Leabhar Gabahála
The Book of the Conquests of Ireland

The Recension of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh
MS. 23K32, RIA
Ed. and Trans. R.A.S. Macalister and Eoin Mac Neill
(Dublin, Hodges, Figgis & Company - 1916).



CHAPTER XI
THE OCCUPATION OF THE CHILDREN OF MIL
This chapter heading is not in the MS.



122. Since we have told of the occupation of Ceasair first, who took Ireland before the flood, and of the four occupations which took it after the flood, of the seed of Aitheacht, son of Magog, son of Japhet, son of Noe — these are the four occupations : Partholon, Neimhedh, Fir Bolg, Tuatha Dé Danann — it is right for us to tell next of the seed of the son who was eldest of the children of Magog, namely, Baath and his seed, who took Grecian Scythia, the patrimony of the children of Magog ; thereafter went to Egypt ; again to Scythia ; thence to the Gaethlaighe ; after that to Spain ; thence to Scythia ; to Egypt ; to Spain again ; and thence to Ireland ; and how they took it against the Tuatha De Danann ; and the tale of, the kings who took Ireland of them, one after another, with their number of years from Eremon to Mael-Shechlainn Mor, son of Domhnaill.


From Adam till the sons of Mil took Ireland, 3500.

From the flood till the sons of Mil came to Ireland, 1258.


123. Noe divided the world into three parts between his sons Sem, Cham, Japheth. Sem over the middle of Asia, from the River Euphrates to the eastern shore of the world ; Cham over Africa and the southern half of Asia ; Japheth over the north half of Asia and all Europe. Japheth, son of Noe, son of Lamech, son of Mathusalem, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan, son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam. Now Japheth, these are his children : Gomer, Magog, Thiras, Javan, Mesech, Madai, and Tubal.

124. As for Magog, son of Japheth, he lived in Grecian Scythia. Five sons had Magog : Baath, Ibath, Barachan, Emoth, and Aithecht. Of the seed of Aithecht were the conquests we have related, except Cesair's only. Baath the first son of Magog, his son was Fenius Farsaidh. This Fenius was one of the three principal chiefs who were at the building of Nimrod's Tower. Fenius had two sons, Naenbal and Nel. This Naenbal, his father Fenius left in authority over Scythia behind him, when he himself was going to the Tower. As for Nel, the other son of Fenius, he was born at the Tower. He was learned in the various languages that were separated at the Tower, for till then there was none but the primitive language, Hebrew, only. Fenius then came back to Scythia again when they all scattered from the Tower, so that he took the kingdom there ; till he died at the end of forty years after that, and left the kingdom of Scythia to his son, Naenbal.

125. This Fenius we have mentioned is he who sent seventy-two students through the world to learn all the languages, till they brought them together to him to one place after they had learnt them. He further furnished them with food and clothing, the seven years of learning and the three years of setting them forth ; and there Nel was instructed in the learning of all languages till he was learned and famous before the nobles in their territory at large. When the king of Egypt, Pharaoh Cingcres, heard that he was thus, he invited him to him on account of the greatness of his knowledge, skill, and learning. Nel comes at that invitation, and after being a while in Egypt, the Pharaoh, that is the king of Egypt, gave him his daughter Scota to wife, besides a heritage and land. Then Scota bore a son to Nel, Gaedheal Glas his name. There are three names from which the seed of that Gaedheal are surnamed, Fenius, Scota, and Gaedheal. Feni is their name from Fenius; Scots from Scota, daughter of the king of Egypt, who was Nel's wife, and Gaedhil from that Gaedheal, son of Niul, son of Fenius Farsaidh.

126. So that to verify those old names this was said —

Feni, from Fenius they were called,
a word with difficulty ;
Gaedhil from Gaedheal Glas were called,
Scots from Scota.


127. Now Nel lived southward in Egypt, in Capachirunt [Pi-Hahiroth, Exodus xiv. 2] , on the shores of the Red Sea, which is called the Mare Rubrum. That was the time when the Children of Israel escaped from the Egyptian bondage wherein they were with Pharaoh ; so they reached the land where was Nel, son of Fenius, on the border of the Red Sea. Nel goes to them to ascertain who they were ; so Aaron, son of Amram, brother of Moses, met him on the outskirts of the hosts. They talk each with the other. Aaron tells him their own adventures, and the manifest miracles that God wrought through Moses in the land of Egypt, on account of the bondage of the people of Israel ; among them were the ten revealed plagues which were brought upon them, whereby multitudes perished. Aaron and Nel made a covenant and friendship between themselves after that. Nel thought it a grief of mind all the intolerable trouble that had been inflicted upon them, and the greatness of the necessity in which they were ; and he promised to divide with them all the goods in his power, so long as they should be in his neighbourhood. Then they part.

128. Aaron went to Moses after that, and tells him the hearty welcome that Nel, son of Fenius, gave them, and all the good that he promised to do them so long as they should be in his company. Moses was grateful to Nel for that friendliness. However, when Nel separated from Aaron, he went to his people and told them the tidings of the Children of Israel, and the straits in which they were. He further told them how he had bound and contracted his friendship on them, and said that he would send gifts of food and provision before them. He does so. Moses and Aaron , with their people, were grateful to him on that account.

129. Now that Gaedheal, whom we have mentioned, was a little boy at the time, and it happened that a venomous serpent wound itself round him so that death was near him, and all feared he would die of it unless he were saved quickly. His people said to Nel that he should carry the boy to Moses, since they were covenanted together, and since they knew the wonders and the great miracles that God worked by him up till then. So it was done ; Moses made vehement and diligent prayer to God, when the boy reached him, and he struck the famous rod on the serpent till he cleft it in two. The boy was sound at once. There was a green ring on him in the place where the serpent had coiled about him, from that out to his death, so that thus Glas ["Green"] stuck to him as an extra name. Moses left for virtues and blessings on the boy Gaedheal, that no venomous serpent should do a mischief from that out to him, or to any of his seed for ever ; and that no venomous serpent should live in the place where his seed after him should live ; and that many kings and over-kings, saints and just men, should be born of his race after him. So that is the cause why there is never any venomous serpent in Ireland.

130. After that Nel said to Moses : "Pharaoh will come to us and oppress us in punishment for our friendship towards you, and the welcome we have given you, and because we have not persecuted and restrained you." "Come with us, with thy whole people," said Moses, " if you will, and remain permanently with us, and when we reach the land that God hath promised us, you will get a share in it ; or, if you prefer, we will give you some of Pharaoh's boats, so that they may be at your command to flee before the Egyptians, till you know how we and they shall separate one from the other."

131. They agreed that the ships should be in their possession, as though it were the children of Israel who should steal them from Pharaoh, in order that the Egyptians should not find seaworthy equipments behind them to overtake them . Nel went with all his people on the sea in the aforesaid boats that night, till he should know how the hosts would separate from one another on the morrow ; and they were on the strait of the sea till the sons of Israel departed dryfoot through the Red Sea, and till Pharaoh, with his troops, were drowned in attempting to hinder them. This is the tale of those who were drowned there ; six hundred chariot fighters, fifty thousand horsemen, and two hundred thousand footmen. When Nel saw that fate of Pharaoh with his people he returned again to his own estate, for he put every fear from him once the Egyptians were drowned thus ; and he lived there till his death.

132. Gaedheal Glas, son of Nél, took the rule and strong headship of the aforesaid estate, Capachirunt, after his father's death. A son was born afterwards to Gaedheal in Egypt, Easru was he. He was nourished till he could bear arms, and he took the same principality after his father's death. That Easru had a princely son, Sru his name. He excelled the warriors of his time in valour and heroism. Easru died after a season, and his son Sru takes the principality after him.

133. There were five kings over Egypt from the time of Pharaoh Cingcris till then. These are their name—

Pharaoh Cerres ..................................
Pharaoh Armadis .................................
Pharaoh Rameses .................................
Pharaoh Amenoses ................................
Pharaoh Amenomes ................................

12 years.
5 years.
60 years.
40 years.
28 years.

After that Pharaoh Tures took the rule of Egypt, and when he obtained strength and power, and when his warriors became numerous, he remembered their hostility and unfriendliness against the seed of Nel, son of Fenius, in the matter of the treaty and covenant that Nel formed with the Children of Israel, before they went through the Red Sea, and how he took the ships of Pharaoh with him, and did not give rapine and pursuit to the Children of Israel like everyone else. There grew up thence frays and contentions between them on both sides, so that the men of Egypt drove Sru and his son, Eber Scot, with the whole of their people, out of Egypt.

134. They advance, accordingly, on the sea to their native fatherland, Scythia. Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh Cingcris, mother of Gaodhal Glas, was with them in her old age. Fifty ships their tale, twenty-four couples in each ship. They sail thereafter to the Red Sea, to the island of Taprobane, around Sliabh Riffe northward, till they reached Scythia. After their landing in that country Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, died among them.

135. He who was king of Scythia on their arrival at that time was Noenbal, son of Baath, son of Noenbal, son of Fenius Farsaidh. Sru, son of Easru, died after that, and Noenbal died of plague of one night. Then the seed of Noenbal, son of Fenius, and the seed of Nel fought about the rule of the country, until Eber Scot took the kingdom from the children of Noenbal by means of his might. He was the first king of Scythia of the race of Nél. King Eber Scot fell after that by Noenius, son of Noenbal, son of Baath, son of Noenbal, son of Fenius Farsaidh.

136. Beoamain, son of Eber Scot, had a blood-feud for his father against the same Noenius, so that there arose violent battles and many combats between them ; so Beoamain took the kingdom by strength of fighting from Scythia to the shore of the Caspian Sea. Beomain fell thereafter in the battle of Etamadh by Noenius, and he himself took the kingdom thereafter, till he fell at the hand of Ogamain, son of Beoamain. Ogamain takes the kingdom afterwards till he died a natural death. Reffill, son of Noenius, takes the kingdom after that, till he fell by Tai, son of Ogamain, for the sake of the kingdom. Tai, son of Ogamain, son of Beoamain, took the kingdom till he fell by Reffloir, son of Reffill. There arose a contest between that Reffloir and Agnomain, son of Tai, son of Ogamain, for the sake of the kingdom, and they were four years in that contest, till Reffloir fell at last by Agnomain.

137. That Reffloir, son of Reffill, had two good sons, Noenbal and Reffloir. These arose together against Agnomain, son of Tai, for the sake of the kingdom, so that there was no peace between them. Many battles and combats took place between them, one against the other, so that the children of Reffloir, son of Reffill, at last drove their kinsman Agnomain, son of Tai, with all his people, out of Scythia. These are the chieftains he had : Eber, son of Tai, his brother ; Elloth, Laimhfhind, and Glas, the three sons of Agnomain ; Caicher the druid, and Cing, the two sons of Eber, son of Tai. Thirty ships their tale, three-score in each ship, of which one score were women.

138. Then they voyaged till they reached the island of the Caspian Sea. They stay a year in it. Agnomain died there. After that they go to the sea of Libis ; a journey of six summer days were they rowing thither from the island of the Caspian. They find a beautiful pleasant island there, Coronis its name ; they stay a year and a quarter there. Glas, son of Agnomain, died in the end of that space. After that they sail on the sea.

139. These were their chieftains : Elloth and Laimhfhind, the two sons of Agnomain ; for this reason was he called Laimhfhind, because burning lamps were not brighter than his hands in the night at the rowing ; Cing and Caicher, the two sons of Eber, son of Tai. It was Caicher who found a remedy for them against the singing of the mermaids, while they were in the strait of the Caspian Sea. In this wise are those sea-monsters, with the form of a woman from their navels upwards, excelling every female form in beauty and shapeliness, with light yellow hair down over their shoulders ; but fishes are they from their navels downwards. They sing a musical ever-tuneful song to the crews of the ships that sail near them, so that they fall into the stupor of sleep in listening to them ; they afterwards drag the crews of the ships towards them when they find them thus asleep, and so devour them. They sing on this occasion a plaintive song to Laimhfhind with his people, when they were going past them, so that the fleet stands still to listen to them on the surface of the sea. Caicher instructed them to melt wax, to put it in their ears, so that they should not hear the chorus of the mermaids. They do thus.

140. When they were delivered from the music of the mermaids by the advice of Caicher, they sailed at length to the great Northern Ocean, and were for a space of a week drifting on it, suffering hunger and thirst, till they reached the northern point of Sliabh Riffe. They find there a well with the taste and satisfaction of wine, so that they took their fill from it till they were intoxicated and merry. They sleep after that, and they were in that place three days and three nights, till Caicher said to them, prophesying to them, "I aill Ara" ; that is, "we shall not tarry till we reach the noble island of Ireland." "In what place is 'Ireland' "? said Laimhfhind. "Farther from us than Scythia ; and not ourselves will reach it but our children, after three hundred years."

141. After that they sail on the sea till they reached the Gaethlaighe ; they stay in that land. A noble son was born to Laimhfhind, son of Agnomain, there, namely, Eber Whiteknee. Another son was born to Ealloth, son of Agnomain, Eber the Black his name. In one and the same time were born those boys, at the Gaethlaighe. They were the great-grandson of that Eber Whiteknee, son of Laimhfhind, namely, Noenel, son of Febri Glas, son of Aghnon the White, son of Eber Whiteknee, and the grandson of Eber the Black, son of Elloth, son of Agnomain, namely, Taithechta, son of Tetrech, son of Eber the Black, who were in joint rule in the Gaethlaighe. Three hundred years were the seed of Gaedheal in the Gaethlaighe, from the time when Laimhfhind, son of Agnomain, came into it, till Brath, son of Death, left it.

142. Then that Brath, son of Death, son of Erchaidh, son of Elloth, son of Nuadha, son of Noenel, son of Febri the Green, son of Agnon the White, son of Eber Whiteknee, son of Laimhfhind, son of Agnomain, proceeded from the Gaethlaighe over sea, after the death of his ancestors. Forty ships his tale. They sail to Crete, to Sicily, keeping Europe on the right, till they reached Spain. These were their chieftains then : Brath himself ; Occe and Uicce, the two sons of Elloth, son of Noenbal, son of Neimhedh, son of Elloth, son of Oghamain, son of Tothechta, son of Tetrech, son of Eber the Black, son of lloth, son of Agnomain, son of Tai, son of Oghamain ; Mantan, son of Caicher, son of Ercadh, son of Caomtecht, son of Soet, son of Mantan, son of Caicher the Druid, son of Eber, son of Tai, son of Oghamain.

143. Three battles were won by them after they reached Spain ; a battle against the Toisiona, a battle against the Bachra, and the third battle against the Lombards. A plague fell out among them after that, so that two ships' crews of them died, headed by the chiefs Occe and Uicce, except ten who escaped, headed by the two sons of the aforementioned chieftains, namely, Én son of Occe, and Ún son of Uicce.

144. A son was born to Brath, son of Death, afterwards in Spain, Breoghan his name. He was nourished till he was able to bear arms. Brath died after a while, and Breoghan takes the princedom after him. There arose strifes and discords, quarrels and disputes between the various races of Spain and the tribe of Gaedheal, so that many battles and skirmishes were fought between them. However, it was Breoghan with his soldiers and people who were victorious in every battle-combat, and theirs was the victory, so that those tribes of Spain were submissive to them at last.

145. Afterwards a city was founded by Breoghan in Spain, Brigantia its name, and a tower was built by him in front of it, which is called Breoghan' s Tower. A pleasant delightful dwelling, and a place for watch and outlook was that. Children were born of that Breoghan in Spain afterwards ; these are their names : Bregh, Cuala, Cuailnge, Blad, Fuad, Muirthemne, Eble, Nar, Ith, and Bile.

146. To commemorate and display the history of Gaedheal and his seed, the following poem was sung ; Giolla Caiomhghin composed it —

1 Gaedheal Glas, from whom are the Gaedhil —
he is the son of Nel of mighty wealth ;
he was strong west and east,
Nel, son of Fenius Farsaidh.

2 Two sons had Fenius, truth I tell,
Nel our father, and Noenbal ;
Nel was born at the tower in the East,
Noenbal in Scythia of pure shield.

3 Nel, son of Fenius, who was not weak,
went into Egypt to Pharaoh ;
in the land of Egypt after that
was born Gaedheal our father.

4 Sru, son of Easru, son of Gaedheal,
our ancestor, of the joyous host,
he went northward to his home,
over the bosom of the ruddy Red Sea.

5 Fifty ships the tale of their host,
who sailed on the great Red Sea ;
there on every deck-abode is permitted,
four-and- twenty wedded couples.

6 The prince of Scythia, it was a brilliant title,
the youth whose name was Noenbal,
died there at his house yonder,
when the Gaedheal-tribe arrived.

7 Eber Scot of the champions becomes king
over the children of Noenbal unreproached,
till he fell, without tender compassion,
by Noenius son of Noenbal.

8 Powerful the son of Eber afterwards,
whose exact bright name was Beoamain ;
to the shore of the Caspian Sea he becomes king,
till he fell by the hand of Noenius.

9 Noenius, who was son of Noenbal of strength,
takes Scythia of speckled shields ;
the perfect kindly chief fell
at the hand of Oghamain, son of Beoamain.

10 Oghamain afterwards was prince,
after Noenius of good strength ;
so that he died in hoarness of head ;
after him was the kingdom of Riffill.

11 After that fell Riffill
by the hand of Tai, son of Oghamain ;
Tai fell, a firm crime that was not weak,
by the hand of Reffloir, son of Riffill.

12 Reffloir, Agnomain without reproach,
four years [were] in strife ;
till Reffloir the glorious fell
before the son of Tai, before Agnomain.

13 Noenel and Reffloir with a spear,
the two sons of Reffloir, son of Riffill,
drove Agnomain out
over the great green merry sea.

14 Good the chieftains who were after him (?) ;
who came out of Scythia —
Agnomain, Eber without stain,
the two sons of Tai, son of Oghamain.

15 Elloit, Laimhfhinn, Glas, bold and prudent,
the three sons of Agnomain the very rightful ;
Caicher and Cing, fame with victory,
the two good sons of Eber of steed-swiftness.

16 Their number thirty ships,
coming over the heavy waves ;
three score each ship of them,
and one score of them women.

17 Agnomain died, without reproach,
on the strait of the great Caspian sea ;
the place in which they were for a year,
where they found a great mystery.

18 They reached the full sea of Libis,
a saiUng of six complete summer days ;
Glas, son of Agnomain, who was not poor,
died there in Coronis.

19 A beautiful island they found there,
on the sea of Libis of hero-blades ;
a season and a year, with renown,
their residence in that place.

20 They sail on the sea, a bright deed,
both day and night ;
the sheen of the hands of Laimhfhinn bright
was like beautiful candles.

21 Four chieftains they had, that were not poor,
coming to the sea of Libis ;
Elloth, Laimhfhinn, be it related by you,
Cing, and his brother Caicher.

22 It was Caicher who found a remedy for them over there
for the charming of the mermaids,
so that fair Caicher said to them
to melt wax into their ears.

23 It is Caicher of bright perfection
who made a prophecy to them,
at the mountains of Riffe, at the point —
"There is no rest for you till Ireland."

24 "What place is that lofty Ireland ? "
said bright ferocious Laimhfhinn.
"Very far from you," said Caicher there,
"not ye will reach it, but your fair children."

25 They progress in their battalion with venom :
southward beyond the points of Riffe —
the children of Gaedheal with fury —
till they occupied the Gaethlaighe.

26 A noble birth was born there
to Laimhfhind, son of Agnomain,
Eber white-knee, clear his complexion,
curl-haired grandfather of Feibri.

27 The tribe of Gaedheal renowned, white,
three hundred years were in that land ;
they cultivated it from that out,
till victorious Brath was born.

28 Brath, good son of faithful Death,
came to Crete, to Sicily,
forty ships of a quiet sailing,
right-hand to Europe, to Spain.

29 Occe and Uicce, without blemish,
the two sons of Elloth, son of Noenbal,
Mantan, son of Caicher, Brath the lucky,
these are their four chieftains.

30 Strong the heroes who came there,
the tribe of Gaedheal of the blue blades ;
by the strength of valour, by deeds of stress (?)
They won three battles in Spain.

31 High the first fight, I will not conceal it,
they won against the host of Toisen ;
a battle against the Bachra, it was rough in valour,
and a battle against the Lombards.

32 It was after the unlucky battle,
that a plague of one day came to them ;
the people of the ships of the son of Elloth, without blemish,
died save ten men.

33 Ún and Én escaped,
the two good sons of the strong chiefs ;
after that Breoghan was born,
father of strong furious Bile.

34 He wins many combats and battles
against the contentious hosts of Spain,
Breoghan of the noise of fights, who was a champion,
by him Brigantia was made.

35 Ten sons of Breoghan without weakness,
Brea, Fuad, and Muirthemne,
Cuailnge, Cuala, Blad as well,
Ebhle, Ith, Nar, arid Bile.

36 Bile, son of Breoghan of lucky fame,
to him was Mil a son ;
who was head of princes and tribes,
of the noble race of the strong Gaedhil.

147. A famous noble son was born of that Bile, son of Breoghan, in Spain ; Golam is he. He was nourished till he was able to bear arms, in the arts of valour and warfare, among tutors of every learning, till he surpassed the youths of his time in swiftness and valour and every learning besides.



CHAPTER XII
OF THE JOURNEYS OF GOLAMH, SON OF BILE, SON OF BREOGHAN. FROM SPAIN TO SCYTHIA,
AND HOW HE MADE A MARRIAGE THERE, WHEN HE TOOK SENG, DAUGHTER OF REFFLOIR :
OF THE CAUSE WHY HE DEPARTED FROM THERE, AND OF THE PLACES WHERETO HE CAME AND WHEREIN HE SOJOURNED,
TILL HE TOOK SPAIN AGAIN, IS HERE RELATED AT PRESENT.


148. After Golamh, son of Bile, completed all learning, as we have related, and when he came to the age of manhood, he reflected that it was no credit or honour to him that he had no knowledge or acquaintance with his native home and his kin-brethren in Grecian Scythia, or acquaintance with or travel in other countries besides. He sought leave of his kin and tribesmen to go on that journey, and they gave him leave to go on a free visit to Scythia. When every necessary that was needful for Golamh in going on that adventure was ready, and when his ships were prepared and seaworthy, he went into them with the crew of four ships of men of rank, perfect in the learning of all valour, and of champion youths fit to bear arms, of the race of Gaodhal Glas, son of Nel, son of Fenius Farsaidh.

149. These are the names of the chiefs and lordlings that were in his company on that journey. Occe, son of Én, son of Occe, son of Elloth, son of Noenbal, son of Neimidh, son of Elloth, son of Oghamain, son of Toithechta, son of Tetrech, son of Eber the Black, son of Elloth, son of Agnomain, at whom his pedigree meets that of Golamh. Uicce, son of Ún, son of Uicce, son of Elloth, etc. Caicher, son of Manntan, son of Caicher, son of Erchadh, son of Caimthecht, son of Soet, son of Manntan, son of Caicher the Druid, son of Eber, son of Tai, son of Oghamain. Buas, Bres, and Buaigne, the three sons of Tigernbard, son of Breg, son of Breoghan, at whom his pedigree meets that of Golamh. Suirge, son of Caicher, son of Manntan, son of Caicher, etc. ; with the choice of the valiant heroes of the root-stock from which they grew, as well as these. Then they sailed on the strait of the sea to Gades, to the Pillars of Hercules, to Sicily, and from one harbour to another, till they reached Scythia.

150. He who was king over Scythia then was Reffloir, son of Nem, of the seed of Noenbal, son of Fenius Farsaidh. When they took harbour he enquired of them whence they were. Then they tell him. When they had related their kindred to the Scythians, they were hospitable to them, and honoured them, and served them with the choice of everything good that was needful to them. King Reffloir with the Scythians, and Golamh with his people, were kindly and affectionate one with the other, after they had learned of their friendship and kinship, and after they made known the purpose and design (?) of each of them. After a while the king considered that it was fitting for him to betroth a beautiful marriageable daughter he had to Golamh, on account of his nobility and his learning, his strength and his valour. That was told to him, and he consented, so that the match was agreed upon. Golamh and his people dwelt in Scythia, since he was king Reffioir's son-in-law, till the king's daughter — Seng, daughter of Reffloir, was her name — bore him two sons, Donn and Erech were their names. A further name had this Donn ; he was called Eber Donn.

151. Then Golamh assumed strength and great power among the Scythians, till he was all but stronger in the country than King Reffloir, for the greatness wherewith the people of the country at large loved him, for his merits. The king perceived that matter, so that he became filled with jealousy and hatred of Golamh, for fear that he might come against him to snatch the kingdom and the country away from him, as the ancestors of Golamh himself had subdued his original stock once before. News of this unfriendliness and evil disposition was related secretly to Golamh, so that he was on his guard and prepared. The hostility of Reffloir towards his son-in-law grew and increased at last, so that he could not refrain from challenging him to single combat. Golamh thought it no credit to avoid single combat with anyone at all, so that he and Reffloir attacked one another, and were smiting one another a long time ; till Golamh wounded Reffloir, for he planted the blood-red lance through his thigh ; and their people separated each from the other.

152. Having left Reffloir on his deathbed, so that he died of the gashes of that wounding afterwards, envy and great hatred filled most of the chiefs and nobles of the land in general against Golamh and his people, on account of that deed which he had done ; so they rose with one mind against him, and put him out and drove him with his people from Scythia. As for Golamh, he went a-sailing with all his people, and left the king's daughter with him, and took his two sons away. Forty ships with their crews, and with their fitting champions, that was their tale. They sailed round Asia, south-east to the island of Taprobane ; they stay three months there. Three months besides had they on the sea till they reached Egypt. Pharaoh Nectonebus was king of Egypt when they came, and he was hospitable to Golamh, on account of his renown and his glory, and the friendship of their ancestors to one another once on a time.

153. Of those adventures of Golamh the stanza was said —

Golamh wounded, it was a rare deed,
Reffloir the smooth, who was not very weak ;
so that he left strong Scythia yonder,
from the River of Nile, till he reached Pharaoh.


154. Now Golamh lived in Egypt after that, and receives an estate therein, and he took Scota, daughter of Pharaoh, to him to wife. That Pharaoh Nectonebus was the thirty-second Pharaoh who took the kingdom of Egypt after the Pharaoh who was drowned in the Red Sea. Now "Pharaoh" was the name of every king of them, one after the other, from the first king whose name was Pharaoh to the last king ; as "Caesar" is the surname of every king in Rome, and "Ptolemy" of every king in Alexandria. That is a sign of honour to the kings. These are the names of the kings who took Egypt between those two Pharaohs, with the time they spent in the kingship —

Pharaoh Cerres ..............................
Pharaoh Armades .............................
Pharaoh Rameses .............................
Pharaoh Amenoses ............................
Pharaoh Amenomes ............................
Pharaoh Tures ...............................
Pharaoh Daremandis ..........................
Pharaoh Senres ..............................
Pharaoh Thustus .............................
Pharaoh Oschorus ............................
Pharaoh Esinachus ...........................
Pharaoh Esimes ..............................
Pharaoh Sessonchus ..........................
Pharaoh Pissamus ............................
Pharaoh Bachor ..............................
Pharaoh Etheops .............................
Pharaoh Silvicus ............................
Pharaoh Etheops .............................
Pharaoh Etheops Memess ......................
Pharaoh Stapantes ...........................
Pharaoh Encheprus ...........................
Pharaoh Necha ...............................
Pharaoh Assanet .............................
Pharaoh Nechot .............................
PharaohAsmutes ..............................
Pharaoh Huprifis ............................
Pharaoh Ameniris ............................
Pharaoh Amartes ............................
Pharaoh Nefritis ............................
Amartes Anchoris ............................
Pharaoh Mutes ...............................
Pharaoh Nectonebus ..........................

15 years.
5 years.
60 years.
40 years.
28 years.
7 years.
26 years.
40 years.
9 years.
7 years.
9 years.
26 years.
21 years.
40 years.
47 years.
12 years
15 years.
20 years.
22 years.
7 years.
6 years.
8 years.
9 years.
6 years.
12 years.
30 years.
42 years.
6 years
6 years.
12 years.
1 year.
18 years.

— he was the king that Golamh found.

155. Now Golamh stayed eight years in Egypt with his father-in-law. Scota, daughter of Pharaoh, bore him two sons by one birth, Emer the White and Amergin their names. A number of the people of Golamh learned the chief arts — Sedgha, Suirghe, and Sobairche learnt craftsmanship ; Mantan, Caicher, and Fulman learnt druidry ; the next three, Goisten, Aimirgin, and Donn, were judges (?) and givers of true decisions ; valorous and victorious were Golamh, Occe, and Ucce.

156. When their education was finished thus, this is the resolution that Golamh came to, to leave Egypt and go to his own race to Spain, by the advice of his wife and his people. They bid farewell thereafter to the king and the nobles of Egypt. They went on the sea, as many ships as they had leaving Scythia, and Scota, daughter of Pharaoh, with them. They sail to the Red Sea. There arose a great storm against them, so that they were drifting till they reached the island of Taprobane. They stayed a month in it. After that they went on beyond Albania, westward, to the point of Sliabh Riffe northward, till they reached Thracia. They stay there till Scota brought forth one of her children there ; Ir his name. They rowed thence till they reached the Gaethlaighe Meotacda [Maeotis]. A year were they passing those coasts, by reason of all the wandering that fell to their lot. They took rest for a space in the Gaethlaighe. Another son was born to Golamh in that place, Colptha is he. They went at last till they reached Germany ; they make a halt in it.

157. It is there that there came a troop of the soldiers of the Pict-folk, on account of the fame and glory of that sea expedition of Golamh ; they having had knowledge of one another from the time he was in Thracia with his people. Each of them welcomed the other, and they joined their treaty and friendship on each side. When they were agreed together, the Picts complained to them of the narrowness of their land and territory in Thracia and in Pict-]and. Golamh with his brethren, and his children promised that they would give help and military alliance with them, to contend for another territory and fair heritage ; and that they would be united against their enemies as though they were brethren ; until that they [Golamh and his people] should get rest and should desist from the sea-joumeyings and wanderings on which they were, and that they should reach their native land. The Picts were satisfied with that, and took farewell of Golamh thereafter. It is from that treaty and friendship which the Picts joined with Golamh that, long afterwards, the Gaedhil perforce cleared for them the land where the Picts are, as Golamh foretold at that time.

158. Golamh sails after that with his people over the river Rhine, past Gallia, to Crete, to Sicily, to Valencia (?), to Brigantia, till they reached Southern Spain, Northern Spain, and thence to Three-cornered Spain. Thursday, as far as regards the day, they reached it. Then they went to Brigantia, and the city lay empty before them ; for it was not long after Golamh went to seek Scythia that his grandfather, Breoghan, died, and the hatred of their enemies, over whom they were in Spain, pursued the Gaedhil till they scattered and drove them into the borders of the neighbouring countries, so that they did not dare to visit or frequent enter or inhabit, the city of Breoghan, or their inheritance round about it, till then. Golamh settled after that with his people in Brigantia, and invited and collected the tribe of Gaedheal, from every place where they were scattered and separated through the lands, till they came in their fullness at his summons. Great and immense was the tale of the men who came there, after their being assembled to one place.

159. Scota, daughter of Pharaoh, bore two of her children in Spain after that, Eremhon and Erannan, the two youngest of the children of Golamh. To commemorate the various places where those children of Golamh were born was this said —

1 Eight sons of Golamh of merriment,
whose name was Mil of Spain ;
a thousand plains were cleared by them ;
in what lands were they born ?

2 Airech, Febra, and Donn, who was next (?)
Seng bore in Scythia ;
Scota bore, in pleasant Egypt,
Emer the White and Aimirgen.

3 Ir, there certainly was no greater hero,
was born in the side of Thracia ;
Colptha of the sword was born
in Gleann Gampa in the Gaethlaighe.

4 Born at Breoghan's Tower, without sorrow,
Erannan and Eremhon ;
the two youngest of the heroes, without blemish —
God's Son brought down their pride.

160. As for the various races of Spain, they were assembled and collected from every quarter and every border where they were, Frisians, Lombards, and Bachra, to drive out and banish the posterity of Gaedheal. For they were hereditary enemies of theirs, and they did not think it agreeable to let them enter and dwell in the neighbouring lands about the city of Brigantia, after they had formerly driven them out. When Golamh, with his children and brethren, knew the malevolence and ill-intention they had against them, they were on their guard against them, and gathered together the greatest host, so that they assembled against them to battle with them ; so four and fifty battles were fought with them, one after the other. A valiant soldier was Golamh in those battles, and by him was every battle won on his enemies in turn, so that for that reason was the name "Miledh" given him ; so that it stuck to him in everyone's mouth from that out, although Golamh was his first name.

161. After he won those battles, contesting for the rights of his ancestors, he took the rule of Spain by force, and after that the septs and inhabitants, the tribes and races, of Spain were obedient to him. Peaceful and fortunate was his kingdom and his rule after he brought everyone under his sway, and rule, and yoke, and power, in this manner. Mil was a long while ruling his kingdom there, and in great strength, till a plague came to himself and to his brethren and to a number of his people ; so that there died king Mil, Occe and Ucce, and fifteen wedded couples of their own people with them.

162. Those are the adventures of Golamh from Scythia ; so that of them it was said : Cionnfaeladh the Learned composed it —

1 Golamh came out of Scythia —
a story in which bards find sweetness —
after wounding Reffloir, son of Neman,
with his bright white-green spear.

2 Forty ships the tale of their expedition ;
there went on the sea store of families ;
the host was better than any band,
I remember their journey there.

3 He stays three months in the island
of Taprobane of harbours ;
three months elsewhere, a season without delay,
sailing over the sea of foam.

4 After that they came to the land of Egypt,
to the court of Pharaoh of warrior bands ;
Scota is bestowed on Mil,
Galemh on whom never was victory won.

5 A number of that troop took
to learn arts in their sojourn :
Sedga, Sobairce, and Suirge,
in craftsmanship without sad difficulty.

6 Druidry by Mantan, by Caicher,
by Fulman the inventive and great ;
jurisprudence by the white-kneed mortal,
by Gosten the hard-fingered, by Donn.

7 Three kings of the warriors we tell of,
their countenance spread here over the sea ;
in learning of valour and prowess,
Golamh, Uicce, noble Occe.

8 They went forth at the end of eight years,
backward on the right road ;
they stayed a month at Taprobane,
although it was not a goal of sorrow.

9 They sailed past the point of Sliabh Riffe,
they reached (?) every land on the wave ;
a year were they near Thracia,
till they took harbour in brown Dacia.

10 They stayed a month in coloured Dacia,
they went thence to clear Gothia,
into Delgaint, into dewy Breoghan,
into cold cornered Spain.

11 Two score and fourteen battles
the complete warriors fought ;
about the right of Spain earnestly,
they were won by great Mil.

12 Thence is "Mil of Spain" upon him,
from those battles he fought ;
Golamh is his pleasant proper name,
my master, without low despite.

13 Plague came upon them in his household ;
fifteen couples died of it,
with the three kings that are mentioned,
idols that were not reviled in fight.

14 Golamh from Scythia of clear shields,
on Thursday, it is no sound of falsehood,
he takes Spain, according to the day,
it was a treasure with swiftness to him.



création : 20/11/2009


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