Oliver Cromwell Essay, Research Paper
Cuchulain’s real name was Setanta, and he lived with his mother in Dundalk. He got his name by slaying King Culann’s dog. Without a dog he had no one to guard the house, so he had to for punishment. Cuchulain means “hound of Culann”. He decided to take up arms and set out with a wise friend named Ibar. They arrived at the fort of the three sons of Nechtan. He fought the first son, Foil MacNechtain. Ibar said he could not be pierced, so Cuchulain slams him in the head with a rock and cuts his head off. Next he killed Tuachell and cut his head off and placed it next to his brothers. Finally he killed the third brother in the water by drowning him and cutting his head off. He looted the castle and returned home. On the journey home he picks up two live deer and 24 swans. When he arrived at the castle people marveled at the sight of three heads, two deer and the swans. No one recognized him except the king. He was so hot from his battle he had to be put in three separate cauldrons of water to cool him down. Cuchulain did all of this at the age of seven. The famous Irish poet, William Butler Yeats wrote poems about his conquests, like “Cuchulian’s Fight with the Sea”.
Aonghus was the god of love. He was very handsome and always had four birds hovering over his head. In “The dream of Aongus” he falls in love with a beautiful young woman. Her name was Caer Ibormeith, daughter of Ethal Anubhail. First he asks Ailill and Medb for help, but it does not work because she is in the shape of a swan living with a hundred and fifty other swans. If he can pick her out he can have her. Of course he does and they move to his palace and live together. He was also the foster father of Diarmiud Ua Duibhne and tried to save him and his lover from the vengance of Fionn MacCumhail. “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by Yeats describes Aengus falling in the love with the woman.
Fergus was in love with Nessa. She would only marry him if he would give up the throne of Ulster for one year to let her son Conchobhar rule in his place. After a year when he went to get the throne back he would not give it up. He let Fergus work for him and offer Deirdre, Naoise and his brothers passage back to Ireland with no harm coming to them. Again Conchobar lied and murdered them. Fergus caused an up rising killing three hundred of his men. Fergus and his men then went into exile for sixteen years, staying with Ailill and Medb. Fergus was eventually killed by Ailill while bathing in a lake with Medb. “Fergus and the Druid” describes him giving up the crown to Conchobar.
When King Callahan died his oldest son took over and his youngest son Brian Boru plotted to take the throne. When the Vikings assassinated his brother he became King. He then married the most beautiful and evil woman in Ireland. After four years of marriage Brian left Maelmora. She was so angry with him she summoned the Vikings with promises of land if they would invade and defeat Brian Boru. On his march across Ireland he managed to gather up over 20,000 Irishmen. On April 23, 1014 he arrived at the battlefield crucifix in one hand and sword in the other. That day the Irish would be victorious. It is said that only 20 Vikings survived the battle of Clontarf. In the battle high king Brian Boru lost his life.
“The sidhe is a mound or hill, the dwelling place of the De Danaan after their defeat by the milesians. The ancient gods, thus driven underground, were relegated in folk memory to fairies, aes sidhe, the people of the hills. Most popular is the banshee, the woman of the fairies. Each god was allotted a sidhe by the Dagda before he gave up leadership of them”. In the poem “The hosting of the Sidhe”, it describes how sacred the area is.
Fin maccumhail was the son of the king’s daughter, he was prophesized to take over the kingdom. The king would not allow this and tried with great effort to have him killed. However, his grandmother would not allow this and saved him from his death. His grandmother taught him discipline and how to run fast. At fifteen he beat the old king and all his men at hurling. The men chased him and his grandmother, she sacrificed her life in order that he could live. He hid from the men in a cave and outsmarted a giant. In this cave he learned that if he chewed his thumb to the marrow he could see the answers to his questions. After outsmarting the giant he saved a kings Dun by killing an old hag and her three sons. His reward I doing so was the hand of his daughter. Before they were to be married the king was going to execute the men who had failed in saving the Dun. In exchange for the lives of these men he gave up the daughters hand. These men then became the Fenians of Erin.
A dictionary of Irish Mythology by Peter B Ellis