Agallamh Fhinn agus Ailbhe

  • Early Modern Irish
  • verse
A modernised Irish version of the riddle episode in Tochmarc Ailbe. Three versions of this collection of riddles are found in the manuscripts.
  • H1 = Dublin, National Library of Ireland, MS G 2 (Phillipps 7021) [s. xiv-xv]
    f. 18(19)vbbeginning: ‘Cidh is letheo na rian ar Find’
    27 riddles.
    • H2 = Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1289 (H 1. 15) = The Psalter of Tara [1745]
      pp. 653–654heading: Cumhluadur Ḟinn 7 Ailbhebeginning: ‘Cidh is letheo na rian ar Fionn’
      27 riddles. Scribe: Tadhg Ó Neachtain. This is Thurneysen's version T and Ó Cuív's version H. Neither of them appear to have been aware of the NLI MS G 2.
  • G1 = Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1328 (H 3. 9) [s. xviii]
    p. 58heading: Slisnech seghuinn Ḟinn .h. Baoiscne fri hAilbhe Gruuibric inghin Corbmaic sunn
    20 riddles. This is Thurneysen's version C and Ó Cuív's version C. Scribe: Muiris Ó Gormáin.
  • G2 = London, British Library, MS Egerton 127
    Scribe: Muiris Ó Gormáin.
  • G3 = Glasgow, University Library, MS Gen 1042
    Scribe: James McLagan. Version brought to light and discussed by Sím Innes (2016).
  • N = Dublin, National Library of Ireland, MS G 1304 = formerly Sir Con O'Neill's manuscript [s. xvii]
    f. 124rheading: Agallamh Fhinn mhic Cubhaill 7 Ailbhe inghean Chormaic mhic Airt mhic Cuinn .i. airdrígh Eireandbeginning: ‘Cía as teó ina tine’
    24 riddles. This is the version (N) edited by Ó Cuív (1986). Scribe: Conchubhar Mhágaodh.
  • Early Modern Irish
verse (primary)
Textual relationships


Subject tags

Finn mac CumaillFionn mac Cumhaill / Find úa Báiscni (ass. time-frame: Finn mac Cumaill, Cormac mac Airt, Category:Finn Cycle) – Finn mac Cumaill (earlier mac Umaill?), Find úa Báiscni: central hero in medieval Irish and Scottish literature of the so-called Finn Cycle or Finn Cycle; warrior-hunter and leader of a fían
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Ailbe ingen ChormaicAilbe ingen Chormaic (ass. time-frame: Cormac mac Airt) – daughter of Cormac mac Airt; wooed by Finn mac Cumaill in the tale of Tochmarc Ailbe.
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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Ó Cuív, Brian, “Miscellanea: 2. Agallamh Fhinn agus Ailbhe”, Celtica 18 (1986): 111–115.
Includes discussion and notes.
[ed.] Campbell, J. F. [ed.], Leabhar na Féinne: heroic Gaelic ballads collected in Scotland chiefly from 1512 to 1871, vol. 1, London, 1872.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link>, <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>, <link>
150–151 Versions from H 3. 9 and H 1. 15. Texts contributed by Whitley Stokes?

Secondary sources (select)

Innes, Sìm, “Fionn and Ailbhe’s riddles between Ireland and Scotland”, in: Boyd, Matthieu (ed.), Ollam: studies in Gaelic and related traditions in honor of Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, Madison and Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2016. 271–285.
Eson, Lawrence, “Riddling and wooing in the medieval Irish text Tochmarc Ailbe”, Études Celtiques 40 (2014): 101–115.
Thurneysen, Rudolf [ed. and tr.], “Tochmarc Ailbe (Das Werben um Ailbe)”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 13 (1921): 251–282.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – German translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
252 The edition of Tochmarc Ailbe is accompanied by variant readings from both TCD 1298 and TCD 1328.
Dennis Groenewegen
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