Talland Étair ‘The siege of Howth’

  • Late Old Irish, Early Middle Irish
  • prose
  • Ulster Cycle
  • Late Old Irish Early Middle Irish
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Textual relationships
Contains the réitóiric Agallamh Leborchaim. The dinnshenchas poem beg. Étar étan ri dílind relates the same story. The killing of Mes Gegra by Conall Cernach leads to events in Aided Chonchobair.
Related: Aided Chonchobair (versions A–C)Aided Chonchobair (versions A–C)Dinnshenchas of Benn Étair IDinnshenchas of Benn Étair IPoem on the Hill of Howth, Co. Dublin.Dinnshenchas of Benn Étair IIDinnshenchas of Benn Étair IIPoem on the dinnshenchas of Benn Étair (Hill of Howth, Co. Dublin)
Associated items
Agallamh LeborchaimAgallamh Leborchaim

A prose introduction, including a list of Ulster women, and passage of rosc that are found as part of the early Irish tale Talland Étair. According to the tale, Leborcham is sent north to warn the wives of Ulster heroes and notables of the impending misfortunes of their husbands in battle. Her warning is uttered in the form of a rosc in which she presents a vision of the bloody outcome of the fight. Scholars like Dobbs have regarded the text as an interpolation, although this view may be open to debate.


Ulster Cycle
Ulster Cycle
id. 1797




(time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
Chief poet and satirist of the Ulstermen in the Ulster Cycle.

See more
Conall Cernach
Conall Cernach
(time-frame ass. with Ulster Cycle)
Warrior of the Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle; son of Amergin and Findchóem. In Irish genealogies, he is presented as an ancestor of the kings of the Dál nAraidi and the Uí Echach Coba.

See more
Cú Chulainn
Cú Chulainn
Young Ulster hero and chief character of Táin bó Cuailnge and other tales of the Ulster Cycle; son of Súaltam or Lug and Deichtire (sister to Conchobor); husband of Emer (ingen Forgaill)

See more
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

See more
Benn Étair
Benn Étair ... Hill of Howth
County Dublin
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.] Ó Dónaill, Caoimhín [ed. and tr.], Talland Étair, Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts, 4, Maynooth: Department of Old and Middle Irish, National University of Ireland, 2005.
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “The siege of Howth”, Revue Celtique 8 (1887): 47–64.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Stokes omits the interpolation in LL which was later edited by Dobbs.
[tr.] Hull, Eleanor (ed.), The Cuchullin saga in Irish literature: being a collection of stories relating to the hero Cuchullin, Grimm Library, 8, London, 1898.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
[id. 6.] A revised version of the translation by Stokes
[ed.] [tr.] Dobbs, Margaret E. [ed.], “Agallamh Leborchaim”, Études Celtiques 5 (1949): 154–161.
Part of the text, which Dobbs entitled Agallamh Leborchaim.
Dennis Groenewegen, Patrick Brown
Page created
April 2011, last updated: January 2024