Presentation on theme: "The Europe of Myth and Legend: Ireland – Myth 1 The stories of the Fianna tell us about heroes of ancient Ireland. These stories were told around the."— Presentation transcript:
The Europe of Myth and Legend: Ireland – Myth 1
The stories of the Fianna tell us about heroes of ancient Ireland. These stories were told around the fireside and passed down from one generation to the next. From these stories or legends we learn about early settlers called the Celts who lived in Ireland.
Fionn Mac Cumhail (pron: Fyun MacCool) was only a young boy when his father was killed in battle. His mother sent him to be reared by two wise women who lived in the woods in the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Laois.
The wise women taught him how to hunt wild animals in the forest. They also taught him how to protect himself with a shield and how to use a spear and sword. They taught him most of the things he needed to know in order to become leader of the Fianna.
Fionn grew strong and brave and he was very good at many sports. However, he also needed to know twelve books of poetry. So the wise women decided to send Fionn to a famous poet called Finnegus to learn poetry.
Fionn left his home in the mountains and went to live with Finnegus. The poet lived beside the River Boyne in County Meath. Here, Fionn learned much wisdom and was taught many poems and stories. He also learned how to write poems.
Finnegus had spent seven years trying to catch the Salmon of Knowledge in the River Boyne. It was said that the first person to taste this fish would have the gift of knowledge and would be wiser than any other person
Early one morning, Finnegus caught a large salmon. It was beautiful and shone like silver. He knew it must be the Salmon of Knowledge. He brought the fish to Fionn and asked him to cook it.
Finnegus told Fionn to light a fire and to roast the salmon over it. He warned Fionn not to eat any of the fish because he knew that the first person to taste the magic fish would be given the gift of great knowledge.
As the fish was cooking, Fionn noticed a big blister on its skin. He burst the blister with his thumb. The fish was very hot and some of its skin stuck to Fionn’s thumb.
The hot skin burned his thumb. Fionn then put his thumb into his mouth to try to ease the pain. He forgot about the warning of Finnegus.
Fionn brought the salmon to Finnegus when it was fully cooked. When Finnegus looked into Fionn’s eyes, he immediately knew that Fionn had received the gift of wisdom and knowledge from the fish.
‘You have tasted the salmon of knowledge’ said Finnegus, ‘I can see it in your eyes. I have waited for years to catch this salmon and to be the first person to taste it.’ ‘I only put my thumb into my mouth because I burnt it and I wanted to take the pain away’, said Fionn. ‘I am very, very sorry.’
Finnegus was sad but he forgave Fionn because he knew Fionn did not disobey him on purpose. ‘You now have the gift of knowledge and you will be able to foretell the future every time you put your thumb in your mouth,’ he said to Fionn.
Fionn was now a wise, brave warrior. Soon afterwards, he left Finnegus and was chosen as leader of the Fianna