I remember discussing this in my course on the Tain, so I dug up my notes
to share anything I might:
In Thomas Kinsella's translation of The Tain, Cuchulainn is born to
Deichtine through water she drinks (a sort of virgin birth?) but she
originally names him Setanta, which, according to Laurie Fadave (the
celtic expert at San Francisco State University) is apparantly not a Celt
She suggested that the name derives from the Setantii people who lived due
east of Brug in what is now the Liverpool area of Britain.
Anyway, as all you guys who speak Irish probably know,
Cuchulainn/Setanta is linked with Lug as a dad then renamed by his
uncle Cathbad when he kills the horrible hound of Culann.
Isn't Cuchulainn also small and dark, like the Pict people? It could be
that his story was absorbed from the original Irish people by the celts
when they arrived.
Hope this helps a little!
On Wed, 3 Nov 1993 [log in to unmask] wrote:
> A Chairde,
> I've never heard anything about Cu/Chullain being a pict. In the
> Ta/in he is the son of the God Lu/gh (though he is also called the son of
> sualtim, who was his human father.) He does go to Alba to train with the
> female champion Sca/lath, but that's the only pictish connection i know of.