The Stem of the Irish Nation

"God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who was from all eternity, did, in the beginning of Time, of nothing, create Red Earth; and of Red Earth framed Adam; and of a Rib out of the side of Adam fashioned Eve. After which Creation, Plasmation, and Formation, succeeded Generations, as follows."—Four Masters.

1. Adam.

2. Seth.

3. Enos.

4. Cainan.

5. Mahalaleel.

6. Jared.

7. Enoch.

8. Methuselah.

9. Lamech.

10. Noah [1] divided the world amongst his three sons, begotten of his wife Titea: viz., to Shem he gave Asia, within the Euphrates, to the Indian Ocean; to Ham he gave Syria, Arabia, and Africa; and to Japhet, the rest of Asia beyond the Euphrates, together with Europe to Gades (or Cadiz).

11. Japhet was the eldest son of Noah. He had fifteen sons, amongst whom he divided Europe and the part of Asia which his father had allotted to him.

12. Magog: From whom descended the Parthians, Bactrians, Amazons, etc.; Partholan, the first planter of Ireland,[2] about three hundred years after the Flood; and also the rest of the colonies [3] that planted there, viz., the Nemedians, who planted Ireland, Anno Mundi three thousand and forty-six, or three hundred and eighteen years after the birth of Abraham, and two thousand one hundred and fifty-three years before Christ. The Nemedians continued in Ireland for two hundred and seventeen years; within which time a colony of theirs went into the northern parts of Scotland, under the conduct of their leader Briottan Maol,[4] from whom Britain takes its name, and not from "Brutus," as some persons believed. From Magog were also descended the Belgarian, Belgian, Firbolgian or Firvolgian colony that succeeded the Nemedians, Anno Mundi, three thousand two hundred and sixty-six, and who first erected Ireland into a Monarchy.[5] [According to some writers, the Fomorians invaded Ireland next after the Nemedians.] This Belgarian or Firvolgian colony continued in Ireland for thirty-six years, under nine of their Kings; when they were supplanted by the Tuatha-de-Danans (which means, according to some authorities, "the people of the god Dan," whom they adored), who possessed Ireland for one hundred and ninety-seven years, during the reigns of nine of their kings; and who were then conquered by the Gaelic, Milesian, or Scotic Nation (the three names by which the Irish people were known), Anno Mundi three thousand five hundred. This Milesian or Scotic Irish Nation possessed and enjoyed the Kingdom of Ireland for two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five years, under one hundred and eighty-three Monarchs; until their submission to King Henry the Second of England, Anno Domini one thousand one hundred and eighty-six.[6]

13. Baoth, one of the sons of Magog; to whom Scythia came as his lot, upon the division of the Earth by Noah amongst his sons, and by Japhet of his part thereof amongst his sons.

14. Phoeniusa Farsaidh (or Fenius Farsa) was King of Scythia, at the time that Ninus ruled the Assyrian Empire; and, being a wise man and desirous to learn the languages that not long before confounded the builders of the Tower of Babel, employed able and learned men to go among the dispersed multitude to learn their several languages; who sometime after returning well skilled in what they went for, Phoeniusa Farsaidh erected a school in the valley of Senaar, near the city of Æothena, in the forty-second year of the reign of Ninus; whereupon, having continued there with his younger son Niul for twenty years, he returned home to his kingdom, which, at his death, he left to his eldest son Nenuall: leaving to Niul no other patrimony than his learning and the benefit of the said school.

15. Niul, after his father returned to Scythia, continued some time at Æothena, teaching the languages and other laudable sciences, until upon report of his great learning he was invited into Egypt by Pharaoh, the King; who gave him the land of Campus Cyrunt, near the Red Sea to inhabit, and his daughter Scota in marriage: from whom their posterity are ever since called Scots; but, according to some annalists, the name "Scots" is derived from the word Scythia.

It was this Niul that employed Gaodhal [Gael], son of Ethor, a learned and skilful man, to compose or rather refine and adorn the language, called Bearla Tobbai, which was common to all Niul's posterity, and afterwards called Gaodhilg (or Gaelic), from the said Gaodhal who composed or refined it; and for his sake also Niul called his own eldest son "Gaodhal." [The following is a translation of an extract from the derivation of this proper name, as given in Halliday's Vol. of Keating's Irish History, page 230:

"Antiquaries assert that the name of Gaodhal is from the compound word formed of 'gaoith' and 'dil,' which means a lover of learning; for, 'gaoith' is the same as wisdom or learning, and 'dil' is the same as loving or fond."]

16. Gaodhal (or Gathelus), the son of Niul, was the ancestor of the Clan-na-Gael, that is, "the children or descendants of Gaodhal." In his youth this Gaodhal was stung in the neck by a serpent, and was immediately brought to Moses, who, laying his rod upon the wounded place, instantly cured him: whence followed the word "Glas" to be added to his name, as Gaodhal Glas (glas: Irish, green; Lat. glaucus; Gr. glaukos), on account of the green scar which the word signifies, and which, during his life, remained on his neck after the wound was healed. And Gaodhal obtained a further blessing, namely—that no venemous beast can live any time where his posterity should inhabit; which is verified in Creta or Candia, Gothia or Getulia, Ireland, etc. The Irish chroniclers affirm that from this time Gaodhal and his posterity did paint the figures of Beasts, Birds, etc., on their banners and shields,[7] to distinguish their tribes and septs, in imitation of the Israelites; and that a "Thunderbolt" was the cognizance in their chief standard for many generations after this Gaodhal.

17. Asruth, after his father's death, continued in Egypt, and governed his colony in peace during his life.

18. Sruth, soon after his father's death, was (see page 31) set upon by the Egyptians, on account of their former animosities towards their predecessors for having taken part with the Israelites against them; which animosities until then lay raked up in the embers, and now broke out in a flame to that degree, that after many battles and conflicts, wherein most of his colony lost their lives, Sruth was forced with the few remaining to depart the country; and, after many traverses at sea, arrived at the Island of Creta (now called Candia), where he paid his last tribute to nature.

19. Heber Scut (scut: Irish, a Scot), after his father's death and a year's stay in Creta, departed thence, leaving some of his people to inhabit the Island, where some of their posterity likely still remain; "because the Island breeds no venemous serpent ever since." He and his people soon after arrived in Scythia; where his cousins, the posterity of Nenuall (eldest son of Fenius Farsa, above mentioned), refusing to allot a place of habitation for him and his colony, they fought many battles wherein Heber (with the assistance of some of the natives who were ill-affected towards their king), being always victor, he at length forced the sovereignty from the other, and settled himself and his colony in Scythia, who continued there for four generations. (Hence the epithet Scut, "a Scot" or "a Scythian," was applied to this Heber, who is accordingly called Heber Scot.) Heber Scot was afterwards slain in battle by Noemus the former king's son.

20. Beouman; 21. Ogaman; and 22. Tait, were each kings of Scythia, but in constant war with the natives; so that after Tait's death his son,

23. Agnon and his followers betook themselves to sea, wandering and coasting upon the Caspian Sea for several (some say seven) years in which time he died.

24. Lamhfionn and his fleet remained at sea for some time after his father's death, resting and refreshing themselves upon such islands as they met with. It was then that Cachear, their magician or Druid, foretold that there would be no end of their peregrinations and travel until they should arrive at the Western Island of Europe, now called Ireland, which was the place destined for their future and lasting abode and settlement; and that not they but their posterity after three hundred years should arrive there. After many traverses of fortune at sea, this little fleet with their leader arrived at last and landed at Gothia or Getulia—more recently called Lybia, where Carthage was afterwards built; and, soon after, Lamhfionn died there.

25. Heber Glunfionn was born in Getulia, where he died. His posterity continued there to the eighth generation; and were kings or chief rulers there for one hundred and fifty years—some say three hundred years.

26. Agnan Fionn; 27. Febric Glas; 28. Nenuall; 29. Nuadhad; 30. Alladh; 31. Arcadh; and 32. Deag: of these nothing remarkable is mentioned, but that they lived and died kings in Gothia or Getulia.

33. Brath was born in Gothia. Remembering the Druid's prediction, and his people having considerably multiplied during their abode in Getulia, he departed thence with a numerous fleet to seek out the country destined for their final settlement, by the prophecy of Cachear, the Druid above mentioned; and, after some time, he landed upon the coast of Spain, and by strong hand settled himself and his colony in Galicia, in the north of that country.

34. Breoghan (or Brigus) was king of Galicia, Andalusia, Murcia, Castile, and Portugal—all which he conquered. He built Breoghan's Tower or Brigantia in Galicia, and the city of Brigansa or Braganza in Portugal—called after him; and the kingdom of Castile was then also called after him Brigia. It is considered that "Castile" itself was so called from the figure of a castle which Brigus bore for his Arms on his banner. Brigus sent a colony into Britain, who settled in that territory now known as the counties of York, Lancaster, Durham, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, and, after him, were called Brigantes; whose posterity gave formidable opposition to the Romans, at the time of the Roman invasion of Britain.

35. Bilé was king of those countries after his father's death; and his son Galamh [galav] or Milesius succeeded him. This Bilé had a brother named Ithe.

36. Milesius, in his youth and during his father's life-time, went into Scythia, where he was kindly received by the king of that country, who gave him his daughter in marriage, and appointed him General of his forces. In this capacity Milesius defeated the king's enemies, gained much fame, and the love of all the king's subjects. His growing greatness and popularity excited against him the jealousy of the king; who, fearing the worst, resolved on privately despatching Milesius out of the way, for, openly, he dare not attempt it. Admonished of the king's intentions in his regard, Milesius slew him; and thereupon quitted Scythia and retired into Egypt with a fleet of sixty sail. Pharaoh Nectonibus, then king of Egypt, being informed of his arrival and of his great valour, wisdom, and conduct in arms, made him General of all his forces against the king of Ethiopia then invading his country. Here, as in Scythia, Milesius was victorious; he forced the enemy to submit to the conqueror's own terms of peace. By these exploits Milesius found great favour with Pharaoh, who gave him, being then a widower, his daughter Scota in marriage; and kept him eight years afterwards in Egypt.

During the sojourn of Milesius in Egypt, he employed the most ingenious and able persons among his people to be instructed in the several trades, arts, and sciences used in Egypt; in order to have them taught to the rest of his people on his return to Spain.

[The original name of Milesius of Spain was, as already mentioned, "Galamh" (gall: Irish, a stranger; amh, a negative affix), which means, no stranger: meaning that he was no stranger in Egypt, where he was called "Milethea Spaine," which was afterwards contracted to " Milé Spaine" (meaning the Spanish Hero), and finally to "Milesius" (mileadh: Irish, a hero; Lat. miles, a soldier).]

At length Milesius took leave of his father-in-law, and steered towards Spain; where he arrived to the great joy and comfort of his people, who were much harasssed by the rebellion of the natives and by the intrusion of other foreign nations that forced in after his father's death, and during his own long absence from Spain. With these and those he often met; and, in fifty-four battles, victoriously fought, he routed, destroyed, and totally extirpated them out of the country, which he settled in peace and quietness.

In his reign a great dearth and famine occurred in Spain, of twenty-six years' continuance, occasioned, as well by reason of the former troubles which hindered the people from cultivating and manuring the ground, as for want of rain to moisten the earth; but Milesius superstitiously believed the famine to have fallen upon him and his people as a judgment and punishment from their gods, for their negligence in seeking out the country destined for their final abode, so long before foretold by Cachear their Druid or magician, as already mentioned—the time limited by the prophecy for the accomplishment thereof being now nearly, if not fully, expired. To expiate his fault and to comply with the will of his gods, Milesius, with the general approbation of his people, sent his uncle Ithe, with his son Lughaidh [Luy], and one hundred and fifty stout men to bring them an account of those western islands; who, accordingly, arriving at the island since then called Ireland, and landing in that part of it now called Munster, left his son with fifty of his men to guard the ship, and with the rest travelled about the island. Informed, among other things, that the three sons of Cearmad, called Mac-Cuill, MacCeacht, and MacGreine, did then and for thirty years before rule and govern the island, each for one year, in his turn; and that the country was called after the names of their three queens—Eire, Fodhla, and Banbha, respectively: one year called "Eire," the next "Fodhla," and the next "Banbha," as their husbands reigned in their regular turns; by which names the island is ever since indifferently called, but most commonly "Eire,"[8] because that MacCuill, the husband of Eire, ruled and governed the country in his turn the year that the Clan-na-Milé (or the sons of Milesius) arrived in and conquered Ireland. And being further informed that the three brothers were then at their palace at Aileach Neid,[9] in the north part of the country, engaged in the settlement of some disputes concerning their family jewels, Ithe directed his course thither; sending orders to his son to sail about with his ship and the rest of his men, and meet him there.

When Ithe arrived where the (Danan) brothers were, he was honourably received and entertained by them; and, finding him to be a man of great wisdom and knowledge, they referred their disputes to him for decision. That decision having met their entire satisfaction, Ithe exhorted them to mutual love, peace, and forbearance; adding much in praise of their delightful, pleasant, and fruitful country; and then took his leave, to return to his ship, and go back to Spain.

No sooner was he gone than the brothers began to reflect on the high commendations which Ithe gave of the Island; and, suspecting his design of bringing others to invade it, resolved to prevent them, and therefore pursued him with a strong party, overtook him, fought and routed his men and wounded himself to death (before his son or the rest of his men left on ship-board could come to his rescue) at a place called, from that fight and his name, Magh Ithe or "The plain of Ithe" (an extensive plain in the barony of Raphoe, county Donegal); whence his son, having found him in that condition, brought his dead and mangled body back into Spain, and there exposed it to public view, thereby to excite his friends and relations to avenge his murder.

And here I think it not amiss to notify what the Irish chroniclers, observe upon this matter, viz.—that all the invaders and planters of Ireland, namely, Partholan, Neimhedh, the Firbolgs, Tuatha-de-Danans, and Clan-na-Milé, where originally Scythians, of the line of Japhet, who had the language called Bearla-Tobbai or Gaoidhilg [Gaelic] common amongst them all; and consequently not to be wondered at, that Ithe and the Tuatha-de-Danans understood one another without an Interpreter—both speaking the same language, though perhaps with some difference in the accent.

The exposing of the dead body of Ithe had the desired effect; for, thereupon, Milesius made great preparations in order to invade Ireland—as well to avenge his uncle's death, as also in obedience to the will of his gods, signified by the prophecy of Cachear, aforesaid. But, before he could effect that object, he died, leaving the care and charge of that expedition upon his eight legitimate sons by his two wives before mentioned.

Milesius was a very valiant champion, a great warrior, and fortunate and prosperous in all his undertakings: witness his name of "Milesius," given him from the many battles (some say a thousand, which the word "Milé" signifies in Irish as well as in Latin) which he victoriously fought and won, as well in Spain, as in all the other countries and kingdoms he traversed in his younger days.

The eight brothers were neither forgetful nor negligent in the execution of their father's command; but, soon after his death, with a numerous fleet well manned and equipped, set forth from Breoghan's Tower or Brigantia (now Corunna) in Galicia, in Spain, and sailed prosperously to the coasts of Ireland or Inis-Fail,[10] where they met many difficulties and various chances before they could land: occasioned by the diabolical arts, sorceries, and enchantments used by the Tuatha-de-Danans, to obstruct their landing; for, by their magic art, they enchanted the island so as to appear to the Milesians or Clan-na-Milé in the form of a Hog, and no way to come at it (whence the island, among the many other names it had before, was called Muc-Inis or "The Hog Island"); and withal raised so great a storm, that the Milesian fleet was thereby totally dispersed and many of them cast away, wherein five of the eight brothers, sons of Milesius, lost their lives. That part of the fleet commanded by Heber, Heremon, and Amergin (the three surviving brothers), and Heber Donn, son of Ir (one of the brothers lost in the storm), overcame all opposition, landed safe, fought and routed the three Tuatha-de Danan Kings at Slieve-Mis, and thence pursued and overtook them at Tailten, where another bloody battle was fought; wherein the three (Tuatha-de-Danan) Kings and their Queens were slain, and their army utterly routed and destroyed: so that they could never after give any opposition to the Clan-na-Milé in their new conquest; who, having thus sufficiently avenged the death of their great uncle Ithe, gained the possession of the country foretold them by Cachear, some ages past, as already mentioned.

Heber and Heremon, the chief leading men remaining of the eight brothers, sons of Milesius aforesaid, divided the kingdom between them (allotting a proportion of land to their brother Amergin, who was their Arch-priest, Druid, or magician; and to their nephew Heber Donn, and to the rest of their chief commanders), and became jointly the first of one hundred and eighty-three [11] Kings or sole Monarchs of the Gaelic, Milesian, or Scottish Race, that ruled and governed Ireland, successively, for two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five years from the first year of their reign, Anno Mundi three thousand five hundred, to their submission to the Crown of England in the person of King Henry the Second; who, being also of the Milesian Race by Maude, his mother, was lineally descended from Fergus Mor MacEarca, first King of Scotland, who was descended from the said Heremon—so that the succession may be truly said to continue in the Milesian Blood from before Christ one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine years down to the present time.

Heber and Heremon reigned jointly one year only, when, upon a difference between their ambitious wives, they quarrelled and fought a battle at Ardcath or Geshill (Geashill, near Tullamore in the King's County), where Heber was slain by Heremon; and, soon after, Amergin, who claimed an equal share in the government, was, in another battle fought between them, likewise slain by Heremon. Thus, Heremon became sole Monarch, and made a new division of the land amongst his comrades and friends, viz.: the south part, now called Munster, he gave to his brother Heber's four sons, Er, Orba, Feron, and Fergna; the north part, now Ulster, he gave to Ir's only son Heber Donn; the east part or Coigeadh Galian, now called Leinster, he gave to Criomthann-sciath-bheil, one of his commanders; and the west part, now called Connaught, Heremon gave to Un-Mac-Oigge, another of his commanders; allotting a part of Munster to Lughaidh (the son of Ithe, the first Milesian discoverer of Ireland), amongst his brother Heber's sons.

From these three brothers, Heber, Ir, and Heremon (Amergin dying without issue), are descended all the Milesian Irish of Ireland and Scotland, viz.: from Heber, the eldest brother, the provincial Kings of Munster (of whom thirty-eight were sole Monarchs of Ireland), and most of the nobility and gentry of Munster, and many noble families in Scotland, are descended.

From Ir, the second brother, all the provincial Kings of Ulster (of whom twenty-six were sole Monarchs of Ireland), and all the ancient nobility and gentry of Ulster, and many noble families in Leinster, Munster, and Connaught, derive their pedigrees; and, in Scotland, the Clan-na-Rory—the descendants of an eminent man, named Ruadhri or Roderick, who was Monarch of Ireland for seventy years (viz., from Before Christ 288 to 218).

From Heremon, the youngst of the three brothers, were descended one hundred and fourteen sole Monarchs of Ireland: the provincial Kings and Hermonian nobility and gentry of Leinster, Connaught, Meath, Orgiall, Tirowen, Tirconnell, and Clan-na-boy; the Kings of Dalriada; all the Kings of Scotland from Fergus. Mor MacEarca down to the Stuarts; and the Kings and Queens of England from Henry the Second down to the present time.

The issue of Ithe is not accounted among the Milesian Irish or Clan-na-Milé, as not being descended from Milesius, but from his uncle Ithe; of whose posterity there were also some Monarchs of Ireland (see Roll of the Irish Monarchs, infra), and many provincial or half provincial Kings of Munster: that country upon its first division being allocated to the sons of Heber and to Lughaidh, son of Ithe, whose posterity continued there accordingly.

This invasion, conquest, or plantation of Ireland by the Milesian or Scottish Nation took place in the Year of the World three thousand five hundred, or the next year after Solomon began the foundation of the Temple of Jerusalem, and one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine years before the Nativity of our Saviour Jesus Christ; which, according to the Irish computation of Time, occurred Anno Mundi five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine: therein agreeing with the Septuagint, Roman Martyrologies, Eusebius, Orosius, and other ancient authors; which computation the ancient Irish chroniclers exactly observed in their Books of the Reigns of the Monarchs of Ireland, and other Antiquities of that Kingdom; out of which the Roll of the Monarchs of Ireland, from the beginning of the Milesian Monarchy to their submission to King Henry the Second of England, a Prince of their own Blood, is exactly collected.

[As the Milesian invasion of Ireland took place the next year after the laying of the foundation of the Temple of Jerusalem by Solomon, King of Israel, we may infer that Solomon was contemporary with Milesius of Spain; and that the Pharaoh King of Egypt, who (1 Kings iii. 1,) gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon, was the Pharaoh who conferred on Milesius of Spain the hand of another daughter Scota.]

Milesius of Spain bore three Lions in his shield and standard, for the following reasons; namely, that, in his travels in his younger clays into foreign countries, passing through Africa, he, by his cunning and valour, killed in one morning three Lions; and that, in memory of so noble and valiant an exploit, he always after bore three Lions on his shield, which his two surviving sons Heber and Heremon, and his grandson Heber Donn, son of Ir, after their conquest of Ireland, divided amongst them, as well as they did the country: each of them bearing a Lion in his shield and banner, but of different colours; which the Chiefs of their posterity continue to this day: some with additions and differences; others plain and entire as they had it from their ancestors.


[1] Noah: This allusion to his wife "Titea" would imply that Noah had other children besides, Shem, Ham, and Japhet. The Four Masters say that he had a son named Bith.—See Note, "The Deluge," page 7.

[2] Ireland: According to the Four Masters, "Ireland" is so called from Ir, the second son of Milesius of Spain who left any issue. It was known to the ancients by the following names:—

To the Irish as—1. Inis Ealga, or the Noble Isle. 2. Fiodh-Inis, or the Woody Island. 3. Crioch Fuinidh, the Final or most remote Country. 4. Inis-Fail, or the Island of Destiny. 5. Fodhla, learned. 6. Banba (from the Irish banabh, a sucking pig.) 7. Eire, Eri, Eirin, and Erin, supposed by some to signify the Western Isle. 8. Muig Inis, meaning the Island of Mist or Melancholy.

To the Greeks and Romans as—9. Ierne, Ierna, Iernis, Iris, and Irin. 10. Ivernia, Ibernia, Hibernia, Juvernia, Jouvernia, Hiberia, Hiberione, and Verna. 11. Insula Sacra. 12. Ogy-gia, or the Most Ancient Land. (Plutarch, in the first century of the Christian era, calls Ireland by the name Ogy-gia; and Camden says that Ireland is justly called Ogy-gia, as the Irish, he says, can trace their history from the most remote antiquity : Hence O'Flaherty has adopted the name "Ogy-gia" for his celebrated work, in Latin, on Irish history and antiquities.) 13. Scotia. 14. Insula Sanctorum.

To the Anglo-Saxon as—15. Eire-land.

To the Danes as—16. Irlandi, and Irar.

To the Anglo-Normans as—17. Irelande.

[3] Colonies: According to some of the ancient Irish Chroniclers, the following were the nations that colonized Ireland:—

1. Partholan and his followers, called in Irish Muintir Phartholain, meaning "Partholan's People." 2. The Nemedians. 3. The Fomorians, 4. The Firbolgs or Firvolgians, who were also called Belgae or Belgians. 5. The Tuatha-de-Danans. 6. The Milesians or Gaels. 7. The Cruthneans or Picts. 8. The Danes and Norwegians (or Scandinavians). 9. The Anglo-Normans. 10. The Anglo-Saxons (or English). 11. The Scots from North Britain.

1. Partholan and his followers came from Scythia, and were located chiefly in Ulster at Inis-Saimer, in Donegal, and in Leinster at Ben Edair (now the Hill of Howth), in the county Dublin. After they had been in Ireland some thirty years, nearly the whole people perished by a plague; thousands of them were buried in a common tomb, in Tallaght, a place near Dublin: the name "Tallaght" meaning Tam-Laght or the Plague Sepulchre.

2. The Nemedians came from Scythia in Europe, and were located chiefly in Ulster at Ardmacha (or Armagh), and in Derry and Donegal; and in Leinster at the Hill of Uisneach, which is situated a few miles from Mullingar, in the county Westmeath.

3. Fomorians: According to the Annals of Clonmacnoise, the Fomorians (fogh: Irish, plundering; muir, the sea) were a "sept descended from Cham, son of Noah, who lived by pyracie and spoile of other nations, and were in those days very troublesome to the whole world and, according to O'Donovan's "Four Masters," the name "Fomorians" was that given by the ancient Irish to the inhabitants of Finland, Denmark, and Norway; but, according to Connellan, those people are considered to have come from the north of Africa, from a place called Lybia or Getulia, and to have been some of the Feiné or Phoenicians, whose descendants afterwards there founded the city of Carthage; and in Spain the cities of Gahdir or Gades (now Cadiz), and Kartabah (now Cordova). As Sidon in Phoenicia was a maritime city in the time of Joshua, and its people expert navigators; and as the Phoenicians, Sidonians, and Tyrians, in those early ages, were celebrated for their commercial intercourse with Greece, Italy, Gaul, Spain, and Britain, there is nothing whatever improbable in a colony of them having sailed from Africa to Ireland: whose coming from Africa may have led to the belief that they were "descended from Cham (Ham); as their commercial intercourse with other nations may have led to their being considered "pirates." Possibly, then, the Fomorians here mentioned were the Erithneans, who were Phoenicians, and a colony of whom settled in Ireland at a very early period in the world's history. The Fomorians are represented as a race of giants, and were celebrated as having been great builders in stone. They were located principally along the coasts of Ulster and Connaught, mostly in Antrim, Derry, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, and Mayo, and had their chief fortress (called Tor Conaing or Conang's Tower) on Tor Inis or the Island of the Tower, now known as "Tory Island," which is off the coast of Donegal; and another at the Giants' Causeway, which in Irish was called Cloghan-na-Fomoraigh or the Causeway of the Fomorians, as it was supposed to have been constructed by this people, who, from their great strength and stature, were, as above mentioned, called giants: hence the term "Giants' Causeway"—a stupendous natural curiosity of volcanic origin, situated on the sea-coast of Antrim, and consisting of a countless number of basaltic columns of immense height, which, from the regularity of their formation and arrangement, have the appearance of a vast work of art; and hence were supposed to have been constructed by giants.

After the Fomorians became masters of the country, the Nemedians (neimhedh: Irish, dirt, filth of any kind), were reduced to slavery, and compelled to pay a great annual tribute on the first day of winter—consisting of corn, cattle, milk, and other provisions; and the place where these tributes were received was named Magh Ceitne, signifying the Plain of Compulsion, and so called from these circumstances. This plain was situated between the rivers Erne and Drabhois (drabhas: Irish, dirt, nastiness), between Ballyshannon and Bundrowes, on the borders of Donegal, Leitrim, and Fermanagh, along the sea-shore.—See Connellan's "Four Masters."

Three bands of the Nemedians emigrated with their respective captains: one party wandered into the north of Europe; others made their way to Greece, where they were enslaved, and obtained the name of "Firbolgs" or bagmen, from the leathern bags which they were compelled to carry; and the third section took refuge in England, which obtained its name Britain, from their leader "Briottan Maol."—See Miss Cusack's "History of Ireland."

4. The Firbolgs or Firvolgians, who were also Scythians, divided Ireland amongst the five sons of their leader Dela Mac Loich: "Slainge [slane] was he by whom Teamor (or Tara) was first raised." (Four Masters). One hundred and fifty Monarchs reigned in Tara from that period until its abandonment in the reign of Diarmod, son of Fergus Cearrbheoil, who was the 133rd Monarch of Ireland, and King of Meath. The Firvolgians ruled over Connaught down to the third century, when King Cormac Mac Art, the 115th Monarch of Ireland, attacked and defeated the forces of Aodh or Hugh, son of Garadh, King of Connaught, who was the last King of the Firbolg race in Ireland; and the sovereignty of Connaught was then transferred to the Milesians of the race of Heremon—descendants of King Cormac Mac Art. The Firbolg race never after acquired any authority in Ireland, being reduced to the ranks of farmers and peasants; but they were still very numerous, and to this day a great many of the peasantry, particularly in Connaught, are considered to be of Firbolg origin.

5. The Tuatha de Danans, also of the Scythian family, invaded Ireland thirty-six years after the plantation by the Firbolgs. According to some annalists, they came originally from Persia, and to others, from Greece; and were located chiefly at Tara in Meath, at Croaghan in Connaught, and at Aileach in Donegal. The Danans being highly skilled in the arts, the Round Towers of Ireland are supposed to have been built by them. The light, gay, joyous element of the Irish character may be traced to them. They were a brave and high-spirited race, and famous for their skill in what was then termed Magic: hence, in after ages, this wonderful people were considered to have continued to live in hills or raths, as the "good people" long so commonly believed in as fairies, in Ireland. But their "magic" consisted in the exercise of the mechanical arts, of which those who had previously invaded Ireland were then ignorant. It is a remarkable fact, that weapons of warfare found in the carns or gravemounds of the Firbolgs are of an inferior kind to those found in the carns of the Tuatha-de-Danans: a proof of the superior intelligence of the latter over the former people. The inventor of the Ogham [owam] Alphabet (ogham: Irish, "an occult manner of writing used by the ancient Irish") was Ogma, father of one of the Tuatha-de-Danan Kings. In McCartin's Irish Grammar it is stated that there were no less than thirty-five different modes of writing the Ogham, which has hitherto defied the power of modern science to unravel its mysteries. But the truth of our ancient history is strangely confirmed by the fact that the letters of this Alphabet are all denominated by the names of trees and shrubs indigenous to Ireland! According to the "Book of Leinster," it was "Cet Cuimnig, King of Munster, of the royal line of Heber, that was the first that inscribed Ozam[or Ogham] memorials in Erinn." This extract gives a clue to the period when Ogham stones were first erected, and why the most of them are to be found in the Province of Munster; for, according to the Septuagint system of chronology, that King of Munster reigned about the year 1257 before the birth of Christ!

6. The Milesians invaded Ireland one hundred and ninety-seven years later than the Tuatha de Danans; and were called Clan-na-Mile [meel], signifying the descendants of Milesius of Spain.

7. The Cruthneans or Picts were also Scythians, and, according to our ancient historians, came from Thrace soon after the arrival of the Milesians; but, not being permitted by the Milesians to remain in Ireland, they sailed to Scotland and became the possessors of that country, but tributary to the Monarchs of Ireland. In after ages colonies of them came over and settled in Ulster; they were located chiefly in the territories which now form the counties of Down, Antrim, and Derry.

8. The Danes and Norwegians (or Scandinavians), a Teutonic race of Scythian origin, came to Ireland in great numbers, in the ninth and tenth centuries, and were located chiefly in Leinster and Munster, in many places along the sea-coast: their strongholds being the towns of Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick.

9. The Anglo-Normans came to Ireland in the twelfth century, and possessed themselves of a great part of the country, under their chief leader, Richard de Clare, who was also named Strongbow. They were a Teutonic race, descended from the Normans of France, who were a mixture of Norwegians, Danes, and French, and who conquered England in the eleventh century. The English invasion of Ireland was accomplished ostensibly through the agency of Dermod MacMorough, King of Leinster; on account of his having been driven from his country by the Irish Monarch for the abduction of the wife of Tiernan O'Ruarc, Prince of Breffni. For that act, Roderick O'Connor, the Monarch of Ireland, invaded the territory of Dermod,A.D. 1167, and put him to flight. King Dermod was obliged, after many defeats, to leave Ireland, in 1167; throw himself at the feet of King Henry the Second, and crave his assistance, offering to become his liegeman. Henry, on receiving Dermod's oath of allegiance, granted by letters patent a general license to all his English subjects to aid King Dermod in the recovery of his Kingdom. Dermod then engaged in his cause Richard de Clare or Strongbow, to whom he afterwards gave his daughter Eva, in marriage; and through his influence an army was raised, headed by Robert Fitzstephen, Myler Fitzhenry, Harvey de Monte Marisco, Maurice Prendergast, Maurice Fitzgerald, and others; with which, in May, 1168, he landed in Bannow-bay, near Wexford, which they reduced, together with the adjoining counties—all in the kingdom of Leinster. In 1171, Earl Strongbow landed at Waterford with a large body of followers and took possession of that city. He then joined King Dermod's forces, marched for Dublin, entered the city, and made himself master.

King Dermod died in his castle at Ferns, county Wexford, A.D. 1175, about the 65th year of his age. Of him Holingshed says—"He was a man of tall stature and of a large and great body, a valiant and bold warrior in his nation. From his continued shouting, his voice was hoarse; he rather chose to be feared than to be loved, and was a great oppressor of his nobility. To his own people he was rough and grievous, and hateful unto strangers; his hand was against all men, and all men against him."

10. The Anglo-Saxons or English, also a Tuetonic race, came from the twelfth to the eighteenth century. The Britons or Welsh came in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. These English colonies were located chiefly in Leinster, but also in great numbers in Munster and Connaught, and partly in Ulster.

11. The Scots, who were chiefly Celts of Irish descent, came in great numbers from the tenth to the sixteenth century, and settled in Ulster, mostly in Antrim, Down, and Derry; but, on the Plantation of Ulster with British colonies, in the seventeenth century, the new settlers in that province were chiefly Scotch, who were a mixture of Celts and Saxons. Thus the seven first colonies that settled in Ireland were a mixture of Scythians, Gaels, and Phoenicians; but the four last were mostly Teutons, though mixed with Celts; and a compound of all these races, in which Celtic blood is predominant, forms the present population of Ireland.

[4] Briottan Maol: See No. 19 on "The Pedigree of St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland," Part I., c. vi., p. 43.

[5] Monarchy: Mac Firbis shows that Ireland was a Monarchy, before and after Christ, for a period of 4,149 (four thousand, one hundred and forty-nine) years!

[6] A.D. 1186: It was, no doubt, in that year, that, weary of the world and its troubles, Roderick O'Connor, the 183rd Monarch of Ireland, retired to a Monastery, where he died, A.D. 1198. But, see No. 184 on the "Roll of the Monarchs of Ireland since the Milesian Conquest," and the Note "Brian O'Neill," in connection with that Number.

[7] Shields: This shows the great antiquity of Gaelic Heraldry.

[8] Eire: Ancient Irish historians assert that this Queen was granddaughter of Ogma, who (see ante, page 47, in Note No. 5, under "Tuatha de Danans,") invented the Ogham, Alphabet; and that it is after that Queen, that Ireland is always personated by a Female figure!

[9] Aileach Neid: This name may be derived from the Irish aileach, a stone horse or stallion, or aileachta, jewels; and Neid, the Mars of the Pagan Irish. In its time it was one of the most important fortresses in Ireland.

[10] Inis-Fail: Thomas Moore, in his Irish Melodies, commemorates this circumstance in the "Song of Inisfail":

They came from a land beyond the sea

And now o'er the western main

Set sail, in their good ships, gallantly,

From the sunny land of Spain.

"Oh, where's the isle we've seen in dreams,

Our destined home or grave?"

Thus sang they, as by the morning's beams,

They swept the Atlantic wave.

And lo! where afar o'er ocean shines

A spark of radiant green,

As though in that deep lay emerald mines,

Whose light through the wave was seen.

" 'Tis Innisfail—'tis Innisfail!"

Rings o'er the echoing sea;

While, bending to heaven, the warriors hail

That home of the brave and free.

Then turned they unto the Eastern wave,

Where now their Day-god's eye

A look of such sunny omen gave

As lighted up sea and sky.

Nor frown was seen through sky or sea,

Nor tear o'er leaf or sod,

When first on their Isle of Destiny

Our great forefathers trod.

[11] Three: We make the number to be 184: see p. 62, infra.