01 Aprile 2023
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Queen Maeve

queen maeve
Maeve was one of the great female figures in Irish legends. She was wealthy, powerful, desirable and a formidable opponent in battle. She was said to have run faster than horses, worn live animals and birds on her shoulders and slept with numerous Irish kings, discarding them as they failed to satisfy her. One morning Maeve was lying in bed with her current husband, Ailill. By Celtic tradition, whichever of the couple brought greater wealth to a union became the ruler of the household. So Ailill and Maeve began comparing their possessions. They matched each other torc for torc and cloak for cloak until finally Ailill mentioned his magical great white bull which used to be in Maeve’s herd, but had defected to Ailill’s side of the fence, considering it unseemly to belong to a woman. The only beast in Ireland to match Ailill’s bull was the Brown Bull of Cooley and Maeve vowed to take possession of the animal. When her offer to buy it was turned down she gathered her armies and set out to invade Ulster and steal it. The result was the Táin Bó Cuailnge, the Cattle Raid of Cooley, a lengthy battle in which many legendary heroes were slain. In the end Maeve did indeed win her bull, but it and Ailill´s bull flung themselves upon each other, tore each other to bits and died, leaving Maeve and Ailill’s wealth equal after all.

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