Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Cú Chulainn

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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Women Warriors ~ The Training of Cú Chulainn

The magnificent warrior women Scathach and Aife both play a major role in Cú Chulainn’s future life and exploits but they are not the only women who actively engage with out young hero.. Join the Story Archaeologists as they attempt to come to terms with the number of  dalliances and romantic interludes encountered   by the young …

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The Wooing of Emer ~ Cú Chulainn meets his match

Cú Chulainn meets his match In this episode we get to meet the marvelous Emer, the woman who bests  the young Cú Chulainn, at least, in terms of her sharp witted and far-sighted eloquence. Join the Story Archaeologists as we try to decode how Emer manages her young and unpredictable suitor and deals with her uncompromising father. Read the …

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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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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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A Description of the Sid of Labraid

Paraphrased from Laerg’s poem in Serglige Con Chulainn, “The Love-Sickness of Cú Chulainn” from “Serglige Con Chulainn“, ed. Myles Dillon from Lebor na hUidre; lines 486 – 513 Poetic rendering by Chris Thompson   Colba do lepthaib crónda, úatne finna forórda, is sí caindell ardustá in lía lógmar lainerdá. Soft crimson beds there are Emblazoned …

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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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Cú Chulainn’s Wild Ride

In Section 32 of Fled Bricrenn, Cú Chulainn explains to Loegaire and Conall that he won’t fight them for the Champion’s Portion, as he’s had a busy day: Is and asmbert Cuculaind: ‘Rosirius andú morbrughi h-Érinn’, ol se, ‘Bregha Midii, Muiriusc Murteme Machae Magh Medbhai, Cuirech Cletech Cernai, Aidne Aidli Asul, Lia Linde Locharna, Fea …

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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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