Story Archaeology

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

Circling the Tain 01: The Quarrel of the Two Swineherds (or “Where It All Began”)

Wild boar with piglets

Welcome to Series 6, “Circling the Tain”. In this series, we will delve into the fascinating web of stories making up the Tain tradition, with the Tain Bó Cúailnge, “The Cattle Raid of Cooley”, at its core.

We begin this exploration with the story of two talented swineherds and their shape-shifting,poetic quarrel. Join the Story Archaeologists as they begin to uncover just how much this entertaining story acts as a trailer for the complex of stories that make up the Tain tradition as a whole.


Related episodes

Without too big of a Spoiler Alert, we get excited again about Mongán in this episode! Here are the links to the podcast episodes on Mongán:

Rowing Around Immrama 09: Mongan and His Missus

Throughout this series, “Circling the Táin”, we refer to the Ulster Cycle WordPress site by Patrick Brown. His site is a superb resource for this strand of old Irish literature. Peruse at your leisure!

The Ulster Cycle: Heroic Legends from Ireland – Patrick Brown


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Check our Reading List for further reading and resources.

by The Story Archaeologists

Music: “Tam Lin” by Gian Castello


  1. Angie O'Gorman

    Friends, I can’t get any sound on this podcast. Have listened here and also tried to play it in a new window. Angie


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