Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Conchobar

Circling the Táin 03: The Birth Pangs of Ulster

In this episode, we continue our exploration of the troublesome conceptions and births that stand behind much of the material of the Táin tradition. This time, we examine the births of the doomed Deirdre, the fated Cú Chulainn and re-re-visit the importance of Macha’s story. Join the Story Archaeologists as we attempt to disentangle webs …

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Circling The Tain 02: Portents and Prophecies

The richly interwoven stories that make up the Táin tradition contain a wide diversity of characters. There is much to explore. Even their back stories have back stories! In this episode, we explore the back stories of two such characters: the well-known Ulster king, Conchobar Mac Nessa, and the lesser-known Ulster hero, Conall Cernach. Join the Story …

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Navan Fort – Stories and Archaeology

Emain Macha, known as Navan Fort, is one of the main settings for the great heroic tragedies of the Táin Bó Cullainge, as well as many other stories of great feats and tragic losses. Here we find Conchobar mac Nessa, the legendary king of Ulster, the poison-tongued Bricriu, Cathbad the druid who foretells the fate of Deirdre …

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The Story Of Macha ~ revisited

Three and a half years on from our first examinationof Macha, I am still happy with my re-telling even though it id a touch fanciful.Near Armagh is the green mound of mysterious Emain Macha. This is the story of its naming. In my mind I still hear the rhythmic drumming of many hooves, the thrumming …

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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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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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Dindshenchas 07: Fled Bricrenn 4 – A Head to Head Discussion

After an exhausting treck around Ireland in pursuit of the Champion’s Portion, it’s time to sit back and examine the text of Fled Bricrenn as a whole.  There are many questions to be asked; such as who has been pulling our heroes’ strings? Join the Story Archaeologists in their quest to understand this fascinating saga, …

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The Giant in the Mead Hall

In the flickering firelight of the evening feasting, the shadow of the newcomer filled the whole hall, darkening its comforting warmth. The man himself was a giant; huge, twice the height of any other. But he was no noble hero-warrior; no, not this one. This one wore no garment striped with gold. This one had …

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Dindshenchas 06: Fled Bricrenn 3 – Your Head or Mine?

In the final episode of Fled Bricrenn, our heroes head deep into the Otherworld, a.k.a. Kerry. They enter the mysterious revolving fort of Cú Roí Mac Daire, culminating in the iconic beheading game. Join the Story Archaeologists as they take an axe to the Gordian Knot of this magnificent, though bewildering, saga. Please note: This …

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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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