Kings & Queens

Conn Céad Cathach

c.3rd Century A.D.

Name: Conn of the Hundred Battles/Conn Cead Cathach/Cétchathach/Conn the Hundred Fighter

Race: Celtic

Profession: Warrior and High King

Father: Óenlám Gaba

Mother: Medb Lethderg (possibly a goddess of sovereignty)

Grand-Mother: Feidlimid Rechtaide

Grandfather: Tuathal Techtmar

Great-Grandfather: Feradach Findfechtnach

Great-Great-Grandfather: Crimthann Nia Nair

Uncle: Cumall 

Wives: Eithne Tháebfhota (in some accounts consort to Cormac mac Airt) 

:: Bé Chuma of the Sidhe

Sons: Art Mac Cuinn :: Connla

Daughters: Sarait (mother of three Cairbres)

Grandson: Cormac Mac Airt

Warriors: The warriors most often associated with Conn are the Fianna

Druids: Mael or Corán/Corann :: Cromdes

Associated Deities: Medb

Associated Sites: Tara :: The Hill of Uisnech

Associated Totems: Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny)

Allies: Fionn Mac Cumhaill :: The Fianna

Enemies: Dál nAraide (Cruithne or Picts living in North Eastern Ireland) :: Eógan Mór/Mug Nuadat

 

Conn of the hundred battles is a legendary king of Irish pre-history.  The compilers of the Annals placed him as living and ruling in the 3rd century A.D.  The famous Lia Fail or stone of Destiny brought to Ireland by the Tuatha De Danann cried out under him and allowed him to see how many of his lineage would rule at Tara up until the coming of Patrick of Armagh.  

 

One of his ancestors was the legendary Goidel Glas who created the gaelic language from an amalgamation of seventy two known languages under the instruction of Fenius Farsaid.  Therefore the Goidels of Connaught were named after him and modern Gaels and gaelic speakers can all claim an association with him.

 

Tuathal Techtmar was Conn's grandfather and it was claimed he created the province of Mide from portions of the other territories of Leinster, Ulster, Connacht and Munster, but this may be just a way of saying he conquered land from various tribes already existing in Ireland and also that Tuathal Techtmar was a foreign interloper.

 

Conn of the hundred battles seized power from Cathair Mór a legendary king of Leinster, whose daughter was Eithne Tháebfhota.  He had to be ever vigilant in guarding his territories at Tara lest they be seized by the Fomorians or the Tuatha De Danann.  In his early career he is described at being almost constantly at war with the Dál nAraide of North Eastern Ireland (considered to be Cruithne/Picts by the surrounding tribes).  Because of these 'wars' he earns the name Conn the Battler or Conn of the Hundred Battles.

 

He allies himself with the Fianna an allied force with members from many tribes who pledge themselves to keep Ireland free of invaders.  His greatest rival is Eógan Mór also known as Mug Nuadhat of Munster with whom he makes a division of Ireland.  The division is made along a ridge known as the Eiscir Riada running across Ireland from Dublin to Galway Bay.  Conn's territory to the north is called Leth Cuinn, while the portion belonging to Munster is called Leth Moga Nuadhat.

 

Conn defeats Eógan Mór and exiles him for a while however he returns to fight again and is defeated at the battle of Mag Léna (near Tullamore, Co. Offaly).  Conn is described as having being slain by thirty Ulstermen who disguised themselves as women and took him by surprise, under the leadership of Tiobraide Tíreach.

 

Stories, Myths and Legends Associated with Conn

Baile in Scail - The Phantom's Frenzy (summary)

Echtrae Airt Meic Cuinn - The Adventures of Art mac Conn

Echtrae Conli - The Adventures of Connla

The Yew of the Disputing Sons

Dindsenchas Temair -Tara

Cormac Mac Art in Faery

The Cause of the Battle of Cnucha

The Hidden House of Lugh

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