Sacred Texts  Myths/Sagas  Celtic 

Miranda from the Tempest, by John William Waterhouse [1916] (Public domain image)

The Voyage of Bran

by Kuno Meyer


This is Kuno Meyer's translation of the old Irish saga, the Voyage of Bran. In this magical odyssey to the limits of reality, Bran takes a characteristically time-dilated journey to a distant isle of luxury. On return, he learns that ages have passed and he and his expedition have already passed into myth. He can never again touch the soil of his homeland and sails off again. The text references ancient Celtic gods and also contains quasi-prophetic passages added at a later date by Christian scribes.

The appendices contain extracts from other Irish texts about Mongan, who is mentioned in the Bran saga, the son of Manannan mac Lir, the Celtic sea-god. This is of interest because of the descriptions of the training of bards, and lore of human visits to the Sídhe, the fairies.

Production notes: due to the limits of current OCR technology, we had to omit critical footnotes to the Irish text, several extended Gaelic passages from the appendices, and the index section. Large lacunae of this nature are noted in green text. The edition we used also omitted a long essay by Alfred Nutt, which we will transcribe at some point in the future if we can locate a first edition. We did manage to include the entire Gaelic text of the Voyage of Bran in parallel with the English translation, as well as all footnotes relevant to the English translations. Because we were unable to spellcheck this document (MS Word's spellchecker broke down on it repeatedly), it may contain typos in both the English and Gaelic. However, we did several careful passes on each page. We welcome any notice of errors in this document from readers.

Title Page
The Voyage of Bran


I. The Conception of Mongán
II. A Story from which it is inferred that Mongán was Find mac Cumaill, and the cause of the death of Fothad Airgdech
III. A Story of Mongán
IV. These are the events that brought about the telling of 'Mongán's Frenzy.'
V. The Conception of Mongán and Dub-Lacha's Love for Mongán
VI. From the Annals
VII. Irische Texte iii. page 8
VIII. Irische Texte iii. p. 87
IX. From Gilla Modutu's poem Senchas Ban...
X. From Ms. Laud 613, p. 21
XI. From MS. Laud 615, p. 18.