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Ailill Ánglonnach


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[cf. Ir. anglondach, warlike, valiant].

The brother of Eochaid Airem who is smitten with Étaín, Eochaid's wife. When Ailill fell ill the physician Fachtna (1) told him that there were two pains in him that medicine could not cure: the pain of love and the pain of jealousy. While her husband was away, Ailill revealed his trouble to Étaín, who agreed to become his mistress, not for sin, but to save a member of the royal family (Ailill) from death. She did not want to deceive her husband in Tara and thus made an assignation for a nearby hill-top. Étaín met with a man she believed to be Ailill, but it turned out to be her husband from a previous incarnation, Midir, who wished to save her from dishonour. This story is told in the second part of Tochmarc Étaíne [The Wooing of Étaín].

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