verse beg. Cú cen máthair, maith cland

  • Old Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry, Irish legendary history
Old Irish poem (36st) attributed to Luccreth moccu Chíara, which traces the ancestry of Cú cen Máthair (d. 665), king of Munster and grandfather of Cathal mac Finguine, all the way back to Adam. A large part of the pedigree, from Míl to Adam, closely resembles that found in another Old Irish poem of a similar metrical type, beg. Énna Labraid luad cáich and dealing with Leinster kings. Myles Dillon has argued that these pedigrees represent (respectively) Munster and Leinster recensions of the same core material.
First words (verse)
  • Cú cen máthair, maith cland
Ascribed to: Luccreth moccu ChíaraLuccreth moccu Chíara
(fl. 7th century)
early Irish poet
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  • Old Irish
verse (primary)
Number of stanzas: 36 stt.
Textual relationships
Related: Bran Find FeminBran Find FeminOld Irish poem on Brand Find (d. 671), king of the Déisi.Énna Labraid luad cáichÉnna Labraid luad cáichOne of the rhyming Leinster poems, attributed to Laidcenn mac Bairceda


Early Irish poetryEarly Irish poetry

Irish legendary historyIrish legendary history



Cathal Cú Cen MáthairCathal Cú Cen Máthair
(d. 665/6)
Cú cen Máthair
King of Munster (r. 661-665/6) from the Éoganacht Glendamnach, son of Cathal mac Áedo (d. 628), a previous king of Munster.
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Primary sources

[ed.] OʼBrien, M. A. [ed.], Corpus genealogiarum Hiberniae, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1962.  
comments: Reprinted in 1976 and 2005, with an introduction by J. V. Kelleher.
CELT – pp. 1–332 (Rawl. B 502): <link>
199–202 Edited from Rawl. B 502.
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno [ed.], Über die älteste irische Dichtung I. Rhythmische alliterierende Reimstrophen, Berlin, 1913.
Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
51–58. Edited from Rawl. B 502, with variants from Lecan and BB in footnotes.

Secondary sources (select)

Vries, Ranke de, Two texts on Loch nEchach: De causis torchi Corc' Óche and Aided Echach maic Maireda, Irish Texts Society, 65, London: Irish Texts Society, 2012.  

This volume, edited by Ranke de Vries, contains editions of two important texts related to the mythological origin of Lough Neagh and its aftermath. The earlier of the two texts, De causis, contains a seventh-century poem by Luccreth moccu Chíara that can be regarded as the earliest example of deibide. The second, Aided Echach, is a prosimetric text found only in Lebor na hUidre (in the hand of the interpolator H). The editions are preceded by a general discussion on the development of the tradition concerning the origin of the lake.

C. A., Dennis Groenewegen, Patrick Brown
Page created
May 2011, last updated: October 2023