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Bláithíne


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[Ir., floweret, blossom].

Identical with Bláthnat, Bláthnait, Bláthnad, Bláinid, Blánaid, Blanid. Lover of Cúchulainn, who betrays her husband, Cú Roí, for him. Her story was repeated often over the centuries, and the details vary from one version to another. She was a daughter either of Conchobar or of Midir. Cúchulainn first encounters her on a raid to the Otherworld, this time located in Scotland. With Cú Roí's aid, Cúchulainn carries off the magic cauldron, three cows, and a girl, Bláithíne, from the stronghold, but Cú Roí subsequently recovers them all. Cú Roí further humiliates Cúchulainn by thrusting him into the earth up to his armpits and shaving off his hair. A year later at Samain, Cúchulainn makes a tryst with Bláithíne, who helps the Ulstermen to take Cú Roí unawares and kill him. This betrayal is revenged when Cú Roí's poet, Ferchertne, sees Bláithíne standing at the edge of a sheer cliff, rushes forward, clasps her in his arms, and plunges to the beach below with her in his embrace. Bláithíne's sometimes attributed son, Lugaid mac Con Roí, continues the enmity against Cúchulainn. See R. P. Joyce's novel Blanid (Boston, 1879); T. D. Sullivan's verse romance, Blanaid (Dublin, 1891). See also BLODEUEDD.

Subjects: Religion.


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