Cuchulaind

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Cuchulaind, called by Tigernach "fortissimus heros Scotorum," one of the Red Branch knights, flourished about the 1st century. He was a native of Ulster, and was a cousin of Conall Cearnach, and of the three sons of Uisneach, the children of his aunt Ailbi. At seven years of age he was initiated into the military order, and received most of his education at Skye. At twenty-seven he was slain, according to one account by Lugaidh, grandson of Cairbre Niaser, at the battle of Murthemni, in Louth; according to another, by the sons of Calitin. His residence was at Dun-Dealgan (Dundalk): his wife, the beautiful princess Emer. Innumerable references to him are to be found in the Irish annals and Fenian tales. In O'Curry's Manners and Customs his name appears no less than 153 times. He is one of the principal characters in the Tain-Bo-Chuailgne (The Cattle Prey of Cooley), the Irish Iliad. [See MEAVE.] He is described riding in his chariot, armed with thirty-four spears and darts, and eight shields. "And he then put on his helmet of battle, and of combat, and of fighting, on his head; and from every recess and from every angle of which issued the shout as it were of an hundred warriors; because it was alike that women of the valley, and hobgoblins, and wild people of the glen, and demons of the air, shouted in front of it, and rear of it, and over it, and around it, wherever he went, at the spouting of the blood of warriors and heroes upon it."[261] His head and right hand were buried at Tara.

Sources

171. Ireland, History of, from the earliest period to the English Invasion: Rev. Geoffrey Keating: Translated from the Irish, and Noted by John O'Mahony. New York, 1857.

261. O'Curry, Eugene: Ancient Irish Manners and Customs: Edited by W. K. Sullivan, Ph.D. 3 vols. London, 1873.

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