Cultúr Ársa na nGael don 21ú hAois
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Féinius Farsaidh - Sinsear na nGael  /  Féinius Farsaidh - Ancestor of the Gaeil

Féinius Farsaidh - Sinsear na nGael / Féinius Farsaidh - Ancestor of the Gaeil

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As told by Seathrún Céitinn in the 17th Century, this is the ancient story of Féinius Farsaidh - claimed in our early Christian tradition as a scholar, king, and ancestor of the Gaeil. This story is presented in Céitinn's original Irish, in Modern Irish, and in English translation in tri-language format, i.e., side by side by side for easy comparison, learning, and translation.

Format:  tri-language (side by side by side)

Length:  approximately 765 words per language, 2300 words in total, on 5 pages

Here is the beginning of the English translation of this story presented in 17th century Irish, Modern Irish, and English:


Centuries ago, our Christian ancestors had a tradition that the Féine (i.e., the Gaeil) descended from Féinius Farsaidh, king of Scythia.  We know from the early history of Europe that the Celts and Scythians were separate peoples, with different religions and different languages.  Therefore, this story doesn’t make sense that a Gael was a king of Scythia.  We don’t know whether Féinius was an actual human being, or a character of saga-telling, or an ancestor-god from our pre-Christian myth.  The only thing that’s certain from this story is that the Gaeil had great respect for learning and education.  Here for you on the pages which follow is the story as Seathrún Céitinn wrote it down in the 17th century in Foras Feasa ar Éirinn (A Foundation of Knowledge on Ireland), called ‘The History of Ireland’ in English.

The translation by Father Pádraig Ua Duinnín at the beginning of the 20th century:

 When Feinius Farsaidh became king of Scythia, he determined to become perfectly acquainted with the various languages which had sprung up after the confusion of tongues that had taken place long before at the tower of Babel, which was being erected through pride for the space of forty years by Nimrod and his followers. For before that confusion of tongues took place at the tower, the entire human race had but one common language which had existed amongst them from the time of Adam. And the name the Book of Invasions gives this language is Gortighern ...

Download this tri-language article to get the whole story! 

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