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How the Irish Saved Civilization - Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

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The Irish prose epic, Tain Bo Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), preserves a view of a royal couple conversing playfully in bed two millennia ago in Rathcroghan, Ireland. Queen Medb and King Ailil debate which has brought more to the marriage. Unable to settle it, they jump out of bed and begin an inventory. Household items, jewelry, wardrobe, sheep, horses, pigs, and cattle come out even, but a great bull from Medb's herd defects to Ailil, refusing to be led by a woman. Medb orders her chief messenger to match it, and he finds one in Ulster province. Its owner agrees to lend it to the queen for a year in exchange for financial profit and Medb's "own friendly thighs," but when the intermediaries get drunk and fight, the deal falls through. Medb mounts an army against Daire, which encounters a single...

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