The Milesians

Here is the so-called Milesian part of the Book of Invasions.


The Milesians

§65. Taking the Gaedil and installing them, below. As for the Gaedil, we have given their adventures from Iafeth f. Noe, and from the Tower of Nimrod, until we left them at the Tower of Breogan in Spain; and how they came out of Egypt, and out of Scythia to the Maeotic Marshes, and along the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Crete and as far as Sicily; and we have also related how they took Spain by force. We will now simply relate below how they came to Ireland.

§66. Íth f. Breogan, it was he who saw Ireland first, one winter evening, from the top of Breogan's Tower; for thus a man's vision is the best, on a clear winter evening. Íth, with twice thirty warriors, came to Ireland, and they landed on the “Foul Shore” of Cape Corcu Duibne, when it was time to arrive.

If we follow the authorities of Munster, here is their route. Íth subsequently came to Corcu Duibne, to Ciarraige Luachra, to Luachair Dedad, through the plain of Cliu, to Eile, to Tir Cell, along Mide, in the territory of Luigne, beyond Sliab Guaire, along from the woods of Fernmag, by Fossad Cláir de Fernmag, beyond Shah Betheeh, to Shah Toad, through the swamp of Tir Sirláim, in the territory of Modorn, to Mag Ítha, beyond the point of Loch Febail, in the lands of Net, in Ailech de Net. But according to those in the North, she sailed, as we have said, to Ireland, and docked on the “Foul Shore” of Mag Itha, on the northern flank of Ireland.

§67. People came to converse with him on this shore, and each gave news to one another, in the Scotian language; this was adequate, since on either side they were offspring of Rifath Scotus. Íth asked them what the name of this island was. Inis Elga, they said; Mac Cuill, Mac Cécht, and Mac Gréine are its three kings.

Who is his king? said Íth. They answered; Mac Cuill, Mac Cécht, and Mac Gréine are the names of the three kings who lead it. [Now others say that it was shepherds who first met him, and gave him news.] Íth asked, Where are these kings! They said Cathair Crofind was where they were. However, that is not where they were - at the time, but ...

§68. There was actually a men's convention from Ireland at Ailech de Net, after Net f's death. Innui d'Ailech by the Fomoire. The three kings were sharing the cattle and treasures of the king of Ailech at this time. Íth f. Breogan came from Corco Duibne, to Ciarraige, and Luacliair Dedad, in the lowlands of Clíu, then north into the Eiles, to the lands of Fir Cell, along Mide, in the territory of Luigne, over Sliabh Guaire, through the woods of Fernmag, to Fossad Cláir: from Fernmag, through the point of Sliabh Bethech, to Sliabh Tóád, in the swamp of Tír Sírláim, in the territory of Modorn, to Mag nÍtha, to Ailech Néit. The three kings, Mac Cuill, Mac Cécht, Mac Gréine, were there, and they welcomed him, and told him the affair which occupied them.

§69. Íth surpassed the judges of Ireland in cunning and argument; and he gave counsel for every business and every strife that came before them. Then Íth said: Just use righteousness, for good is Ireland where you dwell; abundant its fruits, its honey, its wheat and its fish; moderate its heat and cold. It has everything you need. He then bade them farewell, and set off for his ship.

§70. The first night after Íth went to Ireland after arriving at Loch Sailech, demons killed one of his followers. He is the first to be killed in Ireland, of the descendants of the Sons of Míl. Every port Íth came to in Ireland, after he had docked every territory it was in, Mag Ítha is his name; Mag Ítha in Loch Febail, The Lands of Íth in Loch Sailech, Mag Ítha in Desi, Mag Ítha in Luimnech.

§71. It was then that a plot was hatched by them to kill Íth, and they ordered him to leave Ireland; and he departed from them, from Ailech Mag Ítha. There was a pursuit after him so far, and he fell by their hands to Mag Ítha; thus Mag Ítha was named. So it was to avenge Íth that the Sons of Mil came - for his body was transported to Spain.

§72. Now, this is what scholars relate; that strong of thirty-six chiefs and nobles the Gáedil came. Each had a ship, which makes thirty-six ships. And twenty-four servants had, each of them that had a ship; and twenty-four servants for each servant on each ship, again.

These are the thirty-six chiefs who came to Ireland together with Fintan f. Bochra noted him (who was born seven years before the Deluge; up to seven years of the reign of Diarmait mac Cerbaill, such was his life) under the service of Finnian of Mag Bile, and of Colum Cille, and that Túan mac Cairill the noted in the presence of Irish, and of Finnian of Mag Bile, and as his followers related, namely Ladcend f. Bairche, and Colman f. Comgellan, and Cenn Fáelad f. Ailill, and Senchan f. Colmán, Cú Alad of the Cruachans, and Bran de Boirenn, etc. These are the disciples of Finnian and Túán.

And what they said was, that these are the thirty-six chieftains who entered Ireland as the Gaedil, that is, the ten sons of Bregon (Íth being one of them) - Brego, Bile, Blad, Cualu, Cuailnge, Fúat, Muirthemne, Eibleo, Íth, Nár: the only son of Bile, Míl of Spain (Galam was his real name): the seven sons of Míl, Donn, Colptha, Amorgen, Éber, Ír, Érimón, Érech Febria and Érennán, the youngest of the family. The three sons of Erimón; Muimne, Luigne, Laigne; also Palap and Írial Fáid (but in Ireland even Írial was born) the son of Érimón.
And it is called Nuadu Airgetlám. Nuadu Airgetlám had two sons, Glas from whom Síl nArgetrois, and Fir Nuadat; and they took the principality of Ireland; for Nuadu was not in contract with them, for he was young, and there was no division between them, because of his piety for his brethren; but he fed and clothe every child born of him, and he suppressed the children of the one and he exaggerated those of the other for their piety; for what the scholars say is, that every princely family that is in Ireland, except the Eoganacht, is of the descent of Nuadu Airgetlám.

Another family is known to have been born from Érimón in Ireland, they are Alan, Eidenn, Aine, Caithiar, Caitheair, Cerna. The four sons of Éber Finn, Ér, Orba, Ferón, Fergna.

And scholars believe that he had children in Ireland, namely Conmáel f. Eber, who took the throne of Ireland and Alba, and Caur, Corand, Edar, Airb, Airbe. The ten more champions, Caicher, Fulmán, Mantán, Sétga, Suirge, Sobairche, Én f. Oice, Ún f. Uice, Étán, Goisten.
Or were they the three sons of Nár f. Breogan, and Gosten was Setga's brother.

These are the names of the ten champions; Bres, Búas, Buaigne, the three sons of Tigernbard f. Brigi f. Breogan. Or maybe Brigi f. Brig had a son Bile.

And there also came Lugaid f. Ith, the tough, brave and mighty warrior, to avenge his father. So this is the company of chiefs who came to Ireland with the Sons of Míl, the ten sons of Breogan, and the eight sons of Míl, the five sons of Erimón, and the four sons of Eber Finn, and the ten champions. And there came Gosten and Sétga and Íth f. Breogan. And scholars say Míl did not come to Ireland; and others say that the three kings died of the plague before coming to Ireland, they are Míl f. Bile, and Oige and Uige, the two sons of Allod f. Noenel.

The twenty-four servants as follows; Aidne, Al, Assal, Mede, Morba, Mide, Cuib, Clíu, Cera, Saer, Slán, Life, Line, Ligen, Traig, Dul, Adal, Aire, Dése, Dela, Fea, Femen, Fera.
In addition Lugaid f. Íth also came, the hard and valiant warrior with the strength of a hundred, to avenge his father with them all.

These are the names of the main servants, these are the names of the subordinate servants below, which are not very important in the books: Medar, Ladar, Medon, Pida, Cath, Ruis, Cailna, Mad, Dena, Caeha, Bonn, Finnu, Cer, Coirche, Meadba, Ailim, Bir, Baschon, Forena, Lugba, Sega, Seilgenn, Seg, Mar, Aig. It is said that Eber had sons besides these, Caur, Capa, Corunn, Edor, Arb, Airrbe,. Éremón had six other sons, Edenn, Alan, Ailie, Caichear, and Caieher Cernda; and this family is not usually highlighted.

§73. One of the eight Sons of Míl, Érannán, the youngest of the family, it was he who ascended the mast to spy on Ireland, and fell from the mast into the sea on the rock. And her grave is at Inber Scene, and the grave of Scene wife of Amorgen on the other side. She died on the sea at the estuary, and Amorgen said: The port where we will dock will be called Scene. Míl's sons competed in rowing as they came to Ireland from where they saw Ireland in the distance; and Ír son of Míl advanced a length of a murchrech [perhaps the mythical "nine waves"] beyond any ship. Eber Donn, the eldest of the family, was envious, and he said:

It is not happy
Let Ír jump before Íth,

[ie, before Lugaid son of Íth]. Then the oar that was in Ír's hand broke, and he fell back, and died the following night; and his body was carried to Sceilic, behind the promontory south of Corco Duibne.

Whenever the Sons of Míl approached Ireland, the demons conspired to make the port, in a way, a pig's back; this is why Ireland is called “Isle of Pigs”. They circled Ireland three times, and finally landed at Inber Scéne.

Pained were Éber Finn and Érimón and Amorgen after the death of their brother; and they said: It would be just that Éber Donn should not have his share of the earth, since he was jealous of his brother Ir. In the morning Scéne and Érannán were buried in Inber Scéne. Both were buried; their tumuli and their graves are still there, side by side. So Amorgen said,

Although this is Scene's grave - it was [until then] -
(but the name of Scene will remain there)
This will be Erannán's grave, until he comes,
From God came the death of this poet.

§74. As he put his right foot on the land of Ireland, Amorgen Glúingel f. Míl says this poem -

I am Vent sur Mer,
I am Ocean Wave,
I am Sea Roar,
I am a Taurus in the Seven Battles,
I am Vulture on Falaise,
I am a drop of dew,
I am the most beautiful of Flowers,
I am a Boar of Audacity,
I am Salmon in Lake,
I am Lac sur Plaine,
I am a Mountain in a Man,
I am a Skillful Word,
I am the Point of a Weapon (which launches into combat),
I am God who fashioned Fire for a Head.
Who smooths out the roughness of a mountain?
Who is the One who foretold the ages of the moon?
And who, the place where the setting sun falls?
Who called the cattle of the House of Tethys?
Who does Tethys' cattle smile on?
Who is the troop, who the god who shaped the edges
From a fortress of gangrene?
Enchantments on a spear? Wind enchantments?

Amorgen also says:

A sea full of fish!
A fruitful land!
A gush of fish
Fish under wave,
In torrents like those
Of a rough sea!
A white hail
With hundreds of salmon,
Large whales!
A harbor song -
A gush of fish,
A sea full of fish!

After three days and three nights thereafter the Sons of Míl fought the battle of Sliab Mis against the demons and the Fomoraig, that is to say, against the Túatha Dé Danann. It was there that Fás (so we read) fell, the wife of Ún f. Uicce, eponymous from “the tomb of Fás”, between Sliab Mis and the sea.

Scota daughter of Pharaoh king of Egypt, also died in this battle - the wife of Erimón f. Míl. Because Míl f. Bile traveled to Egypt, with companies of four ships, and he took Scota for his wife, and Erimón took her with him. During that night when the Sons of Míl came to Ireland, the outpouring of Loch Luigdech took place at Iar-Mumu.

“Shah Mis” - meaning the worst mountain they found after arriving in Ireland, for there they fought their first battle in Ireland.

§75. Lugaid f. Íth was bathing in Loch Luigdech; Fial, wife of Lugaid, used to bathe in the river which flows from the lake. Her husband went to her naked, and she saw her husband's nakedness, and died of shame. Thus were named Loch Luigdech, and Fial, and Inber Féile.

§76. The Sons of Míl fought in the Battle of Life; there were giant-shaped monsters that the Túatha Dé Danann had summoned by druidery. The Sons of Míl (Éber, Érimón and Ír) fought valiantly. Érimón's horse fell there, so it was named Gabar Life. They subsequently advanced to the mountain above Loch Dergderc.

§77. The Sons of Míl consulted Banba in Sliab Mis. Banba said to them: If you have come to take Ireland, bad luck is what brought you. It is out of necessity, says Amorgen Glúingel, the poet. A present from you to me then, she said. What present? they said. Let my name be on this island, she said. What is your name? they said. Banba, she said. Let that be a name for this island, says Amorgen.

the Book of Druim Snechta says that Amorgen inquired about his race. Of Adam's descent I am, she said. What race of the sons of Noah is yours! he said. I am older than Noah, she said; on the peak of a mountain I was during the Deluge; until this present mount the waves of the Deluge arrived. That is why it is named Tul Tuinne? [but the above excerpt is surprising.] Afterwards they chant spells against her, and drive her away from them.

§78. They consulted Fotla in Eblinne. She spoke to them in the same way, and desired that her name be given to the island. Amorgen says: Let Fotla be a name for this island.

§79. They consulted Eriu in Uisnech. She said to them: Warriors, she said, welcome to you. For a long time the diviners were aware of your coming. Yours will be this island forever; and until the east of the world there will be no better island. Of race there will not be, more numerous than yours. This is good, said Amorgen; good is prophecy. It is wrong to thank her, says Éber Donn, the eldest son of Míl; Thank our gods and our power. It doesn't matter to you, said Eriu; you will have no profit on this island, nor your offspring. A present for me, from you son of Míl, and from you son of Breogan, she said; let my name be on this island. It will be its main name, says Amorgen.

The Book of Druim Snechta says that it was at Sliab Mis that Eriu held colloquy with them, and that she formed great armies to oppose them, so that they fought with them. But their druids and poets chanted spells on them, and they saw that they were only clods of peat from the mountain. (Hence the name Sliab Misse.) And that it was Fotla who held a colloquy with them at Uisnech.

§80. The sons of Míl and Bregon continued, until they were in Druim Chain, that is, Temair. The three kings of Ireland, Mac Cuill, Mac Cécht, and Mac Gréine, were there. They pronounced judgment against the Sons of Míl, that they would have the island at the end of three days, without assault, without assembly of battle, or taking of hostages; for they were sure that they would not come back, because the druids would do spells behind them, so that they would not be able to return. We will award it, says Mac Cuill f. Cermat, as Amorgen your own judge will tell you; for if he were to give a false judgment, he would be killed by our hands. Give judgment, Amorgen, said Eber Donn. I pronounce it; said Amorgen. Let the island be left to them. How far should we go, said Eber. Right after nine waves, Amorgen says. This is the first judgment given in Ireland. Amorgen says,

Men, seeking possession!
Beyond nine great waves with green sides,
You won't go except with mighty gods!
Let it be done promptly! May battle be allowed!

I adjust the possession of the land where you come;
If it suits you, award the right,
If it doesn't suit you, don't judge it -
I'm not telling you, except of your own free will.

§81. They went south from Temair to Inber Féile and Inber Scéne, because that's where their ships were. Then they moved away, with nine waves. The druids of Ireland and the poets chanted spells behind them, so that they were carried away from Ireland, and were in distress because of the sea. This is a wizarding wind! said Éber Donn; see if it's over the mast. And he wasn't. Patience! says Airech, Donn's ship's navigator, until Amorgen's arrival (Airech was Amorgen's adopted son). They all went ahead until they were all in one place. Donn the elder said: It is a disgrace to our cunning men, he said. It is not a disgrace! said Amorgen; and he spoke,

I'm looking for the land of Ireland,
May the sea full of fish be traveled,
Fruitful the highlands counted,
Counted the rainy wood,
Rainy the river with cataracts,
From cataracts the lake to the basins,
From basins the hill to the well,
From a people's well to the assemblies,
Assemblies of the King of Temair;
Temair, hill of peoples,
Peoples of the Sons of Míl,
From Míl to ships, to boats;
The great ship Eriu,
Eriu the tall, very green,
A very cunning incantation,
The great cunning of the wives of Bres,
De Bres, wives of Buaigne,
The mighty Lady Eriu,
Erimón harassed her,

- and a lull of the wind came upon them immediately.

§82. Donn said: I will now, he said, put under the edge of my spear and my sword all who are in Ireland. And the wind arose against the ship where were Donn and Airech, two sons of Mil, and the ship where were Bres, Búas, and Buaighne; so that they were drowned at Tech Duinn Dunes. Every man's mound is there. And there, some say, Díl, Donn's wife, was drowned. She was a daughter of Míl, and Erimón himself threw a clod of earth over her. This is a clod above Díl, he says. So Fotla was named, as some say.

§83. However, Odba daughter of Míl, mother of three sons of Érimón, de Muimne, Luigne, and Laigne, it is she whom Érimón deserted in Spain, taking Tea in her place. But Odba came from the south in a ship, with her sons, and they looked after her until she died in Odba. So we say Odba. As for Tea, daughter of Lugaid f. Íth, it was she that Érimón took in place of Odba; and she had to choose a hill in Ireland as her bridal portion. Such is the dowry she chooses, Druim Chain, the hill that is Temair; Temair is Tea Wall, the Wall of Tea. Lugaid means Lug Íth, that is to say, Lug, who was less than his father.

§84. Éremón with thirty ships sailed to starboard against Ireland to the northwest. These were its leaders: Brego, Muirthenme, Fáat, Cuailnge, Érimón, Éber f. Ír, Amorgen, Colptha, Muimne, Luigne, Laigne, Gosten, Sétga, Suirge, Sobairche. Also, these are the fourteen servants: Ai, Mdne, Assal, Mide, Cuib, Cera, Sér, Slán, Ligen, Dul, Adal, Traig, Line. Of them the historian sang,

Meadon, Meadair, Caeh, Dala,
Lotan, Pita, Cath, Cuanna,
Rus, Calna, Mag, Deana,
Cacha, Bonn, Findu, Buada.

They docked at Inber Colptha; that is, Colptha f. Míl, he was the first to disembark, so his name is that of the port; thus Inber Colptha.

§85. As for the Sons of Breogan, they left no descendants, only their names on the noble fortress of Ireland.

§86. There was no descendant announced to the warriors, Sétga, Gosten, Sobairche, and Suirge. D'Amorgen is Corcu Achrach in Éile, and l'Orbraige, and Corcu Airtbinn, and Corcu Airtbi.

§87. Éber f. Ír, from him are the offspring of Ollom Fotla and Rudraige; all Ulaids are his offspring. Of his offspring are Conmaicne, Ciarraige, Corcomruad, and Corcu Duibne; Dál Moga Ruith (i.e. Fir Maige Féne) and Laigse de Laigin, Arad Chliach and the seven Sogains.

§88. As for Érimón, the leader of the expedition, of him is Leth Cuinn, that is to say the four families of Temair, Conall, Colmán, Eogan, and Aed Sláine. From him are the three Connachta, and Airgialla, Laigin, and Osraige, the Déssi of Mumu, and the Ernai of Mumu, of whom was the descent of Deda, as well as Conaire the Great with his children (the men of Alba and of Dál Riata); and the Muscraige, and Corco Baiscinn. And of the Ernai of Mumu are Dál Fiatach, the kings of Ulaid; these are the descendants of Érimón. From them also are the Fotharta, from whom came Brigit, and Fintan of Cluain Eidnech, Ui Ailella, and Ui Cheocháin. Fotharta are these. [These are all the descendants of Erimón].

§89. Eber remained to the south with thirty ships. These are its leaders, Bile, Míl, Cualu, Blád, Ebliu, Nár, Éber Donn, Éber Finn, Airech, Érannán, Lugaid, Ér, Orba, Ferón, Fergna, Én, Un, Etán, Caicher, Mantán, Fulmán . These are the servants, of whom every man had a ship; Adar, Aire, Déisse, Dela, Clíu, Mórba, Fea, Life, Femen, Fera.

§90. Bile and Míl, of their descent, are all Gáedil. Cualu and Blad and Ebliu left no descendants, only their names on great mountains. Nár f. Bile, to whom Ros Náir. No offspring of the warriors were inscribed, that is to say, of Er, Étán, Caicher, Fulmán, Mantán. Éber Donn and Airech did not leave any children, because they were drowned, as we have said. The four sons of Éber, Ér, Orba, Ferón, Fergna, did not have children. They had half a year on the Irish throne, until Iriel killed them.

§91. Lugaid f. Íth, five peoples come from him, namely the family of Dáire Doimthech, that is to say the five Lugaid - Lugaid Cal, to whom the Calraige of Connachta, Lugaid Corr to whom the Corpraige, Lugaid Corp to whom Dál Coirpre de Cliu, Lugaid Oircthe to who Corcu Oircthi, Lugaid Láeg to whom Corcu Láegde; of which was the son of Dairine, Lugaid mac Con. Ailill Ólom it was he who spoke to him; and he couldn't sleep with anyone except Elóir, a hunting dog that Aiiill owned.

§92. As for Éber Finn, of his descendants are Dál Cais, and Dál Cein, and Delbna, and the Déssi of the North, and Dál Moscorb; Dál Mathra, hUi Derduib, Cathraige, Éile, and Túath Tuirbi; and the Eoganacht of Caissel, Áme, Loch Loin, Ráithlinn, Glenn Amain, Ara, and Ros Airgit. These are the descendants of Eber.

§93. There was a dispute between the sons of Míl concerning the kingship, that is, between Éber and Érimón. Amorgen was brought to them to arbitrate between the two, and he said: the inheritance of the chief, Donn, to the second, Érimón; and the inheritance to Eber after him. But Eber would not accept this - only a division of Ireland. These are the first three judgments which were given among the sons of Míl in Ireland: the judgment which Amorgen gave to Temair, and this decision to Sliab Mis, and the decision which Amorgen gave to Cenn tSáile at Mumu on the deer. and deer and quadrupeds; so says the poet,

There Amorgen gave judgment
Its neighbors do not hide it;
After the battle of Mala, glory without decline,
Between the armies of the Sons of Mil.
To each he granted his right,
While they were hunting;
Each received his rightful due from his hands,
By the judgment of Amorgen, high and great.
The first deer injury, it is known,
Whether it's a man or a dog tearing at the skin,
To dogs cerviers, flawless custom,
What is thrown at them returns.
The skinner's share, so he granted it,
A bite from the short neck;
To the hounds the legs of the deer,
His will be a part which cannot increase.
The internal parts of the man who comes last,
Whether he thinks this dish good or bad,
It is certain that he is not authorized,
To share the division.
A general division to each
Subsequently - it is not in vain -
Without ordering here or there
This is the judgment given by Amorgen.

§94. Finally there were six chiefs to the south and seven chiefs to the north who came there; and Eber had the kingship in the south and Erimón the kingship in the north. The southern six were Eber himself, Lugaid f. Íth, Étán f. Oicce, Ún f. Uicce, Caicher, Fulman. The northern seven were Érimón, Éber f. Ír, Amorgen, Gosten, Sétga, Sobairce, and the seventh was Surge. Of these matters Roigne the poet spoke, the son of Ugoine the Great, to Mál son of Ugoine his brother, when Mál asked him: Sing your expedition. So that's where Raigne says -

Noble son of Ugoine,
How do you reach full knowledge of Ireland?
He arose from Scythia,
Feinius Farsaid himself;
Nel reached Egypt,
Stayed there for a time faithfully
With Pharaoh traveling.
The engagement of Nél, of Scota,
The conception of our father Gáedil,
The name of “Scot” spread outside
Pharaoh's beautiful daughter.
The people of the good Lord arrived together
With retribution from a great army.
Cincris was extinguished,
Drowned in the Red Sea.
They traveled on the waves
Arrived in Scythia,
That Eber Scot harassed;
They hit Refioir,
Agnomain, Lamfind.
They sailed on the Caspian
Entered Liuis,
Went to Toirrian,
Africa passed,
Arrived in Spain,
Where were Erimon conceived,
And Eber in Mile.
Soon Brego, Bile,
To avenge Ith,
Grouped in their boats,
Sixty their number.
The men coming back
Divided Ireland
Among two times six heads.
May the truth of history suffice!
I answer the question easily.

§95. Or they said that they were twice six men, that is to say the six sons of Míl and the six sons of Breogan - Érimón, Éber, Lugaid, Amorgen, Colptha, Ír; Brego, Bile, Fúat, Blad, Cualu, Cuailnge. In this way the Gáedils took Ireland; So ends the Capture of Ireland so far.