Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin – Early Irish Literature

Excellent introduction to the unique and extensive written heritage of Old and Middle Ireland 600 – 1200 AD.  Gives an introduction to all of the cycles as well as setting the literature within a cultural context.  So the poets, druids and the Christian monks are briefly covered along with some material on the shift from oral to written and the resulting and vitally important manuscripts.

Cross and Slover – Ancient Irish Tales

Somewhat dated but still classic anthology of the tales.  Very comprehensive in terms of the four cycles and importantly the King Tales are included and most of the Book of Invasions stories.

Richard Kearney (Ed) – The Irish Mind

This excellent introduction to the Irish Cast of mind outlines  a world that practised the art of making contradictions dance, so unlike the linear centralising thought.  Greco Roman thought of so much of the rest of Western Europe.  The introduction and the chapters on Mythopoeic thought are particularly relevant.

Dáith í ÓhÓgáin – Myth, Legend and Romance

This priceless resource is an invaluable asset to anyone wishing to delve into this literature and these sources.   The  painstaking outline of all the sources of all the key figures makes the work of scholar or interested explorer so much easier.  This is a ‘must have’. Daithi was  a long time supporter of the Bard Project – the much loved Professor of Folklore from UCD.

Proinsias MacCana – Cult of the Sacred Centre

This important book explores the ancient Irish concepts of unity – political, cultural and geographic.  This renowned scholar’s last book outlines the important thinking on distributed power and the early division of Ireland by the Fir Bolg and then outlined further by Fintan MacBochra in ‘The Settling of the Manor of Tara’.  In a world increasingly questioning the behaviour of the hierarchical elite this is truly thinking to immerse yourself in today.

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