translated by Joan Newlon RadnerElectronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber, Maxim Fomin, Emer Purcell
Funded by University College Cork and
Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project
2. Second draft.
Extent of text: 35710 words
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Text copyright: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Used by kind permission of the copyright owner.
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts.
Text represents odd pages 3183. Editorial footnotes have been tagged note type="auth n="n".
Text has been proof-read twice and parsed using NSGMLS.
Radner's chronology refers to the revised dating in the Annals of Ulster. Where her dates are tentative (marked by a ?) they are tagged sup resp="JR", otherwise as date values. Her dates have been supplemented with Dr Daniel Mc Carthy's chronologies (available at http://www.cs.tcd.ie/Dan.McCarthy/). Date values supplied by him are tagged date value="nnnDMC".
The electronic text represents the edited text.
Direct speech is rendered q.
Soft hyphens are silently removed.
div0=the body of annals; div1 represents the individual extract made by the compiler from the original MS which is now lost. div2 represents the individual annalistic entry of the edition. Passages of verse occurring within paragraphs are treated as embedded texts; stanzas and metrical lines are marked. Page-breaks are marked pb n="".
Names of persons (given names), and places are not tagged. Terms for cultural and social roles are not tagged. Dates are tagged.
This text uses the DIV2 element to represent the Annal.
Created: Translation by Joan Newlon Radner. (c.1977)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Julianne Nyhan (ed.)
Peter Flynn (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Maxim Fomin (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Emer Purcell (ed.)
Emer Purcell (text capture)
573 Kl. The battle of Femen, in which Colmán Bec son of Diarmait was defeated, but he himself escaped.
Annal FA 2.
572 Brénaind of Birra rested in Christ, in the 180th year of his age.
KKKKKKK. I omit these seven years.
Annal FA 3.
582 Kl. The battle of Manu, in which Áedán son of Gabrán was victor.
Annal FA 4.
583 Kl. The slaying of Feradach Finn son of Dui, king of Osraige. Now he was one of the three kings who went to heaven during the lifetime of Colum Cille, and this is the reason, as Colum Cille told Áed son of Ainmere: A great illness seized Feradach. Clann Connla came to storm his house, because Feradach son of Dui was of the Corcu Laígde (for seven kings of the Corcu Laígde ruled Osraige, and seven kings of the Osraige took the kingship of Corcu Laígde). Now, he had waged war against Clann Connla. And he was in his sleeping-place then, and his riches were all there with him, as it was customary for the kings to have cubicles of yew about them, that is, a partitioned place, for their bars and cases of silver and their cups and goblets to give service at night, and their brandub and fidchell games and their bronze hurley-sticks to use by day. Feradach had many treasures, and he loved them greatly; but he had acquired them by evil means, for he would not hear of much or little gold or silver, in the possession of either powerful or wretched in Osraige, without confiscating it to take away that wealth, to ornament those treasures. Feradach's sons came to his bed then to take the treasures away with them. What do you want, sons? asked Feradach. To take the treasures away with us, answered the youths. You shall not take them, said Feradach, for they were ill-gotten; I tormented many in gathering them, and I consent to being tormented myself by my enemies on their account.
His sons left him, and he began fervent penance. Then Clann Connla came, and they killed Feradach, and took the treasures; and Feradach went to heaven.
I omit 32 years.
Annal FA 5.
595 Kl. (And this is the twenty-fourth of the thirty-two years omitted at the deest.) The death of Colum Cille in the seventy-sixth year of his age; of which Fedelm sang:
- Alas, truly,
for the salmon who was caught in the net;
the speckled salmon that was in the Bóand,
the Bóand that generates the wall of beasts;
- the wall of beasts that surrounds Iasconius,
Iasconius who hides his fins;
alas for the death of the king's son;
alas for the destruction of Eithne's son.
Annal FA 6.
603 Kl. Anno domini 610. Fintan moccu Echdach, abbot of Cluain Eidnech, chief of the monks of Europe, died on a Thursday; Whereof Colmán son of Fergus sang:
- On Thursday Fintan was born
and was brought forth on earth;
and on Thursday he died
on my fair thighs.
Annal FA 7.
605 KK. The beginning of the reign of Áed Uaridnach.
Annal FA 8.
605 Kl. Áed Alláin or Uaridnach began to reign for eight years, i.e. Áed son of Domnall son of Muirchertach son of Muiredach son of Eógan.
Annal FA 9.
Once, when he Áed, not yet king, came through Othan Muru, he washed his hands in the river that goes through the middle of the town.
p.7(Othna is the name of the river, and from it the towni.e., Othnais named.) He took a handful of water to put on his face. One of his men stopped him: O king, he said, do not put that water on your face. Why? asked the king. I am ashamed to say, said he. What shame do you have at telling the truth? asked the king. This is it, he replied; the clergy's privy is over that water. Is it there, asked the king, that the cleric himself goes to defecate? It is indeed, said the youth. Not only, said the king, shall I put it upon my face, but I shall also put it in my mouth, and I shall drink it (drinking three mouthfuls of it), for the water into which his faeces go is a sacrament to me.
That was told to Muru, and he thanked God that Aed Alláin had such faith. Then he summoned Áed Alláin to him (Áed Uaridnach was another of his names), and Muru said to him: Dear son, he said, as reward for that reverence you have given the church, I promise, in God's witness, that you will take the kingship of Ireland shortly, and that you will gain victory and the overthrow of your enemies, and that you will not be taken by sudden death, and you will receive the Body of the Lord from my hand, and I shall pray to the Lord on your behalf that it may be old age that will take you from the world.
It was not long afterwards that Áed Alláin took the kingship of Ireland, and he granted fertile lands to Muru of Othan. Moreover, Áed Alláin won many victories over the Laigin, and over his other enemies. He was eight years in the kingship of Ireland, and then mortal illness seized Áed Alláin and he sent for Muru. Muru came, and the king said to him, Cleric, he said, you have deceived me, for I have neglected my penance, because I expected, through your word, that I would be aged in my lifetime; and it seems to me that death is near me. True, said the cleric, death is near you, and your life has been cut short, and you have incurred the Lord's anger; so explain all that you have done to offend the Lord. I shall relate, said the king, that which I think likely to have offended the Lord. I attempted, said he, to gather the men of Ireland to this mountain to the east, that is, to Carrlóeg, to build it up, and to construct a huge house on it, and I wished that the fire of that house might be seen every evening in Britain and Argyle; and I know that that was great arrogance. That was evil, said the cleric, but it is not that which has shortened your life.
p.9Moreover, I attempted, said the king, to build a bridge at Cluain Iraird, and to build it marvellously, so that my name would endure on it forever. He related many similar things. It is none of these things, said the cleric, that is cutting short your life. I have something else, then, said the king; that is, the hatred I have for the Laigin; for this is what I desired: to force all their men to battle, and to slay them all then, and to bring their women and slaves to serve the Uí Néill; and to bring us of northern Ireland into Mide, and the men of Mide into Leinster. Alas, alas! said the cleric, it is that which has shortened your life, for that tribe which you hate, that is, the Laigin, have saints praying on their behalf in the presence of the Lord; Brigit is greater than I, and her prayers are more powerful than my own. Nevertheless, the Lord is merciful and forbearing; make offerings yourself to Him on account of that malice that was in your heart towards the Laigin, so that you may be in a Kingdom more lasting than the temporal kingdom.
Then the king was anointed, and he received the Body of the Lord, and he died at once, and went to heaven.
I omit seven years.
Annal FA 10.
612 Beginning of the reign of Máel Coba.
Annal FA 11.
612 Kl. Máel Coba son of Aed son of Ainmere reigned three years.
Annal FA 12.
614 A star was seen in the third hour of the day.
Annal FA 13.
615 Kl. The slaying of Máel Coba son of Áed by Suibne Menn son of Fíachna.
Annal FA 14.
615 The death of Diarmait, third abbot of Cluain Iraird.
Annal FA 15.
615 The beginning of the reign of Suibne Menn.
Annal FA 16.
615 Kl. Suibne Menn took the kingship of Ireland after Máel Coba for thirteen years, until he was slain by Congal Cáech son of Scandal.
Annal FA 17.
One day, as Fiachna, the father of
that Suibne, was going to inspect his plowingfor he himself was not a
king at allhe brought to his mind how each person succeeded another in
the kingship of Ireland. Pride and great arrogance came over him, and greed to
seize the sovereignty of Ireland, and he came home and told this to his wife,
and this is what his wife said to him: Since you have not attempted that
before now, she said, I do not see that it is suitable for a man of
your age and antiquity to be fighting at this time for a kingdom. For it is not
Be quiet; said he, don't get in my way; but have food and drink brought in, said he, and let the noblemen be invited out to visit us, and let them be given their fill. And he summoned his wife to him then, and he lay with her, and every plan that had been in his mind before he put away from him through the act of procreation, and after that it was his wife who possessed the intentions that he had had, and it was then that this Suibne Menn was conceived in the womb of his mother.
When he rose from the woman, she asked, Shall everyone be invited in? No, said Fiachna, we will not make ourselves ridiculousthat is, by fighting for the kingship henceforward. Now from that it is to be understood that it is from the pre-existing great ambitions of parents that children with great ambitions are born.
Now, one day when this Suibne, as a young man, was in his house with his wife, he said to his wife, I am amazed, he said, that so few of the Cenél Eógain have taken the lordship over all, up to this time.
His wife replied, with a kind of sarcasm, What's wrong with you, that you don't use force, and go before them to fight with everyone, and win frequent victories? That's the way it will be, he said. Consequently he came out armed the following morning, and he met a warrior of the people of the country, who was armed, and he gave battle to him until the warrior submitted to him at spear-point; and a huge host submitted to him in that manner, and he took the kingship of Ireland.
Annal FA 18.
628 Kl. Death of Suibne Menn.
Annal FA 19.
662 Kl. Cummíne Fota died in the seventy-second year of his age; whence Colmán úa Clúasaig, tutor of Cummíne, sang:
- A dead man south of me, a dead man to the north,
they were not the darlings of a worthless army;
relieve, O King of grey heaven,
the misery you have sent us.
- The dead of this year
nothing is to be lamented in comparison with them
Máel Dúin, Bécc son of Fergus,
Conaing, Cummíne Fota.
- If anyone across the sea were entitled,
he would attain to the dignity of Gregory,
if he were from Ireland, there was no one for it
except Cummíne Fota.
- He was not only a bishop, he was a king,
myCummíne was son of a lord;
Ireland's beacon-blaze for wisdom;
he was lovely, as has been told.
- Noble his tribe, noble his form,
his kindred was widespread;
descendant of Cairpre and descendant of Corc,
he was a wise man; he was brilliant; he was famous.
Annal FA 20.
662 The battle of Ogaman, in which Conaing son of Congal and Ultán son of Ernáine, king of Cianachta, were slain. Blathmac son of Aéd Sláine was defeated by the followers of Diarmait.
662 Móenach son of Fíngin, king of Munster, died.
Annal FA 22.
663 Kl. Ségíne, i.e. moccu Cuind, abbot of Bennchor, died.
Annal FA 23.
663 The death of Guaire Aidne, king of Connacht; whence:
- Carn Conaill:
is a great host that is before it;
All that he perceives will be dead;
alas for Guaire Aidne.
Annal FA 24.
663 The slaying of two sons of Domnall, i.e. Conall and Colcu.
Annal FA 25.
663 Tuathal son of Morggán died.
Annal FA 26.
663 Tu Enóc son of Fintan, abbot of Ferna Mór, died.
Annal FA 27.
664 Báetán, abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis, died.
Annal FA 28.
665 Kl. The death by plague of the son of Áed Sláine, i.e. Blathmac [...], i.e. in Calatruim. Diarmait died in the same place, standing, stretched against a cross, watching the Laigin army approaching to kill him. His soul departed from him. It is found in some books that these two kings, Blathmac and Diarmait, reigned twelve years. In others, however, ... years, which we follow. These two kings of Ireland, then, Blathmac and Diarmait, died in that plague, i.e. the Buide Conaill.
Annal FA 29.
665 Féchín of Fobar died.
Annal FA 30.
665 Ailerán the Wise died.
Annal FA 31.
665 Colmán Cas and Oengus of Ulaid died.
Annal FA 32.
665 Four abbots of Bennchor died, i.e. Berach, Cummíne, Colum, and Áedán.
Annal FA 33.
665 Cú cen Máthair, king of Munster, died along with many others.
Annal FA 34.
666 Eochaid Iarlathe, king of Dál Araide, was killed by the foster-brothers of Máel Fathardaig son of Rónán. For the daughter of Eochaid Iarlathe was wife of Rónán, king of the Laigin. The girl was young, and Rónán was old, so she fell in love with Rónán's son, Máel Fathardaig, and she was always soliciting him, but she did not get his consent; and since she did not get it, this is what she did: she broke her head-ornament, and scratched her face, and bloodied her face, and came to Rónán like that. What is that, girl? asked Rónán. Your carefree son, Máel Fathardaig, she said, has violated me, and forced me, and lain with me.
Consequently he was killed by Rónán. Afterwards Máel Fathardaig's foster-brothers went to the place where Eochaid Iarlathe was, and they called him outside away from everyone, and they killed him because of what his daughter had done. Thus Flaittir sang:
- Today Eochaid son of Fiacha Lurgan
has lain down
in the clay of Cell Condere;
- Eochaid has taken a single shirt
instead of a long, warm robe;
the sorrow that is upon Dún Náis
is upon Dún Sobairche.
Annal FA 35.
665 The beginning of the reign of Sechnassach son of Blathmac for five years.
Annal FA 36.
666 Kl. The death of Ailill son of Domnall son of Áed son of Ainmere. Kl.
Annal FA 37.
666 Kl. Máel Caích son of Scandal, king of Cruithne, died.
Annal FA 38.
666 Báethine, abbot of Bennchor, died
Annal FA 39.
666 Kl. Crítán, abbot of Bennchor, rested.
Annal FA 40.
669 Cummíne Finn, abbot of Í, rested.
668 The voyage of Columbanus, with the relics of many saints, to Inis Bó Finne, where he founded a church.
Annal FA 42.
668 The battle of Fertas between the Ulaid and the Cruithne, in which Cathassach son of Luirgne fell.
Annal FA 43.
669 The death of Máel Fathardaig son of Suibne, king of Uí Tuirtre.
Annal FA 44.
The Battle of Damderg, in which Dícuill son of Eochu and Congal son of Lóchíne were slain.
Annal FA 45.
671 The slaying of Bran Find son of Máel Ochtraig, king of the Déissi.
Annal FA 46.
670 Kl. The death of Blathmac son of Máel Coba, king of Ulaid.
Annal FA 47.
670 The death of Dúnchad grandson of Rónán.
Annal FA 48.
666 Fáelán son of Colmán, king of the Laigin, died.
Annal FA 49.
671 Kl. The slaying of Sechnassach son of Blathmac. Dubdúin of the Cairbri killed Sechnassach treacherously; of which was said:
- Full of bridles, full of whips, was
the house where Sechnassach used to be;
there was much extra plunder
in the house where the son of Blathmac used to be.
Annal FA 50.
671 Oswy, king of the Saxons, died.
Annal FA 51.
?668 Constantinus Augustus died.
Annal FA 52.
672 The burning of Bennchor of the Britons.
Annal FA 53.
672 The burning of Ard Macha.
Annal FA 54.
672 The death of Cummascach son of Rónán.
Annal FA 55.
671 The battle of Druim Coepis.
Annal FA 56.
672 The battle of Tulach Árd, in which Dungal son of Máel Tuili, king of Bogaine, was slain. Loingsech was the victor.
Annal FA 57.
673 Cormac son of Máel Fathardaig died.
Annal FA 58.
672 The beginning of the reign of Cenn Fáelad son of Crundmáel son of Blathmac, for three years.
Annal FA 59.
673 Kl. Constantinus son of Constantinus ruled for seventeen years.
Annal FA 60.
674 Kl. The slaying of Congal Cendfhota son of Dúnchad, king of Ulaid. Bécc Bairche killed him.
674 Dóer son of Máel Tuili, king of Cianachta, was killed.
Annal FA 62.
675 Kl. A battle in Aircheltair, in which Cenn Fáelad son of Crundmáel, king of Ireland, fell. Fínnachta son of Dúnchad was the victor. Of this was said:
- The soldiers from the west of the land
closed about Fínnachta;
Cenn Fáelad's kingship was shorn from him
great its propriety.
Annal FA 63.
676 Kl. Colmán of Inis Bó Finne rested.
Annal FA 64.
675 The beginning of the reign of Fínnachta son of Dúnchad, for twenty years.
Annal FA 65.
676 Kl. The destruction of Ailech by Fínnachta.
Annal FA 66.
677 A battle between Fínnachta and the Laigin at Loch Gabair, with mutual slaughter, but nevertheless Fínnachta was the victor.
Annal FA 67.
Here below are some of the stories of Fínnachta.
I This Fínnachta was at first poor and unprosperous. He had a house and a wife, but he had no stock except for a single ox and one cow. On one occasion the king of Fir Rois happened to be lost and wandering astray in the vicinity of Fínnachta's cottage. There had never before been a night worse than that one with storm and snow and darkness, and the king and his wife and attendants could not get to the house that they wished to reach because of the foul weather and the darkness, and they were talking about spending the night under the trees. Fínnachta heard them in that conversation, for they were not far from his cottage then, and he came to meet them on the road, and this is what he said to them: that it would be better for them to come to his cottage, such as it was, than to wander in the dark, stormy night.
The king and his attendants said: It is true, it is better, they said, and we are indeed glad that you have told us so. They came then to his house, and the size of the house was greater than its wealth. Fínnachta knocked his ox on the head, and he knocked the cow on the head also. The king's own attendants prepared them swiftly and speedily, by spit and by kettle, and they ate until they were full. They slept well after that until morning came.
In the morning the king of Fir Rois said to his wife, Don't you know, woman, that although this house was poor formerly, it is poorer now, because its only cow and its only ox have been slaughtered for us? That is indeed true, said the woman; now it is proper for us to make it rich. However much or little you give to the man, I will give its equal to his wife. What you say is good, said the king. Then the king gave Finnachta a huge herd of cows, and many pigs and sheep, along with their herdsmen. The king's wife accordingly gave to Fínnachta's wife the same amount. Then they gave them beautifully decorated clothing and fine horses, and everything that they needed in the world.
II It was not long afterwards that Fínnachta came with a large horsetroop to the house of one of his sisters, having been invited by the sister, and owing her a visit in return. As they were going on the journey, they met Adamnán, then a young scholar, travelling on the same road, with a jug full of milk on his back, and as he was running out of the way of the
p.25horse-troop his foot struck against a stone, and he fell with the jug so that it was broken to bits; and though the horses were swift, Adamnán was no slower with his broken jug on his back, and he sad and gloomy. When Fínnachta saw him, he burst out laughing, and he was saying to Adamnán, That will make you joyful, for I am willing to make good every injury in my power. You will receive compensation for it from me, student, said Fínnachta, so do not be sad. Adamnán said: Nobleman, said he, I have reason for grief, for there are three noble scholars in the same house, and they have us as three servants, and one of the servants goes out looking for sustenance for the other five men; and it fell to me to gather things for them today; what I had intended for them fell to the ground, and there is something more grievous, that is, the borrowed jug has broken, and I do not have the price of it. I will pay for the jug, said Fínnachta, and you bring with you tonight, to the house where we are going, the five who are without food, depending on you; and they will receive food and drink from us.
That was done accordingly; they brought the other four clerics, and the ale-house was arranged, half of the house for clerics and the other half for laymen. Adamnán's tutor was filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, and the spirit of prophecy, and he said, The man who has given this banquet will be the High King of Ireland, and Adamnán will be the head of piety and wisdom of Ireland, and he will be Fínnachta's confessor, and Fínnachta will be in great prosperity until he gives offense to Adamnán.
III Not long after that Fínnachta and the king of Fir Rois, his friend, went to visit his father's kinsman, i.e. Cenn Fáelad, to request lands from him. Cenn Fáelad gave him the high-stewardship over all of Mide from the Sinann to the sea, that is, over the twenty-four tuatha. Fínnachta held that position for some time. He came to consult his friend, the king of Fir Rois, as to what he should do, for he was not satisfied as he was. He gave him hard and heroic advice, and said to him: Doesn't Slige Asail divide Mide in two? Make one half of Mide faithful and devoted to you, and when that half is loyal to you, arrange a meeting with the other half, and kill their noblemen, their pillars of battle; and you will get not only the full kingship of Mide, but even the kingship of Temair if you wish it.
Fínnachta took that advice, and afterwards he challenged his father's kinsman, i.e. Cenn Fáelad, to battle. When Cenn Fáelad's wife heard that, she was blaming her husband for giving the stewardship to Fínnachta.
p.27lt was then that the woman sang There closed, etc., ut supra1. A battle was then fought hard and heroically between them, i.e. between Cenn Fáelad and Fínnachta, in Aircheltair, and Cenn Fáelad was killed there, and many along with him. Then Fínnachta took the kingship of Ireland for twenty years.
IV It was that Fínnachta who remitted the Bóroma to MoLing, after it had been levied by forty kings previously, i.e. from Tuathal Techtmar to Fínnachta. MoLing came on behalf of all the Laigin to seek remission of the Bóroma from Fínnachta. Now MoLing asked Fínnachta to remit the Bóroma for a day and a night. Fínnachta accordingly remitted the Bóroma for a day and a night. To MoLing that was the same as remitting it forever: for there is nothing in time but day and night. However, Fínnachta had thought that it was for one day and one night only. MoLing went out and said, You have granted a stay of it forever. And on the previous day MoLing had promised heaven to Fínnachta.
Then Fínnachta understood that MoLing had tricked him, and he said to his followers, Rise up, he said, after the holy man who has left me, and tell him that I granted a stay of but one day and one night to him, for it seems to me that the holy man has deceived me, since there is nothing except day and night in the whole world. When MoLing knew that they were coming after him, he ran swiftly and speedily till he reached his house, and the king's attendants did not catch up with him at all.
Others say that MoLing brought a poem with him to Fínnachta, namely Fínnachta over the Uí Neill, etc. (That is written in the Bóroma in this book). So the Bóroma was remitted to MoLing forever, and although Fínnachta regretted that, he was not able to levy it, for it was for the sake of heaven that he had remitted it. And this is truer.
In the fifteenth year from this year Fínnachta remitted the Bóroma. Adamnán came to see Fínnachta immediately after MoLing, and he sent a cleric from his retinue for Fínnachta, that he might come to talk with him. Fínnachta was playing fidchell at that time. Come and talk to Adamnán, said the cleric. I will not go until this game is over, answered Fínnachta. The cleric came to Adamnán, and told him Fínnachta's reply. Go to him, and tell him: I will sing fifty psalms meanwhile, and there is a psalm in that fifty in which I shall pray to the Lord that neither son nor descendant of yours, nor any man of the same name, shall ever take the kingship of Ireland.
The cleric went and said that to Fínnachta, and Fínnachta paid no attention to it, but played his fidchell until the game was finished. Come and talk to Adamnán, Fínnachta, said the cleric. I will not go, said Fínnachta, until this game is finished.
The cleric told that to Adamnán. Tell him, said Adamnán, that I shall sing fifty psalms during that time, and there is a special psalm among that fifty, and in that psalm I shall ask and demand that the Lord shorten his life.
The cleric told that to Fínnachta, and Fínnachta paid it no attention, but played his fidchell until the game was finished. Come and talk to Adamnán, said the cleric. I will not go, said Fínnachta, until this game is over.
The cleric came back, and he told Adamnán Fínnachta's answer. Go to him, said Adamnán, and tell him that I will sing the third fifty, and there is a special psalm in that fifty, and I will pray the Lord in that psalm that he may not reach the kingdom of heaven.
The cleric returned to Fínnachta, and reported that. When Fínnachta heard it, he abruptly threw the fidchell from him and came to Adamnán. What has brought you to me now, asked Adamnán, since you did not come at the other messages? This is my reason, answered Fínnachta; the threats that you made against me before, that is, that neither son nor grandson should succeed me, and that no man of my name should hold the kingship of Ireland, or that my life should be shortenedthose seemed light to me. But when you promised to deprive me of heaven, it was on that account that I came immediately to talk to you, because I cannot bear this. Is it true, asked Adamnán, that you have remitted the Bóroma day and night to MoLing? It is true, answered Fínnachta. You have been deceived, said Adamnán; that is the same as remitting it forever. He was reproaching him like that, and he sang the lay:
After that Fínnachta laid his head in Adamnán's bosom, and he did penance in his presence, and Adamnán forgave him the remission of the Bóroma.
- Although the withered, gray-haired, toothless king
arrays himself today,
he does not obtain the cattleproper to the king
that he remitted to MoLing.
- If I were Fínnachta,
and I were lord of Temair,
I would never give it;
I would not do what he has done.
- Every king who does not remit his tribute,
long-lived are his legends;
alas, that he has granted the award he has granted;
he who is weak is shameful.
- Your wisdoms and our follies
have ended with wrong-doing;
woe to the king who has remitted his tributes,
oh celestial Jesus of heaven.
- A person is famous while he is in control;
alas for him who clings to old men;
- If I were a king who reddens spears,
I would put down my enemies;
I would raise my strongholds;
my wars would be many.
- My wars would be many;
my words would not be false;
my contracts would be just;
my territories would be abundant.
- My signs would be apparent;
my contracts would be firm;
this treaty, although it were an accident,
I would not allow to the Laigin.
- I pray a prayer to God
that neither death nor danger may come to me;
may MoLing escape today;
may he not die by point or edge.
- The son of Faillén, a man across seas,
he could not be turned back;
he knows the secrets of the Son of God;
the Son of God knows his secrets.
- Thrice fifty psalms each day
are what he says for God;
thrice fifty poor mencourse of swiftness
are what he feeds each night.
- The tree of virtue and fruitfulness,
the learned one with knowledge,
a ship of the sea that has received welcome,
the wave of Berba, the boat of Bressal.
- The ship of gold whose quality is excellent,
the plank of gold over the kindreds,
the salmon of brown Dubglais,
the sound of a wave, a wave against cliffs.
Annal FA 68.
678 Kl. The death of Colcu son of Failbe Flainn, king of Munster.
Annal FA 69.
678 A battle between Uí Ceinnselaig and the Osraige, in which Tuaim Snáma (that is, Cicaire), king of Osraige, was killed. Fáelán Senchustul, king of Uí Ceinnselaig, was the victor. Whence:
- Tuaim Snáma's battle,
he was not able to win it,
from which Fáelán tookexpedition that was not a displeasure
a truce by force.
- To him he gave it, apparently;
it was treachery to give it;
and he gave the hostages of Osraige
from Áth Buana to Comar.
Annal FA 70.
678 The battle of Dún Locha.
Annal FA 71.
678 The battle of Liaig Móeláin.
Annal FA 72.
678 A battle in Calatros, in which Domnall Brecc was defeated.
Annal FA 73.
666 Fáelán (i.e. the fosterson of Cóemgen) son of Colmán, king of the Laigin, died.
Annal FA 74.
679 The repose of Failbe, abbot of Í.
Annal FA 75.
679 Kl. A battle between Fínnachta and Bécc Bairche.
Annal FA 76.
679 Fiannamail began to reign over the Laigin.
Annal FA 77.
680 Kl. Colmán, abbot of Bennchor, rested.
Annal FA 78.
681 The burning of the kings in Dún Ceithirn, i.e. Dúngal son of Scandal, king of the Cruithne, and Cenn Fáelad son of Suibne, king of Cianachta Glinne Gaimen; they were burned by Máel Dúin son of Máel Fithrich.
Annal FA 79.
681 The battle of Máel Dúin son of Máel Fithrich.
Annal FA 80.
678 Ciar, daughter of Duib Re, died
681 Kl. The slaying of Cenn Fáelad son of Colcu, king of Connacht.
Annal FA 82.
682 The battle of Ráith Mór Muige Line against the Britons, in which Cathassach son of Máel Dúin, king of Cruithne, and Ultán son of Dícuill were slain.
Annal FA 83.
682 The death of Suibne son of Máel Umai, abbot of Corcach.
Annal FA 84.
683 Kl. Dúnchad of Muiresc son of Máel Duib was killed.
Annal FA 85.
678 Adamnán took the abbacy of Í.
Annal FA 86.
683 The battle of Corann, in which Colcu son of Blathmac and Fergus son of Máel Dúin, king of Cenél Cairpri, fell.
Annal FA 87.
683 The beginning of the children's plague in the month of October, which lasted for three years in Ireland.
Annal FA 88.
683 The repose of Airmedach of Craeb.
Annal FA 89.
684 Kl. The plague of youths, in which all the chieftains and nearly all the young Irish noblemen perished.
Annal FA 90.
685 Kl. The Saxons plundered Mag Breg and many churches.
Annal FA 91.
686 Kl. Domnall Brecc son of Eochu Buide died.
Annal FA 92.
686 The repose of Banbán, scribe of Cell Dara.
Annal FA 93.
687 Kl. The repose of Do Chuma Chonoc, abbot of Glenn dá Locha.
Annal FA 94.
687 The repose of Roiséne, abbot of Corcach.
Annal FA 95.
687 In this year Adamnán set free the captives the Saxons had taken from Ireland.
Annal FA 96.
686 The battle of Dún Nechtain, in which the son of Oswy was killed. Bruide son of Bile was the victor.
Annal FA 97.
St. Aethelthryd, Christ's Queen, daughter of Anna, king of the Angles, was at first given in marriage to another nobleman, and later to Ecgfrith the king; who after she had kept her marriage-bed uncorrupted for twelve years after she had become Queen, took the sacred veil as a holy nun; who sixteen years after her burial was found uncorrupted, along with the shroud in which she had been wrapped.
Annal FA 98.
688 Kl. The battle of Imlech Phích, in which Dub dá Inber, king of Ard Cianachta, and Uarchride grandson of Oissíne were slain; of which Gaborchenn sang:
In this battle the Cianachta tribe came under foreign rule and was deprived of sovereignty.
- The Conaille are mournful today,
as is proper for them after Uarchride;
a smile will not come more readily
in Ard Cianachta after Dub dá Inber.
Annal FA 99.
688 Bishop Ségine, abbot of Ard Macha, died.
Annal FA 100.
688 Bishop Cuthbert rested.
688 Cano son of Gartnán died.
Annal FA 102.
685 Emperor Constantinus died.
Annal FA 103.
689 Kl. The slaying of Diarmait of Mide son of Airmedach Cáech 'One-Eyed', of whom a woman-satirist at Oenach Taillten sang:
this was the apple of a golden apple-tree,
the king of the great sea, son of the one-eyed man.
Annal FA 104.
690 Kl. The repose of Beccán, abbot of Cluain Iraird.
Annal FA 105.
690 Gnáthnat, abbess of Cell Dara, died.
Annal FA 106.
690 The slaying of Congal son of Máel Dúin son of Áed Bennán, king of Munster.
Annal FA 107.
690 Justinianus Minor reigned for ten years.
Annal FA 108.
691 Kl. Cronán moccu Cualna, abbot of Bennchor, rested.
Annal FA 109.
691 Fidchellach son of Flann, king of Uí Maine, died.
Annal FA 110.
690 Ailill son of Dúngal, king of the Cruithne, died.
Annal FA 111.
692 Kl. Adamnán came to Ireland in the fourteenth year after the death of Failbe, abbot of Í.
Annal FA 112.
692 Fergus son of Áedán, king of the Province Ulaid, died.
Annal FA 113.
693 The slaying of Fáelchar, king of Osraige.
Annal FA 114.
693 The slaying of Cenn Fáelad son of Máel Bresail by the Laigin.
Annal FA 115.
693 Kl. Bruide son of Bile, king of Foirtriu, died.
Annal FA 116.
693 The remission of the Bóroma by Fínnachta to MoLing, after it had been taken by forty kings; wbence was said:
We omit the rest.
- There were forty kings
by whom the Bóroma was levied,
from the time of Tuathal of Tlachtga
until the exact time of Fínnachta.
Annal FA 117.
680 The death of Fiannamail son of Máel Tuili, king of the Laigin. Fochsechán of his own household killed him. Thus MoLing sang:
- When Fínnachta sbouted,
At them, comrades all!
that the son of Máel Tuili were alive.
Annal FA 118.
680 Kl. Bran son of Conall begins to reign over the Laigin.
Annal FA 119.
694 Crónán Abacc 'the Dwarf', abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis, died.
Annal FA 120.
694 Crónán of Balla rested.
694 Huidríne of Mag Bile rested.
Annal FA 122.
694 The slaying of Cerball son of Máel Odor, king of Uí Néill.
Annal FA 123.
693 A battle between the Osraige and the Laigin in which Fáelchar grandson of Máel Odor fell.
Annal FA 124.
695 Kl. The killing of Fínnachta son of Dúnchad, king of Ireland, and his son Bressal along with him. This is how he was killed: when Fínnachta and his son Bressal spent the night in the tent at Grellach Dollaid, the kinsmen who were hostile to him, i.e. Áed son of Dluthach and Congalach son of Conang, came into the tent without their noticing, and they killed Fínnachta and his son, and they cut off their heads. Whence was said;
- It is pitiful for Fínnachta
that he lies today mortally-wounded:
may he be with the men of heaven
for remitting the Bóroma.
Annal FA 125.
695 The slaying of Tadc son of Failbe in Glenn Gaimin.
Annal FA 126.
695 The repose of Mendbairenn, abbot of Achad Bó.
Annal FA 127.
695 Gaimid of Lugmag died.
Annal FA 128.
695 The death of Bran son of Conall Becc.
Annal FA 129.
696 Kl. Loingsech son of Oengus took the kingship of Ireland after Fínnachta, for eight years.
Annal FA 130.
696 Finguine son of Cú cen Máthair died.
Annal FA 131.
696 Fergal of Aidne and Fiannamail son of Móenach died.
Annal FA 132.
696 Congalach son of Conaing son of Congal son of Áed died.
Annal FA 133.
696 Lóchíne Mend the wise, abbot of Cell Dara, was killed.
Annal FA 134.
696 Dochuma of the Mugdorna rested.
Annal FA 135.
697 Kl. Adamnan came to Ireland and made known the Law of the Innocents to the Irish people, i.e. not to kill children or women.
Annal FA 136.
697 Cassán, a scribe of Lusca, rested.
Annal FA 137.
697 MoLing of Luachair rested, full of days.
Annal FA 138.
697 Máel Fathardaig, king of the Airgialla, died.
Annal FA 139.
697 The battle of Crannach, in which Feradach son of Máel Doith fell.
Annal FA 140.
697 The Britons and the Ulaid plundered Mag Muirtheimne.
698 Kl. The death of Forannán, abbot of Cell Dara.
Annal FA 142.
698 The battle of Fernmag, in which fell Áed Aired, king of Dál Araide, and Conchobor of Macha son of Máel Dúin, who sang:
- I am Conchobor, marauding
on mighty Loch Echach;
Annal FA 143.
700 Kl. Three shields were seen as if fighting in the sky, from east to west, like tossing waves, on the tranquil night of the Ascension of the Lord. The first was snowy, the second fiery, the third bloody, which it is thought prefigured three evils to follow: for in the same year herds of cattle throughout Ireland were almost destroyed, not only in Ireland, but indeed throughout Europe. In the next year there was a human plague for three consecutive years. Afterwards came the greatest famine, in which men were reduced to unmentionable foods.
Annal FA 144.
699 The battle of Fiannamail son of Ossíne.
Annal FA 145.
698 The death of Muirgius son of Máel Dúin, king of Cenél Cairpri.
Annal FA 146.
?695 Justinianus Augustus was driven out.
Annal FA 147.
698 Kl. Leo reigned for three years.
Annal FA 148.
700 Kl. The repose of Áed, bishop of Sléibte.
Annal FA 149.
700 Fiannamail grandson of Dúnchad, king of Dál Riata, died.
Annal FA 150.
700 In this year enmity arose between Írgalach son of Conaing and Adamnán, for Írgalach had flouted Adamnán by killing his own kinsman, Niall, in spite of Adamnán's protection. This is what Adamnán did: he fasted every night without sleeping, staying in cold water, to shorten Írgalach's life. And this is what that sinner, that is, Írgalach, used to do: he would ask Adamnán, What will you do tonight, cleric? Adamnán did not want to tell him a lie. He would tell him that he would be fasting without sleep in cold water until morning. Írgalach would do the same, to free himself from Adamnán's curse. But all the same, Adamnán deceived him: Adamnán was talking to one of the clerics of his household, saying, You be here tonight instead of me, with my clothes on you, and when Írgalach comes to ask you what you will do tonight, say that you will be feasting and sleeping, so that he will do the same for it was easier for Adamnán that one of his people should lie than he himself.
Then Írgalach came to that cleric, and he thought that it was Adamnán who was there. Írgalach asked him, What will you do tonight, cleric? Feast and sleep, said the cleric.
So Írgalach feasted and slept that night. Adamnán, on the other hand, fasted and kept vigil and stayed in the Bóand till morning. While Írgalach was asleep, he saw Adamnán up to his neck in the water, and he started violently out of his sleep because of that, and he told it to his wife. Now his wife was humble and obedient to the Lord and to Adamnán, because
p.49she was pregnant and was afraid that her child might be harmed through Adamnán's curse, and she used often to beseech Adamnán not to harm or curse her child.
Írgalach rose early the next morning, and Adamnán came to see him. Adamnán said to him: Cursed son, said he, hardest and worst man of God's making, know that shortly you will be separated from your sovereignty, and you will go to Hell.
When Írgalach's wife heard that, she came before Adamnán and lay at his feet, and besought him for God's sake not to curse her child, the infant that was in her womb. Adamnán said, The infant in your womb will be king indeed, but one of his eyes is now broken as a result of the cursing of his father. And that is how it was. The boy was born immediately after that, and he was half blind.
Annal FA 151.
701 Fedelmid son of Máel Cothaid died.
Annal FA 152.
701 Ailill son of Cú cen Máthair, king of Munster, died.
Annal FA 153.
701 The slaying of Niall son of Cernach, as Adamnán had prophesied.
Írgalach son of Conaing killed him.
- Slaughter, terror that bursts a wall,
from which the fire blazes from the head of a king,
by which the company will be strongly attacked (?)
on Monday at Imlech Phích.
Annal FA 154.
702 Kl. Fáeldobur of Clochar died.
Annal FA 155.
702 Tiberius reigned for seven years.
Annal FA 156.
702 In this year Írgalach son of Conaing was killed, i.e. in the seventh year of the reign of Loingsech, on account of Adamnán's curse; and he himself saw in a dream vision on the night before he was killed the manner in which he was slain. Then Írgalach came out onto a rock the day after seeing his vision, and he heard a loud voice, saying, Into the lands near you, it said, and scorch and burn and plunder them. And after that he
p.51saw the hosts and the multitudes plundering the lands, and he went to a hill facing Inis Mac Nesáin. And just at that time a British fleet happened to put into port there, with a great storm behind them. One of their warriors had seen a vision the night before, namely, a herd of pigs had attacked him, and the largest boar there was killed by him with one blow of an arrow; and that came true, for Írgalach was that big boar, and his sinful and cursed army was that herd. Moreover it was by that warrior who had seen the vision that Írgalach was killed.
Annal FA 157.
703 Kl. Colmán son of Findbarr, abbot of Les Mór, died.
Annal FA 158.
703 A great army was led by Loingsech son of Oengus into the territory of the Connachtmen, to destroy and plunder Connacht. Loingsech's poets were satirizing the king of Connacht, Cellach son of Rogallach, and they were saying that it was not fitting for a shaky old king like Cellach to challenge or contend with the King of Ireland, and that if he did, he would be defeated. Nevertheless it did not turn out that way, but just the opposite. For when that Cellach, king of Connacht, saw his land and his territory being destroyed and plundered, he called to him the two Dúnchads, i.e. Dúnchad of Muiresc and the other Dúnchad; and he had decided beforehand that it was they who should take the kingship of Connacht after himself. He had just bathed and put oil and many royal herbs on himself. He placed one of the two men aforesaid (i.e. one of the two Dúnchads) on his right side, and one on his left side, and he arranged the Connachtmen around him for the battle. He himself (Cellach) sprang from his chariot swiftly and far from the chariot, and the cracking of the old man's bones was audible as he leaped out of the chariot. And after that he said, in a loud voice, springing to the nearby battle: Connachtmen, defend and protect your own freedom, for the people who are against you are not nobler or braver than you, and they have not done any better than you up to now. And he was talking to them like that, with his voice quavering and his eyes on fire.
The Connachtmen took heed of that, and that shaky king took the lead against the army of the King of Ireland, and he defeated the King of Ireland, and Loingsech, the King of Ireland, was slain there with a massacre of his people, including his three sons, and the two sons of Colcu, and Dub Díberg son of Dúngal, and Eochu Lemna, and Fergus Forcraid, and Conall Gabra. This battle, the Battle of Corann, was fought on the fourth of the Ides of July. It was on account of these quatrains, moreover, that the battle was fought. Conall Mend sang:
Afterwards Cellach son of Rogallach entered the Church, and he left the two Dúnchads in the kingship. And Cellach died at the end of two years after that.
- I was a night in Corann;
I was cold; I was terrified;
... the good warriors with whom I was
in Corann of the sons of Dúnchad.
- If Loingsech should come from the Banna
with his three thousand fighting men about him,
gray-haired Cellach of Loch Cime
will give hostages, though long his grief.
- Cellach cuts round balls of wool;
blood through spearpoints;
the Badb leaps quickly
with the red-handed king of Loch Cime.
- It was a hurly-burly
the morning that he was at Glass Chuilg;
I slew Loingsech there with a sword,
the High King of Ireland, by my art (?).
Annal FA 159.
703 The battle of Mag Cuilinn between the Ulaid and Britons in Ard Úa Echdach, in which the son of Radgund, enemy of God's Church, fell. The Ulaid were the victors.
Annal FA 160.
695 Bran son of Conall, king of the Laigin, died.
The beginning of the reign of Fogartach.
Annal FA 162.
Kl. Cellach son of Gerthide becomes king of the Laigin.
Annal FA 163.
724 Fogartach took the kingship again for one year, until he fell in the battle of Cenn Delgthen at the hand of Cináed son of Írgalach.
Annal FA 164.
704 An army was led by Fogartach into Leinster, and the Laigin gave him battle, i.e. the Battle of Clóenad, and the Laigin won the battle and massacred Fogartach's followers, including Bodbcar son of Diarmait Ruanaid. Thus Orthanach sang:
- The battle of Clóenad, a harsh triumph,
in it caltrops (?) were put down,
so that Bodbcar, champion of the fair companies,
was slain by the host.
Annal FA 165.
704 The death of Flann Fína, son of Oswy, king of the Saxons, the famous wise man, pupil of Adamnán; of whom Riaguil of Bennchor sang:
- Today Bruide fights a battle
over the land of his ancestor,
unless it is the wish of the Son of God
that restitution be made.
- Today the son of Oswy was slain
in battle against gray swords,
even though he did penance
and that too late in Iona (?).
- Today the son of Oswy was slain,
who used to have dark drinks;
Christ has heard our prayer
that Bruide would save the hills (?).
Annal FA 166.
703 The Celebration of Easter.
In this year the men of Ireland accepted a single regulation and rule from Adamnán, regarding the celebration of Easter on Sunday, the fourteenth of the moon of April, and regarding the wearing of Peter's tonsure by all the clergy of Ireland; for there had been great disturbance in Ireland until then, that is, many of the Irish clergy were celebrating Easter
p.57on Sunday, the fourteenth of the moon of April, and were wearing the tonsure of Peter the Apostle, following Patrick. Many others, however, were following Colum Cille, celebrating Easter on the fourteenth of the moon of April no matter on which day of the week the fourteenth happened to fall, and wearing the tonsure of Simon Magus. A third group was not in accord with either the followers of Patrick or those of Colum Cille. So the clergy of Ireland used to hold many synods. And this is how those clerics used to come to the synods: with their people, so that there used to be battle challenges, and many slain among them; and many evils came to Ireland on that account, i.e. the great cattle murrain, and the vast famine, and many plagues, and foreigners destroying Ireland. It was like that for a long time, that is, until the time of Adamnán. He was the ninth abbot of Í after Colum Cille.
The Saxons took a great prey from Ireland. Adamnán went to redeem the hostages. And as Bede tells it in Bede's History, most of the bishops of all Europe gathered to condemn Adamnán for celebrating Easter according to Colum Cille, and for wearing the tonsure of Simon Magus (that is, from ear to ear). Bede says that there were many wise men in that synod, and that Adamnán exceeded them all in wisdom and eloquence. Adamnán said that it was not in imitation of Simon Magus that he wore that tonsure, but it was rather in imitation of John the Beloved, pupil of the Savior, and that that was the tonsure he had worn; and that though his Savior was beloved to Peter, John was beloved to the Savior; and that it was on the fourteenth of the moon of April, whatever day of the week it might be, that the apostles celebrated Easter.
Then an old man arose there, and said, Even if it were Colum Cille himself who was present here, we would not part from him until he were under the same rule as we. As for you, too, you will not be left alone until you are under the same rule as we. Adamnán answered him, and said, I will be under the same rule as you. Let yourself be tonsured, then, said the bishops. It is sufficient, said Adamnán, that it be done at my own monastery. No, they said, but at once. Adamnán was tonsured then, and no greater honor has been given to a man than that which was accorded to Adamnán then, and that large booty was surrendered to him, and he proceeded to his own monastery, Í.
His congregation was greatly amazed to see him with that tonsure. He was always urging the congregation to adopt the tonsure, and he could not get their consent. But God permitted the community to sin, that is, to expel that Adamnán who had compassion for Ireland. This is what Bede says; for Bede was with Adamnán while he was in England.
After that Adamnán came to Ireland, and he proclaimed that rule in Ireland, and that single regulation for Easter and the tonsure was not accepted from him until this year.
Annal FA 167.
704 Adamnán died in this year, in the eighty-third year of his age.
Annal FA 168.
716 Fogartach grandson of Cernach again in the kingship; whence was said:
- Fogartach will seek the sovereignty,
that which he lacks, which is above the world;
when he says that he is nothing,
after that he is king within a month.
Annal FA 169.
717 Kl. The disruption of Oenach Taillten by Fogartach, in which the son of Máel Rubae and the son of Dond Slébe fell.
Annal FA 170.
?715 170 Kl. Anastasius Augustus was driven out.
Annal FA 171.
718 A shower of honey rained upon the fort of the Laigin. A shower of wheat, furthermore, rained on Othan Becc. Then Niall Condail son of Fergal was born, whence be was called Niall Frossach 'Niall of the Showers'.
Annal FA 172.
718 The community of Í adopted the tonsure of Peter the Apostle; for until that time they had worn the tonsure of Simon Magus, as Colum Cille had worn it himself.
Annal FA 173.
?716 Kl. Theodosius reigned for one year.
Annal FA 174.
721 Kl. Leo reigned for nine years.
Annal FA 175.
721 Kl. A raid on Mag Breg by Cathal son of Finguine, king of Munster, and Murchad son of Bran, king of the Laigin.
Annal FA 176.
721 A raid on the Laigin by Fergal son of Máel Dúin. In other books of history I find that it was in the third year before, that is, in the tenth year of the reign of Fergal, that this raid on the Laigin was made, and that it was in revenge for it that Murchad brought the son of Finguine with the men of Munster to raid Mag Breg. Whichever of those years it was, though, Fergal made a great raid on the Laigin, that is to say, he burned and roasted and slew them, and he swore he would not cease until the Bóroma which Fínnachta remitted to MoLing was given to him, and until hostages were given to him in recognition of his lordship and of the tribute. The Laigin gave him hostages, and they promised the tribute.
Annal FA 177.
721 It was at this time that Fergal made a prophecy for his sons, Áed Alláin and Niall Condail, and this is how that happened:
They came one day to visit him at Ailech Frigrenn. Áed, the elder son, a prime, clever, cruel and vigorous warrior, came thus to Ailech: with large, well-armed troops around him. But the younger son came thus: calmly and temperately, peacefully, with few attendants, and this is what he said, from his own diffidence and to honor his father: It would be more proper for me, he said, to lodge outside than to stay as a guest with you tonight. What is wrong with you, son, said the father, that you should say that, when the boy who is older than you has three times your attendants, and you do not have the confidence to stay in Ailech tonight as he is staying with his company? I would prefer, said Niall, that he should behave in the same way towards you. Do not go tonight at all, son, said Fergal, and be near your father and mother.
After that the older son, Áed, was brought into the great palace with his company. The young son, Niall, however, was brought to a lovely secluded house. Then they were entertained; and their father wished to test them both, so he came in the last part of the night to the house in which the elder son was staying, and he was listening at that house: it was very foul indeed inside that house. There were buffoons and satirists and horseboys and jugglers and oafs, roaring and bellowing there. Some were drinking, some sleeping, some vomiting, some piping, some whistling. Drummers and harpers were playing; a group was boasting and arguing. Fergal heard them thus. And he came then to visit the secluded house where the younger son was staying; and he listened at that house, and he heard nothing there but thanksgiving to God for all that they had received, and sweet, quiet harp playing, and the singing of praise songs to the Lord.
p.63And the king saw that great fear and love of the Lord were in that house. After that the king came to his own bed, and considered deeply the situation of those two houses.
Early in the morning he entered the great house where the elder son was staying, and he could scarcely pass through the house on account of the vomiting and filth and stench, and the number of dogs that were eating the vomit. And all inside were snoring as if they were dead, except for the king's son himself, and this is how he was sleeping: in his royal bed, as if he were waiting for battle, with a great shield on his left side, and two huge javelins on his right side, a long gold-hilted inlaid sword on his thigh, taking in and letting out great gasps, such as no one should do, however strong or agile.
He was unable to remain inside because of the great foulness of the air in that house, so he came into the house where the younger son was staying, and although he came quietly, the youth saw him, for he was not sleeping, but praying to the Lord. He rose immediately from the royal bed to greet his father, for he was thus: in a silk tunic, with gold and silver borders; and he opened the house for his father, and when his father came inside, he put his arms around his son's neck and gave him a kiss, and they came and sat together on the royal bed; and the son began first to converse with his father. And this is what he said: Father, it seems to us that you have spent this past night sleepless and troubled; you should sleep now in that bed until daybreak.
The father did so, and when daybreak came they rose together, and the son said to his father, Dear father, it would be proper for you to feast with us for a time here, for we still have half of the food and drink that was brought to us from you last night. And he had not finished saying that when servants brought out a huge vessel full of mead, and various foods, and they feasted together silently and peacefully then.
When everyone had risen, the king came out into his own house, and he predicted, in the presence of all, what the fortunes of his two sons yonder would be. He said that the elder son would take the kingship, and that his reign would be strong, heroic, vigorous, terrifying and lustful. The younger son, however, would take the kingship piously and honestly, and his descendants would be famous and royal, and would take the kingship every second time. And that has been fulfilled so far.
Now the daughter of Congal son of Fergus of Fánad was the mother of the older son (that is, Áed Alláin), and she bore that son secretly. And this is the reason why Fergal had the girl secretly. Her father, Congal, dedicated her to the Lord, and she was a nun, and her father had given her much gold and silver and cattle for protecting her chastity. However,
p.65the universal enemy of the human race (that is, the Devil) deceived her; she gave her love to Fergal son of Máel Dúin, and Fergal loved her. Fergal and the daughter of Congal Cennmagar slept together. Fergal was rígdomna of Ireland at that time. Congal was King of Ireland.
The man who was messenger between them told that to Congal. Congal was greatly grief-stricken by that news, that is, that his daughter had been seduced, and he said that the bearer of the tale would not live, unless he procured the proof of that story. So the bearer of the tale was waiting until Fergal and Congal's daughter should be together, and when they were together, the tale-bearer sought Congal, and told him that they were together. Congal came to the house where they were, and when Congal's daughter saw him coming to the house with his attendants for she was clever, crafty, and spiteful, as was her fathershe hid Fergal under the bedclothes, and then sat on the bedclothes herself. A big cat that was inside came and found Fergal and bit at his legs, and the cat swallowed big pieces of Fergal's legs. Fergal put his hand out and took the cat by the an neck, and killed it. Congal searched in the house, but he did not find Fergal there. He went to the bearer of the tale and drowned him in a river. Afterwards he came to see his own daughter, and he asked her forgiveness, since she was a virgin, so that his sin against her might not be upon him. It was at that secret tryst that Áed Alláin was conceived.
Now after Áed Alláin was born, his mother turned him over to two trustworthy women to be drowned, so that her father might not find her out and be angry with her. Now one of these women was of Cenél Conaill, and one was of Cenél Eógain. When the woman of Cenél Eógain took the lovely little baby into her arms, she was filled with love and tenderness for the infant, and she said to her woman companion: Dear sister, it is not right to destroy this baby, but rather to keep it well. The other answered, He is dearer to you than to his own mother, and it is she who has commanded us to drown him, for fear of her father's anger. She became angry, and she set the child on the ground, and they fought each other, one for protecting, the other for drowning him. The woman of Cenél Eógain overcame the other woman, and she clutched her by her Adam's apple until she agreed to everythingnamely, to caring for the child. Thereafter they brought up the child together.
Once, four years later, the mother of the child happened to come into the house where he was, without knowing that he was alive. The little boy was playing there. His mother's mind turned to him, and she asked, How old is that boy over there? Everyone said that he was four years old. She called the trustworthy women over to her, and said to them, The sin I have committed is great, destroying a boy of that age to escape the anger of my father.
Do not grieve at all, said the women. That is that boy yonder, and we have protected him. Then she gave many gifts to the women, and the boy was taken secretly from them to his own father, Fergal.
Now the mother of Niall Condail 'Niall the Worthy' was the daughter of the king of Cianachta, and she was the fairest and most beautiful woman in Ireland in her time. However, she was childless for a long time, until she came to the holy nun Luaithrinn to ask her to pray to the Lord on her behalf to aid her. Luaithrinn did that, and Niall was conceived thereafter in the womb of the daughter of the king of Cianachta, and then he was born; and at that time she was Fergal's queen of Ireland.
All of this aside, when he spoke concerning his sons, as we have recounted, he urged and commanded each and every one of them his men to assemble all their forces the next year to invade the Laigin, to levy the Bóroma upon them, for the Laigin had not fulfilled what they had promised.
Annal FA 178.
722 Kl. From the beginning of the world 5924 years. From the Incarnation of the Lord 722 years.
The Battle of Almu between the Laigin and Uí Néill. This battle was fought on the third of the Ides of December. The cause of this battle was that the Bóroma, which Fínnachta remitted to MoLing, was levied by Fergal, and the Laigin would not tolerate that. The Laigin did not pay it to Loingsech son of Oengus, and they did not pay it to Congal Cennmagar, although they had suffered great harrassment from Congal; nor did they have any greater wish to pay it to Fergal, since they trusted in the words of MoLing, who had promised that the Bóroma would never again be levied from the Laigin. That perturbed Fergalthat is, that the Laigin would not keep their pledges to himso he commanded a vast, irresistible hosting from Leth Cuinn, that is, from Connachta, and Cenél Conaill, and Airgialla, and Mide, in the fourteenth year of his own reign, or in the thirteenth year, as some will have it, to levy the Bóroma.
Now that muster of troops took a long time, for every man of Leth Cuinn, when the order came to him, would say, If Donn Bó comes on the hosting, I shall come. Now this Donn Bó was the son of a widow of the Fir Rois, and he never went away from his mother's house for a day or a night, and there was no one in all Ireland who was more beloved, or fairer of form or figure or build than he. There was no one in all Ireland who was more valorous or more skillful than he, and his were the best amusing poems and royal stories in the world; it was he who was best at training horses, and setting spears, and braiding hair; and he was a man with royal nature in his countenance, of whom was said:
But his mother would not let Donn Bó go with Fergal until Máel son of Failbe son of Erannán son of Crimthann, successor of Colum Cille, was pledged for his return alive, and until he pledged Colum Cille on his behalf, moreover, that Donn Bó would return safe to his own house from the territory of the Laigin.
- More lovely than all boys is dear Donn Bó;
more sweet his song than all utterances of the mouth;
more glorious than all the warriors of Inis Fáil;
Then Fergal set out on his way. There were guides going before him, but the guidance they gave him was not good: into the narrow places of each path, and into the rough places of each path, until they reached Cluain Dóbail 'the Unlucky Meadow in Almu. Áedán, the leper of Cluain Dóbail, was there before them. The army behaved badly: they slaughtered his only cow and roasted it on spits in his presence, and they took his house despite him and burned it; so the leper said that the punishment the Lord would inflict on the Uí Néill would be eternal. The leper went to Fergal's tent, and the kings of Leth Cuinn were all before him in the tent at that time. In their presence the leper complained of his ill-treatment, but the heart of none was moved for him, except the heart of Cú Bretan son of Congus, the king of Fir Rois, and Cú Bretan did not regret that, for except for Cú Bretan son of Congus alone, none of the kings who was in the tent escaped from the battle. It was on that occasion that Cú Bretan said:
Then Fergal said to Donn Bó, Entertain us, Donn Bó, for you are the best musician in Ireland, with flutes and piping, and with harps and poems
- I fear a crimson, bloody battle,
oh Fergal's man, whom I seek out;
sorrowful are the servants of Mary's Son
after the house has been taken in spite of them.
- The leper's cow
has been slaughtered after his ox;
woe to the hand that pierced their cloak skin?,
for the son of Bran did not restrain it, etc.
p.71and talk and royal stories of Ireland, and tomorrow morning we give battle to the Laigin. No, said Donn Bó, I cannot amuse you tonight, and I do not possess one of all those accomplishments to demonstrate tonight; but wherever you are tomorrow, and wherever I shall be, I will entertain you. Let the royal fool Úa Maigléine amuse you tonight.
Úa Maigléine was brought to them then. He set about telling the battles and combats of Leth Cuinn and the Laigin, from the destruction of Tuaim Tenbath (that is, Dind Ríg) in which Cobthach Cóel Breg was killed, up until that time; and they did not sleep much that night because of their great fear of the Laigin, and because of the severity of the weather, for it was the eve of the feast of Finnian, in the winter.
As for the Laigin, they went to Cruachan Cloenta, for the Laigin used not to be defeated if they made their plans there and then proceeded from there to the battle. Afterwards they went to Dind Canand. The following morning the troops of both sides met: nine thousand of the Laigin, and twenty-one thousand of Leth Cuinn. The battle was waged strongly and fiercely on both sides, and everyone took part in the fighting there. The combats of the Laigin and Leth Cuinn warriors would be excessive to relate. It is said that Brigit was seen over the Laigin; Colum Cille, moreover, was seen over the Uí Néill. The battle was won by Murchad son of Bran, and by Áed son of Donnchad son of Colcu, king of Laigin Desgabair. Fergal was slain there. Áed Mend and Dúnchad son of Murchad killed Fergal himself and Bile son of Bain, king of Alba, from whom Corr Bile in Almu gets its name. Moreover, it was Áed Mend who slew Donn Bó. However, Fergal did not fall until after Donn Bó fell. One hundred and sixty mercenaries were slain in that place. The Laigin killed their own numberthat is, nine thousandof the men of Leth Cuinn in that battle, and nine of them went mad, and one hundred of the kings. The Hill of Fergal is there. The Laigin raised shouts of triumph there, whence was said:
- At the end of the day at Almu,
after fighting for the cattle of Brega,
the red-mouthed, sharp-tongued scald-crow cried
triumph around the head of Fergal.
- Murchad parted from a coward.
He advanced champions on the earth;
he turned an edge against Fergal,
with an immense band of warriors to the south of Almu.
- One hundred prosperous kings died (there),
hard, firm, brawny,
along with nine madmen without gentleness,
along with nine thousand armed men.
- Four hundred steady men at Cruachan
with the mercenaries, wounded in the fight,
with three hundred brave men of Cenél Conaill,
The fool Úa Maigléine was taken captive there, and he was asked to give a fool's shout, and he did; that shout was loud and melodious, so that the shout of Úa Maigléine has remained from that time with the fools of Ireland. Afterwards Fergal's head was cut off, and the fool's head was also cut off. The echo of the fool's shout was in the air for three days and three nights. This is the origin of the saying, the shout of Úa Maigléine pursuing the men in the bog.
Then Áed Laigen son of Fidchellach, king of Úí Maine Connacht, was defeated and fled, saying to his sons, Do not leave me, sons; your mother will be better disposed towards you if you take me with you. They will not take you, said the Laigin. It was then that Áed Laigen, king of Úí Maine, was slain.
However, the sons of Áed Laigen, in the company of Áed Alláin son of Fergal, reached Lilcach, where Modichu son of Amargein and the pious Foreigner were. It was then that the Úi Néill and Connachta dug the rampart of the church, and they were in the guise of clergy, and it was thus that they were saved through a miracle of the saints, so that the friendship of the Úí Néill and Connachta is in that church from that time forth; wherefore Áed Ailáin sang:
- We did not find on earth
a place which would be as smooth as Almu;
after the battle we did not reach
a place which would be as bright as Lilcach.
That day was triumphant for the Laigin. Cú Bretan son of Congus, king of Fir Rois, was protected, however, on account of the verses he had made the evening before. The Laigin were in Condail of the Kings that night, drinking wine and mead cheerfully and happily after winning the battle, with each of them telling his exploits, and they were exhilarated and gloriously drunk. Murchad mac Brain said then, I would give a chariot worth four cumals, and my horse, and my trappings, to a warrior who would go into the battlefield and bring us a trophy from it. I will go, said Báethgalach, a Munster warrior. He put on his gear for battle and protection, and he went to the place where Fergal's body was, and he heard something, a proclamation in the air overhead, and it said for all to hear, It has been commanded to you by the King of seven heavens: make music for your lord tonight, for Fergal son of Máel Dúin; although all of your skilled people have fallen here, pipers and trumpeters and harpists, do not let terror or weakness prevent you from playing tonight for Fergal. Then the warrior heard mournful piping and song; and he heard then in the clump of rushes next to him a war chanting that was sweeter than any music. The youth went towards it. Do not come to me, said the head to him. Who are you? asked the warrior. I am the head of Donn Bó, replied the head, and I was pledged last night to entertain the king tonight, so do not harm me. Where is Fergal's body here? asked the warrior. It shines out before you, yonder. Shall I take you with me? asked the warrior. I would like you most of all to take me, said the head, but let Christ be your surety that if you take me, you bring me back to my body again. I shall indeed, said the youth.
And the youth returned to Condail with the head, and he found the Laigin drinking when he arrived the same night. Have you brought a trophy with you? asked Murchad. I have, said the warrior: the head of Donn Bó. Put it on that pillar over there, said Murchad. The whole host recognized it as the head of Donn Bó, and they all said, Alas for you, Donn Bó, your form was comely; entertain us tonight as you did your lord this morning. His face was turned then, and his sorrowful chant rose on high, so that all were crying and lamenting. The same warrior brought the head back to its body, as he had promised, and he placed it on its neck. With that, Donn Bó returned to his mother's house. For these were the three wonders of that battle: Donn Bó's returning alive
p.77to his house according to the words of Colum Cille, and the fool Úa Maigléines shout remaining three days and three nights in the air, and the nine thousand who overthrew the twenty-one thousand. Whence was said:
- The Battle of Almuhigh the origin
great the deed of December;
lofty Murchad of the raids won it,
the son of Bran, with the warriors of Leinster.
- Fergal of Fál was defeated
the son of huge Máel Dúin,
and mills below the battlefield
were grinding with pools of crimson blood.
- Eighty-eight kings, in truth,
nine thousand, without exaggeration,
of Leth Cuinn, renowned gathering,
fell there all together.
- Nine madmen were driven wild by it;
they escaped from them to Fid Gaible;
they changed color after that,
after which the Battle of Almu was decided (?).
These are the names of the kings who were killed in this battle. These are the ones of Sil g-Cuinn.
Now these following are of the southern Uí Néill:
Moreover, 180 died of sickness and cold after the Battle of Almu in which Fergal son of Máel Dúin was slain, etc.
Annal FA 179.
Beginning of the reign of Cináed son of Írgalach, according to some.
Annal FA 180.
Kl. Then Fogartach son of Niall took the name of King of Ireland immediately after Fergal. It was he who was defeated by the Laigin in the battle at Tailtiu. It was one year, or two, according to some, until he was killed by Cináed Lethcháech son of Írgalach.
Then Cináed was King of Ireland for four years after that. It was to him, when he was in his mother's womb, that Adamnán promised that he would take the kingship of Ireland. This Cináed's reign was prosperous. He raided Leinster the first year and defeated Dúnchad son of Murchad, and many noblemen were killed in this war.
Annal FA 182.
723 Indrechtach son of Muiredach, king of Connacht, dies.
Annal FA 183.
?724 There was a battle between Dúnchad son of Murchad and Laidcnén, king of Uí Ceinnselaig, and Laidcnén was defeated in the battle.
Annal FA 184.
724 Kl. The battle of Cenn Delgthen, in which Fogartach grandson of Cernach fell. Cináed son of Írgalach was the winner. Ruman sang of that:
It was after Fogartach was killed that Cináed took the kingship, according to some.
- The battle of Cenn Delgthen was won
by a valorous king;
company overwhelmed company:
the ... battle of red-faced Domnall(?).
Annal FA 185.
724 Cuindles, abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis, died.
Annal FA 186.
724 Fáelchú, abbot of Í, died.
Annal FA 187.
725 Kl. Colmán Uamach, a learned man of Ard Macha, died.
Annal FA 188.
725 Colmán Banbáin, a learned man of Cell Dara, died.
Annal FA 189.
The son of Ailerán of Cell Ruaid died.
Annal FA 190.
726 Kl. Cilléne Fota, abbot of Í, died.
Annal FA 191.
726 Dochonna the pious, bishop of Condere, rested.
Annal FA 192.
726 The slaying of Crimthann son of Cellach son of Gerthide, king of the Laigin, in the battle of Belach Lice.
Annal FA 193.
726 The slaying of Ailill son of Bodbchad of Mide.
Annal FA 194.
A battle between Etarscél, king of Brí Cualann, and Fáelán, king of the Laigin, in which Etarscél, king of Brí Cualann, was defeated.
Annal FA 195.
728 In this year Cináed Cáech 'the one-eyed' son of Írgalach was killed, and none of his descendants took the kingship of Ireland. Flaithbertach son of Loingsech killed him.
Annal FA 196.
728 Beginning of the reign of Flaithbertach.
Annal FA 197.
?729 Kl. In this year Oengus, king of Foirtriu, defeated Drust, king of Alba, in three battles.
Annal FA 198.
727 The battle of Druim Fornocht between Cenél Conaill and Cenél Eógain, in which Flann son of Írthuili and Snédgus Derg úa Brachaide fell.
Annal FA 199.
727 The relics of Adamnán are brought over to Ireland, and his law is renewed.
Annal FA 200.
727 The death of Murchad son of Bran, king of the Laigin.
727 The battle of Maistiu among the Laigin themselves, in which the
p.85Uí Dúnlaing defeated the Uí Ceinnselaig, and Laidcnén son of Cú Mella, king of Uí Ceinnselaig, and Oengus son of Fáelchú son of Fáelán, and Cethernach son of Nóe uí Ceallaig fell. Dúnchad was the victor.
Annal FA 202.
727 The battle of Bairenn or of Inis Bregain, between the men of Life, and the men of Cualu and Congal son of Bran. Fáeláin was the victor.
Annal FA 203.
727 Cele Críst fell asleep.
Annal FA 204.
728 Kl. Flann, abbot of Bennchor, rested.
Annal FA 205.
Leo Augustus died.
Annal FA 206.
728 The battle of Druim Corcain between Flaithbertach son of Loingsech and the son of Írgalach, in which Cináed and Eódus son of Ailill and Máel Dúin son of Feradach and Dúnchad son of Cormac fell.
Annal FA 207.
728 The battle of Ailenn between two sons of Murchad son of Bran, namely Fáelán and Dúnchad. Fáelán, the younger, was victor and reigned. Cathal son of Finguine and Cellach son of Fáelchar, king of Osraige, escaped. Dúnchad son of Murchad, king of the Laigin, was killed, but Dúnchad escaped from the battle nevertheless, and lived for a week afterwards. Fáelán took the kingship of the Laigin, and married Dúnchad's wife, Tualaith, daughter of Cathal son of Finguine, king of Munster.
Annal FA 208.
728 Domnall, king of Connacht, died.
Annal FA 209.
?724" In this year Bede composed his great book, that is, in the ninth year of Leo.
Annal FA 210.
729 Kl. Ecbertus, blessed soldier of Christ, rested in Í.
Annal FA 211.
729 Bede stopped in the Chronicle.
Annal FA 212.
730 Kl. The son of Onchu, scribe of Cell Dara, died.
Annal FA 213.
730 Suibne, abbot of Ard Macha, rested.
Annal FA 214.
730 The Foreigner of Lilcach, i.e. Prudens, rested.
Annal FA 215.
730 The son of Cú Chumbu, a learned man of Cluain Moccu Nóis, died.
Annal FA 216.
730 Oengus son of Bécc Bairche died.
Annal FA 217.
730 Cochall Odor the Swarthy, a learned man of Bennchor, died.
Annal FA 218.
730 The battle of Fernmag, in which Cetamun fell.
Annal FA 219.
731 Kl. Colmán úa Littáin, doctor of religion, died.
Annal FA 220.
731 Eochaid son of Colcu, abbot of Ard Macha, died.
?733 Áed Alláin son of Fergal defeated Flaithbertach son of Loingsech, king of Ireland, in battle, so Flaithbertach brought a fleet with him from Foirtriu against Cenél Eógain. However, most of that fleet was drowned. Flaithbertach himself died in that year, and the kingship of Ireland was taken from Cenél Conaill for a long time thereafter.
Annal FA 222.
733 In this year a cow was seen in Delginis Cualann that had six legs, and two bodies, and one head, and it was milked three times a day.
Annal FA 223.
734 Kl. Áed Alláin son of Fergal took the kingship of Ireland.
Annal FA 224.
732 Flann Sinna Ua Colla, abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis, died.
Annal FA 225.
732 Garolt, princeps or pontifex of Mag Eó of the Saxons, died.
Annal FA 226.
732 Sebdann, daughter of Corc, abbess of Cell Dara, died.
Annal FA 227.
732 The battle of Connacht, in which Muiredach son of Indrechtach fell.
Annal FA 228.
735 Áed A1láin defeated the Ulaid in a battle in which Áed Rán, king of the Ulaid, and Conchad, king of the Cruithne, fell, at Fochart Muirtheimne; Áed Rón's thumb is in the church at Fochart.
Annal FA 229.
733 Battle again between Áed Allaacute;in and Cenél Conaill, in which Conaing son of Congal son of Fergus of Fánad fell.
Annal FA 230.
733 Domnall son of Murchad won a battle over Cathal son of Finguine in Tailtiu.
Annal FA 231.
735 Kl. Oegedchar, bishop of Aendruim, rested.
Annal FA 232.
735 Bede the Wise rested in the 88th year of his age.
Annal FA 233.
851 Then as the sentinels of the Norwegians were looking attentively across the sea, they saw a vast sea-going fleet coming towards them. Great terror and fear seized them: but some of them were saying that it was Norwegians coming to reinforce and relieve them. Some othersand those understood bettersaid that it was Aunites, i.e. Danes, who were there, coming to destroy and plunder them; and that was more accurate. The Norwegians sent out a very fast ship to meet them to investigate.
Then the swift ship of the young man who was mentioned before came alone in front of the other ships, until the two ships met face to face, and the helmsman of the Norwegian ship said, You, men, he said, from what country have you come onto this sea? Do you come for peace, or for war? This is the answer that the Danes gave him: a great shower of arrows upon them. The crews of those two ships set to at once; the Danish ship overcame the Norwegian, and the Danes killed the crew of the
p.91Norwegian ship. The Danes rushed all together against the Norwegians so that they reached the shore. They battled harshly, and the Danes killed three times their own number of them, and they beheaded everyone that they killed. The Danes brought the Norwegians' ships with them to port. Afterwards the Danes seized the women and gold and all the goods of the Norwegians, and thus the Lord took from them all the wealth they had taken from the churches and holy places and shrines of the saints of Ireland.
Annal FA 234.
851 At that time Máel Sechlainn sent messengers for Cináed son of Conaing, king of Cianachtaand it was he who had burned the churches and the oratories of the saints (as we recounted before)as if to consult with him as to what they should do about the matter of the Danes, for it seemed there was peace between Máel Sechlainn and Cináed; and although Cináed had an eye disease, he came to Máel Sechlainn, with an army about him as if to protect him.
Máel Sechlainn and Cináed and Tigernach, king of Brega, met together in one place. Máel Sechlainn desired that he and the king of Brega should kill the king of Cianachta. However, Máel Sechlainn did not do that immediately, because Cináed had an army, and he was afraid that there would be reciprocal slaughter. What he did was to postpone it until the morning of the next day. Then Máel Sechlainn devised false reasons for their coming to the same place the following day, and he ordered the armies to go away. When Cináed's army had left him, Máel Sechlainn came with a large host to Cináed, and it was not fully daylight then; and this is what Máel Sechlainn said in a loud and harsh and hostile voice to Cináed: Why, he said, did you burn the oratories of the saints, and why did you, along with Norwegians, destroy their holy places and the books of the saints?
Then Cináed knew that fine words would not avail him, and he remained silent. That noble, well-born, strong youth was dragged out after that, and he was drowned in a dirty stream according to Máel Sechlainn's plan; and that was how he died.
Annal FA 235.
852 In this year, that is, in the fifth year of Máel Sechlainn's reign, two chieftains of the Norwegian fleet, Zain and Iargna, mustered large armies from every place against the Danes. They assembled, then, so that there were seventy ships, and they went to Snám Aignech; and that was where the Danes were at that time. They drew together there and fought a hard and terrible battle on both sides; for we have never before heard anywhere
p.93of a slaughter like that which took place between them there, that is, between the Danes and Norwegians. Nevertheless, it was the Danes who were defeated.
The Danes gathered together afterwards, after they had been routed, and they were dying of famine; and this is what their chieftain, Horm, said to them (and before then he had been a hard, triumphant man): Until now, he said, you have won many victories, although you have been overcome here by a more numerous army. Listen to the words I will say to you: every victory and every triumph, and all the glory that you have gained thereby, that has been destroyed by a small bit of a single day. Look, then, to the next battle you would fight against the Norwegians, for they have your women, and all your wealth, and your ships, and they are gloating at having won victory and spoils from you. What you must do now is to go single-mindedly against them, as if you did not expect to live, but were not waiting for death either; and revenge yourselves. And though you may not have a lucky victory thereby, we will have what our gods and our fate will give to us; if it does not go well for us then, there will be general slaughter on both sides. Here is another of my counsels to you: this Saint Patrick who is chief bishop and head of the saints of Ireland, against whom our enemies have committed many offenses: let us pray diligently to him, and let us give honorable offerings to him, to bring victory and triumph over those enemies. All answered him, and this is what they said: Let our protector, they said, be this Saint Patrick, and the Lord who is master to him, and let our spoils and our treasure be given to his church.
After that, they proceeded together single-mindedly, virile and manly, against the Norwegians, and gave battle.
At this time Zain, one of the two kings of the Norwegians, and Matudán, king of Ulaid, came to ravage the Danes on sea and land; although Zain the Norwegian had not known about that before, he came, along with the small number who had accompanied him, to attack the Danes on one side, and Iargna, the other king of the Norwegians, came against the Danes from the other side. Then the battle was fought hard. The shrieking of the javelins, and the crashing blows of swords, and the hammering of shields being struck, and the cries of soldiers being overcome, were loudly audible. Though it lasted a long time, it was the Norwegians who were defeated, and the Danes took victory and spoils, by grace of Patrick, although the Norwegians were three or four times the number of the Danes.
Afterwards the Danes attacked the camp of the Norwegians, and killed some there, and took others captive, and put others to flight, and seized
p.95all the wealth of gold and silver, and all other goods, and their women, and their ships. However, Zain himself was not fighting in this battle, for he did not come along with his people towards the camp, because he had been taking counsel in another place. When he came to the camp, it was the enemies he saw there, and not his own people.
Besides the Danes themselves who were killed, five thousand Norwegian men of good families were slain. Moreover, many other soldiers and men of every rank were killed in addition to those numbers.
It was at that time that Máel Sechlainn, king of Temair, sent messengers to the Danes. When they arrived the Danes were cooking, and the supports of the cooking-pots were heaps of the bodies of the Norwegians, and even the spits on which the meat was roasting rested their ends on the bodies of Norwegians, and the fire was burning the bodies, so that the meat and fat that they had eaten the night before was bursting out of their bellies. The messengers of Máel Sechlainn were looking at them thus, and they were reproaching the Danes for it. This is what the Danes said: They would like to have us like that. They had a huge ditch full of gold and silver to give to Patrick. For the Danes were like that, and they had kinds of pietythat is, they abstained from meat and from women for a while, for the sake of piety.
Now this battle gave good spirits to all the Irish because of the destruction it brought upon the Norwegians.
Annal FA 236.
852 In this year Máel Sechlainn defeated the pagans in battle, and the Cianachta, moreover, defeated the heathens twice.
Annal FA 237.
849 Kl. The encampment of Máel Sechlainn at Crufot, of which Máel Fechini sang:
- It is time to cross the fair Bóand
towards the smooth plain of Mide;
it is difficult to be in the fresh wind
at this time in withered Crufot.
Annal FA 238.
849 Indrechtach, abbot of Í, came to Ireland with the holy relics of Colum Cille.
Annal FA 239.
849 Also in this year, i.e. the sixth year of the reign of Máel Sechlainn, Amlaib Conung, son of the king of Norway, came to Ireland, and he
p.97brought with him a proclamation of many tributes and taxes from his father, and he departed suddenly. Then his younger brother Imar came after him to levy the same tribute.
Annal FA 240.
850 Kl. Loch Laig in the territory of Umail flowed away.
851 Kl. A royal gathering of the men of Ireland in Ard Macha, between Máel Sechlainn and Matudán, king of Ulaid, and Diarmait and Fethgna with the congregation of Patrick, and Suairlech of Indeidnén with the clergy of Mide.
Annal FA 242.
854 Indrechtach úa Fínnachta, successor of Colum Cille (and of Diarmait sapientissimus), was killed by Saxon robbers as he was going to Rome, and his sinless blood still remains in the place where he was killed, as a token of the vengeance God took for him on the people who killed him.
Annal FA 243.
In this year the Norwegian king was invited to Máel Sechlainn to drink, and there was a great feast waiting for him. And the Norwegian king swore to perform everything on his oath. But all the same he did not observe the least thing that he had sworn after he went out of Máel Sechlainn's house, but began immediately to plunder Máel Sechlainn's territories. However, he did not profit by that war.
Annal FA 244.
852 In this year, moreover, many abandoned their Christian baptism and joined the Norwegians, and they plundered Ard Macha, and took out its riches. But some of them did penance, and came to make reparation.
Annal FA 245.
852 Kl. Two abbots of Ard Macha, Forannán, bishop and scribe and anchorite, and Diarmait, the wisest of the Irish, rested.
Annal FA 246.
854 Cerball son of Dúnlang, king of Osraige (Máel Sechlainn's relative by marriage: that is, Cerball's sister, Land, daughter of Dúnlang, was wife of Máel Sechlainn, and moreover Máel Sechlainn's daughter was Cerball's wife) was sent by Máel Sechlainn into Munster to demand hostages after the death of its king, i.e. Áilgenán.
Annal FA 247.
856 Áed, king of Ailech, the king of greatest prowess in his time, gave
p.99battle to the fleet of the Gall-Gaedil (that is, they are Irish, and fosterchildren of the Norse, and sometimes they are even called Norsemen). Áed defeated them, and slaughtered the Gall-Gaedil, and Áed brought many heads away with him. And the Irish deserved that killing, for as the Norwegians acted, so they also acted.
Annal FA 248.
855 A raid by Áed son of Niall to plunder Ulaid, but nevertheless he did not accomplish that easily, for the Ulaid routed Cenél Eógain, and Flaithbertach son of Niall and Conacán son of Colmán were slain there, along with many others.
Annal FA 249.
Almost at this time Rodolb came with his armies to plunder Osraige. Cerball son of Dúnlang assembled an army against them, and gave them battle, and routed the Norwegians. However, a large troop of the defeated people rode their horses up a high hill, and they were looking at the slain around them, and they saw their own people being killed in the manner in which they slaughtered sheep. Great passion seized them, and what they did was to draw their swords and take their arms, and to attack the Osraige so that they killed many of them; nevertheless they were driven back in rout. At Áth Muiceda that defeat was given. Then trouble occurred for Cerball himself there; that is, when the defeat was accomplished, and he was separated from his attendants, a group of the Norwegians came to him and took him captive. But through the Lord's help he was aided: he himself tore his clothes and the fetters that were on him, and he got away from them safely. Great indeed was the massacre that was made of the Norwegians there.
Annal FA 250.
?851 The Saxons won a battle over the Norsemen.
Annal FA 251.
At this time the Danes (i.e. Horm with his people) came to Cerball son of Dúnlang, and Cerball assisted them against the Norwegians, since they were afraid that they would be overcome by the stratagems of the Norwegians. Therefore Cerball took them to him honourably, and they were together with him often gaining victories over foreigners and Irish.
Annal FA 252.
?852 A great slaughter of the Norwegians by the Ciarraige at Belach Conglais, where many were slain by God's will.
Annal FA 253.
?852 A slaughter of the same heathens, moreover, by the Araid Cliach.
Annal FA 254.
In the same year the men of Munster sent messengers to Cerball son of Dúnlang, asking him to come with the Danes and the muster of Osraige to relieve and reinforce them against the Norse who were plundering and destroying them at that time. Now Cerball responded to that, and he commanded all the Danes and the Osraige to go to assist the men of Munster, and he was obeyed. Then Cerball proceeded against the Norwegians with a large army of Danes and Irish.
When the Norwegians saw Cerball with his army, or retinue, they were seized by terror and great fear. Cerball went to a high place, and he was talking to his own people at first. This is what he said, looking at the wasted lands around him: Do you not see, said he, how the Norwegians have devastated this territory by taking its cattle and by killing its people? If they are stronger than we are today, they will do the same in our land. Since we are a large army today, let us fight hard against them. There is another reason why we must do hard fighting: that the Danes who are along with us may discover no cowardice or timidity in us. For it could happen, though they are on our side today, that they might be against us another day. Another reason is so that the men of Munster whom we have come to relieve may comprehend our hardiness, for they are often our enemies.
Afterwards he spoke to the Danes, and this is what he said to them: Act valiantly today, for the Norwegians are your hereditary enemies, and have battled among you and made great massacres previously. You are fortunate that we are with you today against them. And one thing more: it will not be worth your while for us to see weakness or cowardice in you.
The Danes and the Irish all answered him that neither cowardice nor weakness would be seen in them. Then they rose up as one man to attack the Norwegians. Now the Norwegians, when they saw that, did not think of giving battle, but fled to the woods, abandoning their spoils. The woods were surrounded on all sides against them, and a bloody slaughter was made of the Norwegians. Until that time the Norwegians had not suffered the like anywhere in Ireland. This defeat occurred at Cruachan in Eóganacht. Cerball came back home with victory and spoils.
Horm and his people were escorted by Cerball to the king of Temair after that. The king of Temair welcomed him and gave him great honour. Then he went to sea. That Horm was killed later by Rhodri, king of the Britons.
Annal FA 255.
860 In this year Mac Giallain died after fasting for thirty years.
Annal FA 256.
853 Kl. Aindle, learned man of Tír da Glas, died.
Annal FA 257.
853 Carthach, abbot of Tír da Glas, rested.
Annal FA 258.
853 Áilgenán son of Donngal, king of Caisel, died.
Annal FA 259.
853 Amlaib, son of the king of Norway, came to Ireland, and the foreigners of Ireland gave him hostages.
Annal FA 260.
858 Kl. In this year, the twelfth year of Máel Sechlainn's reign, Máel Sechlainn made a large hosting into Osraige and Munster, because the men of Munster had said that they would not give hostages to him; and that was why Máel Sechlainn declared war on them. And Máel Sechlainn had another important reason: Cerball son of Dúnlang, king of Osraige, that man who was worthy to possess all Ireland because of the excellence of his form and his countenance and his dexterity, took great annual tributes from the Laigin territories that he possessed. However, the people who went to collect that tribute, i.e. the stewards of Cerball son of Dúnlang, created great strife in collecting the tribute, and gave great insult to the Laigin. Therefore, the Laigin went complaining to Máel Sechlainn, and told this to him. Máel Sechlainn was seized by rage, and be brought a large muster against Cerball and the Munster men who were assisting Cerball.
Máel Sechlainn and his army then came to Gabrán, and it was at the edge of Gabrán that the other troops were. Although Máel Sechlainn's forces were more numerous, he did not attack them; instead they took a route other than that which was expected, till they reached Carn Lugdach, and there Máel Sechlainn was armed and equipped against all. When the men of Munster saw that, they left their camp and divided their army in two, and the king of Munster, Máel Guala, came against Máel Sechlainn with many horsemen. Cerball and his Danesthose left of Horm's followers who remained with Cerballhad their encampment in a brambly, dense, entangled wood, and Cerball had a great muster there about him. The learned related that Cerball had great difficulty there because Tairceltach mac na Certa practised magic upon him, so that it might be less likely that he should go to the battle; so Cerball said that he would go to sleep then, and would not go to the battle.
The troop which included the king of Munster overcame Máel Sechlainn's men at first. Then his foot-soldiers came up to relieve him (i.e. to relieve Máel Sechlainn and his followers), and they routed the men of Munster and massacred them. Many of their freemen were slain there. The learned relate that the number of the defeated army was twenty thousand.
When Cerball heard of that, he decided that hostages should be given to Máel Sechlainn so that his territory would not be devastated; and Máel Sechlainn accepted hostages from him. For Land, daughter of Dúnlang, sister of Cerball, was the wife of Máel Sechlainn.
Máel Sechlainn went to Munster, and he was at Imlech for a month, raiding Munster, so that he took the hostages of Munster from Comar Trí n-Uisce to Inis Tarbna in the west of Ireland. That was the battle of Carn Lugdach. In that battle Máel Cróin son of Muiredach, one of the two kings of the Déissi, was killed. Although Máel Sechlainn did not make this expedition to take the kingship of Munster for himself, it was worth coming in order to kill those Gall-Gaedil who were slain there, for they were men who had forsaken their baptism, and they used to be called Norsemen, for they had the customs of the Norse, and had been fostered by them, and though the original Norsemen were evil to the churches, these were much worse, these people, wherever in Ireland they were.
858 An autumn of famine this year.
Annal FA 262.
858 The plundering of all Leinster by Cerball son of Dúnlang, and he was no better although Máel Sechlainn had hostages from him, so Cerball son of Dúnlang took the hostages of Leinster, including Cairpre son of Dúnlang and Suithemán son of Artúr.
Annal FA 263.
858 A victory by Cerball son of Dúnlang and Imar over the Gall-Gaedil in Ara Tíre.
Annal FA 264.
859 Kl. 855 A.D. Máel Guala, king of Caisel, was captured by the Vikings and died in captivity among them.
Annal FA 265.
859 A great hosting by Cerball son of Dúnlang with a Norwegian army into Mide, and his hostages that Máel Sechlainn had did not ... so that he was plundering Máel Sechlainn's territories for three months, and he did not stop until he had despoiled all the land of its goods. Many of the poets of Ireland made praise-poems for Cerball, and mentioned in them every victory he had won; and Óengus the scholar, successor of MoLua, made the most of all.
Annal FA 266.
Alas, indeed, as we say often: it is a pity for the Irish that they have
p.107the bad habit of fighting among themselves, and that they do not rise all together against the Norwegians.
Annal FA 267.
861 Áed son of Niall, at the instigation of the king of Cianachta, rose against Máel Sechlainn, for it was Máel Sechlainn who had drowned the brother of the king of Cianachta, i.e. Cináed, as we have written before.
Annal FA 268.
859 A royal assembly of the nobles of Ireland at Ráith Áeda, by Máel Sechlainn, king of Ireland, and Fethgna, successor of Patrick, and Suairlech, successor of Finnian, to establish peace and tranquillity for all Ireland. And it was at that assembly that Cerball son of Dúnlang made full submission to Máel Sechlainn in obedience to the successor of Patrick, after Cerball, along with the son of the king of Norway, had been in Irarus for the previous forty nights destroying the territory of Máel Sechlainn.
Annal FA 269.
862 Áed Findliath son of Niall raided Mide, along with Flann son of Conaing, king of Cianachta, and it was the latter who had incited Áed to make that raid. Another reason, moreover, was that Máel Sechlainn had plundered Áed's territory for three years in succession. This Flann was the son of Niall's daughter. Now Áed and this Flann waged this war, because they did not know what would come of it; and for fear of that joint muster Máel Sechlainn made peace with Cerball, as we said before.
Annal FA 270.
855 The plundering of Loch Cenn, after a very great frost, in the course of which 120 men fell.
Annal FA 271.
856 Kl. Excessive frost, so that the lakes of Ireland could be crossed both on foot and on horseback.
Annal FA 272.
856 The oratory of Lusca was burned by the Norwegians.
Annal FA 273.
856 Suibne grandson of Roichlech, abbot of Les Mór, rested.
Annal FA 274.
856 Cormac of Lathrach Briúin died.
Annal FA 275.
856 Sodomna, bishop of Sláine, was killed by the Norwegians.
Annal FA 276.
856 Cathassach, abbot of Ard Macha, died.
Annal FA 277.
860 The men from two fleets of Norsemen came into Cerball son of Dúnlang's territory for plunder. When messengers came to tell that to Cerball, he was drunk. The noblemen of Osraige were saying to him kindly and calmly, to strengthen him: What the Norwegians are doing now, that is, destroying the whole country, is no reason for a man in Osraige to be drunk. But may God protect you all the same, and may you win victory and triumph over your enemies as you often have done, and as you still shall. Shake off your drunkenness now, for drunkenness is the enemy of valor.
When Cerball heard that, his drunkenness left him and he seized his arms. A third of the night had passed at that time. This is how Cerball came out of his chamber: with a huge royal candle before him, and the light of that candle shone far in every direction. Great terror seized the Norwegians, and they fled to the nearby mountains and to the woods. Those who stayed behind out of valor, moreover, were all killed.
When daybreak came the next morning, Cerball attacked all of them with his troops, and he did not give up after they had been slaughtered until they had been routed, and they had scattered in all directions. Cerball himself fought hard in this battle, and the amount he had drunk the night before hampered him greatly, and he vomited much, and that gave him immense strength; and he urged his people loudly and harshly against the Norwegians, and more than half of the army was killed there, and those who escaped fled to their ships. This defeat took place at Achad mic Erclaige. Cerball turned back afterwards with triumph and great spoils.
Annal FA 278.
At that time came Hona and Tomrir Torra, two noble chieftains, and this Hona was a druid; and they were brave, hard men of great renown among their own people; moreover they were of fully noble stock of the great race of Norway. That pair then proceeded with their troops to Luimnech, and from Luimnech to Port Láirge. Nevertheless they relied more on their own strength than on the troops. The Eóganachta and Araid Cliach mustered against them, and they met face to face, and there was hard fighting between them, with the result that they drove the Norwegians into a small place with strong fortification around it. Then the druid, Hona, who was the elder of them, went up onto the rampart with his mouth open, praying to his gods and doing his druidry, and urging his people to worship the gods. One of the Munster men came up to him and gave him a blow across the jaw with a large stone, and knocked all of his teeth out of his head. He turned then to face his own
p.111people, and this is what he said as the hot blood poured out of his mouth: I shall die of this, he said; and he fell backwards and his life went out of him. They were attacked with stones after that, until they could not stand it, but left that place, and went into the nearest marsh, and the other chieftain was killed there; and that was how they slew the two chieftains, Hona of Luimnech and Tomrir Torra. Only two of their noblemen escaped, and a small number with them; and thus the men of Munster won victory and triumph.
Annal FA 279.
860 In this year Máel Sechlainn, king of Ireland, made a great hosting with Cerball son of Dúnlang to Mag Macha. They encamped there. But Máel Sechlainn was afraid that Áed son of Niall would attack his encampment, despite the promise of peace that Áed had given him through the holy man Fethgna, successor of Patrick.
This is what Máel Sechlainn did: he stationed around his tent the Laigin and the Munstermen and the Connachtmen and the Ulaid and the men of Brega, with their weapons naked in their hands. The king himself, i.e. Máel Sechlainn, stayed watchful and wary and sleepless for fear of Áed, although he had given an oath in the presence of the successor of Patrick. Nevertheless Áed came with his forces to attack Máel Sechlainn's encampment, and they did not find it as they had expected it, for Máel Sechlainn's army had all their weapons in their hands, and they rose up together against the people who had come to attack them, so that they routed them after slaughtering them.
Then madness seized a certain band of them, and they came to Máel Sechlainn's tents, thinking that they were those of their own people. They were there until they were all killedand it was on account of the false oath they had taken that God did that. Máel Sechlainn returned home after that victory. Moreover, Amlaib was along with Áed in this defeat.
Annal FA 280.
861 The Oenach Raigne was held by Cerball son of Dúnlang.
A massacre of Rodolb's followers by Cerball son of Dúnlang at Sliab Mairge, and they were all killed except for a few of them who escaped in the woods. They had plundered Lethglenn, and they had its hostages after killing a great number of the community of Lethglenn.
Annal FA 282.
857 Kl. Matudán son of Muiredach, king of Ulaid, died in orders.
Annal FA 283.
857 Móengal, abbot of Fobar, died.
Annal FA 284.
857 Three men were burned by lighting at Tailtiu.
Annal FA 285.
858 Kl. Cináed son of Alpín, king of the Picts, died. It was of him that the quatrain was said:
- Because Cináed with many troops lives no longer
there is weeping in every house;
there is no king of his worth under heaven
as far as the borders of Rome.
Annal FA 286.
858 Cumsud, bishop and abbot of Cluain Iraird, rested.
Annal FA 287.
858 Tipraite Bán, abbot of Tír dá Glas, rested.
Annal FA 288.
858 Máel Tuili, abbot of Imlech, died.
Annal FA 289.
858 Adulph, king of the Saxons, died.
Annal FA 290.
858 Cellach son of Guaire, king of Laigin Desgabair, died.
Annal FA 291.
858 Cernach son of Cináed, king of Uí Bairrche Tíre, died.
Annal FA 292.
862 Áed son of Niall and his son-in-law Amlaib (Áed's daughter was Amlaib's wife) went with great armies of Irish and Norwegians to the plain of Mide, and they plundered it and killed many freemen.
Annal FA 293.
862 Máel Sechlainn son of Máel Ruanaid, king of Ireland, died the day before the Kalends of December, whereof a certain man sang:
- There is much sorrow everywhere;
there is a great misfortune among the Irish.
Red wine has been spilled down the valley;
the only King of Ireland has been slain.
Annal FA 294.
862 Áed son of Niall, mortal enemy of Máel Sechlainn, took the kingship of Ireland after Máel Sechlainn. Áed's nature was pious and noble. He held the kingship peacefully and firmly for seventeen years, although he often encountered difficulty.
Annal FA 295.
859 Ailill Banbain, abbot of Birra, died.
Annal FA 296.
860 Óengus, learned man of Cluain Ferta MoLua, died.
Annal FA 297.
862 Máelodor úa Tindrid, wise scholar of Ireland, died.
Annal FA 298.
862 Muirgius, anchorite of Ard Macha, rested.
Annal FA 299.
862 Dálach, abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis, rested.
Annal FA 300.
861 Gormlaith, daughter of Donnchad, queen of Temair, died in penitence.
862 Finán of Cluain Cáin, bishop and anchorite, rested.
Annal FA 302.
862 Finnchellach, abbot of Ferna Mór, died.
Annal FA 303.
859 Ségonán son of Conaing, king of Carrrac Brachaide, died.
Annal FA 304.
860 Flannacán son of Colmán died.
Annal FA 305.
860 The slaying of Áed son of Dub dá Bairenn, king of Uí Fidgenti.
Annal FA 306.
861 Cenn Fáelad into the kingship of Munster.
Annal FA 307.
862 Domnall son of Alpín, king of the Picts, died.
Annal FA 308.
862 Kl. Cerball son of Dúnlang and Cennétig son of Gáethíne (i.e. the son of Cerball's sister) defeated Rodolb's fleet, which had come from Norway shortly before that; and Conall Ultach was killed there, and Luirgnén, and many others.
Annal FA 309.
863 A raid on Brega by the Norwegians, and they went into many caves, and that had not been done often before.
Annal FA 310.
863 Slaughter of the foreigners by Cerball son of Dúnlang at Fertae Cairech, and he took their spoils.
Annal FA 311.
863 Muirecán son of Diarmait, king of Nás and Laigin, was slain by the heathens, with a great many of the noblemen of Leinster.
Annal FA 312.
851 Kl. Áed son of Cummascach, king of Uí Nialláin, died.
Annal FA 313.
863 Muiredach son of Máel Dúin, king of in t-Airthir, was killed by Domnall son of Áed son of Niall.
Annal FA 314.
864 Cerball son of Dúnlang raided Leinster. In revenge for that, the Laigin gathered the Norwegians and themselves and raided Osraige not long afterwards. Those of the Osraige who fled into Munster were a great pity; they were all killed and slaughtered. What most embittered Cerball's mind waas that the people whom he had trusted (that is, the Eóganachta) had slaughtered and killed them. (He used to think little of the doings of enemies, for he was not surprised that they did what they did, because they were entitled to it). He then mustered a force of Irish and Norwegians, and devastated the neighbouring territories; he laid waste Mag Feimin and Fir Maige, and took the hostages of many tribes.
Annal FA 315.
865 In this year, that is, the third year of the reign of Áed Findliath, the Saxons came into British Gwyned, and the Saxons drove the Britons out of the country.
Annal FA 316.
864 The blinding of Lorccán son of Cathal, king of Mide, by Áed son of Niall.
Annal FA 317.
864 Conchobor son of Dúnchad, one of the two kings of Mide, was drowned by Amlaib at Cluain Iraird.
Annal FA 318.
864 A raid on the Déissi by Cerball son of Dúnlang, and the total devastation of Uí Óengusa.
Annal FA 319.
The abbacy of Tír-dá-Glas was taken by Máel Pettair in this year.
Annal FA 320.
The capture of Diarmait by the heathens.
864 Eidgen Brit, bishop of Cell Dara, scribe and anchorite, rested in the one hundred and thirteenth year of his age.
Annal FA 322.
864 Móenach son of Condmach, abbot of Ros Cré, died.
Annal FA 323.
864 Domnall grandson of Dúnlang, eligible to be king of Leinster, died.
Annal FA 324.
864 Cermait son of Catharnach, king of Corcu Bascinn, died.
Annal FA 325.
865 Kl. Tadc son of Diarmait, king of Uí Ceinnselaig, was killed by his own kinsmen.
Annal FA 326.
A slaughter of the Norwegians by Flann son of Conaing, king of Cianachta.
Annal FA 227.
866 In this year Áed son of Niall, king of Ireland, massacred the Norwegians and harried them all. Áed had a great victory over the Norwegians at Loch Febail. The learned related that it was his wife who most incited Áed against the Norwegiansnamely Land, daughter of Dúnlang: and she was the one who was Máel Sechlainn's wife previously, and the mother of Máel Sechlainn's son, i.e. Flann. She was the mother of Cennétig son of Gáethíne, king of Loíches. Now the ills that the Norwegians suffered this year are noteworthy, but the greatest they encountered were from Áed Findliath son of Niall.
Annal FA 328.
866 The Norwegians laid waste and plundered Foirtriu, and they took many hostages with them as pledges for tribute; for a long time afterwards they continued to pay them tribute.
Annal FA 329.
866 A slaughter of the foreigners at Mendroichet by Cennétig son of Gáethíne, king of Loíches, and by the northern Osraige.
Annal FA 330.
867 At this time came the Aunites (that is, the Danes) with innumerable armies to York, and they sacked the city, and they overcame it; and that was the beginning of harassment and misfortunes for the Britons; for it was not long before this that there had been every war and every trouble in Norway, and this was the source of that war in Norway: two younger sons of Albdan, king of Norway, drove out the eldest son, i.e. Ragnall son of Albdan, for fear that he would seize the kingship of Norway after their father. So Ragnall came with his three sons to the Orkneys. Ragnall stayed there then, with his youngest son. The older sons, however, filled with arrogance and rashness, proceeded with a large army, having mustered that army from all quarters, to march against the Franks and Saxons. They thought that their father would return to Norway immediately after their departure.
Then their arrogance and their youthfulness incited them to voyage across the Cantabrian Ocean (i.e. the sea that is between Ireland and Spain) and they reached Spain, and they did many evil things in Spain, both destroying and plundering. After that they proceeded across the Gaditanean Straits (i.e. the place where the Irish Sea sic goes into the surrounding
p.121ocean), so that they reached Africa, and they waged war against the Mauritanians, and made a great slaughter of the Mauritanians. However, as they were going to this battle, one of the sons said to the other, Brother, he said, we are very foolish and mad to be killing ourselves going from country to country throughout the world, and not to be defending our own patrimony, and doing the will of our father, for he is alone now, sad and discouraged in a land not his own, since the other son whom we left along with him has been slain, as has been revealed to me. It would seem that that was revealed to him in a dream vision; and his Ragnall's other son was slain in battle; and moreover, the father himself barely escaped from that battlewhich dream proved to be true.
While he was saying that, they saw the Mauritanian forces coming towards them, and when the son who spoke the above words saw that, he leaped suddenly into the battle, and attacked the king of the Mauritanians, and gave bim a blow with a great sword and cut off his hand. There was hard fighting on both sides in this battle, and neither of them won the victory from the other in that battle. But all returned to camp, after many among them had been slain. However, they challenged each other to come to battle the next day.
The king of the Mauritanians escaped from the camp and fled in the night after his hand had been cut off. When the morning came, the Norwegians seized their weapons and readied themselves firmly and bravely for the battle. The Mauritanians, however, when they noticed that their king had departed, fled after they had been terribly slain. Thereupon the Norwegians swept across the country, and they devastated and burned the whole land. Then they brought a great host of them captive with them to Ireland, i.e. those are the black men. For Mauri is the same as nigri; 'Mauritania' is the same as nigritudo. Hardly one in three of the Norwegians escaped, between those who were slain, and those who drowned in the Gaditanian Straits. Now those black men remained in Ireland for a long time. Mauritania is located across from the Balearic Islands.
Annal FA 331.
865 Kl. An eclipse of the sun on the calends of January.
Annal FA 332.
865 Cellach son of Ailill, abbot of Cell Dara and of Í, fell asleep in the country of the Picts.
Annal FA 333.
865 Mainchíne, bishop of Lethglenn, rested.
Annal FA 334.
865 Tuathal son of Artgus, chief bishop of Foirtriu and abbot of Dún Caillen, died.
Annal FA 335.
865 The slaying of Colmán son of Dúnlang, king of Fotharta Tíre; he was killed by his own children.
Annal FA 336.
865 Tigernach son of Fócarta, king of the men of Brega, died.
Annal FA 337.
866 In this year Earl Tomrar came from Luimnech to Cluain Ferta (he was a very strong, very rough, merciless man of the Norwegians), thinking to take great spoils in that church. However, he did not get what he expected, because a warning arrived a little while ahead of him, and the people fled promptly before him in boats, and some others into the marshes, others into the church. Those whom he found in the enclosure and in the graveyard he killed. Now Cormac son of Élóthach, learned sage of Ireland, successor of Sen-Chiarán of Saigir, was in that church. Thus God and Brénaind saved them. That Tomrar, moreover, died of insanity within a year, Brénaind having performed a miracle upon him.
Annal FA 338.
?866 In that year the Norwegian kings went into Munster with huge armies, and they plundered Munster severely; all the same, they were badly defeated there. For Cennétig son of Gáethíne, king of Loíches, came. (He was a son of Land, daughter of Dúnlang, who was also the mother of Flann son of Máel Sechlainn, and she was then the wife of Áed son of Niall, king of Temair.) This son of Gáethíne was the most savage and triumphant man against the foreigners in Ireland at this time. This Cennétig came, then, with the Loíchsi and many of the Osraige along with him, to the encampment of the Norwegians, and they slaughtered their noblemen in the middle of the camp. It was then that Cennétig saw one of his own people, with two Norwegians trying to cut off his head, and he came quickly to save him, and he beheaded those two men and saved his own attendant. Cennétig proceeded with victory and triumph.
Then the raiding party of Norwegians, which had great spoils, attacked Cennétig. When they had heard those noblemen being slain, they had left their raid and their booty, and had come hard and actively against Cennétig. Foreign, barbarous cries were raised there, and the noise of many war trumpets, and a crowd were saying Núi, nú! Then many arrows were loosed between them, and short spears, and finally they took to their heavy and hard-smiting swords. Nevertheless, God was helping the son of Gáethíne and his troops; the Norwegians were overcome, and left the place of battle; they went in rout after their bloody defeat.
A certain group did not flee far away because of their weaknesshaving suffered great famineor because they were ashamed to run away. When they saw the army of the son of Gáethíne gathering up the riches that they had abandoned, they came after them. When the son of Gáethíne
p.125saw that, he charged at them as a wolf attacks sheep, and they fled into the bog and were all killed in the bog, and dogs devoured their corpses.
Then these people, the son of Gáethíne and his party, made a great slaughter of the noblemen of the Norwegian king in another place in Munsterthat is, of the horsetroops of the Norwegian king. In revenge the Norwegians killed a great host of clerics who were ... themselves, but this was after unction and penance.
Annal FA 339.
At that time Máel Ciaráin gained great fame among the Irish from his frequent victories over the Norwegians.
Annal FA 340.
866 In this year Earl Tomrar, the enemy of Brénaind, died of insanity at Port Manann, and he could see Brénaind killing him.
At this time the Ciarraige besieged the followers of that Tomrar, and since they had prayed to Brénaind at the edge of the sea, the Lord was helping the Irish: for the sea was drowning the Norwegians, and the Ciarraige were slaying them. Old Congal, king of the Ciarraige, took the victory in this conflict. A few of the Norwegians escaped, naked and wounded; great quantities of gold and silver and beautiful women were left behind.
Annal FA 342.
In this year, moreover, Norwegian forces came from the port of Corcach to plunder Fir Maige Féine, but God did not allow them to do that. For at that time, the Déissi came raiding into the same territory, by God's providence, since the Déissi and the Fir Maige were bitter enemies before then. When the Déissi saw the Norwegians plundering and devastating the land, they came to the Fir Maige, and they made a firm and lasting peace, and together they attacked the Norwegians fiercely and actively and pugnaciously, and there was hard and vigorous fighting between them on both sides. Nevertheless the Norwegians were defeated, by a miracle of the Lord, and they were slaughtered.
However, their leader, whose name was Gním Cinnsiolaigh, fled until he reached a strong castle that was near them, and he attempted to take it, but in vain, since he could not stand the number of javelins and stones that were being cast at him. What he did was to summon Cenn Fáelad to him, because he thought that he was an ally, and he promised him many presents in exchange for protecting him; but this availed him nothing, for he was dragged out, at the entreaty of the multitude who had served him before, and he was miserably killed, and all his followers were slain. Shortly after that, moreover, people came to the castle in which he had passed his life lustfully, and it was totally demolished. Thus it pleased God.
Annal FA 343.
866 Kl. Dínertach, abbot of Lothra, died.
Annal FA 344.
866 Loch Lebinn turned into blood, so that it became clots of gore like lungs.
Annal FA 345.
866 Sruthair, Sléibte, and Achad Arglais were laid waste by the heathens.
Annal FA 346.
?867 In this year, the sixth year of the reign of Áed son of Niall, there was a defeat of the Uí Néill by the Laigin, in which Máel Muad son of Dúnchad and Máel Murthemne son of Máel Brigte fell.
Annal FA 347.
867 There was an encounter between Óisle, son of the king of Norway, and Amlaib, his brother. The king had three sons: Amlaib, Imar, and Óisle. Óisle was the least of them in age, but he was the greatest in valor, for he outshone the Irish in casting javelins and in strength with spears. He outshone the Norwegians in strength with swords and in shooting arrows. His brothers loathed him greatly, and Amlaib the most; the causes of the hatred are not told because of their length. The two brothers, Amlaib and Imar, went to consult about the matter of the young lad Óisle; although they had hidden reasons for killing him, they did not bring these up, but instead they brought up other causes for which they ought to kill him; and afterwards they decided to kill him.
When Amlaib learned that the party of the brother he hated had arrived, what he did was to send trusted messengers for the strongest and most vigorous horsemen he had, that they might be in the house to meet Óisle. Then Óisle came, the handsomest and bravest man in the world at that time; now he came into his brother's house with few attendants, for he did not expect what he found there (i.e. to be killed). What he sought there, moreover, was something that he did not expect to get. First he asked that liberty of speech be given him. That was granted. This is what he said: Brother, he said, if your wife, i.e. the daughter of Cináed, does not love you, why not give her to me, and whatever you have lost by her, I shall give to you.
When Amlaib heard that, he was seized with great jealousy, and he drew his sword, and struck it into the head of Óisle, his brother, so that he killed him. After that all rose up to fight each other (i.e. the followers of the king, Amlaib, and the followers of the brother who had been killed there); then there were trumpets and battle-cries on both sides. After that the camp of the slain brother was attacked, his followers having been slaughtered. There were many spoils in that camp.
Annal FA 348.
867 In this year the Danes went to York, and battled hard with the Saxons there. The Saxons were defeated, and the king of the Saxons, i.e., Aelle, was slain there through the deceit and treachery of a young lad of his own household. There was great slaughter in that battle, and afterwards York was attacked, and much of every kind of booty was taken from it for it was rich at that timeand the noblemen who were captured there were put to death. It was from that that every misfortune and every harassment of the island of Britain arose.
Annal FA 349.
867 In this year the famous Cennétig (i.e. the son of Gáethíne), renowned enemy of the Norwegians, came to attack the encampment of Amlaib, king of the Norwegians (and it was he above who killed his brother), and he burned it ... The Norwegians came after him, and when he turned to face them, he drove them in defeat back to the same camp, and slaughtered their noblemen. Thus it pleased God.
Annal FA 350.
In this year, moreover, Earl Bárith and Háimar, two men of a noble family of the Norwegians, came through the center of Connacht towards Luimnech, as if they would do nothing to the Connachtmen. Nevertheless, that was not how it happened, for they trusted not in numbers, but rather in their own strength. The Connachtmen proceeded to overcome them by ambush; for at that time there happened to be a certain Munster man among them strong and hard and clever in the use of weapons, and that Munster man, moreover, was clever at making plans. The Connachtmen asked him to go to the Norwegians, as if he were going to guide them, and to kill Bárith.
When he came to the place where Háimar was, he stabbed Háimar forcefully with a javelin, and he killed him. But a Connacht soldier who accompanied him in order to kill Bárith did not happen to do as he desired, for he was wounded in his thigh, and he barely escaped afterwards. Then the Connachtmen attacked the Norwegians and slaughtered the Norwegians, but it would not have been thus if the woods and the night had not been near. They returned afterwards to the place from which they had come, and did not go to Luimnech.
Annal FA 351.
857 Kl. Máel Dúin son of Áed, king of Ailech, died in orders.
Annal FA 352.
867 Robartach, bishop and scholar of Finnglas, died.
Annal FA 353.
867 Coscrach of Tech Telli died.
Annal FA 354.
867 Conall of Cell Scíre, a bishop, rested.
Annal FA 355.
867 Cormac grandson of Liathán, bishop and anchorite, rested.
Annal FA 356.
867 Oegedchair, abbot of Condere and Lann Ela, rested.
Annal FA 357.
867 Guaire son of Dub dá Bairenn died.
Annal FA 358.
867 Muiredach son of Cathal, king of Uí Cremthainn, died of long paralysis.
Annal FA 359.
Dúnchad son of Dúngal died.
Annal FA 360.
867 Canannán son of Cellach was treacherously killed by the son of Gáethíne.
868 Connmac, abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis died.
Annal FA 362.
867 A defeat of the fleet of Áth Cliath by the son of Gáethine, on which occasion Odolb Micle fell.
Annal FA 363.
867 Dúbartach of Bérre, a learned scholar, rested.
Annal FA 364.
867 Áeducán son of Fínnachta, master poet of Leth Cuinn, rested.
Annal FA 365.
In this year, the seventh year of Áed's reign, the Laigin challenged Cerball son of Dúnlang to battle. Then Cerball prepared for that fight. Two mounted troops met and joined battle, and many among them were slain. However, when the fighting had hardly begun on either side, there came Sluagadach úa Raithnén, successor of MoLaisse of Lethglenn (a deacon at that time, though he was later a bishop and successor of Ciarán of Saigir afterwards); he came with his wise ... and a sincere peace was made between them.
Annal FA 366.
868 In this year, moreover, Áed Findliath son of Niall, king of Ireland, made a vast hosting to devastate and plunder Cianachta; for the king of
p.133Cianachta, Flann son of Conaing, the son of his own sister, had given great insult to the king of Ireland. Now there was no one in all Ireland with greater honour or kindness than this Flann, and although Áed was not grateful to him at the time when Áed was the High King of Ireland, Flann had served him well when he needed it, that is, when there had been war between him and Máel Sechlainn son of Máel Ruanaid: for it was on that account that Máel Sechlainn had driven Flann out of his territory. However, when Flann son of Conaing gave this insult to the king of Ireland, Land, daughter of the king of Osraige (i.e. Dúnlang)and she was wife to Áed Findliath at that time, having previously been Máel Sechlainn's wife, and it was she who bore Flann Sinna to him, truly the best lad in Ireland in his time, and he was High King of Ireland later; this same Land was mother of the famous Cennétig son of Gáethíneit was then, I say, that this queen was building a church to St. Brigit at Cell Dara, and she had many carpenters in the wood chopping down and shaping trees. This queen had heard the conversation and wishes of the Laigin concerning her husband, Áed Findliath, and concerning her son, Flann son of Máel Sechlainn (and at that time there had never been another youth with his fame and his distinction), and when she found out that the Laigin were mustering with Flann son of Conaing, king of Cianachta, she went to where her husband was, and told that to him, and mightily incited him to gather forces against them.
Consequently, Áed sent his army through Cianachta, and they plundered and burned, and killed people with much slaughter. Flann did not come immediately to attack them, however, for there was a great fleet at the mouth of the Bóand at that time, and he sent to them to request that they come to help him, and they came accordingly, and then the Laigin came to help Flann. They all pursued the King of Ireland, with his booty ahead of him. Áed climbed a height and surveyed the great host that was following him ... he and his advisers said, It is not by the number of warriors that a battle is won, but by the help of God and by the righteousness of a sovereign. Arrogance and excessive size of an army, moreover, are not what God values, but rather humble bearing and firmness of heart. Now these people have a multitude, and they advance arrogantly. All of you assemble around me now, and do not think of flight, for you are far from your own homes, and it will not be friends who will pursue you, and it will not be protection or mercy that you will receive. Do now as your fathers and grandfathers did: endure volleys discharged at you, in the name of the Trinity. When you see me rising, rise, all of you, together against them, as God will guide you. Monday was the day of the week.
Now, this is what Flann son of Conaing on the other side said to his
p.135people: The people yonder are few in number, and we are many, so harden your steps against them.
And he made them into three divisions, he himself in front, and the Laigin next, and the Norwegians last; and he was telling them all, Those people yonder will fall by you, he said, and you will have victory and triumph over them, for they will not think it proper to flee before you, and you are the greater number; for I am not in this battle for any other reason than to seize the kingship of Temair, or to be killed in fighting for it. Those three divisions were indeed most lovely; there were many beautiful multi-colored banners there, and shields of all colors. Then they came in that manner to attack the King of Ireland.
The king of Ireland, however, was preparing for them, and he had six banners, the Lord's cross, and the staff of Jesus. Now when the enemy troops came near Áed, he placed and he arranged around him the king of Ulaid on one side, and the king of Mide on the other side, and he said to them: Do not think of flight, but trust in the Lord who gives victory to the Christians; let your thoughts be not womanish, but manly, and rout your enemies at once so that your fame may last forever. They all replied that they would do so.
The King of Ireland had not finished saying the last of those words when their enemies came near, and first they loosed vast showers of arrows and afterwards showers of spears, and the third shower was of javelins, so that the King rose against them with his followers, and they fought bravely against them. (Unfortunately I do not find in the old book that is broken all of the exploits that everyone performed in this battle of Cell úa n-Daigre, nor the fine words that the King of Ireland spoke throughout to direct his own people; though I have the fact that the King defeated his enemies.)
And then the King said (when his troops had accomplished the defeat): Beloved people, spare the Christians, and attack the idolators, since they are fleeing before you. It was not futile for him to say that, for they did attack them, so that not more than a quarter of them escaped unhurt. All of the Laigin escaped to their own homeland, for they had formed themselves into a firm battle-line, shoulder to shoulder, on the advice of their prudent leader, Máel Ciaráin son of Rónán. Flann son of Conaing fled with his troops, however, and the King's people caught up with him and beheaded him, and brought his head to the King's assembly place. And the King lamented over it then, although everyone was telling him that it was not right to mourn it simply because of the nearness of their kinship, and for other reasons which I cannot get out of the old book, etc.
Annal FA 367.
869 Kl. Niallán, bishop of Sláine, died.
Annal FA 368.
869 Cormac son of Élóthach, abbot of Saigir and scribe, died.
Annal FA 369.
869 Ailill of Clochar, scribe and bishop and abbot of Clochar, died.
Annal FA 370.
869 Dubthach son of Máel Tuile, the most learned in Latin in all Europe, rested in Christ.
Annal FA 371.
869 The martyrdom of Éodus son of Donngal by the heathens in Dísert Diarmata.
Annal FA 372.
869 Dúnlang son of Muiredach, king of Laigin, died.
Annal FA 373.
869 Máel Ciaráin son of Rónán, royal champion of eastern Ireland, died.
Annal FA 374.
869 Amlaib plundered Ard Macha, and burnt it along with its oratories, that is, the great oratory of the son of Andaige. There were a thousand captured or killed, and also much booty.
Annal FA 375.
869 Donnacán son of Cétfaid, king of Uí Ceinnselaig, died.
Annal FA 376.
869 Cian son of Cummascach, king of Uí Bairrchi Tíre, died.
Annal FA 377.
?869 Kl. In this year, the eighth year of the reign of Áed Findliath, the Laigin drove away one of their chieftains, because they hated himthat is, they were jealous of him on account of the victories he had won over the Norwegiansor because they regarded him as an interloper, for he was of the stock of the Ciarraige Luachra; or else they hated him because of his arrogance. Because he could not be at the head of the noblemen of the Laigin, and king of the Laigin, he came with his followers to the King of Ireland, after he had been banished, and on account of his renowned valor the King received him with honor and gave his daughter, Eithne, to him as wife.
So great, moreover, was the power and the strength that he exercised over the Norwegians that they did not dare do any servile work on Sundays. It would be an impressive story to relate all the tributes that they used to pay to him ... It was from envy and jealousy that the Laigin drove him away from themselves, and moreover, because he was of the men of Munster. Afterwards he came with troops to the Laigin, and he
p.139made many raids and devastations and burnings and slayings among them. However, it is among the provisions of the saints that it will not be easy for him who is banished by the Laigin to come back to make war among them again, that it will not be easy for him ... they ignored fairness of men and of combat against him, but hacked at him from all sides with spears and battle-axes and swords, so that they made little pieces of him, and his head was struck off. Then all of his followers were killed. His head was later brought to the Norwegians, and they stuck it on a pole, and took turns shooting at it, and afterwards they threw it into the sea.
Annal FA 378.
870 Kl. Suairlech of Indeidnén, bishop and anchorite and abbot of Cluain Iraird, best doctor of religion in all Ireland, rested.
Annal FA 379.
870 Gérán son of Dicosca, abbot of Saigir, died.
Annal FA 380.
870 Diarmait, abbot of Ferna Mór, rested.
870 Dub dá Thuile, abbot of Liath Mo-Chaemóc, died.
Annal FA 382.
870 Máel Odor, bishop and-anchorite, abbot of Dam Inis, rested.
Annal FA 383.
870 Cumsud, abbot of Dísert Ciaráin Belaig Dúin, bishop and scribe, rested.
Annal FA 384.
870 Comgán Fota, abbot of Tamlachta, rested.
Annal FA 385.
870 Cobhthach son of Muiredach, abbot of Cell Dara, scholar and doctor, died, of whom was said:
- Cobthach of the hospitable Currach,
eligible to be king of watery Liffey,
alas for the great son of Muiredach,
it was grievous for the fair grandson of Cellach.
- Chief of the scholars of Leinster,
a perfect, skillful, renowned sage,
swift star of the calm Rye Water,
the successor of Conlaith, Cobthach.
Annal FA 386.
870 Móengal, bishop of Cell Dara, rested.
Annal FA 387.
870 In this year Áed son of Niall came into Leinster, perhaps to avenge the warrior we mentioned above, who was killed by the Laigin, or perhaps to levy tribute. He plundered Leinster from Áth Cliath to Gabrán. Then Cerball son of Dúnlang, king of Osraige, and Cennétig son of Gáethíne, king of Loíches, came from the other side of Leinster, and they did as much burning and plundering and killing as they could until they reached Dún m-Bolg, and they camped there (i.e., Cerball and Cennétig).
Then the Laigin mustered about their king, that is, about Muiredach son of Bróen, and he was a harsh, triumphant, clever king, for he had been for a long time in exile in Alba, and he was by nature hard and brave; and they decided that they should attack the Loíchsi and Osraige who were in Dún m-Bolg, rather than the king of Ireland who was at Belach Gabráin, and that they should attack the encampment at night. Thus the Laigin went, with their king along with them, hardily and bravely in their battle ranks to Dún m-Bolg, where their enemies were. Rough was their strength; the human condition is strange, for the Laigin trusted in St. Brigit that they would have victory and triumph over the Osraige and Loíchsi. However, the Osraige trusted in St. Ciarán of Saigir to bring them victory and triumph over the Laigin. The Laigin were praying fervently to St. Brigit that they might kill their enemies ...
Then the Laigin came to the side of the encampment where the son of Gáethíne was. The son of Gáethíne did not evade them, but attacked them harshly and fiercely, as was his custom. Then there was hard and bloody fighting on both sides. For a long time there were heard the cries of men driving each other to distress, and the clamour of the war trumpets; and the earth began to shake so that their horses and pack animals ran mad, and that was a great impediment to the actions of the warriors. Nevertheless, those of the army who were in the clefts of the rocks went after the pack animals and stopped many of them. That tumult was great, and great also was the noise in the air above them. While they were about that, Cerball was instructing his people, for it was the beginning of night,
p.143and he said, No matter from what direction the enemies approach you, let none of you move from his battle position; and maintain yourselves firmly against the enemies.
Cerball went with a troop to his sister's son, Cennétig, who was in great difficulty among his enemies, and he raised his harsh voice on high and was encouraging his people against the Laigin (and the Laigin heard that), and then his people were supporting him. He Cerball appointed two of his men to guard and protect him. The king of Laigin cast a javelin at them and killed one of those two men, Folachtach, the secnab of Cell Dara. Great was the tumult and commotion between them then, and the Badb raised her head among them, and there was much slaughter among them everywhere. Then the Laigin left the encampment, and they were taking their king with them, and since the king could not hold his army with him, he leaped on his horse and followed after his people. We are sure that it was by a miracle of St. Brigit and Sen-Chiarán that they separated like that, for although noblemen among them were slain, there was no great massacre there. Neither Cerball nor Cennétig allowed his people to pursue the Laigin, through caution. On the next day many of the Laigin who had gone astray were killed.
Cerball and Cennétig came in tight, orderly battalions through the midst of their enemies to Gabrán, to the King of Ireland, Áed Findliath (whose wife was Cerball's sister, and mother of Cennétig), and they told the King of Ireland what had happened with them, that is, that their camp had been taken, etc. They had a friendly conversation, and they parted after that.
The king of the Laigin gave no good response to the King of Ireland, but he reminded him of what had been done to him, and he gave neither tribute nor hostages.
Annal FA 388.
870 In this year the Norwegian kings besieged Srath Cluada in Britain, camping against them for four months; finally, having subdued the people inside by hunger and thirstthe well that they had inside having dried up in a remarkable waythey attacked them. First they took all the goods that were inside. A great host was taken out into captivity. [Dubháltach Firbisigh wrote this, in 1643.] thus wrote the first transcriber.
Annal FA 389.
871 Kl. Móengal, abbot of Bennchor, rested.
Annal FA 390.
871 Dubthach, abbot of Cell Achaid, bishop and scribe and anchorite, rested.
Annal FA 391.
871 Ailill, bishop and abbot of Fobar, rested.
Annal FA 392.
871 Cú Rúi, abbot of Inis Clothrann, learned in the history of Ireland, died.
Annal FA 393.
871 Amlaib and Imar came back from Alba to Áth Cliath, bringing many British and Scottish and Saxon prisoners with them. They numbered two hundred ships.
Annal FA 394.
871 The destruction of Dún Sobairche, which had never been accomplished before.
Annal FA 395.
871 Ailill son of Dúnlang, king of the Laigin, was killed by the Northmen.
Annal FA 396.
871 Máel Muad son of Fínnachta, king of Airther Life, died.
Annal FA 397.
871 Flaithem son of Fáelchar was drowned by the community of Lethglenn.
Annal FA 398.
871 A raid on Connacht by Cerball and Dúnchad, in which Buachail son of Dúnadach was killed.
Annal FA 399.
871 Then Munster was raided by Cerball across Luachair westwards.
Annal FA 400.
Amlaib went from Ireland to Norway to fight the Norwegians and help his father, Gofraid, for the Norwegians were warring against him, his father having sent for him. Since it would be lengthy to tell the cause of their war, and since it has so little relevance to us, although we have knowledge of it, we forego writing it, for our task is to write about whatever concerns Ireland, and not even all of that; for the Irish suffer evils not only from the Norwegians, but they also suffer many evils from themselves.
?871-872 In this year, i.e. the tenth year of the reign of Áed Findliath, Imar son of Gothfraid son of Ragnall son of Gothfraid Conung son of Gofraid and the son of the man who left Ireland, i.e. Amlaib, plundered from west to east, and from south to north.
Annal FA 402.
872 Kl. Gnia, abbot of Dam Liac Cianáin, bishop and scribe and anchorite, rested.
- Gnia, sun of our fair race,
leader in piety of Eber's Island
the assembly of the company of the saints has received
the successor of Cianán of many clients.
- Happy the bright congregation
whose leader he wasdignity without fault
Alas for the great praiseworthy jewel,
our fair, bright friend, Gnia.
Annal FA 403.
872 Cenn Fáelad grandson of Muchthigern, king of Caisel and successor of Ailbe, died.
Annal FA 404.
872 Ferdomnach, abbot of Cluain Moccu Nóis, died.
Annal FA 405.
872 Loingsech son of Foillen, abbot of Cell Ausailli, died.
Annal FA 406.
872 Robartach of Dermag, a scribe, died.
Annal FA 407.
872 A massacre of the men of the Trí Maige and the Trí Comainn up to Slíab Bladma by the kings of the Foreigners, in the snow on the feast of Brigit.
Annal FA 408.
?872 In this year, i.e. in the eleventh year of Áed's reign, Bárith came (now he was the fosterfather of the king's son) and brought many ships with him from the sea westward to Loch Rí, and from them he plundered the islands of Loch Rí, and the neighboring territories, and Mag Luirg. It was then that God rescued the successor of Colum from the hands of the Norwegians, and when he escaped from them, they thought that he was a pillar stone.
Annal FA 409.
873 The Norwegian king, i.e. Gothfraid, died of a sudden hideous disease. Thus it pleased God.
Annal FA 410.
The harassing of Britain in this year.
Lacuna from c. 871 to 9002.
Annal FA 411.
906 Kl. Indrechtach son of Dobailém, abbot of Bennchor, rested.
- Three hundred yearsfair course
from the death of Comgall of Bennchor
until the time that the bright onset
of lofty and famous Indrechtach came to an end.
Annal FA 412.
906 Máel Póil, abbot of Sruthair Guaire, died.
Annal FA 413.
906 Furudrán son of Garbán, prior of Cell Achaid, died.
Annal FA 414.
906 Céle son of Irthuile, prior of Achad Bó Cainnig, died.
Annal FA 415.
906 Flann son of Domnall, eligible to be king of the North, died.
Annal FA 416.
906 Éicnechán son of Dálach, king of Ceneél Conaill, died.
Annal FA 417.
906 Ciarmaccán grandson of Dúnadach, king of Gabair, died.
Annal FA 418.
906 The slaying of Muiredach son of Domnall, eligible to be king of the Laigin.
Annal FA 419.
906 Ciarodur son of Crundmáel, king of Uí Felmeda, died.
Annal FA 420.
906 The death of Glaisine son of Uisíne, king of Uí Meic-Caille.
906 And it was for the deaths of Éicnechán, Indrechtach, Flann, and Ciarmaccán, that it was said:
- Death that is hideous has left behind
the hosts who seek after treasure;
a vigorous king has changed color;
great sorrow that Éicnech lies dead.
- Éicnech was hard for warriors to deal with,
the king of hundredfold Cenél Conaill;
alas that a face that bad color shrivels
is under the earth's surface after death.
- Indrechtach of Bennchor of the troops,
Ciarmac of Gabair, powerful name,
Flann of Febal, noble against difficulty,
Éicnech of contentious Síl Conaill.
Annal FA 422.
908 This is the thirtieth year of the reign of Flann son of Máel Sechlainn.
Annal FA 423.
908 Anno Domini 900. A great army of the men of Munster was gathered by the same two men, that is, by Flaithbertach and Cormac, to demand the hostages of the Laigin and Osraige, and the men of Munster were all in the same camp. Flaithbertach happened to ride along a street of the camp on his horse; his horse fell into a deep ditch under him, and that was an evil omen for him. There were many of his own people, and of the whole army, who did not wish to go on the expedition after that, for it seemed to all of them that this fall of the holy man was a calamitous omen.
Then noble messengers came from the Laigin, from Cerball son of Muirecán, to Cormac first, and they delivered a message of peace on behalf of those of the Laigin who appeared to him (?): i.e., that there would be one peace in all of Ireland until the next Béltaine (for it was a fortnight into autumn at that time), and hostages would be given into the keeping
p.153of Móenach, the holy, wise and pious man, and other pious people; many goods and treasures would be given to Flaithbertach and to Cormac.
The peace offered him was most welcome to Cormac, and he came to tell Flaithbertach about it, and he told it to him as it had been brought him from the Laigin. When Flaithbertach heard that, he was greatly horrified, and he said, This demonstrates, he said, your lack of spirit and the meanness of your descent, for you are the son of an outsiderand he said many bitter and insulting words that it would be tedious to relate.
This is the reply that Cormac gave him: I am certain, said Cormac, of what will result from thatthat is, from giving battleholy man, said he. Cormac will be cursed for it, and it is likely that you will die. And when he had said that, he came to his own tent, tired and sorrowful, and when he had seated himself, he took a bucket of apples that was brought to him, and he was distributing them to his followers and he said, Beloved people, said he, I shall never bestow apples upon you from this time forward. Is it so, dear earthly lord? asked his people. Why have you made us sad and sorrowful? You have often made evil prophecies for us. He said then, Indeed, beloved people, what sorrowful thing have I said? For it is small wonder that I should not give you apples from my own hand, since there will be some one among you after me who will distribute apples to you.
Afterwards he ordered a watch. There was summoned to him then the wise, pious man, the exalted successor of Comgall, and he made his confession and his will in his presence, and he received the Body of Christ from his hand, and he renounced life in the presence of this Móenach, for he knew that he would be killed in the battle, but he did not wish many to know this about him. He asked that his body be brought to Cluain Uama, if possible, but if it was not, that it be brought to the burial ground of Diarmait grandson of Áed Rón, where he had studied for a long time. He greatly desired, however, to be buried at Cluain Uama of the son of Léníne. Móenach, however, preferred to bury him at Dísert Diarmata, for Dísert Diarmata was one of Comgall's places, and Móenach was successor of Comgall. Móenach son of Siadal was the wisest man in his time, and he worked hard then to make peace between the Laigin and the men of Munster, if possible. Many of the army of Munster deserted without leave.
Now there was great clamor and commotion in the encampment of the men of Munster at that time, for they heard that Flann son of Máel Sechlainn was in the Laigin camp with a huge army of foot and horse. Then Móenach said, Nobles of Munster, said he, it would be right
p.155for you to give the well-born hostages that I have brought you into the keeping of pious men until Béltaine, i.e. the son of Cerball, king of the Laigin, and the son of the king of Osraige. All the men of Munster were saying that it was Flaithbertach son of Inmainén alone who compelled them to go into Leinster.
After the great complaint that they made, they came across Slíab Mairge from the west to Droichet Lethglinne. However, Tipraite, successor of Ailbe, and many clerics along with him stayed at Lethglenn, and also the servants of the army and their pack horses.
Then the men of Munster sounded trumpets and battlecries, and proceeded to Mag Ailbe. They were waiting for their enemies with their backs to a dense wood. The men of Munster formed themselves into three equally large, equally extensive battalions: Flaithbertach son of Inmainén and Cellach son of Cerball, king of Osraige, leading the first battalion; Cormac son of Cuilennán, the king of Munster, leading the middle Munster battalion; Cormac son of Mothla, king of the Déissi, and the king of Ciarraige, and kings of many other tribes of West Munster in the third battalion. Then they proceeded like that over Mag Ailbe. They were complaining about the number of their enemies and the smallness of their own forces. This is what the wise men (i.e., the people who were among them) reported: that the Laigin with their allies were three or four times the number of the men of Munster, or more.
Now the men of Munster came to the battle weak and in disorder. The noise in this battle was grievous, as the learned tell (i.e., the people who were in the battle), that is, the noise of the one army being slain, and the noise of the other army exulting in that slaughter. Now there were two causes that made the men of Munster suffer sudden defeat: first, that Célechair, kinsman of Cenn Gécáin, leaped suddenly onto his horse, and as he leaped onto his horse, he said: Nobles of Munster, he said, flee at once from this horrible battle, and leave it to the clergy themselves, who have given no other counsel but to do battle. And he fled immediately after that, and a great troop along with him. And then the other cause of the defeat: Cellach son of Cerball, when he saw the troop that included the King of Ireland's noble followers slaughtering his own troop, leaped upon his horse, and said to his own people, Get up on your horses, and drive away the people who are before you! And although he said that, it was not really for fighting that he said it, but rather in order to flee. What resulted from those causes, then, was the unanimous flight of the Munster battalions.
Alas, grievous and great was the slaughter throughout Mag Ailbe after that. Clergy were spared no more than laymen there; they were equally killed and beheaded. Whenever laymen or cleric was spared there, it was
p.157not done from mercy, but rather from desire to get ransom for them, or to keep them as servants.
Now Cormac the king escaped in the lead of the first troop. But his horse jumped into a ditch, and he fell from the horse; when a group of his people saw that as they were fleeing, they came to the king and put him back on his horse. Then he saw one of his own fostersons, named Áed, of the noblemen of the Eóganachta, learned in wisdom and jurisprudence and historical traditions and Latin, and the king said to him Beloved son, said he, do not stay with me, but get away as best you can. I have told you already that I would be killed in this battle.
A few stayed with Cormac, and he proceeded along the way on horseback, and there was much blood from men and horses along that road. Then the hind legs of his horse slipped on the slick road, in the path of that blood; the horse fell backwards, and the king fell backwards, and his back and his neck were broken in two, and he said as he was falling, In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum. And his spirit departed, and the accursed impious sons went and stabbed spears into his body, and hacked his head from his body.
Although many were the slain on Mag Ailbe east of the Berba, the cruelty of the Laigin was not satisfied with that, so they pursued the retreat westward across Slíab Mairge, and they killed many noblemen in that pursuit.
At the very beginning of the battle Cellach son of Cerball, king of Osraige, and his son had immediately been killed. Both laymen and clergy were killed severally from then on: many noble clergy were killed in this battle, and many kings and chieftains. Fogartach son of Suibne, the sage in philosophy and theology, king of Ciarraige, was slain, and Ailill son of Eógan, the distinguished young scholar and nobleman, and Colmán, abbot of Cenn Éitig, distinguished master of jurisprudence in Ireland, and many others, whom it would be a long task to write down.
The laymen, moreover, were Cormac, king of the Déissi; Dubucán, king of Fir Maige; Cenn Fáelad, king of Uí Conaill; Connadar and Aineslis of the Uí Thairdelbaig; and Éiden, king of Aidne, who was in exile in Munster; Máel Muad; Matudán; Dub dá Bairenn; Congal; Catharnach; Feradach; Áed, king of Uí Liathain; and Domnall, king of Dún Cermna.
These are the men who won the battle: Flann son of Máel Sechlainn, King of Ireland; and Cerball son of Muirecán, king of Laigin; and Tadc son of Fáelán, king of Uí Ceinnselaig; Temenán, king of Uí Dega; Cellach and Lorccán, two kings of Fir Cualann; Indeirge son of Dub Gilla, king of Uí Dróna; Follaman son of Ailill, king of Fotharta Fea; Tuathal son of Augaire, king of Uí Muiredaig; Augrán son of Cennétig,
p.159king of Loíches; Máel Calland son of Fergal, king of the Fortuatha; Cléirchen, king of Uí Bairrchi.
Flann, King of Ireland, came after that with a large troop of royal horsemen, and installed Diarmait son of Cerball in the kingship of Osraige.
Then a group came before Flann, and they had the head of Cormac the king; they said to Flann, Life and health, triumphant powerful king: we have the head of Cormac for you; and as is the custom with kings, raise your thigh, and put this head under it, and crush it with your thigh. That is indeed evil, said Flann to them, and it was not thanks that he gave them. It was an evil deed, he said, to cut off the holy bishop's head; I shall honour it, and not crush it. Flann took the head in his hands, and kissed it, and he carried the consecrated head and the true martyr around him three times. After that the head was honourably brought from him to the body, in the place where Móenach son of Siadal, successor of Comgall, was, and he took Cormac's body to Dísert Diarmata, and it was greatly honoured there, where it produces omens and miracles.
Why, then, should the heart not be moved and mourn this awful deed, that is, the killing and hacking up (with abominable weapons) of the holy person who was the most skilled that ever was or will be of the men of Ireland? A scholar in Irish and in Latin, the wholly pious and pure chief bishop, miraculous in chastity and in prayer, a sage in government, in all wisdom, knowledge and science, a sage of poetry and learning, chief of charity and every virtue; a wise man in teaching, high king of the two provinces of all Munster in his time. ...
Flann, the King of Ireland, returned then, after leaving Diarmait in the kingship of Osraige and making a peace in partnership between him and his kinsmen. The Laigin returned also with triumph and spoils. Cerball son of Muirecán, king of the Laigin proceeded to Cell Dara with great troops of captives, and Flaithbertach son of Inmainén among those. The evil things that certain scholars of Leinster said about Flaithbertach are shameful to tell, and improper to write.
Flaithbertach was brought to Cell Dara then, and the clergy of Leinster reproached him severely, for they knew that it had been he alone who had urged the hosting and the battle, and that Cormac had come against his will. However, after the death of Cerball, king of the Laigin, Flaithbertach was released, which was at the end of that year, according to some. Muirenn, successor of Brigit, along with a large group of clergy and many relics, escorted him to Mag n-Airb, and when he arrived in Munster he made peace there. Afterwards he went to his monastery on Inis Cathaig, and he spent a while there piously, until he came out again to take the kingship of Cashel, and he was king of Munster for thirty-two years.
It was of this battle that Dallán son of Moire, master-poet of Cerball, king of the Laigin, sang:
Cormac son of Cuilennán and Cerball son of Muirecán were fosterbrothers raised together, and fellow students. Whence Cormac sang:
- Cormac of Femen, Fogartach,
Colmán, Cellach of hard battles,
have fallen with six thousand
in the battle of famous Belach Mugna.
- Aineslis from the Bóraime,
Fergal, keen around Scrib Water (?),
fair Cormac from the plain of Femen
and Cenn Fáelad from Frigrenn;
- Connadar from Mag Adair
and Éiden from Aidne
they fell by Cerball's hand
on Tuesday at Mag Ailbe.
- Máel Muad and Matudán
alas, the band was lovely
Dubucán from Aba Mór,
Dub Laech and Dub dá Bairenn.
- Congal and Catharnach,
and Feradach of Fasach,
Domnall from fair Dún Cermna
and Áed of Carn Tasaig.
- Flann of Temair from Mag Taillten,
Cerball from showery Carman;
on the seventeenth of September
they won the battle, with hundreds of victory-cries.
- Tadc son of Fáelan, Temenán,
Cellach, and pure Lorccán,
Indeirge son of Dub Gilla:
they warded off forty-five men.
- Máel Callann son of Fergal,
Domnall, and Lorccán of Liamain,
Augaire from Dún Dermaige:
they were not four feeble men.
- Augrán of Mairge, great in deeds,
Cleirchén from Inis Failbe,
Follaman son of Ailill,
Dub dá Bairenn from Daimne.
- Tadc, the chieftain from Desgabair,
with blazing flails of huge rods;
he set out before everyone
to win battles over Cormac.
- It was an act of discipline,
and it sufficiently excites us;
it was pride, it was great excess,
to invade Cerball's territory.
- The bishop, the confessor,
the renowned triumphant scholar,
King of Caisel, King of West Munster,
Lord, alas for Cormac.
(Gelsearc, daughter of Derell, King of France, raised them together, whence the name Forod Geilseirce.)
- Bring me my timpán
so that I may make music on it,
on account of my special love for Gelsearc,
daughter of Derell.
Annal FA 424.
909 Kl. Cerball son of Muirecán, king of the Laigin, died, whence Dallán sang:
Gormfhlaith, daughter of Flann, sang:
- Great grief that Life of fierce battles
lacks righteous Cerball of many clients,
a man modest, firm and prosperous,
whom ready Ériu served.
- I grieve for Cnoc Almaine
and Aillenn without warriors;
I grieve for Carman, I will not conceal it,
with grass over its roads.
- His life was not long
after Cormac was destroyed:
a day and a half, no miscalculation,
and one year, and no more.
- Ruler of a brilliant kingdom,
King of Leinster with many champions,
alas that the lofty rock of Almu
has gone on a bitter and melancholy path.
- Sparkling treasuresdistinguished the remnant
mourn a magnanimous king of Nás,
who has shaken dense hordes;
this is the greatest of griefs.
- Cerball was always in control;
his manner was vigorous till death.
Those of his claims that were unpaid
he carried off by his strength to Nás.
- Evil for me was the favour of two Foreigners:
they killed Niall and Cerball:
Cerball by Ulbfamous deed
and Niall Glúndub by Amlaide.
Some say that this was how Cerball was killed: he was going into Cell Dara eastward along the street of the stone steps, with a proud horse under him, when he came opposite a comb-maker's workshop; at that moment the comb-maker set out his antlers, when the horse was opposite him outside, and the proud horse shied backwards, and he Cerball struck his own spear, in the hands of his own servant, who was behind him (and Uille was the name of that boy, or the name of the comb-maker). Cerball died of that wound at the end of a year, and he was buried among his forefathers in the graveyard of Nás. Whence was said:
- There are nine kingsa warring line
in the churchyard of Nás, under brilliant sky:
Muirecán of gifts, without mistake,
Cerball and wise Cellach,
- Colmán, Bráen, and vigorous Bran,
Finn, Fáelán, bold Dúnchad;
in Cell Corbbáin, I have heard,
their soldier-graves were dug.
Annal FA 425.
909 Bécc úa Lethlabair, king of Dál Araide, died, whence was said:
- Great news: shattered is the ship of the sea,
since it has come upon great sorrow
that the beloved, wise, golden youth no longer lives,
the famous king of Tuag Inbir.
Annal FA 426.
909 Cadell son of Rhodri, king of Britain, died.
Annal FA 427.
909 Caíróc son of Dunóc, king of Uí Fergusa, died.
Annal FA 428.
909 Mugrón son of Sochlachán, king of Uí Maine, died.
Annal FA 429.
?907 We have related above, that is, in the fourth year previously, that the Norwegian armies were driven out of Ireland, thanks to the fasting
p.169and prayers of the holy man, Céle Dabaill, for he was a saintly and pious man, and he had great zeal for the Christians; and besides inciting the warriors of Ireland against the pagans, he laboured himself through fasting and prayer, and he strove for freedom for the churches of Ireland, and he strengthened the men of Ireland by his laborious service to the Lord; and he removed the anger of the Lord from them. For it was on account of the Lord's anger against them that the foreigners were brought to destroy them (i.e., the Norwegians and Danes), to plunder Ireland, both church and tribe.
Now the Norwegians left Ireland, as we said, and their leader was Ingimund, and they went then to the island of Britain. The son of Cadell son of Rhodri was king of the Britons at that time. The Britons assembled against them, and gave them hard and strong battle, and they were driven by force out of British territory.
After that Ingimund with his troops came to Aethelflaed, Queen of the Saxons; for her husband, Aethelred, was sick at that time. (Let no one reproach me, though I have related the death of Aethelred above, because this was prior to Aethelred's death and it was of this very sickness that Aethelred died, but I did not wish to leave unwritten what the Norwegians did after leaving Ireland.) Now Ingimund was asking the Queen for lands in which he would settle, and on which he would build barns and dwellings, for he was tired of war at that time. Aethelflaed gave him lands near Chester, and he stayed there for a time.
What resulted was that when he saw the wealthy city, and the choice lands around it, he yearned to possess them. Ingimund came then to the chieftains of the Norwegians and Danes; he was complaining bitterly before them, and said that they were not well off unless they had good lands, and that they all ought to go and seize Chester and possess it with its wealth and lands. From that there resulted many great battles and wars. What he said was, Let us entreat and implore them ourselves first, and if we do not get them good lands willingly like that, let us fight for them by force. All the chieftains of the Norwegians and Danes consented to that.
Ingimund returned home after that, having arranged for a hosting to follow him. Although they held that council secretly, the Queen learned of it. The Queen then gathered a large army about her from the adjoining regions, and filled the city of Chester with her troops.
?918 Almost at the same time the men of Foirtriu and the Norwegians fought a battle. The men of Alba fought this battle steadfastly, moreover, because Colum Cille was assisting them, for they had prayed fervently to him, since
p.171he was their apostle, and it was through him that they received faith. For on another occasion, when Imar Conung was a young lad and he came to plunder Alba with three large troops, the men of Alba, lay and clergy alike, fasted and prayed to God and Colum Cille until morning, and beseeched the Lord, and gave profuse alms of food and clothing to the churches and to the poor, and received the Body of the Lord from the hands of their priests, and promised to do every good thing as their clergy would best urge them, and that their battle-standard in the van of every battle would be the Crozier of Colum Cilleand it is on that account that it is called the Cathbuaid 'Battle-Triumph' from then onwards; and the name is fitting, for they have often won victory in battle with it, as they did at that time, relying on Colum Cille. They acted the same way on this occasion. Then this battle was fought hard and fiercely; the men of Alba won victory and triumph, and many of the Norwegians were killed after their defeat, and their king was killed there, namely Oittir son of Iarngna. For a long time after that neither the Danes nor the Norwegians attacked them, and they enjoyed peace and tranquillity. But let us turn to the story that we began.
The armies of the Danes and the Norwegians mustered to attack Chester, and since they did not get their terms accepted through request or entreaty, they proclaimed battle on a certain day. They came to attack the city on that day, and there was a great army with many freemen in the city to meet them. When the troops who were in the city saw, from the city wall, the many hosts of the Danes and Norwegians coming to attack them, they sent messengers to the King of the Saxons, who was sick and on the verge of death at that time, to ask his advice and the advice of the Queen. What he advised was that they do battle outside, near the city, with the gate of the city open, and that they choose a troop of horsemen to be concealed on the inside; and those of the people of the city who would be strongest in battle should flee back into the city as if defeated, and when most of the army of the Norwegians had come in through the gate of the city, the troop that was in hiding beyond should close the gate after that horde, and without pretending any more they should attack the throng that had come into the city and kill them all.
Everything was done accordingly, and the Danes and Norwegians were frightfully slaughtered in that way. Great as that massacre was, however, the Norwegians did not abandon the city, for they were hard and savage; but they all said that they would make many hurdles, and place props under them, and that they would make a hole in the wall underneath them. This was not delayed; the hurdles were made, and the hosts were under them making a hole in the wall, because they wanted to take the city, and avenge their people.
It was then that the King (who was on the verge of death) and the Queen
p.173sent messengers to the Irish who were among the pagans (for the pagans had many Irish fosterlings), to say to the Irishmen, Life and health to you from the King of the Saxons, who is ill, and from the Queen, who holds all authority over the Saxons, and they are certain that you are true and trustworthy friends to them. Therefore you should take their side: for they have given no greater honour to any Saxon warrior or cleric than they have given to each warrior or cleric who has come to them from Ireland, for this inimical race of pagans is equally hostile to you also. You must, then, since you are faithful friends, help them on this occasion. This was the same as saying to them, Since we have come from faithful friends of yours to converse with you, you should ask the Danes what gifts in lands and property they would give to the people who would betray the city to them. If they will make terms for that, bring them to swear an oath in a place where it would be convenient to kill them, and when they are taking the oath on their swords and their shields, as is their custom, they will put aside all their good shooting weapons.
All was done accordingly, and they set aside their arms. And the reason why those Irish acted against the Danes was because they were less friends to them than the Norwegians. Then many of them were killed in that way, for huge rocks and beams were hurled onto their heads. Another great number were killed by spears and by arrows, and by every means of killing men.
However, the other army, the Norwegians, was under the hurdles, making a hole in the wall. What the Saxons and the Irish who were among them did was to hurl down huge boulders, so that they crushed the hurdles on their heads. What they did to prevent that was to put great columns under the hurdles. What the Saxons did was to put the ale and water they found in the town into the towns cauldrons, and to boil it and throw it over the people who were under the hurdles, so that their skin peeled off them. The Norwegians response to that was to spread hides on top of the hurdles. The Saxons then scattered all the beehives there were in the town on top of the besiegers, which prevented them from moving their feet and hands because of the number of bees stinging them. After that they gave up the city, and left it. Not long afterwards there was fighting again ...
Annal FA 430.
910 In this year a great force from Bréifne came raiding. This was told to the King of Ireland and to his sons. Then the King of Ireland said, It is the end of time, said he, when peasants like these dare to rise against freemen. The King of Ireland and his sons immediately gathered an
p.175irresistible force, and they proceeded to Druim Criaich, and they were looking at the troops of the Bréifne men there. An army of peasants had never before been seen. They fought together after that, and although there was no king leading them, they fought firmly against the King of Ireland. The sons of the King of Ireland saw a company some ways out from the rest; they approached and fought against it. The sons of the King defeated that troop, and the other troops were immediately defeated and slaughtered, and many of them were taken prisoner, and they were ransomed in return for treasures. The King returned with glory and spoils from the peasants, after killing the king of Bréifne, Flann son of Tigernán.
Annal FA 431.
?910 Kl. Diarmait, king of Osraige, and Áed son of Dub Gilla, king of Uí Dróna, devastated the south of Mag Raigne, and they destroyed Cell na g-Caillech 'the Church of the Nuns', i.e., of Sinche and Rechtín, and Áed's people killed the priest of the community, and God avenged that on Áed son of Dub Gilla, for some peasants of Osraige killed him as he was returning home. That Áed was king of Uí Dróna and the Trí Maige, and was eligible to be king of Uí Ceinnselaig. Whence was said:
- O youths of splendid Ailbe,
mourn the king of noble Sláine;
carry Áed of the hosts of Berba
as far as the sod of level Ferna.
- Ferna Mór with thousands of noble graces,
there has not reached it, as far as is remembered,
a dead man whose fame was more glorious
since Brandub of the hosts was slain.
- My defense, my shelter has gone;
may the King of Kings make smooth the roads;
it is clear in Ráith Étain
that Áed is dead, o youths.
Annal FA 432.
?910 Uallachán son of Cathal, eligible to be king of Uí Failge, died.
Annal FA 433.
Augaire son of Ailill was made king over the Laigin.
Annal FA 434.
?910 Buadach son of Mothla, eligible to be king of the Déissi, died.
Annal FA 435.
911 912 Kl. A great wonder, i.e. two suns moved together on the same day, on the day before the nones of May.
Annal FA 436.
911 Dúnlang son of Cairpre, eligible to be king of the Laigin, died.
Annal FA 437.
911 Domnall son of Áed, king of Ailech, took the pilgrim's staff.
Annal FA 438.
?911 Máel Mórdai, abbot of Tír dá Glas, died.
Annal FA 439.
?912 Gáethíne son of Augrán, eligible to be king of Loíches, dies.
Annal FA 440.
?912 Buadach son of Gossán, eligible to be king of Uí Bairrche, died.
?912 Dianim, daughter of Dub Gilla, wife of Dúnlang, died, whence is said:
- Dianim, protector of our people,
the power of the King of Creation has imprisoned her;
alas that the slender fair body
is in a cold house of clay.
Annal FA 442.
A raid on Osraige by Cormac, king of the Déissi, and many churches and many monastic buildings were destroyed. The Osraige killed the brother of this Cormac, i.e. Cuilennán. When Cormac was plundering Osraige, Máel Ruanaid son of Niall, the son of the king who had previously ruled the Déissi, came after Cormac with a group of Osraige to this Cormacs stronghold, and the aforementioned Cuilennán came to oppose them, and gave them battle, and Cuilennán was killed in that encounter. When Cormac returned he heard that story, and he himself saw the clothes of his brother in the hands of the people who had killed him, and Cormac was then grieved and sorrowful.
Annal FA 443.
In this year Domnall son of Bráenán son of Cerball was killed miserably in the middle of his own stronghold, and though Diarmait had
p.179thought that he would be better off for killing the son of his kinsman, it did not turn out thus for him, for all of Clann Dúngaile arose against Diarmait on account of that, and as Cellach would not rise against him, Máel Mórdai, son of a kinsman of his, rose up against him, remembering the cruelty that Diarmait had shown towards his father when he was an old man; and that Máel Mórdai rose up fiercely and bravely against Diarmait, and Osraige was divided in two by that war. There was great slaughter between them. Now the son of Áed son of Dub Gillathe son, indeed, of the daughter of Cerball son of Dúnlangwent against Diarmait, for he felt bitter that the son of his mother's brother and his fosterson had been slain by Diarmait. Many freemen were killed in this war, and many churches were laid waste.
Annal FA 444.
912 Kl. The violation of Ard Macha by Cernachán son of Duilgen; that is, he took a prisoner out of it and drowned him in Loch Cerr. Afterwards Cernachán was drowned in the same lake by Niall Glúndub to avenge the violation of Ard Macha.
Annal FA 445.
912 Máel Brigte son of Máel Domnach, abbot of Les Mór, died.
Annal FA 446.
?913 912 Flann son of Laige, abbot of Corcach, died.
Annal FA 447.
?913 Cormac, bishop of Saigir, died.
Annal FA 448.
913 Tipraite, abbot of Imlech, died.
Annal FA 449.
913 Máel Brigte son of Tornán, successor of Patrick and Colum Cille, went with a number of the clergy of Ireland into Munster, to seek treasure from the nobles of Munster to ransom the captives of the Britons; and he got that, and he brought those miserable prisoners with him, after their ships had been sunk, and after they had been cast ashore, and after they had evaded the Danes and the Norwegians.
Annal FA 450.
?913 Kl. Máel Máedoc, abbot of Druim Mór, died.
Annal FA 451.
?913 Tipraite, bishop of Cluain Eidnech, died.
Annal FA 452.
?913 Líthach, abbot of Cluain Eidnech, died.
Annal FA 453.
913 A victory in battle by Máel Mithig son of Flannacán and Donnchad grandson of Máel Sechlainn over Lorccán son of Dúnchad and Fogartach son of Tolarc, in which many fell.
Annal FA 454.
Lachtnán son of Cernach, king of Dún Nar in Loíches, died.
Annal FA 455.
?913 Máel Patraic son of Flaithróe, king of Ráith Domnaig, died.
Annal FA 456.
?913 912 Eadulf, king of the northern Saxons, died.
Annal FA 457.
914 Flaithbertach son of Inmainén took the kingship of Caisel.
Annal FA 458.
914 A great fleet of Norwegians landed at Port Láirge, and they plundered northern Osraige and brought great spoils and many cows and livestock to their ships.
Annal FA 459.
In that year great armies of Dark Foreigners and Fair Foreigners Danish and Norwegian Vikings came again to attack the Saxons, after the installation of Sitric grandson of Imar as king. They challenged the Saxons to battle, and the Saxons did not delay, but came at once to attack the pagans. A hard and ferocious battle was fought between them, and there was great energy and heat and contention on both sides. Much noble blood was spilled in this battle; nevertheless, it was the Saxons who won victory and spoils after massacring the pagans. For the king of the pagans was taken ill, and he was carried out of the battle to a forest nearby, and he died there.
Now Oittir, the most greatly esteemed earl in this battle, when he saw the Saxons slaughtering his people, fled into a dense wood near him, along with those of his people who survived. A huge throng of Saxons came after him, and they surrounded the wood. The Queen commanded them to hack down all of the forest with their swords and battleaxes, and they did so. First they felled the trees, and then all the pagans who were in the wood were killed. The pagans were slaughtered by the Queen like that, so that her fame spread in all directions.
Aethelflaed, through her own cleverness, made peace with the men of Alba and with the Britons, so that whenever the same race should come to attack her, they would rise to help her. If it were against them that they came, she would take arms with them. While this continued, the men of Alba and Britain overcame the settlements of the Norwegians and destroyed and sacked them.
The king of the Norwegians came after that and sacked Srath Cluada, and plundered the land. But the enemy was ineffectual against Srath Cluada.