Táin bó Cúailgne, recension II

  • Old Irish, Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Ulster Cycle, Táin bó Cúailnge
  • Old Irish Middle Irish
  • Old Irish and Middle Irish
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Associated items
Aided CáurAided CáurEpisode found in all three recensions of Táin bó Cúailnge.Aided con na cerdaAided con na cerdaAided Etarcomail (⁊ imarchor n-athisc fer n-Érend)Aided Etarcomail (⁊ imarchor n-athisc fer n-Érend)Aided Fir BaíthAided Fir BaíthAided in togmaili ⁊ in pheta eóinAided in togmaili ⁊ in pheta eóinAided LethainAided LethainAided LóchaAided LóchaAnecdote about the death of Medb's handmaid Lócha (Recension 1) or Loche (Recension 2).Aided Lóich meic Mo FemisAided Lóich meic Mo FemisEpisode found in all three recensions of Táin bó CúailngeAided Nath CrantailAided Nath CrantailAided Óengussa meic ÓenlámaAided Óengussa meic ÓenlámaEpisode in the Táin bó Cúailnge (Recensions I and II).Aided OrláimAided OrláimAided Tamuin drúithAided Tamuin drúithAided trí mac Nechta ScéniAided trí mac Nechta ScéniAided trí mac nGárachAided trí mac nGárachEpisode found in all three recensions of Táin bó CúailngeAided ÚalandAided ÚalandA series of episodes found in Táin bó Cúailnge (recensions I and II), in which the river Cronn and one or two other streams rise against the hosts of Connacht, hindering their progress and leading to the death of Úalu and the loss of many more warriors.Airecor nAradAirecor nAradAislinge nAimirginAislinge nAimirginBángleó RochadaBángleó RochadaBook of Leinster colophon to the Táin bó CúailngeBook of Leinster colophon to the Táin bó CúailngeCaladgleó CethirnCaladgleó Cethirn

Episode in the Táin bó Cúailnge (Recensions I and II), in which the warrior Cethern mac Fintain single-handedly fights the men of Ireland in their encampment (while Cú Chulainn is recovering), returns to receive treatment for his wounds, and launches a final attack on the encampment. It is the first of a final series of episodes in the Táin (the so-called dinda na Tána as Recension I describes them).

In carpat serda ⁊ in Breslech Mór Maige MurthemneIn carpat serda ⁊ in Breslech Mór Maige MurthemneComrac Fergusa fri Coin CulaindComrac Fergusa fri Coin CulaindComrac Fir Diad ⁊ Con CulaindComrac Fir Diad ⁊ Con CulaindComrac Lárine meic NóisComrac Lárine meic NóisEpisode found in all three recensions of Táin bó CúailngeComrád chindcherchailliComrád chindcherchailliDamgal na tarbDamgal na tarbThe episode of the fight between the two bulls, Donn Cúailnge and Finnbennach, towards the end of the Táin (I, II). It includes the brief tale of Bricriu’s death (Aided Bricrinn/Bricni).Fagbáil in tairbFagbáil in tairbFiacalgleó FindtainFiacalgleó FindtainInna formolta (inso sís)Inna formolta (inso sís)Short episode in the Táin bó Cúailnge (Recension I and II) in which Fergus praises the young hero Cú Chulainn. It forms a prelude to Fergus' reminiscences of Cú Chulainn's deeds, which are found in the next two episodes.Imacallaim na Mórigna fri Coin CulaindImacallaim na Mórigna fri Coin CulaindEpisode in Táin bó Cúailnge.Imroll Belaig EóinImroll Belaig EóinIntroduction to the Táin bó CúailngeIntroduction to the Táin bó CúailngeMacgnímrada Con CulainnMacgnímrada Con CulainnNot an independent(ly preserved) tale, but a story included in Táin bó Cúailnge, recension I and II.Meillgleó nIliachMeillgleó nIliachEpisode in the Táin bó Cúailnge (Recensions I and II).Rúadrucca MindRúadrucca MindIn scél iar n-urdIn scél iar n-urdSirrabad SúaldaimSirrabad SúaldaimSlánugud na MórrignaSlánugud na Mórrigna

The narrative covered here consists of two main threads: (1) Slánugud na Mórrigna proper: Cú Chulainn’s meeting with the Morrígan, who is disguised as an old woman with a cow, and his unwitting healing of her injuries as he utters a blessing at every drought of milk he accepts from her; and (2) Cú Chulainn’s victories in a series of fights with numerous opponents sent by Medb of Connacht as he defends Ulster in the area of Delgu Muirtheimne.

Tochestol UladTochestol UladTochostul fear nÉrendTochostul fear nÉrendToichim na mbuidenToichim na mbuidenEpisode in Táin bó Cúailnge (Recensions I and II), in which Ailill and Medb watch the approaching Ulaid through intermediaries. It employs the so-called ‘watchman device’, in which a watchman with keen sight, here Mac Roth, offers a visually rich if puzzling description of what he sees and in which an interpreter of the description, here Fergus mac Róich, is able to identify the approaching characters.Túarascbáil delba Con CulaindTúarascbáil delba Con CulaindÚs in Duib Chúalngni for táinÚs in Duib Chúalngni for táinThe final episode of the Táin (I, II) and an epilogue to the story of the fight of the two bulls. In the texts, Donn Cúailnge, severely wounded after its triumph over Finnbennach, returns home, scattering body parts of its opponent on the road and giving rise to new placenames. It dies at the end of its journey, either in Druim Tairb (TBC I) or near Taul Tairb (TBC II). Both recensions make use of dinnshenchas in describing the bull’s itinerary, but differ in the placenames they refer to.


Ulster Cycle
Ulster Cycle
id. 1797
Táin bó Cúailnge
Táin bó Cúailnge
id. 624


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.] OʼRahilly, Cecile [ed. and tr.], Táin bó Cúalnge: from the Book of Leinster, Irish Texts Society, 49, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1967.
CELT – edition: <link> CELT – translation: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Windisch, Ernst [ed. and tr.], Die altirische Heldensage Táin Bó Cúalnge nach dem Buch von Leinster, Leipzig: Hirzel, 1905.
Internet Archive: <link> Steve Taylor, ''The Cattle-Raid of Cooley'' – HTML transcript together with the English translation of Dunn (1914): <link>
[ed.] OʼRahilly, Cecile [ed.], The Stowe version of Táin Bó Cuailnge, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1961.
[tr.] Dunn, Joseph [tr.], The ancient Irish epic tale Táin bó Cúalnge, London: Nutt, 1914.  
An English translation of TBC based on the edition by Ernst Windisch (1905).
Internet Archive: <link> Steve Taylor, ''The Cattle-Raid of Cooley'' – HTML transcript paired with the 1905 edition by Windisch: <link>
[tr.] Kinsella, Thomas [tr.], The Tain: translated from the Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, London: Oxford University Press, 1969.
[tr.] Carson, Ciarán [tr.], The Táin: translated from the old Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, Penguin Classics, London: Penguin, 2007.  
Translation based on O’Rahilly’s editions of Recension II, LL, and Recension I.
Translation based on O'Rahilly 1967 (Recension II, LL) and O'Rahilly 1976 (Recension I).
[tr.] OʼGrady, Standish Hayes [tr.], “The Táin bó Cuailgne”, in: Eleanor Hull (ed.), The Cuchullin saga in Irish literature: being a collection of stories relating to the hero Cuchullin, 8, London, 1898. 109–227.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
July 2012, last updated: September 2022


The pillow-talk (comrád chindcherchailli) of Medb and Ailill in Crúachu » entry

» Comments: Lines 1–146 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 53b (Fecht n-óen do Ailill...)-55a (...⁊ dobérthar ón). In the conclusion to the introduction proper (below), this tale is referred to as comrád chind cherchaille doringni Ailill ⁊ Medb i Crúachain (‘the pillow-talk held by Ailill and Medb in Crúachu’).

Introduction to the Táin bó Cúailnge » entry

» Comments: Lines 147–296 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 55a (Urthatar techta ó Meidb...)-56a (...comrád chind cherchaille doringni Ailill ⁊ Medb i Crúachain connice sain). The conclusion to this episode refers to it as tairngire ⁊ remfástini ⁊ cendphairt in sceóil (‘prophecy and augury, and the prelude to the tale’).

The beginning of the hosting » entry

» Comments: Lines 297–716 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 56a (Sligi na Tána in so...)-61b (...reme no maidsed ⁊ ní fair no raínfide). The episode is announced as Sligi na Tána ... ⁊ tossach in tslúagid anmand na sliged dochúatar cethri ollchóiced Hérend i crích Ulad (‘the route of the Táin and the beginning of the hosting together with the names of the roads on which the men of the four great provinces of Ireland travelled into the land of Ulster’).

Praise of Cú Chulainn » entry

» Comments: Lines 717–737 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 61b (Ceist didiu, cia bad dóig diar tíachtain?...)-62a (...andás inbaid inad fail), without subheading.

Macgnímrada Con Culaind: beginning » entry

» Comments: Lines 738–819 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 62a (Dáig alta in mac sin i tig a athar...)-63a (....xvii. mbliadna de for Táin Bó Cúalnge), headed Incipiunt macgnímrada Con Culaind.

Macgnímrada Con Culaind: how Cú Chulainn acquired his name » entry

» Comments: Lines 820–920 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 63a (Is and sin atubairt Cormac Cond Longas... )-64b (....xvii. mbliadna de for Táin Bó Cúalnge), without a separate subheading (cf. Aided con na cerda in TBC I).

Macgnímrada Con Culaind: the death of the three sons of Nechta Scéne » entry

» Comments: Lines 921–1217 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 64b (Doringni in mac bec in tres gním...)-68a, without a separate subheading. The concluding rubric refers back to the previous matter: Conid innisin do macgnímaib Con Culaind sin for Táin Bó Cúalnge, ocus remthús in sceóil ⁊ na sliged ⁊ imthechta in tslúaig a Crúachain connici sin (‘Thus far then is some account of the youthful deeds of Cú Chulainn on the Cattle-raid of Cúailnge, together with the prologue of the tale and an account of the route and march of the host out of Crúachu’).

The death of Orlám » entry

» Comments: Lines 1218–1246 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 68a (In scél fodessin is ní and fodechtsa...)–68b (...tasbénais do feraib Hérend in cend), without title heading.

The deaths of the three sons of Árach » entry

» Comments: Lines 1247–1257 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 68b (Is and sin táncatar trí meic Árach......Torchratar meic Árach samlaid la Coin Culaind), without title heading.

The death of Lethan » entry

» Comments: Lines 1258–1266 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 68b (Tánic dano Lethan......Áth Lethan i crích Conailli Murthemne).

The harpers of Caín Bile, and the deaths of the marten and the pet bird » entry

» Comments: Lines 1267–1279 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 68b (And sain táncatar crutti Caínbili......in cloich assa thabaill), without title heading.

The Táin in Mag mBreg and Mag Muirtheimne » entry

» Comments: Lines ... (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 68b (Táncatar cethri ollchóiceda Hérend arnabárach...)-69a (...Conid ní de búadaib Duind Chúalnge in sin), without title heading

The death of Lócha, Medb’s handmaiden » entry

» Comments: Lines 1334-1348 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 69a (Dollotar na slúaig iarum im ailib...)-69b (...a eólusa ba hí Medb boí and), without title heading.

The death of Úalu and the crossing of the rivers » entry

» Comments: Lines 1349- (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 69b (Lotar na slúaig arnabárach.......Is as sain ainm Glassi Gatlaig)

Negotiations with Cú Chulainn (first attempt)

» Comments: LL 69b (Táncatar cethri ollchóiceda Hérend...)-70a (...balotar ass tria chomfeirg di leith for leth)

Negotiations with Cú Chulainn (second attempt)

» Comments: LL p. 70a (Gabsat cethri ollchóiceda Hérend dúnad...)-70b (...‘Is ésium ra acallais,’ ar Fergus)-

Negotiations with Cú Chulainn (third attempt)

» Comments: LL pp. 70b (‘Berar coma aile dó,’ ar Medb...)-71a (...aurnaidmis Fergus fón samlaid cétna foraib)

The encounter of Etarcomal with Cú Chulainn » entry

» Comments: Lines 1565–1695 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 71a (Ro gabad echrad Fergusa...)-72b (...Comrac Etarcomla fri Coin Culaind). This episode concludes with a rubric which refers to it as Comrac Etarcomla fri Coin Culaind.

The death of Nath Crantail » entry

» Comments: Lines 1696–1755 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 72b (And sin atraacht láech prósta mór do muntir Medba...)-73a (...do Meidb co tríun in tslúaig)

The taking of the bull » entry

» Comments: Lines 1756–1794 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 73a (Dolluid iarum Medb co tríun in tslúaig...)-73b (...Conid Bás Forgaimin in sin for Táin Bó Cúalnge). It occurs here without title heading but corresponds to Fagbáil in tairb in TBC I. The concluding (sub)episode is entitled Bás Forgaimin.

The death of Redg the satirist » entry

» Comments: Lines ....-1815 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 73b (Odariachtatar fir Hérend go óenbaile......conid de atá Umansruth ó sin)

The death of Cáur » entry

» Comments: Lines 1816–1857 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 73b (Atrubratur fir Hérend...)-74a (...fo leith díb d'innisin)

The death of Fer Báeth » entry

» Comments: Lines 1858–1914 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 74a (Is and sin rádis Cú Chulaind...)-74b (...ní Fer Báeth fo ná ránic...), after which one page is wanting. The missing portion can be supplied from the Stowe version (ends ...isin gleand ó chianaibh).

The encounter with Láiríne mac Nóis » entry

» Comments: Lines 1914–1961 (O'Rahilly 1967) = Stowe only (Indis dam-sa cia tic imárach......comrac Láiríne ann sin for Táin Bó Cúailnge). The copy in LL is lost due to one-page gap, but the episode is preserved in the Stowe version.

The encounter with Lóch mac Mo Febis (part 1) » entry

» Comments: Lines 1962– (O'Rahilly 1967) = Stowe only (Is ann sin do goiredh Lóch Mór mac Mo Febhis ...... Iar sin ro comraicsit forsan áth úachtarach). The copy in LL is lost due to one-page gap, but the episode is preserved in the Stowe version.

The (hostile) encounter with the Morrígan » entry

» Comments: Lines ?1989–... (O'Rahilly 1967) = Stowe only (Is ann sin táinic in Morrígan ingen Ernmais ...... i riocht saidhi gairbi glasrúaidhi). The copy in LL is lost due to one-page gap, but the episode is preserved in the Stowe version.

The encounter with Lóch mac Mo Febis (part 2) » entry

» Comments: Lines ...–2094 (O'Rahilly 1967) = Stowe (Cien goirit boí Cú Chulainn igá díchur dhe ...)–LL p. 75a-b (... Conid Comrac Lóich Móir meic Ma Femis fri Coin Cúlaind sin for Táin Bó Cúalnge). Only the opening words of this section are missing from LL.

Further encounters and the healing of the Morrígan » entry

» Comments: Lines 2095–2120 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 75b (And sain faítti Medb in sessiur úadi ...... fo sruthair na haband)

Breslech Maige Murthemne » entry

» Comments: Lines 2121–2337 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 75b (RO gabsat cethri chóicid Hérend dúnad ...)–78b (... cen bithanim tria bithu betha), headed Breslech Maige Murthemne so sís. Two subnarratives are referred to as if bearing titles of their own: Aided na maccraide Ulad ... ⁊ Follomna meic Conchobuir (on the unsuccessful attack by Follomán and a band of youths); Sesrech Breslige (on the carnage inflicted by Cú Chulainn in the scythed chariot).

Cú Chulainn’s appearance and Dubthach’s jealousy » entry

» Comments: Lines 2338–2438 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 75b (DOtháet Cú Chulaind arnabárach ...)–79b (... Carpat Serda connice sin). In the concluding statement, this section is regarded as being part of the episode called Carpat serda (‘The scythed chariot’). --->

The death of Óengus mac Óenláime Gábe » entry

» Comments: Lines 2439–2446 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 79b (Is and sin ras fárraid óclách ...... ac Áth Da Fert i Sléib Fúait), without title heading.

The mis-throw at Belach Eóin (Imroll Belaig Eóin) » entry

» Comments: Lines 2447–2459 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 79b (IS and sin radechaid chucu-som Fiacha Fíaldána ...... Imroll aile Belaig Eóin ainm aile dó 'no), headed Imroll Belaig Eóin and so innossa

The death of Tamun the jester » entry

» Comments: Lines 2460–2472 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 79b (ANd sin ra ráidsetar fir Hérend ...... Corop Áth Tamuin and sin ⁊ Tugi im Thamon), headed Tuige im Thamon and so innossa.

The encounter with Fergus (Comrac Fergusa) » entry

» Comments: Lines 2473–2509 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 79b (RA gabsat cethri ollchóicid Hérend dúnad ...)–80a (... Conid Comrac Fergusa and sin)

The encounter with Ferchú Loingsech

» Comments: Lines ... (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 80a (FErchú Longsech ésen do Chonnachtaib ...... .i. Cennáit Ferchon), headed Cinnit Ferchon and so innossa.

The encounter with Calatín Dána and his offspring (Comrac chlainne Calatín)

» Comments: Lines ... (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 80a (IS and sin ra himráided ac feraib Hérend ...)–81a (...onid Comrac Clainne Calatín connice sin)

The encounter with Fer Diad (Comrac Fir Diad) » entry

» Comments: Lines 2606–3608 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 81a, headed Comrac Fir Dead in so (IS and sin ra imráided oc feraib Hérend ...)–88b (... Aided Fir Diad gonnici sin) + epilogue LL p. 89a (ANd sain daríachtatar óendóene ... Drong, Delt, Dubglass).

The hard fight of Cethern (Caladgleó Cethirn) and Fuile Cethirn » entry

» Comments: Lines 3609–3811 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 89a (IS and sain ra ráidset fir Hérend...)–91a (Conid Caladgleó Cethirn and sin ⁊ Fule Cethirn).

The tooth-fight of Fintan (Fiacalgleó Findtain) » entry

» Comments: Lines 3812–3835 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 91a (FIntan ésede mac Néill Niamglonnaig ...)–91b (...Conid Fiacalgleó Fintain and sain), headed Fiacalgleó Fintain and so innossa

The red shame of Mend (Rúadrucce Mind) » entry

» Comments: Lines 3836–3855 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 91b (MEnd mac Sálcholgán éside ó Rénaib na Bóinne ...... dá immfdotuirech), headed Ruadrucce Mind and so innossa

The missile-throwing of the charioteers (Airecur nArad) » entry

» Comments: Lines 3856–3861 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 91b (IS and sain daríachtatar ...... Corop Airecor nArad and sain), headed Airecur nArad and innossa

The bloodless fight of Rochad (Bángleó Rochada) » entry

» Comments: Lines 3862–3893 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 92a (REochaid mac Fathemain éside d'Ultaib ......Conid Bángleó Rochada and sain), headed Bángleó Rochada and so innossa

The humorous fight of Iliach (Mellgleó Illiach) » entry

» Comments: Lines 3894–3936 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 92a (ILiach éside mac Caiss ...)–92b (... Conid Mellgleó Íliach gonici sein), headed Mellgleó nÍliach and so innossa

The trance of Amairgen (Aislinge nAimirgin) and the encounter with Cú Roí » entry

» Comments: (1) Lines 3937–3943 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 92b (AMairgin éside mae Caiss ...... ⁊ teóra n-aidche), headed Oisligi Amargin i Taltin and so annossa;and (2) lines 3944–3980 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 92b (RAcúas dó-saide óenfer ...) –93a ( ... Conid Ossligi Amargin i Taltin and sain), headed Imthúsa Chon Rui meic Dáire.

The repeated warning of Súaltaim » entry

» Comments: Lines 3981–?4047 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 93a (SUaltaim éside mac Becaltaig meic Móraltaig...)–93b (...chomlaind & chomraic), headed Sírrobud Sualtaim and so innossa

The muster of the Ulstermen » entry

» Comments: Lines ?4048–4147 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 94a (Acus iss and sain barrecgaim echlach ...)–94b (... Ilgárig isin matin se monairther)

The march of the companies » entry

» Comments: Lines 4148–4687 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 95a (And sain confuchtraither Dubthach ...)–101a (...níra lúathiu na nóecharptig andá in triar de choiss)

The muster of the men of Ireland » entry

» Comments: Lines 4688–4918 (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL pp. 101a (And sain daríachtatar chucu-som ...)–104b (...Gorop a hús ⁊ a imthúsa ⁊ a deired na Tánad gonici sein)

Colophon to the Táin bó Cúailnge » entry

» Comments: Line 4919ff (O'Rahilly 1967) = LL p. 104b (BEndacht ar cech óen mebraigfes ...... ad delectationem stultorum)