Cú Chulainn ([kuːˈxʊlˠɪnʲ] ( listen), Irish for "Culann's Hound"), also spelled Cúchulainn, Cúchulain, Cú Ċulainn, Cúchullain or Cú Chulaind, is an Irish mythological hero who appears in the stories of the Ulster Cycle, as well as in Scottish and Manx folklore. The son of the god Lug and Deichtine (sister of Conchobar mac Nessa), he was originally named Sétanta.
He gained his better-known name as a child after he killed Culann's fierce guard-dog in self-defence, and offered to take its place until a replacement could be reared. At the age of seventeen he defended Ulster single-handedly against the armies of queen Medb of Connacht in the epic Táin Bó Cúailnge ("Cattle Raid of Cooley"). It was prophesied that his great deeds would give him everlasting fame, but that his life would be a short one. This is the reason why he is compared to the Greek hero Achilles. He is known for his terrifying battle frenzy or ríastrad (similar to a berserker's frenzy, though sometimes called a "warp spasm" because of the physical changes that take place in the warrior), in which he becomes an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. He fights from his chariot, driven by his loyal charioteer Láeg, and drawn by his horses, Liath Macha and Dub Sainglend. In more modern times, Cú Chulainn is often referred to as the "Hound of Ulster".
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing; their amorous freedom sets them apart from the restricted and chaste wives and daughters of the Greek polis. They dwell in mountains and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and in valleys and cool grottoes. Though they would never die of old age nor illness, and could give birth to fully immortal children if mated to a god; they themselves were not necessarily immortal, and could be beholden to death in various forms.
Other nymphs, always in the shape of young nubile maidens, were part of the retinue of a god, such as Dionysus, Hermes, or Pan, or a goddess, generally the huntress Artemis. Nymphs were the frequent target of satyrs. They are frequently associated with the superior divinities: the huntress Artemis; the prophetic Apollo; the reveller and god of wine, Dionysus; and rustic gods such as Pan and Hermes.
The symbolic marriage of a nymph and a patriarch, often the eponym of a people, is repeated endlessly in Greek origin myths; their union lent authority to the archaic king and his line.