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Cormac mac Airt [Cormac ua Cuinn, called Cormac Ulfhota] (supp. 196/7–267), legendary king and sage, features prominently in early Irish tradition. According to the annals of the four masters, he became king of Tara in the year 227 and reigned until 266. However, Irish annalistic records at such an early period are not to be taken as historically authentic, and it is likely that ...

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Dubthach maccu Lugair (supp. fl. 432), poet, was said in the seventh century to have been chief poet of the men of Ireland in the reign of Lóegaire mac Néill, high-king of Ireland, at the time of Patrick's arrival there, traditionally dated to 432. He is a figure of dubious historicity but major ideological importance. In a range of texts from the late seventh century onwards ...

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Eadwine [St Eadwine, Edwin] (c. 586–633), king of Northumbria, was the son of Ælla, king of Deira, and the fifth of the seven overkings named by Bede. His life, as recorded in vivid and detailed anecdotes by both Bede and the author of the ...

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Lóegaire mac Néill (fl. 5th cent.), high-king of Ireland, was a son of Níall Noígíallach, ancestor of the Uí Néill dynasties. He is associated with three elements of Irish mythology: the arrival of Patrick, the cattle tribute (or bóroma), and the Feast of Tara. His reign was dated by the seventh-century hagiographer ...

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Oisín [Ossian] (supp. fl. 3rd–5th cent.), legendary hero, was the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill in the Fenian or Ossianic cycle of tales and lays that belongs to the Gaelic literary and oral traditions of Ireland and Scotland. He was assigned a floruit in the third century ad by medieval Irish scholars whose chronology of events connected with the pseudo-historical ...

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Oswald [St Oswald] (603/4–642), king of Northumbria, was the second son of Æthelfrith (d. c. 616), king of Bernicia and later of the Northumbrians, and his wife, Acha, the daughter of Ælla, king of Deira.

Following Æthelfrith's death in battle against Acha's brother ...