The Sacred Isle: Belief and Religion in Pre-Christian Ireland

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Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 1999 - History - 259 pages
The myths and legends of prehistoric Ireland have inspired writers through the ages, down to W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney in our own century, but what do we know of the realities of ancient Irish belief? Daithi O hOgain's book approaches the question by studying archaeological remains such as tumuli, stone henges and circular enclosures and analysing the rich materials that have been handed down both in the great cycles of Irish heroic tales and the humble but significant survivals of modern folklore, for instance the traditions associated with wells and springs. Drawing evidence from these varied sources, he arrives at a balanced picture of a society and its beliefs which have all too often been the subject of conjecture and fancy. CONTENTS Pre-Celtic Cultures . Basic Tenets in the Iron Age . The Druids and their Practices . The Teachings of the Druids . The Society of the Gods . The Rites of Sovereignty . The Triumph of Christianity. DAITHI O HOGAIN was Professor of Folklore at University College Dublin.
 

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User Review  - gwernin - LibraryThing

An interesting and worthwhile discussion, covering the peoples and cultures of Ireland from the stone age to the arrival of Christianity. Strongest where he teases out new information about the Druids ... Read full review

Contents

Basic Tenets in the Iron
39
The Druids and Their Practices
69
4
77
The Teachings of the Druids
98
The Society of the Gods
128
The Rites of Sovereignty
153
The Triumph of Christianity
184
Notes
217
Bibliography
251
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