Cormac Ulfheda, 115th High King of Ireland

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Cormac Ulfheda "Long Beard" mac Airt, 115th Ard Rí na h'Éireann

Also Known As: "Cormas Ulthada", "Cormac Ulfada", "Ulfhada", "Cormac Uifhada", "Cormac Ulfhada", "Mac Art", "Mac Airt", "Longbeard", "Long Beard", "Cormae Usada"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Leinster, Dublin, Ireland
Death: Died in Cleiteach From The Bone Of A Salmon Sticking In His Throat
Place of Burial: near Tara, Midi (Meath), Ros-na-Riogh,, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Art Eanfhear "the Solitary", 112th High King of Ireland and Achtan mac Olcca
Husband of N mac Airt and Eithne Ollamda ingen Dúnlaing
Father of Cairpre Lithfeachair, 117th High King of Ireland; Dáire mac Cormac; Cellach mac Cormac; Gráinne ingen Cormac; Aillbe ingen Cormac and 3 others
Brother of Saruit; Artghen Mac Art of Leinster; Boindia Mac Art of Leinster and Bonrigh Mac Art of Leinster
Half brother of Caibre Leffachaire

Occupation: 115th High King of Ireland, 115th Monarch
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About Cormac Ulfheda, 115th High King of Ireland

Based on merged profiles,

Died 226 or 266 -SPF

--------------------

Cormac mac Airt (son of Art), also known as Cormac ua Cuinn (grandson of Conn) or Cormac Ulfada (long beard), was, according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, a High King of Ireland. He is probably the most famous of the ancient High Kings, and may have been an authentic historical figure, although many legends have attached themselves to him, and his reign is variously dated as early as the 2nd century and as late as the 4th. He is said to have ruled from Tara, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, for forty years, and under his rule Tara flourished. He was famous for his wise, true, and generous judgments. In the Annals of Clonmacnoise, translated in 1627, he is described as:

“ "absolutely the best king that ever reigned in Ireland before himself...wise learned, valiant and mild, not given causelessly to be bloody as many of his ancestors were, he reigned majestically and magnificently". ”

The hero Fionn mac Cumhaill is supposed to have lived in Cormac's time, and most of the stories of the Fenian Cycle are set during his reign

Birth and childhood

Cormac's father was the former High King Art mac Cuinn. His mother was Achtan, daughter of Olc Acha, a smith (or druid) from Connacht. According to the saga "The Battle of Mag Mucrama", Olc gave Art hospitality the night before the Battle of Maigh Mucruimhe. It had been prophesied that a great dignity would come from Olc's line, so he offered the High King his daughter to sleep with that night, and Cormac was conceived[1] (Geoffrey Keating says that Achtan was Art's official mistress, to whom he had given a dowry of cattle).[2]

The story is told that Achtan had a vision as she slept next to Art. She saw herself with her head cut off and a great tree growing out of her neck. Its branches spread all over Ireland, until the sea rose and overwhelmed it. Another tree grew from the roots of the first, but the wind blew it down. At that she woke up and told Art what she had seen. Art explained that the head of every woman is her husband, and that she would lose her husband in battle the next day. The first tree was their son, who would be king over all Ireland, and the sea that overwhelmed it was a fish-bone that he would die choking on. The second tree was his son, Cairbre Lifechair, who would be king after him, and the wind that blew him down was a battle against the fianna, in which he would fall. The following day Art was defeated and killed by his nephew Lugaid mac Con, who became the new High King.

In a story reminiscent of the Roman myth of Romulus and Remus, Cormac was carried off in infancy by a she-wolf and reared with her cubs, but a hunter found him and brought him back to his mother. Achtan then took him to Fiachrae Cassán, who had been Art's foster-father. On the way they were attacked by wolves, but wild horses protected them.[3]

Rise to power

At the age of thirty, armed with his father's sword, Cormac came to Tara, where he met a steward consoling a weeping woman. The steward explained that the High King had confiscated her sheep because they had cropped the queen's woad-garden. Cormac declared, "More fitting would be one shearing for another," because both the woad and the sheep's fleeces would grow again. When Lugaid heard this, he conceded that Cormac's judgement was superior to his and abdicated the throne.[4][5] Other traditions say that Cormac drove Lugaid out by force,[6][7] or that he left Tara because his druids had prophesied he would not live another six months if he stayed.[2] In all versions he went to his kin in Munster, where the poet Ferches mac Commain killed him with a spear as he stood with his back to a standing stone.

But Cormac was unable to claim the High Kingship, as the king of the Ulaid, Fergus Dubdétach, drove him into Connacht, and took the throne himself. He turned to Tadg mac Céin, a local nobleman whose father had been killed by Fergus, promising him as much land on the plain of Brega as he could drive his chariot round in a day if he would help him claim the throne. Tadg advised him to recruit his grandfather's brother Lugaid Láma. Cormac sought him out, and when he found him lying in a hunting-booth, wounded him in the back with a spear. Lugaid revealed that it had been he who had killed Cormac's father in the Battle of Maigh Mucruimhe, and Cormac demanded, as éraic for Art's life, that Lugaid give him Fergus' head.

Having recruited Tadg and Lugaid, Cormac marched against Fergus, and The Battle of Crinna began. Tadg led the battle, keeping Cormac out of the action at the rear. Lugaid took the head of Fergus' brother, Fergus Foltlebair, and brought it to Cormac's attendant, who told him this was not the head of the king of Ulster. He then took the head of Fergus's other brother, Fergus Caisfhiachlach, but again the attendant told him it was the wrong head. Finally he killed Fergus Dubdétach himself, and when the attendant confirmed he'd got the right man, Lugaid killed him and collapsed from exhaustion and loss of blood.

Tadg routed Fergus's army, and ordered his charioteer to make a circuit of the plain of Brega to include Tara itself. He was severely wounded, and fainted during the circuit. When he came to, he asked the charioteer if he had driven around Tara yet. When the charioteer answered no, Tadg killed him, but before he could complete the circuit himself, Cormac came upon him and ordered physicians to treat his wounds - treatment which took a whole year. Cormac took the throne, and Tadg ruled large tracts of land in the northern half of Ireland.[2]

Family

According to the saga "The Melody of the House of Buchet",[8] Cormac married Eithne Táebfada, daughter of Cathaír Mór and foster-daughter of Buchet, a wealthy cattle-lord from Leinster whose hospitality was so exploited that he was reduced to poverty. However, in other traditions Eithne is the wife of Cormac's grandfather Conn Cétchathach. Keating[2] says the foster-daughter of Buchet that Cormac married was another Eithne, Eithne Ollamda, daughter of Dúnlaing, king of Leinster. Also according to Keating, Cormac took a second wife, Ciarnait, daughter of the king of the Cruthin, but Eithne, out of jealousy of her beauty, forced her to grind nine measures of grain every day. Cormac freed her from this labour by having a watermill built.

Cormac is credited with three sons, Dáire, Cellach and Cairbre Lifechair, and ten daughters. Two of his daughters, Gráinne and Aillbe, married the hero Fionn mac Cumhaill. In the well-known story "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne", Gráinne was betrothed to Fionn, but instead ran off with a young warrior of the fianna, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne. Diarmuid and Fionn were eventually reconciled, but Fionn later contrived Diarmuid's death during a boar hunt, but was shamed by his son Oisín into making amends to Gráinne. Fionn and Gráinne were married, and Gráinne persuaded her sons not to make war against Fionn.[9]

Reign

Cormac's reign is recorded in some detail in the Irish annals.[7] He fought many battles, subduing the Ulaid and Connacht and leading a lengthy campaign against Munster. In the fourteenth year of his reign he is said to have sailed to Great Britain and made conquests there. In the fifteenth, thirty maidens were slaughtered in Tara by Dúnlaing, king of Leinster, for which Cormac had twelve Leinster princes put to death. In other texts he is said to have been temporarily deposed twice by the Ulaid, and to have once gone missing for four months. He is also said to have compiled the Psalter of Tara, a book containing the chronicles of Irish history, the laws concerning the rents and dues kings were to receive from their subjects, and records of the boundaries of Ireland.[10]

Although he is usually remembered as a wise and just ruler, one story presents him in a less flattering light. Having distributed all the cattle he had received as tribute from the provinces, Cormac found himself without any cattle to provision his own household after a plague struck his herds. A steward persuaded him to treat Munster as two provinces, the southern of which had never paid tax. He sent messengers to demand payment, but Fiachu Muillethan, the king of southern Munster, refused, and Cormac prepared for war. His own druids, who had never advised him badly, foresaw disaster, but he ignored them, preferring to listen to five druids from the sidhe supplied by his fairy lover, Báirinn.

Cormac marched to Munster and made camp on the hill of Druim Dámhgaire (Knocklong, County Limerick). His new druids' magic made the camp impregnable and his warriors unbeatable, dried up all sources of water used by the Munstermen, and nearly drove Fiacha to submission. But Fiacha in desperation turned to the powerful Munster druid Mug Ruith for aid, and his magic was too strong even for Cormac's fairy druids. He restored the water and conjured up magical hounds who destroyed the fairy druids. His breath created storms and turned men to stone. Cormac was driven out of Munster and compelled to seek terms.[11]

Cormac owned the wonderful gold cup given to him by the sea-god Manannan mac Lir in the Land of the Living. If three lies were spoken over it, it would break in three; three truths made it whole again. Cormac used this cup during his kingship to distinguish falsehood from truth. When Cormac died, the cup vanished, just as Manannan had predicted it would.

In the thirty-ninth year of Cormac's reign, Cormac's son Cellach offended the honour Óengus Gaíbúaibthech of the Déisi, descendants of Cormac's great grandfather Fedlimid Rechtmar who lived in Brega, either by blinding a nobleman under his protection, or by abducting his niece. Óengus came to Tara and killed Cellach, wounded Cormac's lawgiver, and blinded Cormac in one eye, with a single spear-thrust. Cormac fought seven battles against the Déisi, and expelled them from their lands in Brega. After a period of wantering, they settled in Munster. Cormac, having lost an eye, moved into the Tech Cletig on the hill of Achall, as it was against the law for a disfigured king to sit in Tara.[2][7][12][13]

Death

After ruling for forty years Cormac choked to death on a salmon bone. Some versions blame this on a curse laid by a druid because Cormac had converted to Christianity. Some versions of the Lebor Gabála Érenn synchronise his reign with that of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180). Keating dates his reign to 204-244; the Annals of the Four Masters to 226-266. An entry in the Annals of Ulster dates his death as late as 366.[3] He was succeeded by Eochaid Gonnat.

References

  1. ^ "The Battle of Mag Mucrama" (translator unknown)
  2. ^ a b c d e Geoffrey Keating, Foras Feasa ar Éirinn 1.42, 43, 44, 45, 46
  3. ^ a b Francis J. Byrne, Irish Kings and High Kings, Four Courts press, 2001, p. 65-69
  4. ^ Mairin O Daly (ed.), "The Heroic Biography of Cormac mac Airt", Cath Maige Mucrama : the battle of Mag Mucrama, Irish Texts Society, 1975.
  5. ^ Standish Hayes O'Grady (ed. & trans), "The Birth of Cormac", Silva Gadelica, 1892
  6. ^ R. A. Stewart Macalister (ed. & trans.), Lebor Gabála Érenn: The Book of the Taking of Ireland Part V, Irish Texts Society, 1956, p. 337-339
  7. ^ a b c Annals of the Four Masters M225– 266
  8. ^ "The Melody of the House of Buchet (summarised by Miles Dillon)
  9. ^ Tom Peete Cross and Clark Harris Slover (eds), "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne", Ancient Irish Tales, 1936
 10. ^ Standish Hayes O'Grady (ed. & trans.), "The Panegyric of Cormac mac Airt", Silva Gadelica, 1892
 11. ^ The Siege of Druim Damhgaire (summary)
 12. ^ Kuno Meyer (ed. & trans), "The Expulsion of the Déssi", Y Cymmrodor vol. XIV, 1901
 13. ^ Vernam Hull, "Expulsion of the Déssi", Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie vol. 57, 1957

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormac_mac_Airt -------------------- From http://www.rpi.edu/~holmes/Hobbies/Genealogy/ps11/ps11_010.htm

son of Art Eanfhear; m. Eithne, dau. of Dunlang, King of Leinster; had three elder brothers— 1. Artghen, 2. Boindia, 3. Bonnrigh. He had also six sons— 1. Cairbre Lifeachar, 2. Muireadach, 3. Moghruith, 4. Ceallach, 5. Daire, 6. Aongus Fionn; Nos. 4 and 5 left no issue. King Cormac Mac Art was teh 115th Monarch of Ireland; and was called "Ulfhada," because of his long beard. He was the wisest, most learned, and best of any of the Milesian race before him, that ruled the Kingdom. He ordained several good laws; wrote several learned treatises, among which his treatise on "Kingly Government," directed to his son Carbry Liffechar, is extant and extraordinary. he was very magnificent in his housekeeping and attendants, having always one thousand one hundred and fifty persons in his daily retinue constantly attending at his Great Hall at Tara; which was three hundred feet long, thirty cubits high, and fifty cubits braod, with fourteen doors in it. His daily service of plate, flagons, drinking cups of gold, silver, and precious stone, at his table, ordinarily consisted of one hundred and fifty pieces, besides dishes, etc., which were all pure silver or gold. He ordained that ten choice persons should constantly attend him and his successors— Monarchs of Ireland, and never to be absent from him, viz.— 1. A nobleman to be his companion; 2. A judge to deliver and explain the laws of the country in the King's presence upon all occasions; 3. An antiquary or historiographer to declare and preserve the genealogies, acts, and occurrences of the nobility and gentry from time to time as occasion required; 4. A Druid or Magician to offer sacrifice, and presage good or bad omens, as his learning, skill, or knowledge would enable him; 5. A poet to praise or dispraise every one according to his good or bad actiosn; 6. A physician to administer physic to the king and queen, and to the rest of the (royal) family; 7. A musician to compose music, and sing pleasant sonnets in the King's presence when thereunto disposed; and 8, 9, and 10, three Stewards to govern the King's House in all things appertaining thereunto. This custom was observed by all the succeeding Monarchs down to Brian Boromha [Boru], the 175th Monarch of Ireland, and the 60th down from Cormac, without any alteration only that since they received the Christian Faith they changed the Druid or Magician for a Prelate of the Church.

What is besides delivered from antiquity of this great monarch is, that (which among the truly wise is more valuable than any worldly magnificence or secular glory whatsoever) he was to all mankind very just, and so upright in his actions, judgments, and laws, that God revealed unto him the light of His Faith seven years before his death; and from thenceforward he refused his Druids to worship their idol-gods, and openly professed he would no more worship any but the true God of the Universe, the Immortal and Invisible King of Ages. Whereupon the Druids sought his destruction, which they soon after effected (God permitting it) by their adjurations and ministry of damned spirits choking him as he sat at dinner eating of salmon, some say by a bone of the fish sticking in his throat, A.D. 266, after he had reigned forty years. Of the six sons of Cormac Mac Art, no issue is recorded from any [of them], but from Cairbre-Lifeachar; he had also ten daughters, but there is no account of any of htem only two— namely, Grace (or Grania), and Ailbh [alve], who were both successively the wives of the great champion and general of the Irish Militia, Fionn, the son of Cabhall [Coole]. The mother of Cormac MacArt was Eachtach, the dau. of Ulcheatagh.

Cormac was married to Eithne Ollamhdha, dau. of Dunlang, son of Eana Niadh; she was fostered by Buiciodh Brughach, in Leinster.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cormac Ulfhada: This Monarch was commonly known as "Cormac Mac Art;" he died at Cleitach, on the Boyne. Before his death he gave directions that, instead of at Brugh, a famous burial place of the Irish pre-Christian kings, he should be buried in Ross-na-Ri [Rosnaree] near Slane— both in the county of Meath; and that his face should be towards the East— through respect for the Savior of the World, whom he knew to have been there born and crucified.

Part III, Chapter IV of Irish Pedigrees, by John O'Hart, published 1892, pages 351-9, 664-8 and 708-9. -------------------- Cormac "Ulfhada" mac Art King of Ireland

Birth: bef 195

Death: 267, slain in Cleitach, Galway

Father: Art Ean Fhear King of Ireland (<155-195)

Mother: Medb Lehtderg Queen of Leinster

Misc. Notes

son of Art Eanfhear; m. Eithne, dau. of Dunlang, King of Leinster; had three elder brothers— 1. Artghen, 2. Boindia, 3. Bonnrigh. He had also six sons— 1. Cairbre Lifeachar, 2. Muireadach, 3. Moghruith, 4. Ceallach, 5. Daire, 6. Aongus Fionn; Nos. 4 and 5 left no issue. King Cormac Mac Art was teh 115th Monarch of Ireland; and was called "Ulfhada," because of his long beard. He was the wisest, most learned, and best of any of the Milesian race before him, that ruled the Kingdom. He ordained several good laws; wrote several learned treatises, among which his treatise on "Kingly Government," directed to his son Carbry Liffechar, is extant and extraordinary. he was very magnificent in his housekeeping and attendants, having always one thousand one hundred and fifty persons in his daily retinue constantly attending at his Great Hall at Tara; which was three hundred feet long, thirty cubits high, and fifty cubits braod, with fourteen doors in it. His daily service of plate, flagons, drinking cups of gold, silver, and precious stone, at his table, ordinarily consisted of one hundred and fifty pieces, besides dishes, etc., which were all pure silver or gold. He ordained that ten choice persons should constantly attend him and his successors— Monarchs of Ireland, and never to be absent from him, viz.— 1. A nobleman to be his companion; 2. A judge to deliver and explain the laws of the country in the King's presence upon all occasions; 3. An antiquary or historiographer to declare and preserve the genealogies, acts, and occurrences of the nobility and gentry from time to time as occasion required; 4. A Druid or Magician to offer sacrifice, and presage good or bad omens, as his learning, skill, or knowledge would enable him; 5. A poet to praise or dispraise every one according to his good or bad actiosn; 6. A physician to administer physic to the king and queen, and to the rest of the (royal) family; 7. A musician to compose music, and sing pleasant sonnets in the King's presence when thereunto disposed; and 8, 9, and 10, three Stewards to govern the King's House in all things appertaining thereunto. This custom was observed by all the succeeding Monarchs down to Brian Boromha [Boru], the 175th Monarch of Ireland, and the 60th down from Cormac, without any alteration only that since they received the Christian Faith they changed the Druid or Magician for a Prelate of the Church.

What is besides delivered from antiquity of this great monarch is, that (which among the truly wise is more valuable than any worldly magnificence or secular glory whatsoever) he was to all mankind very just, and so upright in his actions, judgments, and laws, that God revealed unto him the light of His Faith seven years before his death; and from thenceforward he refused his Druids to worship their idol-gods, and openly professed he would no more worship any but the true God of the Universe, the Immortal and Invisible King of Ages. Whereupon the Druids sought his destruction, which they soon after effected (God permitting it) by their adjurations and ministry of damned spirits choking him as he sat at dinner eating of salmon, some say by a bone of the fish sticking in his throat, A.D. 266, after he had reigned forty years. Of the six sons of Cormac Mac Art, no issue is recorded from any [of them], but from Cairbre-Lifeachar; he had also ten daughters, but there is no account of any of htem only two— namely, Grace (or Grania), and Ailbh [alve], who were both successively the wives of the great champion and general of the Irish Militia, Fionn, the son of Cabhall [Coole]. The mother of Cormac MacArt was Eachtach, the dau. of Ulcheatagh.

Cormac was married to Eithne Ollamhdha, dau. of Dunlang, son of Eana Niadh; she was fostered by Buiciodh Brughach, in Leinster.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cormac Ulfhada: This Monarch was commonly known as "Cormac Mac Art;" he died at Cleitach, on the Boyne. Before his death he gave directions that, instead of at Brugh, a famous burial place of the Irish pre-Christian kings, he should be buried in Ross-na-Ri [Rosnaree] near Slane— both in the county of Meath; and that his face should be towards the East— through respect for the Savior of the World, whom he knew to have been there born and crucified.

Part III, Chapter IV of Irish Pedigrees, by John O'Hart, published 1892, pages 351-9, 664-8 and 708-9.

Spouses

1: Eithne Ollamhdha

-------------------- Famous for being wise, thru generous judgements. 'Absolutely the best king that ever reigned in Ireland before himself...wise learned, valiant & mild, not given causelessly to be bloody as many of his ancestors were, he reigned majestically & magnificently'. Aka Cormac Ua Cuinn or Cormac Ulfada. -------------------- Title: King of Ireland -------------------- Cormac "Longbeard" macArt King of Ireland

died 0266

father:

  • Art "the Solitary" Eaufhear King of Ireland

died 0195

mother:

  • Eachtach wife of Art Eaufhear

(end of information)

siblings:

unknown

spouse:

  • Eithene Ollamhdha

(end of information)

children:

  • Carbre Leiffechar King of Ireland

born 0211

died 0284 at Battle of Gabhra

-------------------- Cormac mac Airt (son of Art), also known as Cormac ua Cuinn (grandson of Conn) or Cormac Ulfada (long beard), was, according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, a High King of Ireland. He is probably the most famous of the ancient High Kings, and may have been an authentic historical figure, although many legends have attached themselves to him, and his reign is variously dated as early as the 2nd century and as late as the 4th. He is said to have ruled from Tara, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, for forty years, and under his rule Tara flourished. He was famous for his wise, true, and generous judgments. In the Annals of Clonmacnoise, translated in 1627, he is described as:

“ "absolutely the best king that ever reigned in Ireland before himself...wise learned, valiant and mild, not given causelessly to be bloody as many of his ancestors were, he reigned majestically and magnificently". ”

The hero Fionn mac Cumhaill is supposed to have lived in Cormac's time, and most of the stories of the Fenian Cycle are set during his reign.

Contents [hide]

1 Birth and childhood

2 Rise to power

3 Family

4 Reign

5 Death

6 Family tree

7 References

[edit]Birth and childhood

Cormac's father was the former High King Art mac Cuinn. His mother was Achtan, daughter of Olc Acha, a smith (or druid) from Connacht. According to the saga "The Battle of Mag Mucrama", Olc gave Art hospitality the night before the Battle of Maigh Mucruimhe. It had been prophesied that a great dignity would come from Olc's line, so he offered the High King his daughter to sleep with that night, and Cormac was conceived[1] (Geoffrey Keating says that Achtan was Art's official mistress, to whom he had given a dowry of cattle).[2]

The story is told that Achtan had a vision as she slept next to Art. She saw herself with her head cut off and a great tree growing out of her neck. Its branches spread all over Ireland, until the sea rose and overwhelmed it. Another tree grew from the roots of the first, but the wind blew it down. At that she woke up and told Art what she had seen. Art explained that the head of every woman is her husband, and that she would lose her husband in battle the next day. The first tree was their son, who would be king over all Ireland, and the sea that overwhelmed it was a fish-bone that he would die choking on. The second tree was his son, Cairbre Lifechair, who would be king after him, and the wind that blew him down was a battle against the fianna, in which he would fall. The following day Art was defeated and killed by his nephew Lugaid mac Con, who became the new High King.

Cormac was carried off in infancy by a she-wolf and reared with her cubs, but a hunter found him and brought him back to his mother. Achtan then took him to Fiachrae Cassán, who had been Art's foster-father. On the way they were attacked by wolves, but wild horses protected them.[3]

[edit]Rise to power

At the age of thirty, armed with his father's sword, Cormac came to Tara, where he met a steward consoling a weeping woman. The steward explained that the High King had confiscated her sheep because they had cropped the queen's woad-garden. Cormac declared, "More fitting would be one shearing for another," because both the woad and the sheep's fleeces would grow again. When Lugaid heard this, he conceded that Cormac's judgement was superior to his and abdicated the throne.[4][5] Other traditions say that Cormac drove Lugaid out by force,[6][7] or that he left Tara because his druids had prophesied he would not live another six months if he stayed.[2] In all versions he went to his kin in Munster, where the poet Ferches mac Commain killed him with a spear as he stood with his back to a standing stone.

But Cormac was unable to claim the High Kingship, as the king of the Ulaid, Fergus Dubdétach, drove him into Connacht, and took the throne himself. He turned to Tadg mac Céin, a local nobleman whose father had been killed by Fergus, promising him as much land on the plain of Brega as he could drive his chariot round in a day if he would help him claim the throne. Tadg advised him to recruit his grandfather's brother Lugaid Láma. Cormac sought him out, and when he found him lying in a hunting-booth, wounded him in the back with a spear. Lugaid revealed that it had been he who had killed Cormac's father in the Battle of Maigh Mucruimhe, and Cormac demanded, as éraic for Art's life, that Lugaid give him Fergus' head.

Having recruited Tadg and Lugaid, Cormac marched against Fergus, and The Battle of Crinna began. Tadg led the battle, keeping Cormac out of the action at the rear. Lugaid took the head of Fergus' brother, Fergus Foltlebair, and brought it to Cormac's attendant, who told him this was not the head of the king of Ulster. He then took the head of Fergus's other brother, Fergus Caisfhiachlach, but again the attendant told him it was the wrong head. Finally he killed Fergus Dubdétach himself, and when the attendant confirmed he'd got the right man, Lugaid killed him and collapsed from exhaustion and loss of blood.

Tadg routed Fergus's army, and ordered his charioteer to make a circuit of the plain of Brega to include Tara itself. He was severely wounded, and fainted during the circuit. When he came to, he asked the charioteer if he had driven around Tara yet. When the charioteer answered no, Tadg killed him, but before he could complete the circuit himself, Cormac came upon him and ordered physicians to treat his wounds - treatment which took a whole year. Cormac took the throne, and Tadg ruled large tracts of land in the northern half of Ireland.[2]

[edit]Family

According to the saga "The Melody of the House of Buchet",[8] Cormac married Eithne Táebfada, daughter of Cathaír Mór and foster-daughter of Buchet, a wealthy cattle-lord from Leinster whose hospitality was so exploited that he was reduced to poverty. However, in other traditions Eithne is the wife of Cormac's grandfather Conn Cétchathach. Keating[2] says the foster-daughter of Buchet that Cormac married was another Eithne, Eithne Ollamda, daughter of Dúnlaing, king of Leinster. Also according to Keating, Cormac took a second wife, Ciarnait, daughter of the king of the Cruthin, but Eithne, out of jealousy of her beauty, forced her to grind nine measures of grain every day. Cormac freed her from this labour by having a watermill built.

Cormac is credited with three sons, Dáire, Cellach and Cairbre Lifechair, and ten daughters. Two of his daughters, Gráinne and Aillbe, married the hero Fionn mac Cumhaill. In the well-known story "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne", Gráinne was betrothed to Fionn, but instead ran off with a young warrior of the fianna, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne. Diarmuid and Fionn were eventually reconciled, but Fionn later contrived Diarmuid's death during a boar hunt, but was shamed by his son Oisín into making amends to Gráinne. Fionn and Gráinne were married, and Gráinne persuaded her sons not to make war against Fionn.[9]

[edit]Reign

Cormac's reign is recorded in some detail in the Irish annals.[7] He fought many battles, subduing the Ulaid and Connacht and leading a lengthy campaign against Munster. In the fourteenth year of his reign he is said to have sailed to Great Britain and made conquests there. In the fifteenth, thirty maidens were slaughtered in Tara by Dúnlaing, king of Leinster, for which Cormac had twelve Leinster princes put to death. In other texts he is said to have been temporarily deposed twice by the Ulaid, and to have once gone missing for four months. He is also said to have compiled the Psalter of Tara, a book containing the chronicles of Irish history, the laws concerning the rents and dues kings were to receive from their subjects, and records of the boundaries of Ireland.[10]

Although he is usually remembered as a wise and just ruler, one story presents him in a less flattering light. Having distributed all the cattle he had received as tribute from the provinces, Cormac found himself without any cattle to provision his own household after a plague struck his herds. A steward persuaded him to treat Munster as two provinces, the southern of which had never paid tax. He sent messengers to demand payment, but Fiachu Muillethan, the king of southern Munster, refused, and Cormac prepared for war. His own druids, who had never advised him badly, foresaw disaster, but he ignored them, preferring to listen to five druids from the sidhe supplied by his fairy lover, Báirinn.

Cormac marched to Munster and made camp on the hill of Druim Dámhgaire (Knocklong, County Limerick). His new druids' magic made the camp impregnable and his warriors unbeatable, dried up all sources of water used by the Munstermen, and nearly drove Fiacha to submission. But Fiacha in desperation turned to the powerful Munster druid Mug Ruith for aid, and his magic was too strong even for Cormac's fairy druids. He restored the water and conjured up magical hounds who destroyed the fairy druids. His breath created storms and turned men to stone. Cormac was driven out of Munster and compelled to seek terms.[11]

Cormac owned the wonderful gold cup given to him by the sea-god Manannan mac Lir in the Land of the Living. If three lies were spoken over it, it would break in three; three truths made it whole again. Cormac used this cup during his kingship to distinguish falsehood from truth. When Cormac died, the cup vanished, just as Manannan had predicted it would.

The 8th-century text The Expulsion of the Déisi describes enmity between Cormac and the group known as the Déisi, descendants of Cormac's great grandfather Fedlimid Rechtmar who had been his retainers. Cormac's son Cellach (or Conn) abducts Forach, the daughter of a Déisi leader. Her uncle Óengus Gaíbúaibthech comes to rescue her, but Cellach refuses to release her. Óengus runs Cellach through with his "dread spear", which has three chains attached to it; these chains wound one of Cormac's advisers and blind Cormac in one eye. Cormac fights seven battles against the Déisi, and expels them from their lands. After a period of wandering, they settled in Munster. Cormac, having lost an eye, moves into the Tech Cletig on the hill of Achall, as it was against the law for a disfigured king to sit in Tara. His duties as king are taken on by his son Cairbre Lifechair.[2][7][12][13]

[edit]Death

After ruling for forty years Cormac choked to death on a salmon bone. Some versions blame this on a curse laid by a druid because Cormac had converted to Christianity. Some versions of the Lebor Gabála Érenn synchronise his reign with that of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180). Keating dates his reign to 204-244; the Annals of the Four Masters to 226-266. An entry in the Annals of Ulster dates his death as late as 366.[3] He was succeeded by Eochaid Gonnat.

[edit] -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormac_mac_Airt -------------------- . 70. CORMAC ULFADA, OR LONG BEARD, SON OF ART AONFHIR, 115TH KING OF IRELAND, A.D. 213-253.

Cormac

Cormac is a popular Irish name, borne by a number of figures from Irish legend and history. Some of these include: Cormac mac Airt, semi-historical High King of Ireland ca. 227-266Cormac Cond Longas, exiled prince of Ulster from Irish mythologyCormac, Archbishop of Armagh ca. 481-497 See also: Korm..

115 E Cormac

105 Cormac MacArt

(Cormac Ulfhada (Ulfhota; 'Longbeard') MacAirt, 115th (and wisest) Monarch ofIreland, converted to Christianity)

227–266 Joyce: 254 Cormac Mac Art (or Cormac Ulfada), Cormac Ulhada, Cormac Ulata, Cormac m. Airt, Óenmc Airtt Cormac Ulfota, Cormac Ua Cuind, Corbmac, Cormac Ul-fada
Son of Art #112, son of Conn of the Hundred Battles #110. Cormac's mother was Eachtach, daughter of Uilceathach the smith and "dowered mistress" of Art. "For it was a custom at that time ... that whenever a king or king's son coveted the daughter of a farmer or biadhtach ... [he] should get her, provided he gave her a marriage portion or dowry of cattle." Cormac returned and claimed the throne when Lugaid was killed, but at a feast which he gave to the princes whose support he wanted, Fergus Black Tooth of Ulster, who coveted the Ard Righship, managed, it is said, to singe the hair of Cormac and scorched him severely—creating a blemish that debarred the young man temporarily from the throne. And he fled again from Tara, fearing designs upon his life. Fergus became Ard Righ for a year—at the end of which time Cormac returned with an army, and, supported by Taig, the son of Ciann, and grandson of the great Oilioll Olum of Munster, completely overthrew the usurper in the great battle of Crionna (on the Boyne) where Fergus and his two brothers were slain—and Cormac won undisputed possession of the monarchy." A History of the Irish Race. In 240, the fleet of Cormac sailed across Magh Rein (i.e. across the sea), and it was on that occasion he obtained the sovereignty of Alba Scotland. In 265 he fought seven battles against the Deisi of Meath, and drove them out of their territory into Meath. Said to have converted to Christianity in 246. Cairbre-Lifeacher, #117, was the second of his three sons. See Eoghanacht Genealogies. Died by choking on a bone from a salmon caught in the Boyne River. "he was eating salmon when the sprites or demons of the air choked him."

-------------------- http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cnoelldunc/Ancient/Heremon/D1.htm

   He was the wisest, most learned, and the best of any of the Milesian race before him, that ruled the country. He had a retinue of 115O persons, in daily attendance at Tara. The great hall was 3OO feet long. He ordained that there be 1O persons in constant attendance to him and all future Kings: A nobleman as companion; a judge; an historian to declare and preserve the genealogies, acts, and occurrences of the nobility and gentry; a Druid to offer sacrifice, and presage good or bad omens; a poet to praise or dispraise everyone; a physician; a musician; and three stewards. Seven years before his death, he became a Christian and forbade his Druids to worship their gods.
       • Choked on a fish bone: 266. 
   Cormac married Eithne Thaebfhota. Eithne was born in Ancient Ireland.
   Their children were: 
   Cairbre Niadh, 117th Monarch of Ireland died in 284 in Gabhra,Ireland. 
       Cairbre married Aine. 
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Cormac Ulfheda, 115th High King of Ireland's Timeline

190
190
Leinster, Dublin, Ireland
235
235
Age 45
Ireland
266
266
Age 76
Cleiteach From The Bone Of A Salmon Sticking In His Throat
266
Age 76
near Tara, Midi (Meath), Ros-na-Riogh,, Ireland
267
267
Age 76
Ireland
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Ireland
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