Normally, I like to include a picture of the cover, but this book’s cover is not exactly inspiring – grey, and lined in blue like a copybook. It’s what is within the covers that makes it special. Ever read The Táin and was curious about its historical background? Cattle In Ancient Ireland examines the pivotal role that cattle raiding, and cattle in general, played in ancient Irish society, Cows were prized possessions, a measure of a man’s wealth. The book contains lots of fascinating details like mourning cows, cows in payment for poems, cow-blowing, cows in erics and fines, and the drawing of blood from living cows for food. Cattle raiding was such an accepted custom that new kings raided their people’s enemies to prove their worthiness.
The book appears to be out of print, but anyone who is interested in Celtic history, or history in general, would enjoy this book if they managed to find a copy.
photo credit: publicenergy via photopin cc
The Tain Bo Cuailne reminds me of stories from other parts of the world where cows or steers (Minotaur) play pivotal roles. In Japan, on the other hand, the official religion is about rice, in other regions yet about grain.
Interesting points. The Minoan culture always fascinated me. I suppose Japan has no equivalent of Tain Bo Cuailne then, as cattle are a little more mobile than rice. 🙂