Fianna F��il
   HOME

TheInfoList




''Fianna'' ( , ; singular ''Fian''; gd, Fèinne ) were small, semi-independent
warrior A warrior is a person specializing in combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (Hand-t ...
bands in
Irish mythology Irish mythology is the mythology Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psycho ...
. They are featured in the stories of the Fenian Cycle, where they are led by
Fionn mac Cumhaill Fionn mac Cumhaill ( ; Old Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire ...
. They are based on historical bands of aristocratic landless young men in
early medieval Ireland Early may refer to: History * The beginning or oldest part of a defined historical period Periodized human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthrop ...
.


Historicity

The historical institution of the ''fian'' is known from references in early medieval Irish law tracts. A ''fian'' was made up of landless young men, often young
aristocrat The aristocracy is a social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relation ...
s who had not yet come into their
inheritance Inheritance is the practice of passing on private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property Public property i ...
of land. A member of a ''fian'' was called a ''fénnid''; the leader of a ''fian'' was a ''rígfénnid'' (literally "king-''fénnid''").
Geoffrey Keating Geoffrey Keating ( ga, Seathrún Céitinn; c. 1569 – c. 1644) was a 17th-century historian. He was born in County Tipperary County Tipperary ( ga, Contae Thiobraid Árann) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country use ...
, in his 17th-century ''History of Ireland'', says that during the winter the ''fianna'' were quartered and fed by the nobility, during which time they would keep order on their behalf, but during the summer, from
Beltaine Beltane or Beltain () is the Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in I ...
to
Samhain Samhain (, , ; gv, Sauin ) is a Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken i ...
, they were obliged to live by hunting for food and for pelts to sell. Keating's ''History'' is more a compilation of traditions than a reliable history, but in this case scholars point to references in early Irish poetry and the existence of a closed hunting season for deer and wild boar between Samhain and Beltaine in medieval
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
as corroboration.
Hubert Thomas Knox Hubert Thomas Knox (1845–1921) was an Irish historian. He was the third son of Charles Knox of Ballinrobe, who would later be High Sheriff of Mayo in 1860 and was a colonel in the North Mayo Militia. His great-grandfather was James Cuffe, 1s ...
speculates that "they were bodies of Gallowglasses such as appeared in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but then under command of adventurers who were not inhabitants of the province, Free Companies who sold their services to any one who could raise their wages."


Legendary depiction

Some legendary depictions of ''fianna'' seem to conform to historical reality: for example, in the
Ulster Cycle The Ulster Cycle ( ga, an Rúraíocht), formerly known as the Red Branch Cycle, one of the four great cycles of Irish mythology Irish mythology is the mythology of the island of Ireland that has been preserved in the Oral tradition, oral tr ...
the druid
Cathbad Cathbad () or Cathbhadh (modern spelling) is the chief druid A druid was a member of the high-ranking class in ancient Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation ...
leads a ''fian'' of 27 men which fights against other ''fianna'' and kills the 12 foster-fathers of the
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label= Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrat ...
princess Ness. Ness, in response, leads her own ''fian'' of 27 in pursuit of Cathbad. However, the stories of the Fiannaíocht, set around the time of
Cormac mac Airt Cormac mac Airt (son of Art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and i ...
, depict the ''fianna'' as a single standing army in the service of the High King, although it contains two rival factions, the Clann Baíscne of
Leinster Leinster ( ; ga, Laighin or ) is one of the provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic ...
, led by Fionn mac Cumhaill (Old, Middle, Modern Irish: Find, Finn, Fionn), and the Clann Morna of
Connacht Connacht ( ; ga, Connachta or ), or Connaught, is one of the provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an isla ...
, led by Goll mac Morna, and lives apart from society, surviving by hunting.


War cry and mottos

The ''Dord Fian'' or ''Dord Fiansa'' was the war-cry of the ''Fianna'', and they frequently employed its use prior to and amid battle, either as a mode of communication or to put fear into their enemies. In the legend ''"The Death of Fionn"'',
Fionn Fionn (, ) is a masculine given name in Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, Nor ...
raises the Dord Fian when he sees his grandson Oscar fall in battle (
Battle of Gabhra ''Cath Gabhra'' (English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured sy ...
) against the armies of
Cairbre Lifechair Cairbre Lifechair ("lover of the River Liffey, Liffey"), son of Cormac mac Airt, was, according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, a High King of Ireland. He came to the throne after the death of Eochaid Gonnat. During his time Bresa ...
, and proceeds to strike back at the enemy with great furiosity killing many dozens of warriors.
Augusta, Lady Gregory Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory (''née'' Persse; 15 March 1852 – 22 May 1932) was an Irish dramatist A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Pla ...
- ''Gods and Fighting Men (1904) Chapter - The Death of Fionn''
The Battle of Gabhra also marked the demise of the Fianna. They had three
motto A motto (derived from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...
es: *''Glaine ár gcroí'' (Purity of our hearts) *''Neart ár ngéag'' (Strength of our limbs) *''Beart de réir ár mbriathar'' (Action to match our speech)


Notable fénnid

*
Fionn mac Cumhaill Fionn mac Cumhaill ( ; Old Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire ...
: last leader of the Fianna *
Cumhall Cumhall (earlier Cumall, pronounced roughly "Coo-al" or "Cool") or Cumhall mac Trénmhoir ("son of Trénmór/Tréanmór" meaning "strong-great") is a figure in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology, a leader of the fianna and the father of Fionn mac C ...
: Fionn's father, the former leader * Goll mac Morna * Caílte mac Rónáin * Conán mac Morna *
Diarmuid Ua Duibhne Diarmuid Ua Duibhne (Irish pronunciation: ) or Diarmid O'Dyna, also known as Diarmuid of the Love Spot, was a demigod A demigod or demigoddess is a part-human and part-divine offspring of a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being ...
: a warrior of the Fianna who ran off with Fionn's intended bride Gráinne and was finally killed by a giant
boar The wild boar (''Sus scrofa''), also known as the wild swine, common wild pig, Eurasian wild pig, or simply wild pig, is a suid native to much of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large ...
on the heath of Benn Gulbain. Foster son of
Aengus In Irish mythology Irish mythology is the mythology of the island of Ireland that has been preserved in the Oral tradition, oral tradition, and later in the manuscripts of early Celtic Christianity. These tales and themes have continued t ...
. *Lughaid Lámhfhada: sorcerous warrior, nephew of
Fionn mac Cumhaill Fionn mac Cumhaill ( ; Old Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire ...
, one of the four who could have untied the knots Diarmuid bound the sea-kings with, but refused to do so. Lover of Aífe, daughter of Manannán * Oisín, son of
Fionn mac Cumhaill Fionn mac Cumhaill ( ; Old Old or OLD may refer to: Places *Old, Baranya Old () is a village in Baranya (county), Baranya county, Hungary. Populated places in Baranya County {{Baranya-geo-stub ..., Hungary *Old, Northamptonshire ...
: ( Macpherson's
Ossian Ossian (; Irish Gaelic Irish ( in Standard Irish Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...
) * Oscar, son of Oisín *
Cael Ua Neamhnainn Cael Ua Neamhnainn, was son of Crimthann, son of Neamhnainn king of Leinster. He was a noted Fianna leader and drowned at Cionn Trá (Ventry) in Co. Kerry. Lament of Cael A lament was composed by the Fairy Queen, fairy-queen Creidhe after the dr ...


Modern use of the term

In more recent history, the name '' Fianna Éireann'' has been used, as ''Fianna Fáil'' ("the ''Fianna'' of Ireland", or Inis Fáil i.e. "the isle of destiny", and hence sometimes rendered "the soldiers of destiny") has been used: as a sobriquet for the
Irish Volunteers The Irish Volunteers ( ga, Óglaigh na hÉireann Óglaigh na hÉireann (), abbreviated ÓÉ, is an Irish-language Irish (also called in Standard Irish) is a Goidelic language of the Insular Celtic branch of the Celtic language f ...
, on the cap badge of the
Irish Army The Irish Army, known simply as the Army ( ga, an tArm), is the land component of the Defence Forces (Ireland), Defence Forces of Republic of Ireland, Ireland.The Defence Forces are made up of the Permanent Defence Forces – the standing bran ...
, the name in Irish of the
Army Ranger Wing , image = , caption = Shoulder flash and insignia of the Army Ranger Wing , dates = – present , country = , branch = , command_structure = Defence Forces , garrison = DFTC, Curragh Camp The Curragh Camp ( ga, Campa an Churraig ...
(''Sciathán Fiannóglaigh an Airm''), in the opening line of the Irish-language version of the Irish national anthem, and as the name of the Fianna Fáil political party.


See also

* Kóryos * ''
Irish Fairy Tales ''Irish Fairy Tales'' is a retelling of ten Irish Folklore, folktales by the Irish author James Stephens (author), James Stephens. The English illustrator Arthur Rackham provided interior artwork, including numerous black and white illustrations ...
'', a 1920 book by James Stephens containing many tales of the Fianna


References

Fenian Cycle Medieval Ireland Military units and formations of the Middle Ages {{italic title