Féinius Farsaidh – Sinsear na nGael  /  Féinius Farsaidh – Ancestor of the Irish

 

Réamhrá

 

Céadta ó shin, bhí traidisiún ag ár sinsir Chríostaí go dtagann na Féine (.i., na Gaeil), anuas ó Fhéinius Farsaidh, rí na Scitia.  Tá a fhios againn ó luath-stair na hEorpa agus na hÁise gur dhaoine ar leith iad na Ceiltigh ársa agus na Scitiaigh, le creidimh éagsúla agus teangacha éagsúla.  De bhrí sin, ní dhéanann an scéal seo ciall ar bith go raibh Gael ina rí ar an Scitia.  I bhfocail eile, tá a fhios againn gur ficsean é seo. 

 

Ach tá a fhios againn freisin go raibh Féinius an-tábhachtach inár luath-thraidisiún.  Go bhfios dúinn, tugtar ‘Féineachas’ ar dhlí na nGael inár dteanga féin chomh fada siar agus a bhí Féineachas ann, agus is léir gur thugamar ‘Féine’ orainn féin insan dtréimhse réamh-Chríostaí roimh gur ghlacamar an t-ainm ‘Gaeil’.  Ach níl a fhios againn cad a bhí i bhFéinius ar dtús.  Sinsear-dhia as ár miotas réamh-Chríostaí?  Carachtar as ár bhfinscéalaíocht?  Fíor-dhuine daonna a shiúl ar an domhain?  Níl a fhios againn, agus ní thugann an scéal seo aon chabhair dúinn chun fáil amach????.  An rud amháin atá dearfa ón scéal seo ná go raibh meas mór ag na Gaeil do fhoghlaim agus d'oideachas, mar Ceiltigh eile go léir.   

 

Seo daoibh an scéal mar ar scríobh Seathrún Céitinn síos é sa 17úh haois i bhForas Feasa ar Éirinn air a dtugtar ‘The History of Ireland’ i Sacsbhéarla.

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Centuries ago, our Christian ancestors had a tradition that the Féine (i.e., the Gaeil) descended from Féinius Farsaidh, king of Scythia.  We know from the early history of Europe and Asia that the ancient Celts and Scythians were separate peoples, with different religions and different languages.  Therefore, this story doesn’t make any sense that a Gael was a king of Scythia.  In other words, we know this is fiction. 

 

But we also know that Féinius was very important in our early tradition.  As far as we know ‘Brehon Law’ has been called Féineachas in our own language as far back as Féineachas has existed, and it’s apparent that we called ourselves ‘Féine’ in the pre-Christian period before we called ourselves ‘Gaeil’.  But we don’t know what Féinius was in the beginning.  An ancestor-god from our pre-Christian myth?  A character from our saga-telling?  A real human who walked the earth?  We don’t know, and this story doesn’t give us any help to find out.  The only thing that’s certain from this story is that the Gaeil had great respect for learning and education, like all other Celts. 

 

Here is the story as Seathrún Céitinn wrote it down in the 17th century in Foras Feasa ar Éirinn (A Foundation of Knowledge on Ireland), called ‘The History of Ireland’ in English. 

 

 

 

Breacta síos ag Seaṫrún Céitinn ca. 1633-1634 i bh”Foras Feasa ar Éirinn”, agus eagarṫa ag an Aṫair Pádraig Ua Duinnín:

 

Ar mbeiṫ d'Ḟéinius Farsaiḋ 'n-a ríġ ar an Scitia do ṁeas ḃeiṫ go rói-eolaċ sna hilḃéarlaiḃ tar éis an ċoiṁṁeascṫa tárla cian roiṁe sin ar na teangṫaiḃ ag tor na Baibiolóine do ḃí dá ṫógḃáil tré uaḃar ré ré dá ḟiċid bliaḋan ag Nemroṫ go n-a ranntaiḃ. Óir sul táinig an coiṁṁeascaḋ soin ar na teangṫaiḃ ag an tor, is aoin teanga aṁáin ċoitċeann do ḃí ag na daoiniḃ uile do ḃí ar marṫain aca ó Áḋaṁ anuas. Agus is é ainm ġairmeas an Leaḃar Gaḃála ḋi Goirtiġern, aṁail adeir an file:

 

 

Gortiġern ainm an ḃéarla
Do ḃí ag mac Dé deaġeargna,
Agus ag síol Áḋaiṁ uair,
Ré gcuṁdaċ an tuir Neaṁruaiḋ.

 

Agus is é ainm ġairmid uġdair na Laidne ḋi lingua humana .i. an teanga ḋaonna. Giḋeaḋ ar mbeiṫ ag tógḃáil an tuir do Nemroṫ go n-a ḃráiṫriḃ mar ṫáinig coiṁṁeascaḋ ar a dteangṫaiḃ da dtoirmeasc ó ċríoċnuġaḋ an tuir do tionnscnaḋ leo tré uaḃar, do beanaḋ an teanga ḋaonna fuaradar ó Áḋaṁ ḋíoḃ, an líon do ḃádar ag tógḃáil an tuir. Giḋeaḋ do an sí ag Éiḃear mac Sáile agus ag a ṫreiḃ ionnus gur hainmniġeaḋ uaiḋ í; mar go dtugadar Eaḃra uirre ó Éiḃear....

 

... Is é aḋḃar iomorro is mó fá ndeaċaiḋ Féinius Farsaiḋ go Maiġ Seanáir mar aon ré n-a scoil mar ċeannaċ ar ḃeiṫ i ḃfoċair na druinge dar ṫeanga ḋíleas an Eaḃra, ionnus go dtiocfaḋ ḋe sin fíreolas forusta do ḃeiṫ aige féin is ag a scoil san teangaiḋ Eaḃra.

 

Dála Féiniusa, ar mbeiṫ do rún aige ḃeiṫ eolaċ sna hilḃéarlaiḃ, aṁail a duḃramar, cuiris dá ḋeisciobal déag is trí fiċid ar a ċostas féin fá ċríoċaiḃ éagsaṁla na dtrí rann-so don doṁan do ḃí ar áitiuġaḋ an tan soin; agus tug orra anṁain amuiġ seaċt mbliaḋna go ḃfoġlamaḋ gaċ aon díoḃ teanga na críċe 'n-a mbiaḋ féin an feaḋ soin. Agus i gcionn seaċt mbliaḋan tillid tar a n-ais go Féinius don Scitia; agus téid Féinius leo go Maiġ Seanáir mar aon ré hiomad d'ógaiḃ na Scitia iar ḃfágḃáil an ṁic fá sine aige .i. Neanúl i gceannas na Scitia ...

 

... Cuiris Féinius scola 'n-a suiḋe ré múnaḋ na n-ilḃéarlaḋ ar Maiġ Seanáir san gcaṫraiġ da ngairmeann Cin Droma Sneaċta Eaṫéna, aṁail adeir an file san rann-so síos:

 

I Maiġ Seanáir, iars an dtor,
Ro tionóileaḋ an ċéadscol,
I gcaṫair Eaṫéna,
Do ḟoġluim na n-ilḃéarla.

 

Agus tionóilid aos óg na gcríoċ do b'ḟoigse ḋóiḃ d'ḟoġluim na n-ilḃéarlaḋ uaṫa; agus is iad trí saoiṫe do ḃí i n-airdċeannas na scoile sin Féinius Farsaiḋ féin ón Scitia, is Gaeḋeal mac Eaṫóir do ṡlioċt Gomer ón n-Gréig, is Caoi Caoinḃreaṫaċ ón Iudea,...

 

 

... Is iad an triar-so do scríoḃ i gcranntáiḃliḃ aibġitre na dtrí bpríṁḃéarlaḋ, mar atá Eaḃra Gréigis is Laidean, do réir mar ċuireas Ceannfaolaiḋ na foġluma síos é san Uraiċeapt do scríoḃ sé i n-aimsir Ċoluim Ċille...

 

... Adeir fós gurab fán am soin rugaḋ Niúl .i. mac tánaiste Féiniusa Farsaiḋ, is gur ḟuiriġ an Féinius céadna fiċe bliaḋan ós cionn na scoile mar ċeannaċ ar an mac soin rugaḋ dó do ḃeiṫ eolaċ sna hilḃéarlaiḃ...

 

... Aċt ċeana i gcionn ḟiċead bliaḋan tig Féinius tar a ais don Scitia is cuiris scola 'n-a suiḋe innte is do rinne taoiseaċ do Ġaeḋeal mac Eaṫóir ós a gcionn. Is ann sin tug Féinius fá deara ar Ġaeḋeal an Ġaeḋealg do ċur i n-eagar is i n-orduġaḋ do réir mar atá sí 'n-a cúig codċaiḃ, mar atá Béarla na Féine, Béarla na ḃFileaḋ, Béarla an Eadarscarṫa, Béarla Teibiḋe is Gnáiṫḃéarla; agus a hainmniuġaḋ go cinnte uaiḋ féin, da réir sin gonaḋ ó Ġaeḋeal mac Eaṫóir ġairmṫear Gaeḋealg di agus naċ ó Ġaeḋeal Ġlas, aṁail adeirid drong oile; agus fós is tré ḃáiḋ ré Gaeḋeal mac Eaṫóir tug Niúl mac Féiniusa Farsaiḋ Gaeḋeal ar a ṁac féin rug Scota inġean Ṗarao Cincris dó, aṁail adeir Ceannfaolaiḋ na Foġluma san Uraiċeapt.

 

 

 

 

Mo leagan i Nua-Ghaeilge: / My version in Modern Irish:

(working with the modern forms of Céitinn’s language as much as possible)

 

Ar mbeith d'Fhéinius Farsaidh 'n-a rí ar an Scitia do mheas sé a bheith go foirfe-eolach sna hilbhéarlaí a éirigh tar éis an choimhmheasctha a tharla cian roimhe sin ar na teangacha ag tor na Baibiolóine a bhí á thógáil trí uabhar le linn dhá fhichid bliain ag Nemroth lena lucht leanúna.  Mar, sula dtáinig an coimhmheascadh sin ar na teangacha ag an dtor, is aon teanga amháin choiteann a bhí ag na daoine uile a bhí ar marthain ó Ádhamh anuas.  Agus is é ainm a ngairmeann an Leabhar Gabhála dhi Goirtighern, amhail adeir an file:

 

 

Gortighern ainm an bhéarla
Do bhí ag mac Dé dea-eolaíochta,
Agus ag síol Ádhaimh uair,
Roimh chumhdach an tuir Neamhruaidh.

 

Agus is é ainm a ngairmeann údair na Laidne dhi lingua humana .i. an teanga dhaonna.  Gidh ar mbeith ag tógáil an tuir do Nemroth lena bhráithre mar tháinig coimhmheascadh ar a dteangacha dá dtoirmeasc ó chríochnú an tuir a tionnscnadh leo trí uabhar, baineadh an teanga dhaonna a fuaradar ó Ádhamh dhíobh, an líon a bhí ag tógáil an tuir. Gidh d'fhan sí ag Éibhear mac Sáile agus ag a threibh ionas gur hainmníodh uaidh í; mar go dtugadar Eabhra uirthi ó Éibhear ....

 

 

... Is é ábhar is mó go ndeachaidh Féinius Farsaidh go Maigh Seanáir mar aon lena scoil mar cheannach ar bheith i bhfochair na druinge dar theanga dhíleas an Eabhra, ionas go dtiocfadh dhe sin fíor-eolas fúrasta a bheith aige féin is ag a scoil sa teanga Eabhra.

 

Dála Féiniusa, ar mbeith do rún aige a bheith eolach sna hilbhéarlaí, amhail a dúramar, chuir sé dhá dheisciobal déag is trí fichid ar a chostas féin fá chríocha éagsúla na dtrí mhór-ranna an domhain a bhí ar áitiú an t-am sin; agus thug orthu fanúint amuigh seacht mbliana go bhfoghlaimeodh gach aon díobh teanga na críche 'n-a mbíodh féin an feadh sin. Agus i gcionn seacht mbliain d'fhill siad ar ais go Féinius insan Scitia; agus chuaigh Féinius leo go Maigh Seanáir mar aon le hiomad d'ógra na Scitia iar bhfágáil an mhic fá sine aige .i. Neanúl i gceannas na Scitia ... 

 

 

...  Chuir Féinius scoileanna ina suí chun na hilbhéarlaí a mhúineadh ar Mhaigh Seanáir san gcathrach dá ngairmeann Cin Droma Sneachta Eathéna, amhail adeir an file san rann-so thíos:

 

I Maigh Seanáir, iar an tuir,
tionóileadh an chéadscoil,
I gcathair Eathéna,
Do fhoghlaim na n-ilbhéarlaí.

 

Agus tionóileadh aos óg na gcríoch do b'fhogas dhóibh d'fhoghlaim na n-ilbhéarlaí uatha; agus is iad trí shaoi a bhí i n-airdcheannas na scoile sin Féinius Farsaidh féin ón Scitia, is Gaedheal mac Eathóir de shliocht Gomer ón n-Gréig, is Caoi Caoinbhreathach ón Iudea,...

 

 

... Is iad an triúr-so a scríobh i gcranntáibhlí aibítrí na dtrí bpríomhbhéarlaí, mar atá Eabhra Gréigis is Laidean, do réir mar chuir Ceannfaolaidh na Foghluma síos é san Uraicheapt ar scríobh sé i n-aimsir Choluim Chille. ..

 

...  Adeir fós gurab fán am sin rugadh Niúl .i. mac tánaiste Féiniusa Farsaidh, is gur lean an Féinius céana fiche bliain ós cionn na scoile mar cheannach ar an mac sin a rugadh dó a bheith eolach sna hilbhéarlaí...

 

 

 

... Ach cheana i gcionn fhiche bliain tháinig Féinius ar ais don Scitia is chuir scoileannla ina suí inte is rinnedh taoiseach de Ghaedheal mac Eathóir ós a gcionn.  Is ansin thug Féinius fá deara ar Ghaedheal an Ghaeilge a chur i n-eagar is i n-ordú de réir mar atá sí ina cúig chuid, mar atá Béarla na Féine, Béarla na bhFileadh, Béarla an Eadarscartha, Béarla Teibí is Gnáithbhéarla; agus a hainmníodh go cinnte uaidh féin, de réir sin go mba ó Ghaedheal mac Eathóir a ngairmtear Gaeilge di agus nach ó Ghaedheal Ghlas, amhail adeirid drong eile; agus fós is trí bhá le Gaedheal mac Eathóir thug Niúl mac Féiniusa Farsaidh Gaedheal ar a mhac féin ar rug Scota iníon Pharao Cincris dó, amhail adeir Ceannfaolaidh na Foghluma san Uraicheapt.

 

 

 

The translation by Father Pádraig Ua Duinnín at the beginning of the 20th century:

 

 

When Feinius Farsaidh became king of Scythia, he determined to become perfectly acquainted with the various languages which had sprung up after the confusion of tongues that had taken place long before at the tower of Babel, which was being erected through pride for the space of forty years by Nimrod and his followers. For before that confusion of tongues took place at the tower, the entire human race had but one common language which had existed amongst them from the time of Adam. And the name the Book of Invasions gives this language is Gortighern, as the poet says:

 

Gortighern the name of the language

Used by the son of God of goodly science,

And by the race of Adam once,

before the covering of Nimrod's tower.

 

And Latin authors call it Lingua Humana, that is, the human language.   But when Nimrod and his kinsfolk were building the tower, as the confusion of tongues set in and prevented them from finishing a structure they had begun through pride, the human language they derived from Adam was taken from them, as many as were engaged in building the tower. However, it remained with Eibhear son of Saile, and with his tribe, so that it was named from him; for they called it Hebrew from Eibhear...

 

... The principal reason why Feinius Farsaidh went to the Plain of Seanair, together with his school, was that he might be with the people whose native language was Hebrew, and that it might thus come about that he and his school would acquire a full and perfect knowledge of that language.

 

Now, when Feinius, as we have said, had resolved to acquire the various languages, he sent, at his own expense, seventy- two disciples into the various countries of the three continents of the world that were then inhabited, and charged them to remain abroad seven years, so that each of them might learn the language of the country in which he stayed during that time. And at the end of seven years they returned to Feinius to Scythia; and Feinius went with them to the Plain of Seanair, together with a large number of the youths of Scythia, leaving his eldest son Neanual to rule Scythia in his stead ...

 

...  Feinius established schools for the teaching of the various languages on the Plain of Seanair in the city which Cin Droma Sneachta calls Eathena, as the poet says in the following stanza:

 

In the Plain of Seanair after the tower,

The first school was assembled,

In the city of Eathena,

To learn the various tongues.

 

And they assembled the youths of the countries next them to learn the various tongues from them; and the three sages who presided over this school were Feinius Farsaidh himself from Scythia, and Gaedheal son of Eathor of the race of Gomer from Greece, and Caoi Caoinbhreathach from Judea ..

 

It was this trio who wrote on wooden tablets the alphabets of the three chief languages, namely, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as Ceannfaolaidh the Learned asserts in the Accidence which he wrote in the time of Columcille...

 

...  He also states that it was about this time that Niul, the tanist son of Feinius Farsaidh, was born, and that the same Feinius continued in charge of the school for twenty years in order that this son who was born to him might be acquainted with the several languages...

 

... Now after twenty years Feinius returned to Scythia, and established schools there, and appointed Gaedheal son of Eathor to take charge of them. Then did Feinius command Gaedheal to arrange and regulate the Gaelic language as it is into five divisions, that is, Bearla na Feine, Bearla na bhFileadh, Bearla an Eaderscartha, Bearla Teibidhe, and Gnaithbhéarla, and to name it precisely from himself ; hence it is from Gaedheal son of Eathor it is called Gaelic, and not from Gaedheal Glas, as others assert. Moreover, it was through friendship for Gaedheal son of Eathor that Niul son of Feinius Farsaidh gave the name Gaedheal to the son whom Scota daughter of Pharao Cincris bore him, as Ceannfaolaidh the Learned says in the Uraicheapt.

 

 

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