Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Medb

Tain 20: An ‘Online’ Schools’ Óenach

What has been happening? Each May the Táin Bó Cúailnge is celebrated by a group who walk the entire route undertaken by characters of the story. Along the way, schools community groups and many others, organise events and exhibitions to celebrate this wonderful ancient ‘epic’. The march begins at Tulsk, Roscommon. This is Cruachan, the …

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Walking with the Táin ~ Stories in The Landscape

The text of the Táin Bó Cúailnge is one of Irish story’s greatest treasures. The central tale of the two great bulls may be familiar but the wealth of wider stories that circle the Táin, involve some of the most colourful of Irish characters and encompasses almost the whole of the country. Since 2011, a …

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The Cats of Cruachan ~ an short animated film

This time last year, I was struggling with what felt like an impossible task. I was asked to come up with a scripted screenplay for the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Roscommon. This short animation was commissioned by Nollaig Feeney, the Roscommon Heritage Officer and was a direct outcome of the Schools workshops undertaken in the county …

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Medb: Conquests and Consequences

Medb, Queen of Connacht, is rightly renowned in Irish legend and mythology, as a strong and influential woman leader. Her centre of power, Cruachan Ai, is still recognised as one of the most important Iron-age sites in Ireland.  Medb lead her people in her own name and by her own right. She was a strong woman …

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Circling the Tain: 07 – The Pig and The Hound

The briugu, Mac Dá Thó, is the proud owner of the marvelous hound, Ailbe. He also possesses a notorious pig. Now he finds himself faced with contending regional kings and their retinues of elite warriors, demanding the hound for themselves. Will serving up his gourmet pig at a grand feast save his bacon? Join the Story …

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Circling the Táin 04: Harder, Faster, Stronger, Better – The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn

Harder, Faster, Stronger, Better! In this episode, we get to examine some remarkable exploits of one of the central figures in the Tain tradition: Cú Chulainn.  We explore stories told by some of the characters who know the hero, remembering him as a child. Join the Story Archaeologists as we try to decide if  the young Cú Chulainn can be considered …

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Repost – Imbas: Poetry, Knowledge and Inspiration

The filid, “poets”, of early Irish society were not poorly paid struggling artists: they were held in the highest esteem and a crucial part of culture.  Indeed, the word fili, “poet”, more literally means “seer“, and the ollamh, “great poet, chief poet”, had comparable status with the king of the túath, “petty kingdom”, and the …

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The Further Adventures of Nera ~ The Cave Between the Worlds

As Nera climbed out of the steep misted cave, into the darkness, he was met by the autumn smoke smells of damp and decay, clustering around him like a guard of arms, wakeful and watching. The cold night air caught at his throat and he shivered. And yet there was another odour, strong, green, fresh, …

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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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The Coming of the Heroes to Crúachán ~ a description

From inside the dún, It sounded like an army approaching in full battle-stance. The whole household of Crúachán stopped still, startled in their strength. “Go see who is coming,” said Medb to her daughter. So Findabair went to the high place of the house and looked out. The sight before her dazzled her vision. Two matched …

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