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The hound of Arthur. According to Nennius, when Arthur was pursuing the boar Troynt, Cabal's footprint was left on a stone in Wales, which moved from its resting place at night, always returning in the morning, and that Arthur erected a cairn over it. Another story makes Cabal take part in the hunt for the boar Ysgithyrwyn. # 156 - 454
The Manx Water-Horse, pale-greyish in colour, as dangerous and greedy as the Highland Each-Uisge, pulling men and animals to their deaths. See: KELPIE. # 100
In the LIFE OF ST. CARANNOG (a medieval saint's life), he ruled with Arthur in the West Country. He may be identical with Cadwy, son of Gereint. # 156
This Welsh saint was supposed to be the son of King Gwynnlym of Glamorgan and Gwladys of Brecon. In the LIFE OF SAINT CADOC of the saint, Arthur demanded that Cadoc hand over to him a man named Ligessac who had killed some of his followers and who had been in santuary with Cadoc for ten years. When the matter was adjudicated upon, Arthur was offered a hundred kine (cattle) as compensation. He demanded that they be red before and white behind. With God's aid, they were produced, but they turned to bundles of fern when Arthur's men seized them. # 156
One of the Twenty-four Knights of Arthur's Court. # 104 - 156
The ruler of Cornwall, variously described as king or duke. He was a supporter of Arthur and helped him against the Saxons, defeating Baldulf and Cheldric. A Cador, son of the King of Cornwall, friend of Caradoc Briefbras and brother of Guignier, may be the same character. In origin, Cador may be Cadwy, son of Gereint (# 243). Cador is also the name of a King of Northumberland who became Kay's father-in-law. # 156 - 243
(Catwallaun) According to Geoffrey (# 243), the King of the Vendoti who lived in North Wales. # 156 - 243
The son of Gereint and, according to the DREAM OF RHONABWY (part of the Mabinogion), a contemporary of Arthur. See: CADO, and CADOR. # 156
(d.680) He was a herdsman at Whitby, unlettered and simple. He suddenly discovered that he could compose poetry and songs, and wrote a series of these about the Creation, the early history of the Israelites and the last things. He came to the attention of Saint Hilda of Whitby, who encouraged him. He became a monk and was venerated on 11 February. Only nine lines of his poetry survive in Bede. # 454
The fairy queen, lover of Arthur's son, Tom a'Lincoln, to whom she bore a son, the Faerie Knight. She eventually drowned herself. # 156 - 668
Daughter of Ethal Anubal, wooed by Angus Og; She lived a dual life; accepts the love of Angus Og. Caer means also: Wall, Castle, City. See: CAER IBORMEITH. # 562
A place in Merioneth where, according to bardic tradition, Arthur was raised. # 156
Daughter of Ethal Anubal, beloved of Angus. She was called 'a powerful, many-shaped girl', because of her ability to change her shape. She spent one year in human form and alternate years in the form of a swan. # 416 - 454 - 548
# 562: Arthur's court held at Caerleon at Usk. # 156: A city on the River Usk, one of Arthur's realm, according to Geoffrey who calls it the City of the Legion. Geoffrey claims it was founded by King Belinus, perhaps the Beli of the genealogies. Geoffrey says that Dubricius was its archbishop. # 702: This town, which was the Isca Silurum of the Romans, is claimed by many as the original site of King Arthur's Round Table, the legendary 'Camelot', which has been confused with Camelford, and may even have been the prehistoric earthworks known as Cadbury Castle. However, the first literary mention of Arthur's Round Table is in Wace's French rhymed verse 'Le Roman de Brut', written several centuries after the semi-mythological Arthur lived. Brut was a mythical King of the Bri-tons, whose ancestry traces back to the famous Aeneas. He accidental-ly killed his father, and took refuge first in Greece then in Bri-tain. It was in recognition of the power of ancient Troy that he cal-led the capital he established in Britain 'Troynovant' (New Troy). This was the mythological name for pre-Roman London. See: TROY. # 156 - 562 - 702
In Caernarvon Castle is the Eagle Tower, which is supposed by many to be the place where the first Prince of Wales, Edward II, was born in 1284. This is quite wrong, as documnets exist which show that the tower was built many years afterwards on the instruction of this same Edward, long after he had become king. Popular legend has Edward I standing with the new-born child on a balcony, proclaiming to the Welsh that this would be their future native king. It is said (perhaps jokingly) that Edward I presented the child as one who could not speak English - implying of course that the king of Wales should speak Welsh, a notion with which the Welshmen of that time would heartily agree. However, the story is a fabrication, for the castle itself was not completed until well over thirty years later. # 702
Roman statesman, born 100 BC, made ruler of Rome 49 BC and assassinated 44 BC. In the VULGATE VERSION he is given the title of emperor (which he never actually held) and is made the contemporary of Arthur. Merlin visited his court in the form of a stag. Caesar had had a dream and Merlin told him that the Wild Man of the Woods could divulge its meaning. The latter was captured by Merlin and Grisandole and told Caesar that the dream was about his wife's adultery. The romance of HUON DE BORDEAUX makes Caesar the father by Morgan Le Fay of Oberon. # 156 - 604
CAILLAGH NY GROAMAGH, OR 'THE OLD WOMAN OF GLOOMINESS'
The Manx version of the Highland Cailleach Bheur and the Irish Cailleach Bera. The Manx Cailleagh, as Gill tells us in A MANX SCRAPBOOK, seems to be particularly unlucky, for she fell into the crevise called after her in trying to step from the top of Barrule to the top of Cronk yn Irree Lhaa. The mark of her heel is still to be seen. The Manx Cailleagh, like all the rest, is a weather spirit. In Scotland winter and bad weather belong to her, but in Man she seems to operate all through the year. If St Bride's Day (1 February) is fine, she comes out to gather sticks to warm her through the summer; if it is wet, she stays in, and has to make the rest of the year fine in her own interests. A fine St Bride's Day is therefore a bad omen for the rest of the year. She is said to have been seen on St Bride's Day in the form of a gigantic bird, carrying sticks in her beak. Cronk yn Irree Lhaa is supposed to be the usual home of the 'OLD WOMAN OF GLOOMINESS'. # 100 - 249
CAILLEACH BEARE, OR BERA
(kill-ogh vayra) The ancient mountain mother of the south-west of Ireland. South-west Munster was believed to be the abode of the dead and here the Cailleach had lived for countless ages so that her successive husbands died of old age while she enjoyed endless youth. She is almost identical with the Cailleach Bheur of the Highlands except that she is not so closely connected with winter nor with the wild beasts. She is a great mountain builder, and, like many other gigantic Hags, she carried loads of stone in her apron and dropped them when the string broke. Eleanor Hull gives interesting information about both the Irish and the Highland Cailleachs in FOLKLORE OF THE BRITISH ISLES. Mackenzie in SCOTTISH FOLK LORE AND FOLK LIFE decides that the Highland tradition of the Cailleach is older and more deeply rooted than the Irish. See also: CAILLEACH BHEUR. # 100 - 328 - 415 - 454 - 548
(cal'yach vare) The blue-faced lean hag of the Highlands who personifies the season of winter, seems one of the clearest cases of the supernatural creature who was once a primitive goddess, possibly among the ancient Britons before the Celts. There are traces of a very wide cult: Black Annis of the Dane Hills in Leicestershire with her blue face, Gentle Annie of Cromarty Firth, the loathy hag in Chaucer's WIFE OF BATH'S TALE, Milton's 'blew meager hag', the GyreCarline in the Lowlands of Scotland, Cally Berry in Ulster, the Caillagh Ny Groamagh in the Isle of Man, and many other scattered references. We learn most about her, however, in the Highlands of Scotland. The variety of aspects in which she is presented is indicative of an ancient origin and a widespread cult. There are many mentions of her and folk-tales about her in the works of J. F. Campbell and J. G. Campbell, Mrs. W. J. Watson, and her father Alexander Carmichael, Mrs. K. W. Grant and J. G. Mackay, but the most comprehensive survey of the subject is to be found in Donald Mackenzie's SCOTTISH FOLK LORE AND FOLK LIFE, in which he devotes a chapter, 'A Scottish Artemis', to an examination of the activities of the Cailleach Bheur and the various facets of her character, in which he finds a striking resemblance to the primitive form of the Greek goddess Artemis. At first sight she seems the personification of winter. She is called 'the daughter of Grianan', the winter sun. There were two suns in the old Celtic calendar, 'the big sun' which shines from Beltane (May Day) to Hallowe'en, and 'the little sun' which shines from All Hallows to Beltane Eve. The Cailleach was reborn each All Hallows and went about smiting the earth to blight growth and calling down the snow. On May Eve she threw her staff under a holly tree or a gorse bush - both were her plants - and turned into a grey stone.
One can guess that many lonely standing stones were once sacred to her. This is the first aspect of the Cailleach Bheur, but there are others. According to some traditions, she did not turn to stone at the end of winter, but changed into a beautiful maid. J. F. Campbell in his POPULAR TALES OF THE WEST HIGHLANDS, VOL. III, tells a tale of a loathsome hag who appeared at the house where the Feens lay and begged for a place to warm herself at the fire. Fionn and Oisin refused her, but Diarmaid pleaded that she might be allowed to warm herself at the fire, and when she crept into his bed did not repulse her, only put a fold of the blanket between them. After a while he gave 'a start of surprise', for she had changed into the most beautiful woman that men ever saw. There is a striking similarity between this tale and 'The Marriage of Sir Gawain', or 'The Wife of Bath's Tale'. If this were taken as part of the primitive legend it would seem that the Cailleach Bheur represented a goddess of both winter and summer, but that must be a matter of speculation. In another version of the legend, she kept a beautiful maiden prisoner, with whom her son fell in love. The two escaped, and the Cailleach launched bitter winds against them to keep them apart. This is a version of the NICHT NOUGHT NOTHING story with the sexes inverted. Presumably the escaping maiden was the summer. However that may be, it is undoubted that the Cailleach is the guardian spirit of a number of animals. The deer have the first claim on her. They are her cattle; she herds and milk them and often gives them protection against the hunter. Swine, wild goats, wild cattle and wolves were also her creatures.
In another aspect she was a fishing goddess. The Cailleach Bheur was also the guardian of wells and streams, though sometimes a negligent one, as a tale told by Mrs. Grant in MYTH, TRADITION AND STORY FROM WESTERN ARGYLL will show. There are many of wells that were allowed to overflow from the negligence of a human guardian, but it is here more appropriately attached to a supernatural creature. The Cailleach was in charge of a well on the summit of Ben Cruachan. Every evening she had to staunch its flow with a slab at sunset and release it at sunrise. But one evening, being aweary after driving her goats across Connel, she fell asleep by the side of the well. The fountain overflowed, its waters rushed down the mountain side, the roar of the flood as it broke open an outlet through the Pass of Brander awoke the Cailleach, but her efforts to stem the torrent were fruitless; it flowed into the plain, where man and beast were drowned in the flood. Thus was formed Loch Awe... The Cailleach was filled with such horror over the result of her neglect of duty that she turned into stone. This is one among many legends of the Cailleach Bheur. Indeed, a whole book rather than a chapter might be written about the Cailleach Bheur and the crowd of variants that surround her. # 100 - 130 - 131 - 132 - 136 - 415
(kai-leech) The Celtic name of Caillech (or Hag) meant a Veiled One. See also: VEIL, and CAILLEACH. # 701
CAILTE MAC RONAIN
(cwel'che moc rôn'in) One of Finn's companions; tells the story of Finn's exploits to St Patrick. # 166
CAINTE, SONS OF
(cân'che) Cian, Cu, Cethen. Cian was the father of Lugh Long-Arm. # 166
Son of Cormac mac Art, father of Light of Beauty; refuses tribute to Fianna. Clan Bascna makes war upon Cair'bry. # 562
A smith or artificer. # 166
(ca'ren) The concubine of Eochu, mother of Niall of the Nine Hostages. She was made to serve at the well by Mongfind, Eochu's first wife, and there gave birth to Niall whom she feared to nurture because of Mongfind's jealousy. However, the poet Torna fostered Niall and presented the boy to his father. Cairenn was then released from menial work and clothed in the royal purple. Niall's recognition of his mother, before all other considerations, rightly enabled him to encounter Sovereignty with a kiss instead of abhorrence. Cairenn is herself an earthly representative of Sovereignty. # 166 - 188 - 454
(câr'bre coo'ân ah) A warrior drowned during the battle between the Ulstermen and the forces of Cu Roi mac Daire. # 166
(câr'bre lif'ê hâr) He exterminated the Fianna at the Battle of Gabhra where he killed Oscar, Fionn's grandson. He was the son of Cormac mac Art, King of Ireland; became king AD 277. He himself was also killed at the Battle of Gabhra. # 166 - 188 - 454 - 467
CAIRPRE MAC ETAIN
(câr'bre moc a'din) A poet of Tuatha De Danann, noted as a satirist. # 166
(câr'bre ne'â fàr) Son of Ross Ruad; king of Tara; enemy of CuChulain, probably because of rivalry over Fedelm Noichride, daughter of Conchobar.# 166
(cait shee) The Highland fairy cat. J. G. Campbell describes it as being as large as a dog, black with a white spot on its breast, with an arched back and erect bristles. This, probably, would be when it was angry. He says that many Highlanders believed that these cats were transformed witches, not fairies. An even larger and more ferocious cat, the demonic god of the cats, appeared in answer to the wicked and ferocious ceremony of the Taghairm, which consisted in roasting successive cats alive on spits for four days and nights until Big Ears appeared and granted the wishes of the torturers. The last ceremony of Taghairm was said to have been performed in Mull and was described in detail in the London Literary Gazette (March 1824). The account is quoted by D. A. Mackenzie in SCOTTISH FOLK LORE AND FOLK LIFE. But Big Ears was a monstrous demon cat who had only a slight connection with the Cait Sith. # 100 - 131 - 415
CuChulain killed Calatin and his sons at the ford, but Calatin's wife had three daughters, each with one eye, who avenged their family. They were skilled in enchantment and caused CuChulain to see and hear a phantom host fighting against his countrymen which spurred him on to his death at the hands of Lugaid, whom they helped. # 266 - 454
(Welsh CALADVWLCH) Magic sword of King Arthur. # 562
The Ulster version of the Highland Cailleach Bheur. The Cally Berry is not, as in the Highlands, a nature spirit, the personification of winter and the guardian of the wild deer, but a malignant supernatural Hag. See also: CAILLEACH BHEUR. # 100
A river in Somerset, near Cadbury Castle. In a nearby field, Westwoods, a large number of skeletons bear grim testimony to a battle and it has been suggested that this was the site of Camlann. See also: ELY, and TROY. # 156
A suitor of Hermondine, killed by Meliador. # 156
Second son of Brutus, after whom Wales or Cambria is named. # 243 - 454
The true Celts were certainly fair. Giraldus Cambrensis described even the Irish Celts of the twelfth century as a fair race. See Appendix 1, BIOGRAPHY: GERALD OF WALES. # 562
The site of one of England's major universities, which, according to Prior Nicholas Cantelupe (died 1441), received its charter from Arthur (# 476). An even less likely tradition, current in Elizabethan times, was that the university had been founded by the Spanish Prince Cantaber in Anno Mundi 3588.*
*Since the creation of the world. # 156 - 476
A river, the possible site of Camlann battle. # 156
The kingdom of Leodegrance, who was Guinevere's father. It has been suggested that it was in Scotland or else in south-west England. One of its important cities was Carolhaise. # 156 - 418
Arthur's capital. According to the romances, it was named after a pagan king called Camaalis. At the time when Joseph of Arimathea arrived in Britain, it was the chief city of the country. In Joseph's time, King Agrestes ruled it. He seemed to embrace Christianity but, after Joseph's departure, persecuted the Christians until God drove him mad. The city is first mentioned by Chrétien in his LANCELOT. Malory tells us the chief church was St. Stephen's. Attempts have been made to identify Camelot. In Roman times Colchester was called Camulodunum, which has a not-too-dissimilar sound. In modern times, some have thought it was Cadbury Castle (Somerset) where, as we know from archaeology, there was a leader's fortified dwelling during the Arthurian period. A tradition that Camelot was Cadbury Castle also existed in the sixteenth century. See: WINCHESTER. # 156
Enamoured of Arthur, this sorceress of Saxon ancestry captured him. Lancelot rescued him and Camille killed herself. # 156
The site of Arthur's final battle. Malory has only Arthur, Bedivere and, for a very brief period, Lucan survive this battle. Arthur was sorely, perhaps mortally, wounded. In CULHWCH, a number of other survivors are mentioned - Sandav, because he was so beautiful that all mistook him for an angel, and Morvran, because he was so ugly that all supposed him a devil. We are also told in CULHWCH that the battle was planned by nine people, one of whom was Gwynn Hyvar, the steward of Cornwall and Devon. Others thought to have survived the battle were Saint Derfel and Saint Petroc. Welsh tradition spoke of seven survivors. The date of the battle has caused some debate. The ANNALES CAMBRIAE state it was twenty-one years after Badon, perhaps intending AD 515, 520 0r 539. Geoffrey claims it was in 542. The Irish ANNALS OF TIGERNACH place it in 541 and the Spanish ANALES TOLEDANOS much later, in 580. As to the site, Malory favours Salisbury Plain. Slaughter Bridge on the River Camel (Cornwall) is a traditional site, while Blackett and Wilson identify it with Camlan (Wales). The DIDOT PERCEVAL places it in Ireland. See also: ODBRICT and TREGALEN. # 72 - 156
CAMPBELL OF ISLAY, JOHN FRANCIS
(1822-85) J. F. Campbell was the author of perhaps the most famous collection of Scottish Folktales, POPULAR TALES OF THE WEST HIGHLANDS, ORALLY COLLECTED. He was a cousin of the Duke of Argyll, a grandson of the Earl of Wemyss, was educated at Eton and Edinburgh University, and became a barrister. He had much practical work to do in the world; as Secretary to the Lighthouse Commision and Coal Commision he had detailed and voluminous reports to prepare, but as a child he had been brought up in Islay with a Gaelic-speaking nurse and had made many close friends among the island people. In a time when Gaelic was despised and suppressed by the village dominies, and often by the ministers as well, Campbell of Islay upheld it, and searched out the surviving storytellers and the traditions of history, legend and belief that were still lingering in the Highlands and Islands. His method of collection was an examplar to all later collectors, for he trained a team of Gaelic speakers and threw a great network over the whole area. Sometimes he travelled with his collectors and trained them assiduously to accurate and lively oral transmission. He published only the four volumes of his POPULAR TALES, but left behind him a vast manuscript collection, much of which has been translated and printed bilingually, according to the standard which he established. A full and lively account of his life and the impact he made on his contemporaries can be found in R. M. Dorson's classic work, THE BRITISH FOLKLORISTS. # 100 - 191
CAMPBELL OF TIREE, JOHN GREGORSON
(1836-91) Among the nineteenth century collectors of Highland tales and traditions, two of the name of Campbell are of outstanding importance: J. F. Campbell and J. G. Campbell. They were members of a band of collectors, among them J. Mc Dougall and D. McInnes, encouraged and directed by Lord Archibald Campbell. They pursued the same method of oral collection of Gaelic sources with translations into English. Campbell of Islay's POPULAR TALES OF THE WEST HIGHLANDS is well known, but Campbell of Tiree's contribution to folk knowledge is nearly as important. John Gregorson Campbell was born in Kingairloch, Argyllshire, the son of a sea-captain. His first schooling was in Appin, from which he went to high school at Glasgow, and later to the university, where he already began to collect oral traditions and cultivate the aquaintance of good storytellers. He was called to the ministry, and in 1860 the Duke of Argyll appointed him to the ministry of Tiree and Coll, where he worked for the rest of his life in a very happy relationship with his parishioners. In the course of his work he provided material for two volumes of the series WAIFS AND STRAYS OF CELTIC TRADITION, wrote SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND, and contributed stories to various Celtic journals. He corresponded with his fellow collectors, and particularly with John Campbell of Islay. It was a time of keen intellectual activity in the Highlands, not rivalled until the School of Scottish Studies began its researches. # 100
Belgic war-god, eponymous deity of Camulodunum (Colchester). Coins bearing his name have the symbol of the boar upon them. # 454
The father of Lac and grandfather of Erec. # 156
The son of King Apollo of Liones; in his day Liones and Cornwall were united. # 156
A King of Cornwall who was aided by the Irish king Gonosor. # 156
This city was called Durovernum by the ancient Romans. The archiepiscopal see was founded in AD 597. In Arthurian romance the Archbishop of Canterbury was one of Arthur's advisers; he survived his final battle but was subsequently murdered by Mark of Cornwall. The inclusion of an archbishop of Canterbury in Arthurian saga is probably an anacronism, rather than an assertion that there was a bishopric of Canterbury in pre-Saxon times. According to the Scandinavian BRETA SOGUR, Arthur was buried at Canterbury. # 156
CAOILTE MAC RONAN
(kwel che moc ronan) One of the Fianna, and their best runner. He released Fionn from imprisonment by gathering two of every wild beast for his ransom. # 454
(konyack) 'Weeper'. One of the names given to the Highland Banshee (Caointeach is another). She belonged to the class of Fuaths. Unlike the Bean-Nighe, she is not seen and cannot be approached to grant wishes. She is heard wailing in the darkness at a waterfall before any catastrophe overtakes a clan. Carmichael in CARMINA GADELICA, says that before the Massacre of Glencoe the Caoineag of the Macdonalds was heard to wail night after night. # 100 - 136
(kondyuch) A localized form of the Caoineag, the Highland Banshee, which belongs to Argyllshire, Skye and some of the neighbouring islands, and was attached to the Macmillans, Mathisons, Kellys, Mackays, Macfarlanes, Shaws and Curries. The name means 'wailer', and she has a peculiarly loud and lamentable cry, rising at times to a kind of scream. Sometimes she beats clothes on a stone like the BeanNighe. She has been described as a child or a very little woman in a short green gown and petticoat with a high-crowned white cap. It is not certain whether she is like a banshee in having no nose and one monstrous tooth, but her habits seem to be the same. L. Spence gives an account of her, and there is a story about her in MacDougall and Calder's work. In this tale she wore a green shawl for mourning and served the Mackays. One wet cold night she was keening softly outside the door, and a member of the family put out a plaid for her. She was thus laid like a Brownie, and has never come back to the Mackays. # 100 - 414 - 609
The name given to a Westmoreland local Bogie of the Black Dog type. He could apparently assume any form at will, but preferred that of the calf-sized black dog. There used to be a barn near Milnthorpe called Capelthwaite Barn which was the home of one of these creatures. He was well disposed towards the farm people, and used to round up their sheep and cattle for them. # 100
CAPTIVES IN FAIRYLAND
From ancient times there have been traditions of mortals carried away into Fairyland (Otherworld), or detained there if they ventured into a fairy hill and were inveigled into tasting fairy food or drink, and so partaking of the fairy nature. An early example is the story of Malekin given in the Medieval Cronicle of Ralph of Coggeshall. Here we have an example of the most common form of captive, a mortal changeling, stolen from his mother's side while she was working in the fields, and apparently believing that he had a chance of regaining his freedom every seven years. These little captives, fed from infancy on fairy food and cosseted by fairy mothers, would presumably be accepted in the end as full fairies. There was, however, a more sinister reason given for their capture; it was said both in Scotland and Ireland that, once in a seven years, the fairies had to pay a tribute to Hell, and that they preferred to sacrifice mortals rather than their own kind. It will be remembered that in the ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, the Queen of Elfland had some fears that Thomas might be chosen for the Teind.
According to Lady Wilde, young men are often lured away if they are gifted with powers of song and music, as Thomas the Rhymer was, or especially handsome ones are desired as lovers by fairy princesses. Women, however, are in much more danger of capture by the fairies than men. Nursing mothers are in great demand to suckle fairy babies (for the quality of fairy milk seems to be poor), and the time between child-birth and churching is one of great danger. There are many stories of precautions successfully taken, or of the attempted rescue of wives from the power of the fairies. Sometimes the fairies were intercepted as they were carrying off their victim and never got into Fairyland with her. 'The Laird of Balmachie's wife' is an example of this and an exposure of the fairy method of capture. Sometimes the victim was successfully rescued, as in Scott's story of MARY NELSON.
But there were tragic stories of failure in the attempt. One among many is the tale of THE LOTHIAN FARMER'S WIFE which Douglas tells in SCOTTISH FAIRY AND FOLK TALES, when the husband made an attempt to rescue his wife from the Fairy Rade (an attempt which had succeeded with Young Tamlane): The wife of a farmer in Lothian had been carried off by the fairies, and, during the year of probation, repeatedly appeared on Sunday, in the midst of her children, combing their hair. On one of these occasions she was accosted by her husband; when she related to him the unfortunate event which had separated them, instructed him by what means he might win her, and exhorted him to exert all his courage, since her temporal and eternal happiness depended on the success of his attempt. The farmer, who ardently loved his wife, set out on Hallowe'en, and, in the midst of a plot of furze, waited impatiently for the procession of the fairies. At the ringing of the fairy bridles, and the wild, unearthly sound which accompanied the cavalcade, his heart failed him, and he suffered the ghostly train to pass by without interruption. When the last rode past, the whole troop vanished, with loud shouts of laughter and exultation; among which he plainly discovered the voice of his wife, lamenting that he had lost her for ever.
The capture of beautiful young women to be brides to fairy kings or princes was almost as common as that of nursing mothers, and these seem often to have been the patients for whom fairy midwives were called out. A very clear example of this is J. Rhys' story of Eilian of Garth Dorwen. Here the fairy's bride went willingly and had always had something uncanny about her. Her Golden Hair made her particularly attractive to the fairies. There was no need to rescue her. This is the most complete Midwife to the Fairies Story that we possess. Lady Wilde's ETHNA THE BRIDE is a representative of a Fairy Theft of a young bride and of her rescue out of Fairyland. The classic Irish story of Midhir and Etain is the epic version of the tale, and the medieval King Orfeo, in which Hades becomes Fairyland, follows something on the same lines. The Cornish FAIRY DWELLING ON SELENA MOOR tells of the failure to rescue a human captive, but here the girl seems kept as a nursemaid rather than a bride. Again the eating of fairy food was her undoing. One aspect of the fairy captives is of especial interest and that is the friendly warning they often give to humans who have inadvertently strayed into Fairyland. In THE TACKSMAN OF AUCHRIACHAN it is a neighbour supposed to have been recently dead who warns him of his danger, hides him and helps him to escape. Often the midwife is advised by her patient what to do for her safety.
As a rule this patient is a captive bride, and one can presume that it is so in Lady Wilde's story of THE DOCTOR AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. In the Irish tales there are many examples of a 'red-haired man' who intervenes to rescue people enticed into Fairyland, and who is supposed to be a mortal captive there. One example is perhaps enough, drawn from Lady Wilde's ANCIENT LEGENDS OF IRELAND, VOL. I. It is about a girl who was enticed into a fairy dance, and, after dancing with the prince, she was led down to a gorgeous banquet: She took the golden cup the prince handed to her, and raised it to her lips to drink. Just then a man passed close to her, and whispered, 'Eat no food, and drink no wine, or you will never reach your home again.' So she laid down the cup, and refused to drink. On this they were angry, and a great noise arose, and a fierce, dark man stood up, and said - 'Whoever comes to us must drink with us.' And he seized her arm, and held the wine to her lips, so that she almost died of fright. But at that moment a red-haired man came up, and he took her by the hand and led her out. 'You are safe for this time,' he said. 'Take this herb, and hold it in your hand till you reach home, and no one can harm you.' And he gave her a branch of the plant called Athair-Luis (the ground ivy). This she took, and fled away along the sward in the dark night: but all the time she heard footsteps behind her in pursuit. At last she reached home and barred the door, and went to bed, when a great clamour arose outside, and voices were heard crying to her 'The power we have over you is gone through the magic of the herb; but wait - when you dance again to the music on the hill, you will stay with us for evermore, and none shall hinder.' However, she kept the magic branch safely, and the fairies never troubled her more; but it was long and long before the sound of the fairy music left her ears which she had danced to that November night on the hillside with her fairy lover.
Thomas the Rhymer is the one mortal-born inhabitant of Fairyland who appears again and again as the leader and counsellor of the fairies, and seems to have no backward looks towards Middle Earth and no remorse for human mortals. Thomas of Ercildoune actually lived in Scotland in the late Middle Ages, and the very tree where he met the Fairy Queen is still pointed out.
Robert Kirk, the seventeenthcentury author of THE SECRET COMMONWEALTH, was another who was believed to have been carried into a fairy hill, the Fairy Knowe at Aberfoyle. He was an unwilling prisoner and was thought to be held because of his betrayal of fairy secrets. It will be seen that various motives were ascribed for captures of mortals: the acquisition of bond-slaves, amorousness, the enrichment brought by musical talent, human milk for fairy babies, but perhaps the chief motive was to inject the dwindling stock with fresh blood and human vigour. # 100 - 130 - 192 - 201 - 370 - 554 - 728
The marriage of a human man with a fairy wife seems generally to have been a marriage by capture, except for the Gwrachs of Wales, who generally yielded to wooing. Like the captured brides, however, they imposed a taboo, which was in the end always violated. Wild Edric is an early example of a captured fairy bride, complete with the taboo and the wife's final return to Fairyland. Many other wives are Selkies or Seal Maidens, captured by the theft of their seal skins. When, after years of married life, they regain their skins, they hurry down to the sea at once. Ralph of Coggeshall's early tale of the Green Children is an unusual one of fairies captured, for of the pair, the boy pined and died and the girl never went back to her subterranean land, but married and lived on like a mortal, keeping still some of the fairy wantonness. There are scattered tales all over the country of the capture of the small helpless fairies, most of whom escape in the long run. The most famous of these are the Leprachauns. The man who is bold enough to seize one hopes to threaten him into surrendering his pot of gold, for the Leprachaun is a hoarder, but there has been no recorded case of success. The rule first laid down by Kirk that a fairy can only be seen between two blinks of an eye holds good with him. However fast your grip, you must keep your eye on him through rough and smooth, or he will slip between your fingers like water. Perhaps the same rule held good for the pixy at the Ovkerry, of whom William Crossing wrote in his TALES OF DARTMOOR PIXIES. An old woman who lived on the Moors was going home with an empty basket from the market after selling her goods. When she got near the bridge which spans Blackabrook at the Ockerry a small figure leapt on to the road and began capering in front of her. He was about eighteen inches high, and she recognized him as a pixy. She paused for a moment, wondering if she should turn back for fear of being Pixy-Led; but she remembered that her family would be waiting for her, and pressed steadily on. When she got to the bridge the pixy turned and hopped towards her, and she suddenly stooped down, picked him up, popped him into her empty basket and latched down the lid, for she thought to herself that instead of the pixy leading her she would lead the pixy. The little fellow was too tall to leap about in the basket, but he began to talk and scold in an unknown gibberish, while she hurried proudly home, longing to show her catch to the family. After a time the stream of gabbling stopped, and she thought he might be sullen or asleep. She thought she would take a peep at him, and lifted a corner of the lid very cautiously, but there was no sight or feel of him, he was gone like a piece of dried foam. No harm seems to have come to her, and, in spite of losing him, she felt proud of her exploit.
I. Skillywidden and Coleman Gray tell of little fairies who were carried into human houses but got back to their own family in the end. In the sadder tale of BROTHER MIKE the little captive never escaped, but pined and died. Ruth Tongue has a story of a rather rare waterspirit, an ASRAI, who pined and melted away under the heat of the sun like a stranded jelly-fish when a fisherman caught it and tried to bring it home to sell. Most of these fairies, great or small, seem powerless to avenge the wrong offered to them, though other fairies avenge much more trifling injuries with Blights and Illnesses, or even death. # 86 - 100 - 167 - 540
Son of Bran; rules Britain in his father's absence. # 562
King of Vannes and Nantes, who married the unfaithful Ysaive, niece of Arthur. See: CARADOC BRIEFBRAS. # 156
His epithet 'briefbras' (short arm) is a pseudo-translation into French of Welsh 'freichfras' (strong-armed). In the romances, he was the son of Eliavres the wizard and Ysaive, wife of King Caradoc of Vannes and Nantes. When Caradoc Briefbras confronted Eliavres about his parentage, Eliavres and Ysaive caused a serpent to twine around his arm and it took the combined efforts of his wife, Guignier, and her brother, Cador, to rid him of it. When King Mangoun of Moraine sent him a horn to expose any infidelity on the part of the wife of him who drank from it, Caradoc's draught showed his wife to be faithful. In Welsh tradition Caradoc's wife was Tegau Eurfon, his father Llyr Marini, his son Meuric and his steed Lluagor. He was the legendary ancestor of the ruling house of Morgannwg and may have founded the kingdom of Gwent in the fifth century. # 156 - 604
Also called the King of Carados, he was one of those kings who rebelled against Arthur at the outset of his reign. B. Saklatvala (# 574) identifies him with the Saxon leader Cerdic. # 156 - 574
CARADOS OF THE DOLOROUS TOWER
He had an enchantress for a mother. He captured Gawain and lodged him in a dungeon. Lancelot slew him, striking off his head with the only sword which could kill him, and Gawain and other prisoners were thus freed. Carados was the brother of Sir Turquine. # 156 - 418
(Sixth century) He was possibly of Welsh origin. Arthur had taken possession of his floating altar, which had gone astray, but he returned it when Carannog drove off a serpent at the king's behest. # 26 - 156
A historical personage, King of the Catuvellani, a tribe of Britons who lived in the vicinity of modern-day St Albans, at the time of the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43. He led a hard-fought anti-Roman campaign, but was eventually handed over to his foes by Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes. He was then pardoned by the Emperor Claudius. E. Ratcliffe (# 542) argues that the stories of Caratacus became misplaced in folklore and that he was the original of Arthur. A somewhat similar argument is advanced by J. Whitehead. Both Ratcliffe and I. H. Elder regard Caratacus as identical with Arviragus, while E. R. Capt avers that he was Arviragus' cousin. # 156 - 542 - 726
This castle contained the Palace Adventurous, wherein was the Grail. # 156
A knight who was brought up secretly after his father, Dondinello, had been poisoned. He went to Arthur's court and then on a quest to succour Beatrice who, with her subjects, had been turned into animals by a wizard. Carduino slew the wizard and restored Beatrice to her former shape by kissing her. They married. # 156 - 238
Reputed father of Tuan. # 562
In Thomas's TRISTAN, a knight in love with Iseult who told her that Tristan had married Iseult of the White Hands. # 156
CARL OF CARLISLE
A giant who was host to Gawain, Kay and Bishop Baldwin. He had become a giant because of a spell which was broken when, at his own behest, his head was duly cut off by Gawain. Gawain married his daughter. Arthur knighted him and made him Lord of Carlisle. He became a Knight of the Round Table. # 156 - 401
A race or nation. In Irish romance, the King's son, the Black Knight, became one of Arthur's knights and was killed by the Knight of the Lantern. # 156
At Carnac, Brittany, the Ménec alignment, made after 2500 BC with over a thousand stones, is set with two other alignments in a crowded landscape of dolmens (burial chambers), menhirs (single stones) and cromlechs (groups of stones). The stones are regimented, probably for ritual; but each stone is individual, with an overwhelming personality. At the culmination of the alignments are the presumed stones of sacrifice. Surveys in the 1970s Professor Thom argued for two important astronomical observatories near Carmac. He concluded that the Manio and Grand Menhir Brisé menhirs had been erected as foresights towards the eight major risings and settings of the moon. Several sites, he believed, could have been the backsights from which observers would have seen these lunar events. Omitted from the gazetteer are some non-megalithic (or non-existing) sites. There are good reasons for doubting the astronomical function of many stones in the two 'observatories'. Not to be forgotten in this prehistoric wonderland is the museum at Carnac-ville. The objects on display, from the flints and the pots to the casts of carved stones, are vividly revealing of the lives of the people who erected and used the menhirs, the rows and the tombs. # 117 - 342
In Welsh folk belief Arthur was buried under the cairn in Snowdonia. # 156
Arthur's dagger. # 156 -346
Earliest home of mountain Celts was ranges of the Carpathians. # 562
King of Recesse, the brother of King Claudas, he waged war against Arthur, until Gawain persuaded him to stop. # 153 - 156
Celts conquered Spain from the Carthaginians. Greeks break monopoly of trade of the Carthaginians, with Britain and Spain. # 562
In the works of Torquato Tasso (1544-95) the Italian poet, a daughter of Morgan Le Fay. # 156
Son of a minstrel of the Danaan Folk; Cas'corach and St. Patrick. # 562
Son of Aminabad and ancestor of Arthur according to the pedigree provided by John of Glastonbury. See: GARCELOS, and MANAEL. # 156 - 344
A village in Co. Durham, said to be haunted by Arthur's knights in the guise of chickens. Arthur's hall was once thought to have stood there. # 156 - 753
An earthwork, modern Caynham Camp (Shropshire) which, according to the medieval HISTORY OF FULK FITZWARIN, was built by Kay. # 156
CASTLE OF MAIDENS
A castle in Arthurian romance said to contain young women, either as inmates or prisoners. Duke Lianour ruled it, but seven brothers slew him and took it over. They in turn fell at the hands of three of Arthur's knights and, afterwards, the duke's daughter took charge of it. With regard to its origin, Geoffrey said that Ebraucus, King of Britain, founded the Castle of Mount Agned which later became known as the Castle of Maidens. As to its location, it may have been identified with Edinburgh which, in the Middle Ages, was known as Castellum (or Castra) Puellarum, but some of the tales place it in the vicinity of Gloucester. # 26 - 156
CASTLE OF WONDERS
The lame king, who is identical with the lord of the Castle of Wonders, would have been made whole again, if Perceval (Peredur) had asked the meaning of what he saw. # 562
Beneath this castle on the Isle of Man are said to be giants, buried in caves by Merlin who defeated them. # 156
CASTLERIGG STONE CIRCLE
On a plateau among the hills to the east of Keswick is one of the most impressive ancient stone circles in the north of England, the Castlerigg, sometimes called the 'Carles' or 'Druids Circle',
... a dismal cirque Of Druid Stones, upon a forlorn moor.
as Keats wrote in the nineteenth century. The 'cirque' consists of 38 standing stones arranged in an oval approximately 107 feet maximum diameter, with an inner rectangular setting of 10 stones. About 300 feet to the south-west is an outlier. Castlerigg, like most of the stone circles of Britain, is a calendrical marker, though in this respect it is probably unique in that instead of using a large number of specially sited standing stones outside its circle as markpoints, it makes use of the distinctive shapes of the surrounding mountains. The line of orientation in such circles is usually fixed by three single points (indicated by stones, one of which is usually an outlier, or stone free of the outer circumference of the circle) along a single sighting line.
In Castlerigg, however, there are several orientation points with only two siting points within some of the orientations, the third (necessary to mark accurately a continuation line) being fixed by distinctive points on the surrounding hills and mountains: thus, in this remarkable circle, the stones are integrated perfectly into the surrounding horizon, to mark out the rhythms of the seasons. The most important work done on stone circles in the present century is that of Professor Thom, who has personally surveyed hundreds of such sites and has come to some far-reaching conclusions about their calendrical properties. It is therefore interesting to observe that Thom himself remarks that the curious evidence of the outlier at Castlerigg yielded one of the lines which, in Thom's words 'convinced the author of the necessity to examine the calendar hypothesis in detail'. # 702
# 562: Son of Beli; conquers Britain during Bran's absence. # 454: Welsh king. In popular memory, Cassivellaunos, the Belgic king of Catuvellauni, who had led the tribes against Caesar in 54 BC survived as Caswallawn. The 'Triads' cite him as being the suitor of Fflur, and remember him as one of the three golden shoemakers, along with Manawyddan and Llew. In 'Branwen, Daughter of Llyr', he conquers Britain in the absence of Bran, by means of his magic mantle. See: THIRTEEN TREASURES OF BRITAIN. # 104 - 272 - 439 - 454 - 562
The cat does not play a large part in Celtic tradition but it was associated with chthonic powers and was thus funerary, also a prophetic animal. In Roman Gaul and in Irish lore there was a 'Little Cat' as a guardian of treasure; it turned into a flaming object and burned the thief to ashes. There was an island inhabited by men with cat-heads. In Celtic saga there were Monster Cats to be fought by the Hero, the cat taking the place of the Dragon. The Welsh Great Cat was born of the enchanted sow Henwen, originally a human; it could eat nine score warriors. Monster cats and sea-cats appear in Irish tradition of probably Celtic origin. In Irish myth the eldest son of a hog had a cat's head and was known as 'Puss of the Corner'. # 454: The cat is now so domesticated it seems impossible to imagine mythical Britain being ravaged by a giant wild-cat, but so it was, until Arthur and Cai overcame it, according to an early Welsh text. Indeed the cat has not been necessarily appreciated for its virtues in British folklore where it often appears as the totem of black witches. One unpleasant form of divination among the Scottish Gaels was 'taghgairm', by which a live cat was spitted over a fire until other cats appeared to relieve its distress by answering the question set by the operator of this method. Among the Gaelic peoples it was a powerful totem of many tribes. Caithness is named from the clan of the Catti, or cat-people, while in Ireland, Fionn fought against a tribe of CAT-HEADS, possibly warriors with catskin over their helmets. # 100 - 161 - 225 - 454
CAT COIT CELIDON
The site of one of Arthur's battles in the southern reaches of Scotland, in the area once known as Silva Caledoniae (Wood of Scotland). # 156 - 494
A monstrous member of the cat family which appears in Welsh Arthurian poetry. The adjective Palug means 'clawing'. In the poem PA GUR, we are told that Kay went to Anglesey with a view to killing lions and was especially prepared for an encounter with Cath Palug. The poem is incomplete, but it may have told how Kay slew the beast. Welsh tradition told how the creature was produced by the pig Henwen and thrown into the sea, only to be raised by the sons of Palug on Anglesey. (Geoffrey Ashe suggests that a captive leopard, kept by a Welsh king, may have given rise to the tale.) In Continental tales we learn how Arthur slew a giant cat near Lake Bourget in the French Alps. This combat is commemorated in the local names Col du Chat (cat's neck), Dent du Chat (cat's tooth) and Mont du Chat (cat's mountain). In French the animal was called Capalu. In the ROMANEZ DE FRANCEIS (medieval romance) Arthur fought the cat Capalu in a swamp and it killed him. It then invaded England and became king. It has been suggested that we may have here an alternative tradition of Arthur's death. In BATAILLE LOQUIFER (medieval romance with limited Arthurian content) there is a youth called Kapalu, a servant of Morgan. # 104 - 156
The Cat of the Sidhe: a fairy cat. Highlanders believed that the Cait Sith was really a transformed witch not a fairy. The King of this otherworldly company of cats was called Big Ears and he would appear to answer questions set by a dinner engaged in taghairm - the roasting of a cat over fire. See: CAT. # 100 - 454
(cáh'vah) # 562: Chief Druid of Ulster. Wedded to Maga, wife of Ross the Red; his spell of divination overheard by CuChulain; draws Deirdre's horoscope; casts evil spells over Naisi and Deirdre. # 454: The druid of Conchobar mac Nessa and his father. He prophesied that the boy who took arms on a certain day would outstrip all of Ireland's heroes. CuChulain heard him and 'took valour' as a warrior that day, although he was but a boy. Cathbad also foretold the sorrow which Deirdriu would cause Conchobar and the whole of Ulster. # 166 - 266 - 454 - 548 - 562
All affairs, public and private, were subject to the Druids authority, and the penalties which they could inflict for any assertion of lay independence, like the medieval interdicts of the Catholic Church, on popular superstition alone, were enough to quell the proudest spirit. Here lay the real weakness of the Celtic polity. # 562
This Celtic goddess of war's name means Battle-Crow. Inscriptions have been found to her in Europe, but she is undoubtedly associated with Badh or Bodh, the Irish battle-goddess. # 389 - 454
A son of Vortigern. # 156 - 243
CATTLE RAID OF COOLEY, THE
is the central epic of the Ulster cycle. The oldest version goes back probably to the eighth century. The tale opens with the famous 'Pillow Talk' a racy dialogue between Queen Medb of Connacht and her hen-pecked husband, Ailill. The queen, on finding that her possessions equal those of her husband, except for one bull, the White-Horned of Connacht, determines to make up the deficiency by gaining possession of the most famous bull in Ireland, the Donn of Cooley, which is the property of Daire, a chieftain of Ulster. When Medb learns that she cannot obtain the Donn as a loan, she determines to take the animal by force and gathers an army to invade Ulster. Owing to the temporary debility of all the adult warriors of Ulster, the seventeen-year-old CuChulain undertakes to oppose Medb's host single-handed. When Medb hears of CuChulain, she inquires about him from the Ulster exiles in her army and learns of his boyish exploits. As the result of an agreement between Medb and CuChulain, the Ulster champion meets at a ford on the border of the two provinces a single Connacht warrior each day over a period extending from Samhain (the beginning of winter) till the beginning of spring. The men of Connacht finally succeed in invading Ulster and carrying off the Donn of Cooley, but they are later defeated by the Ulstermen, now restored to their normal strength. The Donn of Cooley, after slaying the WhiteHorned of Connacht, returns to his native district and utters mad bellowings of triumph till his heart bursts and he dies. In spite of obvious imperfections, 'The Cattle Raid of Cooley' is a splendid example of an epic in the making. It shows many evidences of literary artistry and is not without passages of marked power and impressiveness. The combat between CuChulain and his friend Ferdiad is one of the most famous passages in early Irish literature. # 166
CATTLE RAID OF FROECH, THE
'The Cattle Raid of Froech' has a peculiar title. Froech's 'cattle raid' is nothing more than the recovery of his own cattle ( and his wife) from beyond the Alps; moreover, this exploit, which has a late look to it, is tacked on to the main tale, which could better have been called 'The Wooing of Findabair'. And the tale itself is unusual, for it is a mythological story - and with the personae of the Mythological Cycle - pressed into the service of the Ulster Cycle, as a preliminary tale to 'The Cattle Raid of Cuailnge'. It begins in the realm of the Sidhe, with Froech going to ask presents of his aunt, Boand (compare Froech's cattle with the hounds of Arawn in 'Pwyll Lord of Dyved': white animals with red ears are always from the otherworld); immediately, the setting shifts to the heroic warrior-world of Connachta, though Froech returns to the Sidhe for healing after his battle with the water monster.
The theme of 'The Cattle Raid of Froech', that of the young hero who must win his love away from her unwilling father, appears also in 'The Wooing of Etain' and 'The Dream of Oengus'; it is a degraded form of the familiar regeneration motif. The mythic - actually folkloric, in this manifestation - pattern imposes an uncharacteristic degree of villainy on Ailill and Medb. (Also uncharacteristic is the dominance of Ailill - elsewhere in the Ulster Cycle it is Medb who is the strong partner.) The version in Gantz's 'Early Irish Myths and Sagas', however, is neither mythic nor heroic so much as literary and psychological. More attention is paid to motivation here than in any other early Irish story: Medb is guilt-stricken at having neglected Froech's retinue, Findabair refuses to elope with Froech but admonishes him to bargain for her, Froech rejects the bride price as excessive even for Medb, Ailill tricks Froech into entering the water monster's lake and seems to regret the ruse only because Froech survives it, Findabair asserts her independence of her father after he has accused her of giving her ring (and by implication herself) to Froech. Even the dialogue is unusually subtle. Oddly, though, Froech's lie about how he received the ring is never challenged - is this an extraordinarily ironic touch, or did the storyteller simply forget that Findabair actually does give Froech the ring? - and Findabair, even after producing the ring on the salmon platter, is not allowed to go away at once with Froech. # 236
A tribe of Britons. See: CARATACUS. # 156
A North Welsh ruler who is said to have driven the Irish (led by Serigi) out of Anglesey about the year AD 500. He may be identical with Cadwallon who, according to Geoffrey, ruled Gwynedd in Arthur's time. # 156
CAULD LAD OF HILTON, THE
One of the domestic spirits which is half brownie, half ghost. It was supposed to be the spirit of a Northumbrian stable boy killed by one of the past Lords of Hilton in a fit of passion. He was heard working about the kitchen at nights, but he was a perverse spirit, for he would toss about and disarrange whatever had been left tidy, but clean and tidy whatever had been left dirty or in disorder. He used to be heard singing sadly at night. He was unnecessarily pessimistic, however, for the servants put their heads together and laid out a green cloak and hood for him. At midnight he put them on and frisked about til cock-crow singing, 'Here's a cloak and here's a hood,the Cauld Lad of Hilton will do nae mair good!', and with the dawn he vanished for ever. # 100
# 701: The cauldron was the prime female symbol of the pre-Christian world. Among the Celts, the Three Matriarchs kept the Magic Cauldron of Regeneration at the bottom of a lake, until it was brought up by Bran the Blessed to resuscitate men slain in battle. This Celt god moved on into the Grail cycle of myths, as Bron the Fisher King, and his cauldron became confused with the Christian version of the lifegiving, blood-filled vessel. - There can be no doubt that the cauldron represented the womb of the Great Goddess, who was often a trinity. It is certain also that men used to believe their reincarnation and rebirth depended upon entering such a uterine vessel to be reconstituted by its magic. Celtic cauldrons of regeneration came from the Land Beneath the Waves because the Sea Goddess was held to be the universal birth-giver. The god Cernunnos was dismembered and boiled in a cauldron in order to rise again from the dead. A boiling cauldron gave rebirth and/or magic power to Taliesin.
Cauldrons continued to be worshiped as symbols of the universal womb even into Christian times, as long as pagans met together to carry on their religion. # 454: In ancient Celtic myth there were several cauldrons dispensing variously the properties of life, death, inspiration and wisdom. It is generally understood that these gave way in time to the image of the Holy Grail and became incorporated into the Hallows of Britain. Arthur went in search of such a cauldron to the very gates of Annwn. Bran possessed a cauldron which re-animated dead men. In the story of Taliesin, Ceridwen owned a cauldron which gave inspiration. # 287 - 439 - 451 - 454 - 461 - 563 - 701 pp 124-5
CAULDRON BRONZE THE, FROM BRAA
See: BRAA, THE BRONZE CAULDRON FROM.
CAULDRON OF ABUNDANCE
See equivalent, STONE OF ABUNDANCE. See also: GRAIL.
CAULDRON OF CERIDWEN
In their rites the Welsh bards made a decoction of berries and herbs and sea foam in a vessel, which is the cauldron of the goddess Ceridwen of Celtic mythology. In the Greek mysteries of the goddess Ceres a decoction of flowers, barley, salt and sea water was used. In both rites, after a little of this had been taken by the initiates, the residue was regarded as poisonous and accursed having symbolically taken the sins and pollutions which had been cast out of the candidates. The cauldron was prepared by a ritual in which nine maidens warmed it with their breath. In the Greek mysteries nine maidens representing the nine muses (connected with Orpheus) were thought to be imbued with similar special powers. Strabo connects the Druidesses with the priestesses of Bacchus (Dionysos).
# 455: W. B. Crow: The Mistletoe Sacrement, p 54 ff
CAULDRON, THE GUNDESTRUP
See: GUNDESTRUP CAULDRON, THE.
Caves were the great natural womb symbols and Mother Earth images worshiped by primitive peoples. A cave sacred to the Triple Goddess in the guise of 'three fairy sisters,' was revered up to the eighteenth century AD in Denbighshire (Clwyd, Cymru), by folk who claimed to see the sister's footprints around the magic spring. Another sacred cave and spring in
Scotland near Dunskey was still used for healing magic in 1791, when people came to bathe at change of moon. # 701 p 335 ff
A castle in Staffordshire where, according to local legend, Arthur held court and succoured a lady. The existing castle dates from the thirteenth century. # 156
CAVES IN WALES THAT HOLD SECRETS
People have throughout the ages held a fascination for caves. A wide variety of traditions associated with caves occurs in Welsh folklore and the stories may concern smuggling, secret places where heroes are sleeping or fugitives have hidden, treasure has been concealed or mythical beasts have had their lairs. There are many caves in Wales where King Arthur and his knights are said to be sleeping, waiting to be called on when their country has need of their services. Such caves are supposed to exist on Lliwedd near Snowdon or at Craig y Dinas in the Neath Valley. We are also informed that King Arthur's treasure is buried in a cave at Llangwyfan on Anglesey and his magical adviser is imprisoned in a cave yet to be discovered on Myrddin's Hill near Carmarthen.
Another Welsh hero sleeping in a cave is supposed to be Owain Llawgoch (Owain of the Red Hand). Some stories tell us that he sleeps in a cave in the cliff face below the romantic ruins of Carreg Cennen Castle and that he awaits the time when he will return to the outer world to become king of Britain. This hero's real name was Owain ap Thomas ap Rhodri (Owain son of Thomas, grandson of Rhodri), and he lived some six hundred years ago. It is believed that he was a direct descendant of Llewelyn, the last true Prince of Wales. "Owain Lawgoch, one of the last chieftains who fought against the English, lies with his men asleep. And here they will lie until wakened by the sound of a trumpet and a clang of arms on Rhywgoch, when they will arise and conquer their Saxon foes driving them from the land". Twm Shon Catti was another Welsh folk hero who made use of a cave in a wild and remote corner of Wales. It is situated on a rocky hillside overlooking some waterfalls on the River Tywi about 12 miles north of Llandovery. His real name was Thomas Jones and during the sixteenth century he seemed to achieve a reputation as a sort of Robin Hood robbing the rich and giving to the poor. He used this small rock shelter as a hiding place when escaping from the local sheriff. Such caves as Porth yr Ogof near Ystradfellte in the Brecon Beacons National Park were visited in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by travellers who made amazing claims with regard to their lengths. Some even believed that caves led down to the very depths of Hell and wrote such descriptions as: 'We found this cave very hollow, and so dark... we thought certainly we had come to the confines of the Infernal Regions, or some such dismal place, and we began to be afraid to visit it for although we entered in frolicksome and merry, yet we might return out of it sad and pensive and never more to be seen to laugh whilst we lived in the world, such dreadful apprehension seized upon some of us.' Exaggerated descriptions of the lengths of the caves were often coupled with accounts of adventurous dogs who disappeared down dark holes in the ground eventually to emerge many miles away. Other stories may concern a musician who enters a cave and is never seen again, though for years after his disappearance people claim to hear his music still playing. Such an example concerns a cave near Llanymynech in North Wales. A harpist apparently discovered that a local cave led beneath Llanymynech Church. He subsequently laid a wager with his mates that his harp would be heard in church one Sunday but he would not be there. According to the story, one Sunday as he foretold, his harp was heard from beneath the church floor but the underground harpist was never seen again although his music could still be heard on certain occasions. # 49
According to Welsh tradition, the father of Gildas, Hueil and Cywyllog. Caw himself was regarded as a saint. # 156 - 320
(keeask) The Highland mermaid, also known as Maighdean na Tuinne or 'maiden of the wave'. Her body was that of a maiden while her tail was that of a young salmon. She was able to grant three wishes, if captured and could only be overcome by the destruction of her soul, which was normally kept elsewhere, in an object or land-feature. See: MERROW. # 100 - 454
(ceh'lin) Wife of Balor; fought in the Battle of Moytura, in which she mortally wounded the Dagda. # 166
Son of the first Nascien who came to Britain and became king of Scotland. He was an ancestor of Galahad. His name seems to have been derived from Caledonia, the Latin term for Scotland. # 156 - 434 - 604
CELIDON/CELLYDON/CAT COIT CELIDON
The name of the great forest of Arthurian Britain, site of one of Arthur's battles. Merlin was said to have wandered there in his madness. # 242 - 454 - 630
One of three peoples inhabiting Gaul when Caesar's conquest began. # 562
# 562: (kelt-yar) The huge grey warrior, son of Uthecar Hornskin, lay moaning on his bed under the Debility curse, laid on him and others by Macha.
# 454: Celtchair was a Red Branch warrior who, in the act of slaying his adulterous wife's lover, let fall a drop of blood upon the fidchell (chess) board which Conchobar mac Nessa and CuChulain were playing at. This was a breach of hospitality for which Celtchair was ordered to perform three separate feats to rid Ireland of three plagues. He had to kill Cu Roi mac Daire's brother, Conganchas, who was devastating the land but who was invulnerable to ordinary weapons. He learned from Conganchas' wife, Niamh, that her husband could be slain only by having spear-tips thrust into the soles of his feet. The second plague was an otherworldly dog which he slew. The last plague was another dog who he dispatched but whose venomous blood trickled from Conganchas' spear on to him, by which he died. # 166 - 454 - 562
CELTDOM, GOLDEN AGE OF
As astronomers have discerned the existence of an unknown planet by the perturbations which it has caused in the courses of those already under direct observation, so we can discern in the fifth and fourth centuries BC the presence of a great power and of mighty movements going on behind a veil which will never be lifted now. This was the Golden Age of Celtdom in Continental Europe. # 562
Diffusion of Celtic power in Mid-Europe. The battle of Rome took place on july 18 AD 390, that ill-omened Dies Alliensis which long perpetuated in the Roman calendar the memory of the deepest shame the republic had ever known. For nearly a year the Celts remained masters of the city. A treaty was concluded and for almost a century there was peace between the Celts and the Romans. Contributing to upbreaking of the Celtic Empire was evidently, that certain Celtic tribes allied themselves with their old enemy, the Etruscans, in the third Samnite war. 2. Celtic place names found throughout Europe and in the British Isles. Among several other examples take the word dunum, so often traceable in Gaelic place names in the present day (Dundalk, Dunrobin, etc.), and meaning fortress or castle. It occurred very frequently in France Lug-dunum (Lyon), Viro-dunum (Verdun), and in the Netherlands where the city of Leyden goes back to Celtic Lug-dunum. 3. Early Celtic Art. Relics of ancient Celtic art-work dating back to 750 to 400 Bc were discovered in Hallstatt, Austria. These relics betoken in some cases a high standard of civilisation and considerable commerce. 4. The etymological history of Celtic words are very interesting , but far too voluminous for this column, and for interested readers we refer to the ancient work: Jubainville's PREMIERS HABITANTS, ii 355-356. - 5. Weakness of Celtic policy made space for Teutonic predominance and which became the main political factor in the development of the European nations. 6. Celtic religion was based entirely on Druidism as the priesthood, but with a huge amounts of local gods, goddesses and heroes. See also CATHOLIC CHURCH.
7. The Tumulus at New Grange in Ireland are traditionally, besides the dwelling place of fairies, the burialplace of High Kings of pagan Ireland. 8. The origins of the 'Celtic' immortality occurred first in Gaul under Roman influence, and derive certainly from Egypt. The carvings in question are pre-Celtic. They are found where no Celts ever penetrated. 9. Names of Celtic Deities. The Megalithic People did not imagine their deities under concrete personal form. Stones, rivers, wells, trees, and other natural objects were to them the adequate symbols. But the imaginative mind of the Aryan Celt was not content with this. And from there they were mixed up with the gods from the antiquity and classical world. 10. The Celtic conception of Death, See: OTHERWORLD.
11. Five factors of ancient Celtic culture. The popular superstitions and magical observances. Secondly, a thoughtful and philosophic creed having its central object of worship the Sun. Thirdly, a worship of personified deities as Aesus, Teutates, Lugh and others as guardians of social laws. Fourthly, the Romans were deeply impressed with the existence among the Druids of a body of teaching of a quasi-scientific nature about natural phenomena and the constitution of the universe. Lastly, the sacerdotal organisation and the atmosphere of religious awe with which it was surrounded, became the sovereign power, social, political, and religious, in every Celtic country. 12. It is verified by many scolars that the descendants of the Megalithic People at the present day are, on the psysical side, deeply impregnated with Celtic blood, and on the spiritual side with Celtic traditions and ideals. 13. The Celtic Cosmogony. In the early Irish accounts of the beginnings of things, we find that it is not with the World that the narrators make their start - it is simply with their own country, with Ireland; but what took the place of the Biblical narrative in pre-Christian days we do not know, and unfortunately, are now never likely to know. 14. 'Barddas'(i.e) is a work of certain current of sixteenthcentury Cymric thoughts.
What Europe owes to the Celt.
His contribution to the culture of the Western world was a very notable one. For some four centuries-about AD 500 to 900-Ireland was the refuge of learning and the source of literature and philosophic culture for half Europe. The myths and legends of the Gaelic and Cymric peoples kindled the imagination of a host of Continental poets. True, the Celt did not himself create any great architectural work of literature, just as he did not create a stable or imposing national polity. His thinking and feeling were essentially lyrical and concrete. Each object or aspect of life impressed him vividly and stirred him profoundly; he was sensitive, impressionable to the last degree, but did not see things in their larger and more far-reaching relations. He had little gift for the establishment of institutions, for the service of principles; but he was, and is, an indispensable and never-failing assertor of humanity as against the tyranny of principles, the coldness and barrenness of institutions.The institutions of royalty and of civic patriotism are both very capable of being fossilised into barren formulae, and thus of fettering instead of inspiring the soul. But the Celt has always been a rebel against anything that has not in it the breath of life, against any unspiritual and purely external form of domination. It is too true that he has been overeager to enjoy the fine fruits of life without the long and patient preparation for the harvest, but he has done and will still do infinite service to the modern world in insisting that the true fruit of life is a spiritual reality, never witout pain and loss to be obscured or forgotten amid the vast mechanism of a material civilisation. # 562
# 701: The symbol that we call the Celtic cross was known to the Hindus as the Kiakra, a sign of sexual union: the cross (phallus) within the circle (yoni).
# 687: The seventh century saw the introduction of a monument similar in intent to the old inscribed stones, but wholly different in origin and craftsmanship from them. The cross-shaft in the lonely, picturesque churchyard atBewcastle on the Cumberland Fells is cited as the first known example and, for all we know, is the original of the whole series. The two striking differences between this type of memorial and the earlier sort in the west are (1) that they are the product of Christianity as re-introduced by Augustine among the Angles and Saxons and not of the Celtic Church, and (2) that they are the work of highly trained craftsmen. Who these craftsmen were and in what country they learned their art is quite unknown. The mystery is heightened by the fact that these crosses are confined with one exception to the Northern area, and (of that date) are not known elsewhere.
From this source, however, they spread to the whole of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The exception mentioned is Reculver, where a similar cross was seen by Leland in the sixteenth century, standing within the old seventh century Saxon church between the nave and chancel. The fragments of this same cross are now kept (but not well kept) in the neighbouring church at Hillberough. In Ireland development came late, but nowhere else is the high cross seen in such magnificence. The principal examples are at Monasterboice and Kells. In Wales, development was also late. Here crosses were made elaborate, but were never of first-rate craftsmanship. In the North, the principal example is the Maen Achwyfan at Whitford (in Flintshire) which is preserved by the Office of Works. # 687 - 701
The classical writers felt rightly that the Celtic idea of immortality was something altogether different from the Egyptian conception. It was both loftier and more realistic; it implied a true persistence of the living man, as he was at present, in all his human relations. # 562
There is little doubt that Celtic mythology, particularly that of Ireland, tells of the gods of the Celts. The myths themselves speak of Celtic belief in their deities and, although it is impossible to be certain how strong was Christian belief at the time they were written down, it is possible that a good proportion of this mythology is directly derived from the sacred lore of the Druids. In no way do either the references to Celtic beliefs by Greek and Roman writers or the archaeological evidence conflict with modern interpretations of the mythology. Provided that too rigid a rapprochement is avoided all three sources may be made to provide material for the study of the beliefs of the Celts.
All the evidence points to the existence of comparatively localised cults and it is rare to find deities worshipped over wide areas. The cult of Lug is exceptional. Place and tribal names hint at his cult in Spain, Switzerland and Gaul as well as in Ireland. The restricted distribution of Romano-Celtic inscriptions and the existence of eponymous tribal deities suggest local tribal interpretations of chieftain-gods and mother-goddesses, although the latter frequently enjoyed a wider distribution than those of male gods. The mythology itself cannot be taken as evidence that there was normally a widespread belief in specific gods. This is not to say that similar gods were not worshipped under different names among different tribal groups. The strongly marked aristocratic nature of Celtic society in the days of independence suggests that the mythology relates to the gods of the aristocracy and it is not certain either how far the ordinary peasant shared in these beliefs, or how far he was allowed to participate in ritual observances. The sorceress, Mongfhinn, to whom 'the women and common people adressed their prayers' is the only figure in mythology who appears to have been definitely worshipped by the ordinary people. The large number of single inscriptions from RomanoCeltic times may refer to similar popular cults centred on very localised Genii Loci who were frequently associated with a more primitive worship of minor natural features. Among the common people, too, there were many of pre-Celtic descent to whom the cult-practices of earlier times may have proved adequate. To such people the aristocratic gods of the Tuatha de Danann may have been too unapproachable, even if access had been allowed them. It seems likely that the secret lore of the Druids would have been denied to such people. Even the Celtic aristocracy seems to have been impressed by the burial places of earlier inhabitants, so much so that they were brought into their myths. To the peasantry in close contact with the soil such relics of earlier cults, in which their ancestors perhaps participated, may have seemed more potent than the gods of their newly arrived overlords. As part of the earliest European literature after Greek and Latin, Celtic Mythology has a value over and above that of a source for ancient beliefs. In it is a rich store of priceless evidence for the way of life of the Celtic aristocracy, their hopes and fears. It is an important part of the record of a people who have made no small contribution to the European heritage, in no way diminished by its lack of general recognition.
# 428: Although the Celtic myths are relatively familiar to us, we know virtually nothing about Celtic gods and even less about the cults practised throughout the druidic area. In a passage on the Pharsalia which has given rise to much comment, Lucan mentions 'cruel Teutates, horrible Esus and Taranis whose altar is as bloody as that of the Scythian Diana'. Lucan, however, was very much of a sycophant to Julius Caesar, and it is only to be expected that he should have emphasised the savagery of Gallic cults so as to justify the massacres ordered by the bald dictator and his successors, and their policy of systematically exterminating druidism. The manuscript of Lucan's work is covered with notes and comments by a zealous medieval christian, who also had something to gain from pointing out the barbarity of paganism; and it is from these that we learn that men were hung from trees and torn into pieces in honour of Esus, that men were immersed in basins until they asphyxiated in honour of Teutates and that the victims sacrific to Taranis were burnt in the hollow trunk of trees. The last of these three confirms Caesar's words about certain tribes who placed their condemned men in huge cane dummies and burnt them (Gallic Wars, VI, 17). Anxious to demonstrate his knowledgeability, Lucan's commentator identifies Teutates with Mercury, Esus with Mars and Taranis with Dispater, whereas Gallo-Roman inscriptions identify Teutates with Mars, Esus with Mercury and Taranis with Jupiter. Obviously this kind of discrepancy is very little help. And then there is Caesar (VI, 18) who says of the Gauls that 'the god they reverence most is Mercury... next to him they reverence Apollo, Mars, Jupiter and Minerva.'
Up until now all commentators on Gallic religion have based their arguments on Lucan, Caesar and the many anthropomorphic images of supposedly 'Gallo-Roman' gods. There is considerable contradiction between these sources and yet it is they which lie behind recent attempts to classify Celtic divinities in some rational way. Interesting though such attempts may be, they rest on the false premise that all Roman or Gallo-Roman sources can be totally relied upon. In fact, the contradictions are evidence that even in Gallo-Roman days there was confusion about Celtic gods. It would seem that the Romans knew next to nothing about them but being unwilling to admit as much blithely identified any one god with any other. More seriously still, it would appear that from Caesar's time onwards, the Romans did not even know about their own gods any more. # 382 - 428
CELTIC TERRITORY IN 1200 BC
In his book WHERE TROY ONCE STOOD, Iman Wilkens suggests that the combatants in the Trojan War must have been Celts, and it is not only because of the names of the persons and places involved, but also because the two territories correspond to a large extent, bearing in mind that not necessarily all Celtic peoples were involved in the war. As regards the Achaeans from continental Europe, it can be assumed that they were all Celts, in view of the apparent unity of language and religion, though there were some Celts, notably the Egyptians and the Libyans (from southwest France), who did not participate. In the Troad, however, the demographic situation was different. While the inhabitants of southeast England were Celts, their allies, mainly from Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, were probably pre-Celtic peoples (but already converted to Celtic religion) who spoke different and mutually incomprehensible languages, as Homer mentions on several occasions, for example: But for the Trojans, even as ewes stand in throngs past counting in the court of a man of much substance to be milked of their white milk, and bleat without ceasing as they hear the voices of their lambs: even so arose the clamour of the Trojans throughout the wide host; for they had not all like speech or one language, but their tongues were mingled, and they were a folk summoned from many lands. (Ill. IV, 433-438)
The pre-Celtic peoples are considered to be the builders of the megalithic monuments found all over northern and western Europe. They are also thought to be the first peoples to have been led by the Druids, who worshipped the sun at sites such as Stonehenge in England. It would appear that the Celts adopted and continued the Druidic tradition, which was in fact a much more ancient Indo-European tradition close to that of the Brahmins. Through displacing or absorbing the neolithic peoples, the Celts established themselves over the greater part of Europe during the second and first millenium BC. A comparison of two of several maps in Iman Wilken's book shows their expansion towards Ireland, the Celtiberic peninsula, the southern half of France, Italy, the Balkans, Greece (which during the Roman Empire was called the Prefecture of Illyricum after the Celtic Illyrians), and even Turkey, while they lost ground in Scandinavia and Germany. Not surprisingly, many western European place-names were given to the new places to which Celts migrated. For example, the Galates, originating in Gaul as their name indicates, who invaded Turkey, must be at the origin of this country's present name, taken from the village of Turkeije, near the left bank of the Schelde mouth. The Gauls also gave their name to Galicia in northwest Spain and Galicia in Poland. The expansion seems to be mainly due to their population growth.
The Celtic alliance dominated Europe in the way the Roman Empire was to do much later, the difference being that the Celts were united by a kind of confederation based on consensus, while the Romans relied on centralized political and military power. The Celtic alliance was nevertheless a force to be reckoned with, as the Romans experienced, for example, when Rome was sacked by the Celts in 387 BC. A few centuries later, the Druids of Gaul were to conspire against the Romans with the Druids of the Galates in Turkey. In view of the cohesion of the Celtic peoples and the effiency of the Druids in political and military coordination, it is not so difficult to understand how it was possible to unite the peoples of western continental Europe to wage war in England. It was certainly there that the war took place, for according to Thucydides, as we have seen, Greece at that time was inhabited by a great number of tribes, with little or no contact with one another, living at mere subsistence level. # 730
Diodorus Siculus has given us a comprehensive description of Celtic armour and weapons: 'For arms they have man-sized shields decorated in a manner peculiar to them. Some of these have projecting figures in bronze, skilfully wrought not only for decoration but also for protection. They wear bronze helmets with large projecting figures which give the wearer the appearance of enormous size. In some cases horns are attached so as to form one piece, in others the foreparts of birds or quadrupeds worked in relief... Some of them have iron breastplates, wrought in chain, while others are satisfied with the arms Nature has given them and fight naked. Instead of the short sword they carry long swords held by a chain of iron or bronze and hanging along their right flank. Some of them have gold - or silver - plated belts round their tunics. They brandish spears which are called Lanciae and which have iron heads a cubit in length and even more, and a little less than two palms in breadth: for their swords are not shorter than the spears of others, and the heads of their spears are longer than the swords of others. Some of these are forged straight, others are twisted and have a spiral form for their whole length, so that the blow may not only cut the flesh but also tear it in pieces and so that the withdrawal of the spear may lacerate the wound.' # 556
CELTIC, PRONOUNCING THE WORD
The initial C of Celtic may be pronounced either soft (s) or hard (k) Inasmuch as the Greeks, whose sources were oral rather than written, spelt their word for the Celts KELTOI and inasmuch as c in Modern Irish and Welsh is without exception hard, we can assume that the Celts themselves pronounced this initial consonant as a k. # 237
Never inhabited by a single pure and homogenous race. - Greek type of civilisation preserved by Celtica. - Art of enamelling originated in Celtica. - The Druids formed the sovran power in Celtica. - Brigit (Dana) widely worshiped goddess in Celtica. # 562
CELTS AND GERMANS
The country we call France today, was called Argos by the Celts in Homer's time and subsequently Gallia by the Celtic Gauls in Roman times. To the Romans, 'Gallia' sounded like 'Land of the Roosters', as Gallus is Latin for rooster (and, of course, the cock has become the emblem of France). The present name of the country stems from the Franks, a Teutonic tribe who invaded the territory around 500 AD. As to the people of central Europe, they never called themselves Germans nor their country Germany, which is probably not a German word at all. According to the Italo-American linguist Mario Pei, it comes from a Celtic root meaning 'neighbouring', seemingly akin to the Latin Germanicus meaning 'having the same parents' (whence the English 'germane'). The Germans themselves call their country Deutschland, meaning 'Land of the people' from the Gothic root Deudisko, meaning 'people'. The French name for that country, Allemagne, is a reminder of the Alemani, a tribe living in the Black Forest in Roman times. Germany was often equated with Prussia, which is a contraction of Borussia, the Russians themselves being of Swedish Viking descent. They were called Rus for the first time by an Arab diplomat, Ibn Fadlan, who arrived in Russia in 922 AD. # 730
CELTS AND HINDUS
Countless studies on European pre-history, ancient languages and religions have brought to light a surprising number of similarities between cultures of the various peoples that lived in the vast area from Ireland to India and from Scandinavia to North Africa. It also appears that the Druids had much in common with the Shamans of Eastern Europe and the Brahmins of India. In Iman Wilkens' book Where Troy Once Stood we find many names that are identical in East and West. Cultural exchange over such great distances must have taken place both via the Mediterranean and over land via the Russian plains. The first route was taken by the 'Sea Peoples' who must have been Celts from the Atlantic coastal areas, who arrived in the countries around the Eastern Mediterranean around 1500 BC. Conversely, peoples from the Levant sailed west to venture out in the Atlantic in search for tin and amber. The Celts gave new names to existing places in the East including a name for the newly discovered continent: Asia, after a daughter of Oceanus, while Persia was named after Perseus and India after Indus. Other Europeans were in contact with India and Persia via the land routes from the north as evidenced by the origin of the Hindu religion, as described in the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, India was invaded around 1500 BC by European peoples living in Siberia and Russia who called themselves Aryans. They brought with them their language, Vedic Sanskrit (which is much older than classical Sanskrit), the horse and the Vedic religion. Hinduism then developed slowly from the synthesis of the sacrificial cults of the invaders with the religions of the various indigenous peoples. According to the same source, Iran had known even earlier contacts with the northern invaders, as evidenced by a near-kinship between Sanskrit and the earliest Iranian language. In Europe, Sanskrit grammar and word roots were also very similar to those of the 'younger' classical languages, such as Greek, Latin, Gothic and Celtic. Linguists therefore classify virtually all the languages which were spoken between Ireland and India as 'Indo-European' languages, which include the Semitic languages but exclude those whose structure, verb conjugations and word roots are of entirely different origin, such as Basque, Finnish, Hungarian and Turkish. The modern language which is closest to Sanskrit is, according to Mario Pei (The Story of Language), Lithuanian, spoken on the Baltic coast. Cultural exchanges between West and East could have taken place here as in Homer's time the influence of the Druids extended as far east as Poland. West Europeans still use many Sanskrit words today, such as Zodiac, Paradise, Karma, Shakra or Mandala, while many are familiar with 'oriental' notions such as reincarnation and karma which may well be of European origin. # 730
CELTS IN BATTLE
Polybius, who lived between about 202 and 120 BC, gives a full account of how the Celts fought at the battle of Telamon in 225 BC; it is worth quoting at length because it highlights several recurring characteristics: 'The Celts had drawn up the Gaesatae from the Alps to face their enemies on the rear ... and behind them the Insubres .... The Insubres and the Boii wore trousers and light cloaks, but the Gaesatae in their overconfidence had thrown these aside and stood in front of the whole army naked, with nothing but their arms; for they thought that thus they would be more efficient, since some of the ground was overgrown with thorns which would catch on their clothes and impede the use of their weapons.' On the other hand the fine order and the noise of the Celtic host terrified the Romans; for there were countless trumpeters and horn blowers and since the whole army was shouting its war cries at the same time there was such a confused sound that the noise seemed to come not only from the trumpeters and the soldiers but also from the countryside which was joining in the echo. No less terrifying were the appearance and gestures of the naked warriors in front, all of whom were in the prime of life and of excellent physique. All the warriors in the front ranks were adorned with gold torcs and armlets. The Romans were particularly terrified by the sight of these men, but, led on by hope of gain, they were twice as keen to face the danger. '... to the Celts in the rear their trousers and cloaks afforded good protection, but to the naked men in front events turned out differently to what they had expected and caused them much discomfiture and distress. For since the Gallic shield cannot cover the whole body, because they were naked, the bigger they were, the more chance there was of missiles striking home. At length, unable to ward off the javelin throwers because of the distance and the number of javelins falling upon them, in despair and distress some rushed upon the enemy in wild rage and willingly gave up their lives; others, retreating step by step towards their comrades, threw them into confusion by their manifest show of cowardice.'
The ancient writers dwelt upon the terrifying effect an army of Celts had on their opponents; their great stature, their wild cries, their gesticulations and prancings, the clashing of arms and blowing of trumpets - all combined to terrify and confuse the enemy. As long as these demonstrations of enthusiasm and bravado struck terror into the foe, the Celts would drive all before them. 'For they were always most formidable while they were fresh.' The whole race is war-mad, says Strabo, high-spirited and quick to fight, but otherwise straightforward and not at all of evil character. When the two armies were arrayed in line, the loud voice of the Celtic chief could sometimes be heard. 'For they were accustomed ... to come forward before the front line and challenge the bravest of the enemy drawn up opposite them to single combat, brandishing their weapons and terrifying the enemy. Whenever one accepts the challenge, they praise in song the manly virtues of their ancestors, proclaiming also their own brave deeds. At the same time they abuse and belittle their opponent, trying by their words to rob him of his boldness of spirit beforehand.' The story of how Marcus Claudius Marcellus killed a Gallic leader at Clastidium (222 BC) is typical of such encounters. Advancing with a smallish army, Marcellus met a combined force of Insubrian Gauls and Gaesatae at Clastidium. The Gallic army advanced with the usual rush and terrifying cries, and their king, Britomartus, picking out Marcellus by means of his badges of rank, made for him, shouting a challenge and brandishing his spear. Britomartus was an outstanding figure not only for his size but also for his adornments; for he was resplendent in bright colours and his armour shone with gold and silver. This armour, thought Marcellus, would be a fitting offering to the gods. He charged the Gaul, pierced his bright breastplate and cast him to the ground. It was an easy task to kill Britomartus and strip him of his armour. These spoils Marcellus offered to Jupiter. This is the only story of its kind in which the name of the Celtic chief is recorded. In their attempts to throw the enemy into confusion and terror, the Celts made great use of noise. They yelled their war cries as they advanced, howling and singing and brandishing their spears.
Livy, in two different contexts, distant in time and place, vividly depicts the noise accompanying their mad rush into battle. Describing the battle of the river Allia, he says: 'they are given to wild outbursts and they fill the air with hideous songs and varied shouts.' Of the Gauls in Asia he writes: 'their songs as they go into battle, their yells and leapings, and the dreadful noise of arms as they beat their shields in some ancestral custom - all this is done with one purpose, to terrify their enemies.' In sharp contrast to the wild onset of the Celts, which was evident also during their invasion of Greece, was the silent, orderly advance of the Greek army. When the Gauls defeated the Roman army at the river Allia, they marched on Rome. 'They arrived at the city and entered at first in fear lest there should be some treachery, but then, when they saw that the city was deserted, they moved forward with equal noise and impetuosity.'
On another occasion the Romans experienced a new form of noisy warfare: 'for standing up in chariots and wagons, the armed enemies came at them with the great noise of hooves and wheels so that the unfamiliar din terrified the horses of the Romans.' There was also the noise of trumpets. At the battle of Telamon the number of trumpeters and horn blowers was incalculable. Diodorus Siculus says they had trumpets peculiar to barbarians: 'for when they blow upon them, they produce a harsh sound, suitable to the tumult of war.' The Gauls also had their shouts of victory and triumph. 'They shouted "Victory, Victory" in their customary fashion and raised their yell of triumph (Ululatus)', and at Alesia 'they encouraged their men with shouts of triumph (Clamore et Ululatu)'. There are several representations of Celtic trumpets on classical sculpture, most notably at Pergamon in Asia Minor, and on the triumphal arch at Orange in southern France, and a few fragments of actual trumpets have survived. The mouth of a trumpet shaped in the manner of a boar's head was found in 1816 at Deskford (Banffshire, Grampian); although the trumpet itself no longer survives, the mouth may be compared with the representations on the cauldron from Gundestrup in Denmark, where the sectional nature of the trumpet construction is clearly shown. The Deskford trumpet may originally have had ears and a mane rather like the Gundestrup examples; when first discovered, however, it retained a movable wooden 'tongue' which may have added vibration to the strident sounds blown from it. The Deskford piece is usually dated to the middle of the first century AD. Among the earlier representations of trumpets are those from the temple of Athena Polias Nikephoros at Pergamon in Asia Minor dating to about 181 BC and celebrating the victories of Attalus I over the Galatian tribes in the late third century BC. Trumpets, shields, standards, indeed all the trophies are set out in a great display of spoils of war on the triumphal arch at Orange. The large number of trumpets shown at Orange underlines the impression of great noise during battle given by the classical writers. As already mentioned, Polybius describes a contingent of Gaesatae (sometimes taken as mercenaries, now more often as spearmen, which took part in the battle of Telamon; they came from beyond the Alps to help the Gauls already in north Italy (for example the Boii and the Insubres).
The Celts of north Italy wore trousers and cloaks, but the Gaesatae fought naked. At the battle of Cannae (216 BC) Polybius describes the naked Celts and the Iberians with their short linen tunics with purple borders, and Livy speaks of the Gauls naked from the navel up and of the Iberians with dazzlingly white tunics bordered with purple. The Celts in Asia Minor seem to have preserved this custom, for they too are described as naked in battle with skin white because they were never exposed except in battle. Camillus, trying to raise the morale of the Romans after the siege of the Capitol, pointed to some naked Gauls and said: 'These are the men who rush against you in battle, who raise loud shouts, clash their arms and long swords, and toss their hair. Look at their lack of hardiness, their soft and flabby bodies, and go to it'. Dionysus of Halicarnassus expresses the same sentiments: 'Our enemies fight bare-headed, their breasts, sides thighs, legs are all bare, and they have no protection except from their shields; their weapons of defence are thin spears and long swords. What injury could their long hair, their fierce looks, the clashing of their arms and the brandishing of their arms do us? These are mere symbols of barbarian boastfulness.' # 556
CELTS THROUGH ROMAN EYES
To the Romans the Celts presented a terrifying sight because of their tall stature and their strange appearance. They were in many respects different from Mediterranean peoples. The Celts were by far the tallest race in the world, noticeable also for their white skin and fair hair. Although the Romans had heard about the barbarian Celts, they first encountered them as warriors, and it was in battle that their enormous size and strange appearance first struck them. The Celtic chiefs who advanced to challenge their opposing Roman leader to single combat were men of great physique, 'of stature greater than human'; the story of the fight between Britomartus and Marcellus can be compared to that between Goliath and David. The triumphal procession awarded to Marcellus was said to be most remarkable for the riches of the spoils and the gigantic size of the prisoners. Diodorus Siculus describes the Celts at some length: 'the Gauls are tall of body, with skin moist and white; their hair is blond not only by nature but also because they practise to increase artificially the peculiar nature of their colouring. Some of them shave off their beards but others let them grow moderately: the nobles shave their cheeks but let their moustaches grow freely so as to cover their mouths. Therefore, when they are eating, the moustaches become mixed in the food, and when they are drinking, the drink passes as if through a strainer.' They had unusual styles of hairdressing; they used to smear their hair with limewater and then pull it back to the top of their head and over the neck to produce something like a horse's mane. Tacitus tells of other similar treatments of hair found among the Germanic tribes. Thus the Suebi are distinguished from the other Germans by their particular hairstyle: 'they comb their hair sideways and tie it in a knot ... often on the very crown.' All this elaborate hairdressing was intended to give them greater height and to terrify their enemies in battle. Silius Italicus mentions a warrior who had offered his golden locks and the ruddy top-knot on the crown of his head to Mars if he were victorious. The colour of the hair is usually referred to as fair, red or flaxencoloured and even ginger.
The men of Britain were taller than those of Gaul, but their hair was not so fair, while the Germans differed only slightly from other Celts in that they were wilder, taller and had redder hair. There is a story that Caligula, anxious to make his triumph in Rome more spectacular, in view of the small number of prisoners for display, picked out some very tall Gauls and made them not only grow their hair longer but also dye it red. Strabo, quoting an earlier source, makes a curious statement: 'they try to avoid becoming stout and pot-bellied and any young man whose waist exceeds the measure of the normal girdle is fined.' But such a weight-watching approach is contradicted by others writers who tell of the Gauls gorging themselves with food and drinking wine excessively so that their bodies soon become corpulent and flabby. Consequently, when they exercised their bodies, they suffered quickly from exhaustion and breathlessness. In the minds of classical writers the women were not only like their men in stature, but they could also rival them in strength.
Ammianus Marcellinus described how difficult it would be for a band of foreigners to deal with a Celt if he called in the help of his wife. For she was stronger than he was and could rain blows and kicks upon the assailants equal in force to the shots of a catapult. Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, was said to be 'very tall and terrifying in appearance; her voice was very harsh and a great mass of red hair fell over her shoulders.' According to Diodorus Siculus, the Celts 'wear striking clothing, tunics dyed and embroidered in many colours, and trousers which they call Bracae; and they wear striped cloaks, fastened by a brooch, thick in winter and light in summer, worked in a variegated, closely set check pattern.' Strabo says that instead of the ordinary tunics they wore 'split tunics which have sleeves and reach down to their thighs. Their wool is rough and thin at the ends and from it they weave thick cloaks (SAGI) which they call Laenae.' The poet Propertius tells how the huge Celtic chief Virdomarus, skilled in hurling his javelins from his chariot and 'clothed in striped trousers', boasted of his descent from the Rhine God. Three pieces of clothing are thus mentioned: trousers, tunics and cloaks. The trousers would certainly be noticed by the toga-wearing Romans. Trousers were worn especially by the cavalrymen, and the Romans themselves adopted them from the mercenary Gallic cavalry they enlisted. The tunic was probably a simple garment like a shirt, made of linen and reaching down to the thighs. There was also the slightly different style mentioned by Strabo - with slits and sleeves.
The Iberians were said to wear short tunics bordered with a purple stripe and dazzlingly white. The tunics were often dyed and embroidered and worn with a gold-plated or silver-plated belt. The cloaks were made of wool; they were heavy or light according to the season and were fastened at the shoulder by a brooch. A defeated Celtic barbarian is shown on a fragment of a monumental bronze statue from Volubilis in Roman Mauretania in north Africa; his Bracae have what Piggott has described as 'loud and disparate check patterns' and his cloak hangs loosely from his shoulders. Such an impression of woven designs is also given in a description of Queen Boudicca, who wore a tunis of many colours over which a thick cloak was fastened by a brooch.
An outstanding characteristic of the Celtic people was their love of decoration and ornament. 'They collect a great quantity of gold and use it for decoration, not only the women but also the men. For they wear bracelets on the wrists and arms, necklaces of solid gold, rings of great worth and even gold corslets' (body armour for the upper part of the torso). The torc was one of the most important ornaments worn by the Celts. It was a neck ring made of a rod of metal (sometimes twisted), of bronze or gold according to the wealth and status of the wearer. The two ends of the torc almost met, but the metal was pliant, for it had to open sufficiently to let it on or off. (See also: TORQUE). As with clothes, so with adornments, each man wore what he could afford and what status demanded. It is obvious, however, that the Celts liked to attract attention with flambuyant clothes and rich, decorative accessories. The Roman soldiers were well aware of the splendid ornaments worn by their opponents and before one battle they were told by their generals that soldiers should not be adorned with gold and silver but should rely on their weapons and their courage. These ornaments were more truly booty than arms, shining brightly before the battle but ugly in the midst of blood and wounds.
Athenaeus is the main authority on food; quoting Posidonius, he says: 'Their food consists of a small quantity of bread and a large amount of meat'; and quoting Phylarchus, 'Many loaves of bread are broken up and served lavishly on tables as well as pieces of meat taken from cauldrons. 'Bread, meat (boiled in a cauldron or roasted on a spit) and fish were the staple foods. Fish was eaten, sometimes baked with salt, vinegar and cummin'. By contrast the Caledonians and the Maeatae, according to Dio, never ate fish, though it was in plentiful supply. Strabo speaks of large quantities of food, milk and all kinds of meat, especially fresh and salted pork, and of the Britons, who, though they had milk in abundance, did not make cheese. A certain etiquette and precedence were observed at table, and good eating habits were even noted. Though they were accustomed to eat voraciously, raising up whole limbs in both hands and biting off the meat, they did it in a cleanly fashion. No one started to eat without looking first to see if the chief had touched what was set before him. In extending hospitality to strangers they did not ask them who they were and what they wanted until they had eaten. At more formal gatherings or celebrations they sat in a circle with the chief or hero in the centre, his attendants and warriors around and behind him, each with a position according to his status. Drink was served from earthenware or bronze jugs and the meat on plates of bronze or in baskets. When the joints of meat were served, the chief or hero took the thigh piece. But if someone else claimed it, they joined in single combat to the death. Frequently they used some chance circumstance to start an argument and then a fight during dinner. They indulged in sham fights and practice feints and they would end up either wounding or even killing their opponent. This love of quarrelling and fighting even at a table was made all the easier, says Polybius, because they usually ate too much and drank too much.
The Celtic chiefs were accompanied in war and in piece by 'parasites' (the word means fellow diner and has no pejorative meaning), who sang their praises before the assembly; these entertainers were called bards. There are also descriptions of great banquets prepared by rich kings. The gestures of lordly prodigality and ostentation were typical of the autocratic tribal chief of the period. Louernius, king of the Arverni, in an attempt to win favour, is said to have ridden his chariot over a plain distributing gold and silver to all who followed him. He also gave a feast to all who wished to attend, in a vast enclosure, the sides of which were 1½ miles (2,4 km) long. He filled vats with liquor, prepared great quantities of food and ensured service without interruption for several days. A poet who arrived too late for the festivities composed a poem praising the king's greatness and lamenting the fact he had arrived too late. So charmed was the king by the song that he gave the poet a purse of gold and won for himself a further poetic effusion. One feature which has attracted frequent comment was the ability of the Celts to drink great quantities of liquor, though one should not take Plutarch seriously when he says that the Celts were so enthralled by the new pleasure of wine drinking that they seized their arms, took their families and set off for Italy! Athenaeus says: 'the drink of the wealthy is wine imported from Italy ... This is unmixed, but sometimes a little water is added. The lower classes drink a beer made from wheat and prepared with honey ... They drink from a common cup, a little at a time, not more than a mouthful, but they do it rather frequently.' The Cimbri were said to be demoralised by the delights of wine, but the Nervii, a Gallic tribe famed for their indomitable ferocity, would not allow wine and other luxuries to be imported because they believed that with them the men would become too soft and effeminate to endure hardship. To Polybius the Celts were merely a band of marauders who later became mercenaries ready to join whichever side suited them in the war between the Romans and the Carthaginians. They were brave and ostentatiously courageous but reckless, impetuous and easily disheartened. Hannibal was eager to make use of their enthusiasm before it wore off; but the Carthaginians and the Romans too were apprehensive of the Celts, for they saw in them a lack of fidelity and a mutual treachery. It is reported that Hannibal so distrusted his new allies that he had a number of wigs made for himself, suitable for men of all ages. He was sure that by changing his wigs constantly he would make it difficult for the fickle Celts to recognise and perhaps kill him. Some writers tend to dwell mainly on their lawlessness and savagery. Cicero, for example, makes great use of this to rail against them. 'They thought it right to sacrifice human beings to the immortal gods' and 'they find it necessary tp propitiate the immortal gods and to defile their altars and temples with human victims.' Polybius and Livy concentrate on the outrages committed by the Gauls and on the barbarous character of the Galatians. There was always a tendency for Greek or Roman writers to emphasize characteristics which did not conform to their code of morality and perhaps give too much credence to the more dramatic traveller's tales. Strabo and Diodorus Siculus, while not ignoring the savagery of some Celtic practices, also describe some of the more pleasing traits of their character. # 556
# 562: Terms first found in Hecatæus, about 500 BC, he speaks of 'Nyrax, a Celtic city', and 'Massalia (Marseilles), a city of Liguria in the land of the Celts'. Equivalent, Hyperboreans. Herodutos speaks of the 'dwelling places of Celts beyond the pillars of Hercules'. Aristotle knew that the Celts had captured Rome, and that they set great store by warlike power. - Hellanicus of Lesbos describes the Celts as practising justice and righteousness. Plato disagrees and classes the Celts 'as drunken and combative'. - Their attack on Rome, a history landmark of ancient times. - Dominion of Celts over MidEurope, Gaul, Spain and the British Isles. - Among these races the true Celts formed an aristocratic and ruling caste. Spain conquered from the Carthaginians by the Celts. Northern Italy conquered from the Etruscans. Conquer the Illyrians and make alliance with the Greeks. Conquests in the valley of Danube and Po. Alexander the Great makes compact with the Celts. - Celtic decorative motives derived from Greek art, and art of enamelling learnt by classical nations from the Celts. - The influence on European literature and philosophy from the Celts were significant. - True worship of the Celts, paid to elemental forces represented by actual natural phenomena. Reincarnation in the modern western sense, were for the Celts a reality incorporated in their daily life and religious rituals.
# 48: CREATION AND IMAGINATION: Before the end of the Bronze Age a class system had begun to operate in western Europe. Rich chieftains were buried with golden ornaments and their earthen fortresses appeared on many hilltops. The people were separating into frequently warring tribes and by 1400 BC the noble common purpose which had created Avebury and Stonehenge, when men and women dedicated themselves to great communal tasks, appears to have evaporated. Most of the causewayed camps were turned into hillforts and the bigger ones, such as Maiden Castle, grew into packed cities within their great walls and ditches. A complicated political system seems to have existed of warlike tribal chieftains whose realms were fairly extensive. In Britain particularly, where the hillforts jostle each other around the great causewayed power centres, it seems likely that barons and lesser nobles fortified themselves with earthen walls and defended homesteads, while the kings or chiefs dwelt in grander style in minor fortified cities.
The nature of the people was undergoing inevitable change. Instead of a peaceable community, strongly attuned to the cosmic laws of being and the magnetic forces of the earth, the hillforts seem to tell us of a newly insecure and fractious society in which individual greed and ego were becoming dominant. We can know quite a bit about what the people looked like and what they wore and ate from the preserved bodies recovered from Danish bogs. We know that a number of cereals were used to make bread and that it and meat were the staple foods. The men wore woollen tunics and capes, with close caps, while the women wore decorated woolen tunics, bonnets, girdles and tassels, and hairnets. This uneasy society came to be joined - as early perhaps as 2000 BC - by new waves of settlers, the Celts; or one should say, by Celticspeaking immigrants, for the Celts were never a very unified nation but rather were a collection of volatile tribes with a taste for trade and art. 'Since the Celts were always in a minority and did not, strictly speaking, constitute a single Celtic race, the Celtic world was primarily a conglomeration of different nations under a Celtic elite, the indigenous peoples being first enslaved and then fused together by a common Celtic language, civilisation and religion. They brought with them the knowledge of the wheel and the design of the war chariot, and were later attributed with the discovery of how to smelt iron, thus giving rise to the 'Iron Age'. Descriptions have come down to us from the pen of a Greek writer, Poseidonius. He says: The Celts are terrifying in appearance, with deep-sounding and very harsh voices... they wear a striking kind of clothing - tunics dyed and stained in various colours, and trousers, which they call Bracae and they wear striped cloaks... picked out with a variegated small check pattern. Their armour includes man-sized shields, decorated in individual fashion... on their heads they wear bronze helmets .... To the frankness and high-spiritedness of their temperament must be added the traits of childish boastfulness and love of decoration. They wear ornaments of gold, torcs on their necks, and bracelets on their arms and wrists, while people of high rank wear dyed garments besprinkled with gold.
The Celts seem to have originated from an area around the Caspian Sea,(See also a theory displayed by # 730 below). Their eruption into the west came at much the same time as a similar migration into India and Persia. It is thought that the Celts and the Hindus shared a common ancestry in a race known as the Battle-Axe People, whose mark was a perforated stone battle-axe and whose home was in southern Russia; the language spoken by the Celts came from the same source as Sanskrit, the classical language of the Hindus. Thus the Celtic language is called Indo-European and it is not too far-fetched to see correspondences between the Indian deities and those of the Celts; and likenesses between the brahmins, the priest-astrologers of India, and the druids, the priest-astronomers of Europe - in fact, much has been written about the links between the two races. It is noticeable, for instance, that Celtic gods are depicted seated in a similar meditation posture to the Hindu deities, and that giant figures are carved on the hillsides of India as well as of Europe. It might even be that the woad which was painted on the bodies of Britons facing the Romans signified their allegiance to a particular god or goddess, just as the white paint on a Hindu forehead indicates a follower of Vishnu. Physically and emotionally, however, the two peoples drifted far apart. The Hindus intermarried with older Indian races and developed a dark skin and eyes, while the Celts became renowned for their fair, reddish hair and piercing blue eyes. They were formidable warriors and were known for their boasting and threats and also for their selfdramatisation. But with great rapidity their moods would change to a dreamy sadness. Plato thought them highly intelligent, although much given to drinking. They divided society into three groups. The druids, who were learned priests, shamans and judges; the military aristocracy, who were the power-holders and the heroes; and the free men, who were farmers and owned cattle. Both men and women were thought to be immensely brave in battle.
Diodorus Siculus wrote that the Celtic women were not only like their men in their great stature (the Celts were exceptionally tall and well-built), but that they were also their equals in courage. Women were honoured in Celtic society and lived in an equal way with men. A strict legal code ensured that women could inherit property, and name and title were taken from the mother rather than the father. They could marry whom they pleased and could claim damages if molested. They took their place in battle beside the men. There were two major waves of Celtic immigration and by 700-500 BC they had emerged as one of the most important peoples of Europe. By 387 BC they had conquered Rome (it fell, according to the Roman historian Livy, because of the terror inspired by the 'magic' war-cry of the Celts, who went into battle naked) and by 279 BC Delphi had fallen too, although both it and Rome were retaken later. France (known as Gaul) was entirely Celtic and Britain too became one of the Celtic strongholds as Rome advanced through Gaul. England was a centre for culture and education and the sons of Gaulish chiefs were sent there for instruction by the druids, the priests of the Celts.
And from Iman Wilkens: WHERE TROY ONCE STOOD we can read this point of view about the origin of the Celts: # 730: ...It is very difficult to obtain a clear picture of the preChristian Celts from the transmitted texts, not only because of the typical mixture of myth and reality, but above all because of the very great lapse of time between events and their eventual recording in writing. This greatly hampers any rigorous and systematic analysis of the type that I have tried to apply to Homer's work, which itself certainly combines myth and reality, but has the very great advantage of being an eye-witness account transmitted orally for a relatively short period and written down as early as the eighth century BC, the original text being preserved practically intact until our own time, as I shall demonstrate below. Caesar recounts that the Celts were using the Greek alphabet when the Romans arrived in Gaul, in the first century BC: In the camp of the Helvetii were found, and brought to Caesar, records written out in Greek letters... However, the knowledge possessed by the initiates was transmitted entirely orally, often in the form of verse or a kind of limerick. In the case of Homer's works, this technique has helped considerably to preserve the original text without too many modifications. One has the impression that the powerful rhythm of Homeric verse also reflects the movements of the Ocean waves, but this effect is unfortunately lost in prose translations. The impression one gets of the Celts is that of a dynamic, but somewhat undisciplined people, proud, full of imagination, loving freedom, adventure, feats of arms, tournaments and fêtes. The Celts were renowned for their eloquence and their poetry, to such an extent that a poet was held in much greater esteem than a common priest. The bards accompanied their ballads on a type of lyre. Despite their individualism, the Celts often acted together, while remaining suspicious of any centralized authority. Their lack of discipline finally brought about their downfall, but for a long period they dominated Europe militarily and even sacked Rome in 387 BC. There is uncertainty about the origin of the Celts. According to the more generally accepted theory, they spread outwards from Central Europe, where many Celtic objects have been found, notably in excavations at Hallstatt (Austria) and La Tène (French-speaking Switzerland), to establish themselves on the Atlantic Coast, in the British Isles, the north of Italy and Yogoslavia. However, according to another theory, the movement was in the other direction, from the Atlantic coast and islands to the interior of Europe.
The second theory would appear to be confirmed by tha analysis in this book of the origin of the peoples engaged in the Trojan War, for they were already well-established on the Atlantic coast before the dates generally put forward. Excavations have confirmed that the Celts were also well-established in Denmark during the Bronze Age (from about 1500 to 500 BC) and it was there that the famous Gundestrup silver cauldron was found. The Celtic tribe that has moved the least is that of the Helvetii, who have been in Switzerland for a very long time. The Italo-Celts lived in the north of Italy and the Illyrians on the Adriatic coast. In Germany, the frontier between Celts and Germans was ill-defined and in some cases we do not know whether a certain tribe were Celts, Germans, Celticized Germans (i.e. converted to Celtic rites) or Germanized Celts. It should not be forgotten that at that period peoples of sometimes very different origins and cultures could be scattered throughout the same region. Examples are the Germans and the Celts in Central Europe (as shown by archaelogical evidence), and the nonGreeks and autochthons in Greece, (as mentioned by Thucydides). Thanks to the Roman historians we have a good picture of where the various Celtic peoples, from Scotland to the Balkans and from Spain to the Baltic, were living at the beginning of our own era. That Celts were living for a long time in the region of Cadiz in the extreme southwest of Spain (Celtiberia) and in the north of Morocco is clear not only from archaeological evidence, but also from the writings of historians such as Ephorus, who demonstrated Celtic greatness in his UNIVERSAL HISTORY. There was a certain unity of language, religion and culture among the Celts throughout Europe. Although they never formed a great national or political entity they were prepared to help one another against a common enemy, even though they also fought among themselves. There was also another very important link between them, at any rate for those who lived in coastal regions - the sea routes. The Celts of the Atlantic regions were sea-faring peoples, 'friends of the oar', as Homer calls them, who often undertook long voyages, as we shall discover below. During their voyages or migrations, communication between the different Celtic tribes must have been linguistically easier than it would be today, because the different languages of the Indo-European family were more homogeneous 3,000 years ago. Many words had the same root from one end of Europe to the other; for example, 'horse' was Epo in Celtic and Hippos in Greek. Wilken's book shows many more examples, and from the grammatical standpoint, too, the languages of Europe more closely resembled one another, for example, the conjugation of Gothic verbs contained elements close to Latin. What is more, according to Louis Kervran: 'When Rome conquered Gaul, the latter had been in contact with Greek civilization whose bridgehead, since 600 BC, had been Marseille, at the mouth of the Rhône ... After the arrival of the Romans, as a sign of resistance against the occupiers, Greek continued to be the language of the intellectual élite.'
Under these circumstances it must not have been very difficult to translate Homer's works from a Celtic language into Ionian Greek, at the same time commiting them to writing, since the Greeks had no taboo on writing. Translation was certainly necessary, for despite a certain number of words in common, Greek is far from being a Celtic language. But was it possible to make a translation in hexameters (lines of six feet) without losing too many details of the original text? The answer is affirmative, since there are examples of translations into Dutch, one in hexameters and one in pentameters, the former, in particular, being very close to the original. It is thus perfectly possible that the epic history of the Trojan War was transmitted by Celts living in central Europe to find its way to Greece, where it was translated and preserved entirely intact, especially, as Henri Hubert assures us, when talking about the period before 800 BC, that: 'If it can be taken as proven that the Greeks came from the north, i.e. from central Europe, it is not unreasonable to assume that they had contacts not only with the Illyrians (thus confirming Thucydides), but also with the Italo-Celts and even the Celts.' On the other hand, it is unlikely that a Greek author would have composed the work himself on the basis of echoes he had heard of a war that had taken place in some distant part of Europe several centuries before his time, as the hundreds of coherent details in the text are so many indications that the original poem was composed by an eyewitness. However, these details correspond so little to the Greece of the period, or of today, that certain commentators have concluded that the poet did not have a precise idea of the places he was describing. We shall see below that the truth is quite the reverse - the poet knew exactly what he was describing, but it had nothing to do with Greece. Wilkens write in his book of 'Celts', although it would perhaps have been more correct to call them 'proto-Celts' for their culture had not yet come to match entirely what the traditional archaeologists call 'Celtic', which dates only from 800 BC. However, Homer mentions the legendary mother of the Celts - 'glorious Galatea' - and describes the Celtic custom of cremation. Wilkens therefore adopted the general rule of the archaeologist Bosch-Guimpéra, who always speaks of Celts where funeral urns are found, and Homer mentions such urns several times. Furthermore, when he is writing about Celts and their migrations in Europe, he is not always referring to the time of Homer, but possibly to any time in the thousand years before Christ, because as yet we have no precise chronology of the development of their culture.
Wilkens continue: 'Let us hope that further research will enable us to establish such a chronology. In the meantime, I have sometimes had to work back from elements known about the Celts in the Roman era'. In part III in his book, he returns to Galatea, who turns out to be a major key for the research as she will be proof that the Celts were already around in the Bronze Age - much earlier than assumed hitherto. The dynamic and inventive Celtic culture brought a certain civilization to Europe before the Greeks and the Romans. They were the first to construct harvesting implements and war chariots. They invented tools still used today, such as pincers; they had keys; they forged iron rims for their chariot wheels; they produced coats of mail. They shod their horses. These shoes, at first in bronze, were not nailed, but had rings round the edge through which a thong was passed to tie them in place. This explains the use of such expressions as horses 'with flashing feet' or 'single-hooved horses' in Homer. The Celts taught the Greeks and Romans the use of soap - Sapo in Celtic. They have left us some very beautiful ornaments, in gold, such as fibulae (decorated clasps) and torques (collars), and in bronze, such as phalerae (decorative bosses for horses' harness), oenochoe (wine pitchers - it should not be forgotten that the Celts had vineyards even in the north of Europe), situlae (square-shouldered vessels in bronze or glass) and pans for evaporating seawater for salt. Other finds include numerous decorated bronze swords and axes and chiefs' helmets covered with gold or decorated with a bird of prey and, of course, a great deal of pottery. But the Celts exelled above all in the nonplastic arts, such as eloquence, poetry and music. Certain Celtic practices have persisted down to our own day, such as that of starting the new day as from midnight, and certain feast days have been adopted and adapted by the Christian religion. An example of the latter is the 1 November, which was the feast of Samhain, which marked the beginning of the new year for the Celts. They lit fires in the night, not only to celebrate the new year, but also to communicate with their dead, for if the barriers between the natural and supernatural were already narrow, they believed them to be absent during Samhain night. All Saints, the day the dead are specially remembered, is now celebrated on the 1 November, and on Halloween fires are still lit. The beginning of spring was 1 May, the day of Beltaine (or Apollo) when fires were lit and fertility rites were celebrated, with dancing clockwise in circles. The flocks were let out and the sailors went to sea after sacrificing the first vessel they had built during the winter to the gods of the sea. # 25 - 48 - 327 - 366 - 380 - 428 - 562 - 730
Otherwise The Footless; related to Vitra, the God of Evil in Vedantic mythology. # 562
Traditionally, a Saxon leader who fought against the Britons in the Arthurian period. A. G. Brodeur argues that he was entirely fictitious, his name being taken from place names. He says that the West Saxons, of whom he was supposedly the leader, only began their campaign by conquering the Isle of Wight about AD 530. However, many authorities regard him as historical. He was the supposed founder of the kingdom of Wessex. A problem is caused by his name, however, which is Celtic, not Teutonic. This has led J. P. Clansy (Pendragon) to suggest he may have been a rebellious British king. Perhaps, speculates S. G. Wilsman (# 106), he was a one-time ally of Arthur's who changed sides. However, Saklatvala (# 574) claims he was the King Carados of Arthurian romance. G. Ashe (# 31) has produced the most interesting surmise of all, that Cerdic was possibly a son of Arthur (whom he identifies as Riothamus) who has gathered a mixed CeltoGermanic following on the Continent. J. Morris maintains that the pedigree which makes him an ancestor of the ruling house of Wessex is a fabrication. Asser's LIFE OF ALFRED THE GREAT (ninth century unless, as has been contended, it is a forgery) claims that Cerdic and his son Cynric were Jutes. # 31 - 103 - 106 - 156 - 484 - 574
(KER noon os) The Lord of the Animals, 'Horned One', whose images are found in Romano-Celtic worship sites, and whose role as hunter and animal god is preserved in Celtic legend and folk lore. He ruled the active forces of life and death, giving and taking, in nature; in Romano-Celtic culture he was associated with wealth and prosperity, due to his role as Guardian of the Gateway to the Underworld where all potential forces and events originated. It should be stated emphatically that this deity has far to less to do with 'fertility' and sexuality than is assumed in popular fantasy, for he is a god of hunting, culling and taking.
His purpose is to purify through selection or sacrifice, in order that powers of growth and fertility may progress without stagnation. In this context of purification and de-pollution, he should be an especially interesting figure to us today, for he represents certain truthts known to our ancestors which have been neglected by us at our peril. The figure of Cernunnos from the Gundestrup Cauldron (second century AD) is probably the best-known representation of the Celtic Horned God (See plate next page).His very name is really the title, 'Horned One.' Holding a torc and a serpent, wearing an antlered cap, he sits in a yoga pose with his right heel against his genitals. Nearly all seated statues of Hindu deities show the same conventional pose. The torc and serpent are also genital symbols, female and male respectively.
Cernunnos is the spirit of the sacrificed stag-god, a nature deity to whom sacrifices were dedicated in order to maintain the wild creatures and the cycles of nature with his holy blood. There has been considerable speculation about Cernunnos' costume, which appears to be a form-fitting suit of ribbed knitted fabric, with knee-length pants. It is one of the pieces of evidence cited for the antiquity of the art of knitting among Celtic peoples.
# 156: The name of a Celtic horned god. The name is only known from a single inscription and it is possible the horned god went by a number of names. As Merlin was associated with stags, it is possible he was connected with the Cernunnos cult. # 454: His name means 'Horned One', and he is the Lord of the Beasts. He is frequently depicted with one or more ram-headed serpents, and has a torc of chieftainship about his neck. Some reliefs show him with coin-filled purses. Since both metal and snakes are chthonic symbols, it follows that Cernunnos was associated with the Underworld as well as with earthly fertility. See: WILD HERDSMAN and BELATUCADOS. # 156 - 454 - 455 p 66, 110 - # 563 - 701 p 199
# 628: (Ker ID wen) The Welsh crone, or goddess of dark prophetic powers, is represented by Cerridwen. Her totem animal is the sow, representing the fecundity of the Underworld, and the terrible strenght of the Mother. Like many Celtic goddesses, she had two children representing dark and light aspects emerging from the One Goddess her daughter Crearwy being light and beautiful, and her son Afagddu being dark and ugly. Cerridwen is keeper of the Cauldron of the Underworld, in which inspiration and divine knowledge are brewed. She brews for her son, and sets little Gwion to guard the cauldron; but three drops fall out upon his finger, and he absorbs the potency of the brew. The goddess then pursues Gwion through a cycle of changing shapes, which correspond both to totem animals and to the turning of the seasons; this theme is related to that of Mabon and Merlin, in which a divine youth is associated with the orders and creatures of Creation. The Welsh legend, however, has a significant ending, for Cerridwen, in the guise of a hen, swallows Gwion, in the guise of an ear of corn. Nine months pass, and she gives birth to a radiant child, known as Taliesin, a title attached to the greatest of Welsh poets. # 156: This story seems far older than the period of the historical Taliesin. It is similar to a tale told about the Irish hero, Finn mac Cumhal, and may enshrine a Celtic divinatory practice involving thumb chewing. This practice was known in early Ireland as Imbas Forosnai and seems to have rested on the notion that chewing the raw flesh of the thumb imparted sagacity. # 156 - 272 - 628 p 88 ff
She was the first settler in Ireland before the Flood. She came with fifty women and three men. When her father Fintan, disappeared and her husband died she herself died of grief. She was followed by all her women. Forty days after their arrival in Ireland the Flood came. Only Fintan escaped, hiding in a cave. # 454 - 469
CET MAC MATACH
(cet' moc má'tah) A distinguished Connacht warrior; shames the Ulsterman at Mac Datho's feast; wounds Conchobar with the calcified brain of Mesgegra; according to one tradition brother of Ailill, king of Connacht. # 166
CETHERN MAC FINNTAIN
(ce'hern moc fin'tan) 1. An Ulster warrior, son of Fintan mac Neill; 2. One of Finn's teachers. # 166
(Infinity) The outermost of the three concentric circles representing the totality of being in the Cymric cosmonogy, inhabited by God alone. # 562
Given in his 'Viking Age', a rude rock-carving showing a number of ships with men on board, and the circle quartered by a crossunmistakably a solar emblem, like a number of Irish examples. # 562
CHAMPION OF IRELAND
Test at feast of Briccriu, to decide who is the Champion of Ireland. CuChulain proclaimed such by demon The Terrible. # 562
The eagerness of fairies to possess themselves of human children is one of the oldest parts of the fairy beliefs and is a specific form of fairy theft. Mentions of the thefts of babies are to be found in the MEDIEVAL CHRONICLES of Ralph of Coggeshall and GERVASE OF TILBURY among others, through the Elizabethan and Jacobean times, and right down to the beginning of the present century. The fairies' normal method was to steal an unchristened child, who had not been given proper protection, out of the cradle and to leave a substitute in its place. This 'changeling' was of various kinds. Sometimes it was a stock of wood roughly shaped into the likeness of a child and endowed by glamour with a temporary appearance of life, which soon faded, when the baby would appear to die and the stock would be duly buried. More often a fairy child who did not thrive would be left behind, while the coveted, beautiful human baby was taken. More often still the changeling would be an ancient, withered fairy, of no more use to the fairy tribe and willing to lead an easy life being cherished, fed and carried about by its anxious foster-mother, wawling and crying for food and attention in an apparent state of paralysis. The 'stock' method was most usually employed when the fairies had designs against the mother as well as the child. A good example of a frustrated attempt at such a theft is the Shetland tale 'Mind (Remember) da Crooked Finger'. The wife of a Shetland crofter had just given birth to her first child, and as her husband was folding his lambs he heard three loud knocks coming from underground. He closed the folds and walked up through the cornyard. As he came through the stacks he heard a loud voice say three times, 'Mind da crooked finger.' His wife had a crooked finger and he had a shrewd notion that the Grey Neighbours were planning an attack on his wife and his little bairn. But the goodman knew what to do. He went quickly to the house, lighted a candle, took down a clasp-knife and a bible and opened them. As he did so a great clamour and wailing broke out in the byre, which was built against the house. He stuck the knife in his mouth with the blade pointing forward, held the lighted candle in one hand and the opened bible in the other, and made for the byre, followed by most of the neighbours who were visiting his wife. He opened the byre door and threw the bible inside, and as he did so the wailing redoubled, and with a great rush the fairies sped past him. They left behind them a wooden stock, carved feature by feature and joint by joint in the form of his wife. He lifted it up and carried it into the house. 'I've won this from the Grey Neighbours,' he said, 'and I'll make it serve my turn.' And for years afterwards he used the image as a chopping-block, and the wife was never molested by the fairies again.
Children were supposed to be stolen into Fairyland either to pay a Teind to the Devil, to reinforce the fairy stock or for love of their beauty. Where older people were stolen it was for specific qualities and they were replaced by some form of the 'stock' and generally seemed to be suffering from a 'stroke', which is indeed 'the fairy stroke', generally given by Elf-Shot. The true changelings are those fairy creatures that replace the stolen human babies. See also: CAPTIVES IN FAIRYLAND. # 100 - 540 - 700 - 728
Tree- and stone-worship denounced by Charlemagne. # 562
(1600-49) King of Britain and Ireland. The grandson of Mary Queen of Scots, Charles was well steeped in the misfortunes of the Stuarts. He upheld the Divine Right of Kings, by which the mystical destiny of the king under God gave him sovereign power in governing his country. He was deposed by Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians and executed. His was one of the latest in the role of kingly sacrifices, whose cult was popularly acclaimed and liturgically approved. His remembrance, on 30 January, was ordered by his son Charles II and appears in the Book of Common Prayer as a day of fasting and humiliation. Five churches are named after him. # 454
In PERLESVAUS, the king of this castle was Perceval's uncle. He seized the Grail Castle but Perceval besieged him and he killed himself. # 112 - 156
One of Arthur's swords. # 156
A cheerful wayfarer, a cheerful giver and a cheerful worker are all likely to gain the patronage of the fairies, who dislike nothing so much as grumbling and moaning. See also: VIRTUES ESTEEMED BY THE FAIRIES. # 100
In Geoffrey, a Saxon leader who brought reinforcements from Germany to Colgrin and took part in the battles of Lincoln, Caledon Wood and Bath (Badon), after which he fled. He was finally defeated and killed by Cador.
# 156 - 243
The wife of Sador, who was the son of Brons. # 156 - 712
CHERRY OF ZENNOR
A version of the story of the Fairy Widower, which appears in Hunt's POPULAR ROMANCES OF THE WEST OF ENGLAND. It is very closely allied to 'Jenny Permuen', also to be found in Hunt. 'Cherry of Zennor' is a curious story, and throws a number of side-lights on fairy beliefs. Sometimes one is tempted to believe that the story had a naturalistic foundation, and that it is an unsophisticated girl's interpretation of a human experience. On the other hand, it gives one quite a picture of the real traditions of underground Fairyland, such as that which was entered by True Thomas. Cherry was one of a large family living in Zennor, a small village in Cornwall, and when she got to the age of fourteen it was time for her to go out into the world. She set out to be hired at the local fair, but her courage failed her, and on the Lady Downs she sat down and cried. Whilst she was still weeping a handsome, well-dressed gentleman stood beside her, and asked what was troubling her. After some conversation he said that he was going out to hire a neat, tidy girl to look after his little son, because he had recently been left a widower. He praised Cherry's neatly-mended clothes and tidy looks, and hired her to go along with him. They went an immense way, down and down twisting lanes with high hedges closing above them. The gentleman lifted Cherry over several streams and at lenght they came to a gate into a garden where flowers of all seasons grew and flowered together. Birds were singing all round them, and Cherry thought she had never seen so lovely a place. A little sharp-eyed boy ran out to greet them, followed by an old, cross-looking woman. 'That's my wife's mother,' said the gentleman, 'but she will only stay a few days to put you in the ways of the place, and then she shall go.' The old woman looked crossly at Cherry and took her in, muttering that she knew Robin would choose a fool. It was a strange place, with long passages and a big room locked up, into which the old woman led Cherry. It was full of what Cherry thought of as dead people - presumably statues - and there was a coffin-like box in the middle of the room which Cherry was set to polish. When she rubbed it hard it made a strange, groaning sound, and Cherry fell down in a faint. Her master ran in, picked her up and took her out, kissed and comforted her, and sent the old woman away. Cherry's duties were very light and pleasant; she had to play with the little boy, milk a cow who appeared mysteriously when she was called, and anoint the little boy's eyes every morning with green ointment. The pleasantest of her duties was to help her master work in the garden. At the end of every row he gave Cherry a kiss, and she would have been very happy there if it had not been that her master disappeared for many hours together, and when he came back went into the locked room from which strange sounds proceeded. Her little charge would answer none of her questions, but only said 'I'll tell Grannie' if she asked him anything; but she fancied that he saw much more than she did, and his eyes were very bright; so one morning she sent him off to pick some flowers and slyly put a crumb of the ointment in her own eye. This produced a transformation: the garden was swarming with little creatures. Her eyes smarted and she ran to the well to wash out the ointment. At the bottom of the well she saw numbers of tiny people dancing, and to her fury she saw her master among them, as tiny as they were, and on very familiar terms with the little fairy ladies. Soon she saw her master coming back as his normal size. He went up to the locked room and went inside. Cherry followed him and peeped through the keyhole. He lifted the lid of the coffin and a lady came out, sat down, and began to play upon the coffin,and all the statues began to dance. Cherry ran away weeping, and when her master called her to weed the garden with him, she was very sulky. At the end of the first row he tried to kiss her, but she pushed him away saying: 'Go and kiss your little midgets at the bottom of the well.' Her master looked very sad. 'Cherry, you have been using the ointment that you were told not to use. I am sorry, but you must go home, and old Grace must come back again.' Cherry cried and besought, but he made her pack her clothes, and led her back the long uphill way on to the Lady Downs. She never saw him again, and like many people who have visited Fairyland, she did no good in the mortal world, but hung about the Lady Downs hoping Robin her master would come back and see her. This is one occasion on which the seeing eye was not blinded. Cherry's master had shown great restraint. An interesting feature of this story is that old Grace kept the village school. She was evidently a mortal, and therefore Robin's first wife must have been mortal too. The Fairy Ointment would have been necessary to give the little half-fairy fairy sight. It is as yet uncertain if this needed to be used by whole fairies. # 100 - 331
The ancient oriental game of chess came into Celtic Britain at a very early date, and was much esteemed as the Game of Kings, who learned tactics and strategy from it, and the art of hiding their thoughts when they were in conflicts. It was a game at which the aristocratic fairies, the Daoine Sidhe of Ireland and the Sidh of Scotland, had great skill, and it was the habit of wandering members of the sidhe to win great contests against mortals by challenging them to three games, at each of which the winner was to choose his stake. Invariably the mortal won the first two games and chose rich prizes, but the supernatural stranger won the third, and imposed some almost fatal task or asked for some next-to-impossible gift. It was by such a game that Midhir won Etain from Eochaid. This motif is also common in Highland folktales, as, for instance, in one of McKay's MORE WEST HIGHLAND TALES, 'How the Great Tuairisgeal was Put to Death', in which the Young Tuairisgeal, winning the third game of chess, puts the Young King of Erin under binding spells to find out how the Great Tuairisgeal was put to death and to bring back with him the Sword of Light by which he was slain. The young king succeeds in the quest by the help of the woman and the horse which he won in the first two games. This is a standard pattern in both Highland and Irish tales.
Chess as a sport of kings is illustrated in the tale of Finn, in the episode when Young Finn, serving his stepfather, the King of Carraighe, incognito, displayed both his ingenuousness and his royal blood by winning seven games in succession against the king, who guessed his paternity and sent him quickly away. # 100 - 464
CHESSMEN OF LEWIS
In 1831 a high tide on the coast near Uig in the Isle of Lewis washed away a sand-bank and exposed a cave in which there was a small beehive-shaped building rather like the little domestic grinding querns to be found in the Highlands. A labourer working near found it, and, thinking it might contain some treasure, broke into it. He found a cache of eighty-four carved chessmen ranged together. They had an uncanny look, and he flung down his spade and ran, convinced that he had come on a sleeping company of fairies. His wife was of sterner stuff and made him go back and fetch them. The greater part of them are now in the British Museum. Replicas have been made of them, but the originals, all mustered together, are much more impressive. A tradition has arisen about them. It is said that the guards who take the guard-dogs round at night cannot get them to pass the Celtic chessmen. They bristle and drag back on their haunches. So perhaps the Highlander's superstition can be excused. # 100
This city was named Deva in classical times but it was also known as the City of the Legion, as was Caerleon-upon-Usk. R. B. Stoker, in his THE LEGACY OF ARTHUR'S CHESTER (1965), argues that Chester, rather than Caerleon, was Arthur's chief city. Geoffrey Ashe (#75) suggests that Arthur's battle at the City of the Legion was fought there. ># 33 - 100
He rescued his sister, Burd Ellen, who was trapped in the Underworld by its king, with the help of Merlin. # 68 - 76 - 454
CHILDREN OF LIR
Lir and his son Manannan were gods of the sea. The story of The Children of Lir is not as old as the story of the Children of Tuirenn but its theme connects it with the earliest stories of Irish mythology. It is set in the time after the conquest of the Gaels, when Tuatha De Danaan had taken to the Sidh mounds of their underground kingdom. Lir, is the same character used by Shakespeare in his play 'King Lear'. Once, at an election for kingship where Lir was disregarded, he left his sidh at Fionnachaidh in northern Ireland, and retired to the north in a rage. The two of Lir's wives died, and the third, Aoife, was so jealous of Lir's children, that she turned them into swans by her druidic wand. Sadly, the swan maiden Fionnguala called out to Aoife, accusing her and prophesying her destruction. Aoife replied triumphantly, 'that for at least three times three hundred years, and until a man from Connacht in the north shall be united with a woman from Munster in the south, will you were bound by the spell'. A lot of events occurred to the four gifted and enchanted swans during these nine hundred years, but eventually the prophesy was fulfilled: violence broke the long enchantment and instead of singing swans, the king of Connacht and his new-wedded wife, the daughter of the king of Munster, whose name was Deoca, saw before them, not, indeed, the radiant forms of the Danaan divinities, but four withered, snow-haired, and miserable human beings, shrunken in the decrepitude of their vast old age. Lairken, the King, flies from the place in horror, but the friend of the swans, the hermit prepares to administer baptism at once, as death is rapily approaching them. And so it was done, and they went to heaven; but the hermit, it is said, sorrowed for them to the end of his earthly days. # 565 p 29 ff
CHILDREN OF LLYR
The British equivalents of the Irish Children of Lir. # 562
CHILDREN OF TUIRENN, THE FATE OF
'The Fate of the Children of Tuirenn' is one of a group of narratives known in Irish tradition as 'The Three Sorrows of Story-Telling,' the others being 'The Exile of the Sons of Usnech', and 'The Fate of the Children of Lir.' The first part of the story, telling how Nuada got his silver arm and how the Fomorians came to invade Ireland, merely serves as an introduction and has only a superficial connection with the main plot, which is concerned with the tragically desperate attempts of the sons of Tuirenn to carry out the impossible tasks imposed upon them by Lugh as the blood-price for his father, Cian, who, like the other major personages, is of the Tuatha De Danann. The narrative contains numerous references to the BOOK OF INVASIONS, and 'The Second Battle of Mag Tured'. The tale, although it deals with events of the remote past, is comparatively late in date. Contrasted with the earlier and sterner pieces that compose the Ulster cycle, it may appear somewhat overwrought and unduly burdened with romantic incident; yet it builds up to a conclusion full of tragic pathos. # 166
According to the eccentric R. W. Morgan (HISTORY OF BRITAIN), this King of Orleans (reigned AD 511-24) died fighting against Arthur. Actually, he perished in battle fighting against the Burgundians. # 156
The Cornish chough is believed to be the form in which Arthur exists, prior to his coming again. # 454
According to J. Morris (# 484), he led a rebellion against Clothair, King of the Francs, who was aided by Cunomorus (see MARK). Morris claims both fell in the battle. # 156 - 484
CHRÉTIEN DE TROYES
French poet, influential in bringing the Arthurian saga into the poetic literature of Europe; Gautier de Denain the earliest continuator of him. Variation of his 'Le Chevalier au lion' seen in 'The Lady of the Fountain'. - The 'Tale of Enid and Geraint' based on Erec of Chrétien de Troyes. - Peredur corresponds to the Perceval of Troyes; his 'Conte del Graal' or 'Perceval le Gallois'. Manessier a continuator of Chrétien de Troyes (sometimes called Chréstien de Troyes). # 562
Symbolism, the hand as emblem of power in Christian faith, which is heard of by King Cormac and ere preached by St Patrick. Christian influences in Ireland and the Milesian myth; Christian ideas, gathered around CuChulain and his lord King Conor of Ulster; pagan ideals contrasted with Christian in Oisin dialogues. Myrddin dwindles under influences. # 562
CHRISTIAN CELTS IN WALES
The popular images of Wales between the Roman occupation and the arrival of the Normans are of heroic warrior kingdoms and travelling saints, of Celtic revival and of tradition of mythical history. The period has been referred to by many terms, some accompanied by a confusion of definitions, such as the Dark Ages, the Early Medieval period, the Early Middle Ages, the Early Christian period, the Age of Saints, the Age of Arthur and the Later Celtic period. While recent surveys have usefully employed terms equivalent to those for Saxon England, such as 'Sub-Roman' (AD 350-450), Early Christian (AD 450-650), 'Middle Phase' (AD 650-850) and 'Cambro-Norse' (AD 850-1066).
Over the last 40 years, considerable progress has been made in historical and archaeological research into the period, with studies of charters and with excavations at fortified sites such as Dinas Emrys (Gwynedd), Dinas Powys (South Glamorgan) and Llangorse crannog (Powys), and at Early Christian cemeteries such as Caer Bayvil (Dyfed), Caerwent (Gwent) and Capel Maelog (Powys). The inscribed stones of various kinds are the most numerous visible relics of the Christian Celts in Wales, and they form the backbone of the book THE CHRISTIAN CELTS as National Museum of Wales published in 1991. They span a period from the 5th to the 12th centuries, illustrate the Christianity and artistic styles of Wales and provide evidence of its early society.
CELTS AND KINGDOMS
Until the end of the 4th century AD Wales was part of a Roman Empire united to a varying degree by language, law and a sophisticated system of government. From the 5th century a number of small independent tribal kingdoms or territories developed in Wales, with root in Celtic Iron Age and Roman traditions. The pattern of political developments is complex, with few continuously dominant kingdoms and little sense of 'Celtic' unity. Some early kingdoms may have maintained a semblance of late Roman authority but the evidence for the 5th century is sparse. Latin terms are used to describe official positions as if to suggest the inheritance of Roman power (for example, St Patrick's father was a Decurio) and some personal and place names derive from Roman antecedents. Gwent, for example, preserves the name of the Civitas capital Venta Silurum (now Caerwent), where the post-Roman use of an extra-mural cemetery outside the East Gate suggests that it may have continued as the focus of a small successor state. However, there was considerable political dislocation and change in the 5th and 6th centuries, and the precise circumstances of the decline and abandonment of late Roman sites are unclear. Irish raids and inter-regional hostilities resulted in the refortification of some hillforts. Gradually smaller territories were absorbed into the larger kingdoms. Dynastic change in Dyfed and Gwynedd led eventually to political change. Following the death in AD 854 of Cyngen, last king of Powys (named as patron in the inscription on the 'Pillar of Eliseg'), the kingdom was absorbed into the larger kingdom of Gwynedd. The growing ambition of Gwynedd in the late 9th century resulted in the southern Welsh kings seeking protection from the Saxon king Alfred of Wessex. Viking raids on the Welsh coast began in the mid 9th century, and the 10th century was characterised by dynastic instability. New ruling families established themselves in the south-east by c. AD 950, and by the 11th century further intrusive dynasties had moved into the south-west of Wales. A long period of wide-ranging conflict between rulers ended with the arrival of the Normans and the development of new conflicts. Christian communities existed in parts of Wales under the later Roman Empire. While there may still have been unconverted Britons in the 5th century, the history attributed to Nennius (HISTORIA BRITTONUM) suggests that Christianity survived in some form into the Early Middle Ages. It is significant that the earliest carved stones with Christian associations are particularly numerous in Wales. The artistic, religious and political development of the Principality during this period is reflected in its Early Christian monuments and distinctive artefacts. # 547
Conversion of Ireland to Christianity. People of Dana in their fall, and attitude of Christendom. CucCulain summoned from Hel by St Patrick to prove truths of Christianity to High King Laery. - The effect of Christianity on Irish literature, are but for the early manuscripts in which the tales are fortunately enshrined such a work as the TAIN BO CUAILGNÉ, the greatest thing undoubtedly which the Celtic genius ever produced in literature - would now be lost. # 562
CHRISTIANITY, LOST CELTIC
In the so-called Dark Ages a religion flourished in the islands of Britain which had more in common with Buddhism than with the institutional Christianity of the West. It was based on a church founded without martyrs, and one that neither inflicted suffering nor encouraged bitter theological disputes. It was marked by compassion and moderation in all its dealings. Above all, it was a religion of country people, for after the legions withdrew from the Roman garrisons there were no towns in Britain, and it was practised in tribal groups, by people who had previously worshipped their own local deities through the rituals prescribed by the druids, who formed their priestly caste. When news of Christianity first came to Ireland and mainland Britain, the new faith was smoothly grafted onto the old. But the Roman Church never accepted the Celtic belief, that man was born free of original sin, and the final confrontation occured at Whitby (Streaneshalch) AD 664.
'That which is called the Christian religion existed among the Ancients, and never did not exist, from the beginning of the Human Race until Christ came in the flesh, at which time true religion, which already existed began to be called Christianity.' St Augustine.
'Without going back to the 'beginning of the Human Race', I would like to introduce this celebration of the Celtic Christian year by looking at its distant origins in the Bronze Age, among the peoples who inhabited there islands before the coming of the iron-forging Celts.' With these words leads the author Shirley Toulson up to her introduction in her latest book THE CELTIC YEAR, and she continues: 'They were the people who left the great stone monuments and ritual henges all along the Atlantic seaboard; and who buried their honoured dead in complex, majestic barrows, now mostly grassed over. These barrows, and the artefacts found in the excavated graves within them, are almost all we know of these early farmers whose ritual monuments make it clear that they had a highly organized society and were capable of astounding feats of technology. It is our loss that they seem to have had no written language; and that although their stone and wooden circles, so carefully aligned on aspects of sunrise and sunset, were obviously of great religious significance, we can only guess at the ritual they enshrined.' Shirley Toulson ends her inspiring introduction by saying that 'in the Celtic blessings and prayers, we find a constant echo of the Essene advocacy of constant worship formulated by the Egyptian Therapeutae, who affirmed 'At the beginning of each of my daily tasks, when I leave or enter the house, when I rise, when I stretch out on my couch, Him do I wish to celebrate'. The Therapeutae were an Egyptian sect, described by the first-century Jewish scholar Philo, and believed to have been formed from the remnants of the Essene community who headed west from the Dead Sea after their dispersal following the fall of Jerusalem. Their attitude of constant prayerful attention is familiar to us today through the teaching of an even older tradition, Buddhism, and the practice of constant mindfulness that is at the root of Buddhist practice. It is this attitude which infused the saints of the Celtic church, who were teaching six hundred years after the Incarnation, and whose way of life, if not their doctrines, so closely resemble the precepts formulated by the Buddha six hundred years before the birth at Bethlehem. I am not suggesting that there was any direct historical link between Buddhism and the beliefs of the Celtic saints, but I am sure that if we want to understand the depths of Celtic spirituality we shall find the nearest parallels in the Buddhist teaching of today as well as in the creation spirituality of such Christian teachers as Matthew Fox*. Above all we will come close to Celtic thinking as, inspired by the obvious threats to the survival of our planet, we learn to be constantly mindful of the part we have to play in the divinity of the universe.'
CORMAC MAC AIRT PRESIDING AT TARA
Beautiful was the appearance of Cormac in that assembly, flowing and slightly curling was his golden hair. A red buckler with stars and animals of gold and fastenings of silver upon him. A crimson cloak in wide descending folds around him, fastened at his neck with precious stones. A torque of gold around his neck. A white shirt with a full collar, and intertwined with red gold thread upon him. A girdle of gold, inlaid with precious stones, was around him. Two wonderful shoes of gold, with golden loops upon his feet. Two spears with golden sockets in his hands, with many rivets of red bronze. And he was himself, besides, symmetrical and beautiful of form, without blemish or reproach. Version - Douglas Hyde.
*See also: Martinus: THE THIRD TESTAMENT (# 431). # 676 - 678
Testimony of Dion Chrysostom, to power of the Druids. # 562
There is a widespread tradition that the churchyards were guarded from the Devil and witches by a spirit that usually took the form of a Black Dog. Those who saw it generally took it as a death warning. Mrs Gutch mentions it in COUNTY FOLK LORE II, and William Henderson discusses it in FolkLore of the Northern Counties. He attributes it to a foundation sacrifice and points out that the Kyrkogrim of Sweden appears in the form of a lamb because, in the early days of Christianity in Sweden, a lamb was buried under the altar, while in Denmark the Kirkegrim took the form of a 'grave-sow'. Thomas Wright in his ESSAYS says that the Yorkshire church grim can be seen about the churc in dark stormy weather by day and night. It sometimes took the bell at midnight before a death, and at a funeral the clergyman would see it looking out from the tower, and could tell by its aspect whether the soul of the corpse was destined for Heaven or Hell. In her COUNTY FOLK LORE collection VIII, Ruth Tongue says that when a new churchyard was opened it was believed that the first man buried there had to guard it against the Devil. To save a human soul from such a duty a pure black dog was buried in the north part of the churchyard as a substitute. In the Highlands, according to J. G. Campbell in his SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND a similar belief was held. It was the duty of the lastburied corpse to guard the graveyard till the next funeral. # 100 - 131 - 274 - 302 - 674 - 754
Mould which came from an ancient churchyard, where all the soil consisted of mouldering bodies, was valuable in spells, but was also considered protective as a counter-charm against fairies or spirits. See also: PROTECTION AGAINST FAIRIES. # 100
The unripe nut thickets in West Yorkshire are guarded by Churnmilk Peg. According to Mrs Wright, who mentions her among the cautionary goblins in RUSTIC SPEECH AND FOLK LORE, she beguiles her leisure by smoking a pipe. In the North Country generally, Melch Dick performs the same function. # 100 - 752
CIAN MAC CAINTE
(KEE an moc kiin't) Father of Lugh. When he encountered the sons of Tuirenn - Brian, Iuchar and Iucharba - his enemies approaching, he turned himself into a pig. Brian noticed that it was a magical beast and turned himself and his brothers into hounds and gave chase to it. They eventually resumed their own forms, but refused Cian quarter, stoning him to death. They attempted to bury him six times, but only managed to cover him with a mound on the seventh attempt. Lugh found his father's body with the help of the men of the Sidhe, and vowed vengeance on his killers. Later legend saw him as an evil druid who enjoyed changing his pupils into hares, while he followed as a hound. The children of Tuirenn struck him with his own staff and turned him into a boar, whence the earthwork dividing North and South Ireland is called the Blavk Pig's Dyke, after his tremendous career from coast to coast. This legend corresponds to that of TWRCH TRWYTH. # 267 - 439 - 454 - 548
(cer'i yi loo'ah ra) A hilly district between co. Limerick and co. Kerry. # 166
Wife of Pryderi, daughter of Gwyn Gohoyw, of the royal line of Casnar Wledig. After her husband and mother-in-law, Rhiannon, were spirited away into the Otherworld, she was left alone with her father-in-law, Manawyddan with whom she lived until the enchantments lying upon Dyfed were lifted. # 272 - 439 - 454
In 113 BC, a Roman army sent to support the Celtic kingdom of Noricum in the Eastern Alps, against northern invaders, suffered defeat. The invaders were known by the name of Cimbri, and later evidence suggests that the bearers of this name came from Himmerland County, Jutland, although their ranks had probably been considerably augmented on their way southwards. It is important to forego any hasty ethnological deductions about the Cimbri on the basis of their geographical starting-point. The personal names of their leaders, such as are known, are all purely Celtic, and passages from Diodorus, Strabo, and Pliny could all be taken as showing that the Cimbri spoke a Celtic language. The name Teutones itself is a Latin form of the Celtic word meaning 'people', as already met in the Irish Tuath, and in the Gaulish deity name Teutates. J. Aaten suggests that there might be some connection between the Cimbri expedition, the Borremose Castle and the Gundestrup Cauldron. # 53 - 114 - 220
A sorceress in classical mythology. She is found in Homer's ODYSSEY and Apollonius Rhodius' ARGONAUTICA. In PERCEFOREST she married Bethides and brought the Romans into Britain.
See also I. Wilkens: WHERE TROY ONCE STOOD p 185 ff. # 156 - 198 - 730
A son of Aelle, he accompanied his father when he defeated the Britons. # 156
CITY OF SOULS
A spirit-haunted, otherworldly city visited by Lancelot in PERLESVAUS. # 112 - 156
CITY OF THE LEGION
The scene of one of Arthur's battles, according to Nennius. K. H. Jackson (# 401) identifies it unhesitatingly as Chester, called Urbs Legionis in Latin; but there is the possibility that it was Castleford which the Romans called Legiolium. Geoffrey calls Caerleon the City of Legion. This city is also referred to as Isca Legionis and Isca Legionum in early times. # 156 - 218 - 401
(kew-uch) This Highland character, latterly a cave-haunting monster, was a noble cave-dwelling giant in earlier romances. W. J. Watson in the CELTIC REVIEW IX says: In view of the fact that traces of Ciuthach are found, one may say, from Clyde to the Butt of Lewis, it is clear that at one time he played a great role in the tradition of the West. Among all the confusion of the traditions as they have come down to us, there may be, and probably is, an ultimate historical basis... Throughout the references to him there runs the feeling that Ciuthach was a hero, or the hero of a race different from the Gael. Watson suggested that he might be a Pict; Professor Mac Ritchie, in the next number of the CELTIC REVIEW, put forward the theory that he was a Finn. Gill, in his SECOND MANX SCRAPBOOK, points out that it was Ciuthach whose cave was visited by Diarmuid and Grania on their flight. # 100 - 249
Sister of Sagremor, who was saved from two giants by Guinglain. # 156
A king who laid siege to Blanchefleur's castle but was then slain by Perceval in single combat. # 153 - 156
One of the divisions of the Fianna of Erin; Cumhal, father of Finn, chief of Clan Bascna; Cairbry causes feud between Clan Morna and Clan Bascna. # 562
Sent by men of Erin against CuChulain. Fiacha, son of Firaba cuts off the eight-and-twenty hands of Clan Calatin. CuChulain slays Clan Calatin, and the widow gives birth to six children whom Maev has instructed in magic and then looses against CuChulain. - Cause CuChulain to break his GEISE. # 562
(clôn' con'al) The inhabitants of the district later known as Tir Connell in Ulster. # 166
(clön' da'gha) The subjects or followers of Cu Roi mac Dairi. # 166
(clôn' yo'wan) The residents of the district roughly corresponding with modern Tyrone, earlier Tir Eogain. # 166
One of the divisions of the Fianna of Erin. - Lia becomes treasurer to Clann Morna. - Cairbry causes feud between Clann Bascna and Clann Morna. # 562
The mother of Lancelot in a German version of his story. She was the wife of King Pant of Gennewis. # 156 - 686
A Knight of the Round Table and a hero of the romance CLARIS ET LARIS. Laris was his companion whom he rescued from Tallas, King of Denmark. He married Laris's sister, Lidoine. # 30 - 156
Sister of Gawain. # 156
# 156: A daughter of Lot and Morgause who married Guiromelant. She was the mother of Guigenor.
# 454: According to a single Arthurian romance she was the sister of Gawain, who lived in a magic castle. Perceval overcomes her lover Guireomelant in the same text, 'Sir Percevelle'. Nowhere else is Gawain said to have a sister, but this is interesting as it brings the number of the Orkney clan up to five - the others being Gaheris, Gareth and Agravaine. As a Goddess-figure, their mother, Morgause of Orkney, should by rights have given birth to this number of children. # 112 - 156 - 454 - 610
Merlin's enclosure. The ancient British tradition that Britain itself was watched over by Merlin as its guardian. Esoterically, Merlin's imprisonment by Nimue has its basis in Clas Myrddyn - the place where Merlin is willingly confined in order to watch over its fortunes. # 104 - 439 - 454
A characteristic scene from the battle of Clastidium (222 BC) is recorded by Polybius. 'The Gaesati, who were in forefront of the Celtic army, stripped naked for the fight, and the sight of these warriors, on which glittered the collars and bracelets of gold, filled the Romans with awe. Yet when the day was over those golden ornaments went in cartloads to deck the Capitol of Rome'. # 562
King of the Desert Land, the opponent of King Bors, whose kingdom he seized on the latter's death. After Bor's death, his sons fell into the hands of Pharien whose wife was Claudas's lover. Claudas had them brought to him but they escaped in the guise of greyhounds, killing his son, Dorin. A war took place between Britain and Claudas when the latter imprisoned Guinevere, after insulting one of her damsels. Claudas was supported by the Romans but they were defeated. The realm of Claudas was identified with Berry, as in old French Berrie signifies a desert. Clovis I, King of the Franks AD 481-511, is a possible prototype of Claudas. See: BRUMART, and PHARIANCE. # 156 - 418 - 604
The first recipe in old days for encouraging fairy visits and gaining fairy favours was to leave the hearth swept and the fire clear. This seems some indication of the contention that domestic fairies were of the type of the LARES, the ancestral spirits who were the ghosts of those who had been buried under the hearth according to the primitive custom in pre-classical times. See also: VIRTUES ESTEEMED BY THE FAIRIES. # 100
A bowl of clear, fair water had to be left in any place where the fairy ladies were supposed to resort with their babies to wash them by the fire. Dirty water or empty pails were commonly punished by pinching or lameness. See also: FAULTS CONDEMNED BY THE FAIRIES and VIRTUES ESTEEMED BY THE FARIES. # 100
A Danaan maiden once living in Mananan's country. - One of the most notable landmarks of Ireland was the Tonn Cliodhna, or 'Wave of Cleena,' on the seashore at Glandore Bay in Co. Cork. The story about Cleena exists in several versions, which do not agree with each other except in so far as she seems to have been a Danaan maiden once living in Mananan's country, the Land of Youth beyond the sea. Escaping thence with a mortal lover, as one of the versions tells, she landed on the southern coast of Ireland, and her lover, Keevan of the Curling Locks, went off to hunt in the woods. Cleena, who remained on the beach, was lulled to sleep by fairy music played by a minstrel of Mananan, when a great wave of the sea swept up and carried her back to Fairyland, leaving her lover desolate. Hence the place was called the Strand of Cleena's Wave. # 562
The husband of Meliadice, one of Arthur's descendants. He succeeded Philippon, Meliadice's father, as King of England. # 156 - 198
See: CLEENA, and TONN CLIDNA.
Son of Alexander, son of the Emperor of Constantinople and his wife Soredamor, daughter of Lot. When Cligés's uncle Alis (Alexius) was emperor he married Fenice with whom Cligés fell in love. Unable to court her in the circumstances, he went to Arthur's court. In due course, Alis died and Cligés married Fenice. His story is told in Crétien's romance CLIGÉS, perhaps a different person, in YDER. # 30 - 156
CLIM OF THE CLOUGH
(Kläm of the klaaff)
A sister of Morgan. # 156 - 242
A son of Pharamond, killed in combat by Tristan. # 21 - 156
The calendar was marked on a long piece of thick wood in the earliest times, but was by the late medieval period also drawn on strips of paper in a form closely resembling that reproduced by Moses Cotsworth of Acomb.
# 730: It may be pointed out in passing that the twelve signs of the zodiac were not used for astrology in the Bronze Age (about 1200 BC). The Celts had designated thirty-six other constellations for this purpose, for their year was not divided into twelve months, but into thirty-six periods of approximately ten days each. Each of these periods was also associated with a specific type of tree. # 137 - 702 - 730
King of soissons, later King of all the Franks. J. Morris (# 484) claims that Cunomorus (see MARK) fell in a rebellion against him in AD 560. # 156 - 484
Shamrock. The national symbol of Ireland. CLURICAUNE CLURACAN
(kloor-a-cawn) One of the solitary fairies of Ireland. Thomas Crofton Croker has several stories of him as a kind of buttery spirit, feasting himself in the cellars of drunkards, or scaring dishonest servants who steal the wine. Sometimes he makes himself so objectionable that the owner decides to move, but the Cluricaune pops into a cask to move with him, as the boggart did in Lancashire. The Cluricaune described by Crofton Croker wore a red nightcap, a leather apron, pale-blue long stockings and silver-buckled, high-heeled shoes. Presumably his coat was red, for solitary fairies were generally supposed to be distinguished from trooping fairies by wearing red instead of green coats. # 100 - 165
Siege of Clusium, Romans play Celts false. Vengeance exacted by Celts. # 562
One of Arthur's warriors, father of Cynon in Welsh tradition. # 156
The cauldron of Clydno Eiddyn was one of the Thirteen Treasures of Britain. ># 104 - 156
Kirk, in his SECRET COMMONWEALTH, names a double, such as the Germans call a DOPPELGÄNGER, a 'Co-walker'. In the North it is called a Waff and is said to be a death token. Kirk, however, considers it to be one of the fairies, and says: They are clearly seen by these Men of the Second Sight to eat at Funeralls (and) Banquets; hence many of the Scottish-Irish will not teast Meat at these Meittings, lest they have Communion with, or be poysoned by, them. So are they seen to carrie the Beer or Coffin with the Corps among the middle-earth Men to the Grave. Some men of that exalted Sight (whither by Art or Nature) have told me they have seen at these Meittings a Doubleman, or the Shape of some Man in two places; that is, a superterranean and a subterranean Inhabitant, perfectly resembling one another in all Points, whom he notwithstanding could easily distinguish one from another, by some secret Tockens and Operations, and so go speak to the Man his Neighbour and Familiar, passing by the Apparition or Resemblance of him.
On the next page he continues:
They call this Reflex-man a Co-walker, every way like the Man, as a Twin-brother and Companion, haunting him as his shadow, as is oft seen and known among Men (resembling the Originall), both before and after the Originall is dead; and wes also often seen of old to enter a Hous, by which the People knew that the Person of that Liknes wes to Visite them within a few days. This Copy, Echo, or living Picture, goes att last to his own Herd. # 100 -370
A Northern war-god often associated by the Romans with Mars. He is depicted as a stylized Celtic warrior with spear and shield. # 454 - 563 - 709
# 161: In Celtic tradition the Cock has chthonic associations as a bird of the underworld. Sacred in early Britain, the cock had the chthonic aspect of the Gallo-Roman Mercury, was an attribute of the gods of the underworld and of the Celtic Mother Goddess; the cock was sacrificed on Bride's Day. # 454: The cock has ever been the bird of dawning whose call dispels the horrors of the night. Numerous folk-songs and stories attest to this understanding, and in many night-visiting songs where by a dead lover comes to his woman's bed by night, his ghost is dispelled by the cock crowing. # 161 - 454
According to a sixteenth-century manuscript, an ancestor of Arthur through his mother. Stuart-Knill also claims he was one of Arthur's ancestors. He was possibly a historical figure who flourished in the North Country in the early fifth century. Tradition gives him a wife named Stradwawl (road-well) and a daughter called Gwawl (wall), which tends to reinforce this. Gwawl may have been the wife of Cunedda. J. Morris suggests that he was the last Dux Brittaniarum. A great body of legend grew up about him. He was thought to have been the founder and ruler - king (Henry of Huntingdon), duke of Colchester (Geoffrey of Monmouth), - tradition pushing him back some centuries. His city, according to legend, was besieged by the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus (ruled AD 305-306) for three years, after which Constantine married Helena, Coel's daughter. Their son was Constantine the Great (born AD 265). A fourteenth-century manuscript says Coel became king of all Britain and died in AD 267. The adjective HEN (old) was applied to him. There can be little doubt he was the Old King Cole of nursery rhyme. # 156 - 484 - 648
Keeper of the collection of Celtic antiquities in the National Museum, Dublin. He explored and described the Tumulus of New Grange thoroughly, and the facts about it is recorded in: Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. XXX, pt. i. (1892), and 'NEW GRANGE' from 1912. # 562
The wife of Morgan, king of the Land of Wonders. She was the mother of Delbchaem, whom she kept guarded because of a prophecy that said on the marriage of her daughter, she herself would die. She kept the girl in a fortress palisaded with stakes upon each of which was the head of an unsuccessful suitor. She fought Art but was beheaded by him. This story corresponds to Gereint's adventure in Joy of the Court episode. # 188 - 454 - 548
This was Camulodunum in Roman times. See: CAMELOT. # 156
A Cornish example of the Captured Fairies, this is the name of a little Pisky boy who was adopted by a human. It is given by Hunt in POPULAR ROMANCES OF THE WEST OF ENGLAND, from T. Quiller Couch in NOTES AND QUERIES: 'There is a farmhouse of some antiquity with which my family have a close connection; and it is this circumstance, more than any other, that has rendered this tradition concerning it more interesting to us, and better remembered than many other equally romantic and authentic. Close to this house, one day, a little miserable-looking bantling was discovered alone, unknown, and incapable of making its wants understood. It was instantly remembered by the finder, that this was the way in which the piskies were accustomed to deal with those infants of their race for whom they sought human protection; and it would have been an awful circumstance if such a one were not received by the individual so visited. The anger of the piskies would be certain, and some direful calamity must be the result; whereas, a kind of welcome would probably be attended with great good fortune. The miserable plight of this stranger therefore attracted attention and sympathy. The little unconscious one was admitted as of the family. Its health was speedily restored, and its renewed strength, activity, intelligence and good-humour caused it to become a general favourite. It is true the stranger was often found to indulge in odd freaks; but this was accounted for by a recollection of its pedigree, which was not doubted to be of the piskie order. So the family prospered, and had banished the thought that the foundling would ever leave them. There was to the front door of this house a hatch, meaning a half-door that is kept closed when the whole door behind it is open, and which then serves as a guard against the intrusion of dogs, hogs, and ducks, while air and light are freely admitted. This little being was one day leaning over the top of this hatch, looking wistfully outward, when a clear voice was heard to proceed from a neighbouring part of the townplace, calling, 'Coleman Gray, Coleman Gray!' The piskie immediately started up, and with a sudden laugh, clapped its hands, exclaiming, 'Aha! my daddy is come!' It was gone in a moment, never to be seen again. # 100 - 331
# 156: A Knight of the Round Table who hailed from Gore. There are different accounts of his death. In one version he was killed by Lionel, but in another he was one of those who surprised Lancelot and Guinevere together and was slain by the escaping Lancelot. # 454: Before becoming a Knight of the Round Table he first encountered the Adventure of the magic fountain in Broceliande. When water was poured from a basin over an emerald stone at its brim, a black knight appeared with a challenge. Colgrevance was defeated, though he managed to escape and it was his story which awakened the interest of Owain, who was successful and himself became guardian of the fountain for a time. # 156 - 418 - 454
According to Geoffrey, he became leader of the Saxons when Uther died. Arthur defeated him at the River Douglas, so he fled to York where he was besieged by Arthur. His brother Baldulf joined him there. Reinforced by Cheldric, who brought Saxons with him from overseas, they fought Arthur unsuccessfully at Lincoln and Caledon Wood. They left for Germany but came back and landed in Britain again. They were defeated by Arthur at Bath (Badon) where Colgrin fell. # 156 - 243
(kothlen) Saint Collen was a Welsh saint of the seventh century. Like many of the Celtic saints, he was of a pugnacious and restless disposition, and during his career he spent some time in Somerset. It was here that he encountered the fairy king. S. Baring-Gould, in his LIVES OF THE SAINTS, summarizes his story from a Welsh Life of Saint Collen, not translated into English at the time when Baring-Gould was writing. This accounts for the confusing statement that the king of the fairies on Glastonbury Tor was called Gwyn ap Nudd and his dominion was over Annwn. # 54 - 100
COLLOQUY OF THE ANCIENTS
A collection of tales mentioning St Patrick and Cascorach. The interest of 'Colloquy' lies in the tales of Keelta. Of the tales there are about a hundred, telling of Fian raids and battles, but the great number of them have to do with the intercourse between the Fairy Folk and the Fianna. With these folk the Fianna have constant relations, both of love and war. One of the best is that of the fairy Brugh, or mansion of Slievenamon, which Keelta tells a story of. # 562
COLLOQUY OF THE OLD MEN, THE
Chief among the earlier tales dealing with Finn and his companions is the famous COLLOQUY OF THE OLD MEN. This long and elaborate piece, composed not far from AD 1200, is a framework story in which are embedded a large number of heroic tales and place-name legends.
At the beginning of the narrative Oisin (Ossian) son of Finn, and Cailte son of Crunnchu mac Ronain, accompanied by a small band, are represented as the only survivors of Finn mac Cumaill's great fian. A century and a half have elapsed since the death of Finn and the battles in which the fian met with destruction. After visiting Finn's old nurse, Oisin and Cailte separate, one going north to seek Oisin's mother, who is one of the Tuatha De Danann; the other moving south toward Tara. On the way Cailte and his companions meet with St Patrick and accept Christianity. St Patrick's interest in the traditions of Ireland elicits from Cailte many stories of the pagan heroic age. On arriving at Tara, Cailte and St Patrick find Oisin installed in the court of King Diarmuid mac Cerbaill. There the ancient heroes entertain the guests with tales of pagan Ireland. Whether the piece as a whole emanates from ecclesiastical or secular sources, it is both surprising and pleasant to find at such an early period a representation of friendly and sympathetic relations between pagan and Christian. # 166 - 562
The lover of Lanceor, the son of the King of Ireland. When Lanceor was slain by Balin, she killed herself. # 156 - 418
Colour was important in Celtic representations of the underworld, and the White Bull was the chief sacrifice of the Druids at the cutting of the mistletoe. White doves are an almost universal symbol of peace and are particularly associated with the Mother Goddesses and Queens of Heaven and were sacrificed to them; they were emblems of feminity and maternity. # 161
COLOUR OF FAIRY CLOTHES
See: DRESS AND APPEARANCE OF THE FAIRIES.
# 562: Symbol of the feet and St Columba in rockcarvings in Ireland.
# 454: (c.521-97) He was born in Donegal of the royal Ui Neill line and was trained as a monk under Saint Finnian of Moville. He borrowed a copy of Jerome's new translations of the Psalms from the Magh Bile monastery in order to copy it. The original owners judged that the copy should remain with them since 'every cow has its calf'. The resulting battle at Coodrebhne saw Columba as an opponent in arms, rather than in Christian temperance, and he sent himself into exile from Ireland, in remorse. He converted many of the Irish settlers in Scotland, as well as King Brude of the Picts. He founded his monastery on Iona which became in time the burial place and assembly of Scottish kings. Many monastic settlements sprang from the influence of Iona. Columba, although he swore never to see Ireland again, returned to champion the social obligations of the Irish in Scotland to the Irish High Kings. He also arbitrated between the Church and the bards, whose position was seriously endangered: Irish poets had become feared and hated due to their practice of satirizing ungenerous patrons (considered in its magical light, since satires could cause physical effects) and because of their extortionate retainers. Columba was himself a poet and his arbitration ensured that Irish poets should be allowed to exercise their ancient function. He is remembered on 9 June. # 454 - 562
Celtic cult animals have horns, symbols of supernatural power or divinity, and are depicted as birds, horses, and serpents. Among northern nomadic people several heads may be portrayed as a single body. # 161
'Lay of Oisin in the Land of Youth,' by Michael Comyn, was composed about 1750 and ended the long history of Gaelic literature. It has been estimated that if all the tales and poems of the Ossianic Cycle which still remain could be printed they would fill some twenty-five volumes of about 500 pages each. Moreover, it could have been recovered from the lips of what have been called an 'illiterate' peasantry in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Ireland and the Highlands. # 562
# 166: (con'á re mor') King of Ireland near the beginning of the Christian era, grandson of Etain and Cormac, king of Ulster and son of Mess Buachalla. Sometimes referred to as son of Eterscel, king of Ireland, who was the husband of his mother.
# 454: He was proclaimed King of Tara after he had been prophesied by a druid. He was given a great many geasa (prohibitions) by his otherworldly father such as not sleeping in a house from which firelight could be seen after sunset. His foster brothers, jealous of his success, conspired to bring him to Da Derga's hostel, where Conaire was compelled to break each of his geasa. He was there attacked and betrayed and although his champion, Mac Cecht fought valiantly to defend him, he died. Only Conall Cernach escaped.
# 562: Conaire Mor was in possesion of the singing sword. He descended from Etain Oig, daughter of Etain. His mother was Mess Buachalla, and his foster-father was Desa. His foster-brothers were Ferlee, Fergar, and Ferrogan. Nemglan commands him go to Tara, where he is proclaimed King of Erin. Nemglan declares his geise, and Conaire is lured into breaking his geise. The three Reds and Conaire at Da Derga's Hostel, where they are visited by the Morrigan. # 166 - 188 - 454 - 562
CONAIRE MOR, THE BIRTH OF
According to the REVUE CELTIQUE there are a number of conflicting traditions about the parentage of Mes Buachella and her son Conaire Mor, King of Ireland. 'The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel' has that she was the daughter of Cormac mac Art and his wife Etain. Etain had proved barren until she conceived this daughter after being given a pottage by her mother, a woman from the sid-mounds. Cormach married again and ordered his daughter to be abandoned in a pit. Two servants were entrusted with the task, but they lost heart when the child laughed as they were putting her in the pit and they left her instead in the calf-shed of the cowherds of Eterscel, great-grandson of Iar, King of Tara. The cowherds reared her and she was named Mes Buachalla, 'the cowherd's foster-child'. According to other sources Mes Buachalla was the daughter of Ess, who conceived her either through incest with her father, Eochaid Airem, King of Tara, or through intercourse with the sid-folk of Bri Leith. Eochaid ordered the destruction of the child, but she was left in a kennel, with a bitch and her whelps, at the house of a herdsman. We now revert to 'The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel'. The cowherds kept the girl concealed in a house of wicker-work which had only a roof-opening, but King Eterscel's folk discovered her and told him of their find. It had been prophesied that a woman of unknown race would bear Eterscel a child, so he sent people to break into the wicker house and bring her to him. Before this was done, a bird came through the skylight and told the girl what was being planned. He shed his bird-plumage on the floor and she gave her love to him. He told her that she would have by him a son, whose name would be Conaire, and that he should not kill birds. She was then betrothed to Eterscel. Others say, however, that Eterscel was Mes Buachalla's father. # 548
(con'al ân'glôn ah) Son of Iriel Glunma; one of the twelve great chariot fighters of Ulster. # 166
CONALL CERNACH, THE BIRTH OF
Conall Cernach's mother was Findchoem, daughter of Cathbad and wife of Amairgen. She suffered from 'hesitation of offspring', and when a druid told her that she should bear a noble son if she paid him a good fee, she accompanied him to a well over which he sang spells and prophecies. He then told her to wash in the water, and 'you will bring forth a son, and no child will be less pious than he to his mother's kin, that is to the Connachtmen'. Findchoem then drank a draught from the well and swallowed a worm. That worm was in the boy's hand in his mother's womb and it pierced the hand and consumed it. Druids baptized the child into heathenism, prophesying as they did so the havoc he would eventually wreak upon the men of Connacht. Cet, the mother's brother, who, although he knew of the prophecies, had protected his sister until her delivery, now drew the child towards him and put it under his heel and bruised its neck. Thereupon the mother exclaimed: 'Wolfish (conda) is the treachery (fell) you work, O Brother.' 'True,' said Cet, 'let Conall (Con-feall) be his name henceforward.' Whence he was called wry-necked Conall. See also: CONALL OF THE VICTORIES. ># 548-642
CONALL OF THE VICTORIES - CONALL CERNACH
# 166:(con'al cârn'ah) # 562: Member of Conary's retinue at Red Hostel. Amorgin, his father, found by him at Teltin. Shrinks from test (re) the Championship of Ireland. - Under the Debility curse. Avenges CuChulain's death by slaying Lewy. - His 'brain ball' causes death of Conor mac Nessa. - Conall slays Ket.
# 454: Conall the Victorious preceded CuChulain as the great hero of the Red Branch Warriors in Ulster. He was the only survivor of the destruction of Da Derga's hostel, where Conaire (Conary) was killed. With Loegaire, he appears as CuChulain's rival in the story of Bricriu's Feast where the three heroes contended for the hero's portion of the feast and were challenged by Cu Roi mac Daire to the beheading game. # 166 - 454 - 562
Conan Meriadoc became the first ruler of Brittany, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth (# 243). Gallet claims that he is one of Arthur's ancestors. ># 55 - 156 - 243
CONAN MAC LIA
Son of Lia, lord of Luachar; Finn makes a covenant with Conan mac Lia.# 562
One of the Fianna. Like Bricriu of the Red Branch Knights and Kay (Cai) of the Round Table Knights, Conan was the thorn in the side of his fellows, yet he performed many reckless deeds in their honour. He mounted the horse of the Giolla Deacair, and went to Tir na Tairngire until he was rescued by Fionn. # 267 - 454 - 467 - 504
Fomorian king. # 562
(kon AR ee)
CONCHOBAR MAC NESSA
(con ho'var or con'th har) Conor mac Nessa. Son of Nessa and Cathbad. He was born on the same day as Christ. Nessa won for him the right to be King of Ulster from Fergus mac Roigh. He was uncle of CuChulain. He wished to marry his ward, Deirdriu, but when she fled with Naoisi and his brothers to Alba he gave chase. Although he promised to forgive them, he killed Deirdriu's abductors and slept with her. A sling-shot was lodged in his brain which surgeons could not remove lest he die. On hearing of the crucifixion of Christ he over-exerted himself trying to avenge him, the sling-shot then fell out of his head and he died. See also: CONOR MAC NESSA. # 166 - 188 - 352 - 454
CONCHOBAR, THE BIRTH OF
If we attempt to arrange the material of the Ulster cycle in its traditional order, we come first upon a group of narratives dealing with the births of several of the leading personages. There are certain facts in the life of every hero that the folk feel they are entitled to know. Among these are his birth, his marriage, and his death. Birth stories, though naturally coming first in traditional chronology, are usually later in date of composition than stories dealing with the hero's mature achievements. 'The Birth of Conchobar' exist in two versions, of which at least one was composed as early as the eighth century. According to the oldest account, Conchobar, who figures as king of Ulster in the most ancient Irish tales, was the son of Nessa, princess of Ulster, by Cathbad, the official druid of the Ulster court. Both in the sagas and in the annals Conchobar is represented as having been born on the same day as Christ and as having died upon receiving the news of his crucifixion. Through the strategem of his mother he displaced Fergus mac Roig, the rightful king of Ulster, and reigned in his stead. Though he appears at times cruel and unscrupulous, he is generally represented as a brave warrior and a just ruler. # 166
# 156: In Wolfram, the wife of Perceval and Queen of Brobarz. # 562: A maiden wedded by Parzival. # 156 - 562 - 748
CONGANCHAS MAC DAIRE
The brother of Cu Roi. He was one of three plagues which Celtchair was obligated to overcome, for Conganchas ravaged the land and was invulnerable to ordinary weapons. Celtchair made his daughter, Niamh, marry this man so that she might discover how to overcome him. She learned that he was vulnerable in the soles of his feet and calves of his legs, into which sharp spears could be stuck, and so Celtchair killed him. This tale is clearly related to the British Grail story of Peredur. # 208 - 454
CONN CET CATHACH
Conn of the Hundred Battles. King of Ireland beginning AD 177, son of Rechtmar, husband of Becuma. He agreed to the banishment of Art, his son by a former marriage. The year of his union with Becuma caused Ireland to become a wasteland , without corn or milk. His druids said that the land could only be healed through the bloodshed of a boy of sinless parents. He went on a quest for such a boy, leaving the kingdom to Art in his absence. Conn travelled to the Otherworld, and begged that the beautiful youth called Segda Saerlabraid be allowed to come to Ireland and be bathed in waters which would heal the land.
Segda realized what was intended but he was willing to die. Just then a lowing cow and a wailing woman appeared (see RIGRU ROISCLETHAN). She asked the druids what was in the bags on the cow's back. They could not tell her. She judged that the cow should be killed in place of the youth and that the bags be opened. They revealed a bird with one leg and a bird with twelve legs. The birds contended, and the woman revealed that the druids were the twelvelegged one who lost the combat, and Segda was the one-legged one. She then called on Conn to execute his druids for false judgement and to put away Becuma. Conn also discovered, by accident, the Stone of Fal (See HALLOWS) which screamed under the feet of a rightful king, the same number of times as he would have reigning heirs. When the druid would not tell him who they would be, Conn had a vision of Sovereignty with her cup of gold and Lugh who told him the number of kings to succeed him. Some scholars disagree about Conn's reigning years. Tom Peete Cross and Clark Harris Slover have him start his reign in the first half of the second century after Christ, while Rolleston and others argues that he died AD 157. # 166 - 188 - 352 - 438 - 454 - 548
CONN MAC LIR
One of the children of Lir, son of Aobh. His stepmother turned him into a swan. See: CHILDREN OF LIR. # 562
Ethal Anubal, prince of the Danaans of Connacht. - Ailell and Maev, mortal King and Queen of Connacht, Angus Og seeks their help in efforts to win Caer. - Origin of the name of the province, Leinster is traditionally derived from the invasions of the Gauls armed with spear-heads called Laighne, and as they were allotted lands in Leinster, the province was called in Irish Laighin after them - the Province of Spearmen. - CuChulain makes a foray upon Connacht, and descends upon host of the province under Maev. Ket a champion. Queen Maev reigned in Connacht for eighty-eight years. Connacht was 'the land of the children of Conn' he who was called Conn of the Hundred Battles, and who died AD 157. See: CONN CET-CATHACH. # 562
Son of CuChulain and Aifa. - Before CuChulain left the Land of Shadows he gave Aifa a golden ring, saying that if she should bear him a son he was to be sent to seek his father in Erin so soon as he should have grown so that his finger would fit the ring. And CuChulain said, 'Charge him under Geise that he shall not make himself known, that he never turn out of the way for any man, nor ever refuse a combat. And be his name called Connla.' Aifa sends him to Erin. When he landed in Ireland he met and was challenged by CuChulain. Although he knew his father and could have killed him easely, Connla missed the mortal blow and was killed by his father. CuChulain then saw the ring and realized whom he had slain. # 266 - 454 - 562
CONNLA THE FAIR, THE ADVENTURES OF
This story is one of the most ancient in Cross' and Slover's ANCIENT IRISH TALES, dating probably from the eighth century. Its directness and restraint are in distinct contrast to the more florid narrative method of THE DEATH OF FINN and THE SECOND BATTLE OF MOYTURA. The observant reader is in no danger of mistaking the economy and terseness of this story for barrenness of imagination. The struggle of the father for possession of his son is told in almost as few words as Goethe's famous 'Erl-King,' and although artistic comparison between the old Irish tale and the great modern ballad would be unprofitable, we cannot fail to recognize a strong emotional kinship between them. It will be noted that the story is thrown into the form of the 'Dinnsenchas'. Of course this is only a mechanical trick. The widespread theme of the mortal who follows a supernatural woman to Fairyland is here artificially linked to the explanation of the name. Having the prediction of St Patrick come from the lips of one of the pagan fairy folk is an engaging touch. Conn the Hundred-Fighter, the father of Art and Connla, was one of the earliest high-kings of Ireland. According to the annals he flourished during the first half of the second century after Christ. # 166
Equivalent, Well of Knowledge. Sinend's fatal visit to Connla's Well. # 562
CONNLA, THE TRAGIC DEATH OF
Connla is the son whom, according to THE WOOING OF EMER, the warlike Aife was destined to bear to CuChulain. The story of how the boy followed CuChulain to Ireland and was there slain by his own father reminds us of the famous epic tale of Sohrab and Rustem, best known to English readers through Matthew Arnold's poem of that name. The story of Connla probably existed in tradition before it was first recorded in the eighth century, and it is one of the few tales of the Ulster cycle that has maintained its popularity among the folk in more recent times. Numerous versions of a ballad on the death of Connla have been taken down from popular recitation during the last century. The title is sometimes given as 'The Tragic Death of the Only Son of Aife (Oenfer Aife)'. Tom Peete Cross and Clark Harris Slover have the tale in their ANCIENT IRISH TALES. # 166
CONOR MAC NESSA
Son of Fachtna and Nessa; proclaimed King of Ulster in preference to Fergus. CuChulain brought up at court of Conor mac Nessa. Grants arms of manhood to CuChulain. While at a feast on Strand of the Footprints he describes Connla. His ruse to put CuChulain under restraint. - His guards seize Naisi and Deirdre. Suffers pangs of the Debility curse. The curse lifted, and he summons Ulster to arms. Christian ideas have gathered about end of Conor. His death caused by Conall's 'brain ball'. He figures in tale entitled THE CARVING OF MAC DATHO'S BOAR; he sends to mac Datho for his hound. See also: CONCHOBAR MAC NESSA. # 562
A bishop who unsuccessfully charged Merlin with heresy. # 156 - 238
The wife of King Ban and mother of Lancelot in Italian romance. # 156 - 238
In Geoffrey of Monmouth, he was the son of King Constantine of Britain and brother of Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther. This makes him Arthur's uncle. When Constantine died, Vortigern persuaded Constans to become king. He had first to leave the monastery in which he had immured himself. He was only a puppet king and eventually Vortigern brought about his assassination by Picts. In French romance he is called Moine but this word merely signifies a monk. See: IVOINE. # 156
# 156: 1. Arthur's grandfather. The brother of Aldroenus, King of Brittany, he was made King of Britain and had three sons, Constans, Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther. He was stabbed to death by a Pict. In Welsh genealogies Constantine is given a father called Kynnvor while, according to Gallet, his father was King Solomon of Brittany. It has been suggested that the original of Constantine was the Roman emperor Constantine III (ruled AD 407-11). He was an ordinary soldier who was made emperor by the Roman troops in Britain, despite the fact that there was a Roman Emperor of the West, called Honorius, ruling at the time. Constantine landed in Gaul and established himself at Arles, his son Constans leaving a monastery to join him, just as, according to Geoffrey 'Constans, son of Constantine, left his monastery to become King of Britain' (See CONSTANS). One of Constantine's subordinates, Gerontius, then rebelled and threw off Constantine's rule. Gerontius defeated and killed Constans. Constantine, however, like Maximus, was led on to intervene unsuccessfully and fatally in Italy itself, and he was compelled to surrender with another of his sons to the forces of Honorius, and both suffered execution in the summer of AD 411. If Arthur indeed died in AD 542, this Constantine lived too early to be the grandfather of the historical Arthur; but, if he lived earlier, the relationship is not impossible. - 2. Historically, a sixth-century King of Dumnonia. In Arthurian romance, he was Arthur's cousin, son of Cador of Cornwall who succeeded him as King of Britain. The sons of Mordred rebelled against him, but Constantine defeated them. He killed them separately, each before an altar where he was seeking santuary. See: ALDROENUS. # 562: Arthur confers his kingdom on Constantine. # 156 - 232 - 243 - 562
Formerly called Byzantium, this city was renamed after Constantine the Great. At the time when the Roman Empire was divided into two, Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern or Byzantine Empire. Emperors who ruled there in the traditional Arthurian period were Honorius (AD 395-423), Marcian (AD 450-57), Leo I (AD 457-74), Leo II (AD 474), Zeno (AD 474-75 and again 476- 91), Basilicus (AD 475-76), Anastasius I (AD 491-518), Justus I (AD 518-27) and Justinian I (AD 527-67). Geoffrey says that the Byzantine emperor contemporary with Arthur was Leo, and G. Ashe identifies him with Leo I. In CLIGÉS, the imperial family of Constantinople is showing its kinship with Lot of Lothian. In PEREDUR (see MABINOGION) the Empress of Constantinople was the paramour of Peredur (Perceval) with whom she was said to have dwelt for fourteen years. She had previously aided him by giving him a stone which rendered him invisible to the afanc. In FLORIANT ET FLORETE the Emperor is Filimenis. # 156 - 237 - 272 - 346
CONTE DEL GRAAL
A demoniac race called Coranians, harass land of Britain. # 562
The castle of the Grail Kings. The name possibly derives from the words 'Corps Benit' (Blessed Body), and has been seen as one of the riddles of the Grail. # 454 - 461
Son of Renoart and Morgan (consequently Arthur's nephew) in BATAILLE LOQUIFER (an obscure medieval romance which also contains a few Arthurian references). # 156
He was born Conall mac Luigthig and was fostered by a witch, Fedelm. During a ritual, his ear became magically singed and so he was called Corc or red. He was fostered by Crimthann, his cousin, who sent Corc to the King of the Picts with a secret ogham message on his shield, implying that the King kill the bearer. However, a scolar, whom Corc had rescued from slavery, altered the characters so that they bore a favourable meaning. Corc was welcomed and married the Pictish king's daughter. He returned home after his cousin's death and founded a dynasty of his own at Femhen. Shortly afterwards he discovered the site of his descendant's royal fortress, Cashel. Beleaguered in a snowstorm, he beheld a vision of a yew-bush growing over a stone and angels going up and down before it. His druids told him that whoever kindled a fire on that stone should be king of Munster forever. So Corc founded the dynasty of the Munster Eoghanacht or People of the Yew. See also: CRIMTHANN. # 454
Landing of Ith and his ninety warriors at Corcadyna in Ireland. # 562
Youngest daughter of King Lear. She refused to flatter her father and was wed to Aganipus, King of the Franks, without a dowry. She later received her father when he had been beggared and outcast by her elder sisters Goneril and Regan. She became Queen of Britain after his death. In earliest Celtic legend she is Creuddylad, daughter of Llyr. Her sisters' husbands captured her and she committed suicide in prison. Her story is similar to the folk-heroine, Cap-O-Rushes. Shakespeare reworked the legend in KING LEAR. # 243 - 454
He accompanied Brutus as leader of the second group of Trojans. He was given Cornwall as his province and wrestled with the giant GogMagog. # 243 - 454
(côr'moc ul'fa da) 1. Cormac Ulfada, son of Art, grandson of Conn CetCathach. High King of Ireland; King Cormac was supposed to have heard of Christian faith long before it was preached in Ireland by St Patrick ordered that he should not be buried at the royal cemetery by the Boyne, on account of its pagan associations. Finn and Cormac feasted at Rath Grania; See also: CORMAC MAC ART. 2. Son of Lactighe. King of Ulster, 48 BC; grandfather of Conaire Mor; marries Etain Oig; puts her away owing to her barrenness; 3. Cormac Connlonges (con'lung yes) Son of (Conchobar) Conor mac Nessa who went into voluntary exile in Connacht after the killing of the sons of Usnech, for whom he was one of the sureties; rallies to Maev's foray against Ulster. See also: CORMAC COND LONGES. # 166 - 562
CORMAC COND LONGES
The son of Conchobar mac Nessa. He was exiled because his championship of Fergus mac Roigh at the treachery of Conchobar's slaying of the sons of Usna. As Conchobar lay dying, he asked his son to return and become king. Despite a prophecy warning of the possible outcome, Cormac went. During his stay at a hostel, Craiftine played his harp so soothingly that Cormac slept and was overpowered by soldiers. # 208 - 454
CORMAC MAC ART
Son of Art and grandson of Conn Cet Chathach. He was stolen by a shewolf and raised as one of her cubs. He was recognized as Art's son because of his perceptive judgements in a case of litigation. He restored Tara to its former greatness. He visited Tir Tairngire where he was given the silver branch of Manannan. While there he encountered the cup of truth. If three falsehoods were said over it it broke, but if three truths were said over it it reunited. He was the father of Grainne, wife of Finn mac Cumhail, whom he appointed chief of his warband or Fianna. He died choking on a salmon-bone. He is credited with being an early Christian, refusing burial at the usual cemetery of Bruig na Boinne (the river Boyne), but being buried upright with his face to the East. His great wisdom caused him to be called the Irish Solomon. # 166 - 188 - 454
CORMAC MAC ART, THE BIRTH OF
Many strange births appear in the Cycles of the Kings. According to O' Grady's SILVA GADELICA, this is how Cormac mac Art was born. Before the battle against Lugaid Mac Con, in which he was slain, Art son of Conn of the Hundred Victories spent the night as guest of a smith named Olc Acha. It had been prophesied that a great honour would derive from the smith and he asked Art to lie with his daughter Étain that night. This he did and Cormac was conceived. Before departing to the battle in which he knew he would die, Art instructed Étain to take the child to be fostered by his friend Lugna in Connacht. When her time drew near Étain set out for Lugna's house so that the child might be born there, but as soon as she arrived in that country her pain took her and she gave birth to her son on a bed of brushwood collected by her maid. Thunder boomed, and Lugna on hearing it exclaimed: 'Noise - thunder - birth of king', and realizing that it was Cormac that was born he set forth to seek him. Meanwhile, Étain went to sleep, leaving the child in the care of her maid. But the maid also fell asleep and a she-wolf came and carried the child away and thereafter brought him up with her whelps in a cave. Lugna found the distraught mother, took her home, and offered a reward for a clue to the infant's whereabouts. One day a man named Grec chanced upon the cave, and in front of it he saw a child on all fours amidst gambolling wolf-cubs. The child, together with the cubs, was brought to Lugna's house and Lugna hailed him as Conn's victorious representative. He named him Cormac, which was in accordance with Art's instructions. # 504 - 548
CORMAC'S ADVENTURES IN THE LAND OF PROMISE
King Cormac, the hero of the narrative with the title 'Cormac's adventures in the Land of Promise,' which is brought in Cross' and Slover's ANCIENT IRISH TALES, was the son of Art. The piece is not a single unified story; it is a collection of narratives based on an ancient account of various legal ordeals, and later expanded into a story of a visit to the fairy world. Here, as in other stories from the same selection, we see illustrated the strong tendency toward moralizing and social criticism exhibited by Irish literature of the middle period. These stories, of course, are not told entirely for the purpose of expounding the legal or social ideas to which they refer; they merely capitalize upon an already established interest and follow the usual Irish literary habit of furnishing a narrative to explain every well-known fact. # 166
The realm of King Mark. Actually, in Arthurian times, part of the kingdom of Dumnonia, though it is not impossible that someone called Mark ruled territory within this kingdom. # 156
Now at Westminster Abbey, is the famous Stone of Scone; The LIA FAIL and Coronation Stone. # 562
Poet at court of King Bres. # 562
The Cymric Cosmogony. God and Cythrawl, standing for life and destruction in Cymric cosmogony. See also: BARDDAS. # 562
(1859-1943) Advocate of calendar reform; originator and director of International Fixed Calendar League. He lived in the village of Acomb in Northumberland. His work was instrumental in forming many of the notions connected with the modern view of stone circles and related lore. Cotsworth's main interest was calendrical form, attempting to persuade people to move from the complex modern calendrical system of 12 months per year to one of 13 months of 28 days each, plus the last day of June in each year as the yearday. (He was appointed expert to League of Nations committee on calendar reform (1922-31). In the course of researching the background to these reforms in such places as Egypt and the Middle East, he began to conceive of the hidden purpose of the stone circles and standing stones as calendrical markers and regulators of a particular kind, and almost incidentally offered some useful insights into the design of the mysterious 'Clog Calendar', which was widely used in ancient times for measuring the passage of the days and relating these to the festivals. Many of Cotsworth's notions are widely accepted today, but when he first published his findings, in his remarkable book THE RATIONAL ALMANAC, he was laughed to scorn. Among his more interesting proposals was the recognition that the degree of 360 divisions of a circle was derived from the lunarwidth measurement of a sunrise/sunset arc at the latitude of the pyramids. He took the moon's vertical diameter of 31', and divided this into the tropical arc (the variation between solstice points) of 46 minutes and 54 seconds to obtain 90 links or lunar (31') repetitions, which he proposed was the earliest method of measuring sky curves and angles and from which eventually developed the notion of there being 4 x 90' divisions in the entire circle of the sky. He showed that the central tower of the Minster at York was orientated in such a way as to reflect the sunrise/sunset on the longest and shortest days thus, for example, the shortest day sunrise (December 22nd) is on the SE corner of the tower, while the sunset is on the SW corner. He developed notions of Silbury Hill as a sighting point for calendrical measurements, and saw the construction of this extraordinary mound as being done for much the same purposes as the pyramids. For more on Cotsworth, see also: CLOG CALENDAR and STONEHENGE. # 702
An early king of Northgalis who fell fighting against the Christians as described in the ESTOIRE. # 156
The sword of King Ban. # 156
A river-goddess whose cult was centred upon the temple at Carrawburgh, Northumberland. A relief depicts the triple goddess, each aspect holding up a jar of water in one hand and pouring out water with the other. Local springs were held in reverence as natural foci of divine energy.# 264 - 454
# 454: So central to the economy of Britain and Ireland was the cow in early times that it was considered a unit of currency. In Ireland, for instance, a slave-woman was worth three cows. Lords were called 'bo-aire' or cow-lord. Until the last two hundred years, drovers' roads were the main routes across country and , anciently, the two halves of the Celtic year were determined by the movement of cattle: Beltaine marking their coming into summer pasture and Samhain being the time when winter-slaughter of cattle was undertaken, to lay down stocks of meat against the long cold time and to conserve the strength of the herd. The cow was considered to be under the special protection of Saint Brigit, who was invoked to keep the beasts in good health and to promote their milk-yield and fertility. The bleached hide of cows made the vellum upon which the very stories in this present book were originally recorded by clerics. The cow is also under the protection of Saint Colomba who would, however, not allow any on Iona because 'where a cow is, there a woman is also, and where a woman is, trouble follows.'
# 161: The cow appears frequently in Celtic mythology as a provider of nourishment for entire communities, like the magic cows of Manannan, one speckled, one dun, with twisted horns, who were always in milk. The chthonic cow is depicted as red with white ears, and there are otherworld cows which emerge from under the waters of a lake and numerous cows connected with otherworld beings, with magic and supernatural powers. The WELSH TRIADS refer to sacred otherworld cows and to the Three Prominent Cows of the Island of Britain. # 161 - 225 - 454
# 156: A king of Northgalis, one of those who rebelled against Arthur at the outset of his reign. # 454: King of Norgalles (North Wales) in Arthur's time, he was one of the rebel kings whom Arthur defeated at the beginning of his reign. As the grandson of King Ryons, it is perhaps not surprising that he is an unpleasant character. # 156 - 454
(crav' roo'a) See: RED BRANCH.
# 562: King Scoriath's harper; sings Moriath's lovelay before Maon; discovers Maon's secret deformity. # 454: He was harper to Labraid Longseach. He gained his harp due to a peculiarity of his master's, for Labraid had horse-ears. This blemish was kept secret from everyone lest Labraid be deposed, but his barber knew and he was sworn to secrecy. However, he could not restrain himself from telling a tree. This was cut down and made into a harp for Craiftine but when it was played, it revealed the truth about the King. Craiftine also harped the parents of Moriath to sleep so that Labraid could love her. Cormac Cond Longes slept with Craiftine's wife, to revenge which, Craiftine was a party to Comac's death, again by lulling him asleep. 08 - 454 - 562
A rock in Wales which featured in a story told by Iolo Morgannwg. Iolo Morgannwg was the bardic name of Edward Williams (1747-1826). He collected a great deal of early Welsh lore but, as a bard, felt he could augment it. Consequently he is not regarded as a reliable source. In Iolo's story a Welshman, led by a magician, found Arthur and warriors sleeping in a cave there, guarding treasure. A similar tale, narrated by J. Rhys, has a Monmouthshire farmer as its protagonist. For tales of a similar nature set in England, see ALDERLEY EDGE, and THOMPSON. A cave called O'gor Dinas near to Llandebie was also thought to house the sleeping Arthur. # 156 - 554
These were often the penalty for annoying the fairies. Scolding and ill-temper were specially punished in this way. See also: BLIGHTS AND ILLNESSES ATTRIBUTED TO FAIRIES. # 100
# 161: Celtic mythology has both solar and underworld symbolism for the crane. It is associated with the solar deities, especially in their healing aspect; it is also depicted with weapons and battle objects. It is a supernatural creature and appears riding on the bags of human-headed horses and in connection with magic cauldrons. On an ancient altar in France three cranes are depicted standing on the back of a bull. But the crane is also a form of Pwyll, King of the Underworld, and as such a herald of death. A completely contrary symbolism obtains in Gallic lore where the crane is a bad omen, depicting meanness, parsimony and evil women. It is an attribute of the Gaulish Mercury and Mars, and as such is connected with war and death. # 454: The crane is no longer native to Britain, but there is a strong Celtic tradition that cranes are people transmogrified into bird-shape, possibly for a penance. Saint Columba turned a queen and his handmaid into cranes as a punishment. One of the wonders of Ireland was supposed to be a crane which lived on the island of InisKea, Co. Mayo; it has been there since the beginning of the world and will live there until the day of judgement. The imperturbable patience of the crane was associated with the Cailleach, and was a secret, magical bird. Its skin went to make Manannan's Cranebag. # 161 - 225 - 454 - 563
This receptacle for the ancient Hallows of Ireland was owned by Manannan mac Lir. It was formed from the skin of Aoife, Manannan's son's mistress, who had been changed into a crane because of her jealous behaviour. In it were kept Manannan's house, shirt, knife, the belt and smith's hook of Goibniu, the shears of the King of Alba, the helmet of the King of Lochlann, the belt of fish-skin, and the bones of Asal's pig which the son of Tuirenn had been sent to fetch by Lugh. The treasures were only visible at high-tide, at the ebbtide they would vanish. The bag was passed from Manannan to Lugh, then to Cumhal and finally to Fionn. The contents of the crane's bag correspond to the Hallows of Annwn and to the treasures guarded by Twrch Trwyth. # 267 - 454
# 562: The artificer of the Danaans. # 454: He helped forge the weapons for the Tuatha de Danaan. He was a worker in bronze. He assisted Diancecht in making Nuadu's silver hand and arm. # 166 - 454 - 562
# 156: A maiden over whom Gwyn, son of Nudd, and his followers fought the followers of Gwythr, the son of Greidawl, at each May Kalends (or May Day) and were fated to do so until Doomsday. The episode is taken from Celtic mythology and the protagonists were probably originally divine figures. # 562: Daughter of Lludd; combat for possession of her every May-day, between Gwythur ap Greidawl and Gwyn ap Nudd. # 454: She eloped with Gwythyr ap Greidawl, but was abducted by Gwynn ap Nudd before he could sleep with her. Arthur judged that neither man should have her and that each should fight for her every May Day until Judgement Day: whoever won on that occasion would be the winner. This ancient motif recalls the mystery drama of the Winter and Summer combat for the hand of the Flower Maiden, or Spring. This theme is also preserved within the story of Tristan, Isolt and King Mark. And suggestion has been made (# 346) that Creiddyledd is the original of Shakespeare's CORDELIA. # 104 - 156 - 272 - 346 - 439 - 454 - 562
She was a woman warrior within the Fianna, having fled from where her father had begotten three sons upon her. # 454
Daughter of Cerridwen and Tegid Foel. The Triads cite her as one of the three fair maidens of Britain. # 272 - 439 - 454
(creh) A territory or a boundary. # 166
(creh' coo'â lan) The District of Cuala, in what is now co. Wicklow, near Dublin. # 166
The Welsh for a changeling; quoted in BENDITH Y MAMAU. # 100
Rescued by his nephew, Finn. # 562
(crif'han) Griffin, son of Fidach. High King of Ireland, cousin of Corc and also his foster-father, brother of Mongfind. After Crimthann's wife complained, unjustly, of Corc's attentions to her, he sent his cousin to the King of the Picts with ogham inscriptions on his shield which only the Pictish King could read - they indicated that the bearer should be slain. However, Crimthann soon died and Corc returned home to the kingship. See also: CORC. # 166 - 454
CRIMTHANN NIA NAIR
(crif'han ne'a na'ir) Son of Lugaid of the Red Stripes; King of Ireland; killed in an attempt to slay CuChulain. # 166
These are fairy cattle which give three times the amount of milk of an ordinary beast. # 454
CROKER, THOMAS CRAFTON
(1798-1854) The first field-collector of folk-tales in Ireland, and indeed the first in the British Isles if we except Walter Scott. The first volume of FAIRY LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS OF THE SOUTH OF IRELAND appeared in 1823 when Crofton Crooker was working in London as clerk to the Admiralty. It was an immediate and immense success; Jacob Grimm translated it into German and Scott wrote a lengthy and eugolistic letter which Croker printed in the second volume of 1828. Croker met Sir Walter Scott, corresponded with Grimm, and indeed with most of the leading folklorists of his time, and maintained a high reputation as an authority on fairy-lore which has long outlasted his life. # 100 - 165
# 562: (crom croo'ach) Gold idol (equivalent, the Bloody Crescent) referred to in 'Book of Leinster;' worship introduced by King Tiernmas. # 454: The gold and silver image to which the Irish offered their first fruits and first-born in pagan times. It stood on the plain of Mag Slecht in Ulster. It bent down to Saint Patrick and was overcome, sinking back into the earth. # 454 - 562
Greek Cronos ate his children by Rhea - all except Zeus who escaped this fate and caused Cronos to regurgitate his siblings. He then punished his father by chaining him whilst asleep and imprisoning him on the island of Ogygia. Cronos is the ruler of the Golden Age - a period of everlasting joy. This legend has been amalgamated with those concerning British traditions of the Blessed Islands of the West, wherein the Golden Age and the earthly paradise combine to make a place of otherworldly peace. Cronos' legend runs as an undercurrent through the career of Bran who rules over a similar otherworldly realm. # 25 - 258 - 439 - 454
This earless, tailless creature who, despite his dogginess, was fully able to converse in human speech, was one of the heroes of the Irish romance EACHTRA AN MHADRA MHAOIL. He was an enchanted prince named Alexander, son of the King of India. His step-mother, Libearn, had turned him and his brothers into dogs to ensure that her son, the Knight of the Lantern, would obtain a handsome inheritance. When this knight humiliated Arthur and his court, the Crop-eared Dog and Gawain went to track him down. When their quarry had at lenght been captured, he changed Alexander back to his own shape. Alexander eventually became ruler of India. # 156
From the earliest days of Christianity the cross was believed to be a most potent protective symbol against fairies and all evil spirits. It is even possible that cross-roads had a pre-Christian significance, as sacred to the god of limits and a place of sacrifice. The cross in all its forms was protective - the 'saining' or crossing of one's own body or that of another, a cross scratched on the ground or formed by four roads meeting, a cross of wood, stone or metal set up by roadside, a cross worn as a trinket round the neck, all these were believed to give substantial protection against devils, ghosts or fairies. Sometimes this protection was reinforced by carrying a cross of a particular material - of rowan wood, for instance, for this wood was a protection of itself - or for trinkets crosses of coral or amber, both of some potency. # 100 - 661
# 701: 'Crow' really means a family of closely related carrion-eating birds including the rook, raven, and carrion crow. One of the Goddess's archaic forms, the crone Coronis, was a 'crow' who was transformed into the virgin mother of the physician-god Asclepius; but other, similar forms appeared in myths as harbingers of the hero's death. The Goddess Badb transformed herself into a crow, Badb Catha, to confront the Celtic hero CuChulain and thereby announce his doom. # 161: The white crow appears in Celtic lore as Branwen, sister of Bran. Crows can be a form adopted by fairies, usually with ill intent, and are therefore dreaded.
# 454: Like the raven, crow is primaily associated with battle and death. The Irish for 'crow' is 'badh', a name given to one of the battle-goddesses associated with the Morrighan. The crow exemplifies the function of assimilation and reintegration within the mythic structure.# 161-389 - 454 - 701
(croo'â han) Rath Cruachan. Royal seat of Ailill and Medb, now Rathcroghan between Belanagare and Elphin in co. Roscommon. # 166
Pagan king of Britain who threw Joseph of Arimathea and his followers into prison, where they were sustained by the power of the Grail. The captives were ultimately released by Mordrains and Seraphe, who had converted to Christianity and become followers of the Grail. # 454
CRUNDCHU CRUNNCHU MAC AGNOMAN
# 166: (crun'hoo) Son of Agnoman; # 562: Macha comes to dwell with Crundchu. # 454: The husband of Macha who foolishly boasted his wife's prowess and speed in the hearing of the king. She expired after having beaten the king's race-horse, cursing Ulster with her last breath.# 166-367-454-562
Daughter of Sir Prinsamour in the romance of 'Sir Eglamour of Artoys'. Her complex story includes a series of escapes and misunderstandings in which she first loses her lover Eglamour, then her son, who is stolen by a griffin. Later she accidently marries her own offspring, only to discover her mistake in time to find Eglamour and marry him! # 454
A crystal ball two and a half inches in diameter surmounts the Scottish scepter. The use of such balls has been traced back to the Druids. They were still known as 'stones of power' in Sir Walter Scott's days. Another sphere of smoky quartz, which the Scots called CAIRNGORM, is now in the possession of the British Museum and is reputed to be the famous 'shew-stone' of Dr. Dee, the court diviner to Queen Elizabeth I of England. See also: DEE, JOHN. # 701
(koo chul-inn or koo hoo lin) See: CUCHULAIN.
CU ROI MAC DAIRE
(coo' rô e moc da'i re) A powerful chieftain in Munster with great otherworldly powers. He appropiated many otherworldly Hallows which the Ulsterman had captured, including his wife, Blanaid, loved by CuChulain. She deceived him and enabled CuChulain to kill him. Cu Roi disguised himself as the Wild Herdsman and challenged the heroes of Ulster to play the Beheading Game with him. He is the Celtic prototype of the Green Knight. His death was avenged by Lugaid, his son. See also: CU ROI MAC DAIRI, THE TRAGIC DEATH OF. # 166 - 266 - 399 - 439 - 454
CU ROI MAC DAIRI, THE TRAGIC DEATH OF
The saga 'The tragic death of Cu Roi mac Dairi' is one of a group which belong to the oldest parts of the Ulster cycle and which center around Cu Roi mac Dairi, a half demonic personage with magic powers, who, according to tradition, resided in the south of Ireland. He is associated especially with Kerry, where the remains of a prehistoric fortification in the Slemish Mountains are still known as Caher Conree, 'Cu Roi's City.' It is not surprising that the composers of the Ulster cycle should conceive the idea of representing their beloved hero, CuChulain, as victorious over this great southern champion. CuChulain, being only a beardless youth, usually wins by startegem rather than by open warfare. The story told in 'The Tragic Death of Cu Roi mac Dairi' must have been widespread; there are numerous versions of it in early Irish and its fame even spread across the channel into Wales. # 166
(coo-shee) This, the Fairy Dog of the Highlands, was different from other Celtic fairy hounds in being dark green in colour. It is described by J. G. Campbell in SUPERSTITIONS OF THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS. It was the size of a two-year-old stirk (yearling bullock). It was shaggy, with a long tail coiled up on its back, or plaited in a flat plait. Its feet were enormous and as broad as a man's; its great footmarks were often seen in mud or snow, but it glided along silently, moving in a straight line. It did not bark continuously when hunting, but gave three tremendous bays which could be heard by ships far out at sea. As a rule the fairy dogs were kept tied up inside the Brugh to be loosed on intruders, but sometimes they went with women looking for human cattle to milk or to drive into the sithein, and sometimes a cu sith would be allowed to roam about alone, taking shelter in the clefts of the rocks. This cu sith would be terribly formidable to mortal men or dogs, but those loosed in the Brugh in J. F. Campbell's tale of the 'Isle of Sanntragh' were driven back by the mortal dogs when they approached human habitations. Bran, Finn's elfin dog, was different in appearance. Other fairy dogs are generally white with red ears, and the commonest supernatural dogs in England are Black Dogs. # 100 - 130 - 131
(cooachack) According to Mackenzie in SCOTTISH FOLK LORE AND FOLK LIFE, and also to Professor W. J. Watson in HISTORY OF CELTIC PLACENAMES IN SCOTLAND, the Cuachag was a Fuath. It was a river sprite, which haunted Glen Cuaich in Inverness-shire, which is connected to it by name. Like all the Fuathan, it is a dangerous spirit. # 100 - 415 - 707
CUALGNE, CATTLERAID OF - QUALGNY - COOLEY
(koo ile nyeh) Táin Bó Cualgne. 'The Cattle-Raid of Cooley' is the central epic of the Ulster cycle. It exists in several versions, the oldest of which goes back probably to the eight century. The tale opens with the famous 'Pillow-Talk' - a racy dialogue between Queen Medb (Maeve) of Connacht and her hen-pecked husband, Ailill. The queen, on finding that her possessions equal those of her husband, except for one bull, the White-Horned of Connacht, determines to make up the deficiency by gaining possession of the most famous bull in Ireland, the Donn of Cooley, which is the property of Daire, a chieftain of Ulster. When Medb learns that she cannot obtain the Donn as a loan, she determines to take the animal by force and gathers an army to invade Ulster. Owing to the temporary debility of all the adult warriors of Ulster, the seventeen-year-old CuChulain undertakes to oppose Medb's host single-handed. When Medb hears of CuChulain, she inquires about him from the Ulster exiles in her army and learns of his boyish exploits.
As the result of an agreement between Medb and CuChulain, the Ulster champion meets at a ford on the border of the two provinces a single Connacht warrior each day over a period extending from Samhain (the beginning of winter 1 November) till the day of spring. The men of Connacht finally succeed in invading Ulster and carrying off the Donn of Cooley, but they are later defeated by the Ulstermen, now restored to their normal strenght. The Donn of Cooley, after slaying the WhiteHorned of Connacht, returns to his native district and utters mad bellowings of triumph till his heart bursts and he dies. In spite of obvious imperfections, THE CATTLE-RAID OF COOLEY is a splendid example of an epic in the making. It shows many evidences of literary artistry and is not without passages of marked power and impressiveness. The combat between CuChulain and his friend Ferdiad is one of the most famous passages in early Irish literature. Cualgne corresponding roughly to the modern parish of Cooley in co. Louth. # 166 - 562
# 166: ( koo hoo lin or koo chul-inn ) # 562: Ulster Hero in Irish saga; duel with Ferdia; son of Lugh and Dectera; loved and befriended by goddess Morrigan; his strange birth; earliest name Setanta; 'his praise will be in the mouths of all men' said Druid Morann. His name derived from the hound of Cullan; claims arms of manhood from Conor; wooes Emer; Laeg, his charoteer; Skatha instructs, in Land of Shadows; overcomes Aifa; father of Connla by Aifa; slays Connla; returns to Erin; slays Foill and his brothers; met by women of Emania; leaps 'the hero's salmon leap'; the winning of Emer; proclaimed the Champion of Ireland by The Terrible; places Maev's host under GEISE; slays Orlam; battle-frenzy and RIASTRADH of CuChulain; compact with Fergus; The Morrigan offers him love; threatens to be about his feet in bottom of Ford; attacked by the Morrigan while engaged with Loch; slays Loch; Ferdia consents to go out against him; Ferdia reproached by CuChulain; their struggle; slays Ferdia; severely wounded by Ferdia; roused from stupor by sword-play of Fergus; rushes into battle of Garach; CuChulain in Fairyland; loved by Fand; vengeance of Maev upon CuChulain; Blanid, Curoi's wife, sets her love on him; Bave personates Niam before; the Morrigan croaks of war before him in his madness; Dectera and Cathbad urge him wait for Conall of the Victories ere setting forth to battle; the Washer at the Ford seen by CuChulain; Clan Calatin cause him to break his GEISE; he finds his foes at Slieve Fuad; the Grey of Macha mortally wounded takes farewell of CuChulain; he is mortally wounded by Lewy (Lugaid); his remaining horse, Black Sainglend, breaks away from him; Lewy slays outright; his death avenged by Conall of the Victories; reappears in later legend of Christian origin found in BOOK OF THE DUN COW; St Patrick's summons from Hell to prove the truths of Christianity to the pagan king.
The Hero. CuChulain son of Sualtam, but really the son of Lugh. The great Ulster hero, guardian of the Sacred Land. Like many heroes in ancient myth, he bridges the human and divine, with parents in both worlds. His entire life is set about with magical obligations and portents, and his sole function is to defend his people and their land, even at the expence of his own life.
# 454: Hero of the Red Branch Knights of Ulster. He was the son of Dechtire and Lugh. His birth name was Setanta but he gained his adult name after killing the fierce hound of Conchobar's smith Culainn. In recompence for the loss, Setanta agreed to guard Culainn's forge until a suitable dog could be found, and so he became Cu Chulainn (Hound of Culainn). He was fostered and trained by the best men in Ulster. He wooed Emer, but her father would not accept him until he had trained with Scathach of Alba. He fought her rival, Aoife and lay with her engendering his only son, Conlaoch, whom he later killed unknowingly. He was famed for his great skills: the salmon-leap, which enabled him to leap over obstacles, and his use of the gaebolg, the great spear which inflicted the death-blow. (This weapon corresponds to the spear of Lugh, his father, whom he represents in mortal realms.) He accepted the challenge of the club-carrying giant (Cu Roi mac Daire, in disguise) to the Beheading Game at Bricriu's Feast at which he was proclaimed supreme champion of Ulster. He later killed Cu Roi mac Daire who had humiliated him by shaving his (CuChulain's) head, with the help of Blanaid. He defended Ulster single-handed at the ford when Maeve of Connacht came against them: Ulster's warriors were prostrate and enfeebled by the curse of Macha. Only CuChulain (who was not a native Ulsterman) was able to fight on their behalf. He accepted many single-combats, slaying all comers until Maeve sent his old friend and fellow-pupil, Ferdiad, whom he reluctantly killed.
He was finally overcome by Lugaid, son of Cu Roi mac Daire, with the help of the daughters of Calatin. He bound himself upright to a pillar-stone in order to face the imaginary host which had been conjured up by his opponents. His death was avenged by Conall Cernach. CuChulain's battle-frenzy was renowned: his body contorted itself horribly, blood spurted from his head in a great gush and his anger was unquenchable unless a host of women were sent out naked to meet his chariot. His sword was Cruaidin Cailidcheann (Hard-Headed). His two horses which yoked his chariot were called Liath Macha and Dubh Sanglainn. CuChulain loved many women apart from his wife, but he refused the love of the Morrighan who became his implacable enemy, causing him to forsake his geasa. His adventures and exploits can only be suggested in this entry. He corresponds to Conchobar as Gawain does to Arthur.
# 100: The unusual features of his appearance were that he had seven pupils in each eye, seven fingers on each hand and even seven toes on each foot. His cheeks were streaked yellow, green, blue and red. His hair was dark at the roots, red as it grew out and fair at the tips. He was bedizened with ornaments, a hundred strings of jewels on his head and a hundred golden brooches on his chest. Such was his appearance in times of peace, and it was apparently admired. When he was seized by war frenzy he was completely changed. He turned round inside his own skin, so that his feet and knees were to the rear and his calves and buttocks were to the front. His long hair stood on end and each hair burned with a spark of fire, a jet of flame came out of his mouth and a great arch of black blood spouted from the top of his head. One eye shot out on to his cheek and the other retreated back into his skull; on his forehead shone 'the hero's moon'. His frenzy was so great that he had to be plunged into three vats of icy water to bring him down to normal temperature. These strange transformations seem to have been characteristic of heroes, for something similar is reported of Lancelot of the Lake in LANCELET, the German translation of a twelft-century romance. Eleanor Hull's book THE CUCHULLIN SAGA gives a scolarly account of the whole legend.
# 62: The pagan Iron-Age Celtic world of Ulster (ancient Ulaid) is graphically preserved, albeit as a mythological fantasy, in the Ulster cycle of early Irish storytelling. The young hero of the tales was CuChulain, who bears some resemblance to the Welsh Pryderi: both births are associated with colts which the heroes later own, and both are renamed later in life. These stories served as an education for young Celtic noblemen, the vivid heroic characters providing them with models of youthful warrior behaviour. Details such as the miniature weapons and sports equipment reflect the military and athletic training of them. # 62 - 100 - 166 - 266 - 329 - 454 - 507 - 562 - 628 p 70 -653
CUCHULAIN, THE BIRTH OF
# 166: Cuchulain is the greatest figure in ancient Irish heroic literature. He has been appropriately compared to Achilles in Greek and to Siegfried in Germanic tradition. The story-tellers of ancient Ireland never tired of recounting his deeds and attributing to him new exploits. His original name, Setanta, appears to go back to remote times, and it is possible that he may be a personage adopted by the Gaels from a still older population. The story of his birth, composed originally in the eighth or ninth century, exists in two versions, one of which is a combination of several conflicting accounts. According to what seems the oldest tradition, CuChulain was the son of the Tuatha De Danann prince Lugh and Dechtire (or Dechtine), the sister of King Conchobar of Ulster. Later accounts represent him as son of Conchobar by his own sister, or of the princess and Sualtam (or Sualtach), a petty chieftain of Ulster, who is generally regarded as her mortal husband. The version here mentioned, though probably later than that found in the oldest manuscripts, is less obviously a patchwork of several accounts. Throughout his short but brilliant career CuChulain reveals his supernatural origin. Even as a child of five years he possesses remarkable strength and skill; when only six he slays the terrible watchdog of Culann the Smith, thereby winning the name 'Hound of Culann' (CuChulain); at seven he becomes a full-fledged warrior; at seventeen he holds at bay the entire army of Connacht and her allies; and he is only twenty-seven when he meets his death, fighting against overpowering odds.
# 236: 'The Birth of CuChulain' exists in two quite different versions, one going back, in written form, to the (now lost) Book of Druimm Snechtai, the other being somewhat later; it is the earlier version that Jeffrey Gantz present in his book 'Early Irish Myths and Sagas'. CuChulain, like Conare Mar, has two fathers, but the story of his birth is clearly corrupt. In the original version, Lug must have come to Deichtine (perhaps as a bird) in the strange house and slept with her and left her pregnant; in this version, Deichtine's visit to the Bruig accomplishes nothing, and there is no connection between Lug and the tiny creature in the copper vessel. Lug himself was one of the most important Irish deities.
His continental counterpart, who was probably named Lugos, is identified by Caesar as the Celtic Mercury and the most important of the Celtic gods, and he gave his name to a number of European towns, including Lyon, Leiden and Liegnitz (Legnica). In Irish literature, Lug is the most prominent of the Tuatha De Danann in 'The Second Battle of Mag Tured'; while it is thus appropriate that CuChulain, the greatest Irish hero, should be his son, the tradition that makes him so may not be very old. The last section of the story represents a not very refined attempt to explain why CuChulain was known as the son of Sualtaim when his real father was Lug. Like the birth of the Welsh hero Pryderi, the birth of CuChulain is contemporaneous with the birth of a horse; and each hero subsequently receives the animal as a gift. CuChulain's birth, however, is marked by other portents: the appearance and guidance of the flock of birds, which clearly is from the otherworld, and the great snowfall. The event takes place, oddly, at Bruig na Boinde (New Grange), a site associated with the mythological tales and not with those about the Ulaid, but it may have been chosen to underline the assertion that he is of divine origin. That CuChulain is the son of Conchobar's sister suggests a system of matrilinear descent in Ireland.
CuChulain is also like Pryderi in that the name by which he is best known is not the one he is given at birth. His original name, Setanta, means 'one who has knowledge of roads and ways' and would have been suitable for a divinity whose influence was widespread. # 166 - 236
CUCHULAIN, THE BOYHOOD DEEDS OF
# 166: Among the most striking of the many narratives dealing with CuChulain is a group of episodes from his childhood. The incidents in the selection brought in Cross and Slover's ANCIENT IRISH TALES not only serve to illustrate his precocity, a trait which is widespread among heroes of the folk, but also to exemplify the conditions of child-fosterage among the ancient Irish. This and other tales of CuChu-lain's youth are incorporated in the great Ulster epic 'The Cattle-Raid of Cooley', where they are represented as told to King Ailill and Queen Medb of Connacht by several of the Ulster exiles enlisted in the Connacht army. They form a body of tradition which was probably old at the time when the epic was composed.
# 236: In Jeffrey Gantz's 'Early Irish Myths and Sagas' is 'The Boyhood Deeds of CuChulain' presented in the earlier, less refined Lebor na huidre version. Fergus and a number of other Ulaid(the Irish name for Ulster) chieftains have transferred their allegiance to Connachta in protest at Conchobar's treacherous slaying of the sons of Uisliu; and now, with the Connachta about to attack Ulaid, the exiles are describing to Ailill and Medb the boyhood feats of the great hero of the north. The first exploit recalls the opening episode of the Welsh tale 'Peredur': a naive, callow youth leaves his unwilling mother (he does not have a father, possibly because his real father is understood to be either royal or divine) and goes forth to find his proper companions (the boy troop of Emuin Machae in the one case, the knights of King Arthur's court in the other). CuChulain's feats with his ball and hurley and toy javelin and his complete dominance over the boy troop are superhuman and at the same time pure play; Peredur, though merely precocious, is yet more mature, for, as well as outrunning deer, he dispatches enemy knights and even kisses women. The second extract explains how CuChulain once saved Conchobar in battle. Even at this early stage of the Ulster Cycle, Conchobar's role has deteriorated; and already CuChulain, as his sister's son, appears as his natural heir. The third extract explains how Setanta came to be known as CuChulain. Such stories are common in Irish saga, but this explanation is unusually convincing - why else would a young hero be called the 'Hound of Culand'? The mystery is rather in why the central character of the Ulster Cycle, a figure whose divine origin is manifest, should have been given a name so much more appropriate to a mortal hero, especially when his original name suits him so well.
In the case of both Pryderi and CuChulain, there are objections to the new name: Rhiannon asks whether her son's own name does not suit him better, while CuChulain himself expresses a preference for his original name; but, in each case, the advice of a wise elder (the Chieftain of Dyved in the Welsh tale, Cathub in the Irish one) prevails. The fourth extract seems modelled on the tradition that Achilles chose a short life in order to win great fame. The episode at the end, where CuChulain is seized by his riastarthae, or battle fury, and has to be cooled off in vats of water, is entirely typical of him, as is his shyness in the presence of bare-brested women. The antiquity of these extracts is open to doubt: the mythic element is slight, and there is considerable humour. # 166 - 236
CUCHULAIN, THE DEATH OF
Near to Slieve Fuad, south of Armagh, CuChulain found the host of his enemies, and drove furiously against them, plying the champion's 'thunder-feat' upon them until the plain was strewn with their dead. Then a satirist, urged on by Lewy, came near him and demanded his spear (it was a point of honour to refuse nothing to a bard; one king is said to have given his eye when it was demanded of him). 'Have it, then,' said CuChulain, and flung it at him with such force that it went clean through him and killed nine men beyond. 'A king will fall by that spear,' said the Children of Calatin to Lewy, and Lewy seized it and flung it at CuChulain, but it smote Laeg, the king of charioteers, so that his bowels fell out on the cushions of the chariot, and he bade farewell to his master and he died.
Then another satirist demanded the spear, and CuChulain said: 'I am not bound to grant more than one request on one day.' But the satirist said: 'Then I will revile Ulster for thy default,' and CuChulain flung him the spear as before, and Erc now got it, and this time in flying back it struck the Grey of Macha with a mortal wound. CuChulain drew out the spear from the horse's side, and they bade each other farewell, and the Grey galloped away with half the yoke hanging to its neck.
And a third time CuChulain flung the spear to a satirist, and Lewy took it again and flung it back, and it struck CuChulain, and his bowels fell out in the chariot, and the remaining horse, Black Sainglend, broke away and left him. 'I would fain go as far as to that loch-side to drink,' said CuChulain, knowing the end was come, and they suffered him to go when he had promised to return to them again. So he gathered up his bowels into his breast and went to the loch-side, and drank, and bathed himself, and came forth again to die. Now there was close by a tall pillar-stone that stood westwards of the loch, and he went up to it and slung his girdle over it and round his breast, so that he might die in his standing and not in his lying down; and his blood ran down in a little stream into the loch, and an otter came out of the loch and lapped it. And the host gathered round, but feared to approach him while the life was still in him, and the hero-light shone above his brow. Then came the Grey of Macha to protect him, scattering his foes with biting and kicking. And then came a crow and settled on his shoulder. Lewy, when he saw this, drew near and pulled the hair of CuChulain to one side over his shoulder, and with his sword he smote off his head; and the sword fell from CuChulain's hand and smote off the hand of Lewy as it fell. They took the hand of CuChulain in revenge for this, and bore the head and hand south to Tara, and there buried them, and over them raised a mound. But Conall of the Victories, hastening to CuChulain's side on the news of the war, met the Grey of Macha streaming with blood, and together they went to the loch-side and saw him head-less and bound to the pillar-stone, and the horse came and laid its head on his breast. Conall drove southwards to avenge CuChulain, and he came on Lewy by the river Liffey, and because Lewy had but one hand Conall tied one of his behind his back, and for half the day they fought, but neither could prevail. Then came Conall's horse, the Dewy-Red, and tore a piece out of Lewy's side, and Conall slew him, and took his head, and returned to Emain Macha. But they made no show of triumph in entering the city, for CuChulain the Hound of Ulster was no more. # 562
CUCHULAIN, THE PHANTOM CHARIOT OF
The Christian writers of early Ireland were more kindly disposed toward their native pagan traditions than were the other newly converted peoples of medieval Europe. Holy men associate freely with fairy beings, St Patrick listens with delight to the exploits of Finn and Oisin, and he even uses his divine power to call back CuChulain from the grave that the stiff-necked Loegaire, pagan high-king of Ireland, may be led to accept the new faith. Whoever conceived the idea of bringing together the most distinguished ancient pagan champion and the most beloved of Christian saints had a truly poetic imagination. # 166
CUCHULAIN, THE SICK BED OF
This, like numerous other early Irish sagas, is a compilation based on several versions of the same story. The tale in its earliest form probably told how a mortal hero, having fallen under a fairy spell, was lured by the fairy people to the Happy Otherworld, where he was healed of his malady or assisted the supernatural folk in their tribal feuds. In Cross' and Slover's ANCIENT IRISH TALES, the present form of the story the double visits of the fairy messengers to the ailing CuChulain, the double account of Loeg's experiences in the fairy realm, as well as other repetitions and inconsistencies are the result of the unskilled work of the compiler and interpolater to whom the oldest extant versions are due. Noteworthy also is the fact that in this tale, as in THE WOOING OF EMER, CuChulain's wife Emer plays a prominent part. # 236: 'The Wasting Sickness of CuChulain & The Only Jealousy of Emer' is one of the more remarkable Irish tales: part myth, part history, part soap opera. Even the text is unusual, for it is a conflation of two different versions. After the first quarter of the tale, there appears an interpolation (which is omitted in the translation brought in J. Gantz: 'Early Irish Myths and Sagas') detailing CuChulain's advice to Lugaid Reoderg after the latter has been made king of Temuir; when the story proper resumes, CuChulain is married to Emer instead of to Eithne Ingubai, and Loeg is making a second trip to the otherworld with Li Ban. The two versions have not been well integrated, and much evidence of confusion and duplication remains; but it is hard to say which tradition is older. Throughout the rest of the Ulster Cycle CuChulain's wife is named Emer, just as Conchobar's is named Mugain and not Eithne Attenchaithrech. The story opens on a historical note, with a description of how the Ulaid celebrated Samuin (Samhain), the annual end-of-the-year assembly; but the arrival of beautiful, red-gold-chained, otherworld birds on the lake at Mag Muirthemni and the appearance of the women, one in green and one in crimson, who beat CuChulain with horsewhips testify to the story's mythic origin. The central idea is also that of the first section of the Welsh 'Pwyll Lord of Dyved': the shadowy rulers of the otherworld have need of mortal strength; the pursuit of the hero by the otherworld beauty, moreover, is common to the second section of 'Pwyll'. Much of the tale is related in verse, and, while the poetry is neither particularly old nor particularly dense, it is clear and brilliant and affecting:
At the doorway to the east,
three trees of brilliant crystal,
whence a gentle flock of birds calls
to the children of the royal fort.
Near the end of the tale, the tone shifts towards the psychological an unusual circumstance in these stories - as Fand and Emer fight over CuChulain; the writing, which seems very literary at this point, is emotional but never sentimental. Even the poetry assumes a gnomic quality: Emer complains that 'what's new is bright ... what's familiar is stale', while Fand merely points out that 'every rule is good until broken'. Although Fand ultimately yields - after CuChulain has been moved by Emer's plea - she admits that she still prefers CuChulain to her own husband; CuChulain, seeing her leave, wanders madly into the mountains of Ulaid (Ulster), and it requires the spell of Conchobar's druids and Manandan's magic cloak to make him forget.
The story is the original source for Yeats's play THE ONLY JEALOUSY OF EMER. # 166 - 236
(cootah) A cave-dwelling spirit, but, according to Gill in A SECOND MANX SCRAPBOOK, the Cughtagh is seldom mentioned now, though the creature is merged into the class of cave-haunting Bugganes. Gill thinks that the Highland Ciuthach, now a disagreeable cave spirit, but earlier a more noble character, a chivalrous giant, is closely related to it. # 100 - 249
She was a cailleach who assisted Mongan to retrieve his wife, Dub Lacha from Brandubh. She magically changed into a beautiful woman so that Brandubh was willing to exchange Dubh Lacha for her. After Mongan and his wife has gone, she resumed her normal hag-like appearance. This is one of the only instances when the transformatory hag after having become beautiful resumes her former shape, although this is threatened by Ragnell in the Gawain and Ragnell story. # 208 - 454
He was a poet who loved Liadin. When she refused to marry him and became a nun, he became a monk. He was exiled from Ireland after which Liadin died of grief. # 454
# 454: Son of Celyddon Wledig, nephew of Arthur. His mother, Goleuddydd, bore him after having been terrified by the sight of pigs, so that he was called Culhwch or Pig-Sty. His father remarried on the death of Goleuddydd. Culhwch's stepmother laid a gease upon Culhwch that he should marry none other than Olwen, the daughter of Yspaddaden Pencawr, the giant. He went to Arthur's court and there demanded, in the names of all present, that his uncle help him procure Olwen. At the court of Yspaddaden, Culhwch was given thirty-nine 'anoethu' or impossible tasks, which must be fulfilled before he can marry Olwen, all of which are performed with the help of Arthur's court. The chief task was to hunt the Twrch Trwyth, a giant boar, for which are required many particular horses, hounds and men, including Mabon, the wondrous youth, whose finding is narrated in this story. Other tasks include the voyage of Arthur to the Underworld in order to obtain some of the Hallows or Thirteen Treasures of Britain - a feat which is likewise related in a ninth-century Welsh poem, the Preiddu Annwn. Yspaddaden's power is overthrown and Culhwch marries Olwen. See: HALLOWS.
# 156: With the aid of Arthur's men, Culhwch performed some of these tasks and married Olwen. The question arises as to why Culhwch did not perform all the tasks on the list. Commentators are not sure whether this was due to mere carelessness on the part of the composer of the romance or whether a portion of the story became lost in transmission. See: WRNACH. ># 104 - 156 - 272 - 346 - 378 - 399 - 439 - 454
His feast to King Conor in Quelgny; CuChulain slays his hound; CuChulain named the 'Hound of Cullan'; his daughter declared responsible for Finn's enchantment. # 562
(coo'val) A female slave; also a designation of value equal to three cows. # 166
(coo'al) Chief of the Clan Morna, son of Trenmôr, husband of Murna of the White Neck, the father of Finn; slain at battle of Knock. # 562
# 156: The name of two women in Wolfram: 1. A Grail damsel learned in star lore. She told Perceval that his wife and sons had been summoned to the Grail Castle and that the Grail Question would now free Anfortas and his family. 2. Daughter of Arthur's sister Sangive and Lot. She married Lischois. # 454: The name, in Parzival, of the Loathly Lady who also mocks and helps the Grail Knight on his quest. She is analogous to Sovereignty in her hag-like aspect. # 156 - 451 - 454 - 461 - 748
A ruler of the Votadini in North Britain who migrated with a number of his subjects to Wales round about AD 430. He rid a large part of Wales of Irish settlers. His pedigree suggests that his was a Roman family in origin, running as follows: Tacitus - Paternus - Aeternus Cunedda. According to BRUT Y BRENHINEDD, a medieval Welsh history, Cunedda's daughter, Gwen, was the mother of Eigyr (Igraine), Arthur's mother, thus making Cunedda Arthur's great-grandfather (# 35). Cunedda may have married Gwawl, daughter of Coel. # 57 - 156
King of the Catuvellani who, in the first century, made himself ruler of a considerable part of south Britain. He is the king called Cymbeline by Shakespeare. In Welsh tradition he is a relation of Arthur. # 156
# 701: Symbolism of the cup is complex, beginning with matriarchal images of the womb vessel and passing on to its patriarchal replacement, another kind of blood-filled chalice of resurrection. To medieval pagans, witches, and alchemical mystics the cup was a universal symbol of the mother element, water - especially the waters of the sea womb that was supposed to have given birth to the earth and all that lived on it. In Celtic tradition the magic cup from the sea meant Truth. It would break in three pieces if three lies were spoken over it, but if three truths were spoken over it, it would recover. # 399 - 701 p 132
CUP OF THE LAST SUPPER
Identical with the Grail. Equivalent, the Magic Cauldron. # 562
# 562: No light on the meaning of Cup-and Ring-Markings in connection with Megalithic monuments; Example in Dupaix' 'Monuments of New Spain;' reproduction in Lord Kingsborough's 'Antiquities of Mexico.' # 82: Strange carved stones, globe- or drum-shaped, have been found at various sites in Britain, and have remained one of the mysteries of archaeology, but these artefacts could well be earlier forms of cursing stones or psychic generators.
This idea could also be extended to include such enigmas as cup and ring marks and other prehistoric rock carvings. Pavlita* has found that his generators can release their energy and cause small wheels to turn, or are able to charge a rod which can then be used to pick up non-ferrous metals and minerals. They have also been used to increase plant growth and slightly alter the molecular structure of water. Such experiments, and others being conducted today, indicate the feasibility of a belief in the ability of one mind to influence another at a distance. If we relate this knowledge to the cursing stones, it seems possible that wishes, prayers, and curses were able to be placed into stones and the beneficent or maleficent energy released later to have its effect upon the intended recipient.
Alternatively, the effect on concentrating on the 'staring pattern' on the cursing stones, bringing the full force of the sender's malice into play, could have resulted in the malice being transmitted telepathically and instantaneously to the unfortunate recipient. If we extend this idea and suggest that cup and ring marks and other prehistoric rock carvings were also intended to work as 'staring patterns', perhaps they could have been used to help produce or distribute the earth current, by concentration as already described.
The widespread distribution of such enigmatic carvings throughout the British Isles, as described by Evan Hadingham in his ANCIENT CARVINGS IN BRITAIN, gives strength to this possibility.
* (from Ostrander and Schroeder's: PSYCHIC DISCOVERIES BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN). # 47 - 82 - 462 - 562
The sword of Holger. See: OGIER. # 156
(cur REE) Father of Lewy, husband of Blanid; slain by CuChulain. # 562
(coos'cri) The 'Stammerer'. Son of Conor mac Nessa (Conchobar); wounded through the throat by Cet mac Matach; under Debility curse. # 166 - 562
# 562: Brother of Yspaddaden; assists Culhwch (Kilhwch) in his quest for Olwen. # 454: The giant herdsman who guards the flocks of Yspaddaden Pencawr, who deprived him of his living and inhabited his lands. His twenty-four sons were all destroyed by the giant, except Goreu, whom his mother hid in a cupboard. He aids Culhwch and his companions to defeat Yspaddaden, although it is Goreu who eventually avenges his father. # 272 - 439 - 454 - 562
(634-87) He became a monk of the Celtic Church after receiving a vision of Saint Aidan's spirit ascending to heaven. After the synod of Whitby (see Saint Hilda), when Celtic customs were brought into line with the universal church of Rome, he accepted the reformations and became Prior of Lindisfarne. He was a life-long misogynist. A legend tells that he had been falsely accused of fathering a child and he swore never to allow a woman to approach him again. There is still in Durham Cathedral, where he is buried, a line supposedly demarking the portion of the church forbidden to women. His love of animals offsets this attitude. His long hours of prayer standing upright in the sea were relieved by the breath of seals who dried him after his labours. His feast-day is 20 March. # 454
(koon anoon) The Welsh hell hounds, something of the same kind as the Gabriel Ratchets, the Wish Hounds and the Seven Whistlers. Like these they are death portents, but they do not, like the Devil's Dandy Dogs, do actual destruction. Sikes in BRITISH GOBLINS describes their howl, which grows softer as they draw closer. Near at hand they sound like a cry of small beagles, but in the distance their voice is full of lamentation. Sometimes a voice sounds among the pack like the cry of an enormous bloodhound, deep and hollow. To hear them is taken as a certain prognostication of death. They are usually white with redtipped ears. Pwyll encountered them when he met Arawn's hunt. # 100 - 596
CYCLE OF FINN, OSSIAN, AND THEIR COMPANIONS, THE
The third of the great cycles of Irish heroic literature is known as the Finn, or Ossianic cycle. According to the Irish annals, Finn flourished during the third century after Christ, but the earliest references to him in literature do not appear until several hundred years later, and the vast majority of the tales about him are found in manuscripts dating from the twelfth and later centuries. These accounts, composed at various times from the Middle Ages down to the nineteenth century, differ greatly in their conceptions of Finn. Though all regard him as the chief of a Fián, or warrior band, among whom the most distinguished heroes are his son Oisin (Ossian) and his grandson Oscar, one group of tales represents him as the head of a sort of national militia in the employ of one of the high-kings of Ireland, usually Conn the Hundred-Fighter; another, as powerful enough to oppose the high-king; while a third, perhaps the latest, elevates him to a position superior to all opponents, portraying him as a slayer of monsters, a general benefactor of his country, and above all, a national defender of Ireland against foreign invaders, especially the dreaded Vikings. The Finn cycle differs markedly from that of Ulster. The tales are much more numerous and were in general written down at a much later date than those of Ulster. Moreover, few of them furnish linguistic evidence of having been composed before the twelfth century, nor do they as a rule contain references to ancient manners and customs such as those that give the Ulster epics their value as pictures of preChristian culture. Whereas the Ulster tales, as we have seen, are usually written in prose interspersed with semi-lyric passages in verse, the Finn material contains not only narratives in prose but also many poems of the ballad type. Though few tales of the Ulster cycle have been preserved in modern Irish folk-lore, the exploits of Finn and his companions have formed a part of the popular literature of Gaelic-speaking Ireland and Scotland from the Middle Ages to the present day. In other words, the Ulster epic appears to have been from the eighth or ninth century the literary property of the aristocracy, while the Finn material was perhaps from the beginning the literature of the folk and consequently was more or less modernized by each succeeding generation of folk poets and popular story-tellers. As to the origin of the Finn epic, much remains yet to be learned. It appears from early references in the annals and other sources that Finn's company was only one of many Fiána, or bands of warriors which existed in ancient Ireland and were a recognized feature of the social system. Since the oldest traditions represent Finn as having his chief stronghold on the hill of Almu, the modern Allen, near Kildare, it has been inferred that his Fián belonged to Leinster. Opposed to Finn are other Fiána, especially the Fián of Goll mac Morna, which is identified with Connacht. According to one view, the Fiána of Finn and his opponents were bands of soldiers levied by the ruling Milesian high-kings upon the older subject peoples of Ireland. These bands were forced to be ready to take up arms at any time and consequently were prevented from earning a livelihood by continuous application to the occupations of peace. Hence they lived in war times by depredation and in peace by hunting. Professor Eoin MacNeill calls the Finn epic the 'epic of a subject race' and thus explains the scarcity of Finn material in the earliest Irish manuscripts as well as the continued popularity of the Finn ballads and stories among the folk. # 166
CYCLES THE, OF IRISH LEGEND
The Mythological; the Ultonian; Ossianic; Certain stories of Ultonian, not centred on Cuchulain; the Ossianic and Ultonian contrasted. The Mythological Cycle comprises the following: 1. The coming of Partholan into Ireland. 2. The coming of Nemed into Ireland. 3. The coming of the Firbolgs into Ireland. 4. The invasion of the TUATHA DE DANANN, or People of the god Dana. 5.The invasion of the Milesians (Sons of Miled) from Spain, and their conquest of the People of Dana. # 562
(Ki-Varud-jion) The traditional story-teller in Wales. They preserved genres of story, each with its own magical spell. The oral memory of the Celts was impressive even by the standards of non-literate societies. The memorization of 250 prime stories and 100 secondary stories was part of the curriculum of a Celtic poet in her twelveyear training period. After the conquest of the Celtic realms, these stories were zealously retained and passed down to worthy recipients. See also: SEANACHIES. # 437 p 12 ff
(kerher'righth) The Welsh form of the Highland Caoineag (the Weeper). Unlike the Gwrach Rhibyn, it is seldom seen, but is heard groaning before a death, particularly multiple deaths caused by an epidemic or disaster. Sikes in BRITISH GOBLINS gives several oral accounts of the Cyhyraeth. Prophet Jones describes the noise it made as 'a doleful, dreadful noise in the night, before a burying'. Joseph Coslet of Carmarthenshire was more explicit. He said that the sound was common in the neighbourhood of the river Towy, 'a doleful, disagreeable sound heard before the deaths of many, and most apt to be heard before foul weather. The voice resembles the groaning of sick persons who are to die; heard at first at a distance, then comes nearer, and the last near at hand; so that it is a threefold warning of death. It begins strong, and louder than a sick man can make; the second cry is lower, but not less doleful, but rather more so; the third yet lower, and soft, like the groaning of a sick man almost spent and dying'.
This reminds one of the three approaching cries of the Cwn Annwn. Like the Irish Banshee, the Cyhyraeth wailed for the death of natives who died away from home. On the Glamorganshire coast, Cyhyraeth passes along the sea before a wreck, and here it is accompanied by a kind of corpse-light. Like corpse candles (see under WILL O' THE WISP), this foretells the path a corpse is to take on the way to the churchyard. In a story about St Mellon's churchyard a ghost is reported as having been seen, but, as a rule, Cyhyraeth is an invisible and bodiless voice. # 100 - 596
CYLEDYR THE WILD
One of the followers of Arthur in CULHWCH, he obtained the shears from between the ears of the boar Twrch Trwyth. # 100 - 346
(See also: CUNOBELINUS) King of Britain, trained in the household of Augustus Caesar. He handed over his kingdom to his son, Guidarius, who refused to pay tribute to the Romans. Behind the legend stands the historical Cunobeline, a minor British king. Shakespea re, drawing upon Holinshed's 'Cronicles', wrote a play, 'Cymbeline', in which many minor traditions of British mythology are incorporated. # 243 - 454
A son of Aelle, he accompanied his father when he defeated the Britons. # 156
The father of Urien. # 104 - 156
CYMRIC MYTHS AND TALES
In Wales there has existed for a considerable time a body of teaching purporting to contain a portion, at any rate, of that ancient Druidic thought which, as Caesar tells us, was communicated only to the initiated, and never written down.
This teaching is principally to be found in two volumes entitled 'Barddas' (q.v.), a compilation made from materials in his possession by a Welsh bard and scholar named Llewellyn Sion of Glamorgan, towards the end of the sixteenth century, and edited with a translation, by J. A. Williams ap Ithel for the Welsh MS. Society. Modern Celtic scholars pour contempt on the pretensions of works like this to enshrine any really antique thought. Thus Mr. Ivor B. John: 'All idea of a bardic esoteric doctrine involving pre-Christian mythic philosophy must be utterly discarded.' And again: 'The nonsense talked upon the subject is largely due to the uncritical invention of pseydo-antiquaries of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.'
Still the bardic Order was certainly at one time in possession of such a doctrine, and had a fairly continuous existence in Wales. Comparison between Gaelic and Cymric myths. The Welsh material is nothing like as full as the Gaelic, nor so early. The tales of the MABINOGION are mainly drawn from the fourteenth-century manuscript entitled THE RED BOOK OF HERGEST. One of them, the romance of TALIESIN, came from another source, a manuscript of the seventeenth century.
The four oldest tales in the MABINOGION are supposed by scolars to have taken their present shape in the tenth or eleventh century, while several Irish tales go back to the seventh or eight. The influence of the Continental romances of chivalry is clearly perceptible in the Welsh tales; and, in fact, comes eventually to govern them completely. # 562
(ku non) The lover of Morfudd, Owain's twin sister, in Welsh tradition. # 156