Ollom Fotla

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Ollom Fotla ("the scholar of Fódla", a poetic term for Ireland; later spelled Ollamh Fodhla), son of Fíachu Fínscothach, was, according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, a High King of Ireland. His given name was Eochaid.[1] He took power after killing his predecessor, Faildergdóit, whose father, Muinemón, had killed his father. He ruled for forty years, and died of natural causes at Tara, succeeded by an unbroken sequence of six descendants, beginning with his son Fínnachta, followed by two more sons, Slánoll and Géde Ollgothach.

He is said to have instituted the Feis Temrach or Assembly of Tara. Keating describes the Feis Temrach as an assembly like a parliament, at which the nobles, scholars and military commanders of Ireland gathered on Samhain every three years to pass and renew laws and approve annals and records. The Assembly was preceded and followed by three days of feasting.[2] He also built a structure at Tara called the Múr nOlloman or Scholar's Rampart.

It has been identified without any convincing reason that the Passage Tomb of Ollamh Fodhla is Cairn T in Loughcrew. There's also a large stone with neolithic carvings on it at the site, known as Hags chair or the seat of Ollamh Fodhla. It is believed Cairn T was also where the great 'Law-giver king', first promulgated his legal code.[3]

Time frame[edit]

The Lebor Gabála Érenn synchronises his reign with those of Arbaces and Sosarmus, said to be kings of the Medes but now considered legendary Iranian rulers.[4][5] The chronology of Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn dates his reign to 943–913 BC, that of the Annals of the Four Masters to 1318–1278 BC.



  1. ^ Annals of the Four Masters M3882-3922
  2. ^ Geoffrey Keating, Foras Feasa ar Éirinn 1.26
  3. ^ Loughcrew Passage Tomb Complex, Voices from the Dawn
  4. ^ Omidsalar, Mahmoud. Poetics and Politics of Iran's National Epic, the Shahnameh. Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0230113459.
  5. ^ R. A. Stewart Macalister (ed. & trans.), Lebor Gabála Érenn: The Book of the Taking of Ireland Part V, Irish Texts Society, 1956, pp. 235
Preceded by
High King of Ireland
AFM 1318–1278 BC
FFE 943–913 BC
Succeeded by