• Dangerous Heads and Posthumous Revenge: Some Parallels for the Death of Mess Gegra in Talland Étair

    Author(s):
    Anna June Pagé (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Subject(s):
    Irish literature, Literature, Medieval
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Celtic Studies, Medieval Irish Literature, Mess Gegra, Balor, Talland Etair
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/rtp3-dy11
    Abstract:
    Mess Gegra is known for the role that his brain plays in the death of Conchobar mac Nessa, but the story of his own death, which is found in Talland Étair, is perhaps less well-known. Mess Gegra faces Conall Cernach in single combat and loses. Knowing that Conall Cernach will behead him, Mess Gegra instructs him to place his severed head on top of his own and claim Mess Gegra’s honour for himself. Conall Cernach instead places the head on a nearby pillar-stone, which is pierced by a drop of blood from the head and then knocked over by its weight. Mess Gegra’s attempt at posthumous revenge is thus thwarted. Two other notable deaths feature similar attempts at posthumous revenge: the death of Lugaid mac Con Ruí mic Dáire, also at the hands of Conall Cernach, and the death of Balor at the hands of his grandson Lugh. This article provides a detailed discussion of the parallels between these three deaths.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

    Downloads

    Item Name: pdf page_celtica34_messgegradeath.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 10