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1. Early Irish Myths and Sagas (Penguin
2. A Dictionary of Irish Mythology
3. Early Irish History and Mythology
4. A Guide to Irish Mythology
5. Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish
6. A Little Book of Irish Myths (Little
7. Lady Gregory's Complete Irish
8. Great Irish Legends for Children
9. Irish Folktales (Pantheon Fairy
10. Contemporary Irish Traditional
11. The Celtic Gods: Comets in Irish
12. Lady Gregory's Complete Irish
13. British and Irish Mythology: An
14. A Guide to Irish Mythology (Celtic
15. The Kirwans of Castlehacket, Co.
16. Irish Mythology: A Guide and Sourcebook
17. The Wisdom of the West an Introduction
18. Cuchulainn, the Irish Achilles
19. Irish Mythology and Folklore
20. Great Irish Writing: The Best

1. Early Irish Myths and Sagas (Penguin Classics)
Paperback: 288 Pages (1982-03-25)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140443975
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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First written down in the eighth century AD, these early Irish stories depict a far older world part myth, part legend and part history. Rich with magic and achingly beautiful, they speak of a land of heroic battles, intense love and warrior ideals, in which the otherworld is explored and men mingle freely with the gods. From the vivid adventures of the great Celtic hero Cu Chulaind, to the stunning Exile of the Sons of Uisliu' a tale of treachery, honour and romance these are masterpieces of passion and vitality, and form the foundation for the Irish literary tradition: a mythic legacy that was a powerful influence on the work of Yeats, Synge and Joyce. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Informative, in a textbook way.
Not as much flair for the dramatic as I expected, but does line out certain figures in Irish mythology quite nicely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short but valuable
This book contains a good selection of stories, focusing on the Ulster Cycle (the cycle centering on the exploits of Cu Chulainn), though the first story is from the Mythological Cycle. Great care was given to the selection of stories, and the translations are very vivid.Very often times, the general devices are captured, as is shown in the tale of the Destruction of Da Derga's Hostal (question, answer beginning with "that is not hard" or occasionally "that is hard").Many renditions do not include this sort of narrative device, and its inclusion here is appreciated.

Commentary is minimal which is appropriate for a work like this.

The book contains a great deal of source material for mythological studies generally.While it certainly should not be the only book on the subject, it should be in every serious student's library.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Irish Myths and Sagas
A nice collection of all the old Irish myths and ballads, especially those of Chu Chulainn and his various heroic exploits.Gives an intriguing glimpse into the culture and times of the pre-Roman, pre-Christian Irish Gaelic people.

5-0 out of 5 stars satified
I needed this book for an adult ed course. Opened a new door in literature

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of its kind for its size
There are a lot of books out there that contain sections and retellings of early Irish myths. Most of them are more expensive and have far less material in them. This is a very good collection at an excellent price and is a great place to start for folks who are newly interested in the field. Gantz is a well-respected scholar and the pieces and translations chosen are very good for giving you a feel of the variety of material out there. ... Read more

2. A Dictionary of Irish Mythology (Oxford Paper Reference Series)
by Peter Berresford Ellis
 Paperback: 240 Pages (1992-01-02)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$63.28
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Asin: 0192828711
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Ireland boasts one of the Europe's oldest and most vibrant mythologies, a tradition as powerful and compelling as that of ancient Greece. This dictionary, the latest addition to the Oxford Reference series, offers hundreds of fascinating entries covering everything from legendary beings, events, and places to topics and concepts of historical importance. They range from brief definitions of words such as "Fe" (an aspen rod used for measuring corpses and graves) to multi-page explanations of terms like "Druid" and "Celt."

Between the covers of this book we meet some of the most celebrated of Irish heroes and heroines, such as Fionn Mac Cumhail (Finn MacCool in English) and the beautiful and tragic Deirdre of the Sorrows.We visit Fec's Pool (where dwelt the Salmon of Knowledge), witness the Battle of Tailltinn, feel the awesome power of the ocean-god Lir, and find ourselves lost in a wonderful world of fairies, dragons, magical weapons, and mystical charms. We learn too about the Fenian Cycl (a group of tales that achieved great popularity in the Middle Ages), the practice of ancient Irish medicine, and the poets thought to have composed many of the surviving myths (such as Neide, a bard whose poetry was reputedly revealed to him by talking waves at the seaside).

A Dictionary of Irish Mythology also includes an invaluable introduction that places the subject in historical context, tracing the influence of Irish mythology through the ages.From the attempts of early Christians to make it conform to New Testament tenets, through the revival of interest among the Romantics of the early 19th century, to the poems of W.B. Yeats a century later and the fantasy literature still popular today ("Conan the Barbarian" is a direct descendant of the Irish tradition), Ellis reveals Irish mythology in all of its rich and varied manifestations.

With its lively and absorbing entries, its easy accessibility, and its abundant cross-referencing, this guide offers readers an immediate reference to the many aspects of Irish mythology that make it as as enjoyable and exciting today as it was in the Irish Dark Ages. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Readable Encyclopedic "Dictionary of Irish Mythology"
This Book, as is Peter Berresford Ellis's Dictionaty of Celtic Mythology, is in my opinon deserve 6+ stars, not 5. "Irish Mythology" is not really covered in his "Celtic mythology book, Celtic Mythology is really a continuation of of this book, covering a much broader scope. I have over a dozen "Dictionaries and Encyclopedias of Celtic Mythology, Legend and Lore" and the scope and breadth of the information covered by Mr. Ellis is excellent. As you look up each entry, a full explanation is given, and if your curosity is peaked, it is easy to look up all other referances that are mentined in the text. Stories of Irish mythology, that I didn't fully grasp before, are very clear and understandable. ... Read more

3. Early Irish History and Mythology (Irish history & genealogy)
by Thomas F. O'Rahilly
 Hardcover: 578 Pages (1964-12)
-- used & new: US$75.00
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Asin: 0901282294
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4. A Guide to Irish Mythology
by Daragh Smyth
Paperback: 200 Pages (1998-07)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$13.71
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Asin: 0716526123
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5. Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish Legends
Paperback: 256 Pages (1995-07-13)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.77
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Asin: 057117518X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Journalist Marie Heaney skillfully revives the glory of ancient Irish storytelling in this comprehensive volume from the great pre-Christian sequences to the more recent tales of the three patron saints Patrick, Brigid, and Colmcille.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Introduction
This book covers much of the same material as Celtic Myths and Legends but is a bit easier to read.There are some stories in each which are not in the other. Where it differs however is that Heaney has evidently attempted to make the book read well for a modern person.While in some cases, there may be some interpolation for story-telling purposes, she certainly gets the main details down and correct.The account of the Coming of the Tuatha De Dannan is worth reading in that regard.

This book provides a decent survey of Celtic myth in general.It covers the three cycles in relative depth, providing general excerpts from each.The book is not comprehensive on any of these cycles, but it provides enough for the student to get a general feel.Certainly it belongs with other surveys of Celtic myth (Rolleston, Squire, Ganz) on the bookshelf.

Those who like this book might also enjoy:
The Tain
Joseph Jacobs' Celtic, More Celtic, and European Folk and Fairy Tales, Batten
FOLKTALES OF THE BRITISH ISLES (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
The Norse Myths (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Place to Start
This was not one of the typical translations that one reads of the Irish Myth but I still enjoyed it. In this book Heaney worked from existing English translations and put them into a an "easier" style that is more modern and flows smoother than some of the direct translations that are available. Having read several of the other translations for the same stories I have to say she did a very good job. The language is a little elementary, I get the sense that she was writing this in hopes of the tales to be used by mid or high schooled age students, but for the most part is very loyal to the original translations. Frankly this would be better suited to someone as an introduction to the myths to be followed up later by more aggressive reads like Of Gods and Fighting Men or the more modern, scholarly translations.

Heaney in Over Nine Waves included stories from 3 of the 4 mythological cycles of Ireland. Oddly she leaves of the Historical Cycle tales and replaces them with stories of the Three Saints of Ireland (Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille) while an interesting read they also seem a little jarring next the earlier texts which are faithful in highlighting the pre-Christian deity even calling them Gods and Goddesses. I have no way of knowing but I must assume this has more to do with the religious tradition of the author than any kind of desire to reunite the Mythological, Ulster, and Finnian Cycles with the stories of the Saints (of which only the story of Oisin's return would make any sense and he does not convert anyway).

Over all I enjoyed the read and although almost all of the poetry is left out of this text so are some of the more tedious medieval structure of other translations. For someone new to Irish Myths this would be a great place to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read!
This book was required reading for an Irish mythology class I took a few years ago while studying in Ireland.This book is very easy to read which makes it easy to know the characters and sympathize with them, even for someone new to this subject.For instance, I nearly cried after reading 'The Children of Lir.'A perfect book to read on a rainy afternoon - with a pint of Guiness!

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT!
After traveling throught out Ireland every year for the past six I have seen many books on Celtic Myths.By far Heaney's is the best.It is very helpful in the fact that there is a pronunciation key included.A greatbook just for fun, but also a good learning tool that adds anotherdimention to a very complex land.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to Irish myth and legend
Over nine waves is a modern (and fresh) rendering of the classic Irish myths. I loved this retelling just as I love the tales themselves. After reading so many 'straight' translations to was very refreshing to read these free renderings by a modern story teller.This is an excellent introduction for anyone not familiar with Irish legend who would like to get an overview. This is Not a 'things go bump in the night' series of ghost stories (though those have their own attractions) but a full blooded account of the legendary heroes of old Ireland (Hercules and Xena eat your hearts out)Prepare to be beguiled by a storyteller of delicacy and magnificence. ... Read more

6. A Little Book of Irish Myths (Little Irish bookshelf)
by Bob Welch
Paperback: 60 Pages (1996-11)
list price: US$9.94 -- used & new: US$4.60
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Asin: 0862815010
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7. Lady Gregory's Complete Irish Mythology
by Lady Gregory
 Hardcover: 550 Pages (2000-10-15)

Isbn: 0753703912
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This volume contains the myths and legends of pre-Christian Ireland, overflowing with giants and heroes, enchanted maidens, battles and brave deeds. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Complete Celtic Goodness!
This is a lively, emminently readable, comprehensive tome of Celtic mythology.This is actually two great books in one tome -- Gods and Fighting Men and Cuchulain of Muirthemne.

Gods and Fighting Men comprise the tales of the early invasions of Ireland, the legends of the Tuatha de Danaan, and the Coming of the Gael (the Mythological Cycle); and also the stories of Finn MacCumhail and his warband/policing force (the Fenian Cycle).

These are the great early myths of Ireland -- become acquainted with The Dagda, Brigit, Ogma, Lugh and the other Gods and Heroes of the early mythology.Even in the time of the Fenians, the Gods and Goddesses still walked the earth and travelled among mortal men.Although these legends are the foundational mythology of Ireland, this body of lore is generally under-represented in books of Irish Myth.

Cuchulain of Muirthemne covers the Ulster Cycle, the great legends of northern Ireland, in the time of Cuchulain.War chariots, urban settings and cattle raids with special guest cameos by the now aloof and removed Goddesses and Gods.

This is a phenomenal collection of mythology; highly recommended.Lady Gregory is definitely one of the top Bards of modern times.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good volume of Irish mythology in appropriate style
Translated and edited by Lady Gregory, founder of the Abbey Theatre, this collection appears, as it claims, to be "complete".If you want a more or less exhaustive volume of Irish mythology, this book is a good choice.However, it reads like a translation: the style has traits of the original Gaelic which make it somewhat difficult to read.Even so, this style is in keeping with the subject and helps one get into an antiquated, Celtic frame of mind.It also includes pronunciation aids for the Gaelic and English translations for proper names (both very helpful), such as Slieve Mis = Co. Kerry, Teamhair = Tara, Co. Meath.The book itself is 550 pp. including notes with a lovely greenwood scene on cover and slipcover. ... Read more

8. Great Irish Legends for Children
by Yvonne Carroll
Hardcover: 64 Pages (1994-06-10)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$3.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0717124673
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This popular collection of six traditional Irish legends with its elaborate illustrations and pronunciation guide for names is now packaged as a miniature book together with a narration of the stories on a CD, read by actress Cathy Belton. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and creative book for all ages!!
Pelican Publishing once again impresses with not only production quality, but great authors and illustrators.This is a wonderful book to give as a gift for anyone that has even the smallest amount of Irish in them!!!!

Kimberly Raiser Author of "The Family Bones" available on Kindle. ... Read more

9. Irish Folktales (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
by Henry Glassie
 Hardcover: 353 Pages (1985-10-12)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$9.00
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Asin: 0394532244
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The 125 tales in this volume represent all facets of Irish identity. From the wild Gaelic west coast to the urban communities of Belfast and Dublin, this collection stretches from the first wars of the ancient kings to the celebrated Celtic renaissance and right up to the present day. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Hardcover
The item I ordered was supposed to be a "hardcover" book, I was sent a "paperback" book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Irish Folktales book
I received this order quickly and was pleased with the product. I would buy from this seller again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Irish Folktales (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
I have yet to encounter one of the Pantheon folklore series that was not a good read.This is no exception.My regret is that they have not published more and that some of their folklore books seem out of print.I enjoyed this book and I am happy to recommend it.Since my major interest is Celtic folklore, this volume was both welcome and entertaining.

4-0 out of 5 stars Irish folktales
great find, it came in on time and i had no prob w/the seller. ... Read more

10. Contemporary Irish Traditional Narrative: The English Language Tradition (University of California Publications Folklore and Mythology Series)
by Clodagh Brennan Harvey
Paperback: 140 Pages (1992-05-26)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$25.95
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Asin: 0520097580
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Transfixed
This book was about traditional story tellers using the English language and what happened to them relative to their counterparts in the Irish tradition.It casts a cold eye on ideas about the relationships betweenfolklore collectors and their collaborators.It is very worthwhile foranyone interested in the impact of selective attention on performers. ... Read more

11. The Celtic Gods: Comets in Irish Mythology
by Patrick McCafferty, Mike Baillie
Paperback: 224 Pages (2005-09-01)
list price: US$27.50 -- used & new: US$24.75
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Asin: 0752434446
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The Celtic myths, involving heroic warriors such as Finn and CuChulinn, can be read as simple primitive stories, but closer examination reveals strange descriptions and relationships.

The authors of this ground-breaking book argue that all the principal characters are aspects of the one Celtic sky god, Lugh, who was a comet. Against the background of a comet scenario this re-interpretation of about ten key Celtic myths shows how many of the descriptions in the myths fit the appearance of comets. The fact that these comets on occasions produced abrupt environmental changes, that can be traced in the tree-ring and ice-core chronologies, pins the stories to a central reality.

With a novel twist this original book confirms the widespread belief that these stories must contain a "core of truth." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Only two reviews so far ? ? ?
There is a current resurgence of willingness in the scientific community to consider cosmic causes for disasters as long ago as the Permian and as recent as the Holocene.The story of astronomical disasters apparently does not end there, some 11,000 years ago.It continues right through the earliest written histories of man, through the Bronze Age and into the Christian era.The Celtic Gods zooms in and tightly concentrates its attention in the sixth century AD, expertly wringing signal out of the noise of history and restoring messages that might otherwise have remained hidden.

I consider this book is one of the five most important books I own. If I could inspire or bribe my children to read one book at the intersection between astronomy and history, this would be that book.The authors have put together a work that is carefully reasoned, beautifully written and extremely important. The publishers have dignified the content with the some of the finest paperback craft I have seen.

I am sorry that I do not have the time or ability to write a more extensive or inspiring review.But the fact that there were only two reviews of this important work motivated me to add my two cents.

If you are new to this subject and acquire a taste for more, here is a short list:

The Cosmic Winter by Clube and Napier

Natural Catastrophes during Bronze Age Civilisations

Ragnarok by Ignatius Donnelly
(This last suggestion is a case where one should avoid judging a book; either by it's cover, or by the title assigned it by the publisher....)

Another book by Mike Baillie:
Exodus to Arthur

5-0 out of 5 stars Irish stars
I picked this book up the last time I was in Ulster; I remember being slightly taken back by the title so much so that it initiated my purchase. Nevertheless, however, writing as a layman and as someone who takes great cultural pride in our Celtic hero Cuchulainn. I remember being slightly dismayed at thinking he might have been a Comet, then again, I have read that he might be a magic mushroom which isn't very charming either. In both cases matter is reified into the plane of psychological symbolism, now I wonder... Seeing that I have softened my scepticism, I must recommend this book as a great primer on so many interdisciplinary subjects, and whatever these guys have it is great skill at delivery. Imagine in the next 1000 years from now, folks will be saying George Best, was the reincarnation of that that particular famous comet. Well you can never know?

5-0 out of 5 stars Once and Future Comets
Patrick McCafferty & Mike Baillie
The Celtic Gods:
Comets in Irish Mythology
(Tempus Pub., Stroud, UK) 2005
Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN 0-7524-3444-6

Critiqued by Victor DeMattei

David Keys published "Catastrophe,"based in part on the dendrochronological research of Mike Baillie, which highlighted a catastrophic climatic downturn in the sixth century of our era that led to a collapse of all the "classical" ancient civilizations across the globe; namely, the Greco-Romanculture in the Mediterranean and Western Europe, the Maya in Mesoamerica, and Asiatic cultures in the Eastern World, ushering in what has beĀ¬come known as the "Dark Ages."Keys' explanation for the trigger event for this collapse was a massive eruption of ancient Krakatoa in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra about 535 AD, which released an enormous dust cloud that spread around the world and fomented a Fimbul winter throughout the northern hemisphere.

Coincidentally, this was at the same moment in time that the last native Latin-speaking Eastern Roman emperor based in Constantinople, Justinian, was trying to reconquer the former Roman heartland in Italy from the Germanic Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths).This war was recorded by both Procopius of Caesarea, who was private secretary to the Roman general, Belisarius, and by Cassiodorus Senator, who was in effect the prime minister of the enemy Gothic king, Theodorick, who died just a the outbreak of the conflict.Procopius noted a massive plague that wiped out at least a third of the empire population.However, according to contemporary scholarship, disease and the course of the war reduced the population of Italy by some two-thirds, from an estimated six million down to two million, while disease-infected Rome was reduced from a million to some thirty thousand.Rome changed hands four times between 540 and 554 AD, and according to Procopius was even deserted for some six weeks.The fall of Italy in 540 AD to Torila the Ostrogoth was the actual, albeit argumentative, end of the imperial Roman Empire, and can be compared to the contemporaneous collapse of Mesoamerican civilizations.

Dendrochronologist Baillie and engineer/archeologist McCafferty both disagree with Keys' assessment that a volcanic origin for the disease-ridden climatic decline was the cause, and posit their own hypothesis of a trigger mechanism.Their disagreement is based on Greenland ice core samplings that show no more volcanic dust than normal during the sixth century, and opt for another putative cause, drawing largely on the work of astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier that cometary fragments were more likely trigger events.
They distinguish between long and short period comets, where the former are relatively unlikely to impact the Earth, whereas fragments from short period comets, such as Enke's or Halley's, are more probable.As comets orbiting within our solar system break up and are strung out they can potentially impact the Earth with devastating effect.The Tunguska explosion over the Siberian taiga in 1908 is thought to be a fragment of Enke's Comet.

McCafferty and Baillie point out that spasmodic if not periodic civilization collapses in the 25th century BC, the 12th century BC (about the time of the Trojan War), and the one that concern us here in the 6th century AD, are due to Comet Enke.They also present historical and mythological descriptions from China and Japan that fortify their conclusions.

This finally brings us to their main argument that Celtic mythology, such as the Cuchulainnian and Arthurian Cycles are coded accounts of such cometary strikes.(As a side issue, Cuchulainn [pronounced ku-ka'-lin] bears a linguistic relationship to the Mesoamerican Kukulcan.)The same goes for the Beowulf Saga and that of the legendary sixth century Irish saints.In Appendix IV of their book they graphically lay out the links in these stories that point to a cometary connection and the concomitant source of the action and danger in the skies above.
In "Playing with Catastrophic Links" the authors note, for example, that the Celtic hero Lugh kills his grandfather Balor, and if he hadn't Ireland would have been burned in a flash, and that the Irish prelate Mobhi dies in the plague that kills one-third of the people of Ireland.Also, recall Procopius, the 6th century Byzantine historian, who records a plague that killed one-third of the Mediterranean world.Again, in Irish myth, the prelate "Moling confused with Suibne foretells Fal's wheel that would destroy three-quarters of Europe."

Cuchulainn in his `frenzy' kills or injures two-thirds of the people of Ireland.Lugh's spear causes the Dolorous Blow that destroys three kingdoms.And, St. Patrick has a vision of Ireland being covered in flames.The boar Twrch Trwyth, pursued by Arthur and finally driven into the sea off Cornwall, laid waste to a third part of Ireland.

To reiterate, underlining these reported catastrophes:1) Ireland would have been burned in a flash, 2) plagues that kill one-third of the people of Ireland, 3) Fal's wheel (consisting of paddles or oars) would destroy three-quarters of Europe, 4) frenzy of the gods that kills or injures two-thirds of the people of Ireland, 5) the Arthurian Dolorous Blow that destroys three kingdoms, 6) Ireland being covered in flames, 7) Twrch Trwyth laid waste a third part of Ireland.

Baillie points out that what we know from dendrochronology around 540 AD, there was a global tree-ring downturn.We know from history (Procopius, first of all) that around 540-542 plagues erupted in Europe and killed one third of the population, while the Roman Empire was making a last gasp to recover Italy from the Goths.

It seems from Baillie's research that the Earth periodically encounters comet swarms that cause considerable damage. Further, McCafferty and Baillie note, "there are, however, reasons for believing that at periods around 4500 and 1500 years ago, due to orbital changes, close passes may have taken place.Changes in the relationship between the orbits of the Earth and short-period comets meant that the orbits crossed, and for centuries there could have been repeated close encounters."

Current astronomical theory posits that the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt beyond Pluto as the home of most cometary matter and perhaps many more as yet undiscovered planetesimals.The only viable orbital changes would be for the cometary matter, so these would be the most likely culprits for these catastrophic close encounters.

But, what is also interesting is the association of plagues with these events. This would seem to lend credence to the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe theory of panspermia, i.e., bringing in extraterrestrial microorganisms, but admittedly this may be pushing the envelope.More prosaically, one of the effects of multiple cometary incursions into the atmosphere would be an increased dust load and s collateral cooling effect--much as happened in 1815 with the eruption of Tambora leading to the so-called year without a summer of 1816.This in turn would lead to crop failures, famine, and diseases associated with deprivation, as peoples' immune systems would be compromised.

In brief, the whole thrust of McCafferty and Baillie's thesis is that Celtic mythology is largely a symbolic account of these catastrophic events.They also add what may be the most important point of all, for if they are right the security of our planet and the life it harbors could depend on it, which is a call for an interdisciplinary effort on the part of scholars in both the hard and soft sciences to study this problem together and see if the data fit.Then we could take counter measures that might save our planet and ourselves. ... Read more

12. Lady Gregory's Complete Irish Mythology
Paperback: Pages (2004-03-19)

Isbn: 0753709457
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13. British and Irish Mythology: An Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend
by Caitlin Matthews, John Matthews
 Paperback: 176 Pages (1995)
-- used & new: US$42.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0261666517
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Handy yet padded
Other authors fill big thick books full of Celtic mythology, but this seems to be a bit beyond John and Caitlin Matthews. While "British and Irish Mythology: An Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend" is handy for quick reference, it's far too scanty in its details and padded with irrelevent mythologic -- and historic -- items. Seriously, Lady Godiva?

It's set up in the format of an encyclopedia, with alphabetically arranged entries starting from Abaris and ending with Yvain (see Owain). Each entry is clearly marked with what kind of person, place, civilization or item it is, and what kind of story it stems from -- Arthurian, Irish, Scottish, Norse, Welsh, saints, Greek, genetic Celtic, and other items that pop up throughout legendary history.

Unfortunately, it's both too long and too short. Somehow John and Caitlin Matthews never go very deep into any one mythic figure -- the great King Arthur, about whom entire books are written, gets only a few paragraphs. Most gods, heroes and other figures get a short paragraph or two, and sometimes even less. It would be nice to see some details, correlations, and historical background.

At the same time, it's padded with loads of irrelevant information. A large portion of the book is made up of Norse and Grecian myth, which even the Matthewses can't give a good excuse for -- they only provide a rambling explanation about how the public's attention is probably about to shift back to Norse and Scandinavian mythology rather than Celtic. All well and good -- though it hasn't happened yet -- but it doesn't explain their presence in a book of British mythology.

And many other entries are sorely lacking. Most saints included are there less for their mythic appeal than for an excuse to snipe at Christianity's presence in Ireland and Britain, or at the "cults of popularity," such as Thomas of Canterbury. And some figures listed in here -- such as Sir Francis Drake -- stretch the very definition of "legend."

Perhaps even worse than the padding is the omissions -- the Matthewses go through the usual rounds of Irish, Scottish and generic Celtic myths, but blithely ignore some of the more obscure Celtic mythologies and legends. For example, where are the Manx, Welsh, Breton or Cornish legends? They're referenced in passing, but apparently not deserving of further research.

"British and Irish Mythology: An Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend" is handy for a quick reference as to what the Grail Question was, but pretty useless for anything deeper, and riddled with information nobody asked for.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gift from the Gods
This is the most comphrensive guide I have seen of British and Celtic mytholog. It's organized like a dictonary, from Arthur to Ymir. Any myth guru will get a kick out of it! ... Read more

14. A Guide to Irish Mythology (Celtic Ireland)
by Maeve Walsh
Paperback: 80 Pages (2000-04)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$64.90
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Asin: 1856353052
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The mythology of the Irish Celts, as rich and rare as that of the Greeks and Romans, has long excited the imagination not only of the mere Irish but that of the world at large. This account, in alphabetical order, lists the personalities, immortal and semi-divine, that illuminate the Irish psyche. ... Read more

15. The Kirwans of Castlehacket, Co. Galway: History, Folklore and Mythology in an Irish Horseracing Family
by Ronan Lynch
Hardcover: 200 Pages (2006-09-20)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$60.12
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Asin: 1846820286
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16. Irish Mythology: A Guide and Sourcebook
by Gerald Conan Kennedy
 Paperback: 48 Pages (1991-07)

Isbn: 0907677509
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17. The Wisdom of the West an Introduction to the Interpretive Study of Irish Mythology
by James H. Cousins
 Hardcover: 64 Pages (2010-09-10)
list price: US$25.56 -- used & new: US$24.24
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Asin: 1168785561
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1912. Cousins began in Belfast as office boy, clerk, and secretary to the Lord Mayor; moved to Dublin in the 1890s and became a Theosophist, vegetarian, and playwright. Contents: On Mythology in General; On Mythological Interpretation; The Mythos in Ireland: Historical; The Mythos in Ireland: Cosmic and Theogonic; The Mythos in Ireland: Theological and Religious; The Mythos in Ireland: Philosophical and Practical; and Some Studies in Exegesis. See other works by this author available from Kessinger Publishing. ... Read more

18. Cuchulainn, the Irish Achilles (Popular Studies in Mythology, Romance, and Folklore: No. 8)
by Alfred T. Nutt
 Hardcover: 52 Pages (1986-06)
list price: US$30.25
Isbn: 0404535089
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19. Irish Mythology and Folklore
 Hardcover: 1257 Pages (2003-06)
list price: US$735.00 -- used & new: US$735.00
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Asin: 1843710781
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20. Great Irish Writing: The Best from the Bell (Classic Irish Fiction)
Paperback: 187 Pages (1991-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$18.93
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Asin: 0862780462
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"The Bell" literary journal was founded by Sean O'Faolain and Peadar O'Donnell in 1940, and edited by O'Faolain until 1946, then by O'Donnell to 1954. Its index of writers reads like a dictionary of famous authors, some of whom were writers of stature at the time, while others were beginners, many of whom went on to become famous. This book presents the flavour of "The Bell" in its heyday. Writers featured are: Patrick Kavanagh, Eric Cross, Flann O'Brien, Frank O'Connor, Bryan McMahon, Brendan Behan, Louis McNeice, Monk Gibbon, Roger McHugh, Denis Johnston, Mary Lavin, Micheal Mac Laimmoir, Sean O'Faolain, and others. There a bibliographical note on each of the thirty-nine writers included in this selection. ... Read more

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