Although it has long been acknowledged that the early Irish literary corpus preserves both pre-Christian and Christian elements, the challenges involved in the understanding of these different strata have not been subjected to critical examination. This volume draws attention to the importance of reconsidering the relationship between religion and mythology, as well as the concept of ‘Celtic religion’ itself. When scholars are attempting to construct the so-called ‘Celtic’ belief system, what counts as ‘religion’? Or, when labelling something as ‘religion’ as opposed to ‘mythology’, what do these entities entail? This volume is the first interdisciplinary collection of articles which critically reevaluates the methodological challenges of the study of ‘Celtic religion’; the authors are eminent scholars in the field of Celtic Studies representing the disciplines of theology, literary studies, history, law and archaeology, and the book represents a significant contribution to the present scholarly debate concerning the pre-Christian elements in early medieval source materials.
Although it has long been acknowledged that the early Irish literary corpus preserves both pre-Christian and Christian elements, the challenges involved in the understanding of these different strata have not been subjected to critical examination. This volume draws attention to the importance of reconsidering the relationship between religion and mythology, as well as the concept of ‘Celtic religion’ itself. When scholars are attempting to construct the so-called ‘Celtic’ belief system, what counts as ‘religion’? Or, when labelling something as ‘religion’ as opposed to ‘mythology’, what do these entities entail? This volume is the first interdisciplinary collection of articles which critically reevaluates the methodological challenges of the study of ‘Celtic religion’; the authors are eminent scholars in the field of Celtic Studies representing the disciplines of theology, literary studies, history, law and archaeology, and the book represents a significant contribution to the present scholarly debate concerning the pre-Christian elements in early medieval source materials. Contents 1 Introduction: ‘Celtic Religion’: Is this a Valid Concept?, Alexandra Bergholm and Katja Ritari 2 Celtic Spells and Counterspells, Jacqueline Borsje (available Open Access at the University of Amsterdam Digital Academic Repository) 3 The Gods of Ireland in the Later Middle Ages, John Carey 4 Staging the Otherworld in Medieval Irish Literature, Joseph Falaky Nagy 5 The Biblical Dimension of Early Medieval Latin Texts, Thomas O’Loughlin 6 Ancient Irish Law Revisited: Rereading the Laws of Status and Franchise, Robin Chapman Stacey 7 A Dirty Window on the Iron Age? Recent Developments in the Archaeology of Pre-Roman Celtic Religion, Jane Webster
This dictionary, with more than 1000 articles, provides a comprehensive survey of all important aspects of Celtic religion and culture, covering both the prehistoric continental Celts and the later, medieval culture that found written form long after the Celts had settled in the British Isles. Articles in the dictionary also cover the interaction between Celtic and Roman civilisations, and the seminal input of medieval Celtic legend into the Arthurian tradition. The continental and insular Celtic languages, both ancient and modern, are described, and there is a full account of the Celtic deities known to us from the inscriptions and iconography of the classical world. Celtic art and agriculture, the Ossian myth, the Irish Renaissance, and the history of Celtic studies are among other areas treated in depth.
In dealing with the subject of ‘Celtic Religion’ the first duty of the writer is to explain the sense in which the term ‘Celtic’ will be used in this work. It will be used in reference to those countries and districts which, in historic times, have been at one time or other mainly of Celtic speech. It does not follow that all the races which spoke a form of the Celtic tongue, a tongue of the Indo-European family, were all of the same stock. Indeed, ethnological and archæological evidence tends to establish clearly that, in Gaul and Britain, for example, man had lived for ages before the introduction of any variety of Aryan or Indo-European speech, and this was probably the case throughout the whole of Western and Southern Europe. Further, in the light of comparative philology, it has now become abundantly clear that the forms of Indo-European speech which we call Celtic are most closely related to those of the Italic family, of which family Latin is the best known representative. From this it follows that we are to look for the centre of dissemination of Aryan Celtic speech in some district of Europe that could have been the natural centre of dissemination also for the Italic languages. From this common centre, through conquest and the commercial intercourse which followed it, the tribes which spoke the various forms of Celtic and Italic speech spread into the districts occupied by them in historic times. The common centre of radiation for Celtic and Italic speech was probably in the districts of Noricum and Pannonia, the modern Carniola, Carinthia, etc., and the neighbouring parts of the Danube valley. The conquering Aryan-speaking Celts and Italians formed a military aristocracy, and their success in extending the range of their languages was largely due to their skill in arms, combined, in all probability, with a talent for administration. This military aristocracy was of kindred type to that which carried Aryan speech into India and Persia, Armenia and Greece, not to speak of the original speakers of the Teutonic and Slavonic tongues. In view of the necessity of discovering a centre, whence the Indo-European or Aryan languages in general could have radiated Eastwards, as well as Westwards, the tendency to-day is to regard these tongues as having been spoken originally in some district between the Carpathians and the Steppes, in the form of kindred dialects of a common speech. Some branches of the tribes which spoke these dialects penetrated into Central Europe, doubtless along the Danube, and, from the Danube valley, extended their conquests together with their various forms of Aryan speech into Southern and Western Europe.
In this book, you will find the most important facts about Celtic mythology, a people that is often overlooked or undervalued. Their tales and folklores have their routes in ancient customs and historical events, and with those backgrounds, you will get a greater understanding of the Celts. You will discover: More about the Celtic society, their religion, arts, and the collapse of that society. The Celtic history, traces of their language, and their relationship with the Romans who had conquests on the British Isles. Facts about their technology, warfare, and false stories or notions you may have heard about them. A concise outline of the Celtic gods and goddesses they worshipped and revered. Explanations about festivals and rites, as well as what they thought of cosmology and eschatology. The reason why the Celts were esteemed as one of the most terrifying societies in the world, as well as the others that made the top five. Celtic Mythology is intricate, complex, and the ideals behind their mythological beliefs were often intertwined with real life events. This book will examine how both myth and fact contributed to the culture and traditions of the Celts and how these influences and stories continue to live on throughout the centuries
*Includes pictures. *Includes ancient accounts describing the Celts and their religious practices. *Includes footnotes and a bibliography. "Throughout all of Gaul there are two classes of people who are treated with dignity and honor. This does not include the common people, who are little better than slaves and never have a voice in councils. Many of these align themselves with a patron voluntarily, whether because of debt or heavy tribute or out of fear of retribution by some other powerful person. Once they do this, they have given up all rights and are scarcely better than servants. The two powerful classes mentioned above are the Druids and the warriors. Druids are concerned with religious matters, public and private sacrifices, and divination." - Julius Caesar The Celts are one of the most well-known groups in Europe and one of the least understood. Depending on which classifications are used, the Celts are also one of the oldest civilizations in Europe. In the centuries before Christ, the Celts were spread out across much of continental Europe, and though they are mostly identified with Gaul, evidence suggests they also spread as far as Portugal. Though they were spread out across Europe before the height of the Roman Empire, most people associate the Celts with the British Isles today, particularly Ireland and Scotland. After they had been relegated to those smaller regions as a result of the Romans and other migrations, the culture of the Celts as it is currently understood began to congeal during the Early Middle Ages, and Celtic culture, folklore, and legend have all become inextricably intertwined with Irish history and British history as a whole. Historically, Celtic cultures differ from their English and French neighbors in a number of ways, including social organization, language, values and economic systems, but one of the most captivating of these has always been their myths. Celtic Myths, which can be read in translation without needing special training in grammar, are more accessible than the Celtic languages, and unlike the other distinctive features that have faded over the centuries, myths still have their immediacy and power when read today. While much has undoubtedly been lost from the ancient Celts over time, medieval manuscripts help scholars understand how Celtic myths have reached the form they have today. Like many ancient belief systems, Celtic mythology shares Indo-European roots, meaning Celtic beliefs have cousins in related societies like the Norse, Greeks, Romans and Slavs, with a foundation of shared mythmaking that goes back several millennia. Descriptions of Celtic mythology by their contemporaries, including the Ancient Romans and Greeks, provide a hazy picture, while the tales recorded by Christian monks and undoubtedly bear the stamp of their own religious affiliations. Celtic Mythology: The Religion of the Ancient Celts examines the history and legacy of the religion practiced by the Ancient Celts. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about Celtic mythology like you never have before, in no time at all.
Presents an illustrated A to Z reference containing over 1,000 entries providing information on Celtic myths, fables and legends from Ireland, Scotland, Celtic Britain, Wales, Brittany, central France, and Galicia.
Few surviving Celtic myths bear any resemblance to their originals. In the course of time they have been infused with romance, pseudohistory and Christian theory. Stories of Ireland and Wales have been combined with tales of love, war and slaughterdeeds both noble and ignoble. In this classic study, MacCulloch proves that Celtic legend borrowed from preCeltic mythology, just as Christianity in Britain subsumed much of the Celtic past.
CELTIC MYTHOLOGY If you're looking for a beginner's guide on Celtic culture, look no further. While this book focuses on mythology, it will also highlight other essential information about Celtic culture both in the past and present. Throughout this book, we will discuss Celtic people and the gods, goddesses, creatures, and lore that are most associated with Celtic culture. This book will also tell you about the diverse culture of Celts, where Celtic people originally came from, what makes a person Celtic, and about the Celtic religion beyond just the deities that were so important to the religion. You will also learn why these myths continue to be important for modern Celts who no longer practice the Celtic religion but still hold onto many of the Celtic traditions, as well as much, much more! Here Is A Preview Of What You'll Learn About Inside... The Importance Of Celtic Culture History Of The Celtic Culture Famous Celtic Myths Celtic Deities Celtic Mythological Creatures The Influence Of Celtic Myths Much, Much More! Get your copy today!
Most people know of Valhalla, the World-Tree and the gods of Norse mythology, or the strange hunts and voyages of the ancient lrish tales. Yet few people realise the significance of the similarities and contrasts between the religions of the pre-Christian people of north-western Europe. The Celts and Germans and Scandinavians had much in common in their religious practices and beliefs, and this is the first serious attempt that has been made to compare them. There are striking resemblances in their ideas about battle-goddesses and protective spirits, holy places, sacrificial rituals, divination and ideas about the Other World; and Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe poses questions like: do such parallels go back to early times or are they owing to late Viking contact? Hilda Ellis Davidson has worked for many years on pre-Christian Scandinavian and Germanic religion and now compares them with the Celts from the background of previous studies, using evidence from archaeology, iconography, later literature and folklore, in a search for basic patterns which will add to our knowledge of the early peoples in Europe. Aimed at teachers and libraries but also accessible to students of history, religion and Celtic, Norse and German languages and cultures.
Recounts the stories of CuChulain, Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed, Tristan and Isolt, and other Irish and Welsh myths, and discusses their role in ancient Celtic society and their survival in literature, art, and folklore
This book provides a comprehensive overview of Celtic mythology and religion, encompassing numerous aspects of ritual and belief. Topics include the presence of the Celtic Otherworld and its inhabitants, cosmology and sacred cycles, wisdom texts, mythological symbolism, folklore and legends, and an appreciation of the natural world. Evidence is drawn from the archaeology of sacred sites, ethnographic accounts of the ancient Celts and their beliefs, medieval manuscripts, poetic and visionary literature, and early modern accounts of folk healers and seers. New translations of poems, prayers, inscriptions and songs from the early period (Gaulish, Old Irish and Middle Welsh) as well as the folklore tradition (Modern Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, Breton and Manx) complement the text. Information of this kind has never before been collected as a compendium of the indigenous wisdom of the Celtic-speaking peoples, whose traditions have endured in various forms for almost three thousand years.
The Celtic world is a rich source of myth and legend and this attractive volume aims to introduce the subject to a wide audience. Following a general history of Celts and druids, Curran presents extracts or summaries of myths that tell the stories of saints, giants and monsters, sea gods, earth and air spirits, sacred sites and heroes. Storytelling in the Celtic tradition is shown to be still alive in the far west of Britain. Each section is accompanied by numerous photographs of Celtic sites and past and present artistic representations of the legends.