Airne Fíngein ‘Fíngen’s night watch’

  • Early Middle Irish, Late Old Irish
  • Cycles of the Kings, Irish legendary history
  • Early Middle Irish Late Old Irish
  • early Middle Irish or late Old Irish.
Textual relationships
Related: Búaid Cuinn rígróit rogaidiBúaid Cuinn rígróit rogaidi

Early Irish poem attributed to Fíngen mac Luchta on the wonders (búada) he witnessed surrounding the birth of Conn Cétchatach. The poem is attested in the context of the prose Dinnshenchas of Slige Dála, on the five chief roads out from Tara.

Dinnshenchas of Druim Fíngin IIDinnshenchas of Druim Fíngin IIPoem on the dinnshenchas of Druim Fíngin.


Cycles of the Kings
Cycles of the Kings
id. 80
Irish legendary historyIrish legendary history



Conn CétchathachConn Cétchathach
legendary high-king of Ireland; son of Fedlimid Rechtmar
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Fíngen mac LuchtaFíngen mac Luchta
(time-frame ass. with Conn Cétchathach, Fedlimid Rechtaid)
In Airne Fíngein (‘Fíngen's vigil’), a prince (rígdomna) of Munster, who stands on top of Druim Fíngin one Samain night when he meets Rothníam, a woman of the síd, and through her learns of a series of wonders associated with the birth of Conn Cétchathach.
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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Vendryes, Joseph [ed.], Airne Fíngein, Mediaeval and Modern Irish Series, 15, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1953.
[ed.] Scarre, A. M. [ed.], “Airne Fingein inso”, in: Osborn Bergin, R. I. Best, Kuno Meyer, and J. G. OʼKeeffe (eds), Anecdota from Irish manuscripts, vol. 2, Halle and Dublin, 1908. 1–10.
Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link>
Based on Stowe MS D iv 2.
[ed.] Mac Aongusa, Máire [ed.], “Airne Fíngein”, in: TLH: Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae, Online: University College Dublin, 2006–2011.. URL: <http://www.ucd.ie/tlh/text/mma.tlh.001.text.html>.
Text transcribed from the Book of Lismore.
[tr.] Cross, Tom Peete, and A. C. L. Brown [trs.], “Fingen's night-watch”, The Romanic Review 9 (1918): 29–47.
Gallica: <link>
Translation based on Scarre's edition.
[tr.] Guyonvarc'h, Christian-J. [ed.], Textes mythologique irlandais, Rennes: Ogam - Celticum, 1980.
189–202 French translation

Secondary sources (select)

Bondarenko, Grigory, “Fintan mac Bóchra: Irish synthetic history revisited”, in: Maxim Fomin, Václav Blažek, and Piotr Stalmaszczyk (eds), Transforming traditions: studies in archaeology, comparative linguistics and narrative: proceedings of the Fifth International Colloquium of Societas Celto-Slavica, held at Příbram, 26–29 July 2010, 6, Łódź: Łódź University Press, 2012. 129–147.
Collection:  Eprints.ulster.ac.uk: <link>
Wiley, Dan M., “The politics of myth in Airne Fingein”, in: Joseph F. Eska (ed.), Narrative in Celtic tradition: essays in honor of Edgar M. Slotkin, 8, 9, New York: Colgate University Press, 2011. 276–288.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
October 2010, last updated: June 2023