Ellen Lloyd - AncientPages.com - One of the most intriguing personalities in Irish mythology is Fintan Mac Bochra who is said to be the first man in Ireland.
His relationship to the granddaughter of Biblical Noah, the story how he escaped the Great Flood and traveled to the land of destiny known as 'Inis Fail', meaning Ireland are fascinating accounts of the past.
Fintan Mac Bochra escaped the Great Flood and came to Ireland. Image credit: Keith Parkinson
According to the Leabhar Gabhála (Book of Invasions also called the “Book of Conquests”), Fintan Mac Bochra, also known as “the Wise” was a seer who was married to Lady Cesair.
When Cesair was a young girl, only 10 years, an Egyptian priest warned her of a coming catastrophe. He told her to gather a group of women and try to escape. Cesair built three arks and filled them with women who all possessed different skills.
Her father Bith came along with two other men, but they were not allowed to enter the ark unless they acknowledged Cesair as their leader. So, they did so and they were brought to safety.
In the poem, Fintan describes how he survived the Flood when all others perished by hiding in the hill of Tounthinna, over the River Shannon. They sailed for 7 years before they reached Ireland that was unpopulated at the time. It was the year 2361 BC according to 'The Annals of the Four Masters', but only one ship had survived the epic journey, this containing fifty women and three men. Among the survivors was Fintan Mac Bochra.
Upon arrival to Ireland, women were divided into three groups. Each of the groups took one of the men to populate the new country that was now their homeland.
They also dived up the sheep they had brought with them. That’s the story how the first sheep reached Ireland. Lady Cesair was together with Fintan Mac Bochra and in time she became a great warrior woman.
Shape-shifters are mentioned in many ancient Irish myths and legends, and the story of Fintan Mac Bochra is no exception.
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As in many Irish myths and legends, Fintan Mac Bochra is credited with shape-shifting abilities. According to the ancient tales he could transform himself into a one-eyed salmon, an eagle, and a hawk before resuming his own shape. Yet, the most perplexing aspect of his story deals with his lifespan. It was said he lived for 5,000 years before he left the realm of humans.
The story of the Great Flood can be found among all ancient cultures.
His great age made him a very wise man. He saw historical events of old Ireland and he used his knowledge to advise the Kings of Ireland. He helped the Firbolg King Eochaid Mac Eirc when the Tuatha de Dannan attacked and also fought in the first battle of Moytura. It was not until the advent of Saint Patrick and Christianity in Ireland that Fintan departed this mortal realm.
The legend of Fintan Mac Bochra sounds truly incredible and it would be easy to dismiss it as a work of fiction, but we have seen on many occasions many ancient myths contain vital historical pieces of truth.
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Ellen Lloyd – is the owner of AncientPages.com and an author who has spent decades researching ancient mysteries, myths, legends and sacred texts, but she is also very interested in astronomy, astrobiology and science in general