Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Midir

Dindshenchas 11: Tocmarc Étaíne 3 – A Game of Fidchell

As we reach the final section of “The Wooing of Étaín”, a game of fidchell leads to some epic gains and losses.  There will be archaic poetry, incest, a War of the Worlds and some civil engineering. Join the Story Archaeologists as they encounter a tale where text and archaeology come together in an extraordinary …

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The Text of Tocmarc Étaíne Part 2

Here is the part of the text of Tocmarc Étaíne we covered in “Tocmarc Étaíne 2: The Re-Born Identity“. 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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A Prophecy

The afternoon sunshine silvered the water, diamond-points lighting the waves with laughter. The girls all stood in happy chattering groups, finished with their bathing, wrapping themselves in their flower-coloured mantles as they dried their wind-washed hair. Then one of them, perhaps the most beautiful, so it was said, looked up, suddenly still, peering seaward, into …

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Dindshenchas 10: Tocmarc Étaíne 2 – The Re-Born Identity

As Étaín grows up to be the most beautiful woman in Ireland – again – she is wooed and won by no less than the king of all Ireland. But no story can be that simple! Join the Story Archaeologists as they seek out the improbable causes of the “sick-lying” of Étaín’s new brother-in-law. Don’t …

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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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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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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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The Dagda and the Mac Óc: Playing with Time and Space

In our story, the Dagda is helped out of trouble by his son, Óengus Mac Ind Óc, and this in turn helps depose Bres and restore prosperity to Ireland after the defeat of the Fomoire.  However, in Tocmairc Étaíne, “The Wooing of Étaín”, we see the Dagda getting his son out of scrapes. From the moment …

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