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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/443

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VII. THE CELTS {continued).


It appears, then, that the King of the Wood as represented in Ultonian myth (Curoi son of King ' Oak ' vanquished by Cuchulain) finds his counterpart in Arthurian romance (the Green Knight with his holly-branch vanquished by Gawain ; King ' Mistletoe-branch ' vanquished by Gawain and Perceval). I have next to show that the same equation holds good for that other great cycle of Irish myth, the Ossianic tales. What Cuchulain and the Red Branch Champions are to Ultonian tradition, Finn and the Fianna are to Ossianic tradition. Were Finn and the Fianna in any sense Kings of the Wood .<* And, if so, can their actions as such be paralleled by those of Gawain and his peers .

Finn's father was Cumhal, who according to the Leinster pedigree was a descendant of Nuada Necht, ancestor of the kings of Leinster.^ The name Cumhal is one with

^S. H. O'Grady Silva Gadelica ii. 99 in the Panegyric of King Cor mac gives the Leinster pedigree thus : Finn — Cumhall — Sualtach — Baeiscne — Nuada Necht. Cf. J. O'Donovan in Transactions of the Ossianic Society for 18^6 Dublin 1859 iv. 284 f., T. Powel in The Academy Jan. 24, 1885, xxvii. 64. Prof. K. Meyer ib. Feb. 21, 1885, xxvii. 135 distinguishes three pedigrees of Finn, viz. (i) that of the Lehor na hUidre p. 41 Finn — Cumall — Trenmor, Finn's mother being Murni Ivlunchoem, grand-daughter of Nuadu mac Achi one of the druids of Cathair Mor : (2) that of the Yellow Book of Lecan col. 768 (? Munster pedigree) P'inn — Cumall — Baiscne — Fir Da Roth — Guill — Irguill — Daire — Dedad — Sin : {3) that of the Book of Leinster pp. 311, 37S b Finn — Cumall — Trenmor — Suaelt — Eltam (? Suaelt + Eltam = Sualtam) — Baiscne — Nuada Necht.