Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Mongán

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

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 …

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Revisiting Sinann’s Other Poems

From the Metrical Dindshenchas, Volume 4, edited by Edward Gwynn translated by Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody pp 36 – 43: Poems 11 & 12 Note: It may seem hard to believe, but in our podcast episode, Revisiting Sinann, we didn’t jump up and down shouting about the link between Sinann and Mongán! We compared her poetic quest …

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Rowing Around Immrama 12 – In Search of Manannan

As we glimpse safe harbour after our mammoth Immram, we take the opportunity to get to know a favourite Otherworld character. But where does Manannan Mac Lir come from? Is he all he appears to be? This quest became so huge that we had to split it into two episodes. So join the Story Archaeologists as they part …

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Mongán, Taliesin, Finn and Arthur!

What is so special about Mongán? Mongán is no longer a well-known figure in Irish mythology; and yet we have found ourselves giving three full podcast episodes to exploring his stories.  In the Irish annals (3.1), Mongán was referenced as a king who died in 625 CE. There is also an existing prose text and …

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Colmcille and the Youth at Carn Eolairg

The Colloquy of Colmcille and the Youth at Carn Eolairg As it might have been reported by the most insignificant and junior of the sainted man’s monks Some say it was Mongán, son of Fiachna, who spoke to Colmcille that Thursday morning. They had conversed all day, they had – and all night too. Some of …

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Rowing Around Immrama 11: The Mongan Mysteries – Some Poetic Fragments

In our third and final episode on the lost hero, Mongán, we piece together some intriguing potsherds. What has the son of Manannán to say to Saint Colm Cille? What happened when he had his “Frenzy”? Can we re-construct his death-tale, Aided Mongáin? Join the Story Archaeologists as they look for edges and corners in …

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The Humiliation of Eochu Rígéigeas

Eochu, chief poet of Ireland seethed furiously, shame diffusing his face into red rage. To make a fool of him, to humiliate him in public – it was an unforgivable insult to a man of his status. But for a young man, hardly more than a child, to be the cause, the origin of his discomfiture; …

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Rowing Around Imrrama 10: Mongan and the Poets

In our second dip into Mongan’s mysterious waters, we compare several stories showing off Mongan’s miraculous poetic skill. As a boy-wonder, he humiliates his father’s chief poet; as a king, he terrifies a poor student into a mysterious quest; and finally lets slip that he may have been here before… Join the Story Archaeologists as …

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Rhiannon, meet Dubh Lacha – You have a lot in common!

The Prequel to the wedding of Pwyll and Rhiannon; from Mabinogi Pwyll Pwyll Peneuic, Lord of seven Cantrefs of Dyfed, goes hunting at Glyn Cuch and becomes separated from his companions. He hears the cries of a pack of hounds chasing a stag, but it is not his own hounds he hears. This pack is …

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The Text of Immram Brain Part 2: Manannan’s Poem and the Prophecy of Mongan

Here is the second part of the text of Immram Brain, as edited by Séamus Mac Mathúna.  The translation is based on that of Kuno Meyer, although where my translation differs significantly from his, I have included his translation in brackets. For Chris Thompson’s rendition of part of the poem, see Manannán’s Prophecy of Mongán. …

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