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OSSIAN, Ossin or Oisin, the legendary Irish 3rd-century hero of Celtic literature, son of Finn. According to the legend embodied in the Ossianic or Ossinic poems and prose romances. which early spread over Ireland and Scotland, Ossian and his Fenian followers were defeated in 283 at the battle of Gabhra by the Irish king Carbery, and Ossian spent many years in fairyland, eventually being baptized by St Patrick. As Oisin he was. long celebrated in Irish song and legend, and in recent years the Irish literary revival has repopularized the Fenian hero. In Scotland the Ossianic revival is associated with the name of James Macpherson (q.v).
See CELT: Literature; also Nutt's Ossian and the Ossianic Literature (1899).
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