Story Archaeology

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

Category Archives: Texts and Translations

Verba Scathaige – Scathach’s Words

We opened the episode “Women Warriors: The Training of Cú Chulainn“, with a reading, in Irish and English, of Verba Scathaige. This is the poem that Scáthach creates using her imbás forosna, one of the most advanced poetic techniques, used in story to see events far off in time and space. This attribute of Scáthach’s …

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Other Appearances of The Morrigan

As discussed in the podcast, there are several other notable appearances which the Mór Rígan makes through Irish Mythology.  Below, I have produced a translation of the Dindshenchas poem, “Odras”.  Before we get to her, here are links to some of her other roles: Esnada Tige Buichet, “The Melodies of the House of Buchet”. This is …

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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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The Morrigan’s Prophecy

From “the Morrigan’s prophecy” spoken at the close of the battle of Moytura. (based on the translation by Isolde Carmody) Beneath the peaceful heavens lies the land. It rests beneath the bowl of the bright sky. The land lies, itself a dish, a cup of honeyed strength, there, for the taking, offering strength to each There …

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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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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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