Monday, October 07, 2002

LexiLine Journal #35 - 2002 : Rathiddy County Louth Ireland Lacerta Cuchulain



To the Ancient Ireland files I have uploaded
rathiddy.gif and
as the decipherment of the megalith called RATHIDDY, known as the Stone of Cuchulain.

The megalith Rathiddy in County Louth represents Lacerta but also has the Swan Cygnus marked on it.

The reason for this goes way back in Irish legend and one of the great Irish heroes, Cuchulain (CuChulain viz. Cu Chulain).

Rathiddy is said to be Cuchulain's stone. Now that is a curious thing, as we shall see.

The legend states that Cuchulain, mortally wounded in battle, tied himself to this megalith for support, but his valor forbid any enemy from approaching him until a raven would light on his shoulder, indicating that he had passed away.

We find that this "raven" as a bird is found on his megalith indeed, though I identify the carving as the head of a swan, Cygnus, which of course is then on the "shoulder" of Lacerta, which here appears to be a chipmunk or prairie dog type of animal, rather than the conventional Lacerta lizard.

In view of the name "prairie dog", it is interesting for the name Cuchulain that CU is Gaelic for "dog", similar to Latvian SUns "dog", so what was CHULAIN ? A "prairie dog"?

I looked for "small" and found Gaelic cuilean (=chulain?) meaning "whelp" in MacBain's online etymological dictionary of (Scottish) Gaelic which is recommended to everyone because of its many CORRECT references to Latvian, Lithuanian and Old Prussian. There are apparently a few linguists at work out there (as at MacBain's) who know a bit more about what they are doing than the rest of their breed. Hence, the idea of a "small dog" is here corroborated.

[Update October 11, 2002 by Jean Buffum]

Subj: RE: [LexiLine] 35 LexiLine Newsletter 2002 County Louth
Rathiddy Lacerta Cuchulain
Date: 10/11/2002 10:29:35 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: "Jean Buffum"


Some Lexiliners might be interested in An Irish Myth Concordance by Mike Nichols. The 29 page document can be downloaded and distributed freely or read online at

Excerpt from it……

"Culain - although he may have been Manannan in another guise, he was the great smith, originally living on the Island of Falga, who was invited by Conchubar to live on the plains of Muirthemne, where Cuchulain killed his great dog and thereafter took the name Cuchulain, meaning 'the hound of Culain' (98)"

which is related to your interpretation below of the meaning of Chulain ... is ... example of how it might be useful...

>In view of the name "prairie dog" it is interesting for the name
>Cuchulain that CU is Gaelic for "dog", similar to Latvian
>SUns "dog", so what was CHULAIN ?

>I looked for "small" and found
>Gaelic cuilean (=chulain?) meaning "whelp" in MacBain's online
>etymological dictionary of (Scottish) Gaelic which is recommended to
>everyone because of its many CORRECT references to Latvian,
>Lithuanian and Old Prussian. There are apparently a few linguists
>at work out there who know a bit more about what they are doing
>than the rest of their breed.


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