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Táin Bó Cuailnge

Táin Bó Cuailnge is the central story of the 8th-cent. Ulster cycle of heroic tales. The earliest versions are recorded in the 12th-cent. Lebor na hUidre (Book of the Dun Cow), the 12th-cent. Book of Leinster, and the 14th-cent. Yellow Book of Lecan. Set in pre-Christian Ireland, the Táin is the tale of a cattle-raid and invasion of Ulster by King Ailill and Queen Medb of Connacht, initiated as a result of their desire to capture the Brown Bull of Cuailnge. Cúchulainn single-handedly defends Ulster until the war-band can come to his aid. When they arrive the Connacht forces are decimated and in the end the Brown Bull is found dead.

Sandra M. Dunkin

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