Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Medb

Circling the Táin 04: Harder, Faster, Stronger, Better – The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn

Harder, Faster, Stronger, Better! In this episode, we get to examine some remarkable exploits of one of the central figures in the Tain tradition: Cú Chulainn.  We explore stories told by some of the characters who know the hero, remembering him as a child. Join the Story Archaeologists as we try to decide if  the young Cú Chulainn can be considered …

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Repost – Imbas: Poetry, Knowledge and Inspiration

The filid, “poets”, of early Irish society were not poorly paid struggling artists: they were held in the highest esteem and a crucial part of culture.  Indeed, the word fili, “poet”, more literally means “seer“, and the ollamh, “great poet, chief poet”, had comparable status with the king of the túath, “petty kingdom”, and the …

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The Further Adventures of Nera ~ The Cave Between the Worlds

As Nera climbed out of the steep misted cave, into the darkness, he was met by the autumn smoke smells of damp and decay, clustering around him like a guard of arms, wakeful and watching. The cold night air caught at his throat and he shivered. And yet there was another odour, strong, green, fresh, …

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Dindshenchas 08: The Further Adventures of Nera – The Cow and the Time Machine

In the context of Dindshenchas, we return to the fascinating tale, Echtrae Nerai / Táin Bó Aingene (“The Adventures of Nera / The Cattle Raid of Aingene“), which we dipped into in “Corpse Carrying For Beginners“.  When Nera returns from his adventures in the síd, he ends up with even more than a time-travel headache. …

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The Coming of the Heroes to Crúachán ~ a description

From inside the dún, It sounded like an army approaching in full battle-stance. The whole household of Crúachán stopped still, startled in their strength. “Go see who is coming,” said Medb to her daughter. So Findabair went to the high place of the house and looked out. The sight before her dazzled her vision. Two matched …

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Dindshenchas 05: Fled Bricrenn 2 – The Road to Crúachán

In the second part of Fled Bricrenn, our heroes make their way to Crúachán to be judged for the Champion’s Portion. But their routes there and back are most circuitous. Follow on their heels with the Story Archaeologists as Cú Chulainn, Loegaire and Conall are tested in some unexpected ways! If you have any technical …

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The mead-circling hall ~ roundhouses and their stories

I have always liked round houses. Since, as a child, I first discovered that there were mysterious wicker chests of red-gold gem stories tucked away, unregarded, behind the marbled classical tales of fabled Greek heroes, I wanted to know more. But the stories from Wales and, above all, Ireland were hard to find, and even …

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The Dindshenchas of Carn Hill, Co. Longford – Carn Furbaide

Carn Furbaide, the cairn of Furbaide Fer Benn son of Conchobar and Eithne Úathach,  seems to be on Carn Hill in Co. Longford, a proverbial stone’s throw from Midir’s sid on Brí Leith / Ardagh Hill.  (See Hogan’s Onomasticon Goedelicum, Letter C). As ever, terms with notes below are in bold, and the notes are …

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Inis Clothran in pictures

Inis Clothrann Inis Clothrann is  the  largest of the islands in Lough Ree on the River Shannon, in County Longford.  Inis Clothrann is also known as “Quaker Island”  or even the “Island of the Seven Churches”. This map, from the six inch Ordnance Survey maps of Ireland completed in 1846, shows several important features of the island, including the Griannán Meidhbhe , “Medb’s …

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Aided Meidbe – The Violent Death of Maeve

Here is the translation of Aided Meidbe by Vernam Hull, published in Speculum. v.13 issue 1. (Jan. 1938), pp 52-61 (as published on Mary Jones’ excellent “Celtic Literature Collective“). Aideda, sometimes referred to as “Death Tales”, are a class of narrative literature in the Medieval Irish tale-lists. There are only two aideda which recount the …

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