Plate Xviii

Menhir of Kernuz

The monument shows figures of Mercury (cf. pp. 9, 158) and a child, and of a god with a club (cf. Plates IV-V). Mercury and the child have been equated with Lug and his son, Cuchulainn (see pp. 64-65, 82-84, 158-59; for Lug see also pp. 25, 28-33, 4°> I22> and for Cuchulainn pp. 36, 69-71, 86-88, 128, 134, 139-59, 209, 212). The latter has also been identified with Esus, but with scant plausibility (see Plates XX, A, XXI).

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his origin is semi-divine. Sualtam's mother was of the sid-folk; he was called Suallam .¿id?ch ("oJLthe fairy haunts") ~ and possessed "the~.magic might of an elf." 5 The supernatural aspect of some of the personages is seen in Cuchulainn's feats or his "distortion"; or in .Fergus, who had the strength of seven hundred men, ate seven hogs and kine at a meal, and wielded a sword as long as a rainbow, while a seventh part of him surpassed the whole of any ordinary man.6 In one passage Conchobar is called dia talmaide ("a terrestrial god"), while Dechtire is termed a goddess.7 Yet Cuchulainp was not necessarily a sun-god or sun-hero; for if he was, why does the -Tain, in which he plays so great a part, take place in winter, while his greatest activity is from Samhain (November) until the beginning of spring.8 Nor is every mistress of his a dawn-goddess, nor every foe a power of darkness.

The boyish deeds of Cuchulainn were described to Medb during the Tain by Fergus and others. Before his fifth year, when already possessed of man's strength, he heard of the "boy corps" of his uncle Conchobar and went to test them, taking his club, ball, spear, and javelin, playing with these as he went. At Emain he joined the boys at play without permission; but this was an insult, and they set upon him, throwing at him clubs, spears, and balls, all of which he fended off, besides knocking down fifty of the boys, while his "contortion" seized him — the first reference to this curious phenomenon. Conchobar now interfered, but Cuchulainn would not desist until all the boys came under his protection and guarantee.9

At Conchobar's court he performed extraordinary feats and expelled a band of invaders when the Ulstermen were in their yearly weakness.10 He was first known as Setanta, and was called Cuchulainn in the following way. Culann the smith had prepared a banquet for Conchobar, who, on his way to it, saw the youth holding the field at ball against three hundred and fifty others; and though he bade him follow,

Setanta refused to come until the play was over. While the banquet was progressing, Culann let loose his great watchdog, which had the strength of a hundred, and when Setanta reached the fort, the beast attacked him, whereupon he thrust his ball into its mouth, and seizing its hind legs, battered it against a rock. Culann complained that the safe-guard of his flocks and herds was destroyed, but the boy said that he would act as watch-dog until a whelp of its breed was ready; and Cathbad the Druid now gave him a name — Cu Chulainn, or "Culann's Dog." This adventure took place before he was seven years old.11 Baudis suggests that as Cuchulainn was not the hero's birth-name, a dog may have been his manito,12 his name being given him in some ceremonial way at puberty, a circumstance afterward explained by the mythical story of Culann's Hound.13

One day Cuchulainn overheard Cathbad saying that whatever stripling assumed arms on that day would have a short life, but would be the greatest of warriors. He now demanded arms from Conchobar, but broke every set of weapons given him until he received Conchobar's own sword and shield; and he also destroyed seventeen chariots, so that nothing but Conchobar's own chariot sufficed him. Cuchulainn made the charioteer drive fast and far until they reached the dun of the sons of Nechtan, each of whom he fought and slew, cutting off their heads; while on his return he killed two huge stags and then captured twenty-four wild swans, fastening all these to the chariot. From afar Levarcham the prophetess saw the strange cavalcade approaching Emain and bade all be on their guard, else the warrior would slay them; but Conchobar alone knew who he was and recognized the danger from a youth whose appetite for slaughter had been whetted. A stratagem was adopted, based upon Cuchulainn's well-known modesty. A hundred and fifty women with uncovered breasts were sent to meet him,14 and while he averted his face, he was seized and plunged into vessels of cold water. The first burst asunder; the water of the second boiled with the heat from his body; that of the third became warm; and thus his rage was calmed. Fiacha, who tells this story, now describes the hero. Besides being very handsome, with golden tresses,] he had seven tnes on each_foot, seven fingers on each-hand,! and seven pupils in each eye, while on his body was a shirt of gold thread and a green mantle with silver clasps. No wonder, added Fiacha, that now at seventeen he is slaughtering so many in the Tain Bo Cualnge,15

Cuchulainn's beauty attracted women, whence Conchobar's warriors, fearing for the virtue of their wives, sent him to woo Forgall's daughter, Emer;16 but to hinder this, Forgall urged him to find Domnal the Warlike in Alba, hoping that he would never return. He set off with Conchobar, Loegaire, and Conall; and after Domnal had taught them extraordinary feats, he sent them to receive instruction from Scathach, who dwelt to the east of Alba. Meanwhile Cuchulainn had refused the love of Domnal's ugly daughter, Dornolla. She vowed vengeance, and when the heroes departed, she caused a vision of Emain to rise before Cuchulainn's companions, which made them so home-sick that he had to proceed alone. Instructed by a youth, he crossed the Plain of Ill-Luck safely. On its first half men's feet stuck fast, and on the second half the grass held their feet on the points of its blades; but he must first follow the track of a wheel and then that of an apple which rolled before him. A narrow path through a glen would bring him to Scathach's house, which was on an island approached by a narrow bridge, slippery as an eel's tail, or, in another version, high in the centre, while the other end rose up whenever anyone leaped on it, and flung him backward. This island and bridge are not mentioned in the older recensions of the story. After many attempts Cuchulainn reached the other side by his "salmon-leap." Uathach, Scathach's daughter, fell in love with him and told him how to obtain valour from her mother. He must make his salmon-leap to the great yew-

tree where Scathach was teaching her sons, Cuare and Cet, and set his sword between her breasts. Thus he obtained from Scathach all his wishes — acquaintance with her feats, marriage to Uathach without a dowry, and knowledge of his future, while she yielded herself to him. For a year he remained with Scathach, learning skill in arms, and then, despite her attempts to hinder him, he assisted her in fighting the amazon Aife and her warriors. Having discovered that Aife loved above all else her charioteer and chariot-horses, he exclaimed, as he fought her, that these had perished. She looked aside, and that moment Cuchulainn overcame her and made her promise never again to oppose Scathach. From his a?nour with Aife, a son would be born called Conlaoch, who was to wear a ring which Cuchulainn left for him and to seek his father when he was a warrior of seven years old. He must make himself known to none, turn aside for none, and refuse combat to none.

On his return to Scathach Cuchulainn slew a hag who disputed the crossing of the bridge of leaps, and Scathach bound him and Ferdiad, Fraoch, Naisi, and Fergus, whom she had trained, never to combat with each other. While going home to Ireland he slew the Fomorians to whom Devorgilla, daughter of the King of the Isles, was to be given in tribute— an early Celtic version of the story of Perseus and Andromeda.17

Though Devorgilla was awarded to Cuchulainn, he afterward gave her to Lugaid as wife, since he himself was to marry J^mer; whereupon Devorgilla and her handmaid sought the hero in the form of birds, and when he wounded them, their true form appeared. Cuchulainn sucked out the sling-stone and with it some blood; and for this reason also he could not wed her, for he had drunk her blood — a mythical version of the rite of blood brotherhood. He now carried off Emer despite Forgall's opposition, and she became his wife, though not before Conchobar exercised his royal prerogative on her.18

The feats which Cuchulainn learned from Scathach are no longer intelligible and are probably exaggerated or imaginary warrior exploits. Scathach and Aife may be reminiscences of actual Celtic female warriors, though the hero's visit to Scathach's isle is akin to his journey to Fand — it is a visit to a divine land, whose people are sometimes at war (as in the stories of Fand and Loegaire), but where wisdom, valour, and other things may be gained by mortals.

When Conlaoch came to Ireland, his father's injunctions were the cause of his slaying his own son in ignorance with his marvellous spear, the gai bolga; and when he recognized the ring which his son wore, great was his sorrow.19 This is a Celtic version of the story of Suhrab and Rustam.20

Cuchulainn did not at once become hero of Ulster. In the story of Mac Datho's Boar, to which reference has already been made, the hero is Conall, who never passed a day without killing a Connaughtman or slept without a Connaughtman's head under his knee. Bricriu, the provoker of strife, advised that each man should get a share of the boar according to his warlike deeds. Cet of Connaught was chief until Conall arrived and put him to shame; and then, though the boar's tail required sixty men to carry it, he sucked it into his mouth, allotting scanty portions to the men of Connaught. In the fight which ensued the latter were routed, Mac Datho's hound siding with the Ulstermen.21

The Fled Brier end, or Feast of Bricriu, tells of a feast made for Conchobar and his men by Bricriu in a vast house built for this purpose. Bricriu prepared for himself a balcony with a window looking down on the hall, for he knew that the Ulstermen would not allow him to enter it; yet they feared to accept the invitation lest he should provoke quarrels among them, and the dead should outnumber the living. Thereupon he asserted that if they refused, he would do still worse; and after discussion it was agreed that they should go, but that Bricriu should be guarded from entering the feast. In the sequel, however, he provoked a quarrel between Loegaire, Conall, and Cuchulainn as to which of them should receive the champion's portion; whereupon each claimed it, and a light arose between them in the hall. This reflects actual Celtic custom, for Poseidonius speaks of festivals at which a quarter of pork was taken by the bravest; and if another claimed it, they fought until one was killed.22 Conchobar separated the heroes, and Sencha announced that the question should be submitted to Ailill, King of Connaught. Meanwhile Bricriu stirred up strife among the heroes' wives, who had left the hall, by telling each in turn that she should have the right of first entry; and this caused a quarrel among them, every one extolling her own husband. Loegaire and Conall each made a breach in the wall so that his wife should enter first, the door having been closed; but Cuchulainn removed one side of the house, and his wife Emer had precedence. Bricriu then demanded that the damage should be repaired, but none could do this save Cuchulainn, and he only after extraordinary exertions. Conchobar now bade the heroes go to Curoi mac Daire, whose judgements were always equitable, in order that he might settle the question.

On his way Loegaire encountered a repulsive giant with a cudgel, who beat him and made him return without horses, chariot, or charioteer; and Conall met the same fate, Cuchulainn alone being able to overcome the giant and to return in triumph with arms and horses. Bricriu thereupon announced that the champion's morsel was Cuchulainn's, but his rivals objected, saying that one of his friends of the side had overcome them. The Ulstermen now sought judgement from Ailill, but Cuchulainn remained behind to amuse the women with his feats until Loeg, his charioteer, reproached him with delay. By the swiftness of their chariot-horses they arrived first at Ailill's palace, where water was brought by a hundred and fifty young girls to provide baths for the heroes, and the most beautiful of these accompanied them to their couches, Cuchu-

lainn choosing Findabair, Ailill's daughter. Ailill asked three days and nights to consider the question, and on the first night three cats — "druidic beasts" from the cave of Cruachan — arrived. Conall and Loegaire abandoned their food to them, but Cuchulainn attacked them, and at dawn the cats disappeared, after the manner of other supernatural beings, who vanish at daybreak. Ailill was in despair how to solve the problem of the championship, but Medb sneered at him, and sending for each hero, gave him a cup without the others knowing it, saying that it would assure him of the champion's morsel at Conchobar's board. Meanwhile Cuchulainn vanquished the others in the sport of wheel-throwing, while he also threw needles so that each one entered the eye of the other, forming a single line.

Medb now sent them to Ercol and Garmna to seek their judgement, and they referred them to Samera, who dispatched them to the Geniti Glinni. Loegaire and Conall returned without arms or garments; Cuchulainn was at first overcome, but when Loeg reproached him, his demoniac fury began, and he attacked them and filled the valley with their blood, taking their banner and going back as a conqueror to Samera, who said that he should have the champion's morsel. Returning to Ercol, the warriors were challenged to combat him and his horse. Loegaire's steed was killed by Ercol's, and he fled to Emain, saying that the others were slain by Ercol. Conall also fled, but Cuchulainn's horse, the Grey of Macha, killed Ercol's, and he then carried Ercol prisoner to Emain, where he found everyone lamenting his death. On the way Samera's daughter Buan, who had fallen in love with Cuchulainn, leaped after his chariot, and falling on a rock, was killed. A feast was prepared at Emain Macha and now each hero produced his cup in expectation of the award. Cuchulainn's cup, however, of gold and precious stones, proved the most valuable and beautiful, and all would have given him the championship, had not his rivals maintained that this was not a true judge-

ment and threatened to attack the hero. Conchobar therefore sent them to Yellow, son of Fair, who bade them go to Terror, son of Great Fear, a giant who could assume whatever form pleased him. He proposed the "covenant of the axe," which Loegaire and Conall refused, whereas Cuchulainn accepted it, provided they would acknowledge his supremacy, the covenant being that Cuchulainn should cut off Terror's head today, while Terror cut off his tomorrow. When Cuchulainn did his part, Terror took his head and axe and plunged into his loch; but next day he appeared, and Cuchulainn placed himself in position. Three times Terror drew the axe over his neck and then bade him rise in token of his bravery; but still his rivals would not give way, so that now the Ulstermen bade them seek the judgement of Curoi. This axe game is found in Arthurian romance in the story of Sir Gazvayne and the Green Knight, and it is apparently based on an actual Celtic custom of a man, in token of bravery, after an entertainment, allowing someone to cut his throat with a sword.23

At Curoi's castle Blathnat, his wife, welcomed them in his absence, though he knew they would come, and she bade them take turns in guarding it. In whatever part of the world Curoi was, he sang a spell over the castle at night, and it revolved as swiftly as a millstone, so that the entrance could not be found — an incident found elsewhere in Celtic romance. Loegaire took the first watch and saw a giant approaching from the sea, as high as heaven and bearing oak-trees in his hands, which he threw at Loegaire, missing him each time, after which the monster stretched out his hand, and squeezing him till he was half-dead, threw him outside the castle. Next night Conall met the same fate. On the night when Cuchulainn watched, the three goblins of Sescind Uairbeoil, the three herdsmen of Bregia, and the three sons of Big-Fist the Siren were to unite to take the castle, while the spirit of the lake near by would swallow it whole; but Cuchulainn slew the nine foes when they arrived, as well as two other bands of nine, making a cairn of their heads and arms. Wearied and sad, he now heard the loch roaring like the sea and saw a monster emerging from it and approaching with open jaws to gulp the castle down. With one leap he came behind it, tore out its heart, and cutting off its head, placed it on the heap. At dawn the giant arrived, and when he stretched out his hand, Cuchu-lainn made his salmon-leap and whirled his sword round his head, whereupon the monster vanished after having agreed to grant his three wishes — the sovereignty of Ireland's heroes, the champion's morsel, and precedence for Emer over the women of Ulster. Cuchulainn's leap had brought him outside the castle, but after several trials he sprang back into it with a sigh, and Blathnat said, "That is a sigh of victory." When Curoi arrived, he found the trophies outside his castle and gave judgement in Cuchulainn's favour.

Later, when all three were absent from Emain Macha, a huge boor arrived, carrying a tree, a vast beam, and an axe with a handle which required a plough-team to move it. He announced that he had sought everywhere for a man capable of fighting him and proposed the covenant of the axe. This passage repeats grotesquely the former incident, save that Fat-Neck, who struck off the boor's head, refused to fulfil his part of the covenant, as also did Loegaire and Conall on their return. Cuchulainn took his place, but the boor spared him, calling him the bravest of warriors and fulfilling for him the three wishes he had made; for he was none other than Curoi, who had taken first the giant's, then the boor's form.24

The story of The Exile of the Sons of Doel the Forgotten (Longes mac nDuil Dermait) opens with a version of Bricriu's Feast. Cuchulainn had been cursed by Eocho Rond to have no rest until he discovered why Doel's sons left their country. With Loeg and Lugaid he captured the ship of the King of Alba's son, who gave him a charm; and thus they reached an island with a rampart of silver and a palisade of bronze, while on it was a castle where dwelt a royal pair — Riangabair and

Finnabair — with three beautiful daughters. These welcomed them, because Loeg was their son; and Riangabair told Cuchu-lainn that the sister of Doel's sons and her husband were in a southern isle. In the morning Cuchulainn gave a ring to Etan, one of the daughters, who had slept with him, and then sailed for the isle. Connla, husband of Achtland, Doel's daughter, had his head against a stone in the west of the isle, and his feet against another in the east — a position resembling that in which Nut is represented above the earth in Egyptian mythology.25 Achtland was combing his hair. As the ship approached, Connla blew so violently that a wave was formed, but as no diviner had announced danger from Cuchulainn, he was allowed to land. Achtland made him a sign and then said that she knew where her brothers were and that she would go with him, for it was foretold that he would rescue them. They reached an island where two women were cutting rushes, and one of them sang of seven Kings who ruled it. Cuchulainn brained her, whereupon the other told him the names of the Kings, one of whom was Coirpre, Doel's brother. Coirpre attacked Cuchulainn, but was forced to sue for mercy and carried him into the castle, where he gave him his daughter and told him the story of Doel's sons. Next day Eocho Glas arrived to fight Coirpre, and Cuchulainn leaped on the edge of his shield, but Eocho blew him into the sea. Now he leaped on the boss of the shield, again on Eocho himself, and both times he was blown into the ocean; but at last he slew his foe with the gai bolga. Then came the side whom Eocho had outraged, among them Doel's sons, and bathed in his blood to wash away the shame. Cuchulainn returned to Riangabair's isle, where he slept with Finnabair, and finally reaching Emain Macha, he went thence to Ailill and Medb, who caused Eocho Rond to be brought. He had fought Cuchulainn because his daughter Findchoem loved him, and on her account had put geasa (spells) on the hero, who now, having fulfilled them, demanded and obtained her.26

Both these tales contain many primitive traits and mythical incidents which throw considerable light on earlier Celtic folk-belief.

Previous to Bricriu's feast must be placed a story in which Curoi discomfited Cuphulainn. He joined the hero and others in attacking the stronghold of the god Midir in the Isle^of Falga ( = the Lami^fPromise) and led them into it when their efforts failed through the magic of its defenders, his condition being that he must have whatever jewel he chose. The invaders carried off Midir's three cows, his cauldron, and his daughter Blathnat. To Cuchulainn's chagrin, however, Curoi chose her and took her away by magic; and though the hero pursued him, he was bound hand and foot by Curoi and shaved with his sword.27 Another version of this exploit, or perhaps of an analogous feat, tells how Cuchulainn journeyed to Scath and by aid of the King's daughter stole a cauldron, three cows, and much gold; but his coracle was wrecked, and he had to swim home with his men clinging to him.28

When Cuchulainn went to obtain Curoi's judgement, he may have come to an arrangement with Blathnat, for Keating says that, finding him alone, she told him that she loved him,29

while a story in the Dind'senchas describes her as his paramour and declares that she bade him come and take his revenge.

She brought it about that Curoi was alone in his castle and as a signal she caused milk to flow down-stream to Cuchulainn, whereupon he entered and slew Curoi, whose sword Blathnat had taken.30 In another version, however, the incident of the separable soul occurs. Curoi's soul was in an apple, and this in a salmon, which appeared every seven years in a certain well, while the apple could be split only by Curoi's sword.

This knowledge was obtained by Curoi's wife, as in parallel stories, and the sword given by her to Cuchulainn, who thus compassed her husband's death.31 The folk-tale formula is thus complete, though doubtless Curoi is a genuine Celtic personality, whose fame was known to Welsh bards.32 Probiii—ii fably a complete saga existed about this great hero or divinity and magician, who, according to another story, with his magic wand took possession of Ireland and the great world.33 The slaying of Curoi should be compared with that of Lieu, brought about by Blodeuwedd's treachery, and with the killing of Searbhan by his own club, especially as Blodeuwedd's name, meaning "Flower-Face," from blodeu ("flowers") is akin to Blathnat's, which is probably from blath ("bloom"). In the sequel Curoi's poet avenged his death by leaping off a cliff with Blathnat in his arms.34

The greatest adventure in Cuchulainn's career occurs in the Tain Bo Cualnge, or Cattle-Raid of Cualnge," to which belong a number of prefatory tales, some of them already cited. Only the briefest account of this long story can be given here. Queen Medb of Connaught desired the Donn or Brown Bull of Cualnge in Ulster, so that she might have the equivalent of her husband Ailill's bull, the Findbennach, or "White-Horned," these bulls, as narrated above,35 being rebirths of semi-divinities. When Daire, owner of the bull, refused to give it, Aledb collected an enormous force to march against Ulster at the time when the Ulstermen were in their "debility"— the result of Macha's curse.36 Cuchulainn and Sualtam were unaffected by that curse, however, and they went against the host, in which were some heroes of Ulster, Cormac, Conall, Fiacha, and Fergus, exiled because of a quarrel with Conchobar for his treacherous murder of the sons of Usnech. As Medb set out, a beautiful girl suddenly appeared on her chariot-shaft, announcing herself as servant of Medb's people, Fedelm the prophetess (banfaid) from the sid of Cruachan (hence Aledb was also of the side); but she prophesied disaster because of Cuchulainn, whom she saw in a vision.

Cuchulainn, having entered a forest, stood on one leg, and using one hand and one eye, he cut down an oak sapling, which he twisted into a ring, inscribing on it his name, and placing it over a pillar-stone. This was a geis (tabu) to the host not to


Bulls and S-Symbols

1. 6. Bulls, conventionally treated, with the characteristic Celtic spiral ornament. From stones found at Burghhead near Forres, Elginshire. Similar figures exist on stones at Inverness and Ulbster (Caithness). They are believed to date from the Christian Celtic period, but perhaps represent a pagan tradition. Cf. also Plates II, 4-5, 9, III, 5, IX, B, XX, B, XXI.

2-5. S-symbol, also believed to be of the Celtic Christian period, but doubtless derived from the same symbol as used on Gaulish coins and carried by a divinity (see Plates II, 2, 4, 7-9, n, III, 3, IV).

2. On a silver brooch found at Croy, Inverness-shire.

3. On a stone found at Kintradwell, Sutherland-shire. It exists on a few other stones.

4. Engraved with numerous other figures and symbols on a cave at East Wemyss, Fife.

5. On a silver ring attached to a chain found at Parkhill, Aberdeenshire.

advance until they had done the same; and meanwhile he kept tryst with Conchobar's daughter Fedelm or with her handmaid. Again entering a wood, he cut down the fork of a tree, placed on it four heads of the enemy slain by him, and set it in a ford to prevent the chariots from passing until it was drawn out. Now he slew hundreds of the host, but a treaty was made that every day a warrior should meet him in single combat, while he allowed the army to proceed. These combats, described with great spirit, as well as other daring deeds of Cuchulainn's, occupy the greater part of the Tain, but none of them is so full of interest and pathos as the long episode of the fight with Ferdia, his former fellow-pupil with Scathach, whom at last to his sorrow he slew.

One incident tells of the warning given by the goddess Morrigan, in the form of a bird, to the bull to beware of Medb's men, so that with fifty heifers he fled to the Heifer's Glen, but was ultimately taken and brought to Medb's host; and another passage describes Cuchulainn's rejection of Morri-gan's advances, and her wounding and later healing by him.37 There is also the incident of Medb's sending her women to bid him smear a false beard on himself when her warrior, Loch, refused to fight this beardless youth, whereupon he said a spell over some grass and clapped it to his chin, so that all thought he had a beard. The help given to Cjuckulainn by Lug has already been described;38 and the Tuatha_De-Danann likewise aided him by throwing^ healing- he-rbs and plants into the streams in which his wounds were__washed. Interesting is the long account of his riastrad, or "distortion," before wreaking his fury on the men of C'onnaught for slaying the "boy corps" of Emain. He grew to an immense size and quivered in every limb, while his feet, shins, and knees were reversed in his body. This was the permanent condition of Levarcham and Dornolla, already mentioned, and implied swiftness and strength, since Levarcham traversed all Ireland every day. Of Cuchulainn's eyes, one sank in his head so that a heron could not have reached it, while the other protruded from its socket as large as the rim of a cauldron. His mouth reached his ears, and fire streamed from it, mounting above his head in showers, while a great jet of blood higher and more rigid than a ship's mast shot upward from his scalp, within which his hair retreated, and formed a mist all about. This distortion frequently came upon Cuchulainn, like the terrific heat sometimes given off by his body, enough to melt deep snow for thirty feet around.

During the progress of the Tain Ailill sent messengers to Cuchulainn, offering him his daughter Findabair if he would keep away from the host. Finally his fool, taking Ailill's shape, approached the hero with Findabair, but Cuchulainn detected the transformation and slew him, besides thrusting a stone through Findabair's mantle and tunic. She had been offered to Ferdia and others if they conquered Cuchulainn; but later she died of shame because of the slaughter of warriors in the fight between the chiefs to whom she had been promised and her lover Reochaid and his men. In the version given in the Book of Lecan, however, she remained with Cuchulainn when peace was concluded. This is the same Findabair who is the heroine of the story of Fraoch cited above, and whose favours Cuchulainn had already gained.39

Meanwhile the Ulstermen had recovered from their debility rand gathered for the battle with the enemy, while the goddess Alorrigan uttered a song of slaughter between the armies. Med&'s forces were defeated, but she sent the bull by a circuitous way to Cruachan; and seeing the trackless land before him, he uttered three terrible bellowings, at which the Findben-nach came hurrying toward him. Bricriu saw the wild combat between the maddened animals, but as they struggled he was trampled into the earth by their hoofs. All over Ireland they drove, fighting as they went; and next day the Brown Bull was seen coming to Cualnge with the Findbennach in a mangled heap on his horns. Women and children wept as they beheld him, but these he slew; and then, turning his back against a hill, his heart was rent with his mighty exertions. Thus ended the Tain.A0

Cuchulainn was now seventeen years old, and to the few years which ensued before his death probably belong -his amour with the goddess Fand and that with Blathnat, since Curoi intended to oppose him during the Tain, but was sent back by Medb.

The slaying of Curoi, of Cairbre Niaper in fair fight at Ros na Righ, and of Calatin, as well as his twenty-seven sons and his sister's son, during the Tain, led to the hero's death. Cala-tin's wife bore posthumously three monstrous sons and three daughters who were nurtured by Medb and studied magic arts in order to compass Cuchulainn's death. Joining at last with Lugaid, Curoi's son, and Ere, Cairbre's son, they marched toward Ulster while its men were in their debility. Mighty efforts were made to restrain Cuchulainn from a combat which all knew would be fatal to him, and he was at last concealed in the Glen of the Deaf; but Calatin's daughters discovered this and created a phantasmal army out of puff-balls and withered leaves, as Lug's witches transformed into soldiers trees, sods, and stones, and Gwydion trees and sedges.41 This army and other eldritch things filled the glen with strange noises, and Cuchulainn thought that enemies were harassing Ulster, though Cathbad told him that this was merely magic illusion. Then one of the weird daughters took the form of Niamh, daughter of Celtchar, and speaking in her name, bade Cuchulainn attack the foes who were overwhelming Ulster. Neither the protestations of the real Niamh, nor of Dechtire, nor of Conchobar, nor the assurances of Cathbad that the hosts were illusions could withhold him. On his way to Emain he saw Badb's daughter washing blood from a warrior's gear — the "Washer at the Ford," a prophecy of his own death — but he was resolute and cheerful in face of the desperate fight to which he bound himself. During the night Morrigan broke his chariot, hoping thus to stay him from the combat, but next morning he bade it be yoked with the Grey of Macha, though the horse reproached him. On his way three crones, cooking dog's flesh with poisons and spells, called him, but since one of his geasa was not to approach a | cooking-hearth nor to eat the flesh of his^jiamesake (cu> "dog"), he would have passed on, had not the crones reproached him. So he turned aside, took the flesh with his left hand, and ate it, placing his hand under his thigh, whereupon strength departed from thigh and hand. In the fight he slew many foes, until Lugaid possessed himself of Cuchulainn's spear and wounded first the Grey of Macha, which plunged into the loch for healing; and then Cuchulainn, who begged permission to crawl to the loch for water. He set himself against a pillar-stone, and there the faithful horse returned and killed many of his foes with teeth and hoofs; but at last Lugaid struck off Cuchulainn's

!ead, though as the hero's sword fell from his grasp, vit lopped ff his enemy's hand. Meanwhile Conall was met by the horse, and together they sought and found Cuchulainn's body, the Grey placing its head on its master's breast. Conall pursued Lugaid, for Cuchulainn and he had vowed that whoever survived must avenge the others; and his own horse aided him, biting a piece from Lugaid's side, while Conall cut off his head, thus taking vengeance for the hero's death.42

Lugaid, Curoi's son, was called Mac na Tri Con, or "Son of the Tl^reeJDogs," viz. Quroi, Cuchulainn, and Conall — con being the genitive of cu ("dog")— because it was believed that hi-s mother Blathnat, Curoi's wife, had loved these two as well as her husband.43 Thus Lugaid killed one reputed father of his and was himself slain by another. A tenth century poem calls the three flags of his grave Murder, Disgrace, and Trgachery.44 He was probably not Cuchulainn's friend Lugaid Red-Stripes, who, however, was also a son of three fathers, Bres, Nar, and Lothar, by their sister Clothru.

In his old age Conall retired to the Court of Medb, who induced him to slay Ailill; but for this the three Reds, or J Wolves, killed him and cut off his head in revenge for the death I of Curoi at the hands of Cuchulainn.45

Conchobar met his fate in a curious way. Among the trophies in Emain Macha was a sling-ball made of the brain of Mesgegra, King of Leinster, slain by Conall. One day Cet, whom Conall killed at the feast on Mac Datho's Boar, stole this ball, which was mixed with earth, and thus hardened, and later induced the women of Connaught to get Conchobar to show himself to them, whereupon Cet flung the ball into his forehead, whence it could not be removed lest he should die.i Years after, an earthquake occurred, and when his Etcuid toldj him that this signified our Load's crucifixion, Conchobar, who now believed in God, felt such emotion at not being able tcj avenge Christ that the ball started from his head, and h<j died.46

M. d'Arbois maintained that the saga of Cikkulainn was known in-Gaul. Cuchulainn's name Setanta is akin to that of the Setantii, Celtic tribes living in the district between the Ribble and Morecambe Bay, and this, according to Rhys,47 suggests a British ancestry for the Irish hero. D'Arbois, on the other hand, regards this folk^as well as the Brigantes, as of Belgic^au^isiL-pmvenance, while the latter had-colonies — injj-eland. They had a well-known god, Esus, whom d'Arbois identifies with JIuclmlainn; whence the story is-of Gaulish origin, perhaps taught by the^Druids^ and it was ultimately carried to-Ulster, where it was received with enthusiasm.48 The identification rests on certain figured monuments, in the persons, names, or episodes of which M. d'Arbois sees those of the saga. On one altar Esus is cutting down a tree, while on the same altar is figured a bull on which are perched three birds, this animal being entitled Tarvos Trigaranos — "the bull with three cranes" {garanus), unless the cranes are a rebus for the three horns (karenos) of divine animals. On another altar from Treves a god is cutting down a tree, and in its branches are a bull's head and two birds — a possible combination of the incidents on the other altar. M. d'Arbois regards this as illustrating the Tain. Esus, the woodman, is Cuchulainn; his action depicts what the hero did — cutting down trees to bar the way of Medb's host; "Esus" is derived from words meaning "anger," "rapidjnotion," such as Cuchulainn often (displayed. The bull is the Brown Bull; the birds are the 'forms in which Morrigan and her sisters appeared,49 though these bird-forms were those of the crow, not the crane; the I personal name Donnotaurus is found in Gaul and is the equival lent of the Dmm.Tarb — the "Breasta-Bull." 50 Again, Dpdorus says that the Dioscuri, i. e.-Castor, .and Pollux, were the gods most worshipped by th«- Celts in the west of-Gaul,51 and M. d'Arbois finds these in C4ehulainn and Conall Cernach, the former being foster-brother of the latter, having been suckled by Eindchoem, Conall's mother. He bases this identification on an altar found at—Paris, on the four sides of which are represented the Roman-Castor and Pollux and two Gaulish dijdnities — Smertullos attacking a serpent with a club, and an unnamed horned god, perhaps the god Cernunnos (cernu-, "horn"). Sjnertullos is, therefore, the native equivalent of Pollux, Cernunnos o£-Castor; and at the same time_Smertullos is Cuchulainn, and Cernunnos is Conall Cernach. In the Tain Cuchulainn vanquished Morrigan as an eel — the serpent of the monument — and, again, to hide his youthfulness, he smeared {smevthain, henc-e-Smertullos) his chin with_a false beard. As for Conall Cernach, whose epithet means "victorious," M. d'Arbois connects it also with the hypothetical c$rnu- ("Joorn"), though Conall is never said to be horned.52

Lug, Cuchulainn's father, was a widely worshippecLCeltic god, his equivalent in Gaul being a hypothetical Lugus^jvvhose name appears in place-names there. As Lug was called sajnildanach ("skilled in many arts"),53 Lugus may be the Gaulish god equated by Caesar with Merciiiy, whom he calls "inventor of all arts" and associates with the simulacra, or

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