Celtic Well


From: "Annie Given" annie.given@ntlworld.com
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 17:31:09 -0000
Subject: ~Celtic Well Dumb Suggestions (was Dumb Questions)

Stiof rightly advises that: "Anything associated with any key event in a mythical tale must be approached on the assumption that it may well have some symbolical importance. So I suggest this as a tentative (but horribly speculative) example of what he means.

In the Dagda / Morrigan encounter, the significance of the union of the gods should be considered as a union or conflict between their attributes (see 1, below), as qualified by the details of the encounter (see 2 below). My example below is based on reprehensible research - that is, I did a quick Google and Wikipedia search with all the shortcomings and caveats that implies, instead of going out to the library to work through the authoritative stuff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_mythology seems a good overview, and there are various mythology / pantheon type sites to be used with care. Anyway, I trust my suggestions will be modified, corrected and superseded by some more informed commentators!

1. Divine attributes (not exhaustive): Dagda: The Father God, God of Time, Magic, Knowledge, Protector of crops. His magic cauldron restores life and supplies unlimited food, while his harp provides the music of sorrow, or joy and of dreaming and causes the changing seasons to continue through time. He is a renowned / promiscuous lover and 'father' to many Irish deities, which, with the cauldron and harp attributes, suggests he is also a Fertility God. Wikipedia Article.

Morrigan: Goddess of Death, Conflict and Sexuality, also Fertility. She decided who would live and who would die in battle, and collected the heads of the dead from the battlefield. A triple goddess, with Badb and Macha. Goddess associated with water, springs, ponds, and rivers - where she washes the clothes of warriors who will die in battles to come. Some associations with cattle and horses. Wikipedia Article

2. Details of the encounter: At Samhain, the Dagda had sexual intercourse with the Morrigan while she straddled the river Unius, washing the blood from the clothes of warriors who would die in battles yet to come, and that she gave him a plan for victory against the Formorians in exchange for his lovemaking.

3. Very dodgy speculation / questions, vaguely based on stuff I've read about in the past. Possible assumptions: (i) The attributes of the deities are opposing (life vs. death) and also complementary (sexuality, fertility and rebirth)

(ii) The encounter between the god of life and the goddess of death, both of whom also have attributes of sex and renewal / fertility, takes place on the eve of transition from Autumn to Winter. It is a sexual encounter, which seems to place emphasis on their shared attributes of sexuality / fertility / rebirth, and it is the Goddess who possesses the secret of Victory (survival? life?) in forthcoming battle and gives it to the god - even while she is preparing for the deaths of combatants (washing their clothes).

Possible interpretations:

(i) The immediate scenario could be interpreted superficially as Life / Dagda triumphing over / seducing Death / Morrigan, but this ignores the reciprocity in the act. Through sexual union Death / Morrigan contributes to the future survival / triumph of Life / Dagda's forces in an impending battle, which seems to require an interpretation that sees Dagda's attributes of Life and Renewal joined with the Morrigan's attributes of Death and Fertility.

(ii) It seems reasonable to hypothesize that the Dagda / Morrigan encounter is a symbolic act that ensures that the death of the year / start of winter, will be followed by rebirth / Spring.

It seems reasonable to interpret the Dagda & Morrigan story as the sort of renewal myth that is found in (most? all?) belief systems. Religious ceremonies tend to evolve as evocations of the actions of the Gods, and these rituals may or may not survive in some form, as folk traditions, when the old religion is superseded by another. This would explain how the traditions and symbols of death / life at Samhain have become linked with the Christian / Christianized festival of the dead, Halloween (31 Oct) / All Saints (1 Nov) / All Souls (2 Nov).

4. Turnip lanterns and Heads

I should resist the temptation to speculate on the possible significance of the lantern / turnip-head, since I haven't a clue what I am talking about, but in for a penny, in for a pound! There seems to be a fair bit of head-collecting in Irish mythology, apart from this being a Morrigan predilection. Also there is archaeological evidence that heads fascinated some of the Iron Age and later peoples that we (really shouldn't) call Celtic. Carved stone heads (difficult to date, but some broadly Iron Age, and artistically maybe 'Celtic') are distinctive Irish artifacts, but there are examples of heads / severed heads featuring in many European contexts. (As a student I was really impressed by the Gaulish sanctuary with representations of heads carved on a stele and one space cut out to hold a skull.

We may ask all sorts of questions, but we may never know: Is the turnip a symbol of the head which is a symbol of the Morrigan? Does the light symbolize the life force? Does the light / life represent or seek to obtain life / fertility in crops? or Does the light & turnip symbolize a human head and represent or seek to obtain life / fertility in people? Or is it a symbol of all these things: death and rebirth of the people and the land and securing the continuity of the seasons? Finally - given the choice between a tough turnip and a pulpy pumpkin, which would you carve? - Annie

From: Breandán Uí Ciarraide breandan@ciarraide.org
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 06:39:58 -0000
Subject: ~Celtic Well Re: some dumb questions

1) Is Dana/Danu/Anu and Áine the same person, or different altogether?

Dana, Danu, and Anu are all generally agreed upon to be variations (often based on regional differences within Éireann) of the same name for the goddess after which the Tuatha de Dannan are named. Áine is generally seen as a separate goddess, however, having different aspects and being tied to a particular region within Éireann.

2) How is 'Diancecht' pronounced?

Roughly (as phoenetics do not translate to text well)- DEE-an-keht or DYAN-kehtch, with the DEE-an or DYAN being said in such a way that the "EE" or "Y" phonetic sounds similar to the J in Fjord. Different dialects will pronounce it slightly differently, but that should help with a basic one.

3) Oral tradition tells of the souls of passed-on people traveling to Tech Duinne, known as the large rock in the SW waters of Ireland with a passage portal running through it. Is there a Deity/Entity that transports the souls there and do they go anyplace after that? To where? Are they escorted there by anyone?

These are tricky questions for two key reasons-

1) Time, misinformation, Christianization, and a variety of other issues have done a great deal of muddying of the waters when it comes to what the ancient Gael believed. There is enough to build on when it comes to restoring indigenous faith, but not enough to stand on its own in totem, and certainly not enough to say with certainty "The ancient Gael believed this (enter specific detail here)". You are also dealing with a millennia of pre-Christian beliefs in Éireann during which a great deal of evolution and adaptation (not to mention cross-cultural pollination between regions of Éireann) caused an initial blurring of matters.

2) Matters of faith are the hardest thing to declare with certainty under empirical methodology, be they ancient or modern faiths. A modern Traditionalist could explain where the modern polytheist movement sits on the matter (which is comprised of two complimentary views), but no one can speak with such certainty about what our ancestors believed. In either case, neither can be proven under scientific methods, hence why it is faith and not science, and thus when using an archeological filter, which is, sadly, all we really have to go on besides indirect anthropology using extant Gaelic custom and folklore, we are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. A modern polytheist Gael could proudly proclaim "Donn Firineach lives beneath the waves at Mannanan Mac Lír's right hand, guiding the souls to his house where they feast with our ancestors", but when asked for scientific proof there is none, obviously. A Christian could just as firmly proclaim "Jesus was the son of God and he died for our sins" and likewise be unable to convince an unbiased scientific jury of that claim. This is a matter that is old and long-fought, the debate between faith and science. In my personal opinion, both compliment each other, with faith explaining that which science cannot, however one cannot effectively use one to try and explain the other. As a result, one will be sorely pressed to come up with a universal declaration of fact on a matter of spiritual and religious belief. Rather, what you will find is many different opinions (often as staunchly and fiercely held and defended as matters of faith would be) held by many different researchers and historians, each different from one another. Those many varied opinions are, unfortunately, the closest you will get to a direct answer, and it falls on you to try and figure out which one seems to be the most valid.

Breandán - Tuath na Ciarraide - ACTG

From: "Cygne" poppinjay@earthlink.net
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 04:00:24 -0000
Subject: Re: ~Celtic Well some dumb questions

Here is the little piece I wrote a few years ago on Anu and Danu. - Stacey

There has been much discussion in the scholarly community on whether Danu and Anu are cognates of one another or separate goddesses entirely.

Anu and Danu were both fertility goddesses and Mother Goddesses in early Irish mythology. Anu is described in Cormac's Glossary (Sanas Cormaic, 10th century) as the mother of the Irish gods, and in the Coir Anmann (Fitness of Names) as the goddess of prosperity to whom the province of Munster owed its wealth and fertility. Danu is associated with the divine race of people, the Tuatha Dé Danann, the People of the Goddess Danu, who are recorded in the Leabhar Gebhála (Book of Invasions) having arrived in a cloud from the North, invading Ireland, and defeating the Fir Bolgs and later the Fomorians.

Anu is identified with the earth and fertility of Ireland. She gives her name to the two rounded hills in County Kerry, called Dá Chich Anann or the Paps of Anu. In Ireland today she is still talked about from Cork up into South County Tipp people and is considered the earth goddess of Ireland. A distinction is made between her and Danu. Anu is considered to be pre Tuatha and possibly the Sheela na Gig.

Anu also identified with Aine, another goddess associated the land. Her cult was localized to County Limerick, Munster, where she was still worshipped up until the 19th century. She was said to live in the hill Cnoc Aine. On St. John's Eve, Midsummer's Eve, the local people carried torches of hay and straw around the hill that was then taken to the fields to bless cattle (another instance of fire being used to insure the health and fertility of the flocks for the coming year).

Danu, according to MacKillop, is the speculative name for the mother goddess of the Continental Celts, based on the evidence of place names, for example the Danube river (die Donau). He writes that "a prosthetic D-changes Ana, Anu to Dana, Danu; some commentators advise that these forms are later scholarly inventions, while others point out that the name Dana has discrete associations and parallels." But if you look at the types of places Danu is associated with, a pattern begins to form. Derivations of her name being rivers show strong evidence that she is a river goddess, as opposed to Anu who is a land goddess. Rivers all over the Indo-Europeans lands were named for her: the Danube in Austria (the Greek author Herodotus commented on the Keltoi residing in the area of the Danube valley in the fifth century B.C.), the Don in southwest Russia (where an inscription referring to an attack on the kingdom of Bosporos and a scattering of La Tène objects across the southern steppes in indicates that some Celts might have reached), Dnieper in the Ukraine (where the Celts settled around 300 BC), Dniester in Moldavia, and even the Don and Dee in Scotland are all cognates of her name.

Other linguistic evidence exists showing Danu's position as a Pan-Indo-European river Goddess. Her name is Sanskrit and in India's Rig-Veda signifies "stream" and "the waters of heaven."

From: "John Hooker" john@writer2001.com
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 12:43:14 -0700 (MST)
Subject: ~Celtic Well RE: ~IAI Epona, Macha etc

In Reply to: Catherine, It did remind me of questions I had about some of the references to horse goddesses, which I also found a bit of a stretch. Especially Etain - whose designation as such seems to rest entirely on her epithet Echraide, which is only in a couple of references? Is there more that I am missing? Even Macha, who did run a race with horses and after whom Cuchlain's horse were named seems to have a much more complex role than the one implied in the designation 'horse goddess'. What exactly does 'horse goddess' mean? Are there specific Irish connections with Epona on the continent? I would be interested in following up on this topic if there are any books or articles that people can recommend.

My concern with the idea of calling any deity 'fire god', 'horse goddess', 'smith god' etc is that we can all too easily, as you note, take epithets as implying the deity is a god(dess) of... whatever. To take a couple of examples most people here are likely to have in their experience, Jesus of Nazareth is referred to as both 'lamb of God' and 'a fisher of men'. Neither of these epithets is intended to suggest (so far as I am aware) that either lambs or fishes are especially sacred in Christian belief, nor that Jesus should be understood as a God of Sheep Herding or a Sea God, for example. Similarly, it is easy to say that the 'water into wine miracle' shows Jesus was clearly a God celebrated through alcohol consumption, and can therefore be equated with Bacchus.

I wonder, when the list of attributes of some almost-wholly-prehistoric or only-just-historic deity are taken to imply that deity is a god(dess) of x, if the temptation to look on such figures as specially connected to some natural process or human activity is really just over-enthusiasm on our part.

Personally, I feel more comfortable thinking of Celtic deities in terms of their core attributes / functions only. Doing so allows for a much clearer picture of respective roles. With such attributes clearly assigned, overlaps & parallels can be considered, and additional functions & attributes can be looked at in light of the core function.

Rather than ramble on about this any more, I'll stop and ask if the above makes any sense in peoples' minds. Either way, let's hear your views. Cross-posting to Celtic Well is encouraged, btw, on this topic. --- Stiof

It's a bit of a problem to know where to start with all of this. I've been interested in mythology / comparative religions for many years and the Celts now serve as a focal point for me in those subjects. In my opinion, starting with a deity name and then trying to identify the attributes and the region for that deity is putting the cart before the horse. I find that a more useful approach is to look at certain concepts and then one might demonstrate that a particular deity from a particular region and time expresses something of a concept in question.

After the conquests of Gaul and then Britain, the evidence for Celtic religion took on a very different nature. It is so extreme that one might almost see pre-conquest and post-conquest Celtic religion as two separate subjects. The focus of this shift would have to be the decline of the Druid class as a religious / political / economic power. While the conquests and subsequent societal reordering are an important factor, other agencies were at play - mainly the development of a settlement-based artisan and trading class less dependent on warrior class patronage. This started to occur before the conquest in many areas and after the conquest in more outlying regions. In regions where gold money was used, there is often a shift to a bi or trimetallic system and the iconography of the coins can often show very different functions for gold, silver and copper.

Small denomination coins start to exhibit devices that are the stock in trade of Greek and Roman trained artisans while the gold coins of the same region and date maintain a rather strange symbolism that would likely only be understood by Druid / Warrior classes. This is especially true among the Belgic tribes in Gaul and Britain in the last half of the 1st cent. B.C.

Tribes further south and to the east were already heavily influenced by the classical world at a much earlier date and remote western areas such as Armorica never even adopted classical themes before their own money became completely Roman.

Another aspect to this theme is the modern term"Interpretatio Romana".

The impression that is given is that the Romans equated the Celtic gods with their own and some take this to mean that all later associations between Celtic and Roman deities have some sort of Roman official authorship as if Rome was trying to proselytize their religion. The two ingredients of "Interpretatio Romana" are (i) the common urge to equate what is foreign with one's own culture (a sort of comparative religion exercise) and (ii) the policies that were introduced by Augustus in the initial building of his empire. Augustus sought to reflect conservative Roman values and among the many ways he did this was to institute a scale of Imperial sponsorship to the various cults. Number one on his list was the Vestal Virgins. These were essentially the mothers of Rome herself and were not borrowed from Greek culture but came about through the evolution of the beliefs of the northern Italian tribes. The Vestals got the cream. Other deities fell into line after them. The more foreign or obscure the deity, the less sponsorship came from Imperial coffers.

Let's shift to Gaul after the conquest and picture the head priest of a local Gaulish cult. Under Roman authority, that priest could apply to Rome for the funds to build a Roman style temple. If he could convince Rome that he needed a temple to one of the major gods like Apollo, he would not only get the money for the temple but a much larger amount of land. Some of this land would belong to the temple and could only be used for that function, but the rest could be leased by the priest to local farmers. Thus the temple would have a local source of income. Various other perks were also given dependent on how important the deity was to the manufactured PR of the emperor. The priest might get an additional income from Rome and even invitations to various celebrations and games.

What this means is that any priest had a tremendous incentive to associate his local deity with one of the chief Roman gods and thus we start to get the double names Apollo Belinus etc. The commonest of the Celtic gods associated with the Roman are local war gods (reflecting the background warrior society) who then become Mars.

Although not part of this discussion, a similar thing was happening with political posts where a governor or procurator could milk the local inhabitants and get rather wealthy in the process. Sometimes considerable corruption ensued and Licinius, who had been a slave of Caesar's long before his rapid promotion in Gaul stole his fellow countrymen blind causing a delegation to go to Rome and complain to Augustus who tried to settle the matter but was beaten by Licinius who made a gift of his treasure to the Roman people. Augustus had no political choice but to accept this "gift" and Licinius saved himself.

Rome only started to get worried when a cult put itself before the authority of the Roman state and this led to persecutions of Jews, Christians, and of course, Druids. While not very clear, I think a similar situation existed with some of the Mystery Cults, although the population would always be given other, moral, reasons for the persecutions.

The greatest change to the Celtic religion would have been the core Druid system which involved a carefully orchestrated system of conflict and a balance of power that was maintained by the Druids themselves. This was fairly easy for them when the celts were off fighting for Greek patrons, but it become trickier when they all had to go back home after Rome took control of the Greek world. Then all they could do was to fight each other. A danger in this is that it would be fairly easy for a powerful tribe to achieve total control. I think that the custom mentioned by Caesar of piles of war booty being placed where it could not be reused was an attempt to prevent the eventual accumulation of wealth and weapons by a single power. Of course, the idea of intrafighting in the provinces was something that Rome could not tolerate and they really did not even want this managed by a Druid coalition that recognized only its own authority -- so the Druids had to go!

Most authors of Celtic religion steer clear of the pre classical syncretism, Miranda Green even commenting on this and focusing on the Gallo-Roman. The reason being that there is lots of evidence for the later period and very little for the former. We cannot really know the validity of the associations between Roman and Celtic deities: the associations being mostly made for profit and not for the religious accuracy. Even if the Apollo aspect of some local Celtic deity was very minor, that aspect would be raised to paramount importance if it meant getting a lot of Roman funds and income from local land leases.

As for the earlier Celtic belief structure, there are a few clues that fly against what seems to appear later: we have Brennus laughing at the Greeks for their anthropomorphic deities and we have an account of the "Pythagorean" transmigration of souls. At a much later date we have the telling account of the Greek satirist / orator Lucian, where a Celt tells him "We Celts do not consider the power of speech to be Hermes, as you Greeks do, but we represent it by means of Herakles, because he is much stringer than Hermes." This statement is very important. Its truth comes from the fact that Lucian was a satirist and of all the ancient authors, it is the satirist that relates what is true and popular as the ammunition for his satire. The historian, on the other hand, often has patrons to honor and party lines to follow. For example, I would believe Aristophanes about daily life in Athens over any contemporary historian as his audience was a savvy Athenian public who needed truth to fuel the satire. You cannot satirize the false! Lucian's account was to illustrate the advantage of a rather elderly orator (himself) over the younger upstarts that were becoming popular so the comparison between himself and the Gaulish Ogmios (Old Man Herakles) had to be based on a reality.

The Celt in Lucian's account was using metaphor. He did not say (as we would try to today) "The god of the power of speech". The metaphor was the quality given a god name -- identifying the two as the same. Thus Brennus makes more sense. This use of abstract forces that are anthropomorphized are a feature of popular religion and the lower echelons of the mystery religions. In the latter, one is lead through a series of revelations that progressively becomes more cosmic in its meaning and less deity / historical based. Not long ago, the Dalai Lama explained his tolerance of the peasant's belief in demons as actual beings saying that they were incapable of very sophisticated philosophical thought and as long as these things led to their maintaining a proper moral and ethical behavior, then no harm would result (I might be heavily paraphrasing -- I'm relying on the memory of an interview).

The use of coins in Celtic religious offerings is mostly of a later period -- sometimes (in the case of Harlow temple) after a Roman style temple has been erected. The Wanborough "hoard" of mostly small silver coins appears somewhat earlier but is characterized by the use of classically inspired coin types. Very early offerings of gold coins are less common and some sites can be identified as religious because of a high percentage of plated coins (gold foil). While some have thought these coins to be forgeries passed as religious offerings to escape detection (shirt buttons in the collection plate!) I think an alternative view is that these were essentially temple coins that symbolized the real item. Among upper echelon belief structures offering could be abstract and symbolic, but in lower echelons there was belief that one was actually bargaining with the deity and that value was given only for value. Thus, as one author pointed out, the poor peasant would sacrifice the whole cow in the hopes of reward while the warriors at the hill fort would give only the horns and the hooves!

To sum up, I think that a better understanding of the earlier Celtic religion is obtained by looking more to the symbols and metaphors and far less to identifying gods. - Cheers, John

From: Crowe Catherine imagocorvi@yahoo.ca>
To: Celtic-Well@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, 13 November, 2006 3:35:35 PM
Subject: Re: ~Celtic Well> Mythological Cycle

Hello all - I am an erstwhile lurker who has been away from the list entirely for awhile. But my researches have led me back in this direction - and I was wondering if the list could help with a couple of things.

I am looking for some good recent commentary on some of the texts from the mythological cycle. I have read the classics: O'Rahilly, De Jubainville, Macalister, Stokes, Meyers, MacCana etc etc etc- but most of them were writing at least 40 yeas ago (if not 100!)

I have used Daithi o'Hogain's Encyclopedia as a starting point - but most of his references seem pretty dated. Are there really no new theories?

In particular I'd like commentary on the Battles of Moytirra/Mag Tuired. I know everyone always says the 1st battle is a literary fiction and less authentic than the 2nd battle - but I would like to know the reasons why...

A very specific question is on a word in the Voyage of Bran: "Ildathach" it appears to be a place, but the etymology of the word is not expounded as are other places. Are there other references to this place? Anyone know what the etymology might be? Any help greatly appreciated. I have cross posted on early medieval Ireland. -- Thanks, Catherine

From: Annie Gormlie annie_gormlie@yahoo.co.uk
To: Celtic-Well@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Mon Nov 13 14:28
Subject: Re: ~Celtic Well> Mythological Cycle

The First Battle is usually considered to be later than the 'second' battle based on linguistic grounds, amongst other things. A lot of information is outdated/old in this field, but that's changing. If you have access to a good university library, then your best bet is to look through the journals, rather than relying on books. You'll probably find more recent articles on the subject.

I'm not a great fan of O'Hogain, personally. Admittedly I've only read one of his books but his work does seem to be based on rather outdated research and ideas - although to give him credit, he does give a good bibliography/references. A lot of other people have given the same criticisms.

I've studied Cath Maige Tured at great length so can provide you with some articles to look into for that. The main ones to look at are Elizabeth Gray's work. You can find her translation online, but the book itself contains some notes that are useful and her articles have a wealth of information. You'll need an academic library for most, but Gray's translation can be found cheap on Amazon. Try:

Carey, John: "Myth and Mythography in Cath Maige Tuired" in Studia Celtica, Vol XXIV/XXV (Cardiff, 1990).
Gray, Elizabeth: Cath Maige Tuired, The Second Battle of Mag Tuired (Irish Texts Society, 1982).
Gray, Elizabeth A: "Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (1 - 24)" in Éigse XVIII (National University of Ireland, 1982).
Gray, Elizabeth A: "Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (24 -120)" in Éigse XVIII (National University of Ireland, 1982).
Gray, Elizabeth A: "Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (84 - 93)" in Éigse XIX (National University of Ireland, 1983).
Gray, Elizabeth A: "Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (120 - 167)" in Éigse XIX (National University of Ireland, 1983).
Sayers, William: "Bargaining for the life of Bres in Cath Maige Tuired," in The Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, Volume XXXIV (Cardiff, 1987).

For the Mythological Cycle in general, try:

Carey, John: Lebar Gabala: Recension I (Harvard University, 1983)
Carey, John: The Irish National Origin Legend: Synthetic Pseudohistory (Quiggin Pamphlets on the Sources of Medieval Gaelic History, University of Cambridge, 1994).
McCone, Kim: Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature (Maynooth, 1990).
O' Cathasaigh, Tomas: "The Semantics of Sid", in Éigse XVII (National University of Ireland, 1979).
Rees, Alwyn and Brinley: Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales (London, 1961).
Sjoestedt, Marie Louise: Gods and Heroes of the Celts, translated by Myles Dillon (London, 1949).

The last two are old, but still worth a read. McCone is particularly good for getting perspectives on the different ways in which the material has been interpreted over time, so should help you be more analytical of the sources you're using. He's a dense read but you should find a lot of information in there. - Hope that helps. Annie

From: Crowe Catherine imagocorvi@yahoo.ca
Sent: Tue Nov 14 4:41
To: Celtic-Well@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: ~Celtic Well> Mythological Cycle

Hi Annie - Thanks so much - this is just what I was looking for. I do have access to the University of Toront Celtic Studies Library - so I will be able to get all of these.

I agree entirely about o'Hogain - nothing new there - but his encyclopedia has helped me focus because of his great bibliographies and references. I also read the Sacred Isle, but found it rather disappointing...really just a re-hash of old ideas.

I have read the Gray translation and notes, but your further Journal articles should be helpful. Perhaps as I work through the text I will post other specific questions...

I enjoyed the Rees' Celtic Heritage', but to me - while their theories are attractive - they don't seem to be based on any really rational argument... - Thanks again, Catherine

From: teuthos66@aol.com
To: Celtic-Well@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tue Nov 14 20:37
Subject: Re: ~Celtic Well > Mythological Cycle

Off-hand I would also recommend

Carey, John. 1995. Native Elements in Irish Pseudo-History. In Doris Edel (ed.), Cultural Identity and Cultural Integration: Ireland and Europe in the Early Middle Ages. Dublin: Four Couts Press; 45-60.


Scowcroft, Mark R. 1987. 'Leabhar Gabhála: Part I: The Growth of the Text,' Ériu 38, pp. 81-142. --WP