Tochmarc Emire‘The wooing of Emer’

  • Early Irish
  • prose
  • Ulster Cycle, remscéla to Táin bó Cúailnge
  • Early Irish
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)


Ulster Cycle
 remscéla to Táin bó Cúailnge

Subject tags

Aífe ingen AirdgemeAífe ingen Airdgeme (ass. time-frame: Subject:Ulster Cycle) – Character in the Ulster Cycle of Irish literature, notably the tragic tale Aided óenfir Aífe. When the Ulster hero Cú Chulainn stays in Alba to receive training-in-arms from Scáthach (her mother or sister), Aífe has an affair with him and later gives birth to his only son. In the Yellow Book of Lecan version, Aífe is called a daughter of one Ardgeimm.
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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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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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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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Lóegaire BúadachLóegaire Búadach (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – Hero in tales of the Ulster Cycle; said to be a son of Connad Buide and grandson of Iliach
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Emer ingen ForgaillEmer ingen Forgaill / Emer (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle) – wife of Cú Chulainn in the Ulster Cycle of tales
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ScáthachScáthach (ass. time-frame: Ulster Cycle, Conchobar mac Nessa) – A warrior woman and instructor of warriors in the Ulster Cycle, notably responsible for training the hero Cú Chulainn.
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Kuno Meyer, ‘Mitteilungen aus irischen Handschriften: IV. Aus Harleian 5280. Tochmarc Emire la Coinculaind’, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 3 (1901); A. G. van Hamel, Compert Con Culainn and other stories (1933).

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.] Meyer, Kuno [ed. and tr.], “The oldest version of Tochmarc Emire”, Revue Celtique 11 (1890): 433–457. 
CELT – edition: <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
Based on Rawlinson B 512.
[ed.] .
CELT – Compert Con Culainn (1-8): <link> CELT – Aided Óenfir Aífe (9-15): <link> Internet Archive: <link>
16–68 Based on RIA D iv 2, with variants from Harleian 5280, LU and Rawl. B 512.
[dipl. ed.] Best, Richard Irvine, and Osborn Bergin (eds.), Lebor na hUidre: Book of the Dun Cow, Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1929.
CELT – edition (pp. 1-338): <link> Internet Archive: <link>
307–319 (ll. 10113–10556) LU version.
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno [ed.], “Mitteilungen aus irischen Handschriften: IV. Aus Harleian 5280. Tochmarc Emire la Coinculaind”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 3 (1901): 229–263.
Celtic Digital Initiative – all Mitteilungen in ZCP 3: <link> CELT – edition: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Based on Harleian 5280, with variants.
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno, “Miscellen 13. A collation of the Harleian version of Tochmarc Emire”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 7 (1910): 510.
Internet Archive: <link>
[tr.] Meyer, Kuno [tr.], “The wooing of Emer”, Archaeological Review 1 (1888): 68–75, 150–155, 231–235, 298–307.
CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
[tr.] Hull, Eleanor [ed.], The Cuchullin saga in Irish literature: being a collection of stories relating to the hero Cuchullin, Grimm Library 8, London, 1898.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
Contains a reprint of Meyer’s translation above.
[tr.] Guyonvarc'h, Christian-J. [tr.], “La courtise d’Emer”, Ogam 11 (1959): 413–423.
[tr.] d'Arbois de Jubainville, Marie-Henri [tr.], “[Various contributions]”, in: d'Arbois de Jubainville, Marie-Henri, L’épopée celtique en Irlande, Cours de littérature celtique 5, Paris: Thorin, 1892. [Various].
Internet Archive: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Toner, Gregory, “The transmission of Tochmarc Emire”, Ériu 49 (1998): 71–88.
Findon, Joanne, A woman’s words: Emer and female speech in the Ulster Cycle, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.
Sayers, William, “Concepts of eloquence in Tochmarc Emire”, Studia Celtica 26–27 (1991–1992): 125–154.
Carey, John, “Otherworlds and verbal worlds in Middle Irish narrative”, Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 9 (1990): 31–42.
Edel, Doris, Helden auf Freiersfüßen. 'Tochmarc Emire' und 'Mal y kavas Kulhwch Olwen'. Studien zur frühen Inselkeltischen Erzähltradition, Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. Afd. Letterkunde N. R. 107, Amsterdam, 1980.
Edel, Doris, “Helden auf Freiersfüßen. 'Tochmarc Emire' und 'Mal y kavas Kulhwch Olwen'. Studien zur frühen Inselkeltischen Erzähltradition”, PhD thesis: Utrecht University, 1980. 
comments: For the published version, see Edel 1980b.
Thurneysen, Rudolf, Hans Hessen, and G. O'Nolan, “Zu Tochmarc Emire”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 8 (1912): 498–524.
Internet Archive: <link>
Patrick Brown,Dennis Groenewegen
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