Macha and the Invention of Myth

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This paper provides new literary analyses of two tales associated with Emain Macha, both of which feature a woman called Macha: Noínden Ulad, which purports to tell the origin of the debility that the Ulstermen suffered during the Táin, and the story of Macha Mongrúad, who overthrew her enemies and forced them to construct the fort of Emain Macha. The discussion considers issues of warriorhood, justice and gender, and seeks to disentangle the themes of sovereignty and war in relation to the women called Macha. Two of the four women bearing the name Macha are, in all probability, relatively late innovations, and the primary function of the remaining two figures lies in warfare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-109
Number of pages29
Issue numbernull
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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