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Texts

Táin bó Cúailgne‘The cattle-raid of Cooley’

  • Old Irish, Middle Irish, Early Modern Irish
  • prose
  • Ulster Cycle, Táin bó Cúailnge
Manuscripts
Language
  • Old Irish Middle Irish Early Modern Irish
  • Old Irish and Middle Irish; Early Modern Irish (Recension III)
Form
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Textual relationships

Classification

Ulster Cycle Táin bó Cúailnge

Subject tags

Aillil mac MátaAillil mac Máta
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.
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Amairgen mac EccitAmairgen mac Eccit (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – (chief) poet of the Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle of tales; son of Eccet Salach
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CathbadCathbad (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – druid to Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, in the Ulster Cycle; husband of Ness and possible father of Conchobar mac Nessa.
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Cethern mac FintainCethern mac Fintain (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – an old chariot-warrior of the Ulstermen in an episode of the Táin bó Cúailnge (recensions I and II)
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Conall CernachConall Cernach (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – warrior of the Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle; son of Amergin and Findchóem
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Conchobar mac NessaConchobar mac Nessa (ass. time-frame: 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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Cormac Cond LongasCormac Cond Longas (ass. time-frame: 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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Cú ChulainnCú Chulainn – Young Ulster hero and chief character of Táin bó Cuailnge and other tales of the Ulster Cycle; son of Súaltam or Lug and Deichtire (sister to Conchobor); husband of Emer (ingen Forgaill)
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Cú RoíCú Roí / Cú Roí mac Dáiri / Cú Roí mac Dáire (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – warrior and king of Munster in tales of the Ulster Cycle
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Dubthach Dóel UladDubthach Dóel Ulad / Dubthach Dáel Ulad (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – warrior in the Ulster Cycle of tales
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Eógan mac DurthachtEógan mac DurthachtNo short description available
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Fer DiadFer Diad (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – warrior in tales of the Ulster Cycle
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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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Findabair [daughter of Medb and Ailill]Findabair ... daughter of Medb and Ailill (ass. time-frame: Subject:Ulster Cycle) – daughter of Medb and Ailill in the Ulster Cycle
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FráechFráech / Fróech / Fráech mac Fidaig – Fráech mac Fidaig or Fráech mac Idaith; eponymous hero of Táin bó Fraích
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LugLugNo short description available
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The seven Mainesseven Maines, The (ass. time-frame: Conaire Mór, Conchobar mac Nessa, Ulster Cycle) – In the Ulster Cycle, the seven Maines (na secht Maine) are a collective designation for the seven, or eight, sons of Medb and Ailill, all of whom are named Maine: Maine Máithremail and Maine Aithremail, Maine Míngor and Maine Mórgor, Maine Andóe, Maine Milscothach and/or Maine Mó Epert, and Maine Conda(s)gaib/Cotagaib Uile.
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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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The MorríganThe Morrígan (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle, Túatha Dé Danann) – deity or supernatural figure in medieval Irish literature, frequently associated with war and destruction; she sometimes appears as part of a triad with Macha and the Badb; also associated with Nemain.
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Munremar mac GerrcindMunremar mac Gerrcind (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – warrior in tales of the Ulster Cycle; commonly identified as a son of Gerrcend
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The following table gives a parallel overview of the narrative sections found in all three recensions of the text. It is primarily based on J. P. Mallory's plot overview in Aspects of the Táin (1992),(1)n. 1 James P. Mallory, ‘Táin bó Cúailnge: an outline of the plot’ in Aspects of the Táin... (1992). with some additions and minor alterations. Like there, the section titles are for the most part taken from the subheadings in Cecile O'Rahilly's edition of Recension I (O’Rahilly, C., Táin bó Cúailnge: Recension I (1976)), with significant variants from Recension II, edited in O’Rahilly, C., Táin bó Cúalnge: from the Book of Leinster (1967), being provided in the appropriate column. A title following an arrow (→) refers to a particular subsection which is contained in the last named section.

Line numbers follow those assigned to the texts in O’Rahilly, C., Táin bó Cúailnge: Recension I (1976) (Recension I), O’Rahilly, C., Táin bó Cúalnge: from the Book of Leinster (1967) (Recension II) and in Nettlau, M., “The fragment of Tain Bó Cuailnge in MS. Egerton 93 (ff. 26a 1-35b 2)”, Revue Celtique 14 (1893), Nettlau, M., “The fragment of Tain Bó Cuailnge in MS. Egerton 93 (ff. 26a 1-35b 2)”, Revue Celtique 15 (1894) and Thurneysen, R., “Táin bó Cúailghni nach H.2.17”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 8 (1912) (Recension III). The symbol ‘x’ is used to indicate that there is no corresponding section in recension II or I; no equivalent sign has been used in the column for the third recension, as this text has been preserved only in fragmentary form.

Section TBC I TBC II TBC III
Section title English translation Lines (O’Rahilly, C., Táin bó Cúailnge: Recension I (1976)) Lines (O’Rahilly, C., Táin bó Cúalnge: from the Book of Leinster (1967)) N = Nettlau, M., “The fragment of Tain Bó Cuailnge in MS. Egerton 93 (ff. 26a 1-35b 2)”, Revue Celtique 14 (1893) and 1894
T = Thurneysen, R., “Táin bó Cúailghni nach H.2.17”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 8 (1912)
Incipit Táin Bó Cúailnge [also known as ‘The pillow talk’] Here begins the Táin Bó Cúailnge x 1-146
Táin Bó Cúailnge inso sís ‘The cattle-raid of Cúailnge here’ 1-134 147-296
In scél iar n-urd ‘The story in due order’ 135-372 297-716
Inna formolta ‘The eulogy [of Cú Chulainn]’ 373-397 717-737
Na Macgnímrada ‘The boyhood deeds’ 398-469 738-819
Aided na Maccraide ‘The death of the boys’ 470-480 x
Cath Eógain meic Derthacht fri Chonchobar ‘The fight between Eógan mac Durthacht and Conchobar’ 481-523 x
Aided na trí nónbor ‘The death of the twenty-seven men’ 524-539 x
Aided con na cerda ‘The killing of the smith's hound’ 540-607 820-920
Aided trí mac Nechta Scéni ‘The death of Nechta Scéne's three sons’ 608-824 921-1217 T 1347-1388 / 538-539
Slicht sain so co aidid nÓrlaim ‘A different version up to the death of Órlám’ 825-832 x
Aided Fraích ‘The death of Fráech’ 833-857 x
Lingid Fergus darsin n-omnai ina charput ‘Fergus leapt across the oak-tree in his own chariot’ 858-867 x
Aided Orláim ‘The violent death of Orlám’ 868-906 1218-1246 T 1393-1420 / 539-540
Aided Trí Mac nGárach ‘The death of the three sons of Gárach’ 907-919 1247-1257 T 1424-1435 / 540
Aided in Togmaili ⁊ in Pheta Eóin ‘The death of the marten and of the pet bird’ 920-945 1267-1279 T 1456-1460 / 541-542
Aided Lethain ‘The death of Lethan’ 946-972 1258-1266 T 1439-1444 / 540
Aided Lócha ‘The death of Lócha’ 973-1001 x
Aided Úaland ‘The death of Úalu’ 1002-1029 x
Orgain Chúalngi ‘The harrying of Cúailnge’ 1030-1286 x
Aided Etarcomail (⁊ imarchor n-athisc fer n-Érend) ‘The death of Etarcomol (and the terms offered by the men of Ireland)’ 1287-1387 1565-1695 T 1798-1939 / 549-553
Aided Nath Crantail ‘The death of Nad Crantail’ 1388-1486 1696-1755 T 1941-1947 / 553-554; N 1-3
Fagbáil in Tairb ‘The finding of the bull’ 1487-1509 1756-1794 N 4-9
Aided Redg Cáinte ‘The death of Redg the satirist’ 1510-1568 x N 216-219
Comrac Con Culaind fri Findabair ‘The meeting of Cú Chulainn and Finnabair’ 1569-1608 x
Comlond Munremair ⁊ Con Roi ‘The combat of Munremar and Cú Roí’ 1609-1630 x
Aided na Macraidi ‘The death of the youths’ 1631-1657 x
Bánchath Rochada ‘The bloodless fight of Rochad’ 1658-1684 x
Aided na Rígamus ‘The death of the royal mercenaries’ 1685-1693 x
Aided Cáur ‘The death of Cúr’ 1694-1736 1816-1857 N 20-32
→ Turim na cless → ‘A list of the feats’
Aided Fir Baíth ‘The death of Fer Baeth’ 1737-1806 1858-1905 N 33-39
Comrac Lárine meic Nóis ‘The combat of Láiríne mac Nóis’ 1807-1844 1906-1961 N 40-59
Imacallaim na Mórigna fri Coin Culaind ‘The conversation of the Morrígan with Cú Chulainn’ 1845-1873 x
Aided Lóich meic Mo Femis ‘The death of Lóch Mac Mo Femis’ 1874-2037 1962-2102 N 60-98
Slánugud na Mórrigna ‘The healing of the Morrígan’ 2038-2071 2103-2111 N 99-111
In Carpat Serda ⁊ in Breslech Mór Maige Murthemne ‘The scythed chariot and Breslech Mór Maige Muirthemne’ 2072-2334 2121-2337 (Breslech Maige Muirthemne) N 113-171
→ Éli Loga → ‘The incantation of Lug’
Túarascbáil Delba Con Culaind ‘The description of Cú Chulainn’ 2335-2454 2338-2438 N 172-201
Imroll Belaig Eóin ‘The mis-throw at Belach Eóin’ 2455-2482 2447-2459 (Imrol[l] Belaig Eóin)
Aided Tamuin Drúith ‘The death of Taman the Jester’ 2483-2487 2460-2472 (Tuige im Thamon)
Aided Óengussa meic Óenláma ‘The death of Óengus mac Óenláime’ 2488-2494 2439-2446
Comrac Fergusa fri Coin Culaind ‘The meeting of Fergus and Cú Chulainn’ 2495-2522 2473-2509 N 203-215
Comrac Maind ‘The fight with Mand’ 2523-2566 x
Comrac Fir Diad ⁊ Con Culaind ‘The fight of Fer Diad and Cú Chulainn’ 2567-3153 2606-3608
→ Túarascbáil charpait Con Culaind → ‘A description of Cú Chulainn's chariot’
Dinda na Tána ‘The chief episodes of the Táin’ 3154-3160 x
Caladgleó Cethirn ‘The hard fight of Cethern’ 3161-3327 3609-3811
Fiacalgleó Findtain ‘The tooth-fight of Fintan’ 3328-3335 3812-3835 (Fiacalgleó Fintain)
Rúadrucca Mind ‘The red shame of Mend’ 3336-3345 3836-3855 (Ruadrucce Mind)
Bángleó Rochada ‘The bloodless fight of Rochad’ 3346-3365 3862-3893 (Bángleó Rochada)
Meillgleó nIliach ‘The humorous fight of Iliach’ 3366-3386 3894-3936 (Mellgleó nIliach)
Airecor nArad ‘The missile-throwing of the charioteers’ 3387-3392 3856-3861 (Airecus nArad)
Aislinge nAimirgin ‘The trance of Aimirgin’ 3393-3409
  • 3937-3943 (Oisligi Amargin i Taltin)
  • 3944-3980 (Imthúsa Chon Rui meic Dáire)
Sirrabad Súaldaim ‘The repeated warning of Súaltaim’ 3410-3453 3981-4052 (Sirrobud Sualtaim)
Tochestol Ulad ‘The muster of the Ulstermen’ 3454-3543 4053-4147
→ Aislingi Dubthaich → ‘The vision of Dubthach’
→ Búadris Aililla → ‘The trance of Ailill’
Toichim na mBuiden ‘The march of the companies’ 3544-3944 4148-4687
Tochos[t]ul Fear nÉrend ‘The muster of the men of Ireland’ 3945-4160 4688-4918

Sources

Notes

James P. Mallory, ‘Táin bó Cúailnge: an outline of the plot’ in Aspects of the Táin... (1992).

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.

Recension I
O'Rahilly, Cecile [ed. and tr.], Táin bó Cúailnge: Recension I, Dublin: DIAS, 1976.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link>
Strachan, John, and J. G. O'Keeffe (eds.), The Táin Bó Cúailnge from the Yellow Book of Lecan: with variant readings from the Lebor na Huidre, Dublin and London: Royal Irish Academy, 1912. 
comments: Reprinted in 1967
Wikisource – Wikisource (not fully proofread): <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Windisch, Ernst [ed.], “Táin bó Cúailnge nach der Handschrift Egerton 1782”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 9 (1913): 121–158.
Internet Archive: <link>
Ó Fiannachta, Pádraig [ed.], Táin Bó Cuailnge: the Maynooth manuscript, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1966.
Edited from the O'Curry MS.
Carson, Ciarán [tr.], The Táin. Translated from the old Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, Penguin Classics, London: Penguin, 2007.
See below.
Recension II
O'Rahilly, Cecile [ed. and tr.], Táin bó Cúalnge: from the Book of Leinster, Irish Texts Society 49, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1967.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link>
Windisch, Ernst [ed. and tr.], Die altirische Heldensage Táin Bó Cúalnge nach dem Buch von Leinster, Leipzig: Hirzel, 1905.
Internet Archive: <link> Steve Taylor, ''The Cattle-Raid of Cooley'' – HTML transcript together with the English translation of Dunn (1914): <link>
O'Rahilly, Cecile [ed.], The Stowe version of Táin Bó Cuailnge, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1961.
Dunn, Joseph [tr.], The ancient Irish epic tale Táin bó Cúalnge, London: Nutt, 1914. 
An English translation of TBC based on the edition by Ernst Windisch (1905).
Internet Archive: <link> Steve Taylor, ''The Cattle-Raid of Cooley'' – HTML transcript paired with the 1905 edition by Windisch: <link>
Kinsella, Thomas [tr.], The Tain: translated from the Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, London: Oxford University Press, 1969.
Carson, Ciarán [tr.], The Táin. Translated from the old Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, Penguin Classics, London: Penguin, 2007.
Translation based on O'Rahilly 1967 (Recension II, LL) and O'Rahilly 1976 (Recension I).
O'Grady, Standish Hayes [tr.], “The Táin bó Cuailgne”, in: Hull, Eleanor [ed.], The Cuchullin saga in Irish literature: being a collection of stories relating to the hero Cuchullin, Grimm Library 8, London, 1898. 109–227.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Extracts.
Recension III
Nettlau, Max [ed.], “The fragment of Tain Bó Cuailnge in MS. Egerton 93 (ff. 26a 1-35b 2) [part 1]”, Revue Celtique 14 (1893): 254–266. 
comments: Edited from Egerton 93
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Edited from Egerton 93.
Nettlau, Max [ed.], “The fragment of Tain Bó Cuailnge in MS. Egerton 93 (ff. 26a 1-35b 2) [part 2]”, Revue Celtique 15 (1894): 62–78, 198–208. 
comments: Edited from BL MS Egerton 93.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Thurneysen, Rudolf [ed.], “Táin bó Cúailghni nach H.2.17”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 8 (1912): 525–554. 
TBC III edited from TCD 1319 (H 2. 17).
Internet Archive: <link>
Ó Béarra, Feargal [tr.], “Táin bó Cuailnge: Recension III”, Emania 15 (1996): 47–65.

Secondary sources (select)

Mallory, James P., “Táin bó Cúailnge: an outline of the plot”, in: Mallory, James P. [ed.], Aspects of the Táin, Belfast: December, 1992. 9–28.
Ó Flaithearta, Mícheál, “Echtra Nerai, Táin Bó Regamna und ihr Verhältnis zur Táin Bó Cuailgne”, in: Tristram, Hildegard L. C. [ed.], Deutsche, Kelten und Iren: 150 Jahre deutsche Keltologie: Gearóid Mac Eoin zum 60. Geburtstag gewidmet, Hamburg: Buske, 1990. 155–176.

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Patrick Brown,Dennis Groenewegen
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