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[cf. Ir. brecc, speckled, freckled].

Usually accompanied by the epithets Neimthenga, Nemhthenga, ‘bitter-tongued’ or Biltenga, ‘evil-tongued’. A warrior, troublemaker, and sometime poet in the Ulster Cycle. In the well-known Fled Bricrenn [Briccriu's Feast], he incites the first three champions of Ulster, Cúchulainn, Lóegaire Búadach, and Conall Cernach, to quarrel over the champion's portion. He also instituted a rivalry of the champions of Ireland for the carving of Mac Da Thó's pig in Scéla Mucce meic Da Thó, which results in much bloodshed. But in the lesser-known ‘Táin Bó Flidais’ [The Cattle Raid of Flidais], he is a poet and satirist- of bitter but not venomous tongue. His residence was Dún Rudraige, coextensive with the modern village of Dundrum, Co. Down; the lake and village of Loughbrickland, Co. Down, is thought to commemorate his name. Briccriu's patronymic, mac Carbada [son of Carbad], little cited in texts, links him with his brother, Goll mac Carbada, the one-eyed monster of the Ulster Cycle. Often compared with the foul-mouthed Thersites of the Iliad, the trickster Loki of Norse mythology, the malevolent Efnisien of the second branch of the Mabinogi, and the pugnacious Sir Kay of Arthurian legend.

Subjects: Religion.

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