Plate (e) shows a bust of a goddess in the center and the smaller busts of two male gods on her shoulders. She wears a torque and has a typical mask-like face with her small mouth and T-shaped eye brows and nose. The bearded deity on her right shoulder is almost identical with the central god on the inner plate (C) even in their round shaped pattern beneath their beard. They may represent the same god in a different context or just two different gods. If the former is the case, this means that the decoration program of the cauldron is based on a certain kind of narrative or a group of narratives and that each plate is interconnected with one another iconographically. In favor of this view, Olmsted identifies the central goddess with Irish Medb and the two gods with her husband Ail and her lover Fergus. The tale says that because of her many sexual partners, she "never had one man without another waiting in his shadow." Based on this passage, Olmsted suggests that this scene may represent sexual relationships of Medb. The background of the figures is dotted and filled with ivy-tendrils as shown on the (d), (g).
Go to the Main Page, Plate (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (base)