Aided Chonchobair‘The death of Conchobor’

  • Early Irish
  • prose, verse
  • Ulster Cycle
Aided Chonchobair
‘The death of Conchobor’
alt. sp. Aided Chonchobuir
  • Early Irish
prose, verse (primary)
verse, prose (secondary)

Versions A, B and C are in prose, while version D consists of two retoirics, each with a prose introduction.

Contains poems
Ba haprainn nan dáil cu Artrig n-arnac’ • ‘Cóica traighedh tólaibh tlacht’ • ‘A chloch thall for elaid uair’ » In Meyer's text, the difficult retoiric ‘Ba haprainn nan dáil cu Artrig n-arnac’ is left untranslated, but it has been re-edited and translated by Johan Corthals from LL and 23 N 10. Version D contains two poems: a quatrain ascribed to Flann Mainistrech, beginning ‘Cóica traighedh tólaibh tlacht’, and a poem ascribed to ‘the poet’ (file), beginning ‘A chloch thall for elaid uair’, which takes up the bulk of the text.
Textual relationships


Ulster Cycle


Conchobar mac NessaConchobar mac Nessa
(time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
king of the Ulaid in tales of the Ulster Cycle; son either of Cathbad or Fachtna Fáthach (father) and Ness (mother); husband of Mugain; father of Cormac Cond Longas, Cúscraid Mend Macha, Furbaide Fer Bend and Fedelm Noíchrothach; fosterfather of Cú Chulainn.
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Cet mac MágachCet mac Mágach
Cet mac Mátach
(time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
warrior in the Ulster Cycle of tales; hero of Connacht; in some texts, brother of Findchóem and uncle of Conall Cernach.
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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.] [tr.] Kobel, Chantal, “A critical editon of Aided Chonchobair ‘The violent death of Conchobar’: with translation, textual notes and bibliography”, PhD thesis, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Irish and Celtic Studies, 2015.  
This thesis is a critical edition of the Old and Middle Irish versions of Aided Chonchobair ‘The violent death of Conchobar’. AC belongs to the aided category of tales of the Ulster Cycle. It has been transmitted in four recensions, A, B, C and D respectively, copies of which are preserved in a total of eight manuscripts. Despite largely diplomatic editions and translations of all four recensions of the tale having been published in The Death-Tales of the Ulster Heroes in 1906, Kuno Meyer was unaware of the existence of a copy preserved in NLS 72.1.5, and only became aware of RIA C i 2 and Laud Misc. 610 at a later date.
Tara.tcd.ie: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno [ed. and tr.], The death-tales of the Ulster heroes, Todd Lecture Series 14, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1906.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
[ed.] Corthals, Johan [ed.], “The retoiric in Aided Chonchobuir”, Ériu 40 (1989): 41–59.  
The early medieval story about Conchobar's death contains a text which has played some part in the discussion about so-called retoiric or roscad in Old and Middle Irish prose stories. Because of its obviously Christian content it was regarded as evidence for the monastic origin of some, at least, of the obscure texts showing archaic linguistic features in the sagas, or, from a different point of view, as a monastic imitation of the genre. To my knowledge, however, no interpretation has as yet been attempted. The text in question is a poem and I propose to offer an edition and translation together with some comments on its contents, metre, style and linguistic dating.
(source: article)
[tr.] Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone [tr.], A Celtic miscellany: translations from the Celtic literatures, Revised ed. (1951), Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971.
53–56, 307.
[tr.] d'Arbois de Jubainville, Marie-Henri [tr.], “[Various contributions]”, in: d'Arbois de Jubainville, Marie-Henri, L’épopée celtique en Irlande, Cours de littérature celtique 5, Paris: Thorin, 1892. [Various].
Internet Archive: <link>
[tr.] McCone, Kim R., and Pádraig Ó Fiannachta (trs.), Scéalaíocht ár sinsear, Dán agus Tallann 3, Maynooth: An Sagart, 1992.  
A collection of early Irish tales in a Modern Irish translation.
38–39. Translation in Modern Irish.
Dennis Groenewegen,Patrick Brown