Briccriu
An Ulster chieftain surnamed ‘‘of the Poisoned Tongue,’’
mentioned in the myth of Cuchulain, a medieval Irish romance.
It is said that on one occasion he asked certain warriors
to a feast and raised the question which of them was the greatest.
Conall, Laery, and Cuchulain were selected, and a demon
called ‘‘The Terrible’’ was requested to decide the point. He
suggested that whoever could cut off his (The Terrible’s) head
today, and allow his own head to be cut off on the following day
would be the most courageous, and therefore must deserve the
title of champion. Cuchulain succeeded in beheading the devil,
who immediately picked up his head and vanished. The next
day he reappeared in his usual form in order to cut off
Cuchulain’s head. On his placing his head on the block, the
demon told him to rise, and acknowledged that he was champion
of Ireland.