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Early Irish History and Mythology

Early Irish History and Mythology

Thomas F. O'Rahilly

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A cloth bound hardcover NEW BOOK.


This book is concerned mainly with the early history of Ireland.  Events and persons of early Christian Ireland are occasionally discussed; but for the most part it confines itself to the history of Ireland previous to official introduction of Christianity in A.D. 431.

The main source from which this history has been reconstructed in native Irish tradition, which has been supplemented to some extent by the testimony of classical authors and by linguistic evidence.

O'Rahilly's historical model is a theory of Irish prehistory put forward by Celtic scholar T. F. O'Rahilly in 1946.

It was based on his study of the influences on the Irish language and a critical analysis of Irish mythology. He distinguished four separate waves of Celtic invaders:

The Cruithne or Priteni (c. 700 – 500 BC)

The Builg or Érainn (c. 500 BC)

The Laigin, the Domnainn and the Gálioin (c. 300 BC)

The Goidels or Gael (c. 100 BC)

O'Rahilly's work was and remains influential but much of his linguistic work has since been refuted by noted authors such as Kenneth Jackson[1] and John T. Koch[2] and is not generally the accepted model.

Nevertheless, and independent of his linguistic arguments, O'Rahilly's categorizations of most Irish kin groups generally remain accepted, although with important exceptions, e.g. those he believed were the true Gaels cannot actually be demonstrated to be. In any case it is this historical aspect of his work which is most frequently cited in current scholarship. In recent decades, the developing understanding of Irish prehistory has mostly reduced the influence ascribed to "invasions" or mass movements in population.

Additional Information

Author Thomas F. O'Rahilly
Publisher Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies
Publication date 1 Jan 2010
Format Hardback
ISBN/EAN 9780901282293

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