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Celtic Myth And Legend Charles Squire Pdf

celtic myth and legend charles squire pdf

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This splendidly illustrated study by the distinguished Celticist T. Rolleston masterfully retells the great Celtic myths and illuminates the world that spawned them. Focusing principally on Irish myths, the book first takes up the history and religion of the Celts, the myths of the Irish invasion and the early Milesian kings. What follows is pure enchantment as you enter the timeless world of heroic tales centered around the Ulster king Conor mac Nessa and the Red Branch Order of chivalry Ultonian cycle. Finally, the author recounts a selection of the myths and tales of the Cymry Welsh.

Celtic mythology

This book is what its author believes to be the only attempt yet made to put the English reader into possession, in clear, compact, and what it is hoped may prove agreeable, form, of the mythical, legendary, and poetic traditions of the earliest inhabitants of our islands who have left us written records—the Gaelic and the British Celts.

But these books not merely each cover a portion only of the whole ground, but, in addition, contain little elucidatory matter. Their characters stand isolated and unexplained; and the details that would explain them must be sought for with considerable trouble in the lectures and essays of scholars to learned societies. The reader to whom this literature is entirely new is introduced, as it were, to numerous people of whose antecedents he knows nothing; and the effect is often disconcerting enough to make him lay down the volume in despair.

He will meet also with the divine and heroic personages of vi the ancient Britons: with their earliest gods, kin to the members of the Gaelic Pantheon; as well as with Arthur and his Knights, whom he will recognize as no mortal champions, but belonging to the same mythic company.

The book does not, of course, profess to be for Celtic scholars, to whom, indeed, its author himself owes all that is within it. It aims only at interesting the reader familiar with the mythologies of Greece, Rome, and Scandinavia in another, and a nearer, source of poetry. It is his hope that, in choosing from the considerable, though scattered, translations and commentaries of students of Old Gaelic and Old Welsh, he has chosen wisely, and that his readers will be able, should they wish, to use his book as a stepping-stone to the authorities themselves.

To that end it is wholly directed; and its marginal notes and short bibliographical appendix follow the same plan. They do not aspire to anything like completeness, but only to point out the chief sources from which he himself has drawn. First and foremost, he has relied upon the volumes of M. From the writings of Mr. Alfred Nutt he has also obtained much help. Kuno Meyer, Dr. Whitley Stokes, Dr. Ernest Windisch, Mr. But space is lacking to do justice to all. The reader is referred to the marginal notes and the Appendix for the works of these and other authors, who will no doubt pardon the use made of their researches to one whose sole object has been to gain a larger audience for the studies they have most at heart.

Finally, perhaps, a word should be said upon that vexed question, the transliteration of Gaelic. As yet there is no universal or consistent method of spelling. The author has therefore chosen the forms which seemed most familiar to himself, hoping in that way to best serve the uses of others. It should hardly be necessary to remind the reader of what profound interest and value to every nation are its earliest legendary and poetical records.

The beautiful myths of Greece form a sufficing example. In threefold manner, they have influenced the destiny of the people that created them, and of the country of which they were the imagined theatre.

First, in the ages in which they were still fresh, belief and pride in them were powerful enough to bring scattered tribes into confederation. Secondly, they gave the inspiration to sculptor and poet of an art and literature unsurpassed, if not unequalled, by any other age or race.

This permeating influence of the Greek poetical mythology, apparent in all civilized countries, has acted especially upon our own.

From almost the very dawn of English literature, the Greek stories of gods and heroes have formed a large part of the stock-in-trade of English poets. The inhabitants of Olympus occupy, under their better-known Latin names, almost as great a space in English poetry as they did in that of the countries to which they were native. From Chaucer downwards, they have captivated the imagination alike of the poets and their hearers.

At last, however, its potency became somewhat exhausted. Alien and exotic to English soil, it degenerated slowly into a convention. In the shallow hands of the poetasters of the eighteenth century, its figures became mere puppets. The affectation killed—and fortunately killed—a mode of expression which had become obsolete. Smothered by just ridicule, and abandoned to the commonplace vocabulary of the inferior hack-writer, classic myth became a subject 3 which only the greatest poets could afford to handle.

But mythology is of such vital need to literature that, deprived of the store of legend native to southern Europe, imaginative writers looked for a fresh impulse. They turned their eyes to the North. Inspiration was sought, not from Olympus, but from Asgard. Moreover, it was believed that the fount of primeval poetry issuing from Scandinavian and Teutonic myth was truly our own, and that we were rightful heirs of it by reason of the Anglo-Saxon in our blood.

And so, indeed, we are; but it is not our sole heritage. There must also run much Celtic—that is, truly British—blood in our veins. We have the right, therefore, to enter upon a new spiritual possession. And a splendid one it is! The Celtic mythology has little of the heavy crudeness that repels one in Teutonic and Scandinavian story. Divinities should, surely, seem the inevitable outgrowth of the land they move in!

How strange Apollo would appear, naked among icebergs, or fur-clad Thor striding under groves of palms!

Thus we gain an altogether fresh interest in the beautiful spots of our own islands, especially those of the wilder and more mountainous west, where the older inhabitants of the land lingered longest. Saxon conquest obliterated much in Eastern Britain, and changed more; but in the West of England, in Wales, in Scotland, and especially in legend-haunted Ireland, the hills and dales still keep memories of the ancient gods of the ancient race.

Here and there in South Wales and the West of England are regions—once mysterious and still romantic—which the British Celts held to be the homes of gods or outposts of the Other World. Thanks to the scholars who have unveiled the ancient Gaelic and British mythologies, it need not be so for ours. On Ludgate Hill, as well as on many less famous eminences, once stood the temple of the British Zeus.

A mountain not far from Bettws-y-Coed was the British Olympus, the court and palace of our ancient gods. The inspiration of classic culture, which Wordsworth was one of the first to break with, was still powerful. How some of its professors would have held their sides and roared at the very notion of a British mythology! Yet, all the time, it had long been secretly leavening English ideas and ideals, none the less potently because disguised under forms which could be readily appreciated.

They still lived on in legend as kings of ancient Britain reigning in a fabulous past anterior to Julius Caesar—such were King Lud, founder of London; King Lear, whose legend was immortalized by Shakespeare; King Brennius, who conquered Rome; as well as many others who will be found 6 filling parts in old drama.

They still lived on as long-dead saints of the early churches of Ireland and Britain, whose wonderful attributes and adventures are, in many cases, only those of their original namesakes, the old gods, told afresh. And they still lived on in another, and a yet more potent, way. Myths of Arthur and his cycle of gods passed into the hands of the Norman story-tellers, to reappear as romances of King Arthur and his Knights of the Table Round.

Thus spread over civilized Europe, their influence was immense. Their primal poetic impulse is still resonant in our literature; we need only instance Tennyson and Swinburne as minds that have come under its sway. This diverse influence of Celtic mythology upon English poetry and romance has been eloquently set forth by Mr. Elton in his Origins of English History. The elemental powers of earth and fire, and the spirits which haunted the waves and streams appear again as kings in the Irish Annals, or as saints and hermits in Wales.

The Knights of the Round Table, Sir Kay and Tristrem and the bold Sir Bedivere, betray their mighty origin by the attributes they retained as heroes of romance.

It is the dreamy forest of Arden. He will demand to know what facts we really possess about this supposed Celtic mythology alleged to have furnished their prototypes, and of what real antiquity and value are our authorities upon it.

We may begin by asserting with confidence that Mr. Elton has touched upon a part only of the material on which we may draw, to reconstruct the ancient British mythology. Luckily, we are not wholly dependent upon the difficult tasks of resolving the fabled deeds of apocryphal Irish and British kings who reigned earlier than St.

Patrick or before Julius Caesar into their original form of Celtic myths, of sifting the attributes and miracles of doubtfully historical saints, or of separating the primitive pagan elements in the legends of Arthur and his Knights from the embellishments added by the romance-writers.

We have, in addition to these—which we may for the present put upon one side as secondary—sources, a mass of genuine early writings which, though post-Christian in the form in which they now exist, none the less descend from the preceding pagan age. These are contained in vellum and parchment manuscripts long preserved from destruction in mansions and monasteries in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and only during the last century brought to light, copied, and translated by the patient labours of scholars who have grappled with 9 the long-obsolete dialects in which they were transcribed.

Many of these volumes are curious miscellanies. Usually the one book of a great house or monastic community, everything was copied into it that the scholar of the family or brotherhood thought to be best worth preserving.

Hence they contain matter of the most diverse kind. The majority of these documents were put together during a period which, roughly speaking, lasted from the beginning of the twelfth century to the end of the sixteenth. In Ireland, in Wales, and, apparently, also in Scotland, it was a time of literary revival after the turmoils of the previous epoch.

In Ireland, the Norsemen, after long ravaging, had settled peacefully down, while in Wales, the Norman Conquest had rendered the country for the first time comparatively quiet. The scattered remains of history, lay and ecclesiastical, of science, and of legend were gathered together.

Of the Irish manuscripts, the earliest, and, for our purposes, the most important, on account of the great store of ancient Gaelic mythology which, in 10 spite of its dilapidated condition, it still contains, is in the possession of the Royal Irish Academy.

Unluckily, it is reduced to a fragment of one hundred and thirty-eight pages, but this remnant preserves a large number of romances relating to the old gods and heroes of Ireland. This manuscript is called the Book of the Dun Cow, from the tradition that it was copied from an earlier book written upon the skin of a favourite animal belonging to Saint Ciaran, who lived in the seventh century.

An entry upon one of its pages reveals the name of its scribe, one Maelmuiri, whom we know to have been killed by robbers in the church of Clonmacnois in the year Far more voluminous, and but little less ancient, is the Book of Leinster, said to have been compiled in the early part of the twelfth century by Finn mac Gorman, Bishop of Kildare.

Of somewhat less importance from the point of view of the student of Gaelic mythology come the Book of Ballymote and the Yellow Book of Lecan, belonging to the end of the fourteenth century, and the Books of Lecan and of Lismore, both attributed to the fifteenth.

Besides these six great collections, there survive many other manuscripts which also contain ancient mythical lore. In one of these, dating from the fifteenth century, is to be found the 11 story of the Battle of Moytura, fought between the gods of Ireland and their enemies, the Fomors, or demons of the deep sea. They corroborate the Irish documents, add to the Cuchulainn saga, and make a more special subject of the other heroic cycle, that which relates the not less wonderful deeds of Finn, Ossian, and the Fenians.

The Welsh documents cover about the same period as the Irish and the Scottish. Four of these stand out from the rest, as most important. The oldest is the Black Book of Caermarthen, which dates from the third quarter of the twelfth century; the Book of Aneurin, which was written late in the thirteenth; the Book of Taliesin, assigned to the fourteenth; and the Red Book of Hergest, compiled by various persons during that century and the one following it.

The last—the Red Book of Hergest—is far larger. The whole bulk, therefore, of the native literature bearing upon the mythology of the British Islands may be attributed to a period which lasted from the beginning of the twelfth century to the end of the sixteenth. But even the commencement of this era will no doubt seem far too late a day to allow authenticity to matter which ought to have vastly preceded it.

The date, however, merely marks the final redaction of the contents of the manuscripts into the form in which they now exist, without bearing at all upon the time of their authorship. Avowedly copies of ancient poems and tales from much older manuscripts, the present books no more fix the period of the original composition of their contents than the presence of a portion of the Canterbury Tales in a modern anthology of English poetry would assign Chaucer to the present year of grace. This may be proved both directly and inferentially.

In others, we may depend upon evidence which, if not quite so absolute, is nearly as convincing.

Celtic Myth and Arthurian Romance

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celtic myth and legend charles squire pdf

Celtic Myths and Legends

Celtic myth & legend, poetry & romance


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This book is what its author believes to be the only attempt yet made to put the English reader into possession, in clear, compact, and what it is hoped may prove agreeable, form, of the mythical, legendary, and poetic traditions of the earliest inhabitants of our islands who have left us written records—the Gaelic and the British Celts. But these books not merely each cover a portion only of the whole ground, but, in addition, contain little elucidatory matter. Their characters stand isolated and unexplained; and the details that would explain them must be sought for with considerable trouble in the lectures and essays of scholars to learned societies.

Celtic is the mythology of Celtic polytheism , the religion of the Iron Age Celts. For Celts in close contact with Ancient Rome , such as the Gauls and Celtiberians , their mythology did not survive the Roman Empire , their subsequent conversion to Christianity and the loss of their Celtic languages. It is mostly through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either political or linguistic identities such as the Gaels in Ireland and Scotland , the Welsh in Wales , and the Celtic Britons of southern Great Britain and Brittany left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies that were put into written form during the Middle Ages.

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This is a list of antiquarian books which are now public domain and freely available online. Some of them are seminal works of their time, while others might not be as well known but can be useful for research nonetheless.

 А как же автоматическое отключение. Стратмор задумался. - Должно быть, где-то замыкание. Желтый сигнал тревоги вспыхнул над шифровалкой, и свет, пульсируя, прерывистыми пятнами упал налицо коммандера. - Может, отключить его самим? - предложила Сьюзан.

Стратмор мысленно взвешивал это предложение. Оно было простым и ясным. Сьюзан остается в живых, Цифровая крепость обретает черный ход. Если не преследовать Хейла, черный ход останется секретом. Но Стратмор понимал, что Хейл не станет долго держать язык за зубами.


  1. Teresa S.

    24.12.2020 at 04:23

    Deluxe Edition on.

  2. Genpehochnigh

    25.12.2020 at 07:13

    Part of the 'Myths and Legends' series published by Gresham in the early 20th century, 'Celtic Myth and Legend' is actually a reissue of a work, 'The Mythology of the British Islands'.

  3. AnaГЇs C.

    29.12.2020 at 03:53

    GeLTicflmH&i£GenD poeiRT a ROflQAnoe d CHARLES SQUIRE fri{/​iJuusun&ons A (;^CHir<^Monoc/irome I] THE GRESHAM PUBLISHING.

  4. Millard D.

    30.12.2020 at 10:58

    By Roger Sherman Loomis.

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