The Debility of the Ulates

Here are different versions of the story of the Debility of the Ulates, of the red branch of the mythology Irish.

the Debility of the Ulates

Debility of the Ulates

Version I

Crunniuc, son of Agnoman was a successful farmer. He lived in solitude and in the mountains, and he had many sons with him. Then his wife died. One day when he was alone in his house, he saw a woman [coming] to him in his house. The woman's appearance seemed magnificent to him. Soon after, the woman began, as soon as she was seated, to prepare [food], as if [already] she had been in the house. When night came, she gave instructions without questioning people. At night she slept with Crunniuc. For a long time, she was with him, and thanks to her, they did not lack anything, be it food, clothes and [what concerns] good products. Shortly after, the Ulates held a solemn assembly. The Ulates used to come to the assembly as male and wife, son and daughter. Crunniuc also went with the others to the meeting, he wore good clothes and had good learning. "But it is suitable for you", his wife said to him: "that you are not arrogant to the point of speaking recklessly. "It won't happen," he said. The meeting ended. At the end of the day, the king's chariot reached the goal first. The chariot horses won the victory. People were saying "There is nothing faster than these horses!" Crunniuc says "My wife is faster," he said. He was immediately arrested by the king. This was reported to his wife. “It's a real worry for me,” she said, “to have to go release him while I'm pregnant! "What a worry," said the messenger, "he will be killed if you don't come!" She went to the assembly, and the pains of childbirth took hold of her. “Help me,” she said to the people, “for each of you is born from a mother! Wait until I am delivered! “She couldn't get [that] from them. “Very well,” she said, “the greatest calamity will come, and for a long time it will reach all of Ulates. " " What is your name? Said the king. “My name,” she said, “and the name of my descendants will forever remain in the place of this assembly. Macha, daughter of Sainreth mac Imbaith is my name, ”she said. So she ran with the chariot, and when the chariot reached the end point, she had already given birth there, she gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. It is from them that is called Emain macha (ie the Macha Twins). When they were born she uttered such a cry that anyone who had heard remained in a weak state for five days and four nights. All the men of Ulster that was there fell into that state (?), Until the ninth generation of whoever was there. Five days and four nights or five nights and four days, this was the Noinden Ulad. The strength of a woman in childbirth was the strength of every Ulate until the ninth generation of the Noinden. There were three kinds of people that the Noinden of Ulster did not reach, namely the children and wives of Ulster and Cuchulainn. The period during which it weighed on Ulster began in the time of Crunniuc, son of Agnoman, son of Curir Ulad, son of Fiatach, son of Urmi, until the time of Forc (?), Son of Dallán, son of Mainech , son of Lugid, etc. Curir Ulad is the one from whom the Ulates take their name.

Version II

Why did weakness weigh on the Ulates? It's not difficult.

A wealthy farmer from Ulster lived high in the mountains and in solitude, Crundchu Mac Agnomain was his name. In his solitude, he gathered great wealth. He had many sons with him, and around him. [Then] the woman who had lived with him, the mother of his children, died. For a long time he remained without a woman. While one day he was there, alone, on his bed in his house, he saw a young and pretty woman come to him in the big house; her figure, dress and appearance were admirable. Masha was the name of this woman, ut periti dicunt. The woman sat down on a seat near the hearth, and lit the fire. They remained like this until the end of the day without speaking to each other. She grabbed a mixer and a sieve and began to prepare [food] for the house. When the day was over, she took buckets to milk the cows, without asking. When they (the people) were [back] in the house, she walked around them to the right and went into her kitchen and talked to the people and sat on a seat next to Crundchu. Everyone went to their bed, she stayed after everyone else, and put out the fire then turned to the right around him and went under the blanket with him (Crundchu) and put her hand on his side. They stayed together until she was pregnant with him. By bonding with her, his wealth became even greater. His appearance and blossoming *** was pleasant. However, the Ulates often had large meetings and gatherings. They [then] asked everyone to come to the assembly, both men and women, as many as were able. “I want,” said Crundchu to his wife, “to go to the meeting like the others. » “You should not go,” said the woman, “so that you would not be in danger of speaking about us, for our union only stands [as long as] you do not speak of me in the assembly. » “So I won't talk about it,” said Crundchu. The Ulates went to the assembly, so Crundchu went there like the others. The meeting was impressive, both in terms of the people, the horses and the costumes. During the assembly there were horse races and fights and throwing games and races between men and parades (which were) organized. At the ninth hour the king's chariot arrived at the racetrack. The king's horses snatched victory during the meeting. Then came the singer of praise to praise the king and the queen, and the poets and the druids and the warriors (?) and the people and all the assembly. “Never have two horses come to the Assembly, like the two horses of the king, because there is no one faster than these two in Ireland. » “My wife is faster than these two horses,” said Crundchu. “Hold this man back. » said the king, “until his wife comes to compete!” » He (Crundchu) was arrested and envoys from the king went to the woman. She welcomed the messengers, and asked what had brought them to her. “We have come so that you can free your husband, who is being arrested by the king, because he said that you are faster than the king's two horses. » “It [is] really unfortunate,” she said, “because it was not appropriate to say that. It is a misfortune for me,” she said, “because I am in the pains of childbirth. » “What bad luck,” said the messengers, “he will be killed if you do not come. "That won't happen," she said. She went with them to the assembly. So everyone came to see her. “It is not worthy to examine my face,” she said. “Why, was I brought? " she says. “To race against the king’s two horses,” they all said. “It's a disaster,” she said, “because I'm having contractions. » “Draw your sword against this man,” said the king. “Wait a little with me,” she said, “until I have given birth.” » “No,” said the king. “Really it’s a shame for you not to have a little consideration for me. Since you have none, I will bring the greatest shame upon you. Only bring the horses near me! " she says. This was done, and she arrived at the end of the trail ahead of them. Then she let out a cry of distress and pain. Soon, God put an end to it for her, and she gave birth to a son and a daughter, Fir and Fial, at one time. When everyone heard the woman's cry, it happened that they all had the same strength as the woman, who was in weakness. “You will benefit from this hour from the honor of the profanation, with which you covered me, out of shame. When the need is greatest for you, all those who live in this province will only have the strength of a woman, while she is in childbirth, for the same duration, namely five days and four nights , and this will weigh on you until the ninth man, that is to say, the time of nine (generation of) men. »

It really happened. This lasted from the time of Crunchu until the time of Fergus mac Domnaill. But this weakness was not on the women, nor the children, nor Cuchulainn, because he was not from Ulster, nor on those who [then] were out of the country.

So that's where the weakness came from on the Ulates etc.