them, so that it was in the breast of the man after having gone through the woman first. They both died. And hence there was eternal feud ever between Finn and Fothad.

It seemed to the man however that it was the woman who had wounded him, and he said‘ A cold blast the blast that has come to me from thee, o woman!’ etc. ‘Blindly thou chargest me,’ saith the woman, ‘O man, I shall die, for through me this has gone ...It is evident to me that Fothad lives not after the triumphs of Canann, for if the son of MacNiad were alive...’ From that hour forth they were both lying in wait for each other, as long as they were alive, to wit, Finn and Fothad Canainne.


How Finn obtained knowledge, and the Slaying of Cul Dub

Another time Finn was at the head of the Curragh. It is there he was wont to be. Every morning a man was told off to boil a pig for his day's food. Now once Oisine was told off to boil it. When he deemed it done, he passed it on the points of the fork over the litter into the hand of his comrade. Then something clutched at it. It passed out. He ran out after it across the Suir, to wit, at Ath Nemthenn8,


across Ord9, across Inmain10, across the Slope of the Ui Faelain up to the summit of the Fairy Knoll on Femen plain.11 The door was shut after it when it had gone into the fairy knoll, and Oisin was left outside.

When the fian awoke, then Oisin came (back). ‘Where is the pig?’ said Finn. ‘Some other braver than I has taken it’, said Oisine.

On the next day Cailte took it. It is carried from him in the same manner. However, he came (back). ‘Where is the pig?’ said Finn. ‘I am not braver than he from whom it was taken yesterday,’ said Cailte.

‘Who is to go now to boil it?’ said Finn. ‘The younger thorn is always the sharper.’ He went himself to boil it, his spear hafts in his left hand, his other hand turning the pig on the points of the fork. Something clutched at it. Finn gave it a blow, but the point of his lance only reached its back. However, it left its load outside. It went into Ely, into Cell Ichtair Lethet [...] Seven times it jumped across the Suir [...] He made a thrust at it as it was going into the fairy-knoll so that thereby he broke its back. Finn stretched out his hand at the doorpost of the síd, so that the door was closed on his thumb. He put it into his mouth, and heard their wail. ‘What is that?’ they all said. ‘Cul Dub has been killed!’ ‘Who killed him?’ said they. ‘Finn O'Baiscne.’ They all wail. Then said he ‘Sweet, sweet’ etc. [...] He then carries his pig in his bosom back to his people.