Compert Conchobuir ‘The conception and birth of Conchobor’

  • Ulster Cycle, remscéla to Táin bó Cúailnge
The story of the conception and birth of Conchobar mac Nessa.

Vernam Hull, ‘The conception of Conchobor’ in Irish texts, fasciculus IV... (1934): 4–5:

Textual relationships

The story of Conchobor’s birth is also cited/related in Scéla Conchobuir meic Nessa.

Related: Scéla Conchobuir meic NessaScéla Conchobuir meic NessaMedieval Irish saga concerning the career of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of the Ulaid


Ulster Cycle
Ulster Cycle
id. 1797
remscéla to Táin bó CúailngeUlster Cycle
remscéla to Táin bó Cúailnge
id. 29262


Conchobar mac Nessa
Conchobar mac Nessa
(time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
king of the Ulaid in tales of the Ulster Cycle; son either of Cathbad or Fachtna Fáthach (father) and Ness (mother); husband of Mugain; father of Cormac Cond Longas, Cúscraid Mend Macha, Furbaide Fer Bend and Fedelm Noíchrothach; fosterfather of Cú Chulainn.

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Ness ingen Echach Sálbuidi
Ness ingen Echach Sálbuidi
mother of Conchobar (mac Nessa), king of Ulster in the Ulster Cycle, by the druid Cathbad; daughter of Eochaid Sálbuide, a previous king of Ulster

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(time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
druid to Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, in the Ulster Cycle; husband of Ness and possible father of Conchobar mac Nessa.

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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.] [tr.] Hull, Vernam [ed. and tr.], “The conception of Conchobor”, in: J. Fraser, Paul Grosjean, and J. G. OʼKeeffe (eds), Irish texts, fasciculus IV, London, 1934. 4–12.
CELT – edition: <link> Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link>
Version 1 from YBL, Book of Ballymote, Book of Lecan, Rawlinson 502, TCD 1337, TCD 1363, with G 7.
[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno [ed. and tr.], Hibernica minora, being a fragment of an Old-Irish treatise on the Psalter, Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval and Modern Series, 8, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1894.
Internet Archive: <link> TLH – Erchoitmed ingine Gulidi (ed. and tr.): <link>
50. Version 1 from Rawlinson B 502.
[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno [ed.], “Irish miscellanies: Anecdota from the Stowe MS. n° 992”, Revue Celtique 6 (1883–1885): 173–186.
Internet Archive: <link>
173–182. Version 2 from D iv 2 and variants from YBL and Egerton 1782. Includes a translation.
Translations only
[tr.] Carey, John [tr.], “[Various contributions]”, in: John T. Koch, and John Carey (eds), The Celtic Heroic Age. Literary sources for ancient Celtic Europe and early Ireland & Wales, 4th ed., 1, Aberystwyth: Celtic Studies Publications, 2003. [Various].
§ 73
[tr.] Meyer, Kuno [tr.], and Eleanor Hull [adapt.], “The birth of Conachar”, in: Eleanor Hull (ed.), The Cuchullin saga in Irish literature: being a collection of stories relating to the hero Cuchullin, 8, London, 1898. 1–6.  
comments: From Hull's introduction: "Abridged and adapted from the longer of the two main accounts of the birth of the king [Stowe 992], [...] edited and translated in full by [[Meyer 1884c |Kuno Meyer]] [...] Kuno Meyer has courteously furnished me with a revised translation of the lay 'Welcome the Stranger.'"
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Abridged version of Meyer's translation (version 2 from D iv 2), but with a new translation by Meyer of the concluding poem.
[tr.] Thurneysen, Rudolf [tr.], “Conchobars Geburt”, in: Rudolf Thurneysen [tr.], Sagen aus dem alten Irland, Berlin, 1901. 63–65.
CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
[tr.] Guyonvarc'h, Christian-J. [tr.], “La naissance de Conchobar. Version C”, Ogam 11 (1959): 335–336.
[tr.] Guyonvarc'h, Christian-J. [tr.], “La naissance de Conchobar. Version B”, Ogam 12 (1960): 235–240.
Longer version from D iv 2.
[tr.] Dottin, Georges [tr.], “[Various contributions]”, in: Marie-Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville (ed.), L’épopée celtique en Irlande, 5, Paris: Thorin, 1892. [Various].
Internet Archive: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Ó Cathasaigh, Tomás, “Reflections on Compert Conchobuir and Serglige Con Culainn”, in: James P. Mallory, and Gearóid Stockman (eds), Ulidia: proceedings of the First International Conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, Belfast and Emain Macha, 8–12 April 1994, Belfast: December, 1994. 85–89.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
October 2010, last updated: January 2024