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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 4380 times)
Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #195 on: February 22, 2009, 12:31:41 am »

The sow and its young are oddly associated with a search after a sacred spot Æneas, when in Italy, was said to have built his town where he met a sow with thirty sucklings. On the front of Croyland Abbey may still be seen the sculptured sow and pigs, under a tree, that led the founder of this monastery to fix his abode on the island of the fens.

A Breton poem, Ar Rannock--(the Numbers) mentions a wild sow, with her five young ones, that called the 'children under an apple-tree, when the wild boar came to give them a lesson. A Welsh poem begins with--"Give ear, little pigs "--meaning disciples. One of the Triads speaks of three powerful swineherds. The priest of Ceridwen or Hwch was Turch, the boar. The animal is prominent on the Cross of Drosten, Forfarshire. Glastonbury is said to be derived from Glasteing, who, after a sow with eight legs, found her with her young ones under an apple-tree; upon which he was content to die on that spot. Both St. Germanus and St Patrick are associated with the animal. Down to the Middle Ages, says an author, some supernatural power is ascribed to it, as we read of a sow being tried for witchcraft, pronounced guilty, and duly executed. It may be presumed that no one, however much admiring pork, partook of her flesh.

The Irish Brehon law had these two references to it--"The pig has a tripartite division: one-third for her body, one-third for her expectation, and one-third for her farrow." The "trespass of swine" is described as "the crimes of the pigs." All such creatures were ordered to be kept in the stye at night.

The story of the boar of Beann Gulbain, which caused the death of Diarmuid, the captor of the beautiful Graine, after he had killed it, through his heel being pierced by its bristles, is very like the classical one of the death of Adonis.

p. 230

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