Ancient Women of Ireland

 SligoCounty SligoRepublic of Ireland

Medb’s cairn at Knocknarea

Medb (Maeve)
Medb means “she who makes men drunk”. She had two sisters, Ethné and Clothra and had several lovers. With her husband, Ailill, the king of Connacht, they had seven sons and a daughter. She was the heroin of the famous “Tain Bo Cuailgne” ( the cattle raid of Cuailgne). This raid started because Medb discovered that her possessions, which were considerable, were not as extensive as her husband’s. Medb wanted to have the fabulous Brown Bull of Cuailgne to have equal status with Ailill who owned the White Horned Bull of Connacht. She raised an army which she personally led into battle. Standing proud in her chariot, she appeared very determined, forceful, strong, devious and bloodthirsty. She met Cuchulain as champion of Ulster but lost the battle, being killed by the spear of Conchobar’s son.

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