Ancient Celtic Wit and Wisdom – 1½ minute read

CelticA thousand years before Christ a lively people called Celts populated Europe. Pockets of nearly pure Celtic DNA remain today. Kit and I consider ourselves to be predominately Celtic in origin.

Celtic peoples are frequently noted for cleverness-of-tongue alas rarely noted for modesty. In the pre-Christian Irish literary epic Táin Bó Cúailnge a husband and wife, Ailill and Medb, are pillow-talking in bed. Ailill comments on Medb’s good fortune to be his wife.

“True enough,” Medb returns and cites the many suitors she rejected. Then Medb wisely  compliments her husband while exhorting him and asserting her own worthiness. “For I asked a harder wedding gift than any woman ever asked before from a man in Ireland – the absence of meanness and jealousy and fear. If I married a mean man our union would be wrong, because I’m so full of grace and giving. It would be an insult if I were more generous than my husband, but not if the two of us were equal in this. If my husband was a timid man our union would be just wrong because I thrive, my self, on all kinds of trouble. It is an insult for a wife to be more spirited than her husband, but not if the two are equally spirited.”

Although Medb’s witty response is amusing, her words are worth considering. Wisdom would have young men and women seek to develop admirable qualities in themselves and seek the same qualities in a spouse. My Celtic princess, Kit, has these noted plus Medb’s cleverness.


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