CELT document T302001

Cormac and Ciarnat



Edited by Kuno Meyer

Whole text


Five men of Ulster brought Ciarnat, the daughter of a Pictish king, by force in captivity across the sea and the great main. And Cormac, Conn's grandson, heard that and sent to demand her, and she was taken to his house. Of all the women that lived in her time she was the most beautiful and loveliest. And she was with Cormac as his paramour, and the measure of his love for her was huge. Then Ethne Ollamda, the daughter of Cathair the Great, [Cormac's wife,] heard of her being with him, and she said that they would not be with him together. And Ciarnat must needs be given into the power of Ethne, who put a thrall's work upon her. And this was the thraldom, to grind nine bushels of corn every day. Then Cormac and she came together secretly, so that he made her pregnant, and she was unable to grind. Then Cormac took pity upon her and brought a millwright across the sea, and had a mill made to save Ciarnat.

Hence said the poet:

  1. Ciarnat, the bondmaid of Cormac the just,
    would feed many hundreds by a quern:
    Nine bushels every day she had to grind,
    'twas not the work of an idler.
  2. The noble king surprised her
    as she was alone in her house.
    And made her pregnant secretly,
    so that after that she was unable to grind much.
  3. Conn's grandson took pity upon her,
    he brought a millwright over the great sea;
    The first mill of Cormac, the son of Art,
    was a help to Ciarnat.

Document details

The TEI Header

File description

Title statement

Title (uniform): Cormac and Ciarnat

Author: unknown

Editor: Kuno Meyer

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled and proofed by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: University College, Cork.

Edition statement

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent: 826 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2014

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T302001

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Manuscript source for Irish text

  • London, British Library, Egerton MS 1782, fo. 44b (see Catalogue of Manuscripts in the British Museum by Robin Flower, vol. 2 (London 1926) 277).


  • Kuno Meyer, Stories and songs from Irish manuscripts, III: Cormac and Ciarnat, Otia Merseiana 2 (1900) 75–76.


  • Kuno Meyer, Stories and songs from Irish manuscripts, III: Cormac and Ciarnat, Otia Merseiana 2 (1900) 75–76.

Sources, comment on the text, and secondary literature

  1. Joseph Vendryes, Les moulins en Irlande et l'aventure de Ciarnat, Revue Archéologique 14 (1921), 263–274.
  2. An early modern Irish version of the poem is found in Geoffrey Keating, Foras Feasa ar Eirinn, Book 1, p. 336, with facing English translation. Both are available online at CELT, in file G100054 and T100054 respectively.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘Stories and songs from Irish manuscripts, III: Cormac and Ciarnat’. In: Otia Merseiana‍ 2. Ed. by Kuno Meyer, p. 75.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Kuno Meyer},
  title 	 = {Stories and songs from Irish manuscripts, III: Cormac and Ciarnat},
  journal 	 = {Otia Merseiana},
  volume 	 = {2},
  address 	 = {London},
  publisher 	 = {Th . Wohlleben},
  date 	 = {1900-1901},
  pages 	 = {75}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The present text represents page 75 of the printed edition.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has checked and proofread twice. All corrections are tagged.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text.

Quotation: There are no quotations.

Hyphenation: Soft hyphens are silently removed.

Segmentation: div0=the tale; paragraphs are marked p and numbered. Passages of verse are marked lg and l, and are embedded in a separate body. Page-breaks are marked with pb.

Interpretation: Names are not tagged.

Reference declaration

The n attribute of each text in this corpus carries a unique identifying number for the whole text.

The title of the text is held as the first head element within each text. div0 is reserved for the text (whether in one volume or many).

The page-number of the printed text is tagged pb n="nn". A canonical reference can be got from the n value of pb and p.

Profile description

Creation: Translation by Kuno Meyer c.1900–1901

Language usage

  • The translation is in English. (en)

Keywords: saga; prose; medieval; Kings Cycle; translation

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2014-07-25: File parsed, SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2014-07-24: Text scanned in; converted to XML, proofed (1, 2). TEI header created based on companion file; structural markup applied. (text capture Beatrix Färber)

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For details of the markup, see the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

page of the print edition

folio of the manuscript

numbered division

 999 line number of the print edition (in grey: interpolated)

underlining: text supplied, added, or expanded editorially

italics: foreign words; corrections (hover to view); document titles

bold: lemmata (hover for readings)

wavy underlining: scribal additions in another hand; hand shifts flagged with (hover to view)

TEI markup for which a representation has not yet been decided is shown in red: comments and suggestions are welcome.

Other languages

G302001: Cormac and Ciarnat (in Irish)

Source document


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