The Court of Luaine and the death of Athirne

This is the story of the Courtship of Luaine and the death of Athirne, the red branch of the mythology Irish.

the Court of Luaine and the death of Athirne

The Court of Luaine and the death of Athirne

1. After causing the death of Derdriu, Conchobar mac Nessa was in mourning and sorrow and great despondency came over him, and no music, no flash of light, no beauty, no joy on earth soothed his spirit, but he was still and always sad and gloomy. The nobles of Ulster came to tell him to seek in the provinces of Ireland, if by chance he could find there the daughter of a king or the lord, who would put an end to his sorrow for Derdriu. He agreed to this.

2. His two messengers were brought to him, namely Leborcham, daughter of Ae and Adarc, and Leborcham Rannach, daughter of Uangamain. Hideous and horrible in fact was the appearance of these messengers ***

3. Then the two messengers searched in Erin, both in the forts and in the great cities, and they found no unmarried woman there who could cure Conchobar's pain. Then Leborcham, daughter of Ae and Adarc, came by chance to Domanchenn son of Dega in the province of Ulster itself, and there she saw an adorable maiden, curly-haired, pure in color, who surpassed the women of the earth in its time, namely, Luaine daughter of Domanchenn. Leborcham asked whose daughter she was. He was answered "The daughter of Domanchenn son of Dega". Leborcham says it was Conchobar who had sent her to fetch Luaine for him, as she was the only girl in Ireland who had the same appearance as Derdriu, as much by the silhouette and the feelings as by the address. "That's good," said her father, and so he gave his consent in return for a suitable price for the bride.

4. The messenger returned to the place where Conchobar was waiting, and told him of the existence of the young girl, it was then that she said: "There I saw a young girl.

sweet-beautiful, ripe for marriage, with golden hair, etc.

5. So much so that love for the young girl invaded his brain (?) And he couldn't bear not to go himself and see her clearly. So when he saw the girl, there wasn't a bone in him the size of a thumb that wasn't filled with infinite love for the girl. She was then betrothed to him, and the price for the bride corresponding to the girl was imposed on him, and he returned again to Emain.

6. At this time came Manannan son of Athgno, king of Mann and the Foreign Isles, with a vast fleet, to plunder and ravage Ulster and take revenge on it for (the death) of the sons of Usnech; for this Manannan had been a friend of theirs, and it was he who brought up the children of Nôisé and Derdriu, namely, Gaiar the son and Aib-Gréne the daughter.

7. There were four Manannáns, and they did not live at the same time.

Manannan son of Allot, an excellent druid of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and he lived in the time of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Orbsen, in fact, (was) his real name. It was this Manannan who lived in Arran, and from him Emain Ablach was named, and it was he who was killed at the battle of Cuillenn by Uillenn of the Red Eyebrows, son of Caither, son of Nuada Airgetlam, who challenged him for kingship. from Connaught. And when his grave was dug, this is where Loch n-Oirbsen sprang up from under the earth, so that from him, from the first Manannan, Loch n-Oirbsen is designated.

8. Manannan son of Cerp, king of the Islands and Mann. He came to the time of Conaire son of Etirscel, and it was he who wooed Tuag, daughter of Conall Collamair, Conaire's foster son, and from her Tuag Inber takes his name.

9. Manannan "son of the sea", ie, a famous merchant who traded between Erin and Alba and the Isle of Mann. He was also a druid, and he was the best pilot who frequented Ireland. It was he also who found, by celestial science (ie) by examining the air, the weather it would be: good weather or storm, and de aen Manannán nominabatur, et ideo Scoti et Britones eum deum maris uocauerunt, and inde filium maris esse dixerunt ma ut deum, and ideo adorabatur a gentibus ut deum, quia transforma (u) it se in multis formis per gentilitatem.

10. Manannan son of Athgno was the fourth Manannan. It was he who came with a great fleet to avenge the sons of Usnech, and it was he who had supported them in Alba. Sixteen years were the sons of Usnech in Alba, and they conquered Alba from Slamannan to the north of Alba, and it was they who expelled from this territory the three sons of Gnathal son of Morgann, namely Iatach and Triatach and Mani Rude-hand, for their father reigned over this land, and it was the sons of Usnech who slew him. So the trio came into exile with Conchobar, and it was they who killed the three sons of Usnech as representatives of Eogan son of Durthacht.

11. Then Manannan arrived for a great plunder of Ulster. The Ulates united to give battle at Manannan. They said that Conchobar's showdown against the sons of Nôise was not good. Peace was made between them (the Ulates) and Manannan and Bobarán the poet, the foster father of Gaiar son of Nôisé, was sent to make peace with the answer. So Bobarán says:

Gaiar son of the famous Nôisé, foster-son of the great and pure Manannan,
so he came here, to plunder the country, etc.

12. And peace and friendship was afterwards made between (Conchobar and) Manannan, and theeric (blood price) for his father was given to Gaiar by the will of the lords of Ulster, and the other two, Annli and Ardan, were placed with Conchobar. A territory of Liathmaine was given as land to Gaiar, namely, the land of Dubthach Viper Tongue, for he was (then) at war with Ulster with Fergus. So they parted in peace, and from then on they were friends.

13. Luaine's actions, however, are now in question.

14. When Athirne the importunate and her two sons, Cuindgedach and Apartach, heard of the girl's relationship with Conchobar, they went to ask her, to beg favors from her. So when they saw the young girl, all three gave their love to her, and the desire for her filled them in such a way that they preferred not to be alive unless they had sex with her. They came in turn to beg the young girl, and they declared that they would cease to live, and that for each of them they would make a glám dicinnunless she had trade with them.

15. The young girl said: "It is not right for you to say that, when I must be the wife with Conchobar".
"We can't stay alive," they said, "unless we go with you."
The young girl refused to sleep with them. So they did three satires on her, which left three spots on her cheeks, namely, Shame and Dishonor and Imperfection, black, red and white.
Subsequently, the young girl died of shame and embarrassment.

16. So Athirne fled with his sons to Benn Athirni above the Boyne, for he feared that for the act he had committed vengeance would be inflicted on him by Conchobar and the men of Ulster.

17. Now as far as Conchobar is concerned, it seemed like a long time to sleep without a woman. So, with the great ones of Ulster, namely, Conall Cernach and Cuchulainn and Celtchair and Blai Brugaid, and Eogan son of Durthacht, and Cathbad and Sencha, he came to the fort Domanchenn son of Dega - of the Tuatha Dé was his kinship, and there was his land. So they found the girl dead, and the people of the fort mourning her. A great silence fell on Conchobar regarding this matter, and the pain in him was second (only) after his pain for Derdriu.

18. Conchobar said, “What revenge would be right for this? The Ulster elders replied that the punishment deserved for that would be to kill Athirne with her sons and her family; "And very often," they said, "Ulster has found rebuke and battle because of him."

19. Then came the mother of the young woman, that is to say Bé-guba, who moaned sadly and painfully in the presence of Conchobar and the elders of Ulster. “O king,” she said, “it is not the death of one person that will result from this act, for for her father and I will die of grief for her. This death will bring us what was intended and announced according to the druid's prophecy, when he said

Many women mourn the destruction of men by Athirne's words etc.

20. Then Cathbad said, “The beasts of prey,” he said, “will be sent against you by Athirne, namely, Satire and Disgrace and Shame, Curse and Fire and the bitter Word. It is he who has the six sons of Dishonor, namely, Greed and Refusal and Denial, Hardness and Rigor and Rapacity. These will be launched against you, ”he said,“ so that they will be at war with you ”.

21. Then Domanchenn also came, uplifting and blaming the Ulates.

22. "A question," said Conchobar, "How do you want to act, O Ulates?" It was Cuchulainn who gave the advice to destroy the rigorous Athirne. It was Conall, the combative, the just, who studied him. It was Celtchair the Sharp who conspired. It was Munremar the renowned who planned it. It was Cumscraid the guardian (?) Who decided it. It was the double-edged men of Ulster, heroic, haughty, severe, who made this decision, to go and destroy Athirne's home.

23. Then [Domanchenn to Luaine's mother] says:

It is indeed sad, O Bé-Guba, sad is the fate which murdered you: It is a great pain that we have, to see you at Luaine's grave, etc.

24. Then a mighty lamentation was made over the maiden, and her death song and funeral games were performed, and her tombstone was erected. Sad and sorrowful were indeed his father and mother, and he was sad to be in the presence of the complaint they were making.

25. Next, Conchobar says:

On the plain is the grave of Luaine, daughter of Domanchenn the Red: never in the golden Banba came a woman more difficult to beg.


Will you tell us how were, O champion, O Conchobar, the company of Luaine and Derdriu, who had the most beautiful conversation?


I will tell you how it was, O Celtchar son of Uthechar: Better was Luaine, who never spoke a lie, there was no rivalry between them. Sad is any prophecy that takes her away, that because of her she must go to death, that for that her tumulus, it is necessary to dig, that her grave is considerable. Bé-Guba and Dega's son, and Luaine - death will cut me off - the same day they went for the journey, so they only have one grave. Athirne with the four children, bad is for him the act which he accomplished: they will all perish, the man, the sons, the women, in revenge because of this tomb.

26. Conchobar then wept greatly for the girl and after that he began to raise the Ulates against Athirne.

So the Ulates followed Athirne to Benn Athirni, and walled him up with his sons and all his household, and killed Mór and Midseng his two daughters, and burned his fortress on him.

27. The accomplishment of this act seemed bad to the poets of Ulster, which is why Amorgen then said:

Great sadness, great pity, the destruction of the very famous Athirne, etc.

Athirne's grave here, may not be dug by you, O poets, etc.

Woe (to him) who works for the destruction of man, woe to him who brought about his murder!
He had a hard javelin - lasting his luster - that Cridenbel the satirist used to do.

He had a spear that would have killed a king, etc.

I will make her death song here, and I will make her lament,
and I'm going to raise his grave here, and build his beautiful tumulus.

Athairni Fert. Finished.