Scél na Fír Flatha ‘The story of the pledges of sovereignty’/‘The story of the ordeals of sovereignty’

  • Late Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Cycles of the Kings
This is the first tale in the composite text known as Scél na Fír Flatha, Echtra Cormaic i Tír Tairngiri, ocus Ceart Claidib Cormaic, corresponding to §§ 1-24 of Stokes' edition. The twelfth ordeal (Cormac's cuach) forms the subject of the next tale, Echtra Cormaic i Tír Tairngiri (§§ 25-54), which is also attested as an independent tale in a second Middle Irish as well as a modern recension.
Context(s)The (textual) context(s) to which the present text belongs or in which it is cited in part or in whole.
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Contains poems
Tre-sin Moraind’ • ‘Adhraidh a dhaine


Cycles of the Kings
Cycles of the Kings
id. 80

[1] The reign of Cormac

The reign of Cormac ua Cuinn is good.

[2] The reign of Cormac: the feast of Tara

[3] The reign of Cormac: assemblies

[4] The reign of Cormac: public order

[5] The reign of Cormac: laws and judgments

[6] The reign of Cormac: Bretha Nemed

[7] The reign of Cormac: rank and station



Vernam Hull, ‘Echtra Cormaic maic Airt, ‘The adventure of Cormac mac Airt’’, Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 64 (1949).

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.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “The Irish ordeals, Cormac’s adventure in the Land of Promise, and the decision as to Cormac’s sword”, in: Ernst Windisch, and Whitley Stokes [eds.], Irische Texte mit Wörterbuch, 4 vols, vol. 3, Leipzig, 1891. 183–221.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
185–193 (edition); 203–211 (translation); 222–226 (notes).
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
May 2012, last updated: June 2023