Togail bruidne Da Derga ‘The destruction of Da Derga's hostel’

  • prose
  • Ulster Cycle, Cycles of the Kings, Togla

Early Irish narrative text about Conaire Mór, from his conception and rise to power to the violation of his gessi and death at the siege of the hostel of Da Derga. For the earlier, shorter version, see [[Orgain brudne Uí Dergae |Orgain (or Togail) brudne Uí Dergae]].

pp. 91a (line 1)–104a (line 17) in facsimile cols 716–739
pp. 123–124 (432–433)
Fragment, lines 1-99 of Knott's edition.
ff. 79ra (line 1)–92ra (line 40)
ff. 83ra–99ra (+H)
Beginning missing. Line 222ff of Knott's edition.
ff. 4r–5v
part 1
Beginning only, lines 1-145 of Knott's edition.
ff. 18ra–23v
Fragment corresponding to the Fermoy fragment. Lines 1-482 and 644-1044 of Knott's edition.
pp. 213a–216b
part 2
Fragment. Lines 1045-1351 of Knott's edition.
pp. 477a–482b
Three fragments. Lines 164-361, 546-894 and 1045-1197 of Knott's edition.
col. 343
Extract concerning the warrior Fén dar Crínach. Two (slightly rephrased) lines from § 41 (ed. Knott). Edited by Meyer (1918).
Composite recension
ff. 108vb–123vb
Composite text. Imperfect.
ff. 26r–52v
A copy of the former
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Textual relationships
Related: Irish glossary from TCD 1337, pp. 623-628Irish glossary from TCD 1337, pp. 623-628Medieval Irish glossary in TCD 1337, pp. 623-628. Many of the entries are known from other works and learned compilations, such as Sanas Cormaic.Orgain brudne Uí DergaeOrgain brudne Uí Dergae

Old Irish tale of Uí/Da Derga’s hostel (bruiden), which is thought to have been contained in the lost Cín Dromma Snechtai. Tantalisingly, Ii gives only a summarised version of events, in stark contrast to the later, considerably expanded version known as Togail bruidne Da Derga.


Ulster Cycle
Ulster Cycle
id. 1797
Cycles of the Kings
Cycles of the Kings
id. 80


Cycle of Conaire MórCycles of the Kings
Cycle of Conaire Mór
id. 49693
Conaire Mór
Conaire Mór
legendary high-king of Ireland; son of Eterscél (Mór) and Mess Búachalla; tragic protagonist of Togail bruidne Da Derga

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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.

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Da Derga
Da Derga
(time-frame ass. with Conaire Mór)
No short description available

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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.

Recension I:
Mac Mathúna, Séamus, Immram Brain: Bran’s Journey to the Land of the Women, Buchreihe der Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, 2, Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1985.
CELT – edition (pp. 33–45): <link>
449–450 Edition, with translation, based on 23 N 10, Egerton 88 and TCD 1337, with variants from LU
Thurneysen, Rudolf [ed.], Zu irischen Handschriften und Litteraturdenkmälern [I], Abhandlungen der königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse, 14.2, Berlin, 1912.  
comments: Continued by Rudolf Thurneysen, Zu irischen Handschriften und Litteraturdenkmälern II (1913).
27–28 Edited from 23 N 10, Egerton 88 and TCD 1337. The text of NLI G 7 was unknown to him at the time.
Hull, Vernam, “Togail Bruidne Da Derga: the Cín Dromma Snechta recension”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 24 (1954): 131–132.
NLI G 7 version
Recension II:
[ed.] Knott, Eleanor [ed.], Togail bruidne Da Derga, Mediaeval and Modern Irish Series, 8, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1936.
CELT – edition: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Based on YBL, with some variants. Variants from D iv 2 are given in the appendix (47-69).
[ed.] [tr.] Stokes, Whitley [ed. and tr.], “The destruction of Dá Derga’s hostel”, Revue Celtique 22 (1901): 9–61, 165–215, 282–329, 390–437, 260 (erratum).
CELT – translation: <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive – reprint: <link>
Based on LU, with variants from YBL and other MSS. A revised, abbreviated version of Stokes' translation is printed in Koch, John T., et al. (eds), The Celtic Heroic Age. Literary sources for ancient Celtic Europe and early Ireland & Wales (2003): § 90.
[add.] [corr.] Stokes, Whitley, “The destruction of Da Derga’s hostel [corrigenda et addenda]”, Revue Celtique 23 (1902): 88.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno [ed.], “Mitteilungen aus irischen Handschriften: Fēn dar Crīnach”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 12 (1918): 375.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Fén dar Crínach episode in YBL.
Translations only:
[tr.] Gantz, Jeffrey [tr.], Early Irish myths and sagas, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981.
[tr.] Draak, Maartje, and Frida de Jong [trs.], Van helden, elfen en dichters: de oudste verhalen uit Ierland, Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1979.
[tr.] McCone, Kim R. [tr.], and Pádraig Ó Fiannachta [tr.], Scéalaíocht ár sinsear, Dán agus Tallann, 3, Maynooth: An Sagart, 1992.  
A collection of early Irish tales in a Modern Irish translation.
71–90. Translation in Modern Irish.

Secondary sources (select)

Borsje, Jacqueline, “Approaching danger: Togail Bruidne Da Derga and the motif of being one-eyed”, in: Joseph Falaky Nagy (ed.), Identifying the 'Celtic', 2, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2002. 75–99.
West, Máire, “The genesis of Togail bruidne Da Derga: a reappraisal of the ‘two-source’ theory”, Celtica 23 (1999): 413–435.
West, Máire, “Aspects of díberg in the tale Togail Bruidne Da Derga”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 49–50 (1997): 950–964.
West, Máire, “Leabhar na hUidhre’s position in the manuscript history of Togail bruidne Da Derga and Orgain brudne Uí Dergae”, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 20 (Winter, 1990): 61–98.
Ó Cathasaigh, Tomás, “On the Cín Dromma Snechta version of Togail brudne Uí Dergae”, Ériu 41 (1990): 103–114.
Thurneysen, Rudolf, Die irische Helden- und Königsage bis zum siebzehnten Jahrhundert, Halle: Niemeyer, 1921.  

Contents: Part 1 (chapters 1-23): Allgemeines; Part 2 (chapters 1-85): Die Ulter Sage.

Internet Archive: <link>
621 [id. 81.]
Gwynn, Lucius, “The recensions of the saga Togail Bruidne Da Derga”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 10 (1915): 209–222.
Internet Archive: <link>
Nettlau, Max, “On the Irish text Togail bruidne dá Derga and connected stories”, Revue Celtique 12 (1891): 229–253, 444–459.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
Nettlau, Max, “On the Irish text Togail bruidne dá Derga and connected stories (suite)”, Revue Celtique 13 (1892): 252–266.
Internet Archive: <link>
Nettlau, Max, “On the Irish text Togail bruidne dá Derga and connected stories”, Revue Celtique 14 (1893): 137–152.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
Dennis Groenewegen, Patrick Brown
Page created
October 2010, last updated: January 2024