Mór Muman

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Mór Muman (meaning Mór of Munster), also written Mór Mumhan or Mór Mumain, (said to have died 630s) is stated to have been a daughter of Áed Bennán, sometime King of Munster, but may in fact represent a euhemerised sovereignty goddess, particularly associated with the Eóganachta.[1]


The Irish language tale Mór Muman 7 Aided Cuanach meic Ailchine (Mór Muman and the death of Cuanu mac Ailchine) is contained in the Book of Leinster. It is suggested that it dates from the 10th century or earlier.[2] According to this story, Mór was placed under an enchantment and lost her senses. She wandered Ireland for two years before she came to Cashel and the court of King Fíngen mac Áedo Duib. Fingen eventually slept with her, and her memory returned. In the morning, Fingen gave her the Queen's robe and brooch, and put aside his current Queen, daughter of the king of the Deisi, and put Mór in her place as she was of better blood. The Metrical Dindshenchas say of Fingen and Mór:

Best of the women of Inis Fail
is Mór daughter of Áed Bennan.
Better is Fingen than any hero
that drives about Femen.[3]

When Fingen died, the story says, Mór Muman married Cathal mac Finguine. Unfortunately, the collector of this tale mistook this Cathal for his grandfather, Cathal mac Áedo.[4]

Mór's sister, Ruithchern, is also thought to represent the sovereignty goddess. She was the protagonist of the lost story Aithed Ruithcherne la Cuanu mac Cailchin (The killing of Ruithchern by Cuanu mac Ailchine).[2]

As a divinity, Mór Muman is supposed to be identical with Mugain, and to include features of Medb and the Morrigan. She is sometimes referred to simply as Mumain, making her association with the land of Munster (Irish, Mumu) explicit.[1]

The death of Mór Muman ingen Áedo Bennáin is recorded by the Annals of Ulster under the year 632 and by the Annals of Tigernach for 636.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b MacKillop, "Mór Muman".
  2. ^ a b Wiley.
  3. ^ Metrical Dindshenchas, volume 3, p. 203.
  4. ^ Byrne, Irish Kings, pp.204–207.
  5. ^ "Annals of Tigernach". 


Further reading[edit]

  • Mac Cana, Proinsias (1955–1956), "Aspects of the Theme of the King and the Goddess in Irish literature", Études Celtiques, 7 & 8: 356–413 & 59–65 
  • O'Nolan, T. P. (1912), "Mór of Munster and the Tragic Fate of Cuanu son of Calchin", Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, C30: 261–282