Celtic Sources

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Texts

 

The following books are translations that I have read. If you were interested in reading these literatures, then I would highly recommend that you read these books. These books are the main sources of information for Timeless Myths.

Most of these books are actually books I have brought over the years. A few books listed here come from books I either borrow or read in the library.



 
unknown

Lebor Gabálá Erenn: The Taking of Ireland
translated and edited by R. A. Stewart Macalister
Irish Texts Society
5 volumes (Series 34, 35, 39, 41, 44)
  * Highly Recommended *

(The Lebor Gabálá Erenn (Book of Invasions) form part of the pseudo-history of Ireland. This work come in five volumes, and was found at the State Library. Lebor Gabálá was preserved in a manuscript called the Book of Leinster.

Parts of the Lebor Gabálá can be found on the website called Literature and Verse at http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~bj333/verse.html.)

  1. Volume 34: Cessairians
  2. Volume 35: Partholonians
  3. Volume 39: Nemedians
  4. Volume 41: Fir Bolgs; Tuatha De Dannan
  5. Volume 44: Milesians


unknown

Cath Maige Tuired : the Second Battle of Mag Tuired
edited by Elizabeth A. Gray
Irish Texts Society, Volume 52, 1982
  * Highly Recommended *

(The story of Book of Invasions, particularly the battle between the Danann and the Fomorians, known as the Second Battle of Mag Tuired (Moytura). I found this book at the State Library.

There is an electronic text version of The Second Battle of Mag Tured (Moytura) found in the web site called Literature and Verse at http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~bj333/verse.html. This is also contained several other links to other Irish literature, including the Lebor Gabala Erren (Book of Invasions), and the Prusuit of Diarmuid and Grainne.)



unknown

Early Irish Myths and Sagas
translated by Jeffrey Gantz,
Penguin Classics, 1981
  * Highly Recommended *

(Selected stories of Irish myths (mostly from the Ulster Cycle). It includes the tales of Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel, the Birth of Cu Chulainn, the Boyhood Deeds of Cu Chulainn, Deirdre, and many others.)



unknown

Táin Bó Cúalnge from the Book of Leinster
Edited by Cecile O'Rahilly
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, volume 49, 1967.
  * Highly Recommended *

(This book contained the Irish saga of the Cattle Raid of Cooley. This comes from the manuscript known as the Book of Leinster. I first found a copy of this at the State Library. A copy of this can also be found at the website called CELT - Irish Electronic Texts: www.ucc.ie/celt/online/T301035/)


The Tain
from the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúalnge
translated by Thomas Kinsella
Oxford, 1985
  * Highly Recommended *

(Originally I read this book at the State Library, containing the story of Táin Bó Cúalnge and other Ulster tales. Just recently I managed to order and purchase my own copy.
This version of the Tain, uses the manuscripts from the Book of Dun Cow and the Yellow Book of Lecan as the sources, which is different from the one translated by Cecile O'Rahilly.)



unknown

Fled Bricrend: The Feast of Bricriu, an early transcribed from old manuscript into the Book of Dun Cow
translated by George Henderson
Irish Texts Society, Series 2, 1899

(The Irish tale of three Ulster champions vying over the Champion's Portion. This was found at the State Library.)



unknown

Oidheadh Chloinne hUisneach: The Violent Death of the Children of Uisneach
translated by Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith
Irish Texts Society, Series 56, 1993

(Tale of Deirdre and the sons of Uisnech in the Ulster Cycle. This version is one three tales in Three Sorrows of Storytelling. Another book I found in the State Library. There is a variant version that can also be found in P. W. Joyce's Old Celtic Romances. Both books are different from the one found in Jeffrey Gantz's Early Irish Myths and Sagas, which is titled Longes mac nUislenn in Old Irish, and in the Ancient Irish Tales by T. P. Cross and C. H. Slover.)



unknown

Duanaire Finn: The Book of the Lay of Fionn
translated by Eoin Mac Neill
Irish Texts Society, 1908
3 volumes (Series 7, 28, and 43)

(Essential for those interested in the Fenian Cycle. Another set of books from the State Library, but the library has only volumes 1 and 3. They contained a number of poems, but in no specific order.)



unknown

Toruigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghrainne
edited by Nessa Ni Sheaghdha
Irish Texts Society, Series 48, 1967

(Irish romance about Diamait and Grainne.)



unknown

Fianaigecht
translated by Kuno Meyer
School of Celtic Studies,
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
2nd reprint 1993

(A collection of six texts concerning Finn and the Fianna.)



unknown

Ancient Irish Tales
edited by T. P. Cross and C. H. Slover
Barnes and Noble, 1969
  * Highly Recommended *

(Collection of Irish tales, containing the Mythological, Ulster, Fenian and Historical cycles.)



unknown

Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Agallamh na Seanórach)
translated by Ann Dooley andd Harry Roe
Oxford University Press, 1999
  * Highly Recommended *

(Also called "The Colloquy of the Ancients". This work comes from the manuscript known as the Book of Dean Lismore (16th century). Two aging heroes recalled the adventure of Finn and his band of warriors, the Fianna.)



unknown

Cath Maige Mucrama: The Battle of Mag Mucrama
edited by Mairin O Daly
Irish Texts Society, Series 50, 1975

(Tales that form part of the Cycle of Kings, set during the time of the Fenian Cycle.)



unknown

Old Celtic Romances
translated by Patrick Weston Joyce
introduction by Dr. Juliette Wood
Wordsworth, 2000
  * Highly Recommended *

(Collection of Celtic myths from Ireland and North West of Scotland. The translation by Joyce was actually first published at 1879. There tales about the Children of Lir, the Fate of the Children of Tuireann, the Pursuit of Diamait and Grania, Oisin in Tir na Nog, and many others.)



unknown

The Voyage of Bran
translated by Kuno Meyer (1890)
website compiled by Wayne E. Hilt Jr.
http://www.as.wvu.edu/~whilt/braneng.html

(Another translation found in electronic format.)



unknown

Buile Suibhne: being the adventure of Subhne Geilt
translated by J. G. O'Keeffe
Irish Texts Society, Volume 12, 1913

(Known usually in English tile as the Frenzy of Suibhne or Madness of Sweeny.)



 
unknown

The Mabinogion
translated by Jeffrey Gantz
Penguin Classics, 1976
  * Highly Recommended *

(This is my main source for the Welsh myths. The Mabinogion (c. 1400) comprised of a collection of 11 Welsh tales. The Mabinogion has the Four Branches of Mabinogi (Cycle of Pryderi) and some Arthurian tales, including Culhwch and Olwen, which was composed about 1100. See Mabinogion.)


The Mabinogion
translated by Lady Charlotte Guest
introduction and illustration by Alan Lee
HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
  * Highly Recommended *

(Here is an early English translation by Lady Charlotte Guest. This version a fifth Independant Tales (the other translation only had four), which included the story of Taliesin. This book was borrowed from my local library.)



Taliesin

The Text of the Book of Taliesin

(Translated text of Welsh poems from the Book of Taliesin (Llyfr Taliesin, c. 1275). This is another book found at the State Library. This contain some stories of Arthur in the early Welsh tradition.)



Aneirin

Y Gododdin : Britain's oldest heroic poem
edited and translated by A.O.H. Jarman
Llandysul, Gomer, c 1988

(This maybe the oldest reference to Arthur in literature. It just one line about Arthur, as being a great warrior.)



unknown

The Black Book of Carmarthen
edited by J. G. Evans

(Translated from 13th century manuscript, called Black Book of Carmarthen (Llyfr Du Caerfyrnddin, c. 1250). Another book found in the State Library. It contain collection of Welsh poems, dating between the 9th and 11th century, including some poems about Arthur and Myrddin (Merlin).)



William F. Skene

Four Ancient Books of Wales: The Cymric Poems Attributed to the Bard
translated and edited by William F. Skene
Edmonston & Douglas, 1968
2 volumes
  * Highly Recommended *

(This is wonderful two-volumes book were found in the State Library. Unfortunately, it is not in good condition, bindings cracked and pages dried, threatened to crumble in my hands. The first volume contained the English translation, while the second volume contained the Welsh texts, plus notes. It contained the following texts from these books:

  • The Black Book of Carmarthen
  • The Book of Taliesin
  • The Book of Anuerin
  • Red Book of Hengest

Quite a number of these texts are available on line at Ty Feirdd: The Hall of Bards)



Caesar

The Conquest of Gaul
translated by S. A. Handford and Jane Gardner.
Penguin Classics, 1951.
  * Highly Recommended *

(Julius Caesar wrote his memoir of his campaigns in Gaul. It contained some description of the Celtic tribes who lived in Gaul and Britain.)


The Civil War
translated by Jane Gardner.
Penguin Classics, 1967.

(Julius Caesar wrote his memoir of the civil war. This had nothing of value on myths or legends, but I thought I should list this book, anyway.)



Strabo

The Geography
translated by Horace Leonard Jones
LacusCurtius: Strabo's Geography

(This electonic text format was extracted from the original printed Loeb Classical Library book (1917-1932), which there are 8 volumes. It would be too expensive to buy, so it is lucky that they have these one available on the net. Strabo was a Greek geographer (63 BC-AD 23). It does not only contain the geography and history of the Greeks and Romans, there some extensive description of the Celts living in Gaul, Spain and northern Italy. It is even a guide to India.)



Lucan

Pharsalia (The Civil War)
translated by Sir Edward Ridley, 1896
Online Medieval and Classical Library (OMCL)
  * Highly Recommended *

(This Latin work by Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (died in AD 65), was actually written about the Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey Magus, the two great Roman generals in the 1st century BC. Once again, I read this from the electronic edition from OMCL, rather than buying the book. Lucan wrote about three Celtic gods and the blood sacrifices made to these gods. This can be found in Book I.)



William Butler Yeats

Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888)
Sacred Texts

(This was the first extensive commentary on fairies from Irish folklore.)


The Celtic Twilight (1893)
Sacred Texts



Thomas Crofton Croker

Fairy Legends and Traditions (1825)
Sacred Texts



Lady Francesca Speranza Wilde

Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland (1887)
Sacred Texts

(More literature on Irish folklore.)



J. F. Campbell

Popular Tales of the West Highlands (1890)
Sacred Texts



Wirt Sikes

British Goblins (1880)
Sacred Texts

(This text provide the most extensive information on Welsh folklore, fairy mythology, legends and traditions.)



John Rhys

Celtic Folklore: Welsh and Manx (1900)
Sacred Texts

(This is the only work that I know of that has Manx folklore. Most of it, is Welsh folklore.)



Lewis Spence

Legends and Romances of Brittany (1917)
Sacred Texts

(This is the best source I could find about Breton folklores.)



Elsie Masson

Folk Tales of Brittany (1929)
Sacred Texts

(This has one version of the legend of Dahut or Ahes (but Ahez in this text) and the city of Ys.)



Charles Guyot

The Legend of the City of Ys (1979)
translated by Deirdre Cavanagh
University of Massachuetts Press








Other Texts

 

The following works are translations that I have not yet read, but I do suggest that you give these a try.... Well, if you can find them.

There are maybe several reasons why I haven't read these works yet.

  • There is no English translation available yet.
  • The original is either fragmented or damaged, and probably not yet published.
  • It's out of publication (OUT OF PRINT).
  • I couldn't afford it (please, donate?).
  • It was available but I did not want to buy it.

However, if you do happened to find English translation of any of these works (preferably in paperback) that are affordable, please e-mail me the details (title, author, name of the translator, ISBN, and the publisher, etc).



 
unknown

The Book of Leinster

(The Book of Leinster (Lebor Laighneach) is rather large manuscript contained numerous tales from Celtic myths. The Book of Leinster was possibly written in 1160. I have found the Leinster's version of the Tain Bo Cuilagne in the State Library. Couldn't find this in English translation at the State Library. Found it on one of the on-line bookstores, but it was too expensive. The manuscript contained tales from the Mythological Cycle, Ulster Cycle and Fenian Cycle.)



unknown

The Book of Dun Cow

(Like the Book of Leinster, the Book of Dun Cow (Lebor na h-Uidre, late 11th century) contained collection of numerous tales from Irish myths. The Tain Bo Cuilagne was fragmented; there is a translation of this work by Thomas Kinsella. The manuscript contained tales from the Mythological Cycle, Ulster Cycle and Fenian Cycle.)



unknown

Yellow Book of Lecan

(The Yellow Book of Lecan (Lebor Buide Lecáin) (c. 1390) was another manuscript containing large collection of Irish myths.)



 
unknown

Book of Lecan

(The Book of Lecan (Leabhar Mór Mhic Fhir Bhisigh Leacain) or sometimes called the Great Book of Lecan (c. 1400) was another manuscript from Lecan containing the Book of Rights. This manuscript is less interesting than the Yellow Book of Lecan in term of Irish myth and legend.)



unknown

Book of Ballymote

(The Book of Ballymote (Leabhar Bhaile an Mhóta) is a manuscript of c. 1390. It contained tales of Cormac.)



unknown

White Book of Rhydderch

(The White Book of Rhydderch (Llyr Gwyn Rhydderch) is a medieval Welsh manuscript containing 10 of eleven tales of the Mabinogion (The Dream of Rhonabwy is the only one missing in the manuscript.)



unknown

Red Book of Hergest

(The Red Book of Hergest (Llyfr Coch Hergest) is a medieval Welsh manuscript, containing all eleven tales of the Mabinogion.)








References

 

The following books I have read and used for my researches and general references. These works are probably dictionary, encyclopedia, critical essays or analysis on myths, etc.

Some of these books probably provide history and background to the myths and legend.



 

The Celts
Nora Chadwick
Penguin, 1970

(A very useful information about the Celtic people, a bit of history (and archaeology), custom and religion.)



 

Dictionary of Archeology
edited by Paul Bahn
Collins, 1992

(Useful information on archaeology.)









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