Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Of Recommended Reading List - The Short Version

I realized that while I did a post on resources for the Irish language and another on online resources for Irish mythology I hadn't actually done a recommended reading list. I'm planning at some point to actually do a more comprehensive one but I decided to do a short one for now.


Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC – AD 1000 by Barry Cunliffe: this is a great introduction to the history of Europe. Just be aware that Cunliffe sneaks in his "Celtic from the West" hypothesis.  It is not very obvious but it is there.

Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 8000 BC – AD 1500 by Barry Cunliffe: another great introduction from Cunliffe this time about the Atlantic zone. This book is where he first discusses his "Celtic from the West" hypothesis, but you'll miss it if you blink.

Historical Atlas of the Celtic World by John Haywood and Barry Cunliffe: keep this or a more recent edition very close, you never know when you might need it.

The Atlantic Iron Age by Jon Henderson: The scope of study for this book is the Late Bronze Age (1200 – 600 BCE) to the end of the first millennium BCE with an emphasis on the seventh century BCE to the end of the first millennium BCE. The areas covered are Armorica, south-west England, Wales, Ireland, and Atlantic Scotland. Also a passing reference to south-western France and western Iberia.

Pagan Celtic Ireland by Barry Raftery

Pre-Christian Ireland: From the First Settlers to the Early Celts by Peter Harbison

The Origin of the Irish by J.P. Mallory: One of the best books I've read so far on the Origins of the Irish.


Cattle Lords and Clansmen: Social Structure of Early Ireland by Nerys Thomas Paterson.

Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia (Five Volume Set) by John Koch [Expensive but worth having]


Myths and Legends of the Celts by James MacKillop

The Lore of Ireland: An Encyclopedia of Myth, Legend and Romance by Dáithí Ó hÓgáin

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Of Online Mythology Resources

So this has come up on a few of my groups, and I thought since I did one on Irish Language resources I would do one for online resources to reliable sites to Celtic mythology.

Celtic Digital Initiative: (from their website) The aim of the Celtic Digital Initiative (CDI) is to make scarce resources available in an electronic format to students and scholars, both within UCC and beyond.

Mary Jones: (From their website) This is an attempt to collect as many possible early and medieval texts produced in the "Celtic" countries, or on Celtic themes (hence the inclusion of Continental Arthurian works). Some works are actually links off-site; others are provided here at the CLC. 

Corpus of Electronic Texts (CELT):  (From their website) To bring the wealth of Irish literary and historical culture (in Irish, Latin, Anglo-Norman French, and English) to the Internet in a rigorously scholarly and user-friendly project for the widest possible range of readers and researchers. CELT (the Corpus of Electronic Texts) caters for academic scholars, teachers, students, and the general public, all over the world. 

A Corpus of Ancient Written References to the Druids: Note I am only recommending this page of the website as I have not read the rest of it. (From the website) First of all, these are primary sources, not secondary sources. In other words, these ancient records are to a large extent the basis of our knowledge about the Druids. This means that by becoming familiar with them and understanding them, one can gain a more direct and firmer familiarity with the subject matter than by merely consulting modern works, which are, after all, derived from them. Often one can demonstrate by referring to them that a statement regarding the Druids in a modern work is false or unwarranted. On the other hand, this also means that these sources are not critical or scientific works - the Greeks, Romans and Church Fathers who authored them were not impartial and usually did not have good information about the Druids. Therefore, not everything they wrote about them was necessarily true. These are texts to be analyzed, not simply believed at face value. This is an important point, so I will say it again in bold: These are texts to be analyzed, not simply believed at face value.

Sacred Texts: I don't think this site needs an introduction.

Alexei Kondratiev's Celtic Story Telling: A series of six Youtube videos, where Alexei talks about Celtic Story telling.

Complete Cattle Raid of Cooley: This is the Cattle Raid of Cooley, in both Irish and English next to each other.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Review: Abair Leat! Cúrsa ranga do mhúinteoirí Gaeilge (Leibhéal 1, Cuid 1)

I'm always interested in finding a way to improve my learning of Irish Gaelic so when I fine something new on Litríocht or Amazon on learning Irish Gaelic I usually order it.  I should have looked closer before ordering this book.  I was just too dang excited to see something new, and ordered it right away before reading the description.  The website says "A class-course, with accompanying CD for teachers who wish to teach Irish to complete beginners"  I still didn't think much of the _for teachers_ part until it arrived.  It is literally lesson plans for teachers.

I still had hope though because I do know Irish Gaelic and I could read a lot of what was written in Irish enough to make sense of what the sentences were discussing. The commentary on the lessons aside, the lessons themselves were good.  The recordings were in Ulster Irish though and so were the words in the book.  An experienced teacher could probably fit the lessons to any dialect and use the pictures and lesson plans to set up their class.

I'm not an Irish teacher but I think this is a great book with a good lesson plan for any of my irish teacher friends.  I would definitely recommend they at least check this out.  Here is a link to where I bought it from: Abáir Leat!