Texts

Bruiden Da Choca‘Da Coca’s hostel’

  • Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Ulster Cycle
A tale of the Ulster Cycle, set after events related in Aided Chonchobuir (‘The violent death of Conchobar’). According to the story, the Ulaid invited Cormac Cond Longas to return from exile in Connacht and succeed his father (Conchobar) in the kingship of the Ulaid. While Cormac accepted and gained permission from Ailill and Medb, he was forced into violating his gessa en route to Ulster, which precipitated further disaster. The Connachta opposed him and he fought a series of battles against them before being killed at the siege of Da Coca’s hostel (bruiden).
Title
Bruiden Da Choca
‘Da Coca’s hostel’
Known also as Togail Bruidne Da Choca(e) ('The destruction of Da Coca's hostel')
Summary
After the death of Conchobar, the Ulaid debate who to give the kingship to, and decide on Conchobar’s son, Cormac Cond Longas, who is in exile in Connacht. They send envoys, and Ailill and Medb agree to allow Cormac to take up the kingship. He sets out with a retinue, but Craiphtine the harper, whose wife has slept with Cormac, causes Cormac to break his gessa on the journey. Cormac encounters the Badb in the form of an old woman washing a bloody chariot at the ford. A party of Connachta encounter Cormac’s party. They fight several battles, and heroes on both sides are killed. Cormac’s party spend the night at Da Coca's hostel, which comes under siege by the Connachta, and Cormac is killed, along with nearly everybody on both sides.
Language
  • Middle Irish
Date
early 12th century (Toner)
Form
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Textual relationships
The lost manuscript Cín Dromma Snechtai is cited in the text as a source for part of the story. Cath Airtig is the immediate sequel.
    Associated items

    Classification

    Ulster Cycle

    Subjects

    Ailill mac MátaAilill mac Máta
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    king of Connacht, husband of Medb of Connacht
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    Amairgen mac EccitAmairgen mac Eccit (Salaig)
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    (chief) poet of the Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle of tales; son of Eccet Salach
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    The BadbThe Badb
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    name of a war-goddess, often in the appearance of an ominous crow (badb)
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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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    Conall CernachConall Cernach
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    warrior of the Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle; son of Amergin and Findchóem
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    Cormac Cond LongasCormac Cond Longas
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    warrior in tales of the Ulster Cycle; son of the Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa; in exile in Connacht
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    Craiphtine [Ulster Cycle]Craiphtine ... Ulster Cycle
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    harper in Bruiden Da Choca; apparently a version of the harper of the same name associated with Labraid Loingsech, here situated in the world of the Ulster Cycle.
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    Cúscraid Mend MachaCúscraid Mend Macha
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    warrior in the Ulster Cycle, son of the Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa.
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    Da CocaDa Coca
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    blacksmith in the Ulster Cycle, whose celebrated hostel (bruiden) becomes the scene of action when Cormac Cond Longas is besieged there by the Connachta.
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    Dubthach Dóel UladDubthach Dóel Ulad
    Dubthach Dáel Ulad
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    warrior in the Ulster Cycle of tales
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    Fergus mac RóichFergus mac Róich
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    warrior in tales of the Ulster Cycle; former king of Ulster in exile in Connacht; Medb’s lover
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    Medb ChrúachnaMedb of Crúachan
    Medb of Crúachan, Medb Crúachna, Medb of Connacht
    (time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
    Queen of the Connachta, co-ruler with her husband Ailill mac Máta, in the Ulster Cycle. She is said to have a daughter, Findabair, and seven sons known as the seven Maines. Her lover is Fergus mac Róich.
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    Sources

    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.] Toner, Gregory [ed. and tr.], Bruiden Da Choca, Irish Texts Society 61, London: Irish Texts Society, 2007.
    [ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “Da Choca’s hostel”, Revue Celtique 21 (1900): 149–165, 312–327, 388–402.
    Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
    Contributors
    Dennis Groenewegen,Patrick Brown