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Book
xxx, 578 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
  • List of Illustrations ix Abbreviations xi Preface xiii Guide to Pronunciation xxi PART ONE 1 Hidden Beginnings: From Cult to Conversion 3 2 Earthly Gods: Pagan Deities, Christian Meanings 30 3 Divine Culture: Exemplary Gods and the Mythological Cycle 72 4 New Mythologies: Pseudohistory and the Lore of Poets 128 5 Vulnerability and Grace: The Finn Cycle 194 6 Damaged Gods: The Late Middle Ages 248 PART TWO 7 The Imagination of the Country: Towards a National Pantheon 277 8 Danaan Mysteries: Occult Nationalism and the Divine Forms 310 9 Highland Divinities: The Celtic Revival in Scotland 361 10 Coherence and Canon: The Fairy Faith and the East 406 11 Gods of the Gap: A World Mythology 434 12 Artgods 489 Acknowledgements 503 Glossary of Technical Terms 507 Conspectus of Medieval Sources 511 Works Cited 517 Index 557.
  • (source: Nielsen Book Data)9780691157313 20161205
Ireland's Immortals tells the story of one of the world's great mythologies. The first account of the gods of Irish myth to take in the whole sweep of Irish literature in both the nation's languages, the book describes how Ireland's pagan divinities were transformed into literary characters in the medieval Christian era--and how they were recast again during the Celtic Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A lively narrative of supernatural beings and their fascinating and sometimes bizarre stories, Mark Williams's comprehensive history traces how these gods--known as the Tuatha De Danann--have shifted shape across the centuries, from Iron Age cult to medieval saga to today's young-adult fiction. We meet the heroic Lug; the Morrigan, crow goddess of battle; the fire goddess Brigit, who moonlights as a Christian saint; the mist-cloaked sea god Manannan mac Lir; and the ageless fairies who inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's immortal elves. Medieval clerics speculated that the Irish divinities might be devils, angels, or enchanters. W. B. Yeats invoked them to reimagine the national condition, while his friend George Russell beheld them in visions and understood them to be local versions of Hindu deities. The book also tells how the Scots repackaged Ireland's divine beings as the gods of the Gael on both sides of the sea--and how Irish mythology continues to influence popular culture far beyond Ireland. An unmatched chronicle of the Irish gods, Ireland's Immortals illuminates why these mythical beings have loomed so large in the world's imagination for so long.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780691157313 20161205
Green Library
CLASSICS 15N-01
Book
xxix, 402 p. ; 25 cm.
The Celtic languages, once spoken widely, survived to modern times only on the fringes of Europe: Ireland, the Highlands of Scotland, Wales, and Brittany. The mythology of these languages derives first from ancient worship, as observed by classical commentators and as revealed by modern archaeology. Written traditions came with the introduction of Christianity, whose scribes never worshipped the older gods. Irish heroic literature, the most extensive in all Celtic languages, embraced four discrete cycles. Welsh came later with a smaller corpus. Still less was recorded in Scottish Gaelic, and narratives from Cornish, Manx, and Breton survive mostly in oral tradition. The current volume seeks to list, describe, and provide reliable spellings from both ancient and modern traditions. Listed are kings, queens, warriors, hermits, and saints, some of whom are historical but about whom many legends have accrued, and others who certainly never existed. Included also are archaelogical sites and shrines, such living creatures as the eagle and salmon, as well as concepts such as kingship. Cross-references exist from other mythologies, such as Classical and Norse, as well as links to the most Celtic of Arthurian figures, such as Merlin. The dictionary summarizes many lengthy narratives, such as The Mabinogion. Where possible, entries feature reliable etymologies and many entries have extensive bibliographical notes, including adaptations in literature. As it explains concepts and narratives, the Dictionary also becomes a handbook of early Celtic culture.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780198691570 20160528
Green Library
CLASSICS 15N-01