SECHT ‘seven’ was often associated with significant or unusual people and events in medieval Ireland. Cú Chulainn is portrayed as having seven pupils in each eye, seven fingers on each hand and seven toes on each foot. And the hostel in which the ‘boasting contest’ takes place in the ‘Story of Mac Dathó's Pig’ is said to have seven paths through it, seven doors, seven hearths and seven cauldrons. Even in religious texts, seven seems to be a meaningful number, and we are told, for example, that a priest breathed ‘seven breaths of God’ (secht n-anāla Dē) on St Fursa’s back in what seems to be a gesture of appeasement (BColm. 96).
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