- The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn
"The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn" ( _ga. Macgnímartha Finn) is a medieval Irish narrative belonging to the
Fenian Cycleof Irish mythology. As its title implies, it recounts the boyhood exploits of Fionn mac Cumhaill, the cycle's central figure. The most important manuscript is Laud 610: folio 118Rb-121Va, which is missing the ending; Kuno Meyerassigned the text to the 12th century.Meyer, "Macgnimartha Find."]
The story begins with the death of Fionn's father
Cumhal, leader of the Fianna, at the hands of Goll mac Morna. Cumhal's wife Muirnewas pregnant at the time and eventually gave birth to their son, called Demne in his youth. Fearing for his safety, she sends the boy to be raised by Cumhal's sister, the druidess Bodhmall, and her companion Liath Luachra. The two warrior women raise him and accompany him on several adventures, including one in which he receives his nickname, "Fionn" (the fair; the pale). As he grows, his exploits attract increasing attention, and finally his foster mothers send him away for fear that Goll's men will find him. Subsequent episodes depict his service to the king of Bantry, his recovery of Cumhal's treasures by slaying Liath Luachra(a different character than his caretaker), and his meeting with the aged and dispossessed Fianna who had fought with his father.
Another famous episode recounts how Fionn inadvertently eats the
Salmon of Wisdom, which would grant universal knowledge to whoever consumed it. He had been studying under the poet Finn Eces, who had sought the fish for seven years. Finally he catches it, and has Fionn cook it for him. Fionn burns his thumb on the fish and puts it in his mouth, thereby receiving its gift of wisdom.
Fionn travels to the capital of Tara, which is set aflame each
Samhainby Aillénthe Burner, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Goll and the Fianna are powerless to stop it, since Aillén puts everyone to sleep with a magical tune. Fionn inhales poison from his own spear to prevent sleep, and dispatches Aillén. He reveals his identity to the court, and the king grants Fionn his rightful position as leader of the Fianna. Goll steps down, and engages in a truce with his enemy.
The Laud 610 manuscript was first edited by
Kuno Meyerin 1881 for the French journal " Revue Celtique". The text breaks off while Fionn investigates a " sídhe" or fairy mound, before his trip to Tara. Scholars have pointed out similarities between earlier versions of "The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn" and tales of the youth of the Ulster Cyclehero Cúchulainn. [Mackillop, "Dictionary of Celtic Mythology", p. 318.] For instance, " The Boyhood Deeds of Cúchulainn" and "The Wooing of Emer", both found within the epic " Táin Bó Cúailnge", recount Cúchulainn's earning of a nickname through his feats, his training by a warrior woman ( Scáthach) and his earning of a deadly spear (the Gáe Bulg).
*Jones, Mary. [http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/f02.html "The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn mac Cumhaill"] . From maryjones.us. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
*MacKillop, James (1998). "Dictionary of Celtic Mythology". Oxford. ISBN 0-19-860967-1.
*Meyer, Kuno (1881). "Macgnimartha Find." In "Revue Celtique", V, pp. 195–204, 508.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Fionn mac Cumhaill — Fionn mac Cumhaill, illustration by Stephen Reid. Fionn mac Cumhaill ( / … Wikipedia
Lord of the Celts (radio) — “Lord of the Celts” is a radio program from the American radio anthology series Radio Tales. The anthology series adapted classic works of American and world literature for the radio. The series was a recipient of numerous awards, including four… … Wikipedia
Salmon of Wisdom — The Salmon of Wisdom or Salmon of Knowledge ( bradán feasa ) is a creature figuring in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. It appears in The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn , which recounts the early adventures of Fionn mac Cumhaill. According to the… … Wikipedia
Fenian Cycle — Series on Celtic mythology Celtic polytheism Celtic deities (list) Gaelic mythology Irish mytholo … Wikipedia
Irish mythology — Series on Celtic mythology Celtic polytheism Celtic deities (list) Gaelic mythology Iri … Wikipedia
Druid — For other uses, see Druid (disambiguation). Two druids , 19th century engraving based on a 1719 illustration by Bernard de Montfaucon. … Wikipedia
Manannán mac Lir — Manannan redirects here. For the Isle of Man Steam Packet ship, see HSC Manannan. The boat from the 1st century BC Broighter Hoard, probably a votive deposit to Manannán mac Lir Manannán mac Lir is a sea deity in Irish mythology. He is the son of … Wikipedia
Cormac mac Airt — (son of Art), also known as Cormac ua Cuinn (grandson of Conn) or Cormac Ulfada (long beard), was, according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, a High King of Ireland. He is probably the most famous of the ancient High Kings, and… … Wikipedia
Diarmuid Ua Duibhne — This article is about the Irish mythological figure. For the character from Guy Gavriel Kay s novel, see The Fionavar Tapestry. Diarmuid Ua Duibhne (Irish pronunciation: [ˈdʲiəɾˠmˠədʲ uə ˈd̪ˠʊvʲnʲə]) or Diarmid O Dyna (also known as… … Wikipedia
Oisín — For the given name, see Oisin. For the 1970 documentary film, see Oisin (film). Ossian, by François Pascal Simon Gérard … Wikipedia