The Counsels of Cormac

NOTE: This should be transcribed into your Crane Book of Wisdom after the Audacht Morainn. After the Counsels of Cormac the text of the Cauldron of Poesy should be transcribed into your Crane Book of Wisdom.


This is part of the advice of Cormac to his son from the new translation by the above title that was done by Thomas Cleary:


“Oh Cormac son of Conn,: said Carbre,

“What is best for the interest of a tribe?”


“That’s easy,” said Cormac:


Gathering of good people,

Frequent conferences,

An inquiring mind.


Consulting the wise,

Destroying every evil,

Bringing about every good.


A regular court,

Following traditions,

A legal assembly.


Administration of law by the Chieftain,

Just leadership,

Not oppressing the wretched.


Protection of amity,

Leniency toward those of good morals,

Consolidating relationship.


Piecing together related information,

Carrying out administration by government,

Authority of ancient alliances.


Treaty of friendship without cancellation,

Militia without vainglory,

Sternness towards enemies, innocence toward kin.


Generous pledges, complete repayment, just rulings;

Honest witnesses, contracts without fraud, interest on loss;

Equivalence of contractual obligations, seasonal lending, pledges

according to statuses.


Wholesome lending, loans for proper purposes,

An equivalent for every good;

Dignified response, permissible measure.


Study of each art,

Knowledge of each technical vocabulary,

Diversified skills in crafts.


Argumentation using legal precedents,

Pronouncement with legal maxims,

Giving alms, justice, and mercy to the poor.


Sureties against judgments,

Honest contracts,

Listening to the venerable, deafness to common fools.


“Let him not be lax about the interest of the tribe, let him not be

greasy in the banquet hall ˆ this is best for the interest of the



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