The History & Mythology Of Connacht.

The History & Mythology Of Connacht.

anachronous history forums EUROPE THE WESTERN ISLES Eire (Ireland) Connacht The History & Mythology Of Connacht.

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Loegaire .

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  • #6814

    Beric
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    @beric_debenkah

    Queen Maeve Of Connacht :

    The mother-goddess of Connacht, who is celebrated as the Warrior Queen in all of Ireland, Maeve was recorded as the wife of Aillill Mac Mata & for a short time the wife of Conor Mac Nessa, it is recorded that when Conor grew tired of Maeve, she returned to her father who resided at Tara.

    She later married the older Aillill of Connacht, and had affairs with Tinne & Eochaid Dala, Maeve coveted the Brown Bull of Cooley, and Maeve with her husband Aillill and the warriors of Connacht raided Ulaidh to seize it. The great bull was captured by Cuchulainn who also inflicted defeat on the warriors of Connacht.

    Maeve swore her revenge on the lands of the Ulaidh, and turn her hand to the darker arts, seven years later she returned with the warriors of Connacht and also the Children of Catalin, who conjured up phantom battalions to add to the ranks of the Connacht, to harass the warriors of the Ulaidh. Maeve is mentioned in ‘The Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology.

    Reference Used : http://www.wikipedia.org

    Maeve & The Cave Of Oweynagat :

    Many folk tales abound about the Oweynagat at Rathcroghan in the Kingdom of Connacht, from small red birds who came from the cave and withered vegetation wherever they perched, also strange-looking pigs also with decaying properties, Aillill sent Connacht warriors to destroy both birds and pigs, but they had to contend with their supernatural abilities of their vanishing powers and their abilities to shed captured skin.

    Also the Oweynagat was a cave full of wild cats, by their ancient description they sound like the Lynx, who inhabited both Ireland & the Iberian Peninsula at the time of Queen Maeve, the Irish folk-tales say that the lynx were nocturnal creatures, and that the lynx symbolise the hidden, mysterious knowledge of the world.

    One of its perceived characteristic is its keen sight, and at one time the ancient people believed in the lynx’s incredible night vision and its ability to see through tree trunks and walls in night-time hunting, these wild cats came to symbolise clear-sightedness in both the literal and metaphorical sense of these old folk-tales, Queen Maeve is always associated with the Cave of Oweynagat, and this adds to the Queen’s colourful character.

    The Oweynagat was regarded as an entrance to the Underworld, and there is a folk-tale from the 18th century of an adventurous person entering the opening of the Oweynagat and emerging several miles away in Keshcorran, County Sligo.

    Reference Used : Jack & Odele Nozdah.

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  • #6831
    Loegaire
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    The Pre-History Of The Area Of Connacht :

    Genann Mac Dala was regarded as the first Kingdom of Ol nEchmacht that became Connacht at a later date, Genann was the son of Dala of the Fir Bolg kinfolk, as Genann became the legendary high-king of Ireland, with his wife Queen Cnucha, legend tell us when the 5 sons of Dela divided Ireland among themselves.

    Eochu the Enduring, the son of Finn, came towards the end of the pre-history kings, Eochu is best known as being the father of the legendary Queen of Connacht, Maeve, according to the 12th century legend Eochu defeated the High-King Fachtna Fathach in the Battle of Leitir Ruaid.

    While Fachtna was away from Tara on a visit to Ulaidh, Eochu of Connacht raised an army and took hostages from Tara, when the news reached Fachtna at Emian Macha, he gave battle with Eochu with the warriors of Ulaidh, but was defeated by Eochu and his superior warriors from Connacht.

    Various Medieval tales give Eochu a very large family, with his wife Cloithfinn & they six daughters, Derbriu, Eile, Mugain, Eithne, Clothru & Maeve & four sons.

    Derbriu was the lover of the mystical Aengus of the Tuatha de Danann, her rather strict mother-in-law was Garbdalb, who angered her sister Maeve, when Conor Mac Nessa  became the King of the Ulaidh, Eochu gave tribute to Conor by sending his four daughters to Conor’s court, Mugain, Eithne, Clothru and the fiery Maeve.

    Eochaid Mugmedon, was the legendary Irish High-King, best known for being the father of ‘Niall of the Nine Hostages’ and the ancestor of the Ui Neill’s & Connacht dynasties. Eochaid, is mentioned in the List of Kings of Tara, it is recorded that Eochaid was the son of the High-King Muiredach Tirech, a descendent of Conn Cethathach, according to the sagas entitled ‘The Adventures of the Sons of Eochaid’, Eochaid was said to have had 2 wives, Mongfind, the daughter of Fidach, and Cairenn Chasdab, the daughter of Sachell Balb, the King of the Irish Saxons.

    Between Eochaid’s 2 wives, who bore him many sons and daughters Brion, Ailill, Fiachrae, Fergus, and by his Saxon alliance Niall, Eochaid’s 2 wives constantly quarrelled Mongfind & Cairenn, so much so, Cairenn’s eldest son Niall, had to be raised by the poet Torna and his female consort.

    When Niall came of age he rescued his mother Cairenn from the in forced servitude dished out my the jealous Mongfind, however Mongfind held a special place in the hearts of the people of Tara, who renamed the Samhain, the Festival of Mongfind after Mongfind demise at Tara.

    Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org

  • #6830
    Loegaire
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    The Kingdom Of Connacht :

    Lies West of the majestic river Shannon, the name Shannon only became applied to the waterway in Medieval times, before that it was always regarded as the river Connacht, the old name for the region of Connacht was Coiced Ol nEchmacht, and the earliest settlers, perhaps from the Iberian Peninsula as modern DNA dictates where the tribe of the Nagnatae.

    The Royal Connachta were a group of dynasties who claimed descent from the three warrior brothers and the eldest sons of Eochaid Mugmedon, the brothers Brion, Ailill & Fiachrae, they took their collective name from their alleged descent from Conn Cetchathach, the brothers younger brother was Niall Noigiallach who was the paternal ancestor of the Northern & Southern Ui Neill’s.

    Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org

  • #6829
    Loegaire
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    Connacht :

    The Kingdom of Connacht, is one of the ancient Irish Provinces & Kingdoms, up to the 9th century AD it consisted of several independent major Kingdoms of Luighne, Ui Maine, & Iarthar Connacht, between the reigns of Conchobar mac Taidg Mor, and his descendent Aedh mac Ruaidri O’ Conchobair, who reigned Connacht from 1228 – 1233AD, it became a kingdom under the rule of the Ui Briuin Ai Dynasty, whose ruling sept adopted the Clan name of Ua Conchoobair.

    At its greatest extent, it incorporated the Kingdom of Breifne, as well as the vassalage from the Lordships of West Meath and parts of West Leinster, two of Ireland’s greatest kings, Tairredelbach Ua Conchobair 1088-1156AD and his son Ruaidri Ua Conchobair 1115-1198, greatly expanded the Kingdom of Connacht, so much so, that Tairredelbach & Ruaidri were the natural choices to be High-Kings of Ireland.

    The Kingdom of Connacht collapsed in the 1230’s because of a civil war within the royal dynasties, which enabled the widespread influences of the Anglo-Irish to take hold of Ireland, however, the Anglo-Irish Connacht shrank dramatically in size between 1300-1360AD.

    Well into the 16th century the Anglo-Irish held what was the old Kingdom of Connacht, however, the Kingdoms of Ui Maine & Tir Fhiacrach remained beyond English rule, keeping the Gaelic heritage, during the Welsh Tudor conquest of 1500’s AD, the old Kingdom of Connacht was, to use an English word, shired into its present day counties.

    Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org

  • #6823
    Loegaire
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    The History Of Rathcroghan :

    Like other royal sites there are not any great historical references or archaeological evidence to prove it was a royal residence or a royal stronghold as described in the colourful myths that abound of pre-historic Ireland, coupled with the fact that some of the Irish ring-forts were constructed in Christian times instead of the scantily recorded pagan era.

    But in saying this, Rathcroghan certainly was a very important burial ground with the amount of ring barrows backing up the Irish scribes who mentioned Rathcroghan, with the same reverence as they did for of Tailtiu & Tara, as one of the 3 great burial sites also a gathering place for many of the clans under the Gaelic name of ‘Oenach’.

    It is believed the Queen Maeve status had been raised to that of earth goddess, much like that of Medb Lethderg at Tara, and part of becoming a High-King of Tara meant a closer bound with the Irish soil, as it was in the inauguration of a king at Cruachan, the religious importance of these 3 sites diminished after the arrival of Christianity, but we still have to thank the monks and their monastic records for recording pagan Ireland.

    The early Medieval scribes didn’t really record what actually happened at these sacred sites, perhaps it would have been conjecture if they had, but the developing tales of the sid of Cruachan being attacked by the forces of Ailill & Maeve, while referring to the Owenagat, in a monastic, emotive way, as The Gates of Hell.

    At the end of the first century AD, a number of raths (forts) were constructed in the Kingdom of Connacht, some of the new ring-forts included souterrains (underground passages) as a concealed entrance, one such entrance was that of the Owenagat and using ogham stones, which was unique constructions only found in Connacht and parts of South-West Ireland.

    The Rathcroghan complex has over 240 archaeological sites, 60 of which are classed as national monuments, scattered over approximately 4 square miles, they range from the Neolithic to the Medieval periods, and the monument categories include burial grounds, ring-forts, linear earthworks and ancient enclosures.

    Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org

  • #6816
    Beric
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    Cruchan :

    The place-name of Cruchan was taken in respect of Crochen, the handmaid of Etain, a ‘sidhe’ maiden reborn as a mortal, when Etain is brought back the Otherworld by her original ‘sidhe-lover Midir’, Crochen accompanies them and on their way to Midir’s subterranean palace, the 2 women spent sometime beneath the mound know as Sid-Sinche.

    Crochen was so impressed by the interior of this underground Sid’, that she asked Midir if this was his palace, because of her extreme loyalty to Etain and her mortal respect for this unworldly environment, Midir names the interior of the Sid-Sinche, as Crochen, in the handmaid’s honour.

    Then Midir’s leads both Etain & Crochen to his subterranean palace at ‘Bri Leith’, some have recorded Crochen as the mother of Maeve, but with out a doubt Cruachan as an impressive royal cemetery and the ancient quote from the poem of Dindshenchas :

    ‘Listen, warriors about Cruachu ! With barrows made for every noble couple’.

    Cruachan features heavily in The Ulster Cycle, with characters such as Queen Maeve, the Kingdom of Connacht, the treachery of High-King Eochaid Feidlech on King Tindi Mac Conra, ‘Fled Bricrenn’, the palace made of pine wood that features in ‘Bricriu’s Feast’ and so much more.

    Reference Used : http://www.wikipedia.org

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