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The ‘Heroic’ Age Early Celtic Warriorship Trenghit golut, ni threingk molut (Riches die, fame does not die)

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1 The ‘Heroic’ Age Early Celtic Warriorship Trenghit golut, ni threingk molut (Riches die, fame does not die)

2 The Heroic Age When we come to read early Irish literature we are confronted by various categories of people: When we come to read early Irish literature we are confronted by various categories of people: The aristocratic warrior class The aristocratic warrior class Kings and druids Kings and druids Queens and priestesses and wives Queens and priestesses and wives The ‘sidh’ or Otherworld people (Tuatha De Danann). Male and female. The ‘sidh’ or Otherworld people (Tuatha De Danann). Male and female.

3 The Heroic Age The aristocratic warrior class are the ‘heroes’ of Irish literature and occupy a lot of the action. But the lives of these ‘heroes, interact with those of the womenfolk around them, the Kings and druids and often with the Otherworld. The aristocratic warrior class are the ‘heroes’ of Irish literature and occupy a lot of the action. But the lives of these ‘heroes, interact with those of the womenfolk around them, the Kings and druids and often with the Otherworld.

4 The ‘Heroic’ Age The ‘heroes’ of the surviving literatures of early Europe (Greece, Ireland, ancient Germany, Sanskrit literature) have many features in common. We can talk of a traditional Indo-European model. In fact, it is likely that such ‘heroes’ played a prominent role in Indo-European saga. The ‘heroes’ of the surviving literatures of early Europe (Greece, Ireland, ancient Germany, Sanskrit literature) have many features in common. We can talk of a traditional Indo-European model. In fact, it is likely that such ‘heroes’ played a prominent role in Indo-European saga.

5 The ‘Heroic’ Age Transcending mortality through fame. Transcending mortality through fame. In Indo-European societies (including Celtic), fighting men were stimulated to deeds of valour, not by the prospect of rewards in the afterlife but by the anticipation of being remembered, and praised now and in the future. In Indo-European societies (including Celtic), fighting men were stimulated to deeds of valour, not by the prospect of rewards in the afterlife but by the anticipation of being remembered, and praised now and in the future.

6 The ‘Heroic’ Age In the early Welsh epic elegy the Gododdin (c600AD), we are told that Heini, son of Neithon, “slew a great host to achieve fame’. In the early Welsh epic elegy the Gododdin (c600AD), we are told that Heini, son of Neithon, “slew a great host to achieve fame’. A band of three hundred gold-torqued men rode to battle ‘ before they were slain, they slew, and till the end of the world they will be praised’. A band of three hundred gold-torqued men rode to battle ‘ before they were slain, they slew, and till the end of the world they will be praised’. Similar sentiments can be found in Beowulf. Similar sentiments can be found in Beowulf.

7 The ‘Heroic’ Age This fame was more valuable than life itself. The hero’s desire for fame is such that he willingly and knowingly buys it at the cost of his life. This fame was more valuable than life itself. The hero’s desire for fame is such that he willingly and knowingly buys it at the cost of his life. The Indic hero Karna declares ‘I choose fame on earth even at the cost of my life.The famous man attains to heaven, the inglorious man perishes’. (Maha- bharata). The Indic hero Karna declares ‘I choose fame on earth even at the cost of my life.The famous man attains to heaven, the inglorious man perishes’. (Maha- bharata).

8 The ‘Heroic’ Age Irish and British heroes are of the same kind. In Irish literature Cathbad the druid declares that Cú Chulainn will be conspicuous and known by name, but short-lived. CC replies that if he can only be remembered he would be willing to live for just one more day. Irish and British heroes are of the same kind. In Irish literature Cathbad the druid declares that Cú Chulainn will be conspicuous and known by name, but short-lived. CC replies that if he can only be remembered he would be willing to live for just one more day.

9 The ‘Heroic’ Age Hero in this sense meant a man of supreme physical strength and endurance allied to moral qualities such as fearlessness, determination, and a propensity for plunging into dangerous and daunting enterprises. Hero in this sense meant a man of supreme physical strength and endurance allied to moral qualities such as fearlessness, determination, and a propensity for plunging into dangerous and daunting enterprises.

10 The ‘Heroic’ Age Some of the most outstanding of these ancient heroes are the following: Some of the most outstanding of these ancient heroes are the following: Achilles, Hector, Jason, Heracles, Arjuna, Beowulf, Cú Chulainn, Lancelot. Achilles, Hector, Jason, Heracles, Arjuna, Beowulf, Cú Chulainn, Lancelot.

11 The ‘Heroic’ Age If we think of the heroes of the Iliad, eg Achilles, we are presented with a humanized picture. We can imagine such people living. Alexander the Great thought it feasible to be a second Achilles. If we think of the heroes of the Iliad, eg Achilles, we are presented with a humanized picture. We can imagine such people living. Alexander the Great thought it feasible to be a second Achilles. In this sense the more outlandish and prodigious features are suppressed which were probably part of earlier tradition and are often found in Celtic literature. In this sense the more outlandish and prodigious features are suppressed which were probably part of earlier tradition and are often found in Celtic literature.

12 The ‘Heroic’ Age There are traces of this in Greek literature (Ajax is described as being huge, monstrous). There are traces of this in Greek literature (Ajax is described as being huge, monstrous). The Irish too had a similar notion of the colossal stature of the old heroes. In the Acalamh na Senorach (Dialogue of the Elders), when Patrick’s men see the approaching Fenian warriors. The Irish too had a similar notion of the colossal stature of the old heroes. In the Acalamh na Senorach (Dialogue of the Elders), when Patrick’s men see the approaching Fenian warriors.

13 The ‘Heroic’ Age With colossal size, went terrific strength. In classical literature, Diomedes, Hector and Aeneas show super-human strenth. With colossal size, went terrific strength. In classical literature, Diomedes, Hector and Aeneas show super-human strenth. In the Ulster Cycle, Cú Chulainn lifted the king Conchobar out of a ditch, “six of our strong men in Ulster could not have lifted him out more courageously’. In the Ulster Cycle, Cú Chulainn lifted the king Conchobar out of a ditch, “six of our strong men in Ulster could not have lifted him out more courageously’.

14 The ‘Heroic’ Age Another measure of heroic strength links Iranian and Armenian tradition. The young Cú Chulainn goes to Conchobar to ask for arms (weapons). He tries out all the weapons and breaks them all. Same with chariots. Finally it is only the king’s chariot that withstands CC’s strength. Another measure of heroic strength links Iranian and Armenian tradition. The young Cú Chulainn goes to Conchobar to ask for arms (weapons). He tries out all the weapons and breaks them all. Same with chariots. Finally it is only the king’s chariot that withstands CC’s strength. The Iranian text Shah-nama. The Iranian text Shah-nama.

15 The War-band War-bands were a notable feature of pre- Roman Europe, both amongst Germanic and Celtic peoples. War-bands were a notable feature of pre- Roman Europe, both amongst Germanic and Celtic peoples. The war-band especially in the Celtic and Germanic areas, sometimes had a wild and frenzied character. The war-band especially in the Celtic and Germanic areas, sometimes had a wild and frenzied character. The Nordic berserkir were systematic practioners of battle fury. The Nordic berserkir were systematic practioners of battle fury.

16 The War-band The word probably refers to the warriors’ habit of going into battle either lightly clad or naked. The word probably refers to the warriors’ habit of going into battle either lightly clad or naked. Celtic warrior groups did the same (especially the Gaesatae). Naked warriors are mentioned in the Táin, other Irish sagas and can be seen on earlier Celtic coins from Europe. Celtic warrior groups did the same (especially the Gaesatae). Naked warriors are mentioned in the Táin, other Irish sagas and can be seen on earlier Celtic coins from Europe.

17 The War-band Their lack of clothes assimilated them to the world of wild animals, and the wearing of wolfskins, howling in battle and assuming names that suggested wolf, wild boar became common amongst them. Their lack of clothes assimilated them to the world of wild animals, and the wearing of wolfskins, howling in battle and assuming names that suggested wolf, wild boar became common amongst them. The fury that overtakes them is in Irish terms mainly seen in the character Cú Chulainn. In ancient Greek tradition the word used for this war-fury is ‘lussa’ a word associated with ‘luka’ (a wolf). The fury that overtakes them is in Irish terms mainly seen in the character Cú Chulainn. In ancient Greek tradition the word used for this war-fury is ‘lussa’ a word associated with ‘luka’ (a wolf).

18 The War-band A form of aggression often celebrated in the Indo-European literatures, and especially Irish literature is the cattle raid. In fact the Irish epic Tain Bo Cuailnge, means the The Cattle Raid of Cooley. A form of aggression often celebrated in the Indo-European literatures, and especially Irish literature is the cattle raid. In fact the Irish epic Tain Bo Cuailnge, means the The Cattle Raid of Cooley. Quick wealth and made easier with horses. Quick wealth and made easier with horses.

19 The War-band One whole book of the Indian epic Maha- bharata, is devoted to a cattle raid (book four, Viráta). A close association is made between warfare and cattle-rustling. One whole book of the Indian epic Maha- bharata, is devoted to a cattle raid (book four, Viráta). A close association is made between warfare and cattle-rustling. One of the British heroes (=Celtic heroes of ancient Britain) called Eithinyn ‘attacked in force for the herds of the east”. Urien of Rheged is described as seeking cattle as spoils. One of the British heroes (=Celtic heroes of ancient Britain) called Eithinyn ‘attacked in force for the herds of the east”. Urien of Rheged is described as seeking cattle as spoils.

20 The ‘Heroic’ Age The hero’s warrior heat The hero’s warrior heat The hero’s warrior fury manifests itself physiologically in exceptional body heat. The hero’s warrior fury manifests itself physiologically in exceptional body heat. The North Indian hero Rama burns like a smokeless flame. The North Indian hero Rama burns like a smokeless flame. In Mesca Ulad, ‘this troop descended upon the green and sat there as one man, and the heat of great valorous warriors was such that the snow softened and melted for 30 feet on every side’. In Mesca Ulad, ‘this troop descended upon the green and sat there as one man, and the heat of great valorous warriors was such that the snow softened and melted for 30 feet on every side’.

21 The ‘Heroic’ Age When Cú Culainn comes to Emain Macha, and threatens to kill all inside, they seize him and throw him into a tub of cold water, after three tubs have been presented he cools down. When Cú Culainn comes to Emain Macha, and threatens to kill all inside, they seize him and throw him into a tub of cold water, after three tubs have been presented he cools down. In Welsh tradition Cei in his earliest form is described as being able to become as tall as a tree and to eminate a great heat. In Welsh tradition Cei in his earliest form is described as being able to become as tall as a tree and to eminate a great heat. In several traditions we find the motif of the visible fire or light that emanates from the hero’s body: In several traditions we find the motif of the visible fire or light that emanates from the hero’s body:

22 The ‘Heroic’ Age Diomedes has a flame burning from his helmet and shield, Achilles has a flame burning up to the sky. An early Roman hero is described by the historian Livy, in which a flame was seen burning from his head as he slept. Diomedes has a flame burning from his helmet and shield, Achilles has a flame burning up to the sky. An early Roman hero is described by the historian Livy, in which a flame was seen burning from his head as he slept. In Indian tradition Bhīma had flames bursting from all his orifices because he longed for battle. (Maha-bharata). In Indian tradition Bhīma had flames bursting from all his orifices because he longed for battle. (Maha-bharata).

23 The ‘Heroic’ Age Cú Chulainn has the ‘luan laith’ (the hero’s light). This is mentioned on several occasions (Tain, where it is described as rising from his head). Cú Chulainn has the ‘luan laith’ (the hero’s light). This is mentioned on several occasions (Tain, where it is described as rising from his head). The same image is found in Serbo-Croat oral epic, “wherever I smote him, living fire leaped from Delos). The same image is found in Serbo-Croat oral epic, “wherever I smote him, living fire leaped from Delos).

24 The ‘Heroic’ Age Another terrifying feature of heroes is their ability to utter a war-cry of overpowering volume, with devastating effect on the enemy’s morale. (eg Tain, ). Another terrifying feature of heroes is their ability to utter a war-cry of overpowering volume, with devastating effect on the enemy’s morale. (eg Tain, ). Achilles with the divine flame rising from his head, gives three mightly shouts causing confusion in the Trojan ranks, leading to the death of twelve men. Achilles with the divine flame rising from his head, gives three mightly shouts causing confusion in the Trojan ranks, leading to the death of twelve men.

25 The ‘Heroic’ Age Bhīma as well is advised to utter fearful roars that will rob the enemies of their lives. Bhīma as well is advised to utter fearful roars that will rob the enemies of their lives. Cú Chulainn too (in the Tain) seeing the four provinces of Ireland ranged against him, uttered a hero’s shout deep in his throat’ which led to the arrival of the war goddess and the spectres of the glen. Cú Chulainn too (in the Tain) seeing the four provinces of Ireland ranged against him, uttered a hero’s shout deep in his throat’ which led to the arrival of the war goddess and the spectres of the glen. A medieval Welsh character Culhwch A medieval Welsh character Culhwch

26 The ‘Heroic’ Age Threatens to,raise three shouts at the entrance of King Arthur’s court which will be audible from one end of the island to the other, and will cause pregnant women to miscarry’ Threatens to,raise three shouts at the entrance of King Arthur’s court which will be audible from one end of the island to the other, and will cause pregnant women to miscarry’

27 The ‘Heroic’ Age Sometimes the hero is depicted not just as strong and brave but as the master of a special repertory of expert manoeuvres in hand-to-hand fighting.Especially in early Indian and Irish tradition there is an elaborate and formalized body of techniques described. Sometimes the hero is depicted not just as strong and brave but as the master of a special repertory of expert manoeuvres in hand-to-hand fighting.Especially in early Indian and Irish tradition there is an elaborate and formalized body of techniques described. (Maha-bharata and the Táin). (Maha-bharata and the Táin). Cú Chulainn was taught a whole series of special feats by the supreme woman trainer Scathach. Cú Chulainn was taught a whole series of special feats by the supreme woman trainer Scathach.

28 The Heroic Age It is a fact of cultural history that in pre- modern societies which developed such warrior aristocracies, there also developed as a result a core for cycles of epic narrative. Clearly such epics would have been commonplace in the larger Celtic world of the Iron Age (c700BC-100AD), but it is only from the periphery (Ireland and Northern Celtic Britain) that any of these texts have survived. It is a fact of cultural history that in pre- modern societies which developed such warrior aristocracies, there also developed as a result a core for cycles of epic narrative. Clearly such epics would have been commonplace in the larger Celtic world of the Iron Age (c700BC-100AD), but it is only from the periphery (Ireland and Northern Celtic Britain) that any of these texts have survived.

29 The Heroic Age We can speculate fairly safely that such epics and other heroic warrior tales existed in Celtic Gaul (France in pre- Roman period). We can speculate fairly safely that such epics and other heroic warrior tales existed in Celtic Gaul (France in pre- Roman period). It has been noted (Marie-Louise Sjoestedt) that motifs in early Irish literature with regard to Cú Chulainn appear to have visual analogues in the imagery of some Gaulish (of France) coins. It has been noted (Marie-Louise Sjoestedt) that motifs in early Irish literature with regard to Cú Chulainn appear to have visual analogues in the imagery of some Gaulish (of France) coins.

30 The Heroic Age When such material was first studied seriously (19 th century), it was noted that all such saga material presented versions of a biographical paradigm, ie: When such material was first studied seriously (19 th century), it was noted that all such saga material presented versions of a biographical paradigm, ie: The conception and birth of the hero The conception and birth of the hero The child is often brought up in a hidden place The child is often brought up in a hidden place

31 The Heroic Age When the time comes for him to show himself, he is generally described as slaying a dragon or other monstrous creature. When the time comes for him to show himself, he is generally described as slaying a dragon or other monstrous creature. This usually is connected with his winning of a desirable woman. This usually is connected with his winning of a desirable woman. He is frequently in contact with the supernatural (otherworld). He is frequently in contact with the supernatural (otherworld).

32 The Heroic Age His most daring expedition brings him to the under- or other-world. His most daring expedition brings him to the under- or other-world. His death is usually mysterious, or at least connected again with otherworldly powers. His death is usually mysterious, or at least connected again with otherworldly powers.

33 The Heroic Age This pattern was so familiar in Irish hero- narratives (or hero-biographies) that the traditional storytellers had native (Irish) headings: This pattern was so familiar in Irish hero- narratives (or hero-biographies) that the traditional storytellers had native (Irish) headings: Comperta (tales of conception and birth) Comperta (tales of conception and birth) Echtrai (expeditions or otherworld journeys) Echtrai (expeditions or otherworld journeys) Tochmharca (seeking a woman) Tochmharca (seeking a woman) Oirgne (raids, slayings) Oirgne (raids, slayings) Catha (battles) Catha (battles) Aidhedha (death-tale of the hero). Aidhedha (death-tale of the hero).

34 The Heroic Age The individuality of the ideal hero emerges clearly in the section of the Táin devoted to Cú Chulainn’s so-called “boyhood deeds” (c9th century). The individuality of the ideal hero emerges clearly in the section of the Táin devoted to Cú Chulainn’s so-called “boyhood deeds” (c9th century). Essentially this section represents the initiation of the young boy/man to the status of hero. Essentially this section represents the initiation of the young boy/man to the status of hero.

35 The Heroic Age It tells how he leaves his mother’s protection and his abrupt entry into Emain Macha, the capital of the Ulster people where he takes up arms and performs his first warrior feats. It tells how he leaves his mother’s protection and his abrupt entry into Emain Macha, the capital of the Ulster people where he takes up arms and performs his first warrior feats. Such feats can be compared to other great ‘heroes’ of Indo-European tradion, in particular Achilles (Iliad), and Indra (classical Sanskrit literature-India). Such feats can be compared to other great ‘heroes’ of Indo-European tradion, in particular Achilles (Iliad), and Indra (classical Sanskrit literature-India).

36 The Heroic Age Much of the detail in this quite short episode (The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn) has been shown to reflect in a Celtic form an old Indo-European initiatory myth about a young man becoming a ‘hero” (ie warrior). Much of the detail in this quite short episode (The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn) has been shown to reflect in a Celtic form an old Indo-European initiatory myth about a young man becoming a ‘hero” (ie warrior).

37 The Heroic Age The Táin Bó Cuailnge (known in English as The Tain) is the most comprehensive embodiment within a single tale of the classic heroic environment. The Táin Bó Cuailnge (known in English as The Tain) is the most comprehensive embodiment within a single tale of the classic heroic environment. It represents a written form of the various oral tales containing much of the heroic tradition current before the advent of Christianity, which explains the many archaic features in the content and style of the narrative. It represents a written form of the various oral tales containing much of the heroic tradition current before the advent of Christianity, which explains the many archaic features in the content and style of the narrative.

38 The Heroic Age Táin Bó Cuailnge contains many elements of the Celtic heroic age including such features as the emphasis on chariot warfare, the taking of heads of defeated opponents as trophies and single combat between individual heroes, other elements are familiar in Greek epic such as the intervention in the narrative of deities, and otherworld forces. Táin Bó Cuailnge contains many elements of the Celtic heroic age including such features as the emphasis on chariot warfare, the taking of heads of defeated opponents as trophies and single combat between individual heroes, other elements are familiar in Greek epic such as the intervention in the narrative of deities, and otherworld forces.

39 The Heroic Age The hero’s portion (curadmir) (see Mac Da Tho’s Pig EIMS) The hero’s portion (curadmir) (see Mac Da Tho’s Pig EIMS) Drinking and feasting were an integral part of the warrior aristocracy (as they were in other early Indo-European societies). Drinking and feasting were an integral part of the warrior aristocracy (as they were in other early Indo-European societies). One of their functions was the forging and maintenance of close-bonds (Männerbunde). One of their functions was the forging and maintenance of close-bonds (Männerbunde). The classical Greek symposium was a descendant of the ancient Greek feast, whose origins were bound to the customs of a hunting fraternity. The classical Greek symposium was a descendant of the ancient Greek feast, whose origins were bound to the customs of a hunting fraternity.

40 The Heroic Age Celtic ceremonial feasts involved honour contests for the ‘champion’s portion’ (Irish: curadmír). These could be fought to the death. Celtic ceremonial feasts involved honour contests for the ‘champion’s portion’ (Irish: curadmír). These could be fought to the death. We see traces of this custom in Bricriu’s Feast, Táin, and especially Mac Da Thó’s Feast. We see traces of this custom in Bricriu’s Feast, Táin, and especially Mac Da Thó’s Feast. To demonstrate the antiquity of this Irish custom, we have a reference to exactly the same procedure in the quoted work of Poseidonius (1 st century BC). To demonstrate the antiquity of this Irish custom, we have a reference to exactly the same procedure in the quoted work of Poseidonius (1 st century BC).

41 The Heroic Age The essence of the curadmir was that only the chief of champions was allowed to have the first and choisest portion of meat at the feast. The essence of the curadmir was that only the chief of champions was allowed to have the first and choisest portion of meat at the feast. Each hero would rush for the champion’s portion so that challenges and fights arose from the scrimmage. Each hero would rush for the champion’s portion so that challenges and fights arose from the scrimmage. The same concept exists in the Iliad (9.208) when Agamemnon offers Aias the best piece of the animal’s back, the hindquarter of pork. (Also in the Odyssey). The same concept exists in the Iliad (9.208) when Agamemnon offers Aias the best piece of the animal’s back, the hindquarter of pork. (Also in the Odyssey).

42 Mac Da Tho’s Pig One convenient port of entry into the heroic world of early Irish literature is by reading Mac Da Tho’s Pig in Early Irish Myths and Sagas. One convenient port of entry into the heroic world of early Irish literature is by reading Mac Da Tho’s Pig in Early Irish Myths and Sagas. It is meant as a comic tale (in rather gruesome way), but intoduces many themes associated with the Heroic Age as portrayed in the Ulster Cycle. It is meant as a comic tale (in rather gruesome way), but intoduces many themes associated with the Heroic Age as portrayed in the Ulster Cycle.

43 Mac Da Tho’s Pig A pig and a hound play an important part in the tale. A pig and a hound play an important part in the tale. The traditional animosity between Ulster (Conchubar) and Connacht (queen Medb). The traditional animosity between Ulster (Conchubar) and Connacht (queen Medb). The magical hostel of Macc Da Tho. The magical hostel of Macc Da Tho. Gift giving by the host. Gift giving by the host. The magically large pig to feed the Ulaid and the Connachta. The magically large pig to feed the Ulaid and the Connachta.

44 Mac Da Tho’s Pig Exchange of banter and insults between the two sides. Who will cut the first slice. Exchange of banter and insults between the two sides. Who will cut the first slice. Cet the hero of Connacht, it seems. Cet the hero of Connacht, it seems. Challenges. Challenges. Conall Cernach arrives. Cet greets him. Conall Cernach arrives. Cet greets him. Conall also greets him, and tells him to move away from the pig. Conall also greets him, and tells him to move away from the pig. If Anluan were here…. If Anluan were here…. Conall feasts pigishly on the boar. Conall feasts pigishly on the boar. The rout. A parody of the Tain. The rout. A parody of the Tain.

45 The Heroic Age Another form of the heroic age found especially in Celtic Britain as well as Ireland concerns the fraternities of free- lancing war-bands (In Irish called fiana). Another form of the heroic age found especially in Celtic Britain as well as Ireland concerns the fraternities of free- lancing war-bands (In Irish called fiana). They are hunters as well as fighters and their activities cut across tribal boundaries. One of them is led by the legendary Fionn Mac Cumhaill. They are hunters as well as fighters and their activities cut across tribal boundaries. One of them is led by the legendary Fionn Mac Cumhaill.

46 The Heroic Age He is seen as the adversary and conqueror of malevolent otherworldly beings; as a mythic being originally a diety, he later becomes the the defender of Ireland against historical invaders from overseas (especially the Vikings). He is seen as the adversary and conqueror of malevolent otherworldly beings; as a mythic being originally a diety, he later becomes the the defender of Ireland against historical invaders from overseas (especially the Vikings). Unlike most of the Ulster Cycle, the Fionn Cycle has a definite lyric and romantic cast and reflects the hazardous freedom of life outside the restraints of tribal life. Unlike most of the Ulster Cycle, the Fionn Cycle has a definite lyric and romantic cast and reflects the hazardous freedom of life outside the restraints of tribal life.

47 The Heroic Age They are described as roaming, fleet of foot, throughout Ireland and Gaelic Scotland, and their memory arrived with the Scottish Gaels in Nova Scotia in the 18 th century. They are described as roaming, fleet of foot, throughout Ireland and Gaelic Scotland, and their memory arrived with the Scottish Gaels in Nova Scotia in the 18 th century. Again, unlike the Ulster Cycle, this cycle shows a close association with nature, animate and inanimate. Again, unlike the Ulster Cycle, this cycle shows a close association with nature, animate and inanimate. Stron analogies can be made with this cycle of tales and the British cycle of King Arthur, again in its purely Celtic form reflecting the develoment of a figure and his followers protecting the realm from otherworldly destructive incursions. Stron analogies can be made with this cycle of tales and the British cycle of King Arthur, again in its purely Celtic form reflecting the develoment of a figure and his followers protecting the realm from otherworldly destructive incursions.

48 The ‘Heroic’ Age The ‘curriculum vitae of the ‘hero’: The ‘curriculum vitae of the ‘hero’: Birth and infancy Birth and infancy Boyhood feats Boyhood feats Animal challenges Animal challenges The hero in dialogue The hero in dialogue The hero and women The hero and women Killing the hero Killing the hero


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