The Great Myths #17: Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Celtic)


The Great Myths #17: Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Celtic) Human Voices Wake Us

An episode from 3/22/22: One of my goals for The Great Myths has been to show how strange, even off-putting, the stories that we know and revere really are. I don’t know of a better example of this than the largest literary text surviving from twelfth-century Ireland, The Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Acallam na Senórach).

Using the wanderings of Saint Patrick throughout Ireland as the frame story, Patrick meets with the surviving warriors from older times, and between them more than two hundred small stories are strung together. The lore of place-names, stories of battle and the Otherworld, as well as the mournful pathos surrounding the passing of the pagan world, are related in exciting, heart-wrenching, dry, scholarly, or just bizarre ways, in poetry and prose.

The translation I read from is that of Ann Dooley and Harry Roe.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Tom Hart says:

    I love the myth episdoes

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