She and Ailill—an amazingly compliant cuckold who, taunting aside, never resisted any of Maeve's lusty demands, in love or war—mobilized all the armies of Connacht against Ulster.
Only one gladiator, fighting alone, defended Ulster: Cúchulainn.
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I had some scrawled black lines from the frontispiece of The Táin, the Irish poet Thomas Kinsella's 1969 translation of the epic.He was an iconoclast, a misanthrope, and a force of nature. Together they are the stars of the myth-epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, whose title translates as The Cattle Raid of Cooley.He had killed hundreds of men, but she challenged him anyway. Although the Táin is often referred to as Ireland's Aeneid, Virgil's prose is tame by comparison with that of the anonymous twelfth-century Christian monks who set down on vellum the tales that, some evidence suggests, bards had told since the late Iron Age, around 300 B. As a once and future war correspondent and as a female, I have always admired warrior queens.She is a myth, for no one has been able to prove that she truly lived.And yet the story follows a real trail, amid real ring forts, villages, rivers, and mountains.