Story Archaeology

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

Category Archives: Dindshenchas 09: Tocmarc Étaíne 1 – A Fly On The Wall

Étaín, Eithliu, Vessels and Rebirth

In order to gain some insight into the significance of Étaín, her role and her manner of rebirth, we shall look at related themes as they appear in different sagas. This essay is in two parts – the second part will be published after we have reached the end of The Wooing of Étaín in …

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The Brú na Bóinne and Brí Leith

The story of “The Wooing of Étaín” is primarily set in two locations, that of the Brú na Bóinnein County Meath and Bri Leith in County Longford. Both are of great mythological importance, yet the Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) is, of course, a World Heritage site  and Bri Leith (Ardagh Hill)  is little known. This …

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Brú na Bóinne and Cnogba – the Boyne Valley in the Metrical Dindshenchas

At the beginning of Tocmarc Étaíne, we have the tale of the conception and birth of Óengus Mac Ind Óc and his claiming of Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) as his territory.  We touched on this story back in Series 1, Episode 3, “Tales of Eithliu”, and compared it to the Metrical Dindshenchas poems on Bóand, the …

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The Text of Tocmarc Étaíne Part 1

Here is the part of the text of Tocmarc Étaíne we covered in “Tocmarc Étaíne 1: A Fly On the Wall“. Edited O. Bergin & R. I. Best, Translated by Isolde Carmody, based on Bergin and Best’s translation. View Bergin & Best’s edition on CELT

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Fuamnach’s Story

I met them with mild words and open smiles; my husband and this new young wife he had bought with so much gold and even greater labour. I flattered her with gentle compliments, calling her “king’s daughter”, worthy to sit beside me in our home at Brí Leith. And she was beautiful – and young – it …

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Dindshenchas 09: Tocmarc Étaíne 1 – A Fly On The Wall

The saga Tocmarc Étaíne, “The Wooing of Étaín”, is a complex and engaging tale of love, loss and time twists.  We encounter jealous husbands, repudiated wives and bewildering shape-shifting, all stretching over a thousand years. The Story Archaeologists wander through the first part this magnifigant story, rediscovering old friends and meeting some new, including a …

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