Scél ar Chairbre Cinn Cait‘The story concerning Cairpre Cat-head’

  • Late Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Cycles of the Kings
The second of two Middle Irish recensions, the other being Bruiden Meic Da Réo, which recount how in early Ireland, the vassal peoples (aithech-thúatha) rebelled and decimated the leading noble families. This is Thurneysen's ‘Recension I’, except for the modernised text in the Edinburgh MS, which he describes as ‘Recension III’.
Scél ar Chairbre Cinn Cait
‘The story concerning Cairpre Cat-head’
The recension is untitled in the manuscripts. It was Eugene O'Curry who entitled it Scél ar Chairbre Cinn Cait.
  • Late Middle Irish
  • Late Middle Irish (O'Connor 2006). The version in the Edinburgh MS has been modernised.
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Textual relationships
Both Middle Irish recensions include a version of Sáerchlanna Érenn uile, a Middle Irish syllabic poem in 12 stanzas. A text which may be closely related to or nearly identical to the present text is that referred by the title Orgain Cairpri Chind Chait for sáerchlannaib Érenn ("Cairpre Cenn Cait's massacre of the nobles of Ireland") in the two Middle Irish tale-lists.(1)n. 1 Ralph O'Connor, ‘Searching for the moral in Bruiden Meic Da Réo’, Ériu 56 (2006): 119–121.


Cycles of the Kings


Fíachu FindfholaidFíachu Findfholaid – father of Túathal Techtmar
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Túathal TechtmarTúathal TechtmarNo short description available
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Ralph O'Connor, ‘Searching for the moral in Bruiden Meic Da Réo’, Ériu 56 (2006): 119–121.

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.] Ó Raithbheartaigh, Toirdhealbhach [ed.], Genealogical tracts. Vol. 1, Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1932.
CELT – pp. 107–116 (RIA MS 23 P 12): <link>
107–116 Edition of the versions in BB, Lecan (with omissions) and H 3. 17, with English translation.
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], Lives of saints from the Book of Lismore, Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modern Series 5, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890.
CELT: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive: <link>
xxxvii–xxxviii Extracts from the Book of Lismore. direct link
[ed.] Craigie, W. A. [ed.], “Cairpre Cindchait and the Athach Tuatha”, Revue Celtique 20 (1899): 335–339.
Internet Archive: <link>
Edited from Gaelic MS XXVIII.
[add.] [corr.] Ó Corráin, Donnchadh, “On the aithechthúatha tracts”, Éigse 19:1 (1982–1983): 159–165.
Emendations and additions to Ó Raithbheartaigh's edition of the lists of aithech-thúatha.
[ed.] Thurneysen, Rudolf [ed.], “Morands Fürstenspiegel”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 11 (1917): 56–106.
Internet Archive: <link>
An edition of Bruiden Meic Da Réo, but with variant readings from the present text based on BB, Lec and Lis.

Secondary sources (select)

O'Connor, Ralph, “Searching for the moral in Bruiden Meic Da Réo”, Ériu 56 (2006): 117–143.
O'Curry, Eugene, Lectures on the manuscript materials of ancient Irish history, delivered at the Catholic University of Ireland during the sessions of 1855 and 1856, Dublin, 1861.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive – Originally from Google Books: <link>, <link>, <link> Internet Archive – multiple copies: <link>
230, 262–264, 590
Dennis Groenewegen
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