03rd Oct 2012

The Cattle Raid of Cooley chapter 7 page 19, as promised

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The Cattle Raid of Cooley by Patrick Brown
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The Cattle Raid of Cooley page 178

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2 Responses to “The Cattle Raid of Cooley chapter 7 page 19, as promised”

  1. Robert Waage Says:

    That’s a brilliant interpretation. I’ve read a possible interpretation of the riastrad as a mushroom induced shamanistic trance (like the viking berserkers), altered and misunderstood by storytellers and scribes , but your imagery in many ways make more sense. I suspect Cuhullin is strongly connected to the mercenary profession, so an associated death cult would be fitting. Thanks, Paddy, a high point so far.

  2. paddybrown Says:

    Thanks Robert. Hope the next page isn’t a let-down.

    I suspect the origins of the riastrad come from pre-fight posturing. There’s a single combat between a Roman and a Gaul recorded by Livy and Aulus Gellius in which the Gaul starts off flexing his muscles, stretching, pulling faces, and sticking out his tongue – presumably attempting to intimidate his opponent. The Roman, of course, ignores all this and just stabs him. Tt doesn’t seem far-fetched to me that this kind of behaviour could get mythologised into the riastrad.

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