Finn mac Cumhail, Fionn mac Cumhail,
or Finn MacCoolall: fĭn məko͞ol´ [key]
, semimythical Irish hero. His exploits are recorded in long narrative poems by Ossian
and in many ballads, called Fenian ballads after the Fenians, or Fianna, professional fighters whom Finn was said to have headed in the 3d cent. Certain tales involve such events as Finn's pursuit of the lovers Diarmuid and Grania, who was Finn's wife. The stories of Finn inspired the Fingal
of James Macpherson
and played an important part in the Irish literary renaissance
See Duanaire Finn: The Book of the Lays of Fionn, ed. and tr. by E. MacNeill (3 vol., 1908–53).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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