(that of Perseus and Andromeda) is told of the Ultonian hero, Cuchulain, in the Wooing of Emer, a tale which occurs in the Book of Leinster, a MS. of the twelfth century, and was probably copied from one of the eighth. Unfortunately it is not complete, and the Sea-Maiden incident is only to be found in a British Museum MS. of about 1300. In this Cuchulain finds that the daughter of Ruad is to be given as a tribute to the Fomori, who, according to Prof. Rhys, Folk-Lore, ii. 293, have something of the nightmare about their etymology. Cuchulain fights three of them successively, has his wounds bound up by a strip of the maiden's garment, and then departs. Thereafter many boasted of having slain the Fomori, but the maiden believed them not till at last by a stratagem she recognises Cuchulain. I may add to this that in Mr. Curtin's Myths, 330, the threefold trial of the sword is told of Cuchulain. This would seem to trace our story back to the seventh or eighth century and certainly to the thirteenth. If so, it is likely enough that it spread from Ireland through Europe with the Irish missions (for the wide extent of which see map in Mrs. Bryant's Celtic Ireland). The very letters that have spread through all Europe except Russia, are to be traced to the script of these Irish monks: why not certain folk-tales? There is a further question whether the story was originally told of Cuchulain as a hero-tale and then became departicularised as a folk-tale, or was the process vice versâ. Certainly in the form in which it appears in the Tochmarc Emer it is not complete, so that here, as elsewhere, we seem to have an instance of a folk-tale applied to a well-known heroic name, and becoming a hero-tale or saga.
XVIII. LEGEND OF KNOCKMANY.
Source.—W. Carleton, Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry.
Parallels.—Kennedy's "Fion MacCuil and the Scotch Giant," Legend. Fict., 203–5.
Remarks.—Though the venerable names of Finn and Cucullin (Cuchulain) are attached to the heroes of this story, this is probably only to give an extrinsic interest to it. The two heroes could not have come together in any early form of their sagas, since Cuchulain's reputed date is of the first, Finn's of the third century A.D. (cf. however, MacDougall's Tales, notes, 272). Besides, the grotesque form of the legend is enough to remove it from the region of the hero-tale. On the other hand, there is a distinct reference to Finn's wisdom-tooth, which presaged the future to him (on this see Revue Celtique, v. 201, Joyce, Old Celt. Rom., 434–5, and MacDougall, l.c. 274).