The Celtic Literature Collective

The Death of Cormac mac Airt
from the Annals of the Four Masters

In the year 266 in the age of Christ:

Forty years was Cormac, son of Art, son of Conn, in the sovereignty of Ireland, when he died at Cleiteach, the bone of a salmon sticking in his throat, on account of the siabhradh genii which Maelgenn, the Druid, incited at him, after Cormac had turned against the Druids, on account of his adoration of God in preference to them. Wherefore a devil attacked him, at the instigation of the Druids, and gave him a painful death. It was Cormac who composed Teagusc Na Righ, to preserve manners, morals, and government in the kingdom. He was a famous author in laws, synchronisms, and history, for it was he that established law, rule, and direction for each science, and for each covenant according to propriety; and it is his laws that governed all that adhered to them to the present time.

It was this Cormac, son of Art, also, that collected the Chroniclers of Ireland to Teamhair, and ordered them to write the chronicles of Ireland in one book, which was named the Psalter of Teamhair. In that book were entered the coeval exploits and synchronisms of the kings of Ireland with the kings and emperors of the world, and of the kings of the provinces with the monarchs of Ireland. In it was also written what the monarchs of Ireland were entitled to receive from the provincial kings, and the rents and dues of the provincial kings from their subjects, from the noble to the subaltern. In it also were described the boundaries and meares of Ireland, from shore to shore, from the province to the cantred, from the cantred to the townland, and from the townland to the traighidh of land. These things are celebrated in Leabhar Na nUidhri. They are evident in the Leabhar Dinnsenchusa.