Trecheng Breth Féne

The Triads of Ireland

In 1906, Kuno Meyer published The Triads of Ireland as volume 13 of the Todd Lecture Series of the Royal Irish Academy. The publisher was Hodges, Figgis, & Co., Ltd. of Dublin and London.

The original name of this collection is Trecheng Breth Féne. Meyer translated this as “a triadic arrangement of the sayings of Irishmen”, and noted that “it is but a small portion of the large number of triads scattered throughout early Irish literature”. The text of Trecheng Breth Féne is found in largely identical form in the following manuscripts:

The Yellow Book of Lecan (L)
The Book of Ballymote (B)
The Book of Húi Maine (M)
The Book of Lecan (Lec)
A paper MS written in 1575 (N)
A paper MS written by Tadhg Tiorthach Ó Neachtain in 1745 (H')

Meyer used these six manuscripts to construct his critical text. He noted that he followed the order of triads found in the Yellow Book of Lecan "in the main." The material on this webpage consists of the "Text and Translation" portion of Meyer's edition of Trecheng Breth Féne, including footnotes, but not including variant readings of the Irish text. The Preface, Glosses and Notes, Index Locorum, Index Nominum, and the Glossary are not included here at this time.

Innéacs na dTréanna

1 - 31 Logainmneacha Singile Single Placenames
32 Trí tairleme Éirenn The three places of Ireland to alight at
33 Trí aithechpuirt Hérenn The three rent-paying places of Ireland
34 Trí clochraid Hérenn The three stone-buildings of Ireland
35 Trí háenaig Hérenn The three fairs of Ireland
36 Trí dúine Hérenn The three forts of Ireland
37 Trí slébe Hérenn The three mountains of Ireland
38 Trí haird Hérenn The three heights of Ireland
39 Trí locha Hérenn The three lakes of Ireland
40 Trí srotha Hérenn The three rivers of Ireland
41 Trí machaire Hérenn The three plains of Ireland
42 Trí dorcha Hérenn The three dark places of Ireland
43 Trí díthruib Hérenn The three desert places of Ireland
44 Trí dotcaid Hérenn The three unlucky places of Ireland
45 Trí huilc Hérenn The three evil ones of Ireland
46 Trí cáemnai Hérenn The three comfortable places of Ireland
47 Trí trága Hérenn The three strands of Ireland
48 Trí hátha Hérenn The three fords of Ireland
49 Trí sligid Hérenn The three highroads of Ireland
50 Trí belaige Hérenn The three mountain-passes of Ireland
51 Trí drommanna Hérenn The three ridges of Ireland
52 Trí maige Hérenn The three plains of Ireland
53 Trí clúana Hérenn The three meadows of Ireland
54 Trí tellaige Hérenn The three households of Ireland
55 Trí hessa Hérenn The three waterfalls of Ireland
56 Trí fothirbi Hérenn The three fields (?) of Ireland
57 Trí tiprata Hérenn The three wells of Ireland
58 Trí haimréide Hérenn The three uneven places of Ireland
59 Trí hinbera Hérenn The three estuaries of Ireland
60 Trí hairderca Hérenn The three conspicuous places of Ireland
61 Trí gnátha Hérenn The three familiar places of Ireland
62 Trí hamrai la Táin Bó Cúailgne Three wonders concerning the Táin Bó Cúailgne
63 Trí meinistri fer Féne The three halidoms of the men of Ireland
64 Trí dotcaid duine Three unfortunate things for a man
65 Trí dotcaid threbtha Three unfortunate things of husbandry
66 Trí hairgarta ecalse Three forbidden things of a church
67 Trí fáilti co n-íarduibi Three rejoicings followed by sorrow
68 Trí bróin ata ferr fáilti Three sorrows that are better than joy
69 Trí fáilti ata messu brón Three rejoicings that are worse than sorrow
70 Trí fiada co n-anfhiad The three worst welcomes
71 Trí dotcaid maic athaig Three unfortunate things for the son of a peasant
72 Trí dotcaid threbairi Three unfortunate things for a householder
73 Trí búada trebairi Three excellent things for a householder
74 Trí hóenaig eserte Three holidays of a landless man
75 Trí cóil ata ferr folongat in mbith Three slender things that best support the world
76 Trí duirn ata dech for bith Three hands that are best in the world
77 Tréde conaittig fírinne Three things which justice demands
78 Tréde conaittig brethemnas Three things which judgment demands
79 Trí túarascbála étraid Three characteristics of concupiscence
80 Tréde ara carthar escara Three things for which an enemy is loved
81 Tréde ara miscnigther cara Three things for which a friend is hated
82 Trí buirb in betha Three rude ones of the world
83 Trí buidir in betha Three deaf ones of the world
84 Trí cáin docelat éitchi Three fair things that hide ugliness
85 Trí héitich docelat cáin Three ugly things that hide fairness
86 Trí óible adannat seirc Three sparks that kindle love
87 Trí haithne co fomailt Three deposits with usufruct
88 Trí búada téiti Three glories of a gathering
89 Trí ségainni Hérenn Three accomplishments of Ireland
90 Trí comartha clúanaigi Three ungentlemanly things
91 Trí gena ata messu brón Three smiles that are worse than sorrow
92 Trí báis ata ferr bethaid Three deaths that are better than life
93 Trí húathaid ata ferr sochaidi Three fewnesses that are better than plenty
94 Trí brónaig choirmthige Three sorrowful ones of an alehouse
95 Trí cuitbidi in domain Three laughing-stocks of the world
96 Trí cuil túaithe Three ruins of a tribe
97 Trí fuiric thige degduni Three preparations of a good man's house
98 Trí fuiric thige drochduni Three perparations of a bad man's house
99 Trí gretha tige degláich Three shouts of a good warrior's house
100 Trí dorchae ná dlegat mná do imthecht Three darknesses into which women should not go
101 Trí sailge boccachta Three props of obstinacy
102 Trí airisena boccachta Three characteristics of obstinacy
103 Trí comartha meraigi Three signs of a fop
104 Trí máidme clúanaigi Three ungentlemanly boasts
105 Trí bí focherdat marbdili Three live ones that put away dead things
106 Trí scenb Hérenn Three places of Ireland to make you start
107 Trí hingnad Hérenn Three wonders of Ireland
108 Trí daurthige Hérenn Three oratories of Ireland
109 Trí hingena berta miscais do míthocod Three maidens that bring hatred upon misfortune
110 Trí hingena berta seirc do cháintocud Three maidens that bring love to good fortune
111 Trí túa ata ferr labra Three silences that are better than speech
112 Trí labra ata ferr túa Three speeches that are better than silence
113 Trí ailgesa étúalaing Three impossible demands
114 Trí hamaite bít[e] i ndrochthig óiged Three idiots that are in a bad guest-house
115 Trí hairig na dúalche The three chief sins
116 Tréde neimthigedar crossán Three things that constitute a buffoon
117 Tréde neimthigedar círmaire Three things that constitute a comb-maker
118 Tréde nemthigedar sáer Three things that constitute a carpenter
119 Tréde neimthigedar liaig Three things that constitute a physician
120 Tréde neimthigedar gobainn Three things that constitute a blacksmith
121 Tréde neimthigedar cerdai Three things that constitute an artificer
122 Tréde neimthigedar cruitire Three things that constitute a harper
123 Tréde neimthigedar filid Three things that constitute a poet
124 Dá mígairm míthocaid Two ominous cries of ill-luck
125 Teora airi[se]na iarnduba Three things betokening trouble
126 Trí bainne cétmuintire Three drops of a wedded woman
127 Trí coiri bíte in cach dúini Three caldrons that are in every fort
128 Trí comartha láthraig bendachtan Three tokens of a blessed site
129 Trí comartha láthraig mallachtan Three tokens of a cursed site
130 Teora muimmecha táide Three nurses of theft
131 Teora ranna sluinte fri cáintocad Three qualities* that bespeak good fortune
132 Teora ranna sluinte dotcaid Three qualities that bespeak misfortune
133 Dí derbshiair Two sisters
134 Dá derbráthair Two brothers
135 Trí fuidb dotcadaig Three unlucky . . .
136 Trí sethracha góa Three false sisters
137 Trí bráthair uamain Three timid brothers
138 Trí mairb fortgellat for bíu Three dead things that give evidence on live things
139 Trí brothcháin rátha Three pottages of guaranteeing
140 Trí dubthrebtha Three black husbandries
141 Trí hiarnduba Three after-sorrows
142 Trí maic beres drús do lonnus Three sons whom folly bears to anger
143 Trí maic beres féile do ainmnit Three sons whom generosity bears to patience
144 Trí maic beres neóit do deinmnait Three sons whom churlishness bears to impatience
145 Trí húar fíchte Three cold things that seethe
146 Trí fúammann móaigthe Three sounds of increase
147 Trí hana antreinn Three wealths in barren places
148 Trí aithgine in domuin Three renovators of the world
149 Trí diubarta forsná íada dílse Three concealments upon which forfeiture does not close
150 Trí cuir tintaiter do réir britheman Three contracts that are reversed by the decision of a judge
151 Trí nata[t] túalaing sainchuir Three that are incapable of special contracts
152 Trí maic nad rannat orbai Three sons that do not share inheritance
153 Trí ái nad eplet faill Three causes that do not die with neglect
154 Trí fuile ná dlegat frecor Three bloodsheds that need not be impugned
155 Trí fuchachta nad increnat slabrai Three cohabitations that do not pay a marriage-portion
156 Trí ná dlegat turbaidi Three that are not entitled to exemption
157 Trí aithne ná dlegat taisec Three deposits that need not be returned
158 Trí mairb direnaiter beoaib Three dead ones that are paid for with living things
159 Trí[ar] ná ditoing ná fortongar Three that neither swear nor are sworn
160 Trí ná dlegat athchommus Three that are not entitled to renunciation of authority
161 Trí nát fuigletar cia beith ar a ngáes Three who do not adjudicate though they are possessed of wisdom
162 Trí fors ná tuit aititiu 'na ré Three on whom acknowledgment does not fall in its time
163 Trí foimrimme ná dlegad díre Three usucaptions that are not entitled to a fine
164 Trí duilgine conrannat gníaid Three wages that labourers share
165 Trí nóill doná dlegar frithnóill Three oaths that do not require fulfilment
166 Trí gráda coillte túath inna ngói Three ranks that ruin tribes in their falsehood
167 Trí sóir dogníat dóeru díb féin Three free ones that make slaves of themselves
168 Trí ruip conberat duinechinaid Three brutes whose trespasses count as human crimes
169 Trí ruip ara tíagat cinta Three brutish things that atone for crimes
170 Trí imuscrenat Three things that ...
171 Trí comartha aragella i tig britheman Three signs that ...
172 Trí dlegat aurfocrai Three things that should be proclaimed
173 Trí doruis gúa Three doors of falsehood
174 Trí doruis a n-aichnither fír Three doors through which truth is recognized
175 Trí búada airechta Three glories of a gathering
176 Trí tonna cen gáissi Three waves without wisdom
177 Trí búada insci Three glories of speech
178 Trí cumtaig gáisse Three ornaments of wisdom
179 Trí miscena indsci Three hateful things in speech
180 Trí fostai dagbanais Three steadinesses of good womanhood
181 Trí fóindil drochbanais Three strayings of bad womanhood
182 Trí búada étaig Three excellences of dress
183 Trí ná dlegat othras Three that are not entitled to sick-maintenance
184 Trí tharsuinn archuillet othras Three sauces that spoil a sick-bed
185 Trí mná ná dlegat díri Three women that are not entitled to a fine
186 Trí dofortat cach flaith Three things that ruin every chief
187 Trí túarascbaid cach ngenmnaide Three things that characterise every chaste person
188 Trí ara n-aichnider cach fergach Three things by which every angry person is known
189 Trí thúarascbait cach n-ainmnetach Three things that characterise every patient person
190 Trí thúarascbait cach n-úallach Three things that characterise every haughty person
191 Trí forindet cach n-umal Three things that tell every humble person
192 Trí airdi gáisse Three signs of wisdom
193 Trí airdi drúisse Three signs of folly
194 Tréde immifoilnge gáis do báeth Three things that make a fool wise
195 Tréde immifoilnge báis do gáeth Three things that make a wise man foolish
196 Tréde faillsiges cach ndagfheras Three things that show every good man
197 Tréde faillsigedar cach ndrochfheras Three things that show a bad man
198 Trí foglúaiset fóenledchu Three things that set waifs a-wandering
199 Trí slabrada hi cumregar clóine Three chains by which evil propensity is bound
200 Trí all frisa timargar béscna Three rocks to which lawful behaviour is tied
201 Trí caindle forosnat cach ndorcha Three candles that illumine every darkness
202 Tréde neimthigedar ríg Three things that constitute a king
203 Trí glais foríadat rúine Three locks that lock up secrets
204 Trí heochracha aroslicet imráitiu Three keys that unlock thoughts
205 Trí orbai rannaiter fiad chomarbaib Three inheritances that are divided in the presence of heirs
206 Trí seithir óited Three youthful sisters
207 Trí seithir sentad Three aged sisters
208 Trí seithir sognáise Three well-bred sisters
209 Trí seithir dognáise Three ill-bred sisters
210 Trí seithir sotcaid Three sisters of good fortune
211 Trí seithir sochlatad Three sisters of good repute
212 Trí seithir dochlatad Three sisters of ill repute
213 Trí seithir ferge Three angry sisters
214 Trí seithir deirmiten Three irreverent sisters
215 Trí seithir airmiten Three reverent sisters
216 Trí banlae Three woman-days
217 Trí ferlae Three man-days
218 Trí gníma rátha Three duties of guarantorship
219 Trí brotcháin rátha Three pottages of guarantorship
220 Trí húais rátha 7 aitiri 7 nadma Three things hard to guarantee and to become a hostage and to make a contract for
221 Trí as anergnaid do neoch Three things that are undignified for everyone
222 Trí bassa téchtai Three lawful handbreadths
223 Cia mesam hi trebod What is worst in a household
224 Trí galair ata ferr sláinti Three illnesses that are better than health
225 Trí fáilti coirmthige Three welcomes of an alehouse
226 Trí fognama ata messam dogní duine Three services the worst that a man can serve
227 Trí ata ferr i tig Three things that are best in a house
228 Trí ata messum i tig Three that are worst in a house
229 Trí comartha tirdachta Three signs of boorishness
230 Cenéle amus Various kinds of mercenaries
231 Cenéle dáileman Various kinds of dispensers
232 Trí as anso bís do accallaim Three that are most difficult to talk to
233 Trí as mó menma bís Three whose spirits are highest
234 Cetharda forná bí cosc nó ríagail Four on whom there is neither restraint nor rule
235 Trí húais dóib Three hard things
236 Trí hamra Glinne Dalláin i tír Eogain Three wonders of Glenn Dallan* in Tirowen
237 Trí hamra Connacht Three wonders of Connaught
238 Trí luchra ata mesa Three worst smiles
239 Cisne trí ana soitcedach? What are the three wealths of fortunate people?
240 Trí maic beres genas do gáis Three sons whom chastity bears to wisdom
241 Trí airfite dála Three entertainers of a gathering
242 Trí ata ferr do fhlaith Three things that are best for a chief
243 Trí ata mesa do fhlaith Three things that are worst for a chief
244 Ceithre báis breithe The four deaths of judgment
245 Trí adcoillet gáis Three things that ruin wisdom
246 Trí muime ordain Three nurses of dignity
247 Trí muime menman Three nurses of high spirits
248 Cetheora miscne flatha Four hatreds of a chief
249 Trí dorcha in betha Three dark* things of the world
250 Trí urgarta bíd Three prohibitions of food
251 Cetheora aipgitre gáise Four elements* of wisdom
252 Cetheora aipgitre báise Four elements* of folly
253 Teora sírechta flatha Three tabus of a chief
254 Trí indchoisc ordain do duine Three indications of dignity in a person
255 Trí gúala doná fess fudomain Three coffers whose depth is not known
256 Trí féich nach dlegar faill Three debts which must not be neglected

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