Ni Bhrolchain, Muireann
Re Tóin Mná: In Pursuit of Troublesome Women.
Ulidia: Proceedings of the first international conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales.
A woman's social position in early Ireland was clearly delineated within a patriarchal society which allowed divorce, bigamy, multiple serial marriages and eventually tolerated the position of the banchomarba "female-heiress" under the influence of the Church. The pre-Christian culture and religion venerated a plethora of goddesses presiding over functions such as war, fertility and the arts in the person of an overtly promiscuous, sexual deity, notorious as the sovereignty goddess whose marriage to the king and her bestowal of a drink ensured his kingship. Her displeasure at a monarch's behaviour could result in his eventual or immediate demise (O'Rahilly 1943, 7; Breathnach 1982, 243; McCone 1990, 138; Wagner 1981, 22)
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