Aided Chrimthaind maic Fhidaig ⁊ trí mac Echach Muigmedóin ‘The violent death of Crimthann mac Fidaig and of the three sons of Eochaid Muigmedón’

  • Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Cycles of the Kings

A Middle Irish prosimetric saga about the infighting between the sons of Eochaid Mugmedón in their struggle for dominance, the roles of Mongfhind (mother of four of them) and her brother Crimthann in this conflict, and the fates of Brían, Fíachra, Ailill and their sons.

  • Middle Irish
  • Ó Corráin (1986) has posited that the tale was composed in the 12th century, during the reign of Toirdelbach Úa Conchobair (r. 1106-d. 1156), whose royal claims it seems to favour over those of rival dynasties. He argues that it is one of a number of texts that form “part of the work-book of the scholars attached to Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair” (p. 146). Dillon, in an earlier work, suggests that the prose “belongs perhaps to the eleventh century”, while the poems quoted are “earlier in language than the prose” (Dillon 1946: 30).
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Five poems are quoted in the course of the text. Stokes does not reproduce them in full, but they were edited by O’Grady: 1. Fertán Crimthainn cid diatá (12 qq); 2. Brian mac Echach Muigmedóin (2 qq); 3. Gabus Brian ríge rebach (7 qq); 4. Maicne Echach ard a nglé (12 qq), which is also found in the Book of Leinster; and 5. Trí meic Echach na ngníom ngrinn (3 qq).
Textual relationships
Related: Inis Dornglais ro gab CrimthannInis Dornglais ro gab Crimthann

A brief prose passage found in the Book of Leinster, which summarises events in the power struggles between Brían, Fíachra and Ailill, sons of Eochaid Mugmédon, including the poisoning of Crimthann mac Fidaig, king of Ireland, by his sister Mongfhind. The text highlights some of the place-names in that story. Because the manuscript page is worn at the right edge, the text is now partly illegible.

Associated items
Maiccni Echach ard a ngléMaiccni Echach ard a ngléMiddle Irish poem (12 qq) attributed to Flann mac Lonáin on the struggle for dominance among Eochaid Mugmedón’s sons.


Cycles of the Kings
Cycles of the Kings
id. 80



Eochaid MugmedónEochaid Mugmedón
(supp. fl. late 4th century)
Eochu Mugmedón
legendary Irish king; important ancestor figure in Irish tradition as the father of Níall Noígíallach (a quo the Uí Néill), and of Ailill, Brión/Brían and Fíachra.
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Crimthann mac FidaigCrimthann mac Fidaig
(supp. fl. 4th century)
Crimthann Mór mac Fidaig
(time-frame ass. with Cycles of the Kings)
In Irish historical tradition, a king of Munster and high-king of Ireland, who is portrayed in origin legends concerning the Éoganachta. Through his father Fidach son of Dáire Cerbba, he is given a descent from Ailill Ólomm, but no dynastic group is said to spring from him. According to his aided or ‘death-tale’, he was poisoned by his own sister Mongfhind. Some narratives connect him to Conall Corc.
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Mongfhind ingen FhidaigMongfhind ingen Fhidaig
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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Fíachra mac Echach MuigmedóinFíachra mac Echach Muigmedóin
(supp. fl. 4th/5th century)
son of Eochaid Mugmedón and Mongfhind; father of Nath Í; ancestor figure of the Uí Fíachrach of Connacht.
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Ailill mac Echach MuigmedóinAilill mac Echach Muigmedóin
(supp. fl. 4th/5th century)
In Irish tradition, a son of Eochaid Mugmedón and ancestor of the Uí Ailella, a branch of the Connachta.
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Brión mac Echach MuigmedóinBrión mac Echach Muigmedóin
(supp. fl. 4th/5th century)
Brían mac Echach Muigmedóin
In Irish tradition, a son of Eochaid Mugmedón, a half-brother to Níall Noígíallach, and eponymous ancestor of the Uí Briúin, a branch of the Connachta.
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Primary sources

[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “The death of Crimthann son of Fidach, and the adventures of the sons of Eochaid Muigmedón”, Revue Celtique 24 (1903): 172–207, 446 (add. and corr.).
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
172–189 Based on YBL, with variant readings from the Book of Ballymote in footnotes.
[ed.] OʼGrady, Standish Hayes, Silva Gadelica (I–XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish, vol. 1: Irish text, London: Williams & Norgate, 1892.
Digitale-sammlungen.de: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>, <link> CELT – various: <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>
330–336 [‘[XXV] Aided Crimthainn meic Fidaig ocus trí mac Echach muigmedóin .i. Brian . Ailill . Fiachra’] Edited from the Book of Ballymote.
[tr.] OʼGrady, Standish Hayes, Silva Gadelica (I–XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish, vol. 2: translation and notes, London: Williams & Norgate, 1892.
Digitale-sammlungen.de: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
373–378; xvi (preface); 494–495 (extracts, here misnumbered XXVI); 543 (translations of extracts; 566 (notes and corrections)
[tr.] Corthals, Johan, Altirische Erzählkunst, Forum Celticum: Studien zu keltischen Sprachen und Kulturen, 1, Münster: Lit, 1996.
Translation into German
[tr.] Corthals, Johan, Altirische Erzählkunst, rev. ed., CreateSpace, 2016.

Secondary sources (select)

Ó Corráin, Donnchadh, “Historical need and literary narrative”, in: D. Ellis Evans, John G. Griffith, and E. M. Jope (eds), Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Celtic studies, held at Oxford, from 10th to 15th July, 1983, Oxford: D. E. Evans, 1986. 141–158.
Dillon, Myles, The cycles of the kings, London: Oxford University Press, 1946.
30–33 Brief introduction and summary of the tale.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
October 2010, last updated: June 2023