Mar 27 2014

Ancient Butter found 2,500 years later in a Bog at Shancloon in Ireland

For mobile users, please either keep scrolling down to read or switch to ‘Desktop view’ – Thank you

Bog Butter in Wooden Urn

Bog Butter in Wooden Urn

Pic: Cork Butter Museum

Experts from the National Museum of Ireland believe that the ‘Bog Butter’ found in the bog at Shancloon, north of Galway, could be 2,000 to 2,500-years-old. The butter was found when Ray Moylan from Headford was having his annual turf supply cut by contractor Declan McDonagh. Moylan, a bus driver, contacted the Office of Public Works, Headland Archaeology in Galway and the National Museum of Ireland when he made the discovery.

The butter which was found in timber keg, made from the trunk of a tree, weighed almost 28 pounds. The keg was built using Iron Age implements. It was buried three to four-foot away.

An assistant keeper with the National Museum of Ireland, Padraig Clancy, said that the butter could be up to 2,500 years old. Clancy along with Karena Morton conservator at the National Museum of Country Life, removed the butter from the bog. It will be brought to the National Museum’s facility in Lanesboro. Clancy said:

The type of vessel it is in usually helps us to date the period the butter is from, and this one could date back to the Iron Age.

Archaeologist Ross MacLeod commented on the quantity of butter discovered in Galway. Speaking to the Irish Times he said:

It would have been a substantial loss to the family that buried the butter in the bog that they never recovered it. Perhaps the person who buried it died or forgot where it was left… That might have been stored up by a family during the summer and put into the bog for use during the cold winter months. Its loss could have been a tremendous one for some family a long, long time ago.

Bogs were used as a primitive form of refrigeration by people in the past. The peat creates a vacuum around buried material.

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/bog-butter-find-believed-to-be-2500-years-old-121769889-237387291.html#ixzz2x9uRgxF3

Votive Offerings

Another theory that is sometimes seen with the discovery of Bog Treasures like this, is that the object would have been a votive offering – an offering to the Gods. Butter, no doubt seen as a highly valuable and prized commodity, would have been ideally suited as an offering and 2,500 years ago the Butter would have been placed in watery marsh, and probably not buried. Bogs tend to develop as the marshland dries out. Rather than thinking that this Buttery treasure had been forgotten by its owner, it seems far more likely to me that the churn was gifted to the Gods in the hopes of gaining their favour, much as other votive offerings have been found throughout Celtic Europe. Jane McIntosh, Handbook to Life in Prehistoric Europe, p. 256 refers to…

packages or pots of “bog butter” (that) have been found, probably placed in bogs or lakes in the Bronze or Iron Age. These may have been votive offerings or simply placed in water to keep cool in summer months and never retrieved.

Rubicon Heritage continues. Theories about the origins of Bog Butter deposits are divided between two schools. The first suggests ritual `votive offerings´ – the deliberate deposition of the casks in honour of/supplication to a deity. The second school proposes `human error´ – accidental deposition either as a result of forgetfulness or the death of the owner. Bogs would have acted as a reliable form of refrigeration for a winter stock of butter surplus and the unfortunate owners of the butter failed to adequately mark the stockpile.

The IPCC (Irish Peatland Conservation Council) lists a reference to a recipe for Bog Butter from an account of Irish food written by Dinely in 1681: ‘Butter, layed up in wicker baskets, mixed with a sort of garlic and buried for some time in a bog to make a provision of an high taste for Lent’.

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

No responses yet

Mar 25 2014

The Story ”Cath Almaine” as a Window on Early Christian Ireland


Early Irish Man
Pic: Irish Tribes
Thanks to the Irish Tribes website, specialists in Irish Genealogy, for this article exploring the story of the ‘Cath Almaine’  or ‘The Battle of Allen’ and what it shows us about early Ireland. the story of this battle is fascinating and reveals much about the early Christian celtic traditions. They begin with:-

The Story

 

Cath Almaine” or ”The Battle of Allen” is a story written in Middle Irish which was composed some time after 950 A.D. based on a battle which was fought in 722 A.D.  In that year, the High-King Fergal mac Máele Dúin demanded the bóramha or ”cattle-tribute” from the Laighin.  The Laighin and their king Murchad mac Brain refused.

The High-King called on Conn’s Half (i.e., on the Uí Néill, the Airghialla, and the Connachta) to come together to invade Leinster.  But, according to the story, the warriors of the North were reluctant.  They said that they should wait to see what Donn Bó would do, the young man who was best in Ireland for the composition of lays, the telling of stories, the harnessing of horses, the riveting of spears, and the plaiting of hair.  But Donn Bó didn’t get permission from his mother to go on this hosting until she got a promise from Máel mac Failbe, coarb of St. Colm Cille, that Donn Bó would return to her safe and sound.

The host of Conn’s Half entered Leinster.  The host insulted Áedán, a leper in Cluain Dubhail.  Áedán said that God would avenge him upon the Uí Néill forever.  Donn Bó became terribly discouraged.  He refused to sing or recite for Fergal that night, but he promised that he would sing a song for him the next night no matter where they might be.

St. Brighid Appears

The hosts came together on December 11, 722 at the Hill of Almhaine, Co. Kildare.  St. Brighid showed herself over the hosts for the sake of the Laighin and St. Colm Cille showed himself above the hosts for the sake of the Uí Néill.  Brighid won the day.  The battle was broken on the Uí Néill.  Fergal mac Máele Dúin was killed along with thousands of others on the Uí Néill side.  Many of them were beheaded, including Donn Bó.  That night while the Laighin were celebrating, the Laighin warrior Báethgalach went out to the field of slaughter.  There in the dark, he heard the head of Donn Bó singing sweetly for Fergal in fulfillment of his promise.  At last, through a miracle of Colm Cille, the head of Donn Bó was placed back on his neck and he came home safe and sound to his mother.

A Window on Early Christian Ireland

For a good part of the ancient beliefs, norms, relationships, and rituals found in the story called “Cath Almaine”, we can find corroboration in various fields such as archeology, DNA research, and European history. Let’s look at some of these cultural characteristics, particularly those which are corroborated by new research.

A.  Donn Bó and his Hair

…is uad bud ferr rann espa ocus ríg-scéla for doman. Is é bud ferr do glés ech ocus do innsma shleg ocus d’fhige fholt. (1)

…is é ba fhearr ar an domhain do laoithe a chumadh agus rí-scéalta a insint.  Is é ba fhearr do chapaill a ghléasadh, sleánna a inseamú, agus folt a thrilseánú.

… he was the best in the world in composing lays and telling royal stories.  He was the best at harnessing horses, rivetting spears, and plaiting hair.

We can see from these lines that the Gaeil had significant interest in the appearance of their hair in the early Christian period. We now have definite evidence that such interest came down from the centuries before Christ.

Specifically, a human sacrifice was found in 2003 in a bog in Clonycavan, Co. Meath. According to radiocarbon dating done on this “Clonycavan Man”, he was alive at some time between 392 BC and 201 B.C. During his lifetime, he gave much attention to his hair and he used a kind of hair-gel made from plant oil and resin imported from SE Europe.

We know that the human head was important in the religion and ritual of the Celts as the seat of the soul.  It is easy to understand, therefore, that hair and its appearance were also important.

There were others in Europe in the Iron Age who were interested in hair-plaiting and hair-styles. In 1948, “Osterby Man” was found in a bog near Osterby, Germany. He was a warrior of the Suebi, a warrior of the Germanic tribe mentioned by Tacitus and renowned for the ‘Swabian Knot’ in their hair. “Osterby Man” was alive about the first century after Christ.

B.  Connachta, Uí Néill, Airghialla, and DNA

Ba trom trá la Fergal sin .i. Laigin do nemchomall a n-gellta fris, co rofhuacrad sluaiged dírecra dímór uad for Leith Chuinn .i. for Eogan ocus for Conall ocus for Airgiallaib ocus Mide … do thobach na bórama.  (2)

Ba throm le Fergal é sin, .i. nár chomhlíon Laighin a ngeall leis, agus d’fhógair sé slógadh ollmhór ar Leath Chuinn, .i. ar Chinéal Eoghain agus ar Chinéal Chonaill agus ar Airghialla agus Mhíde …  chun an Bhóramha a thobhach.

That was onerous to Fergal, i.e., that the Laighin did not fulfill their promise to him, and he called on Conn’s Half for a great hosting, i.e., on the Cinéal eoghain and Cinéal Chonaill and the Airghialla and Míde… to levy the Bóramha.

In this sentence, we can see reference to the “official genealogy” of the Dál Chuinn created by the seanchaidhthe of the Uí Néill which claims that the Connachta, Uí Néill In Tuaiscirt (with Cinéal Chonaill and Cinéal Eoghain among them), Clann Choirpre mhic Néill (which is not mentioned in this sentence), Mide (.i. Uí Néill in Deiscirt), and Airghialla, descend from Conn Chéadchathach.

In 2006, geneticists at Trinity College, Dublin, suggested that most of the Uí Néill descend from someone who lived some 1700 years ago and that person was the “most fecund” man in the history of Ireland.  Many immediately assumed that this was Niall Naoighiallach.

Between 2006 and 2009, it was confirmed that most of the Uí Néill and Connachta descend from one common ancestor.  In those studies, the geneticists had plenty of DNA samples from the Uí Bhriúin and the Uí Fhiachrach, but it was difficult to find DNA samples from the Uí Ailella and the Uí Fergusa.  In Fergus’ case, only the Síl Fergusa Cháecháin descend from him.

In the genealogies, as we know, Eochu Mugmedón was the common ancestor of the Connachta and Uí Néill. But it is also possible that this common DNA comes down from an ancestor of Eochu, unknown or legendary (e.g. Muiredach Tírech, Fiachu Sraiptine, Cairbre Lifechair, 7rl.).

The Uí Ruairc are an important exception. We expect from Seanchas that they would descend from the Uí Bhriúin, but they have a distinct DNA ‘haplogroup’; i.e., they do not descend from the Uí Bhriúin.  Also, despite the official genealogies of the Uí Néill (and as predicted by T.F. O’Rahilly and other scholars), there is no blood relationship between the Airghialla and the Connachta.  And as Byrne shows with the following verse (written in a text of Féineachas in the 8th Century), there was no consanguinity either between Dal Chuinn (i.e., the Féini) and the Ulaidh, or between the Dal Chuinn and the Laighin:

Batar trí prímcheinéla i nHére, .i. Féini 7 Ulaith 7 Gáilni .i. Laigin.   (3)

Bhí trí phríomhchinéal in Éirinn, .i. Féini agus Ulaidh agus Gáilni, .i. Laighin.

There were three primary kinships in Ireland, i.e., the Féini and Ulaidh and Gáilióin, i.e., the Laighin.

C.  The Human Head as a Trophy

Is ann-sin roráid Murchad mac Brain: “Do-bérainn carpat ceithre cumala ocus mo ech ocus m’errad don láech noragad isin n-ármach ocus do-bérad comartha chucainn as.”   “Ragat-sa,” ar Báethgalach …  (4)

Is ansin go ndúirt Murchad mac Brain:  “Do bhéarfainn carbad ceithre cumhal agus m’each agus mo chathéide don laoch a rachadh in áit an áir agus do bhéarfadh comhramh chugainn as.”  “Rachaidh mé,” ar Báethgalach…

Then Murchad mac Brain said:  “I would give a chariot worth four cumhal and my steed and my battle dress to the warrior who would go into the place of slaughter and who would bear a trophy to us out of it.”  “I will go,” said Báethgalach…

Perhaps it is not an exaggeration to say that we can find head-hunting or head-taking in virtually every early Irish story except in those of naomhsheanchas. (Even in the area of the Faith, we can see images of heads on churches as at Díseart Uí Dheághaidh.) There is corroboration for our head-taking among the Celts outside Ireland in accounts written by Poseidonius, Strabo, Livy, Ammianus, Diodorus Siculus, and others. Celts took the heads of famous commanders such as the Roman general Postumius and the Greek king Ptolemy Keraunos.

But in the story “Cath Almaine”, when the warrior Báethgalach said he would go out to bring back a trophy from the field of slaughter, Murchad mac Brain said nothing about a human head.  Based on newly-discovered remains in a Celtic sanctuary at Ribemont-sur-Ancre, France, we can imagine that the word “comartha” was non-specific, just as is the word ‘comhramh’ in Modern Irish and the word ‘trophy’ in English. In this  sanctuary, built around 260 B.C. in honor of a Celtic god and in memory of a battle in which tribes of the Belgii won a victory over Armorican tribes, the enclosure is crowded with row on row of hundreds of warriors, decapitated but still in their battle-armor.

D.  Pious Lepers

I did an electronic search in the annals for “clamh”, “lobhar”, “leper” and their variations. There is no reference to any leper in the Annals of Tigenach or the Annals of Loch Cé, but I found the following references in other annals.

1.  Annála Ríoghachta na hÉireann:

551.2   S. Neasan Lobhar d’écc.
551.2  Fuair Naomh Neasan an lobhar bás.
551.2  St. Neasan the leper died.

722. For this year, a summary of the story “Cath Almaine” was written in which we find reference to “the cow of the leper”, but Áedan the leper is not named.

2.  Annála Uladh:

A.D. 921.8  Indredh Aird Macha … o Gallaibh Atha Cliath, .i. o Gothbrith oa Imhair, cum suo exercitu, …  & na taigi aernaighi do anacal lais cona lucht de cheilibh De & di lobraibh…

A.D. 921.8  Invasion of Ard Macha … by the Foreigners of Áth Cliath, .i. by Gothfrith grandson of Ímar, with his army, … and the houses of prayer were spared by him with their culdees and of lepers…

A.D. 952.3  Cele clam & ancorita ..
A.D. 952.3  Fuair Céile, lobhar agus ancairít, bás…
A.D. 952.3  Céile, leper and anchorite, died…

3.  Annála Inse Fáil:

A.D. 556.1  Nistán leprosus obíit.
A.D. 556.1  Fuair Nistán (.i. “San Neasan”) bás.
A.D. 556.1  Nistán (St. Nessan) died.

4.  Annála Chonnacht:

A.D. 1232.9  Fachtna h. hAllgaith comarba Dromma Mucado & oificel h. Fiachrach, fer tigi aiged & lubra & leginn & lesaigti tiri & talman, in hoc anno quieuit.

A.D. 1232.9  Fachtna Ó hAllgaith, coarb of Drumacoo and Official of the Uí Fiachrach, who kept a guest-house and a leper-house and was (a man) of learning and a benefactor of the countryside, rested this year.

5.  Chronicon Scotorum:

A.D. 557   Nessan leprosus quieuit.
A.D. 557  Nessan (.i. San Neasan) rested.

As we see above, there is a close link between lepers and Christianity in the Annals.

E. Brigid and Colm Cille making war on each other

The monasteries (and saints) made war on each other often enough in the early Christian period. For example, in the Annals of Ulster:

A.D. 760.8  Bellum hitir muintir Clono 7 Biroir i mMoin Choisse Blae.  (5)

A.D. 760.8 Cath idir manistir Chluain Mhic Nóis agus manistir Bhiorra i Móin Choise Blae

A.D. 760.8 a battle between the monastery of Clonmacnoise and the monastery of Birr in Móin Choise Blae

A.D. 764.6  Bellum Arggamain inter familiam Cluana Mocu Nois 7 Dearmaighe ubi ceciderunt Diarmait Dub m. Domnaill 7 Dighlach m. Duib Liss 7 .cc. uiri de familia Dermaige.  Bresal m. Murchada uictor exstetit com familia Cluana.  (6)

A.D. 764.6  Cath Argamain idir familia Chluain Mhic Nóis agus (mainistir Choilm Cille ag) Darú inar thit Diarmait Dub mac Domnaill agus Dighlach mac Duib Liss agus 200 fear saor de familia Dharú.  Tháinig Bresal mac Murchada agus familia Chluain Mhic Nóis as an gcath mar bhuaiteoirí.

A.D. 764.6  The Battle of Argamain between the family of Clonmacnoise and (the monastery of Colm Cille) at Durrow in which fell Diarmait Dub mac Domhnail and Dighlach mac Duib Liss and 200 free men of the family of Durrow.  Bresal mac Murchada and the family of Clonmacnoise came out of the battle as victors.

And it was said that Colm Cille made war for the sake of Cinéal Chonaill through the ages each time the Uí Dhomhnaill brought his Cathach into battle with them.

Summary

“Cath Almaine” is a wonderfully rich story, filled with the world-view (. i. ‘weltanschauung’) of the Gaeil.  With improvement in areas like archaeology and DNA research almost every day, I expect we will learn more about this story and its ancient beliefs, practices, relationships, and rituals in the coming years.

_____________

1   Cath Almaine, edited by Pádraig Ó Riain,   Baile Átha Cliath: Institiúid Ard-Léinn Bhaile Átha Cliath, 1978.
Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition (CELT), paragraph 3 on http://celt.ucc.ie/published/G302022/index.html .  I am
grateful to Professor Tomás Ó Cathasaigh for his translation “The Battle of Allen”, Coursepack,   Celtic E-  114,
Early Irish Historical Tales, Spring Term, 2011
2   Cath Almaine, edited by Pádraig Ó Riain, CELT edition, paragraph 2
3   Byrne, p. 106
4   Cath Almaine, edited by Pádraig Ó Riain, CELT edition, paragraph 15
5   Annals of Ulster, edited by Seán Mac Airt and Gearóid Mac Niocaill, Part 1.  Baile Átha Cliath:
Institiúid Ard-Léinn Bhaile Átha Cliath, 1983.  p. 214
6   Ibid., p. 216

 

With thanks to Gerald Kelly for his research. We are a little confused as to the freedom to use this piece as it is listed here as a “Free Article” and here as written permission needed. We have chosen the route most obvious to spread the word of Mr. Kelly’s research, but if he should wish that this article be withdrawn we will most happily do so and apologise for any misunderstanding or inconvenience caused.

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Appbrain at http://www.appbrain.com/app/celtic-myth-show/tv.wizzard.android.celticmythpodshow841 or by using the QR code opposite.

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

Originally posted 2011-09-22 08:31:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

No responses yet

Mar 17 2014

The Lorica of St. Patrick or St. Patrick’s Breastplate

For mobile users, please either keep scrolling down to read or switch to ‘Desktop view’ – Thank you

St. Patrick's Breastplate

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Pic: Faerie Factoid

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate is a Christian hymn whose original Old Irish lyrics were traditionally attributed to Saint Patrick during his Irish ministry in the 5th century; however, it was probably actually written later, in the 8th century.

It is written in the style of a druidic incantation for protection on a journey. It is part of the Liber Hymnorum, a collection of hymns found in two manuscripts kept in Dublin. This beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as “St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate”, is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. It’s fascinating to compare the structure of this prayer with many of the incantations found in the Carmina Gadelica as well as many of the meditations and rituals seen in Druidry, Wicca and Ceremonial Magic today.

The words were translated into English verse by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1889 and set to two traditional Irish tunes, St. Patrick and Deirdre. The hymn, also known by its opening line “I bind unto myself today”, is currently included in the Lutheran Service Book [Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod], English Hymnal, the Irish Church Hymnal and The Hymnal (1982) of the U.S. Episcopal Church. It is often sung during the celebration of the Feast of Saint Patrick on or near March 17, as well as on Trinity Sunday. In many churches it is unique among standard hymns because the variations in length and metre of verses mean that at least three different tunes must be used – different in the melody sung by the congregation.

The prayer known as “Faeth Fiada“, or the “Lorica of St. Patrick” (St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate) was first edited by Petrie in his “History of Tara”. Scripture references may include Ephesians 6:10-17 (“God’s shield to protect me … from snares of devils”).

The Most Commonly Heard Modern Version

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;

Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Swiftness of wind,

Depth of the sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s hand to guard me.

Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,

Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,

Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of Creation.

[source]

The literal translation from the old Irish text

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

[source]

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

No responses yet

Mar 15 2014

Watch Chicago go Green on St. Patrick’s Day 2014

For mobile users, please either keep scrolling down to read or switch to ‘Desktop view’ – Thank you

Jet Propelled Leprechaun 2013

Jet Propelled Leprechaun 2013

Pic: Global Change-Makers

It’s nearly St. Patrick’s Day. Starting today. here’s a rundown from the Courier News of events this weekend to help everyone feel a little bit Irish. For those who don’t know about St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a holiday which celebrates Irish heritage and culture and the arrival of Christianity to the Emerald Isle. In Chicago, it’s an excuse to drink green beer, go to a pub, and pretend you’re Irish even if you aren’t.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Noon, March 15

chicagostpatsparade.com

Come at 10 a.m. to watch the Chicago River get dyed green, stay for the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day parade. The best place to watch the river getting dyed is at the intersection of Michigan Avenue, Wacker Drive and the river. This year’s grand marshal John McDonough, president and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks. The parade starts at Balbo and Columbus and proceeds north on Columbus to Monroe. The viewing stand will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain.

South Side Irish Parade

Noon, March 16

Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th streets, Chicago

The South Side Irish Parade is now a family-friendly event with a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol along the route, although some responsible pre-gaming in one of the watering holes along Western Avenue is not discouraged.

(773) 916-7757

southsideirishparade.org

The Chicago Stockyard Kilty band

The Chicago Stockyard Kilty band

Pic: South Side Irish Parade

Last year’s parade attracted 90 participants, from kilted bagpipers to rosy-cheeked dancers and even a pack of Irish Wolfhounds.

The day kicks off with a one-mile fun run called The Emerald Isle Mile.

Northwest Side Irish Parade

10 a.m. March 16

William J. Onahan School, 6634 W. Raven St.

northwestsideirish.org

The Northwest Irish Parade is a celebration of faith, family and heritage now in its 11th year. The parade includes face painting, balloons and features dancers from the Dillon-Gavin School of Dance. The official After Party starts at 1 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Recreation Center, 7211 W. Talcott Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $10 for 12 and over; children under 12 are $5. The party includes traditional corned beef and cabbage meal with live entertainment.

St. Patrick’s Festival

Irish American Heritage Center

Irish American Heritage Center

Pic: Irish American Heritage Center

March 15-17

Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave.

(773) 282-7035

Irish-american.org

The Irish American Heritage Center hosts three days of St. Patrick’s Day follies starting immediately after the city’s parade March 15. This annual family-friendly event includes traditional and contemporary Irish music, dance, food, children’s activities and an Arts and Craft Fair, with vendors selling Irish gifts. Tickets are $12-$15.

On March 16, stop in for a pint, live music, NCAA games on the large TV screens, darts and a limited traditional Irish menu. Hours are from 1 to 8 p.m. 21 and over only.

Come back March 17 for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The party runs from 12 to 10 p.m. and includes music, dance and face painting for children. There will be a mass at 11 a.m. $10 at the door; kids are free.

Shoreline Sightseeing River Cruise

March 15

Shorelinesightseeing.com/cruisestours/special-events/st-patricks-day-cruise

Last year, I took my family downtown to see the green Chicago River. It was a raw, grey day, we had to walk forever (not fun with young children) and on more than one occasion I had to cover the kids’ ears from hearing too much o’ the blarney.

Learn from my mistake and get an up-close view of the green Chicago River via a Shoreline Sightseeing Cruise.

Departures for the 90-minute cruise are before and after the city’s St. Patrick’s Day noontime parade March 15, and it includes a traditional Irish buffet with corned beef and cabbage and all the trimmings. You can even get an Irish coffee or a pint at the cash bar. Tickets are $49.

Suburbs

Naperville

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and St. Paddy’s Day 5K

March 15

Naperville

Wsirish.org

Everyone’s Irish at the 21st annual West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 15. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. from Naperville North High School at 899 N. Mill St. The parade continues south on Mill Street, east on Jefferson Avenue, south on Main Street and west on Water Street to the Municipal Center.

West Suburban Irish

West Suburban Irish

Pic: West Suburban Irish

All residents are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item to benefit the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Pantry.

The parade steps off immediately following the Rotary Club of Naperville/Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K. The fun continues at Quigley’s Irish Pub after the parade. The parade will include nearly 100 entries comprised of marching bands, youth groups, local businesses, politicians and other groups.

Of course there will be traditional Irish trappings, like six different pipe and drum groups and two schools of Irish dancers, said West Suburban Irish president Chuck Corrigan.

At the end of the parade this year, we are going to have some interesting things. We will have the Aurora Area Shrine Club with their small cars and the Medinah Motor Corp, which is some Harley motorcycles that drive in precision units and do little tricks. We’ll also have Mongo Man from bd’s Mongolian Grill.

No matter the weather, the crowds are always enthusiastic, he said.

I think they enjoy getting outside. It feels like the kickoff to spring for a lot of folks.

The grand marshal is Mike Reilly, who serves on the Naperville Park Board and is a member of West Suburban Irish.

St. Charles St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Downtown St. Charles Parade

Downtown St. Charles Parade

Pic: Downtown St. Charles

March 15

Downtownstcharles.org/events/st-patricks-parade/

The St. Patrick’s Parade goes down Main Street (Route 64) at 2 p.m. and features Irish dancers, Irish music, floats and more. There will also be a Deck Out Your Lucky Dog contest; register at the tent in front of the Municipal Center between 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Before that, come to the Arcada Theater for a St. Patrick’s Dance show at 10 a.m. Several local dance studios will perform.

East Dundee St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 15

Downtown East Dundee

Dundeestpats.com

There will be a celebratory fireworks show on March 14, and the parade is at 11 a.m. The grandstand is at Barrington Avenue and River Street. There will be bands, step dancers, stilt walkers, horses, cavalry, green footballs and an Irish Princess contest for 12-16-year-old girls living in Dundee Township. The FISH Food Pantry will be accepting food and cash donations during parade.

Irish Jig Jog 5K Race

March 15

St. Catherine of Siena, 845 W. Main St., West Dundee

Irishjigjog.com

The 10th Annual Irish Jig Jog kicks off at 8:30 a.m. March 15 at St. Catherine of Siena. The event includes breakfast, a beer tent, bagpipers, Irish dancing and a $10,000 Shamrock Raffle.

Irish Jig Jogging

Irish Jig Jogging

Pic: Irish Jig Jog

Shamrock Scramble

10-11 a.m. March 16

Schaumburg Park District, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg

(847) 490-7020

Parkfun.com

Geared to the 6-and-under set, children can make a St. Patrick’s Day craft and have a snack before heading out into field of green clovers. Each clover includes a treat. Find a four-leaf clover and win a prize. Wear your best St. Patrick’s Day attire. Pre-registration is required by March 14. $5-$7.

This list of events has been sourced from the ‘Go Irish’ column of the Courier-News.

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

No responses yet

Mar 13 2014

On the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day, did you know he’s in Parliament?

For mobile users, please either keep scrolling down to read or switch to ‘Desktop view’ – Thank you

St Patrick, St Brigit and St Columba

St Patrick, St Brigit and St Columba

Pic: Explore Parliament

St Patrick stands with his hands clasped. Behind him the Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland’s earliest and holiest Christian sites. The word Banba written above his head is the Erse for Ireland. St Patrick is flanked by St Brigid, with an Irish harp at her feet, and St Columba, representing the North of Ireland.At his feet is a shield with the Red Hand of Ulster.

 

Unfortunate experiences with frescoes at the Palace of Westminster led the Fine Arts Commissioners to change their original plan, and commission mosaics for the four patron saints in the Central Lobby.

Interest in mosaics in the 19th Century had been growing, fuelled by the enthusiasm of Dr Salviati, the man responsible for restoring the mosaics at St Mark’s in Venice. (see below)

Saint Patrick in Ireland

Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of the island along with Saints Brigit and Columba.

The dates of Patrick’s life cannot be fixed with certainty but, on a widespread interpretation, he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century.

 

He is generally credited with being the first bishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland.When he was about 16, he was captured from his home in Great Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family.

After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as an ordained bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

St. Patrick Mosaic

St. Patrick Mosaic

Pic: Explore Parliament

Saint Patrick’s Day is observed on 17 March, the date of his death. It is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation; it is also a celebration of Ireland itself. [wiki]

The Mosaic in Parliament

Dr Salviati’s firm was then commissioned by the Fine Arts Commission to undertake the implementation of mosaics in Central Lobby – from the designs of Sir Edward Poynter (1836-1919). Saint George and Saint David were installed in 1869.

However, by the 1920′s the decoration of the Central Lobby had fallen into abeyance, and Dr Salviati had died. So the commission for the remaining two Patron Saints was awarded to Robert Anning Bell (1863-1933), who was also responsible for two large mosaics in St Stephen’s Hall. Bell worked on the spot, rather than in the studio, and the mosaics of Saint Andrew and Saint Patrick were finally unveiled in 1923.

See the animated film and explore more of Parliament’s art and architecture on the Explore Parliament website.

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

No responses yet

Feb 26 2014

Was the Henge at Lismullin dedicated to Lugh?

The henge at Lismullin, County Meath

The henge at Lismullin, County Meath

Pic: History of the World

Anne Connon (Ohio Dominican University) writes in the Celtic Studies Association of North America Annual for 2013 that the henge at Lismullin, County Meath may be an Iron Age Temple dedicated to Lugh. A summary of her article says: This paper was the first and dealt with Celtic Iron Age archaeology. It also touched on some of the controversy surrounding the the M3 motorway built near Tara Hill that sparked outrage and protests in the autumn of 2007. Attempts to prevent the build were ultimately unsuccessful and parts of the site are now covered by road.

The Enclosure

Connon showed a picture relative to the Hill of Tara. Physically, the enclosure is located within a hollow, and there is a prehistoric hill-fort overlooking the territory. Archaeologists discovered holes in a circumference in 2007 and noticed something was there; this grew into a salvage archaeology project. The temple grounds were 80m wide, and date to the fifth century B.C.. Connon showed a digital mock up of what they believed the site actually looked in the fifth century B.C. and a book on the dig called, “Harvesting the Stars” was published two weeks ago. The enclosure was felt to be a religious site of worship to the pagan God, Lug. Lug (or Lugh) was an Irish deity represented in mythological texts as a hero and High King of the distant past. He is known for his skill with a spear or sling, associated with Lughnasadh fairs that took place on August 1st and in the popular Ulster Cycle, he fathered Cúchulainn. In the early fifth century, there was a climate change (approximately  in 460) and the circularity of the enclosure was believed to be built to try and draw in the sun. Sadly, the site was only used for a few generations and then abandoned.

The Etymology of Lismullin

The name derives from Les Mo-ling, ‘the fort or place of Mo-Ling’ and the cult of St. Mo-ling who died in the seventh century. There are actually two etymologies suggested: a.) Scholar John O’Donovan suggested that Les Muilinn meant, “The fort or place of the mill” b.) Padraig Ó Riain suggested that the greater likelihood was that a church, not a mill gave name to the parish of Lismullin. There is also evidence in the Martyrology of Turin that was likely created for the nunnery at Lismullin. There is proof that Lismullin was church land and evidence of the cult of Mo-ling in County Meath. Connon looked at entries for Mo-ling and the Cult of Lug in the A Dictionary of Irish Saints. It is believed that Mo-ling was an avatar of Lug. Lug means “The Shining One” in Middle Irish, and is associated with the harvest. She also noted a few parallels between the Middle Irish “Life of Mo-Ling” and “Cath Maige Tuired”. Acallam points to links between Finn (avatar of Lug) and Mo-Ling. If the cult of Mo-Ling has absorbed the cult of Lug, then might the Lismullin enclosure be a part of cult of Lug? this might be the case as has been suggested in the nearby hill fort named Rath Lugh. Connon then asked the question: Is there anything about the enclosure that corresponds to a cult of Lug that we can notice?

Lug as a Sun God

The idea of this came from the description in Irish texts was because he was called “The Shining One” and associated with brightness but this was later discounted. He became associated with Lug as Mercury but this was again challenged in 1995 and swung back to the notion that he was a sun God. The avenue entering the enclosure is in alignment with the Pleiades “the Seven Sisters” constellation. Could Lug have an association with the stars? The Seven Sisters are also heralds of the harvest but this is speculative and not completely conclusive. Unfortunately, there is no continuity, i.e., there are no other sites dedicated to Lug to compare this site to. I really enjoyed this paper. It was fascinating and well presented. There were fantastic slides referencing the location and showing what the original site might have looked like. The history of the area and the background of Lug was very interesting. It was an excellent paper to start this conference.

[Source]

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

Originally posted 2013-06-07 07:02:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

No responses yet

Feb 14 2014

Aengus Og – the Irish God of Love

Aengus Og

Aengus Og

Pic: Neamhni

Aengus Og is one of the Irish Gods, the Tuatha De Danaan, known as being the God of Love. He made his home at the famous Brú na Bóinne, now known as Newgrange. It is said that his kisses are so sweet that they turned into birds, so rich that there couyld only be four of them! His father is the Mighty Dagda, the All-father and his mother, the Life-giving Boyne which takes its name from Bo-ann, the Cow Goddess. She who nurtures life with the milk of her waters and who makes men rich with the fertility of her land. You can hear the story of how he came to be inpossession of the marvellous House at the Brú in Episode 15, The Wooing of Etain and Episode 17, Tales of the Dagda. He is a poet, a lover, a singer and is known as Angus the Young.

It is said that Aengus was troubled by dreams and visions of a beautiful, young maiden. He fell in love with her immediately and started to waste away because he could not find her. His mother Boann searched the whole of Ireland for the maiden, but after a year she still had not found her. The mighty Dagda did the same and also could not find her. Then the great and wise Dagda called on Bodb Dearg, king of the Sidhe in Munster and the Dagda’s aide, to go and find the girl, and she was found at Loch Bel Dracon (the Loch of the Dragon’s Mouth), chained to fifty other girls, all of whom turn into birds.

Aengus was taken to the lake of the Dragon’s Mouth, and he found her at once and they discovered that her name was Caer, the daughter of Ethal and Anubal, a King of the Sidhe of Connact. Aengus is told that he must meet with the Sidhe King, Ethal, and reluctantly, the King allows Aengus to visit the Loch on Samhain. He does so, but Caer Ibormeith, the fair maiden, only agrees to be with the Young God if she’s allowed to return to the lake. He agrees and they both turn into swans and fly off together singing such a beautiful song that all who heard them fell asleep for three days and nights.

Aengus also had a son called, “Diarmuid Ua Duibhne” or Diarmuid of the Love Spot. One night while out hunting Diarmuid met a maiden who made a magic love spot appear on his head, and from then on no woman ever looked upon him with out falling in love with him.

Wiki

Mary Jones

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace as well as AppBrain in the US.

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

3 responses so far

Jan 24 2014

Classic Irish Sagas now available online!

MS 1339, inc. Book of Invasions

MS 1339, inc. Book of Invasions

Pic: Irish Script on Screen

A brand new website has been launched by the University College Cork in Ireland that aims to collate and reference as many of the ancient Irish Sagas and Scripts that it can. It is a work of collaboration between Tom O’Donovan of University College Cork with the co-operation of Beatrix Faerber (CELT), Peter Flynn, Margaret Lantry, Kevin Murray (Celtic Digital Initiative), and Tomás Ó hAodha. It aims to make ‘reliable versions’ of the original texts available for study with parallel translations into Modern Irish and English. What a fantastic piece of work and a resource for us all! You can find the project at Irish Sagas Online if you can’t wait to dive in!A central feature of this website is the provision of links to extant electronic resources which will allow interested parties better understand the context and content of Irish sagas. Three sites in particular are deserving of special mention: Internet Archive, Irish Script On Screen, and Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae.

Statement from Tom O’Donovan

In recent years, published editions and translations of many medieval Irish sagas have become available online. I approached Kevin Murray to suggest presenting material from these sources alongside modern Irish versions of these sagas. The Irish Sagas Online website provides presentations of Irish sagas in which the medieval Irish text, the modern Irish version and the English translation appear side by side on the same page, thus making the medieval Irish text more accessible to students. Links are also provided to websites with background information for each saga. Permission to use the Modern Irish versions of the sagas that appear on this website has been obtained from the holders of the Copyright and is gratefully acknowledged. Permission to use material from the CELT website was forthcoming from Beatrix Faerber, Project Manager of the CELT project, and generous support for setting up the Irish Sagas Online website has been provided by the CELT project and Roinn na Sean- agus na Meán-Ghaeilge. The website was designed by Margaret Lantry.

See my description of the policy I adopted in creating these presentations of Irish Sagas.

Tom O’Donovan

Why not pop over to the Irish Sagas Online project and start browsing the massive resources that they are collating and indexing? Well done to all involved!

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

3 responses so far

Jan 13 2014

Amazing project to produce 3D images of all the Ogham Stones


Video: Dublin IAS

A team at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies lead by Dr. Nora White are creating a publicly accessible database of 3D models of 400 Ogham Stones. This amazing project is not only cataloging each stone with details of its’ inscription, but adding a commentary, details of the stone’s location and situation, a map, a video and now – most incredibly – a 3D model of the stone that you can spin in your browser to look at all angles of the chisel-marks of the Ogham inscriptions! They have been using an Artec Eva 3D scanner to produce these models which are not only going to be viewable online at the DIAS website but they will be making high detail *.OBJ files  available for download for further study.

So What is the Ogham?

Ogham stones are among Ireland’s most remarkable national treasures. These perpendicular cut stones bear inscriptions in the uniquely Irish Ogham alphabet, using a system of notches and horizontal or diagonal lines/scores to represent the sounds of an early form of the Irish language. The stones are inscribed with the names of prominent people and sometimes tribal affiliation or geographical areas. These inscriptions constitute the earliest recorded form of Irish and, as our earliest written records dating back at least as far as the 5th century AD, are a significant resource for historians, as well as linguists and archaeologists. Seminal work has already been carried out on Ogham inscriptions, most notably by Damian McManus (Professor of Early Irish, Trinity College Dublin and author of A Guide to Ogam) on the linguistic aspects and by Fionnbarr Moore (Senior Archaeologist, National Monuments Service) on the archaeological perspective. To date, the Ogham inscriptions have been recorded using drawings and conventional photography. The Celtic Inscribed Stones Project (CISP) also includes many of the Ogham stones in its on-line database.
Ogham Stone at Boleycarrigeen

Ogham Stone at Boleycarrigeen

Pic: Nora White

The Ogham in 3D project focuses exclusively on Ogham stones, bringing all of the available information together in a single searchable archive and adding a crucial new dimension to the work already carried out in the form of 3D models of the stones.

Known Ogham Inscriptions

There are more than 400 known orthodox Ogham inscriptions. These are Ogham inscriptions on stone recording the names of individuals, sometimes accompanied by their parentage and/or tribal affiliation, as opposed to later ‘scholastic’ Oghams, which derive from the manuscript tradition and do not descend directly from orthodox Ogham. Orthodox Ogham stones appear to have primarily served as memorials and/or boundary markers as well as indicators of land ownership. Possible associations between the commemorative function of Ogham stones and actual burials, and how these may have changed over time or geographical area, is an ongoing area of study. The inscriptions themselves were usually carved along the natural edge of the stone, generally starting at the bottom left-hand side of the face and reading upwards, across the top and down the right-hand side (up-top-down). However, there is a good deal of variation in this pattern, such as upward readings on both edges (up-up, e.g. CIIC 146. Ballineanig, Co. Kerry).

There is a fascinating amount of information as well as access to all of the collected work so far on the DIAS 3D Ogham Project website.

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

No responses yet

Dec 11 2013

Where are the Ogham Stones in Wales?

Ogham Stones in Wales

Ogham Stones in Wales

Pic: Babel Stone

From the wonderful Babel Stones site, we learn that Wales has the greatest number of Ogham stones of any region outside of Ireland (35 stones with definite Ogham inscriptions), but as can be seen from the map below, they are unevenly distributed, with large numbers in the south-west and the south-east, and only a handful in the north.

Red tags mark the sites of certain Ogham inscriptions (a dot indicates that the stone is in situ)
Yellow tags mark the sites of dubious or unconfirmed Ogham inscriptions
Blue tags mark museums or other sites where Ogham stones are held

The modern names of Post-Roman Welsh kingdoms are overprinted in white

The distribution of Ogham stones in Wales closely reflects the geopolitical situation of post-Roman Britain. The majority of stones are concentrated in the area of south-west Wales that belonged to the Kingdom of Dyfed (early 5th century through to the early 10th century), which was the major centre for Irish settlement in Wales during the post-Roman period. During the late 4th century and early 5th century large numbers of the Déisi crossed from the Waterford area of Ireland to Britain, and settled in the land of the Demetae in south-west Wales. Their leaders displaced the original British ruling class, and founded the kingdom of Dyfed, which is believed to have been bounded on the north by the River Teifi and on the east by the River Tywi. Dyfed was neighboured on the north by the Brythonic Kingdom of Ceredigion, and to the south-east by the Brythonic Kingdom of Glywysing, but to the east lay the Kingdom of Brycheiniog (largely corresponding to the area of modern Brecknockshire), which had also been founded by Irish raiders, and was ruled by kings of Irish descent.

The Influence of Irish Settlement and Raiding

Over twenty Ogham stones are found within the territory of Dyfed, including a couple of stones which are just on the other side of the River Teifi, in erstwhile Cardiganshire (RHDDL/1 and LDYSL/1), but the modern course of the river clearly deviates from the course the river took fifteen hundred years ago, and they would originally have been on the Dyfed side of the river. At least eight Ogham stones are also found in the territory of Brycheiniog, testifying to the strength of Irish settlement in these two areas, and evidence that the Irish language was widely spoken here, at least by the ruling elite and land owners. There are also two Ogham stones east of the River Tywi, in what would probably have been the territory of Glywysing, suggesting that Irish settlement pushed eastwards from Dyfed into the western part of its Brythonic neighbour. To the north of Dyfed, in the territory of Ceredigion there is only one doubtful Ogham stone (LARTH/1).
Irish Settlements in Western Britain

Irish Settlements in Western Britain

Pic: Babel Stone

In contrast to the large number of Ogham stones in South Wales (at least 32), there are only three certain Ogham inscriptions in North Wales, all within the territory of the Kingdom of Gwynedd. There had been extensive Irish raiding and settlement in the north of Wales as well as in the south, especially in the Llŷn Peninsula (the name of which is derived from the Laigin, the men of Leinster) and Anglesey, but during the late 4th century and early 5th century there was strong resistence to the Irish incursions, led by Cunedda (founder of the kingdom of Gwynedd), and the Irish did not manage to gain control of any of the kingdoms in the north. So it is perhaps to be expected that there are a few Ogham stones in the area of Gwynedd, but not very many, reflecting the presence, but not dominance, of Irish settlers in the region.

Overview of the Archaeology of Dark Age Britain

Dark Ages Wales

Dark Ages Wales

Pic: Babel Stone

The Ordnance Survey Map of Britain in the Dark Ages (first published 1935) gives a very useful overview of the archaeological remains in Britain during the period 410–871, and comes with indexes which give the exact location of each feature marked on the map. In the case of Celtic memorial stones (with or without Ogham inscriptions), where possible the index on pages 50 and 51 provides a reference to Nash-Williams’ The Early Christian Monuments of Wales (Cardiff, 1950), from which it is possible to identify the stone in question in the CISP database.

Source : Map of Britain in the Dark Ages 2nd Edition (Ordnance Survey, 1966)

Key to Map

  •  = Bishop’s seats
  •  = Monastic sites
  • ♁ = Hermitages◉ = Forts
  • ⊥ = Memorial stones (5th–6th centuries)
  • + = Minor Christian monuments in Wales (7th–9th centuries)
  • • = Casual finds in Celtic area
  • ⊖ = Frankish-Gaulish ware

Black = Celtic
Red = Christian Anglo-Saxon

Tracking Down Irregularities

This map is very useful, but strangely enough there are a number of memorial stones in both Cornwall and Wales that are marked as having an Ogham inscription for which I can find no evidence for actually having an Ogham inscription :

  • Lancarffe House, Bodmin, Cornwall (LCARF/1)
  • Llanfaelog, Anglesey (LFAEL/1) [not marked as an Ogham stone on the actual map, but indicated as having an Ogham inscription in the index of Memorial Stones on page 50]
  • Llanfihangel-Cwmdu, Brecknockshire (No CISP entry)
  • Ystradfellte, Brecknockshire (No CISP entry)
  • Margam Mountain (Mynydd Margam), Glamorganshire (MARG1/1)

Up until a few days ago I had assumed that these must all have been accidentally mislabelled by the editors of the map, and that they were almost certainly without any Ogham inscription.  However, on Monday I noticed on the page describing the forthcoming third volume of A Corpus of Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales the statement that “[d]iscoveries made in the course of fieldwork in 2007 include a previously unknown ogam inscription on a roman-letter inscribed stone from Llanfaelog”. Upon enquiry, Professor Nancy Edwards was kind enough to provide me with the details of this discovery, and it transpires that the Ogham inscription is on the stone indicated as having an Ogham inscription on it in the index of memorial stones in the Map of Britain in the Dark Ages (cross-referenced to ECMW 10, the Mailisi stone). This stone and its Latin inscription, M‍AILISI, was first noticed by John Skinner in 1802 (Ten Days Tour through the island of Anglesea page 42 and 48; in Archaeologia Cambrensis Supplement, July 1908), when it was already in use as a lintel in a barn, and it remained built into the barn wall until the barn was demolished in 2001. Skinner only notes a Latin inscription, and I can find no mention of an Ogham inscription on this stone in any source other than the Ordnance Survey map. Moreover, according to Professor Edwards the Ogham inscription was not visible until the stone had been removed from the structure of the barn in 2001, so where, I wonder, did the Ordnance Survey get the idea that the stone did have an Ogham inscription on it ?

Was the Ogham inscription later obscured?

Perhaps it is just a lucky coincidence that they accidentally mismarked the Mailisi stone as an Ogham stone, but given that there are nearly fifty memorial stones in North Wales, and only two of them (other than this stone) definitely have an Ogham inscription, it would be remarkably serendipitous to make such a mistake on the one stone that really does have an Ogham inscription amongst all the others that do not. I wonder if perhaps at one time the Ogham inscription was visible, and had been noticed by an Ordnance Survey surveyor, but later became obscured when the window it was a lintel to was perhaps rebuilt, and so the Ogham inscription was not noticed by Nash-Williams. Whatever the true explanation may be, it has made me think again about the other four stones in Wales and Cornwall that only the Ordnance Survey map indicates as having an Ogham inscription on them. Does the Ordnance Survey perhaps know something about these stones that Macalister, Nash-Williams and everyone else did not know? A further issue with the Ordnance Survey map (and also with the Wikipedia map) is that some of the stones indicated as having an Ogham inscription may not really have an Ogham inscription on them at all. Because of the nature of the Ogham script and the way that it is carved along edge of stones, Ogham inscriptions tend to be less durable than Latin inscriptions.
Macalister 1945 #327

Macalister 1945 #327

Pic: Babel Stone

Over the centuries the edges of a stone can become abraded, and the strokes of Ogham letters (especially the vowel letters) can disappear. The result of this is that most Ogham inscriptions are incomplete, and need to be reconstructed to a certain extent. This also means that ogamologists need to be on the look out for odd incisions and marks on the edges of stones that might be the vestiges of an Ogham inscription that has been all but worn away.

Unfortunately, this also means that natural features of the rock or marks made by later processes (such as sharpening farm implements or weapons) may be mistaken for the remnant strokes of Ogham letters. It is also possible that Ogham inscriptions were deliberately obliterated at a later date, usually when a cross was added to the stone, either because they were thought to be pagan marks or because they were aesthetically displeasing.

The Dangers of Imagination in identifying Ogham inscriptions

R. A. S. Macalister, author of the monumental Corpus Inscriptionum Insularum Celticarum [CIIC], had a particularly fanciful imagination when it came to recognising remnants of Ogham inscriptions. Macalister identifies LARTH/1 (CIIC 348), LDYSL/1 (CIIC 349), SISHM/1 (CIIC 376), HENLL/1 (CIIC 364), PTREF/1 (CIIC 401) and TIRPH/1 (CIIC 404) in Wales, and SENDL/1 (CIIC 478) and SCLEM/1 (CIIC 473) in Cornwall, as having traces of an Ogham inscription on them. In a couple of cases there is no visible trace of any Ogham letters left on the stone, but Macalister speculates that a perceived pattern of flaking along the edges indicate that an original Ogham inscription has been deliberately obliterated. Macalister is the only authority to see the remnants of an Ogham inscription on most of these eight stones, and for some of these stones other authorities have explicitly discounted the possibility of an Ogham inscription. Thus, it is doubtful that these stones did originally have an Ogham inscription on them, but because they have been identified as having one by Macalister, they are still marked as such on the Ordnance Survey and Wikipedia maps. I have attempted to distinguish between certain Ogham inscriptions (including stones such as DFYNG/1 and MTHRY/1 that have vestiges of an Ogham inscription that are recognised by more than one authority) and doubtful Ogham inscriptions on my map, by marking certain Ogham stones with a red tag (35 stones), and marking doubtful and unconfirmed Ogham stones with a yellow tag (11 stones).

The Welsh Ogham stones are all dated to the 5th and 6th centuries, and as is the case with the Ogham stones of Cornwall and Devon, most of them have a dual inscription, in Latin (script and language) on the face of the stone, and and in Ogham/Irish on the edge of the stone. Of the 35 definite Ogham stones in Wales, only five do not have a corresponding latin inscription (BRAW1/1, BRIDL/1, LFRN2/1, LOUGH/1, YFLL2/1). In all cases the inscription records the name of a person, and optionally the name of the person’s father or some other familial relationship. In almost all cases the commemorated person is male, but in one case the Ogham inscription refers to the commemorated person as the daughter of someone (EGLWC/1).

High likelihood of the Stones being Memorial Markers

Pentre Poeth Ogham Stone

Pentre Poeth Ogham Stone

Pic: Babel Stone

Seven of the Latin inscriptions on biscript stones incorporate the hic iacit “here lies” formula, and a little over half of the definite Ogham stones are sited in churchyards or in churches, so it seems probable that most of the stones were memorial stones or grave markers (although none have been archaeologically associated with a grave). Two stones from Brawdy, one Ogham only (BRAW1/1) and one Ogham and Latin (BRAW3/1), were found next to an Iron Age hill fort (they were being used as a footbridge and as a gatepost, so they may well have been moved from an original location inside the hill fort). It has been suggested that the hill fort may have been reused as burial site, as was the case with some other hill forts in south-west Wales during the early medieval period, which would explain the presence of two Ogham stones in the same location (see Nancy Edwards, Early-Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales: Context and Function page 22). Another stone (CLOCG/1) originally stood on the summit of a burial mound called Bryn-y-Beddau “Hill of the Graves”, in the close viscinity of a number of stone circles.

Two stones originally stood close to Roman roads : the memorial to Icorix (BRYNK/1) was 200 m. from the road to Caernarfon and 300 m. from a minor Roman fort; and the memorial to Voteporix the Protector (CDWYR/1) was found at the edge of a churchyard about 200 m. south of a Roman road. The siting of these two memorial stones may reflect a continuation of the Roman custom of roadside burial, or may simply thave been intended to let the memorial be seen by people travelling along the road. Although most stones were probably memorials to the dead, there are also a few stones that are sited on open moorland (YFLL2/1) or in mountainous countryside (PONTS/1) that are nowhere near ecclesiastical or burial sites, and so may have been used as markers of land ownership, as was probably the original purpose of Ogham stones in Ireland.

The names engraved in the Ogham inscriptions on the Welsh stones are overwhelmingly Goidelic, with only a few names that are probably Brythonic, some possibly indicative of intermarriage between Irish settlers and the native British inhabitants :

  • TRENACCATLO “Of Trenaccatlo” [corresponding to Trenacatvs in the associated Latin inscription] (RHDDL/1)
  • INIGENA CUNIGNI AVITTORIGES “Of the daughter of Cunignos, Avittoriga” [the daughter's name is either Goidelic or Brythonic, but the father's name is Brythonic; this stone is perhaps a memorial to his British wife set up by an Irish settler] (EGLWC/1)
  • MAGLICUNAS MAQI CLUTARI “Of Maglicunas, son of Clutarias” [both names are Brythonic, and Thomas 1994 identifies the father with Clotri, one of the kings of Dyfed] (NEVRN/1)
  • SAGRAGNI MAQI CUNATAMI “Of Sagragnus, son of Cunatamus” [the son's name is Goidelic, but the father's name is Brythonic] (SDOGM/1)

Small number of Irish settlers assimilating with the Romano-British Population

In comparison with Cornwall and Devon, where three of the six definite Ogham inscriptions that we can read commemorate people with Latin names (Ingenuus, Iustus and Latinus), only four out of the thirty-five definite Ogham inscriptions in Wales commemorate someone with a Latin name. This difference is probably due to the relatively small number of Irish settlers in Dumnonia becoming culturally assimilated within the Romano-British population; whereas the Irish settlers in Wales belonged to large Irish communities, and so there was no pressure on them to adopt Latin names in favour of Irish names.

  • ETTERNI MAQI VICTOR “Of Etternus, son of Victor” [both names are Latin] (CLYDI/1)
  • TURPILLI MAQI TRILLUNI “Of Turpillius, son of Trillunus” [both names are Latin] (CRCKH/1)
  • POPIAS ROLION MAQI LLENA “Of Popia, … son of Llena” [Popia or Popias is probably a Celticized version of the name Pvmpeivs given in the associated Latin inscription] (KENFG/1)
  • VITALIANI “Of Vitalianus” (NEVRN/2)

The CRCKH/1 and KENFG/1 inscriptions both illustrate the use of the rare Ogham letter Ifin or Iphin (earlier Pin, from Latin pinus “pine” or spina “thorn” ?) – (in manuscript texts written as two overlapping diagonal crosses, but in monumental inscriptions written as a single diagonal cross) that is used to represent /p/ in Latin, Brythonic or Pictish names. As Primitive Irish did not have a /p/ sound there was originally no Ogham letter for /p/, and so the cross-shaped letter was added to represent this foreign sound. In later medieval Irish tradition this letter was repurposed as the diphthong /io/, and a new letter Peith ᚚ introduced to represent /p/ in its place. The only other definite occurence of this letter on an Ogham stone inscription is in County Kerry, Ireland (COOLE/1), where it is used to write the name Erpenn, which Macalister suggests is a hybrid of the Pictish name Erp and the Irish diminuitive -én.

One other interesting feature of the Ogham transcription of non-Irish names is exhibited by the St Dogwell’s stone (SDOGW/1), where the name written in the Latin script as HOGTIVIS is written in the Ogham script as OGTEN[AS]. The language and derivation of the name Hogtivis is obscure, but it cannot be Goidelic. In writing the name Hogtivis in Ogham letters, the initial H has been dropped, which confirms that the Ogham letter uath ᚆ, which in later medieval Irish tradition is used to represent the Latin letter H, but which does not occur in Ogham inscriptions on memorial stones, was not used to represent the /h/ sound at this time. Exactly what the original phonetic value of this letter was is unknown ([y] has been suggested), but it had become obsolete by the time that Primitive Irish came to be inscribed on memorial stones in the 4th to 6th centuries.

This is a mirror of the article on Babel Stone. If you go through to the original article you will find out more details about the Ogham Stones in Wales, complete with illustrations and transcriptions.

[Source]

———————————

You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

6 responses so far

Next »

Bookmark and Share
All content on this site is believed to be either in the public domain or is presented as an introduction to the originating site. No infringement of copyright is intended. If an infringement has unwittingly occurred, please inform us straightway by email and it will be removed.