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Ossian is a legendary warrior bard who appears as the narrator in the Celtic legends of Fionn mac Cumhail. These tales were known as the Fenian cycle or the Ossianic cycle and make up one of the four great cycles of Celtic mythology and legend. They were supposed to have taken place during the 3rd century AD.

In 1760, James Macpherson, a Scots poet of the 18th century claimed to have found poetry written by Ossian. He published translations of it during the next few years. It was extremely well received at the time, however it became clear after a few years that the poems were forgeries, although forgeries of some artistic merit. The most famous of these poems was Fingal written in 1762.