The dialogue of Cummíne and Comgán

  • Middle Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry
Early Irish poem in the form of a dialogue between Cummíne Fota and Comgán Mac Dá Cherda, with a prose prologue of later date about the two characters.
verse (primary)
prose (secondary)

Poem with prose prologue.

Textual relationships
Related: Imtheachta na n-óinmhideadhImtheachta na n-óinmhideadhLong medieval Irish text about Mac Dá Cherda and Cummíne Fota


Early Irish poetryEarly Irish poetry


Cummíne Fota
Cummíne Fota
(fl. 7th century)
early Irish saint, patron of Clonfert (Clúain Fertae)

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Comgán Mac Dá Cherda
Comgán Mac Dá Cherda
(fl. first half of the 7th century)
Poet and fool (óinmit) in Irish literature; a son of Máel Ochtraig (king of the Déisi Muman) and a contemporary of Cummíne Fota. The name Mac Dá Cherda would mean ‘Son of Two Arts’, but seeing as it may go back to an original Moccu Cherda (as suggested by Jackson and Ó Coileáin) it is perhaps best spelled conservatively, without lengthening in Da.

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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.] OʼKeeffe, J. G. [ed.], “Mac Dá Cherda and Cummaine Foda”, Ériu 5 (1911): 18–44.  
An edition and translation of three texts from YBL concerning (Comgán) Mac Dá Cherda and Cummíne Fota: (1) YBL, col. 335 (The dialogue of Cummíne and Comgán); (2) YBL, col. 797, and Harley 5280 (Scéla Guairi meic Colmáin ⁊ Meic Teléne or The trial of Mac Teléne); (3) YBL, col. 798 (The adventures of Mac Dá Cherda).
Internet Archive: <link>

Secondary sources (select)

Clancy, Thomas Owen, “Saint and fool: the image and function of Cummíne Fota and Comgán Mac Da Cherda in early Irish literature”, PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1991.
Edinburgh Research Archive: <link>
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
October 2014, last updated: January 2024