Irish Mythology

The Voyage of Maeldun

12th century, Old Irish. Lebor na hUidre (Book of the Dun Cow), Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, Ireland.

Maeldun and his crew found themselves on an island inhabited by giant ants. Each ant was the size of a foal.

Maeldun and his crew drifted in their boat for three days, on a calm surface in a gentle swell, not knowing whether to take to the oars or to let their course lie with the whim of the currents. And on the third day there came into sight an island, and the noise of gentle surf breaking upon a shore. When Maeldun and his crew landed, they found themselves on an island inhabited by giant ants, each the size of a foal. And the ants were in no way friendly!

Maeldun turned the boat around and his crew made for the open sea again, as quickly as they could.

Story fragment recounted from: Rolleston, Thomas, 1911. Myths of the Celtic Race. The Gresham Publishing Company. Reprinted 1998. Myths and Legends of the Celts. Senate, an imprint of Tiger Books International plc. Chapter VII. The Voyage of Maeldun, pp 309–31. The Island of the Ants, p 313.


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Maeldun – Wikipedia

Book of the Dun Cow – Wikipedia

Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race – Google Books. English retelling of ancient Irish stories by Thomas Rolleston: The Voyage of Maeldun, pp 309–31




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