The Death of Conchobar

This is the story of the Death of Conchobar, of the red branch of the mythology Irish.

the Death of Conchobar

The Death of Conchobar

Once the Ulates gathered at Emain-Macha were drunk and for good; the consequence which resulted was that great quarrels and great disputes arose between the three principal among them: Conall the Triumphant, Cuchulainn and Loégairé the Conqueror. “Bring me,” Conall said, “Mesgégra's brains, and I'll challenge the warriors who quarrel with me. "

Back then, whenever the Ulates killed a hero in single combat, they would shoot his brains out of his head, mix that brains in with dirt, and make a very hard ball out of it. When there were disputes between them, these balls were brought to them, and each took one in their hand.

“Well, O Conchobar! Said Conall, "the other warriors will be wise not to engage in single combat against me; since I have this gun, they can't stand up to me. - "You are right," replied Conchobar. Then Mesgégra's brain was put back on the shelf where it usually stood.

The next morning, each went his own way to the game he liked. At this moment Cet, son of Maga [warrior of Connaught, therefore Conchobar's enemy], was wandering about Ulster seeking adventure; it was the most dangerous monster that was in Ireland. He entered Emain's enclosure; he carried with him the severed heads of three Ulster warriors.

At the same time, the king's two madmen were playing bowls in this enclosure, and the bowl was Mesgégra's brain. One tells the other. This heard him. He took the ball in the hand of one of the two madmen and carried it away.

Mesgégra had predicted that his death would be avenged, and Cet knew this prediction. Henceforth, whenever King Conchobar was in battle with the warriors of Ulster, Cet went there carrying in his belt the ball made with the brains of Mesgégra. He was looking for the opportunity to commit with this ball, among the warriors of Ulster, an illustrious murder.

One day Cet made an expedition in Ulster to remove the cows from Ross's men. The Ulates pursued him and reached the rear of his troop. Connaught's warriors came to his aid. A battle began; Conchobar went there. The women of Connaught begged him to come out of the fray and show himself to them. Then there was not a man in the world comparable to this king, as much by the regularity of the forms as by the posture, as much by the size as by the harmony and the proportion, as well by the eyes as by the hair and the whiteness of features, as much by wisdom as by prudence and eloquence, as much by the costume as by the nobility of the port and the dress, as well by the arms as by the corpulence and the dignity, as much by the good taste as by value and birth. Conchobar was flawless. But if the Connaught women had asked to see him, it was on Cet's advice. Conchobar therefore withdrew from his army and went to show himself to the women. This had placed himself in the midst of women. He puts the ball made with Mesgégra's brain in his slingshot; he throws this ball; it hits Conchobar at the top of the head; two-thirds of it enters it, and Conchobar falls head first.

The Ulates come to his aid and snatch him from Cet's hands. The place where the king fell was called Conchobar's Bed. Its head touched a high stone at one end; his feet touched a tall stone at the other end. The inhabitants of Connaught, defeated first, were driven back to Sciaid-Haut-des-Chiens; then the Ulates, less strong in their turn, retreated to the ford of Dairé des Deux-Imbéciles.

"You have to get me out of here," said Conchobar; "I will give the kingdom of Ulster to whoever brings me back to my house." "-" I'll take you away, "said Shaved Head, his slave. Shaved Head tied his master with a rope and carried him on his back to Ard-Dachad, on the mountain of Fuat, where this slave died heartbroken. Hence the expression: Reign of the Shaved Head over the Ulates [to denote a thing of short duration], for Shaved Head carried his king on his back for half a day.

After Conchobar left, the battle lasted until the next day at this hour, and the Ulates were defeated.

His doctor, whose name was Fingen, was brought to Conchobar. From the smoke which issued from the houses, Fingen guessed the number and the nature of the diseases from which the inhabitants were afflicted. “Well,” he said to the king, “if this stone is taken from your head, you will die immediately. If we don't take it off, I'll heal you, but you will remain deformed. - "Better for us," replied the Ulates, "to see our king deformed than dead." His head heals. The two parts were tied together with a gold thread. This thread was the same color as Conchobar's hair. "Be careful," the doctor said to Conchobar; “You must neither get angry, nor go on horseback, nor deliver yourself to a woman with passionate ardor; we must not run. So Conchobar was in danger of death as long as he remained alive, that is, for seven years. There was nothing he could do but sit and watch himself.

This lasted until the day he heard that Christ had been crucified by the Jews. This crime made the whole of nature tremble. Heaven and earth trembled when Jesus Christ, son of the living God, was, though innocent, crucified by the Jews. " What is that? Conchobar asked his druid. “So what is the great crime that is being committed today? "-" You are telling the truth, "replied the druid. [And he told him of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.] - “It is a dreadful crime,” continued Conchobar - “The man who has just been crucified,” continued the druid, “was born the same night as you. , but not the same year. So Conchobar believed in Jesus Christ. He is one of two men in Ireland who believed in the true God before the coming of faith; the other is Morann. Conchobar sang a poem.

In this poem, he expresses regret at not having been called to defend J.-C. against his executioners. He lost his life as a result of the emotion he felt while singing. This unexpected emotion was contrary to the doctor's prescriptions; she brought out the sling bullet that the king had in his head, that bullet for which Mesgégra's brain had supplied the material, and Conchobar expired. Mesgégra was avenged as had wanted the famous hero of Connaught Cet, son of Maga.