Ind áer-sin do-rigne Cairpre mac Etaine do Bres mac Elathan

  • Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Mythological Cycle
An anecdote about the ‘first satire in Ireland’, which is said to have been made by Cairpre mac Etaine on the unjust king Bres mac Elathan. The same story is found in Cath Maige Tuired.
Ind áer-sin do-rigne Cairpre mac Etaine do Bres mac Elathan
There is no title heading in the manuscripts, but the text concludes that the foregoing story is that of “the satire that Cairpre mac Etaine made upon Bres mac Elathan” (‘ind oér-sin do-rigne Carpre mac Edaine do Bres mac Eladan’), whence also the title of Hull’s edition in ZCP, ‘Cairpre mac Edaine’s satire upon Bres mac Eladain’.
First words (prose)
  • Cia céta ro-hoérad i nd-Eirinn ar tus?
  • Middle Irish
  • (?)
Because Sanas Cormaic draws on a version of this anecdote, namely in the entries for cernine (where the same poem is cited) and riss, Hull posits that the text may have originated in the 9th century at least. He also suggests that the verse may be older than the prose.
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Contains poems
Cen cholt for crib cernene’ » The satire uttered against Bres. It is also quoted in Cath Maige Tuired, the [[Commentary on the Amra Choluim Chille |commentary on the Amra Choluim Chille]] and Sanas Cormaic s.v. ‘cernine’.
Associated items
Cen cholt for crib cernineCen cholt for crib cernineA quatrain of verse purporting to represent the first satire in Ireland.


Mythological CycleMythological Cycle


Coirpre mac Étaíne
Coirpre mac Étaíne (also mac Etna(i)/Ethne)
(time-frame ass. with Túatha Dé Danann, Irish Mythological Cycle)
Legendary poet and satirist of the Túatha Dé Danann.

See more
Bres mac Elathan
Bres mac Elathan
No short description available

See more


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, “Cairpre mac Edaine’s satire upon Bres mac Eladain”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 18 (1930): 63–69.

Secondary sources (select)

Travis, James, “A druidic prophecy, the first Irish satire, and a poem to raise blisters”, Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 57 (1942): 909–915.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
December 2012, last updated: January 2024