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(ŏsh`ən) or


(əshēn`), legendary Gaelic poet, supposedly the son of Finn mac CumhailFinn mac Cumhail,
 Fionn mac Cumhail,
or Finn MacCool
, semimythical Irish hero. His exploits are recorded in long narrative poems by Ossian and in many ballads, called Fenian ballads after the Fenians, or Fianna, professional fighters whom Finn was said
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, hero of a cycle of tales and poems that place his deeds of valor in the 3d cent. A.D. These traditional tales were preserved in Ireland and in the Scottish Highlands, with Ossian as the bard who sang of the exploits of Finn and his Fenian cohorts. A later cycle of Ossianic poetry centered on Cuchulain, another traditional hero. Ossian is generally represented as an old, blind man who had outlived both his father and his son. The name is remembered by most people in connection with James MacphersonMacpherson, James,
1736–96, Scottish author. Educated at Aberdeen and Edinburgh, he spent his early years as a schoolmaster. In later life he held a colonial secretaryship in West Florida (1764–66), and he was a member of Parliament from 1780 until his death.
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, who published translations of two poems that he said had been written by Ossian; scholars subsequently proved that they were actually a combination of traditional Gaelic poems and original verses by Macpherson himself.


See J. Macpherson, The Poems of Ossian (1805, repr. 1974).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Oisin), a legendary warrior and bard of the Celts, who, according to tradition, lived in Ireland in the third century and sang of the deeds of his father, Finn (Fingal) mac Cumhall and his war band, the Fena (Fianna).

Legends about Ossian, Finn, and the Fena had existed in oral tradition for centuries in Scotland and especially in Ireland; some of these were written down no later than the 12th century. J. Macpherson ascribed to himself the honor of “discovering” the poetry of Ossian; in 1765 he published The Works of Ossian, the Son of Fingal. Research by scholars in Celtic studies in the 19th and 20th centuries have established that these Works, with the exception of a few fragments of Gaelic folklore, constitute a literary forgery.


See references under MACPHERSON, JAMES.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a legendary, wandering Irish bard. [Irish Lit.: Harvey, 603]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a legendary Irish hero and bard of the 3rd century ad
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
To do even that, however, a true poet was needed, so people have, for the most part, given up arguing about whether Macpherson wrote Ossian or not, and are glad that such a beautiful book has been written by some one.
I do not think that you will want to read Ossian for yourself for a long time to come, for the stories are not always easy to follow.
In the next chapter you will find one of the stories of Ossian called Fingal.
(4) The information on the Prague edition comes from the bibliography by Rudolf Tombo, Ossian in Germany (New York: [n.
'They won't be able to take it any gallery or museum, and the trade will already know it has been stolen,' said Ossian Ward, editor of ArtReview magazine.
The "old men" are the Fenian poets Oisin (Ossian) and Caoilte, who, having survived the destruction of their comrades at the Battle of Gabhra, return to Ireland from the timeless Land of Youth (Tir na nOg) to discover that they have been gone 300 years.
Ossian Sweet, whose attempt to defend his home against white rioters led to one of the landmark trials of the 1920's, is confused with his brother Henry and is misidentified as a dentist rather than a physician.
Uwe Boker's chapter begins with a discussion of the accessibility of English books in eighteenth-century Germany, and after a brief discussion of Goethe's and Herder's involvement with 'Ossian', discusses briefly the gradual rise of German Celtic scholarship, seen as one of the long-term consequences.
It is to Ossian that James Macpherson ascribed the authorship of a group of poems published from 1760 to 1763; Macpherson claimed that he had translated them from manuscripts collected in the Scottish Highlands, and a great controversy as to their authenticity was aroused.
In the mix Wise Men, Ossian de Arkotxa Dougall and Mackenzie Stoddart with 'Little Pick and Mix,' Grace Harley, Jenna Sneddon, Ava Tindall, and Eve Harley and Tabitha Mackenzie.
Per Colleen of The Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund (AP4) (9.60% of votes); Marianne Flink of Swedbank Robur Fonder (9.57% of votes) and Ossian Ekdal of The First Swedish National Pension Fund (AP1) (6.00% of votes)