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Eachtra an Amadáin Mhóir‘The adventures of the Great Fool’

  • Early Modern Irish
  • prose
  • Irish Arthurian romances

Irish tale about the adventures of a Perceval-like hero known simply as An Amadán Mór ‘The Great Fool’, a name he earns in the course of the narrative.

First words (prose)
  • Ridire neartmhar nós-oirdhearc cródha céillíghe cuimhnech menmnach maisech mallrosgach díoghuin déidghel fosaidh foisdionach fír-ghlic badh dhearbhráthair do Rígh an Domhuin, agus is é do b'ainm do'n ridire sin .i. Ridire an Fhearainn Áluinn, do bhrígh go raibh fearann áluinn aige, agus as í badh ben do .i. inghíon Iarla Chornubas do Bhrethnachuibh
The beginning of the text as edited by Hyde.
  • Early Modern Irish
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
(Possible) sources: Perceval ou le conte du GraalPerceval ou le conte du Graal
Related: Laoi an Amadáin MhóirLaoi an Amadáin Mhóir

Poetic composition which relates a version of the Irish comedic tale known in prose as Eachtra an Amadáin Mhóir, or more precisely, an expanded version of the concluding adventures of that tale. Texts of the lay are known in both Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and variants are known from the oral tradition.

Perceval ou le conte du GraalPerceval ou le conte du Graal


Irish Arthurian romancesIrish Arthurian romances


Amadán MórAmadán Mór
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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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.] Ó Rabhartaigh, Tadhg, and Douglas Hyde, “An t-Amadán Mór”, Lia Fáil 2 (1927): 191–228.
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Edition of the prose text based on two MSS.

Secondary sources (select)

Gowans, Linda, “The Eachtra an Amadáin Mhóir as a response to the Perceval of Chrétien de Troyes”, Arthurian Literature 19 (2003): 199–230.  

Probably the least studied of the group of texts ultimately indebted to Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval is an Irish prose tale, Eachtra an Amadáin Mhóir (The Story of the Great Fool). The Arthurian content of its opening section has undoubted links to the work of Chrétien, and in this article I hope to demonstrate that the overall relationship of the two stories is closer than may previously have been appreciated; also that the perceptive and witty response of the Irish work to its celebrated predecessor well repays careful attention.

Mac Gill-Fhinnein, Gordon, “Eachtra an Amadáin Mhóir”, Eighteenth-Century Ireland 4 (1989): 75–81.
Mühlhausen, Ludwig, “Neue Beiträge zum Perceval-Thema”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 17 (1928): 1–30.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
September 2011, last updated: May 2023