The Epics of Celtic Ireland: Ancient Tales of Mystery and Magic

The Epics of Celtic Ireland: Ancient Tales of Mystery and Magic

by Jean Markale, Jody Gladding
     
 

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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Jack L. Ralston
"It is exciting to vicariously participate in such extraordinary adventures as retold in these epics."
Internet Bookwatch
"Students of Irish history or spirituality will find Epics of Celtic Ireland an excellent survey of early Celtic literature and spiritual beliefs."
Jodi Wetherup
"I highly recommend it to those looking for information on Celtic folklore for whatever reason."
October 2000 Internet Bookwatch
"Students of Irish history or spirituality will find Epics of Celtic Ireland an excellent survey of early Celtic literature and spiritual beliefs."
From the Publisher
"I highly recommend it to those looking for information on Celtic folklore for whatever reason."

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

"It is exciting to vicariously participate in such extraordinary adventures as retold in these epics."

Booknews
Breton scholar and poet Markale's contribution to Celtic studies during his long career has been to make aspects of the culture accessible to a larger public rather than to grapple with minutiae. Here he describes and summaries the traditional Irish tales that comprise the mythological cycle, the Ulster cycle, the Cuchulainn cycle, the Finn cycle, and the cycle of the kings. The French original e celtiqe d'Irelande/> was first published in 1984 by <'E>ditions Payot. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Celtic historian Markale provides a treatise on Irish epics and legends which includes plenty of spiritual insight as it probes how mythic tales have shaped modern beliefs. Students of Irish history or spirituality will find Epics of Celtic Ireland an excellent survey of early Celtic literature and spiritual beliefs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892818150
Publisher:
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date:
06/28/2000
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"It is exciting to vicariously participate in such extraordinary adventures as retold in these epics."

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

"I highly recommend it to those looking for information on Celtic folklore for whatever reason."

Meet the Author

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.

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