Category Archives: Celtic Scholar’s Reviews and Opinions

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…

Tracing the Indo-Europeans

Full Title: Tracing the Indo-Europeans – New Evidence from Archaeology and Historical Linguistics.

Edited by: Brigit Anette Olsen, Thomas Olander, and Kristian Kristiansen

Synopsis: Recent developments in aDNA has reshaped our understanding of later European prehistory, and at the same time also opened up for more fruitful collaborations between archaeologists and historical linguists. Continue reading…

The Otherworld Voyage

Full Title: The Otherworld Voyage In Early Irish Literature – An Anthology of Criticism

Editor: Jonathan M. Wooding

Review: The idea for this book came during a conference at Maynooth in 1995. The attendees noted the need for a guide to Hiberno-Latin and early Irish voyage literature. They wanted a work of reference for the subject, because this kind of work was not yet available. This text is a selection of past and present criticism concerning … Continue reading…

The Wisdom of the Outlaw

Title: The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn in Gaelic Narrative Tradition.

Author: Joseph Falaky Nagy

Review: It took forever to get my hands on a copy of this book and even then it was lightly used. Still it was better than waiting for a new edition that never materialized. Continue reading…

Hospitality In Medieval Ireland

Title: Hospitality in Medieval Ireland 900 – 1500
Author: Catherine Marie O’Sullivan
Pages: 272 including Appendix, Bibliography, and Index.

Synopsis: Hospitality was one of the most important social institutions and cultural customs in medieval Ireland. The fundamental principles governing the provision of hospitality were rooted in both the secular and religious traditions of Irish culture, and were represented in both the public and private spheres of Irish life. Continue reading…