Wednesday, July 27, 2005


UI's Celtic Mythology - Cuchulainn

Yesterday I wrote about Cuchulainn's exploits in battle so today I will detail Cuchulainn's efforts to attain Emer's hand in marriage.

In his calm, everyday state of mind Cuchulainn was a favourite of womenfolk. But he fell in love with Emer, the daughter of Fogall, a wily chieftain whose castle was close to Dublin. Cuchulainn asked for Emer's hand but Fogall, who was against the match, pointed out that Cuchulainn had yet to establish his reputation as a warrior and suggested that he should go and learn from the Scottish champion Domhnall. Domhnall told Cuchulainn that his best trainer in arms would be Scathach, a warrior-princess in the Land of Shadows. So he travelled to this mysterious land and served Scathach. She taught the hero his famous battle leap.
For a year and a day Cuchulainn was taught by Scathach, and became the lover of her daughter Uathach. Scathach seems to have feared for the safety of Cuchulainn, and she warned him without success not to challenge her sister Aoifa. But Cuchulainn beat Aoifa by cunning, and afterwards she became his mistress, conceiving the unfortuante Conlai. Cuchulainn finally returned to Fogall's stronghold and claimed Emer, but only after a heated battle with Fogall and his warriors, during which Fogall leapt to his death escaping the hero.

Tomorrow I will detail Cuchulainn's last campaign and his subsequent death.


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