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Texts

Conailla Medb míchuru‘Medb enjoined bad/illegal/evil contracts’
verse beg. Conailla Medb míchuru

  • Old Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry, Ulster Cycle
Obscure 'accentual poem' by or at least attributed to Luccreth moccu Chíara. The first section deals with the Ulster hero Fergus mac Róich, his situation as an exile in the service of Medb and Ailill, and his participation in their wars over the cattle () of the Ulstermen. The account is thought to refer to an early version of the Táin bó Cúailnge.
Initial words (verse)
  • Conailla Medb míchuru
Ascribed to
Luccreth moccu ChíaraLuccreth moccu Chíara (fl. 7th century) – early Irish poet
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Manuscripts
Language
  • Old Irish
Date
7th century
Form
verse (primary)
Textual relationships
The account is thought to refer to an early version of the Táin bó Cúailnge.n. 1 According to Olmsted, other stories alluded to are the exile of Fergus (cf. Longes mac nUislenn), a raid undertaken by Fergus's son Fiacc to retrieve his grandfather's cattle (cf. Bruiden Da Choca) and the migration of Cland Cethirnd to Munster (cf. Tochomlod na nDéssi); the poem synthesizes these narratives in an attempt to explain why some peoples of Munster (dal Cethirnd) claim Ulster origins. Garrett S. Olmsted, ‘The earliest narrative version of the Táin: seventh-century poetic references to Táin bó Cúailnge’, Emania 10 (1992): 6–7; Garrett S. Olmsted, ‘The earliest narrative version of the Táin: seventh-century poetic references to Táin bó Cúailnge’, Emania 10 (1992): 337.

Classification

Early Irish poetry Ulster Cycle

Subject tags

Fergus mac RóichFergus mac Róich (ass. time-frame: 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 Crúachna / Medb of Crúachan / Medb of Connacht (ass. time-frame: Subject: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

Notes

According to Olmsted, other stories alluded to are the exile of Fergus (cf. Longes mac nUislenn), a raid undertaken by Fergus's son Fiacc to retrieve his grandfather's cattle (cf. Bruiden Da Choca) and the migration of Cland Cethirnd to Munster (cf. Tochomlod na nDéssi); the poem synthesizes these narratives in an attempt to explain why some peoples of Munster (dal Cethirnd) claim Ulster origins. Garrett S. Olmsted, ‘The earliest narrative version of the Táin: seventh-century poetic references to Táin bó Cúailnge’, Emania 10 (1992): 6–7; Garrett S. Olmsted, ‘The earliest narrative version of the Táin: seventh-century poetic references to Táin bó Cúailnge’, Emania 10 (1992): 337.

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.

Henry, P. L. [ed.], “Conailla Medb míchuru and the tradition of Fiacc son of Fergus”, in: Mac Mathúna, Séamus, and Ailbhe Ó Corráin (eds.), Miscellanea Celtica in memoriam Heinrich Wagner, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Celtica Upsaliensia 2, Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet, 1997. 53–70.
Meyer, Kuno [ed.], “The Laud genealogies and tribal histories”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 8 (1912): 291–338.
CELT – edition: <link> Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Olmsted, Garrett S., “The earliest narrative version of the Táin: seventh-century poetic references to Táin bó Cúailnge”, Emania 10 (1992): 5–17.
Olmsted, Garrett S., “Conailla Medb míchuru and the origins of the Táin”, Études Celtiques 29 (1992): 333–342.
Olmsted, Garrett S., “Luccreth's poem Conailla Medb míchuru and the origins of the Táin”, Mankind Quarterly 29 (1988): 3–72.

Secondary sources (select)

Carney, James P., “Three Old Irish accentual poems”, Ériu 22 (1971): 23–80.
Carney, James P., “The history of early Irish literature: the state of research”, in: Mac Eoin, Gearóid, Anders Ahlqvist, and Donncha Ó hAodha (eds.), Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Celtic Studies, held in University College, Galway, 6–13 July, 1979, Proceedings of the International Congress of Celtic Studies 6, Dublin, 1983. 113–130.
Ó Cróinín, Dáibhí, “Prosopographical analysis of Táin bó Cuailnge in a historical setting”, in: Tristram, Hildegard L. C. [ed.], New methods in the research of epic / Neue Methoden der Epenforschung, ScriptOralia 107, Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1998. 153–159.
Olmsted, Garrett S., “Gaulish, Celtiberian and Indo-European verse”, The Journal of Indo-European Studies 19:3-4 (1991): 259–307.
Sproule, David, “Complex alliteration, full and unstressed rhyme, and the origin of deibide”, Ériu 38 (1987): 185–200.
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