verse beg. Find Taulcha tuath cuire Cailte

  • Old Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry, rhymeless Leinster poems

One of the rhymeless ‘Leinster poems’, preserved only in fragmentary form. The poem was apparently taken from a now lost compilation known as Cocangab Mór (‘The great compilation’). In the preserved fragment, Find, Taulcha, and Caílte are said to be descendants of Baiscne. The words ‘tri húi Núadat Necht’, which Meyer regards as a later addition, also traces their descent to Núadu Necht.

First words (verse)
  • Find Taulcha tuath cuire Cailte
Ascribed to: Senchán Torpéist
Senchán Torpéist
(fl. 6th–7th century)
Irish poet associated with Gúaire Aidne, king of Connacht; popular figure in Irish literary tradition, notably as one credited for having retrieved the Táin and, especially in Tromdám Gúaire, as the leader of a band of poets seeking to test the limits of Gúaire’s hospitality.

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Attributed to Senchán Torpéist in LL and the Book of Lecan, and simply as 'Senchán' in the Book of Ballymote.
  • Old Irish
verse (primary)
Textual relationships
(Possible) sources: Cocangab MórCocangab MórView incoming data
Related: Na trí FothaidNa trí FothaidOne of the rhymeless ‘Leinster poems’. The three Fothads, Find fer Umail, and Find Fili, king of Leinster, are said to descend from Núadu Necht.


Early Irish poetryEarly Irish poetry

Early Irish poetryEarly Irish poetry

rhymeless Leinster poemsLeinster poems
rhymeless Leinster poems
id. 29241


Finn mac Cumaill
Finn mac Cumaill (Find úa Báiscni)
(time-frame ass. with Finn Cycle, Finn mac Cumaill, Cormac mac Airt)
Finn mac Cumaill (earlier mac Umaill?), Find úa Báiscni: central hero in medieval Irish and Scottish literature of the so-called Finn Cycle; warrior-hunter and leader of a fían

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Caílte mac Rónáin
Caílte mac Rónáin
(time-frame ass. with Finn Cycle)
or Caílte mac Crundchon meic Rónáin, kinsman of Finn mac Cumaill and a prominent member of his fían; accomplished warrior and hunter; one of the protagonists of Acallam na senórach

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Núadu Necht
Núadu Necht
(time-frame ass. with Finn mac Cumaill, Conaire Mór, Núadu Necht, Eterscél Mór)
legendary king and ancestor of the Laigin;

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Johan Corthals, ‘The rhymeless ‘Leinster poems’: diplomatic texts’, Celtica 24 (2003): 90–91.

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.] Corthals, Johan [ed.], “The rhymeless ‘Leinster poems’: diplomatic texts”, Celtica 24 (2003): 79–100.
[ed.] Corthals, Johan, “Some observations on the versification of the rhymeless ‘Leinster poems’”, Celtica 21 (1990): 113–125.
[ed.] Campanile, Enrico, Die älteste Hofdichtung von Leinster: alliterierende reimlose Strophen, Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-historischen Klasse, 503, Vienna, 1988.
[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>
[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno [ed. and tr.], Über die älteste irische Dichtung II. Rhythmische alliterierende reimlose Strophen, Berlin, 1914.
Celtic Digital Initiative – PDF: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno, Fianaigecht: being a collection of hitherto inedited Irish poems and tales relating to Finn and his Fiana, Todd Lecture Series, 16, London: Hodges, Figgis, 1910.
National Library of Scotland – PDF: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
xvi–xviii Text edited and translated from Rawlinson B 502 and LL, with prose introduction.

Secondary sources (select)

Murray, Kevin, The early Finn Cycle, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2017. 200 pp.  
The Finn (or Fenian) Cycle (fíanaigecht) is classified by modern scholarship as one of four medieval Irish literary cycles along with the Ulster Cycle, the Cycle of Historical Tales (or Cycles of the Kings) and the Mythological Cycle. It is primarily composed of material dealing with the legendary character Finn mac Cumaill, his warrior band (fían), his son Oisín and his grandson Oscar. In a fashion recalling the expansion of the Arthurian legend throughout Europe, the traditions centred on Finn grew from localized beginnings to spread throughout the entire Gaelic-speaking world. This study takes as its focus the early Finn Cycle, up to and including the composition of the most significant fíanaigecht tale, Acallam na senórach (‘The colloquy of the ancients’), at the beginning of the Early Modern Irish period. The volume also deals in detail with topics such as the nature of the fían; the extent of early fragmentary Finn Cycle sources; the background to Tóraigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne (‘The pursuit of Diarmaid and Gráinne’); the boyhood deeds and death of Finn; and the development of the Fenian lay tradition. The Early Finn Cycle details and investigates the primary and secondary sources for the study of this material and traces the literary development of the early fíanaigecht corpus. In so doing, it seeks to account for the emergence of the Finn Cycle from fragmentarily documented beginnings to become the dominant genre of Gaelic literature after 1200.
esp. 84–85
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
May 2011, last updated: January 2024