16Ó hÓgáin, Dáithí. Fionn Mac Cumhaill: Images of the Gaelic Hero. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1988. 104-05.
The list of feats required of a warrior who wished to join the Fianna included a number of elements. Nine warriors would together toss their spears at the candidate while he was in a hole in the ground up to his waist, with only a hazel rod for defense. If he suffered any wound, he was disqualified. While running through the woods with braided hair, if a branch of wood disturbed his braid he could not be accepted. If, while running, he found a thorn in his foot he must be able to draw it out without slackening his pace. In addition, he had to memorize “the twelve books of poetry.”