Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles

Author Archive: Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody

The Mórrígan Speaks – Her Three Poems

From Cath Maige Tuired, “The Battle of Moytura” Introduction At the end of the Old Irish saga of Cath Maige Tuired, there are three poems attributed to the Mórrígan; one immediately before the main battle, and the other two afterwards, ending the saga as a whole.  These three poems were the main topic of my Masters …

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Brigid Links

There are two editions and translations of two different medieval hagiographies of Saint Brigid available on CELT: Betha Brigte: Edited and Translated by Whitley Stokes Edition: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G201010/index.html Translation: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T201010/index.html Bethu Brigte: Edited and Translated by Donnchadh Ó hAodha Edition: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G201002/index.html Translation: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T201002/index.html The living tradition of St. Brigid in Kildare is kept by the Brigidine Sisters at Solas Bhríde in Kildare.  …

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Lassair and Her Well

Every parish in Ireland has its holy well, with specific healing properties and a “pattern day” (Patron Day), where Mass is said and pilgrims perform rituals by the well.  In the Arigna area of South Leitrim / Roscommon, one of the best known of these is St. Lassair’s Well in the parish of Killronan, between …

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The Story of Rúadán from Cath Maige Tuired

from Cath Maige Tuired, The Battle of Moytura edited by Elizabeth Gray translation and notes by Isolde Carmody [Terms in bold have notes and discussions below]   544] Tánic didiu frisna Fomore annísin, go tudciset-som fer n-úadaibh de déscin cathai & cosdotha Túath nDéa .i. Rúadán mac Bresi & Bríghi ingene in Dagdai. Ar ba mac-side & ba úa do Thúaith Déa. 124. Things were going against …

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The Story of Airmed from Cath Maige Tuired

from Cath Maige Tuired, The Battle of Moytura edited by Elizabeth Gray translation and notes by Isolde Carmody [Terms in bold have notes and discussions below]   133] Boí dano Núadae oga uothras, & dobreth láim n-argait foair lioa Díen Cécht go lúth cecha lámha indte. Meanwhile, Núada was debilitated.  A silver hand / arm was set on him by Dían Cécht, with the power of every …

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Many Shades of Darkness

Irish colour words and concepts In primary school,  I was very confused to learn two different Irish words for “green”: glas and uaithne.  I knew there was a difference, but I wasn’t clear what that difference was.  As my schooling continued, more confusion arose: black people were referred to as daoine gorma, “blue people” (according to the dictionary) and …

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Texts of Ethliu

From Tocmarc Étaine, “The Wooing of Étain” Edited O. Bergin & R. I. Best, Translated with endnotes by Isolde Carmody.  Terms with related notes are in bold. View Bergin & Best’s edition on CELT While this text is included here in relation to “Tales of Eithliu”, we dealt with the whole of Tocmarc Étaíne in 3 episodes in Series 3, “Dindshenchas …

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Cows as Currency

As with many ancient societies, the early Irish did not use coinage.  They still had a complex system of value, which may welll have changed over time or from area to area.   One unit of value was cattle,which were used as currency up to around 1400 CE, long after the introduction of coinage.  This could …

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More Stories of Macha – Revisited

FROM THE METRICAL DINDSHENCHAS VOL 4 edited by Edward Gwynn translated by Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody

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Noínden Ulad – The Story of Macha

Edited by Vernam Hull, Celtica 8 (1968), pp 1-42. Translation by Isolde Carmody. Annotated terms are marked in bold, with the notes at the end of the text. §1 Cid dia mboí in ces for Ultaib? Ni ansae From what [cause] was the debility on the Ulstermen? Not hard.

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