Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition

Background details and bibliographic information

The Enumeration of Finn's People

Author: [unknown]

File Description

Standish Hayes O'Grady

Translated into English by Standish Hayes O'Grady

Electronic edition compiled and proof corrections by Beatrix Färber

Funded by UCC, School of History

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 1210 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland


Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T303019

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


    Manuscript sources for the Irish original
  1. London, British Library, MS Egerton 1782 (1517), f. 25rb–25vb.
  2. London, British Library, MS Harleian 5280 (16th century) f. 49r.
  3. Chatsworth (Derbyshire), Book of Lismore [15th century] f. 193va–193vb
    Editions and translations
  1. See below.
  1. Kuno Meyer, 'Introduction', in: id., Fianaigecht: being a collection of hitherto inedited Irish poems and tales relating to Finn and his Fiana, Todd Lecture Series 16, London: Hodges, Figgis, 1910. v–xxxi.
  2. Joseph Falaky Nágy, "Fenian Heroes and Their Rites of Passage," Béaloideas 54/55 (1986/1987) 161–182.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Standish Hayes O'Grady, Áirem Muintire Finn in Silva Gadelica. volume II, London, Williams and Norgate (1892) page 99–101


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The electronic text covers pages 99–101. The Irish original is available in a separate file, G303019.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been proof-read twice.


The electronic text represents the edited text. The editor's conjections are integrated. There are no expansions marked in the printed text.


There is no direct speech.


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=the tale; page-breaks are marked pb n=""/. Paragraphs are numbered.


Names are not tagged.

Profile Description

Created: By Standish Hayes O'Grady (1892)

Use of language

Language: [GA] The text is in Middle Irish.
Language: [EN] The translated title is in English.
Language: [LA] One word is in Latin.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T303019

The Enumeration of Finn's People: Author: [unknown]


¶1] This is the enumeration [and description] of Finn's people: their strength was seven score and ten officers, each man of these having thrice nine warriors, every one bound (as was the way with Cuchullin in the time when he was there) to certain conditions of service, which were: that in satisfaction of their guarantee violated they must not accept material compensation; in the matter of valuables or of meat must not deny any; no single individual of them to fly before nine warriors.

¶2] Of such not a man was taken into the Fianna; nor admitted whether to the great Gathering of Usnach, to the Convention of Taillte, or to Tara's Feast; until both his paternal and his maternal correlatives, his tuatha and kindreds, had given securities for them to the effect that, though at the present instant they were slain, yet should no claim be urged in lieu of them: and this in order that to none other but to themselves alone they


should look to avenge them. On the other hand: in case it were they that inflicted great mischiefs upon others, reprisals not to be made upon their several people.

¶3] Of all these again not a man was taken until he were a prime poet versed in the twelve books of poesy. No man was taken till in the ground a large hole had been made (such as to reach the fold of his belt) and he put into it with his shield and a forearm's length of a hazel stick. Then must nine warriors, having nine spears, with a ten furrows' width betwixt them and him, assail him and in concert let fly at him. If past that guard of his he were hurt then, he was not received into Fianship.

¶4] Not a man of them was taken till his hair had been interwoven into braids on him and he started at a run through Ireland's woods; while they, seeking to wound him, followed in his wake, there having been between him and them but one forest bough by way of interval at first. Should he be overtaken, he was wounded and not received into the Fianna after. If his weapons had quivered in his hand, he was not taken. Should a branch in the wood have disturbed anything of his hair out of its braiding, neither was he taken. If he had cracked a dry stick under his foot [as he ran] he was not accepted. Unless that [at his full speed] he had both jumped a stick level with his brow, and stooped to pass under one even with his knee, he was not taken. Also, unless without slackening his pace he could with his nail extract a thorn from his foot, he was not taken into Fianship: but if he performed all this he was of Finn's people.

¶5] A good man verily was he that had those Fianna, for he was the seventh king ruling Ireland: that is to say there were five kings of the provinces, and the king of Ireland; he being himself the seventh, conjointly with the king of all Ireland.

¶6] Finn's two poll-wards were Noenalach, and Raer grandson of Garb; the two stewards of his hounds: Crimthann and Connla Cas; his dispenser: Cathluan son of Crimthann; his master of the banquet: Corc son of Suan; his three cupbearers: Dermot grandson of Duibhne, and Faillin, and Colla son of Caeilte; the two overseers of his hearth: Caeilte and Glanna; his two makers of the bed: Admoll and mac Neri; his twelve musicians: Fergus True-mouth, Fianu, Bran, two Reidhes, Nuada, and Aithirne Aghmar, and [...] Flann and Aedh, Cobthach of


the high strains, and Cethern; his physician: Lerthuile; his two keepers of the vessels: Braen and Cellach Mael; his barber: Scannal his comber: Daelgus; his charioteer: Rinnchu; his two masters of the horse: Aena and Becan; his strong man: Urchraide grandson of Bregaide; his six door-keepers: Cuchaire and Bresal Borr, Fianchad and Mac-dá-fer, Imchad and Aithech son of Aithech-bal; his carpenter: Donngus; his smith: Collan; his worker in metal: Congaran; his horn-players: Culaing and Cuchuailgne; his two soothsayers: Dirinn and Mac-reith; his carver: Cuinnscleo; his candle-holder: Cudam; his two spear-bearers: [...] and Uadgarb; his shield-bearer: Railbhe, and so on.