The Tain Bo Cualinge is part of the Ulster Cycle, a series of epic cattle raids between warring clans in Ireland, and the surrounding events that set them in motion. They're roughly set around the time of Christ, though they might have been composed several hundred years later, or alternately, may contain elements of stories from a far earlier culture; but they were first recorded around 800 A.D. The stories were never written down before Christian monks put the stories into their illuminated manuscripts in the medieval period, and they may have changed some of the more pagan notions to better fit with their ideology. A significant portion of these books were lost over the centuries as these books were taken in Viking sieges, walled into secret rooms in castles, and lost or stolen from libraries. The books that remain are often missing half their pages, and modern translations are cobbled together from the handful of surviving manuscripts that cover the adventures of the Ulster warriors. Below are the sources I've used to put together my version.

Versions of / Works About the Tain:

Carson, Ciaran. The Táin: A New Translation of the Táin Bó Cúailnge. London, Penguin Books, 2008.

Gantz, Jeffrey. Early Irish Myths and Sagas. London: Penguin Books, 1982.

Gregory, Lady Augusta. Cuchulain of Muirthemne: The Story of the Men of the RedBranch of Ulster. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 2001.

Heaney, Marie. Over Nine Waves, A Book of Irish Legends. London: Faber and Faber, 1994.

Hutton, Mary A. The Tain, and Irish Epic Told In English Verse. Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1907.

Jones, Mary. The Ulster Cycle. Celtic Literature Collective, 1998-2010.

Kinsella, Thomas. The Táin: from the Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Mallory, J.P. et al. Aspects of the Tain. Belfast; December Publications, 1992.

Neeson, Eoin. The Imperishable Celtic Epic, An Táin, Cuchulain's Saga. Dublin: Prestige Books, 2004.

O'Rahilly, Cecile. Irish Texts Society Vol. XLIX : Táin Bó Cúalnge from the Book of Leinster. Dublin; Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1984.


Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Cunliffe, Barry. The Celtic World. New York; Greenwich House, 1986.

James, Simon. The World of the Celts. London; Thames & Hudson, 1993.

Moffat, Alistair. The Sea Kingdoms. Edinburgh; Birlinn, 2008.

Pryor, Francis. Britain BC. London, Harper Perennial, 2003.

Ross, Anne. The Pagan Celts. Totowa, New Jersey; Barnes & Noble Books, 1986.

Slavin, Michael. The Ancient Books of Ireland. Montreal; McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005.