16. The Violation of the Agreement

By Mythopedia Staff
Translated by Joseph Dunn1914

Then were five men sent against Cuchulain on the morrow to contend with him and he killed them, so that they fell by his hand, and ‘the Five of Cenn Cursighi’ was their name. Then it was that Medb despatched six men at one and the same time to attack Cuchulain, to wit: Traig (‘Foot’) and Dorn (‘Fist’) and Dernu (‘Palm’), Col (‘Sin’) and Accuis (‘Curse’) and Eraisè (‘Heresy’), three druid-men and three druid-women, their three wives.. Cuchulain attacked them, the six of them, and struck off their six heads, so that they fell at his hands on this side of Ath Tire Moire (‘Big Land’s Ford’) at Methè and Cethè.

Then it was that Fergus demanded of his sureties that fair-dealing should not be broken with Cuchulain. And it was there that Cuchulain was at that time, that is, at Delga Murthemni. Then Cuchulain killed Fota in his field, Bomailcè on his ford, Salach in his homestead, Muinè in his fort, Luar in Lethbera, Fertoithle in Toithle. These are the names of these lands forever, every place in which each man of them fell.

Forasmuch as covenant and terms of single combat had been broken with Cuchulain, Cuchulain took his sling in hand that day and began to shoot at the host from Delga (‘the Little Dart’) in the south, in Murthemne. Though numerous were the men of Erin on that day, not one of them durst turn his face southwards towards Cuchulain, towards the side where he was between Delga and the sea, whether dog, or horse, or man. So that he slew an hundred warriors till came the bright hour of sunrise on the morrow.

Táin Bó Cúailnge
English translation by Joseph Dunn (1914)
Cover: Táin Bó Cúailnge trans. Joseph Dunn (1914)