Astride the River

As a break from wading through research methodologies (a subject designed to cure insomnia and eviscerate the soul) I recorded the tale below at the suggestion of several friends. It is an excerpt from the Second battle of Mag Tured, a great epic of Irish mythology in which the Gods (who have not long knocked the earlier inhabitants, the Fir Bolg, into place) take on the monstrous Fomori who dwell in the ocean depths. This excerpt mostly focuses on the encounter between the corvid goddess Morrigan and the jovial Dagda at the crossing of the River Unius.

Part of a lecture series I am giving later in October to a community group in Suffolk will deal with the topic of titanomachy (wars in Heaven). Cosmic clashes between rival forces can be found in many mythologies. The Irish version is very much centred upon Earth rather than in paradisaical realms. It may be a topic to post about after the lecture series is over and I've had chance to reflect on the specifics of the Irish take rather than the generalities of the mythical trope.

These days the River is known at the Unshin and can be found in County Sligo. I haven't visited that part of Ireland yet, but would be interested to hear from anyone who has and can comment on the atmosphere of the place.


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