LEBOR GABALA ERENN
THE BOOK OF THE TAKING OF IRELAND

Third Redaction
Book of Ballymote & Book of Lecan
[ ] = glossarial matter in text



SECTION IV
PARTHOLON



208. Now Ireland was waste after the Flood for a space of three hundred and eleven years, [or perhaps one thousand and two years as others say] till Partholon reached it — [and that is more correct. For Abraham had sixty years complete when Partholon took Ireland; that is, it was nine hundred forty and two years from Abraham back to the Flood. Abraham's sixty years, along with the forty, make one hundred. The hundred, along with the nine hundred, make one thousand, and there are two extra years : so that there were a thousand and two years from the Flood to the coming of Partholon to Ireland.] Moreover there were two thousand six hundred and eight years from the beginning of the world to the coming of Partholon into Ireland.

Two thousand six hundred years, lacking two years, from Adam to Abraham.

209. Partholon s. Sera s. Sru s. Esru s. Baath s. Rifath Scot from whom are the Scots.

Or Partholon s. Sera s. Sru s. Esru s. Brament s. Eochu s. Magog s. Japhet s. Noe.

He came thereafter out of Mygdonia, that is, out of Graecia Parva.

He had a voyage of a month to Aladacia. A voyage of nine days had he from Aladacia to Gothia. A voyage of another month had he from Gothia to Spain. A voyage of nine days had he from Spain to Ireland. On a Tuesday he reached Ireland, upon the seventeenth of the moon, on the kalends of May.

Or on the fourteenth, ut dicitur

On the fourteenth, a Tuesday,
they parted from their free ship :
in the clear-landed blue brilliant harbour,
in shield-bright Inber Scene.

 

M

Or, further, it is on the sixteenth of the age of the moon in the month of May that Partholon took Ireland, and in the fifth unit of the moon of the same month that Cessair took Ireland; wherefore the following was said —

On the fifth without deceit
Cessair reached Ireland;
on the sixteenth without sorrow
Partholon took it in a harbour.

210. Eight persons were his tally, four men and four women,

or ten persons, ut alii dicunt

I shall indicate to you well, according to truth,
the tally that there was in that ship —
a free octad, no false lineage,
and two men unfree, without beauty.


to wit Partholon and his three sons, namely Rudraige and Slanga and Laiglinde, the three sons of Partholon,

from whom are [named] Loch Laiglinde in Ui mac Uais Breg, Sliab Slanga from Slanga, and Loch Rudraige from Rudraige. It is there that Rudraige was buried; when his grave was dug and he was buried, it is there that the lake burst over the land at that time.

B

And Ita was their hireling; or Toba was his other name, Here are the names of the women of Partholon, ut dicitur —

M

Further, Ith was the name of the hireling whom he had, and from him is Mag Itha, for it is he who cleared it. Toba was another name for him.

 

Or Toba was one of the two hirelings whom Partholon had, and that is correct; for it is Toba who slept with the wife of Partholon some time after- ward, [for Toba was a name of Partholon himself]. Here are the women of Partholon : Elgnat wife of Partholon, Nerbgene the wife of Rudraige, Aife the wife of Laiglinde, from whom is Mag Aife in Osraige, and Cichban the wife of Slanga, from whom is Inber Cichmuine, and Crebnad the wife of Ith, the serf. Learned men reckon that Aife was daughter to Partholon himself. So that of the names of those women the poet said,

The five women of Partholon son of Sera Aifi, Elgnad,
Nerbgen the vehement, a women's fight of violence (?) Cichban, Cerbnat.


211. Wouldst thou know wherefore Partholon came forth from his land, 'tis easy. Partholon slew his mother and his father, seeking kingship for his brother : so he came to Ireland fleeing from his kin-murder. And so thereafter plaguings came upon him in his kin-murder. Nine thousand in one week died for the guilt of his [presumption and his] kin-murder.

214. Four plains were cleared by Partholon in Ireland : Mag Ethrige in Connachta, Mag Itha in Laigen [Ith, the henchman of Partholon, smoothed it], Mag Latharna in Dal nAraide, Mag Lii in Ui mic Uais between Bir and Camus.

For Partholon found no plain in Ireland before him but the Old Plain of Elta in Edair.

215. Seven years after the Taking of Ireland by Partholon, the first man of his company died — Fea s. Tortan s. Sru s. Esru, uncle to Partholon.

and there was he buried, in Oilre of Mag Fea, and from him is Mag Fea named.

216. In the third year thereafter was the first battle of Ireland, in the princedom of Partholon, in Slemne of Mag Itha, against Cichol Clapper leg of the Fomoraig, namely, men with single legs and single arms; to wit, demons with the forms of men. They fought against him and the battle broke before Partholon. A week were they fighting it, and not a man was slain there, for it was a magic battle.

 

M

217. For that is the battle in which not one man received a mortal wound nor yet expulsion. According to another authority, it broke before Partholon, and there Cichol s. Nil was slain, and his people were hard pressed : and Partholon received a mortal wound. Also that it was of the gory darts of those wounds that he died, after a long time following the battle.

218. That is called Seven-Taking, namely the Taking which took under Cichol in Inber Domnann. Fifty men and thrice fifty women was the tally of every ship of theirs, including Cichol s. Nil s. Garb s. Tuathach s. Uathmor from Sliab Emoir ; Lot Luamnach was his mother. Two hundred years had they a-fishing and a-fowling, till Partholon came to them, and fought the battle of Mag Itha; whence is it called Seven-Taking, Cichol was slain and the Fomoraig destroyed, ut dicitur

1. The seventh taking took it,
the coast of Ireland of the lofty plains,
by empty Cichul Clapperleg
above the lawns of Inber Donmann.

2. Cicul son of Goll, a shouting with venom,
son of Garb, son of fiery Tuathmar,
son of Gumor over the sea from the east,
from whom the Fomoraig are named.

3. Lot Luamnech was his comely mother
from Mount Caucasus pious and comely :
out of her breasts her bloated lips,
four eyes out of her back.

4. For this came the ample Lot
from the east, from the lands of Emor,
with her son — saving thy presence —
to contest for the island of Ireland.

5. Men with single noble legs,
and with single full hands :
against them was broken a fair battle,
and against Cichal of the Fomoraig.

6. Lot equalled all her troop in strength,
the mother of Cicul son of Gumoir :
daughter of Neir rough and hairy,
from Mount Caucasus of the crooked top.

7. Three hundred men was the tally of the troop
who came from the lands of Emor :
they scattered here after that,
and were cut down in a week.


219. Seven lake-bursts over the land of Ireland in the time of Partholon : Loch Mesca, which In the twelfth year after the coming of Partholon into Ireland, the burst of Loch Con and of Loch Dechet ; in Connachta are they both. The year after that Slanga son of Partholon died, one of the four chiefs of Ireland who came with Partholon : where he was buried, was in the stone-heap of Sliab Slanga. At the end of two years thereafter, the burst of Loch Laiglinne in Ui mac Uais : Laiglinne son of Partholon, one of the four chiefs of Ireland, at the digging of his grave, it is then that the lake burst over the land, [namely Loch Laiglinne] . The burst of Loch Echtra between Sliab Modurn and Sliab Fuait. When it was ten years later, the burst of Loch Rudraige, for what drowned him was the burst of his lake over him; from that is named Loch Rudraige in Ulaid. Moreover in the same year, the sea-flow of Bren over land, and thus is that the seventh lake : Loch Cuan is its other name. For Partholon found not in Ireland before him more than three lakes and nine rivers. The three lakes are, Loch Luimnig and Loch Fodremain, upon which is Traig Li at Sliab Mis in Muma, and Findloch of Irrus Domnann. The nine rivers, Buas between Dal nAraide and Dal Riata, Ruirthech, [the river of Lifé], between Ui Neill and Laigen, Lui in Muma, Samer and Slicech and Muad in Ui Fiachrach, Modurn in Tir Eogain, and Find between Cenel Conaill and Eogain, and Banna between Lee and Eile.

220. At the end of four years after the burst of Bren, the death of Partholon on the Old Plain of Elta of Edar. This is why it is called "Old Plain," for never did branch or twig of a wood grow through it. Partholon died at the end of thirty years after his coming to Ireland. Ninyas s. Ninus s. Belus was in the High Kingship of the Orient at that time, for it is in the

B

eighth year of his princedom that Partholon died — twelve years (of) Semiramis, and eighteen (of) Ninyas, so that those are the thirty years that Partholon spent in Ireland.

M

last year of the princedom of Zames that the death of Partholon occurred, on the Old Plain of Elta, and it is thus clear that Partholon was not more than thirty years in Ireland.

Two thousand six hundred twenty and eight years from the beginning of the world to the death of Partholon, and five hundred and twenty years from the death of Partholon to the plaguing of his people. For it is five hundred and fifty from the coming of Partholon into Ireland to the plaguing of his people.

Now it is in the Plain of Elta of Edar that Partholon died, of the venom of the wounds inflicted on him in the battle of Cichol Clapperknee. This is why it is called Mag nElta [Plain of Flocks], for the birds of Ireland used to be sunning them- selves upon it : for there was unbroken forest in Ireland then after the Flood.

 

M

Or it is from a woman it was named later, in the time of the sons of Mil, to wit Elta daughter of Oes s. Uindset of the Laigne,

221. His four sons divided Ireland into four parts : that is the first division of Ireland. Ireland remained so divided till the plaguing of his people. There came a plague upon them on the kalends of May, the Monday of Beltene; nine thousand died of that plague until the following Monday, upon Mag Elta, five thousand and four men and four thousand women, who were dead between the two Mondays. From that is the plaguing of the People of Partholon in Ireland.

Other historians believe that it was in the seventh year of the age of Abraham that Partholon took Ireland : for others say that it was at the end of two years after the passing of Moses over the Red Sea, and that Maspertius was then in the high-kingship of the world. Three hundred twenty and eight [seven, B] years from then till the taking of Troy, and Tutanes was high king of the world at that time. So that at the end of two years thereafter Nemed came to Ireland. But the first opinion is better, and more accurate.

222. Now this is the solitary man whom we have mentioned, who escaped from the Plaguing, to wit Tuan s. Starn s. Sera s. of Partholon's [father 's (M)] brother. [And learned men and writers of knowledge reckon that it was after Ireland was taken by Partholon that Starn came into Ireland]. And God fashioned him in [many] forms in many times, and that man survived alone from the time of Partholon to the time of Findian of Mag Bile and to Colum Cille, so that he related to them the Takings of Ireland from the time of Cessair, the first who took Ireland, to that time [of the saints and of Diarmait mac Cerbaill King of Ireland. For it is Fintan who arranged the settlement of the household of Temair for Diarmait after a long time following that, and from this it is clear that Fintan was Tuan (M only, which omits the following words "And he is Tuan.")]. And he is Tuan s. Cairell s. Muiredach Muinderg of the Ulaid.

B

Of that it is that the historian sang the song :

M

And it is of that taking of Partholon, and of the lakes and rivers which burst forth in his time, and which he found in Ireland before him, that Eochaid ua Floind sang the following.

1. Ye scholars of the Plain of fair, white Conn,
of the land of the men of Fal, as I relate,
what company, after the creation of the world,
first lighted upon Ireland?

2. Ireland before the swift Flood,
as I reckon her courses,
knowing, pure-white kemps found her,
including Cessair daughter of Bith.

3. Bith son of Noe of the many troops,
though he overcame with a trench-achievement,
he died in warlike Sliab Betha;
Ladra died in Ard Ladrann.

4. Fintan went on a journey of weakness,
his grave was found, it was a leap of impetuosity :
he was not in haste into the trench of a churchyard,,
but into a grave over Tul Tuinde.

5. To Dun na mBarc for a separation-festival
faring without scale of reckoning brought them ;
at the stone-heap, beside a fruitful sea
Cessair died in Cul Cessrach.

6. Forty days full-scanty
the slender and graceful troop arrived;
in their ship, before the noise of the Flood,
they landed on a place of the land of Ireland.

7. He rose on a journey for truth-deciding,
by the might of the King whom he used to adore ;
Fintan, who was a man with tidings
for lords, for mighty ones of the earth.

8. Three hundred years, I boast of it,
I speak through the rules which I reckon,
pleasant Ireland, I proclaim it against the sooth-sayers,
was waste, after the Flood.

9. Partholon the eminent came,
a royal course across an oar-beaten sea :
his quartet of heroes, fair and faithful —
among them was the free-born Slanga.

10. Slanga, Laiglinne the brilliant,
boardlike, noble and strong was his canoe;
these were his ready trio of chieftains,
along with the lordly Rudraige.

11. Plains were cleared of their great wood,
by him, to get near to his dear children;
Mag Itha southward, a hill of victory-head,
Mag Li of ashes, Mag Lathraind.

12. Seven lake-bursts, though ye measure them,
with renown of name, though ye should set them forth,
they filled, amid the fetter of valleys,
insular Ireland in his time.

13. Loch Laiglinne, bold Loch Cuan,
The Loch of Rudraige, (he was) a lord without law-giving.
Loch Techet, Loch Mesc abounding in mead,
Loch Con, Loch Echtra full of swans.

14. Over Ireland of beauty of colour,
as I relate every foundation,
on the fortress of Bith he found not
more than three lakes before him.

15. Three lakes, vast and tideless, (?)
and nine rivers full of beauty :
Loch Fordremain, Loch Luimnig,
Findloch over the borders of Irrus.

16. The river of Lifé, the Lee let us mention,
which every druid hymns who knows diana senga :
the history of the old rivers of Ireland
has demonstrated the true height of the Flood.

17. Muad, Slicech, Samer, thou dost name it,
Buas, a flood with the fame-likeness of a summit,
Modorn, Find with fashion of a sword-blade (?)
Banna between Lee and Eille.

18. He died after pride, with warriors,
Partholon, of the hundredfold troop :
they were cut down with possessions, with treasures,
on the Old Plain of Elta of Edar.

19. This is why it is the fortunate Old Plain
It is God the Fashioner who caused it :
over its land which the sea-mouth cut off
no root or twig of a wood was found.

20. His grave is there according to men of truth,
Although he had no power among saints :
Silent was his sleep under resting places
which are no pilgrimage-way for our scholars.

21. Three hundred years, though ye should know it,
over lands secret to the exalted,
had the troop, brightly tuneful and lasting,
over age-old, noble Ireland.

22. Men, women, boys, and girls,
on the calends of May, a great hindrance,
the plaguing of Partholon in Mag Breg
was no unbroken summer-apportionment of peace.

23. It was thirty lean years
that she was empty in the face of war-champions,
after the death of her host throughout a week,
in their troops upon Mag Elta.

24. Let us give adoration to the King of the Elements,
to the good Head, the Fortress of our people,
whose is every troop, every generation,
whose is every head, every scholarship.

25. I am Ua Flaind who scatters truths ;
an apportionment with kings hath he chosen;
may everything whatsoever he may say be a speech of grace,
may it accord with holiness, ye scholars!


223. The four sons of Partholon first divided Ireland in the beginning, Er, Orba, Feron, Fergna : there were four men, their namesakes, among the sons of Mil after them but they were not the same. From Ath Cliath of Laigen to Ailech Net, that is the share of Er. From the same Ath Cliath to Ailen Arda Nemid, that is the share of Orba. From Ailen Arda Nemid to Ath Cliath Medraige, that is the share of Feron. From that Ath Cliath to Ailech Net, that is the division of Fergna. That then is the first sharing of Ireland, as the poet saith

1. Four sons who were griffin-like of renown
of the chief children of Partholon,
shared mutually without a rampart,
ploughed Ireland without contradiction.

2. Not easy for the Kings was her division
as the land of Ireland was an unbroken forest,
a short hollow surrounded every steading in his time,
Every man obtained knowledge of his share.

3. Er the eldest of them, a freeman pliant,
pleasing his share, distant without alteration,
from Ailech Neit, a land without deceit,
to Ath Cliath of Laigen full and stout.

4. From Ath Cliath of Laigen, a leap of ocean,
to the island of Ard Nemed,
without sorrow, not soft was his vigour,
the share of Orba southward from the good troop.

5. From the island where Nemed got wounding,
to Medraige of the great regions —
good contentment was there, without combats —
the share of Feron, long was the territory.

6. From long Medraige further,
to Ailech Neit with good custom,
hard, valorous, a boundary that was not weak,
Fergna obtained wide land.

7. In Ireland itself, it is no cause for deceit,
the champions whom I reckon were born :
a free troop foremost in fame,
fair and valorous were the four.

B

224. Let us speak further of the names of the people of Partholon, and of their deeds of valour in Ireland. It was Partholon who possessed the four oxen, the first cattle of Ireland. Of his company was Brea s. Senboth s. Partholon by whom a house and a flesh [-cauldron] and duelling were first made in Ireland. Of his company was Samaililech, by whom was made drinking of ale and paying of suretyships first in Ireland. Of his company was Breoir, by whom was made a guesting-house first in Ireland. As the poet said —

M

We have already spoken of Partholon and of his own children, and let us speak now of the people of Partholon and of their deeds of valour and of their general arts in Ireland. Partholon had the four oxen, who used to plough land in Partholon 's time — the cattle which he had, or rather, they are the four oxen of Partholon, For there was of his company Brea son of Senboth, the eldest of the chieftains of Partholon, by whom was first made a guesting-house in Ireland, and flesh in a cauldron for guests, and duelling. And of the company of Partholon was Samaile the Gray, by whom was first made beer and ale in Ireland and suretyship first in Ireland. And of the company of Partholon was Beoir, by whom was made a guesting- house first in Ireland.

  ;

225. And of his company were his seven husbandmen, Tothacht, Tarba, Eochair, Eatachbel, Cuaille, Dorcha, Dam. Of his company were the four [oxen] which used to plough for him, Leic, Lecad, Imair, Eitridi. Of his company were his two ploughmen, Rimead the tail-ploughman and Tairrle the head-ploughman. Of his company were his two irons : Fead was the name of the coulter and Fodbac of the share. Of his company were his three druids, Fis, Eolus, Fochmorc. Of his company were his three champions, Milchu, Meran, Muinechan. Of his companies were his poet and his leech, Bacorp the leech and Ladru the poet, and it is they who first of all made guesting in Ireland. Of his company were his two merchants, Iban and Eban — Iban first got gold in Ireland and Eban got cattle and kine. Of his company were his ten daughters,(*Apparently eleven, because M has mistaken the adjective ard for a name and written it as such.*) Aife, Aine, Etan, Ard, Macha, Mucha, Melibard, Glas, Grennach, Anach, Achanach. Of the company of Partholon was this troop of champions, though they are counted to Nemed, and it is said that they were sons-in-law of Partholon — Aibri, Bronnad, Ban, Caerthenn, Echtach, Athchosan, Luchraid, Ligair, Lugaid. lender the Taking of Partholon was building first done in Ireland, and a quern, and churning, and ale. It is in the Taking of Cessair that sheep were first brought into Ireland. So that of the People of Partholon, the historian Eochaid ua Floind spake this song —

1. Good was the great company
that Partholon had;
maidens and active youths,
chieftains and champions.

2. Totacht and strong Tarba,
Eochar and Aithechbel,
Cuaille, Dorcha, Dam,
the seven chief ploughmen of Partholon.

3. Liac and Lecmag with colour,
Imar and Etrigi,
the four oxen, a proper group,
who ploughed the land of Partholon.

4. Beoir was the name of the man,
with his nobles and with his people,
who suffered a guest in his firm house,
the first in Ireland's island.

5. By that Brea son of Senboth
a house was first, a cauldron on fire ;
a feat that the pleasant Gaedil desert not,
duelling in Ireland.

6. By Samaliliath were known
ale-drinking and suretyship :
by him were made thereafter
worship, prayer, questioning.

7. The three druids of Partholon of the harbours,
Fiss, Eolas, Fochmarc :
the names of his three champions further,
Milchu, Meran, Muinechan.

8. The names of the ten noble daughters
whom Partholon had,
and the names of his ten sons-in-law
I have aside, it is a full memory.

9. Aife, Aine, lofty Adnad,
Macha, Mucha, Melepard,
Glas and Grenach,
Auach and Achanach.

10. Aidbli, Bomnad and Ban,
Caertin, Echtach, Athchosan,
Lucraid, Ligair, Lugaid the warrior,
Gerber who was not vain of word.

11. Beothach, Iarbonel, Fergus,
Art, Corb, who followed (?) without sin,
Sobairche, active Dobairche,
were the five chieftains of Nemed, good in strength.

12. Bacorb Ladra, who was a sound sage,
he was Partholon's man of learning;
he is the first man, without uncertainty,
who made hospitality at the first.

13. Where they ploughed in the west
was at Dun Finntain, though it was very far :
and they grazed grass of resting
in the east of Mag Sanais.

14. Bibal and Babal the white,
were Partholon's two merchants :
Bibal brought gold hither,
Babal brought cattle.

15. The first building of Ireland without sorrow,
was made by Partholon :
the first brewing', churning, ale, a course with grace,
at first, in good and lofty Ireland.

16. Rimad was the firm tail-ploughman,
Tairle the general head-ploughman;
Fodbach was the share, no fiction is that,
and Fetain the coulter.

17. Broken was the name of the man, it was perfect,
who first wrought hidden shamefulness :
it was destroyed with a scattering that was not evil.
Partholon thought this to be good.

B

226. And it is of that Taking, and of the route of Partholon from Mygdonia to Spain and from Spain to Ireland, that the following poem gives judgement —

1. Partholon, whence he came
to Ireland, reckon ye !
on the day when he reached across the sea,
what was the land from which Partholon came?

2. He came from Sicily to Greece —
a year's journey, with no full falsehood:
a month's sailing from Greece westward,
to Cappadocia.

3. From Cappadocia he journeyed,
a sailing of three days to Gothia,
a sailing of a month from white Gothia,
to three-cornered Spain.

4. After that he reached Inis Fail,
to Ireland from Spain :
on Monday, the tenth without blemish
one octad took Ireland.

5. He is the first man who took his wife
in the time of Partholon without falsehood :
Fintan, who took the woman through combat —
Aife, daughter of Partholon.

6. Partholon went out one day,
to tour his profitable land :
His wife and his henchman together
he leaves behind him on the island.

7. As they were in his house,
the two, a wonder unheard-of,
she made an advance to the pure henchman,
he made no advance to her.

8. Since he made her no answer promptly
the henchman, stubborn against an evil intention,
she doffs her in desperation —
an impulsive action for a good woman!

9. The henchman rose without uncertainty,
a frail thing is humanity ! —
and came, a saying without pleasure,
with Delgnat to share her couch.

10. Insolent was the prank for a pleasant henchman
which Topa of tuneful strings wrought;
to go by a rough trick, a happiness without pleasure,
with Delgnat, to share her couch.

11. Partholon, who was a man of knowledge, had
a vat of most sweet ale :
out of which none could drink aught
save through a tube of red gold.

12. Thirst seized them after the deed,
Topa and Delgnat, according to truth :
so that their two mouths drank
their two drinks (?) in the tube.

13. When they did it, a couple without remorse,
there came upon them very great thirst;
soon they drank a blight coal-drink,
through the gilded tube.

14. Partholon arrived outside,
after ranging the wilderness :
there were given to him, it was a slight disturbance,
his vat and his tube.

15. When he took the straight tube,
he perceived upon it at once,
the taste of Topa's mouth as far as this,
and the taste of Delgnat's mouth.

15a. A black, surly demon revealed
the bad, false, unpleasant deed :
"Here is the taste of Topa's mouth" said he,
"And the taste of Delgnat's mouth."

16. Then said the sound son of Sera,
the man called Partholon :
''though short the time we are outside,
we have the right to complain of you."

17. The man smote the woman's dog
with his palm — it was no profit —
he slew the hound, it was a treasure that would be slender ;
so that is the first jealousy of Ireland.

18. Delgnat answered her husband :
"Not upon us is the blame,
though bitter thou thinkest my saying it,
truly, but it is upon thee.

19. Though evil thou thinkest my saying it to thee,
Partholon, its right shall be mine :
I am the 'one before one' here,
I am innocent, recompense is my due.

20. Honey with a woman, milk with a cat,
food with one generous, meat with a child,
a wright within and an edge[d tool]
one before one, 'tis a great risk.

21. The woman will taste the thick honey,
the cat will drink the milk,
the generous will bestow the pure food,
the child will eat the meat.

22. The wright will lay hold of a tool,
the one with the one will go together :
wherefore it is right
to guard them well from the beginning.

23. That is the first adultery to be heard of
made here in the beginning :
the wife of Partholon, a man of rank,
to go to an ignoble henchman.

24. He came after the henchman
and slew him with anger :
to him there came not the help of God
upon the Weir of the Kin-murder.

25. The place where that was done,
after its fashioning certainly —
great is its sweetness that was there of a day
in the land of Inis Saimera.

26. And that, without deceit,
is the first judgement in Ireland :
so that thence, with very noble judgement,
is "the right of his wife against Partholon".

27. Seventeen years had they thereafter,
till there came the death of that man :
the battle of Mag Itha of the combats
was one of the deeds of Partholon.


Moreover the following song, which we forgot, is applicable to the Pontine Taking of Partholon : and though we leave it here, it is not through ignorance, for above where we first mentioned Tuan it ought to come : ut poeta dixit

1. Tuan son of Cairell was heard :
Jesus gave to him in his sin,
that he spent an hundred long years
in the form of a man under good appearance.

2. Three hundred years had he, in the form
of a stag deer on the deserts :
he spent an hundred good years
in the form of a wild boar.

3. Three hundred years had he on flesh
when he was in the form of a lonely bird;
then he spent an hundred tuneful years
in the form of a salmon under a flood.

4. A fisher took him in his net,
carried him to the king's fortress;
when she saw the pure salmon,
the queen desired him.

5. So that it was assigned to her, a good course,
and she ate it all by herself :
the very noble queen became pregnant,
and thence was Tuan conceived.


The Second Age, from the Flood to Abraham, nine hundred forty and two years is its length. At the end of sixty years after that, Partholon took Ireland : five hundred and fifty years from the coming of Partholon into Ireland to the plaguing of his people.

M

232. More of the Taking of Partholon, of his route and of his adventures from Mygdonia to Ireland. When Partholon with his troop of eight persons came to Ireland, and quested around Ireland close into the shores, this was the fruitful place which he selected, to eat of the increase and of the provender of Ireland — for neither houses nor husbandry were at their service at that time; nothing but the hunt, the chase, and fowling. The place where Partholon made his choice was at the river Da Econd, for that place is the most fruitful which he found in Ireland. The learned consider that the plain upon which that place is situated was not shared among the children of Partholon. Mag Inis was its name, and it is called Tradraige of Mag Inis, to which Cathbad the druid belonged.

233. For this reason is it called the river Da Econd ("of the two fools"); when Partholon went a-hunting and a-fishing, he left his wife Elgnat [daughter of Lochtach] and his henchman Topa to guard the island. The woman bade the henchman pair with her, in despite of Partholon. The henchman refused, and the woman said that the henchman was a coward. At last the henchman consented to her, as the woman was reviling him. From that indecency and folly which those two wrought, the name clave to the creek from that time forward. Thereafter thirst seized them, and they drank of the measures [vessels] and [suction]-tubes of Partholon, such was the greatness of the thirst in the guilt of the misdeed which they had wrought. Partholon came to his house in the end of the day, and perceived the taste of Topa's mouth and that of Delgnat upon the tube, and so became aware of the misdeed; great wrath seized him, and he killed his wife's lap-dog, which was called Saimer; whence Saimer's Island has its name. That, then, is the first jealousy that ever was in Ireland, and of it Partholon said :

Great the tidings which ye have spread :
Elgnat, ye have mocked us ;
Many children of uncertainty.
Of the face of lords a blushing ;
In the heart of champions a swelling ;
Peace will not apportion them a quiet heart ;
Evil tidings which ye have plotted —
A small thing will not recompense them for great jealousy :
The practice of illicit love,
How great is the disgrace !


234. Then Elgnat answered and said : Master, fair one, Partholon! said Elgnat, when longing for pairing cometh, 'tis not easy to subdue it.

See thy speckle-coloured cattle-herds
in their tight bond they have desire !
See thy sheep of fair garb
that tarry not for a pairing-master !
See the lofty cattle of any particular man,
they seek the covering-bulls against reason.
See white sheep, when their heat comes,
they go into the authority of any ram that is first in the stalls.

A calf is in a bond
that it follow not its milch-cow.
A hundred lofty planks upon lambs
that the grown lambs suck not.
Foaming milk of thy horned cow,
be it not trusted to a kitten !
An axe ever-sharp, hard in protect,
be it not trusted to a hewer !


Yet great is the shame which ye have wrought, woman, said Partholon, and from the time when Eve wrought the sin of the apple, by which the human race was enslaved and was thrust out of Paradise, the like of the crime which you have committed has not been done. Wherefore Partholon said:

Great are your crimes of deliberation,
your crime deserves penalties :
We ever protecting you,
you dishonouring us.
Enough for everyone are thy bad manners,
seemly will everyone think thy guiltiness.
The sins of Eve we have found
Second to what you have done,
Delgnat, or yet more.


235. Great was the suffering that came upon Partholon over the sea till he reached Ireland : so that of the adventures of Partholon and of his route and of his adversaries the learned sang this —

1. Partholon, whence he came
to Ireland, reckon ye !
on the day when he reached across the sea,
what was the land from which Partholon came?

2. He came from Sicily to Greece —
a year's journey, with no full falsehood:
a month's sailing from Greece westward,
to Cappadocia.

3. From Cappadocia he journeyed,
a sailing of three days to Gothia,
a sailing of a month from white Gothia,
to three-cornered Spain.

4. After that he reached Inis Fail,
to Ireland from Spain :
on Monday, the tenth without blemish
one octad took Ireland.

5. He is the first man who took his wife
in the time of Partholon without falsehood :
Fintan, who took the woman through combat —
Aife, daughter of Partholon.

6. Partholon went out one day,
to tour his profitable land :
His wife and his henchman together
he leaves behind him on the island.

7. As they were in his house,
the two, a wonder unheard-of,
she made an advance to the pure henchman,
he made no advance to her.

8. Since he made her no answer promptly
the henchman, stubborn against an evil intention,
she doffs her in desperation —
an impulsive action for a good woman!

9. The henchman rose without uncertainty,
a frail thing is humanity ! —
and came, a saying without pleasure,
with Delgnat to share her couch.

10. Insolent was the prank for a pleasant henchman
which Topa of tuneful strings wrought;
to go by a rough trick, a happiness without pleasure,
with Delgnat, to share her couch.

11. Partholon, who was a man of knowledge, had
a vat of most sweet ale :
out of which none could drink aught
save through a tube of red gold.

12. Thirst seized them after the deed,
Topa and Delgnat, according to truth :
so that their two mouths drank
their two drinks (?) in the tube.

13. When they did it, a couple without remorse,
there came upon them very great thirst;
soon they drank a blight coal-drink,
through the gilded tube.

14. Partholon arrived outside,
after ranging the wilderness :
there were given to him, it was a slight disturbance,
his vat and his tube.

15. When he took the straight tube,
he perceived upon it at once,
the taste of Topa's mouth as far as this,
and the taste of Delgnat's mouth.

15a. A black, surly demon revealed
the bad, false, unpleasant deed :
"Here is the taste of Topa's mouth" said he,
"And the taste of Delgnat's mouth."

16. Then said the sound son of Sera,
the man called Partholon :
''though short the time we are outside,
we have the right to complain of you."

17. The man smote the woman's dog
with his palm — it was no profit —
he slew the hound, it was a treasure that would be slender ;
so that is the first jealousy of Ireland.

18. Delgnat answered her husband :
"Not upon us is the blame,
though bitter thou thinkest my saying it,
truly, but it is upon thee.

 

19. Though evil thou thinkest my saying it to thee,
Partholon, its right shall be mine :
I am the 'one before one' here,
I am innocent, recompense is my due.

20. Honey with a woman, milk with a cat,
food with one generous, meat with a child,
a wright within and an edge[d tool]
one before one, 'tis a great risk.

21. The woman will taste the thick honey,
the cat will drink the milk,
the generous will bestow the pure food,
the child will eat the meat.

22. The wright will lay hold of a tool,
the one with the one will go together :
wherefore it is right
to guard them well from the beginning.

23. That is the first adultery to be heard of
made here in the beginning :
the wife of Partholon, a man of rank,
to go to an ignoble henchman.

24. He came after the henchman
and slew him with anger :
to him there came not the help of God
upon the Weir of the Kin-murder.

25. The place where that was done,
after its fashioning certainly —
great is its sweetness that was there of a day
in the land of Inis Saimera.

26. And that, without deceit,
is the first judgement in Ireland :
so that thence, with very noble judgement,
is "the right of his wife against Partholon".

27. Seventeen years had they thereafter,
till there came the death of that man :
the battle of Mag Itha of the combats
was one of the deeds of Partholon.


236. All the folk of Partholon died then of plaguing, as we have said above, except one man, Tuan s. Starn s. Sera son of Partholon 's uncle. God fashioned him in many forms, and he survived from the time of Partholon to the time of Colum Cille, and revealed to them the knowledge and history and Takings of Ireland and her histories, from the coming of Cessair until then. For this purpose God kept him alive till the time of the saints. He was at last called Tuan s. Cairell s. Muiredach Muinderg : and these are the shapes in which he was : an hundred years had he in the form of a man, three hundred years in the form of a wild ox over waste places, two hundred years in the form of a wild stallion, three hundred years in the form of a solitary bird, an hundred years in the form of a salmon. So that a fisher took him in his net, and carried him to the queen, the wife of Muiredach Muinderg; so he was urged of her, and of her was Tuan conceived at last. The learned say that he was Fintan Fineolach. Of those shapes the learned sang this song —

1. Tuan son of Cairell was heard :
Jesus gave to him in his sin,
that he spent an hundred long years
in the form of a man under good appearance.

2. Three hundred years had he, in the form
of a stag deer on the deserts :
he spent an hundred good years
in the form of a wild boar.

3. Three hundred years had he on flesh
when he was in the form of a lonely bird;
then he spent an hundred tuneful years
in the form of a salmon under a flood.

4. A fisher took him in his net,
carried him to the king's fortress;
when she saw the pure salmon,
the queen desired him.

5. So that it was assigned to her, a good course,
and she ate it all by herself :
the very noble queen became pregnant,
and thence was Tuan conceived.


SYNCHRONISMS OF PARTHOLON

(*Names of the personages regarded by the Irish historians as "Kings of the world" are printed in Capitals. Other kings in ordinary type. *)

B

228. The tally of kings that took the world at that time. In the Second Age were these deeds transacted : the Tower of Nemrod, and in it was taken the first lordship of the world in Asia, which NINUS s. BELUS took. In the 23rd year of his reign was Abram born. The Thebans [Tefferus R3] governed Egypt at that time ; 140 years was the length of their lordship.

Aegialeus first took the kingship of Greece; he was of the Sicyonians. Fifty-two years was the length of his reign : the last year of his reign was the first year of the reign of Ninus s. Belus. Europs thereafter, 45 years in the kingship of Greece. In the 22nd year of his reign was Abram born. That is the 23rd year of the reign of Ninus. That is the first year of the Third Age of the World; it is the same as the 942nd year from the Flood to Abram.

From Adam to Abram were 2600 years lacking two years : 29 years was Ninus in joint rule with Abram. In the 60th year of the age of Abram Partholon took Ireland. Abram survived over the reigns of five of the kings of the world, Ninus, Semiramis, Ninyas s. Ninus, Arius, Aralius. Now 175 years was the length of Abram's life. As for Ninus, 52 years was his life. He spent 23 of these years before Abram, and had 29 years in joint rule with him.

 
SEMIRAMIS 42 years.
 NINYAS  35 „
 ARIUS  33
 ARALIUS  40 „ , and 4 years of his kingship that Abram did not survive. So that the seed of Partholon was 500 years in Ireland, from the 60th year of the age of Abram, and the 31st year of Semiramis, to the second year of the reign of Bolochus. The lifetime of 17 of the kings of the world did the seed of Partholon spend in Ireland. Semiramis, Ninyas, Arius, Aralius —
 XERXES  30 years.
 ARMAMITRES  16 years.
 BELOCHUS  30 „
 BALEUS  52 „
 ALTADAS  32 „

M

230. AREUS, the fourth king of Assyria, had thirty years, and Ireland was under the children of Partholon during that time. The birth of Isaac s Abram in his time, and the death of Reu when he was king.
ARALIUS, the fifth king of Assyria, had forty years, during which the children of Partholon were in Ireland. Death of Eber s. Sale an his time.
XERXES, who was called Bailius, the sixth king of Assyria, had thirty years. In the thirteenth year of his reign Abram died.
ARMAMITRES, the seventh king of Assyria, had thirty-eight years, during which the children of Partholon were in Ireland. The deaths of Jacob, of Ishmael, and of Sale in that time.
BELOCUS, the eighth king of Assyria, had thirty years, during which the children of Partholon were in Ireland.
BALEUS moreover, the ninth king of Assyria, had fifty-one years during which the children of Partholon were in Ireland. Death of Isaac in his time.
ALTADAS, the tenth king of Assyria, had thirty-two years, during which the children of Partholon were in Ireland.
MAMITUS, the eleventh king of Assyria, had thirty years. Eber Scot was born in Egypt in his time. In the eighth year of his reign, the plaguing of Partholon 's people.

231. The second age, moreover, from the Flood to Abram : this is the tally of years that are in it, two hundred ninety and two years. In it were wrought the following deeds: Nemrod's Tower; the dispersal of the Tower; the multiplication of the languages over the whole earth; the deaths of Sem son of Noe in Sliab Radruip, of Iafeth in Sliab Armenia, of Ham in Sliab Rafan, of the heat of the sun; the death of the wife of Ninus son of Belus [or her taking of the kingship after her husband], Semiramis her name ; the beginning of the reign of Ninus over the world — the first king of the Assyrians; the first foundation of Babylon; the beginning of husbandry by Ham son of Noe. At that time the Assyrians were all in the high-kingship of the world, till the coming of Nemed into Ireland after Partholon. Partholon and his progeny spent the time of twelve kings of the Assyrians in Ireland, from Ninus son of Belus to Manchaleus king of Assyria, and in the time of the latter Nemed came into Ireland.

 
 MAMITUS  30 years
 SPHERUS  20 „
 MANCHALEUS  30 „
 MAMITUS  30 „
 SPARETUS  40 „
 ASTACADIS  40 „
 AMINTES 45 „
 ASCAIDIAS 14 „
 PANTACER 3 „
 BOLOCHUS 2 5 „ , of which 12 were in contemporary rule with Partholon, that is to the plaguing of Partholon's people; and l3, when Ireland was desert.
 The daughter of Bolochus, 8 years, so that is 21 years further that Ireland was desert. ATOSSA and SEMIRAMIS are the two names of that lady.
 BELLEPARES, 30 years, and he had been 9 years in the kingship of the world when Nemed came into Ireland.

229. The 9 years and the 21 years, those are the 30 years during which Ireland was waste.

 


création : 30/08/2009


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