A Note about Fiacha Muillethan

Author: Whitley Stokes

An electronic edition

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p. 43.

Eogan the Great son of Ailill Bare-ear went to the battle
of Magh Mucrame. He getteth guesting in the house of the
wizard Treith son of Dá Crega. On Carn Feradaich was
Treith’s house, and he had a very comely daughter, named
Moncha. Eogan asked Treith for his daughter for that night,
and Treith told his daughter to go into Eogan’s bed. And he
said to her that she would bear a son to Eogan, and that that
son would be king of Munster, and that his children after
him would be royal, and that Eogan himself would be slain
in the battle of Magh Mucrame.

Thereafter Moncha sleeps with Eogan, and at the end of
nine months she bears a son whose name was Fiacha Broadcrown.
For when she went to bring him forth, the wizard said
to her: ‘If thou bear thy son today he will be [only] a wizard’s
child; but if thou bear him tomorrow, the boy will be
a king and his children will be royal.’

‘Unless’, she saith, ‘he shall come through my side, he
shall not go the proper way till the morrow’

On the morrow, at sunrise, Moncha bears her son, and he
was called “Broadcrown”, because his head flattened on the
stone [on which his mother sat in order to delay his birth,]
and the site of his head still remains on the stone.

p. 44.

Fiacha Broadcrown assumed the lordship of Munster after
Cormac Cas son of Ailill Bare-ear; and in his time it was that
Cormac, grandson of Conn [of the Hundred Battles] came
on a hosting into Munster as far as Druim Damgaire, the other
name whereof was Long Cliach. And there he began invading
the Munstermen, so that Fiacha Broadcrown sent [for aid] to
Mogh Ruith [the wizard,] who then dwelt in Dairbre. And
for coming to the battle there was given him his choice of
the lands of Munster. So after that Mogh Ruith came to the
battle, and Cormac and Conn’s Half were routed through
Mog Ruith’s teaching, and Cormac gave hostages to Fiacha
Broadcrown. Wherefore Feidlimid son of Cremthann said:

‘Fiacha Broad-crown, excellent king,
From the lands of Lee, on the slopes of Crai,
Hostages were brought to him from strong Tara
To famous Fafann, to Rath Nai.
To the king of Donn’s House knelt
Cormac, Conn’s grandson, though...’

Fiacha Fer dá liach, “Man of two sorrows”, was another
name of his, to wit, a grief from each misfortune that happened
to him (great the misfortune to him), namely, the killing
of his father in battle by Mac Con, and the killing of his
mother by bringing him forth. Finit.

© 2006 Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae

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