Texts

verse beg. Innid scél scaílter n-airich

Flannacán mac Cellaig
  • Early Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry
Poem on the deaths of famous heroes according to the days of the week.
Initial words (verse)
  • Innid scél scaílter n-airich
“Tell the tale of the renowned leader”
Author
Flannacán mac CellaigFlannacán mac Cellaig (d. 896) – king of Brega; poet;
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Ascribed to: Flannacán mac CellaigFlannacán mac Cellaig (d. 896) – king of Brega; poet;
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The ascription to Flannacán mac Cellaich/Cellaig, who was king of Brega (died 896), seems to be accepted as plausibly true.(1)n. 1 See Kathleen Mulchrone, ‘Flannacán mac Cellaig rí Breg hoc carmen. His poem on the death of some Irish heroes’, Journal of Celtic Studies 1 (1949) and more recently, Elva Johnston, Literacy and identity in early medieval Ireland (2013): 168 and note.
Manuscripts
Language
  • Early Irish
Date
9th century (?)
Form
verse (primary)
Textual relationships
The poem is known for alluding to a variety of tales, occasionally using titles which may suggest that the author had to hand an early version of the medieval Irish tale lists. As it is concerned with the deaths of famous figures, the most prominent tale-types are the aideda (death-tales), such as the death-tale of Cú Roí referred to in the first quatrain, and the catha (battle-tales), such as Cath Maige Tuired. Three fessa (feasts) are mentioned in the third quatrain: Feis Tige Gniain, Feis Tige Muiclin Maíne and Feis Tige Caine, which are known by similar titles from list B.(2)n. 2 Proinsias Mac Cana, The learned tales of medieval Ireland (1980): 108–110.

The poem is also witness to a stage in the development of the Finn Cycle, referring to Finn and Crimall, who are said to have died on a Wednesday. Finn was apparently sufficiently well-known at the time to be named without patronymic.(3)n. 3 Kuno Meyer, Fianaigecht (1910): xxi.

Classification

Early Irish poetry

Sources

Notes

See Kathleen Mulchrone, ‘Flannacán mac Cellaig rí Breg hoc carmen. His poem on the death of some Irish heroes’, Journal of Celtic Studies 1 (1949) and more recently, Elva Johnston, Literacy and identity in early medieval Ireland (2013): 168 and note.
Proinsias Mac Cana, The learned tales of medieval Ireland (1980): 108–110.
Kuno Meyer, Fianaigecht (1910): xxi.

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.] Mulchrone, Kathleen [ed.], “Flannacán mac Cellaig rí Breg hoc carmen. His poem on the death of some Irish heroes”, Journal of Celtic Studies 1 (1949): 80–93.

Secondary sources (select)

Mac Cana, Proinsias, The learned tales of medieval Ireland, Dublin: DIAS, 1980.
Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen
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