Fionn mac Cumhaill

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(Athsheolta ó Fionn Mac Cumhaill)
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Ba laoch é Fionn mac Cumhaill mhic Tréanmhóir (FinnFind mac Cumailmac Umaill) i miotaseolaíocht na nGael. Is é Fionn an príomcharachtar san Fhiannaíocht.

Fionn mac Cumhaill

Fionn[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Ba é Fionn taoiseach na Féinne. Ba de Chlanna Baoiscne é agus bhíodh imreas ann i gcónaí idir iad agus Clanna Morna. Bhíodh cáil ar a mhadraí Bran agus Sceolán chomh maith.

An Fhiannaíocht[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Príomhalt: An Fhiannaíocht

Is éard atá san Fhiannaíocht, ná an chraobh den scéalaíocht dhúchasach a phléann le Fionn mac Cumhaill agus an Fhiann.

Fionn mac Cumhaill[1][2] (Sean-Ghaeilge mac CumailUmaill) was a mythical hunter-warrior of Miotaseolaíocht na nGael, occurring also in the mythologies of Alban and the Manainn. The stories of Fionn and his followers the Fianna, form the an Fhiannaíocht, much of it narrated in the voice of Fionn's son, the poet Oisín.

Sanasaíocht[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

In Sean-Ghaeilge, finn/find means "white, bright, lustrous; fair, light-hued (of complexion, hair, etc.); fair, handsome (often, but not necessarily, implying fairness of complexion); bright, blessed; in moral sense, fair, just, true".[3] It is cognate with Próta-Gaeilge VENDO- (found in names from Ogham inscriptions), Breatnais gwyn, Coirnis gwen, Briotáinis gwenn, Ceiltis mhór-roinneach agus Briotainic *uindo- (a common element in personal and place names), and comes from the Prótao-Ceiltis adjective masculine singular *windos, likely derived from the Prótai-Indo-Eorpais root *weyd- "to know, to see").[4][5]

Seanscéalta[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

"Finn heard far off the first notes of the fairy harp", illustration by Stephen Reid in T. W. Rolleston's The High Deeds of Finn (1910)

Breith[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Most of Fionn's early adventures are recounted in the narrative Macgnímartha Finn. He was the son of Cumall, leader of the Fianna, and Muireann, daughter of the draoi, Tadg mac Nuadat who lived on the hill of Cnoc Alúine in Contae Chill Dara. Cumhall abducted Muireann after her father refused him her hand, so Tadg appealed to the Ard-Rí na hÉireann, Conn Cétchathach, who outlawed Cumhall. The Battle of Cnucha was fought between Conn and Cumhall, and Cumhall was killed by Goll mac Morna, who took over leadership of the Fianna.

Muireann was already pregnant; her father rejected her and ordered his people to burn her, but Conn would not allow it and put her under the protection of Fiacal mac Conchinn, whose wife, Bodhmall the druid, was Cumhall's sister. In Fiacal's house, Muireann gave birth to a son, whom she called Deimne literally "sureness" or "certainty", but also a name that means a young male deer;[6] several legends tell how he gained the name Fionn when his hair turned prematurely white.

Fionn Mac Cumhaill was said to be originally from An Baile Fionn,[7] i gContae Laoise.

Óige[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Muireanm left the boy in the care of Bodhmall and a fighting woman, Liath Luachra, and they brought him up in secret in the forest of Sliabh Bladhma, teaching him the arts of war and hunting. As he grew older he entered the service – incognito – of a number of local kings, but each one, when he recognised Fionn as Cumhal's son, told him to leave, fearing they would be unable to protect him from his enemies.

The young Fionn met the Leipreachán-like druid and poet Finn Eces, or Finnegas, near the river An Bhóinn and studied under him. Finnegas had spent seven years trying to catch the Bradán Feasa, which lived in a pool on the Boyne and became all-knowing through its diet of hazelnuts from a holy tree: whoever ate the salmon would gain all the knowledge in the world. Eventually the old man caught it, and told the boy to cook it for him. While cooking it Deimne burned his thumb, and instinctively put his thumb in his mouth. This imbued him with the salmon's wisdom, and when Finn Eces saw that he had gained wisdom, he gave young Fionn the whole salmon to eat. Fionn then knew how to gain revenge against Goll, and in subsequent stories was able to call on the knowledge of the salmon by putting his thumb to the tooth that had first tasted the salmon.[8]

The story of Fionn and the salmon of knowledge and the Welsh tale of Gwion Bach are similar.

Aosacht[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Fionn fighting Aillen, illustration by Beatrice Elvery in Violet Russell's Heroes of the Dawn (1914)

Every year for 23 years at Samhain, a fire-breathing man of the Sidhe, Aillen, would lull the men of Tara to sleep with his music before burning the palace to the ground, and the Fianna, led by Goll mac Morna, were powerless to prevent it. The Fianna were a band of warriors also known as a military order composed mainly of the members of two clans, "Clan Bascna" and "Clan Morna", the Fenians were supposed to be devoted to the service of the High King and to the repelling of foreign invaders.[9] Fionn arrived at Tara, armed with his father's crane-skin bag of magical weapons. He kept himself awake by touching the point of his magically red-hot spear to his forehead. The pain kept Fionn awake, allowing him to pursue and kill Aillen with the same spear. After that his heritage was recognised and he was given command of the Fianna: Goll willingly stepped aside, and became a loyal follower of Fionn, although in some stories their alliance is uneasy. Fionn demanded compensation for his father's death from Tadg, threatening war or single combat against him if he refused. Tadg offered him his home, the hill of Allen, as compensation, which Fionn accepted.

Caidrimh[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Fionn met his most famous wife, Sadhbh, when he was out hunting. She had been turned into a fia by a druid, Fear Doirche, whom she had refused to marry. Fionn's cúnna, Bran and Sceólang, born of a human enchanted into the form of a hound, recognised her as human, and Fionn brought her home. She transformed back into a woman the moment she set foot on Fionn's land, as this was the one place she could regain her true form. She and Fionn married and she was soon pregnant.

When Fionn was away defending his country, Fear Doirich returned and turned her back into a deer, whereupon she vanished. Fionn spent years searching for her, but to no avail. Bran and Sceólang, again hunting, found her son, Oisín, in the form of a fawn; he transformed into a child, and went on to be one of the greatest of the Fianna.

In Tóraíocht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne, the High King Cormac mac Airt promises the aging Fionn his daughter Gráinne, but at the wedding feast Gráinne falls for one of the Fianna, Diarmuid Ua Duibne, noted for his beauty. She forces him to run away with her and Fionn pursues them. The lovers are helped by the Fianna, and by Diarmuid's foster-father, the god Aengus. Eventually Fionn makes his peace with the couple. Years later, however, Fionn invites Diarmaid on a boar hunt, and Diarmuid is gored. Water drunk from Fionn's hands has the power of healing, but each time Fionn gathers water he lets it run through his fingers before he gets back to Diarmuid. His grandson Oscar shames Fionn, but when he finally returns with water it is too late; Diarmaid has died.

Fionn, le Beatrice Elvery

Bás[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Príomhalt: Cath Gabhra

De réir an chuir síos is cáiliúla dá scéal,[10] níl ar marbh ar chor ar bith, ach ina chodladh i bpluais atá sé, timpeallaithe ag na Fianna. Lá amháin, dúiseodh chun Éire a chosaint in am a gátair. Deirtear go n-éireoidh sé nuair a sheinnfear an Dord Fiann, corn seilge na bhFiann, faoi thrí arís, agus go mbeidh sé chomh tréan is a bhí riamh.

In áit eile, deirtear gur maraíodh é rith an Chath Ghabhra, nó i rith catha ab bhliain dár gcionn.

Béaloideas[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Many geographical features in Ireland are attributed to Fionn. Legend has it he built the Clochán an Aifir as stepping-stones go hAlbain, so as not to get his feet wet; he also once scooped up part of Ireland to fling it at a rival, but it missed and landed in the Muir Éireann — the clump became the Manainn and the pebble became Rockall, the void became Loch nEathach. In Ayrshire in Scotland, a common myth is that Ailsa Craig, a small islet just off coast of the county, is another rock thrown at the fleeing Benandonner. Fingal's Cave in Scotland is also named after him, and shares the feature of hexagonal basalt columns with the nearby Giant's Causeway.

In both Irish and Manx popular folklore,[11] Fionn mac Cumhaill (known as "Finn McCool" or "Finn MacCooill" respectively) is portrayed as a magical, benevolent giant. The most famous story attached to this version of Fionn tells of how one day, while making a pathway in the sea towards Scotland – The Giant's Causeway – Fionn is told that the giant Benandonner (or, in the Manx version, a buggane) is coming to fight him. Knowing he cannot withstand the colossal Benandonner, Fionn asks his wife Oona to help him. She dresses her husband as a baby, and he hides in a cradle; then she makes a batch of griddle-cakes, hiding griddle-irons in some. When Benandonner arrives, Oona tells him Fionn is out but will be back shortly. As Benandonner waits, he tries to intimidate Oona with his immense power, breaking rocks with his little finger. Oona then offers Benandonner a griddle-cake, but when he bites into the iron he chips his teeth. Oona scolds him for being weak, saying her husband eats such cakes easily, and feeds one without an iron to the 'baby', who eats it without trouble.

In the Irish version, Benandonner is so awed by the power of the baby's teeth and the size of the baby that, at Oona's prompting, he puts his fingers in Fionn's mouth to feel how sharp his teeth are. Fionn bites Benandonner's little finger, and scared of the prospect of meeting his father considering the baby's size, Benandonner runs back towards Scotland across the Causeway smashing the causeway so Fionn couldn't follow him.

The Manx Gaelic version contains a further tale of how Fionn and the buggane fought at Rushen. One of Fionn's feet carved out the channel between the Calf of Man and Kitterland, the other carved out the channel between Kitterland and the Isle of Man, and the buggane's feet opened up Port Erin. The buggane injured Fionn, who fled over the sea, where the buggane could not follow. However, the buggane tore out one of his own teeth and struck Fionn as he ran away. The tooth fell into the sea, becoming Chicken Rock, and Fionn cursed the tooth, explaining why it is a hazard to sailors.

I dTalamh an Éisc, and some parts of Alba Nua, "Fingal's Rising" is spoken of in a distinct nationalistic sense. Made popular in songs and bars alike, to speak of "Fingle," as his name is pronounced in English versus "Fion MaCool" as Gaeilge Thalamh an Éisc, is sometimes used as a stand-in for Newfoundland or its culture.

Na hEalaíona[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

Nualitríocht[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

In 1761 James Macpherson announced the discovery of an epic written by Ossian (Oisín) in the Scottish Gaelic language on the subject of "Fingal". The personal name Fingal is derived from the Gaelic Fionnghall,[12] and it has been suggested that Macpherson rendered Fionn's name as Fingal through a misapprehension of the various forms of Fionn.[13] In December 1761 Macpherson published Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem in Six Books, together with Several Other Poems composed by Ossian, the Son of Fingal, translated from the Gaelic Language. His cycle of poems was wildly popular and had widespread influence on such writers as Goethe and the young Walter Scott, but there was controversy from the outset about Macpherson's claims to have translated the works from ancient sources. The authenticity of the poems is now generally doubted, though they may have been based on fragments of Gaelic legend, and to some extent the controversy has overshadowed their considerable literary merit and influence on Romanticism.

"Malvine, Dying in the Arms of Fingal", le hAry Scheffer. The characters are from James Macpherson's epic poem Ossian. Tá an caractar "Fingal" bunaithe ar Fhionn mac Cumhaill, agus is leannán Oscair garmhac Fionn í "Malvina" a thug cúraim dó ina sheanaois tar éis bás Oscair.

Glencoe: The Story of the Massacre by John Prebble (Secker & Warburg, 1966), has an account of a legendary battle between Fionn mac Cumhaill, who supposedly lived for a time in Glencoe (in Scotland), and a Viking host in forty longships which sailed up the narrows by Ballachulish into Loch Leven. The Norsemen were defeated by the Feinn of the valley of Glencoe, and their chief Earragan was slain by Goll MacMorna.

Fionn mac Cumhaill features heavily in modern Irish literature. Most notably he makes several appearances in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, and some have posited that the title, taken from the street ballad "Finnegan's Wake", may also be a blend of "Finn again is awake," referring to his eventual awakening to defend Ireland.

Fionn also appears as a character in Flann O'Brien's comic novel, At Swim-Two-Birds, in passages that parody the style of Irish myths. Morgan Llywelyn's book Finn Mac Cool tells of Fionn's rise to leader of the Fianna and the love stories that ensue in his life. That character is celebrated in "The Legend of Finn MacCumhail", a song by the Boston-based band Dropkick Murphys featured on their album Sing Loud Sing Proud!.

Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephens is a retelling of a few of the Fiannaíocht.[14]

Finn McCool is a character in Terry Pratchett's and Steve Baxter's The Long War.

The adventures of Fion Mac Cumhail after death is explored by the novella "The Final Fighting of Fion Mac Cumhail" by Randall Garrett (Fantasy and Science Fiction - September 1975).

Finn's early childhood and education is explored in 'Tis Himself: The Tale of Finn MacCool by Maggie Brace.

Other stories featuring Fionn Mac Cumhail are two of three of the stories in The Corliss Chronicles the story of Prudence Corliss. In the stories he is featured in The Wraith of Bedlam and The Silver Wheel. He is a close confidant to Prudence and allies himself with her to defeat the evil fictional king Tarcarrius.

Plays and shows[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

In the 1999 Irish dance show Dancing on Dangerous Ground, conceived and choreographed by former Riverdance leads, Jean Butler and Colin Dunne, Tony Kemp portrayed Fionn in a modernised version of The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne. In this, Diarmuid, played by Colin Dunne, dies at the hands of the Fianna after he and Gráinne, played by Jean Butler, run away together into the forests of Ireland, immediately after Fionn and Gráinne's wedding. When she sees Diarmuid's body, Gráinne dies of a broken heart.

In 2010, Washington DC's Dizzie Miss Lizzie's Roadside Revue debuted their rock musical Finn McCool at the Capitol Fringe Festival. The show retells the legend of Fionn mac Cumhaill through punk-inspired rock, and was performed at the Woolly Mammoth Theater in March 2011.[15]

Played by Daniel Quirke on the Edenderry Barge in 2002, with an Emmy Award nominated performance (Art by: Maeve Quinn).

Foinsí[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

  • "Ireland: A Cultural Encyclopedia" (1983). Facts on File, NY. 

Tagairtí[cuir in eagar | athraigh foinse]

  1. Kuno Meyer, The Death of Finn Mac Cumaill in Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie. Volume 1, Halle/Saale, Max Niemeyer (1897) page 462–465;
  2. Acallam na Senórach; Tales of the Elders, Whitley Stokes, Acallamh na Senórach in Irische Texte, eag. Whitley Stokes agus Ernst Windisch. series 4volume 1 (1900) ll. xiv+1-438, Le fáil ar CELT
  3. 1 finn ar eDIL
  4. Matasovic, Ranko, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic, Brill, 2009, lch. 423
  5. Delamarre, Xavier, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise, Editions Errance, 2003 (2a eag.), lch. 321.
  6. ? damh?
  7. ??
  8. Llywelyn (1994)
  9. Rolleston, T.W (2012). "Celtic Myths and Legends": 252. USA: dover publications. 
  10. tagairt?
  11. Manx Fairy Tales, Peel, L. Morrison, 1929
  12. "A Dictionary of First Names" (2006): 402, 403. Oxford University Press. 
  13. "Notes to the first edition". Archived from the original on 16 October 2013.
  14. Irish Fairy Tales (Wikisource).
  15. Tá ort na shonrú' 'teideal = agus' 'url = nuair a úsáideann {{ lua idirlín}}."". TBD.