"The ancient Gauls wore helmets which represented beasts. The enchanted king's sons, when they come home to their dwellings, put off cochal [a Gaelic word signifying], the husk, and become men; and when they go out they resume the cochal, and become animals of various kinds. May this not mean that they put on their armour? They marry a plurality of wives in many stories. In short, the enchanted warriors are, as I verily believe, nothing but real men, and their manners real manners, seen through a haze of centuries.... I do not mean that the tales date from any particular period, but that traces of all periods may be found in them— that various actors have played the same parts time out of mind, and that their manners and customs are all mixed together, and truly, though confusedly, represented—that giants and fairies and enchanted princes were men ... that tales are but garbled popular history, of a long journey through forests and wilds, inhabited by savages and wild beasts; of events that occurred on the way from east to west, in the year of grace, once upon a time" . "The Highland giants were not so big but that their conquerors wore their clothes; they were not so strong that men could not beat them, even by wrestling. They were not quite savages; for though some lived in caves, others had houses and cattle and hoards of spoil.

 

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Fians, Fairies and Picts - David MacRitchie

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