This linguistic invention is presented to Stephen by his younger brothers, when he asks where their father is. It is a playful way in which we come to acknowledge the poverty of the Dedalus family (and Joyce's), just before his acceptance at the university.
Oft in the Stilly Night is a poem by the Irish writer and singer Thomas Moore, (1779-1852) best known for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and the The Last Rose of Summer.
This is probably Trinity College Dublin.
The phrases could be taken to signify "cow by the name of Stephen" and "the garlanded heifer", the common sacrificial offering of the Greek religion.
Ireland was invaded and plundered by the Danes in 785 A.D.
Also mentioned in this paragraph are the following:
Henrik Ibsen was a nineteenth century playwright and poet from Norway, a founder of Modernism in theatre.
Ben Jonson was a Renaissance writer from England. A contemporary of Shakespeare, he is best known for plays such as Volpone and The Alchemist.
The quote from Ben Jonson is from his Ode to Aurora:
I was not wearier where I lay
By frozen Tithon’s side tonight,
Than I am willing now to stay
And be a part of your delight.
But I am urgéd by the day,
Against my will, to bid you come away.
In Irish mythology, the Firbolg people inhabited Ireland before the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Milesians were the final inhabitants of Ireland, the Celts.
Myrtle is an evergreen shrub or small tree with a white, star-shaped flower and round black berries.
Lavender is a member of the mint family, and is usually found as a small shrub with fragrant leaves and pale purple flowers.
Vervain is a herbaceous flowering plant.
Michael Cusack (1847-1906) was an Irish teacher at Kilkenny College and Trinity College, Dublin. He was the founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The character of 'the citizen' in Ulysses is said to be partly based on him.
The Irish language is now spoken and taught today only in certain small areas of Ireland, although it is the first official language of the Republic. Some television and radio stations broadcast in Irish. All the official papers in Ireland are written both in English and Irish Gaelic. Its use is largely symbolic.
Irish mythological stories can be grouped into cycles: the Mythological cycle, the Ulster cycle, the Fenian cycle and the Historical cycle. Some of the most important mythological figures are Cuchulainn, Macha, Lugh, and Deirdre.