Category Archives: Celtic Scholar’s Reviews and Opinions

Book Review Kings and Warriors

Full Title: Kings and Warriors in Early North-West Europe
Editors: Jan Erik Rekdal and Charles Doherty
Publisher: Four Courts Press
Published: 2016
ISBN: 978-1-84682-501-9
Pages: 480 including bibliography and index, the bibliography starts on page 433
Synopsis: This book explores the representation of the warrior in relation to the king in early north-west Europe. These essays, by scholars from the areas of Norse, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon studies, examine how medieval writers highlighted the role of the warrior in relation to kings, or to authority, and to society as a whole. The warrior who fought for his people was also a danger to them. How was such a destructive force to be controlled? The Christian church sought to challenge the ethos of the pagan tribal warrior and to reduce the barbarism of warfare (at least its worst excesses). We can follow this struggle in the medieval literature produced in the areas under study.
Review: Continue reading…

The Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel

Full Title: Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel: Kingship and Narrative Artistry in a Mediaeval Irish Saga
Author:  Ralph O’Connor
Synopsis: Irish saga literature represents the largest collection of vernacular narrative in existence from the early Middle Ages, using the tools of Christian literacy to retell myths and legends about the pagan past. Continue reading…

CATH MAIGE MUCRAMA

Full title: Cath Maige Mucrama – The Battle of Mag Mucrama (Volume # 50)
Pages: 157 pages, includes Introduction, Appendix, Notes, Index to Notes, Names of Persons, Names of Peoples, and Names of Places.

As usual with these books I’m not going to review the content of the myth rather I’m going to comment on the Introduction and the way the book is put together. The Introduction starts by telling the reader that none of the texts that will appear in the book is appearing for the first time. … Continue reading…

Book Review OIDHEADH CHLOINNE HUISNEACH

Full Title: Oidheadh Chloinne hUisneach (The Violent Death of Uisneach
Edited and Translated by: Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith
Published by: Irish Texts Society
Review: The book has 9 chapters which the editor calls sections. In the Introduction (Section 1) the editor says that the book aims to provide a critical edition of the Early Modern Irish prose tale Oidheadh Chloinne hUisneach.Continue reading…

BOOK REVIEW: 2 books

BOOK 1: Lebor Na Cert (The Book of Right)
Series: Volume XLVI

BOOK 2: Lebor Na Cert Reassessment
Series: Subsidiary Series No. 25

Review: There is no way I’m going to review The Book of Right of course but I will be discussing some points about it. Continue reading…

BOOK REVIEW Language and Tradition in Ireland

Picture of the book cover.

Full Title: Language and Tradition in Ireland: Continuities and Displacements

Synopsis: If language and culture are intimately connected, then cultures involving people who speak more than one language must have special characteristics, as well as particular social issues to negotiate. What are the challenges faced by a people with two or more languages as their heritage? How does that multiple heritage affect cultural forms, including literature and the arts? How does linguistic difference influence the conceptualization and writing of history? And if the meeting of languages within a people has involved contestation and power, how are those conflicts negotiated?

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BOOK REVIEW The Strange World of Human Sacrifice

Full Title: The Strange World of Human Sacrifice

Series: Studies in History and Anthropology of Religion 01

REVIEW: The book pretty much circumvented the globe with its study of human sacrifices. It was really interesting to read about the differences and similarities for the reasons behind human sacrifices. This book held my interest until … Continue reading…

BOOK REVIEW Sacred Histories: A Festschrift for Maire Herbert

Full Title: Sacred Histories: A Festschrift for Maire Herbert

Editors: John Carey, Kevin Murray, and Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh

Publisher: Four Courts Press

Copyright: November 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1846825644

Pages: 460 including

Synopsis: Sacred Histories is a collection of essays that focuses on the historical subtext of narrative (in Latin and Irish) from medieval Ireland. Contributions engage with this topic across numerous genres, such as hagiography, apocrypha, ‘historical tales,’ and the literary portrayal of women. Such sustained interrogation results in numerous fresh insights and new perspectives. The volume is a festschrift in honor of Maire Herbert, and the contributors are among the foremost experts in their disciplines. [Subject: History, Irish Studies, Medieval Studies, Literary Criticism, Cultural Studies]

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The Bell Beaker Transition in Europe

Full Title: The Bell Beaker Transition in Europe – Mobility and Local Evolution During the 3rd Millennium BC.

Editors: Maria Pilar Prieto Martínez and Laure Salanova

Publisher: Oxbow Books

Review: This text brings together 17 articles that were initially presented in the 15th International Bell Beaker Conference “From Atlantic to Ural”. It was organized in May 2011 in Spain. The theme for the conference was “Could the circulation of objects or ideas and the mobility of artisans explain the unprecedented uniformity of the material culture observed throughout the whole of Europe?” Continue reading…

Playing the Hero

Full Title: Playing the Hero – Reading the Irish Saga Táin Bó Cúailnge

Author: Ann Dooley

Review: I have never been utterly confused by a book as much as I have been confused by this one. I don’t know if it is because the author like to complicate things, or it is the subject matter, or it is just above my pay grade. Continue reading…