The Epics of Celtic Ireland

Ancient Tales of Mystery and Magic
By (author) Jean Markale

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The Epics of Celtic Ireland
Ancient Tales of Mystery and Magic
By (author) Jean Markale

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Pages : 248

Book Size : 6 x 9

ISBN-13 : 9780892818150

Imprint : Inner Traditions

On Sale Date : June 01, 2000

Format : Paperback Book

Some of the most powerfully moving tales in Western literature are found in the epics of Celtic Ireland. In this collection, Markale restores these texts to their original form and reveals how deeply these mythic tales have shaped modern thought.
Description

About The Epics of Celtic Ireland

A world-renowned Celtic historian restores the classic Irish epics to their original sacred context.


• Restores the true Celtic morality and sentiment to these tales, which were expurgated by Christian monks.


• Reveals how deeply these mythic tales have shaped modern sensibility.


• Shows how the ancient Celtic tradition provides answers to contemporary spiritual needs.

Some of the most powerfully moving tales in Western literature are to be found in the epics of Celtic Ireland. Heroes and heroines like Finn Mac Cool, Grainne, and Cuchulainn are now familiar names, and their exploits have even been novelized for the contemporary reader. But the value of these stories extends far beyond mere entertainment. In Celtic myth the adventure of a hero and a warrior is not only an instinctive search for answers to the great human metaphysical problems, but also a palpable, even sensual experience. The dividing line between sacred and profane is forever shifting in ways that can be shocking, if not incomprehensible, to a person accustomed to the logical systems based on classical thought.

Distrustful of the written word, Celtic druids forbade anything involving their tradition from being put into writing. However, Christian monks chose to preserve all they could of the oral tradition on paper. Unfortunately, they did not hesitate to alter what they couldn't comprehend, or what their Christian sensibilities found shocking. In this collection of some of the most important narratives in the rich Irish tradition, Jean Markale restores these texts to their original form and reveals how the Celtic spirit is on the verge of reclaiming its rights.

Table of Contents

Table of content

Foreword
Introduction: The Irish Epic
1. The Mythological Cycle
2. The Ulster Cycle
3. The Cuchulainn Cycle
4. The Finn Cycle
5. The Cycle of the Kings

Author Bio
Poet, philosopher, historian, and storyteller, Jean Markale is the author of more than 40 books on pre-Christian societies, including The Druids, The Grail, The Celts, Merlin, Women of the Celts, and King of the Celts. He is a specialist in Celtic studies at the Sorbonne and lives in the Brittany region of France.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

"It is exciting to vicariously participate in such extraordinary adventures as retold in these epics."
Jack L. Ralston, ForeWord, July 2000

"Students of Irish history or spirituality will find Epics of Celtic Ireland an excellent survey of early Celtic literature and spiritual beliefs."
Internet Bookwatch, October 2000

"I highly recommend it to those looking for information on Celtic folklore for whatever reason."
Jodi Wetherup, The Beltane Papers, November 2002

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