Bríatharthecosc Con Culainn in the Context of Early Irish Wisdom-Literature

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The article describes a wisdom-text 'Wisdom-sayings of Cú Chulainn' contained in the saga 'Wasting Sickness of Cú Chulainn' in the context of early Irish literature. The principles of alliteration and syntax of the text are analysed, and a discussion of the sources that influenced the compilation is presented: the sources are grouped into three groups. (a) Wisdom-texts devoted to kings, e.g. Audacht Moraind, Tegusc Cuscraid and Tecosca Cormaic; (b) Wisdom-texts relating to clerics and those of a general nature, e.g. Aipgitir Chrábaid and Bríathra Flainn Fhinna; (c) Legal sources, especially a composition which has a special focus on the matters of right of inheritance entitled Do Taithmech Rudartha Budesta (CIH 751.28-752.2) which has not been translated before. The article is furnished with a new edition, translation of the text and notes to the translation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-172
JournalUlidia 2: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, Maynooth 24-27 June 2005
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 5 Apr 2009


  • early Irish literature
  • wisdom-texts
  • legal texts on inheritance
  • advice to kings
  • speculum principis
  • Cú Chulainn
  • patterns of alliteration and principles of literary compilation


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