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Encyclopedia > Conall Cernach

Conall Cernach (Conall the Victorious) is a heroic warrior of the Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. His father was Amairgin mac Echit and his mother was Findchoem. He has a fierce rivalry with the Connacht warrior Cet mac Mágach, and is said to have always slept with the head of a Connachtman under his knee. He had a crooked neck. The Ulaid, also known as the Ulaidh and the Ulad, are a people of Early Ireland who gave their name to the Irish Province of Ulster. ... The Ulster Cycle, formerly the Red Branch Cycle, is a large body of prose and verse centering around the traditional heroes of the Ulaid in what is now eastern Ulster. ... The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branches of Celtic mythology. ... Amergin (Amairgin, Amorgen) is the name of two poets from Irish mythology. ... Connaught redirects here. ... Cet mac Mágach is a Connacht warrior in the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology. ...

He shamed Cet at a feast at the house of Mac Dá Thó, a hospitaller of Leinster, when the warriors of Connacht and Ulster competed for the champion's portion by boasting of their deeds. Cet reminded all comers how he had bested them in combat, including emasculating Celtchar with his spear. However, just as Cet was about to carve, Conall arrived, and his boasts topped even Cet's. Cet admitted defeat, but claimed that if his brother Anlúan were present, his feats would top even Conall's. Conall responded by tossing him Anlúan's freshly severed head. Leinster (Irish: Laighin) is the eastern province of Ireland, comprising the counties of Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. ... Connaught redirects here. ... Celtchar (Celtchair, Celtar, Keltchar is a leading figure in the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology. ... Hunting spear and knife, from Mesa Verde National Park. ...

He also competed for the champion's portion at Briccriu's feast, with Cúchulainn and Lóegaire Búadach, but this time Cúchulainn came out on top. Briccriu (Bricriu, Briccirne, Bricne), is a warrior, poet and troublemaker in the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology. ... Young Cúchulainn, 1912 illustration by Stephen Reid. ... In the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, Lóegaire Búadach (Lóegaire the Victorious) is a hapless Ulster warrior who mainly functions as comic relief. ...

He helped the Connacht hero Fráech recover his wife and cattle after they had been stolen and taken to the Alps. Fráech (Fróech, Fraích, Fraoch) is a Connacht hero in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. ...

He fought Mes Gedra, king of Leinster, in single combat following a battle provoked by the Ulster poet Athirne. Mes Gedra had lost a hand in an earlier fight, so Conall fought him with one hand tucked into his belt. He won, taking his opponent's head as a trophy. When he put Mes Gedra's head on his shoulder, it straightened his neck. Conall's charioteer couldn't carry the head, so he cut out the brain and preserved it by mixing it with lime. The calcified brain was later stolen by Cet and used to kill Conchobar mac Nessa. In Irish mythology Mesgegra (Mes Gegra, Mes Gedra) was king of Leinster during the events of the Ulster Cycle. ... Athirne or Athairne the Importunate was a poet and satirist of the court of Conchobar mac Nessa in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. ... Calcium oxide (CaO), commonly known as lime, quicklime or burnt lime, is a widely used chemical compound. ... In Irish mythology, Conchobar mac Nessa (also Conchobor, Conchubar, Conchobhar, Conchubhar, Conchúr, Conchúir, Conor) was king of Ulster during the events of the Ulster Cycle. ...

Conall and Cúchulainn had sworn to each other that whoever was killed first, the other would avenge him before nightfall. When Lugaid mac Con Roí and Erc son of Cairbre Nia Fer killed Cúchulainn, Conall pursued them. Lugaid had also lost a hand, and Conall again fought one-handed, but this time he only won after his horse took a bite out of Lugaid's side. He took both their heads, and when he took Erc's head back to Tara his sister, Achall, died of grief. In the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, Lugaid mac Con Roí was the son of Cú Roí mac Dáire. ... Cairbre Nia Fer (Niafer, Niaper), was the King of Tara in the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology. ... The Hill of Tara, located near the River Boyne, is today a mound in County Meath, Leinster, Ireland, on which the grass has veiled the rich heritage of the country. ... In the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, Achall, the daughter of Cairbre Nia Fer, committed suicide (or died of grief) after her brother was killed by Conall Cernach. ...

Conall pursued Cet after he had made a raid on Ulster, killing twenty-seven men and taking their heads. It had snowed, so he was able to follow his trail. He caught up with him, but was reluctant to face him until his charioteer chided him for cowardice. They met at a ford, and Conall killed Cet in a ferocious combat that left Conall near to death himself.

He was found by Bélchú of Breifne, a Connachtman, who took him home, tended to his wounds, and planned to fight him when he was fit. But Bélchú soon regretted his honourable behaviour and asked his three sons to kill Conall as he lay in his sickbed. Conall overheard and forced Bélchú to take his place in the bed, and when his sons arrived they killed him instead. Conall then killed the three of them and took all four heads home. Bélchú (Bealchu, Bealcu) of Breifne is a warrior of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology. ...

After Conchobor and his son, Cormac Cond Longas, had been killed, Conall was offered the kingship of Ulster, but he refused it. In his declining years he went to stay with Ailill and Medb of Connacht, as they were best placed to look after him. Ailill was seeing another woman behind Medb's back, so Medb incited Conall to kill Ailill, something he was happy to do as Ailill had killed Fergus mac Róich. He fled, but the men of Connacht pursued and killed him at Ath na Mianna which is now the town of Ballyconnell in County Cavan. Cormac Cond Longas (Connlongas, Connloinges, Exiled Prince) was the eldest son of Conchobar mac Nessa by his own mother, Ness, in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. ... Ailill (Aillell, Oilioll) mac Máta was king of Connacht and husband of Medb in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. ... (, Medb, Medhbh, Meabh, Maeve, Maev) is queen of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. ... In Irish mythology, Fergus (or Fearghus) mac Róich (or mac Róeg) is the former king of Ulster during the events of the Ulster Cycle. ...

Although his epithet, Cernach, is usually interpreted as "victorious" or "triumphant", it is an obscure word, and some texts struggle to explain it. It has been suggested that Conall may be linked with Cernunnos, the Gaulish horned god. Depiction of Cernunnos from the Pilier des nautes, Paris Cernunnos in Celtic polytheism is the deified spirit of horned male animals, especially of stags, a nature god associated with produce and fertility. ... Gaulish is name given to the now-extinct Celtic language that was spoken in Gaul before the Romans, the Franks and the British Celts invaded. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

Unusually for a character from the Ulster Cycle, Conall appears in medieval Irish genealogies as the ancestor of the kings of the Dál nAraide and the Uí Echach Coba. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Genealogy is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. ...


  Results from FactBites:
Place and Personal Names (2636 words)
a leading Ulster hero; father of Conall Cernach and brother of Iliach (pronounced Avergin)
a ford on the Nith, in Conalle Murthemni
a river in Conalle Murthemni, near Strangford Lough
Red Branch (3380 words)
Conall was the son of Amorigin and Findchaem (Finachoom), daughter of Cathbad and Maga.
Conall was also the cousin and foster-brother of hero Cú Chulainn (Cu Chulainn) as well as the cousin of the sons of Uisnech (Usnech).
Conall Cernach killed Cet, during the feast at Mesroda Mac Datho's dun at Leinster.
  More results at FactBites »



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