An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 946 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.

[20] Lost.—­He was also employed by Sir James Ware to translate for him, and appears to have resided in his house in Castle-street, Dublin, just before his death.

[21] Betaghs.—­Poems, by D.F.  Mac Carthy.

[22] Noah.—­This is a clear argument.  The names of pre-Noahacian patriarchs must have been preserved by tradition, with their date of succession and history.  Why should not other genealogies have been preserved in a similar manner, and even the names of individuals transmitted to posterity?

[23] Laws.—­MacFirbis.  Apud O’Curry, p. 219.


First Colonists—­The Landing of Ceasair, before the Flood—­Landing of
Partholan, after the Flood, at Inver Scene—­Arrival of Nemedh—­The
Fomorians—­Emigration of the Nemenians—­The Firbolgs—­Division of
Ireland by the Firbolg Chiefs—­The Tuatha De Dananns—­Their Skill as
Artificers—­Nuada of the Silver Hand—­The Warriors Sreng and Breas—­The
Satire of Cairbre—­Termination of the Fomorian Dynasty.

[A.M. 1599.]

We shall, then, commence our history with such accounts as we can find in our annals of the pre-Christian colonization of Erinn.  The legends of the discovery and inhabitation of Ireland before the Flood, are too purely mythical to demand serious notice.  But as the most ancient MSS. agree in their account of this immigration, we may not pass it over without brief mention.

The account in the Chronicum Scotorum runs thus:—­

“Kal. v.f.l. 10.  Anno mundi 1599.

“In this year the daughter of one of the Greeks came to Hibernia, whose name was h-Erui, or Berba, or Cesar, and fifty maidens and three men with her.  Ladhra was their conductor, who was the first that was buried in Hibernia."[24] The Cin of Drom Snechta is quoted in the Book of Ballymote as authority for the same tradition.[25] The Book of Invasions also mentions this account as derived from ancient sources.  MacFirbis, in the Book of Genealogies, says:  “I shall devote the first book to Partholan, who first took possession of Erinn after the Deluge, devoting the beginning of it to the coming of the Lady Ceasair,” &c.  And the Annals of the Four Masters:  “Forty days before the Deluge, Ceasair came to Ireland with fifty girls and three men—­Bith, Ladhra, and Fintain their names."[26] All authorities agree that Partholan was the first who colonized Ireland after the Flood.  His arrival is stated in the Chronicum Scotorum to have taken place “in the sixtieth year of the age of Abraham."[27] The Four Masters say:  “The age of the world, when Partholan came into Ireland, 2520 years."[28]

Partholan landed at Inver[29] Scene, now the Kenmare river, accompanied by his sons, their wives, and a thousand followers.  His antecedents are by no means the most creditable; and we may, perhaps, feel some satisfaction, that a colony thus founded should have been totally swept away by pestilence a few hundred years after its establishment.

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