Fuck Yeah Celtic Mythology

Jan 22 2014

(Source: )

32 notes

Jan 19 2014
thefatalbeverage:

Alan Lee, Olwen
Illustrations from the Mabinogion 

thefatalbeverage:

Alan Lee, Olwen

Illustrations from the Mabinogion 

362 notes

Jan 18 2014
birdsofrhiannon:


They Would Swim Out by Katharine Cameron

birdsofrhiannon:

They Would Swim Out by Katharine Cameron

69 notes

+

Fomorians

heelancoo:

fuckyeahcelticmythology:

image

The Fomorians, John Duncan, 1912

In the legendary history of Ireland, the Fomorians were the first and arguably the most persistent inhabitants of the Island. At various times they are described as being giants, as having a demonic appearance, or as resembling beautiful or handsome humans.

The Fomorians themselves are mythic, and may represent displaced pagan Gods, or an early population of Ireland. One legendary tradition states that they originated in Africa and are descended from Noah’s son Ham.

The Fomorians fought with Partholón’s people, and were defeated in the Battle of Mag Itha. However, Partholón’s people eventually died of disease, and the Fomorians were still there when Nemed's people came. The war between Nemed's people and the Fomorians lasted for the rest of Nemed's life, and was taken up by his son, Fergus Lethderg, after his death. Fergus led an army against the Fomorians, but the battle killed all but a few of Nemed's people, who then fled to other lands.

The next group to invade Ireland, the Fir Bolg, managed to coexist peacefully with the Fomorians. Eventually the Tuatha Dé Danann arrived, displacing the  Fir Bolg in the First Battle of Magh Tuireadh.   

Bres, the first King of the Tuatha Dé Danann in Ireland was the child of the Fomorian Elatha and the Ériu of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Bres was a bad king, and was driven out. After his father refused to help him reclaim his throne, he turned to the Fomorian Balor, leading to the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh, when Balor was slain by Lugh, and the Fomorians driven into the sea.

Cessair and her people are said to have been the first inhabitants of Ireland, or else it was Banba (but that’s according to a now lost source, we don’t have the full story).

The Fomorians are never said to have inhabited Ireland (the mainland, anyway); in the Lebor Gabála Érenn they just turn up from somewhere across the sea and start giving Partholón and his people grief. Their arrival coincides with the introduction of agriculture to Ireland, and they cause trouble for the successive waves of invaders up until Cath Maige Tuired, when Lugh agrees to let Bres go free in return for key knowledge about agriculture. (Balor was killed too, but the agricultural theme is probably significant as well, is all).

After that, the Fomorians never caused trouble again. If anything, the Tuatha Dé Danann take over the same kind of antagonistic role with the Milesians until they agreed a peace treaty.

Thanks for additional information! Cessair’s people would have been the first inhabitants. Most of the secondary sources I read said that the Fomorians were the first inhabitants after the flood, before Partholón’s people came, but you’re right that the Lebor Gabála Érenn says that Ireland was a waste in the years after the flood, until Partholón. It only mentions the Formorians after that. Which is why double checking primary sources is important!

147 notes

Jan 17 2014

Fomorians

image

The Fomorians, John Duncan, 1912

In the legendary history of Ireland, the Fomorians were the first and arguably the most persistent inhabitants of the Island. At various times they are described as being giants, as having a demonic appearance, or as resembling beautiful or handsome humans.

The Fomorians themselves are mythic, and may represent displaced pagan Gods, or an early population of Ireland. One legendary tradition states that they originated in Africa and are descended from Noah’s son Ham.

The Fomorians fought with Partholón’s people, and were defeated in the Battle of Mag Itha. However, Partholón’s people eventually died of disease, and the Fomorians were still there when Nemed's people came. The war between Nemed's people and the Fomorians lasted for the rest of Nemed's life, and was taken up by his son, Fergus Lethderg, after his death. Fergus led an army against the Fomorians, but the battle killed all but a few of Nemed's people, who then fled to other lands.

The next group to invade Ireland, the Fir Bolg, managed to coexist peacefully with the Fomorians. Eventually the Tuatha Dé Danann arrived, displacing the  Fir Bolg in the First Battle of Magh Tuireadh.   

Bres, the first King of the Tuatha Dé Danann in Ireland was the child of the Fomorian Elatha and the Ériu of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Bres was a bad king, and was driven out. After his father refused to help him reclaim his throne, he turned to the Fomorian Balor, leading to the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh, when Balor was slain by Lugh, and the Fomorians driven into the sea.

147 notes

Jan 16 2014
Welcome, oh victorious, warlike Cú Chulainn,
At the Raid of the Cattle of Breg,
Thou wilt be a chariot-chief in single combat.
Great perils await thee,
Alone against a vast herd.
The warriors of Cruachan, thou wilt scatter them.
Thy name shall reach the men of Scotland.
Thirty years I reckon the strength of thy valor;
Further than this I do not add.
Prophesy by Queen Sgáthaich from “The Wooing of Emer” of the Ulster  Cycle of sagas, c. 8th Century (via irish-history)

(Source: macdonnellofleinster.org, via )

46 notes

Jan 15 2014

The Wandsworth Shield, created in the 2nd century BC, was discovered in the River Thames in the mid nineteenth century.

104 notes

Jan 14 2014
the-fae:

Merrow (from Gaelic murúch) or Murrough (Galloway) is the Scottish and Irish Gaelic equivalent of the mermaid and mermen of other cultures. These beings are said to appear as human from thewaist up but have the body of a fish from the waist down. They have a gentle, modest, affectionate and benevolent disposition.
There are other names pertaining to them in Gaelic: Muir-gheilt, Samhghubha, Muidhuachán, and Suire. They would seem to have been around for millennia because according to the bardic chroniclers, when the Milesians first landed on Irish shores the Suire, or sea-nymphs, played around them on their passage.
The merrow were capable of attachment to human beings and there are reports of them inter-marrying and living among humans for many years. However, most times they eventually return to their former homes beneath the sea.
{http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrow}   

the-fae:

Merrow (from Gaelic murúch) or Murrough (Galloway) is the Scottish and Irish Gaelic equivalent of the mermaid and mermen of other cultures. These beings are said to appear as human from thewaist up but have the body of a fish from the waist down. They have a gentle, modest, affectionate and benevolent disposition.

There are other names pertaining to them in Gaelic: Muir-gheiltSamhghubhaMuidhuachán, and Suire. They would seem to have been around for millennia because according to the bardic chroniclers, when the Milesians first landed on Irish shores the Suire, or sea-nymphs, played around them on their passage.

The merrow were capable of attachment to human beings and there are reports of them inter-marrying and living among humans for many years. However, most times they eventually return to their former homes beneath the sea.

{http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrow}   

(via fuckyeahstrangemythology)

1,919 notes

Jan 13 2014
Then said Morddwydtyllyon, “The gadflies of Morddwydtyllyon’s Cow!”

(The Mabinogion)

(a) WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NAME
(b) There is zero context for this line and it makes no sense at all
(c) I don’t know who this guy is, where he came from, what he’s talking about.
(d) This is literally the only time he’s been in the story and he vanishes after that.

Welsh mythology, man. What’s even up with that?

(via miriamjoyblogs)

Maybe I can shed some light on this, because this is a line that gets translated very differently in different places. This line looks like it’s from the Lady Charlotte Guest translation, which is very good, (as well as in the public domain), but more recent translations might serve better.

First of all let’s talk about the name. Here it is rendered as “Morddwydtyllyon,” but it seems to be more usually rendered in two parts, as Mordwyt Tyllon, Uordwyt Tyllyon, or Mordwyd Tyllyon (nothing like medieval writing to make you appreciate standardized spelling). I’m going to use Mordwyd Tyllyon for the remainder of this post, because that’s how it’s spelled in the book I have. The name means “pierced thighs” and probably refers to Bran. The name is also used in the Book of Taliesin, in the lines “I have been with Bran in Ireland. / I saw when Morddwydtyllon was killed.

More recent translations often render the line something closer to “Then said Mordwyd Tyllyon, “Hounds of Guern, beware of Mordwyd Tyllyon!” This is how I interpreted the line when I was translating it for a class, and I’m not sure where the gadflies and the cow of Guest’s version come in, (if anyone reading this knows, please send me a message).

Guern is the son of Bran’s sister Branwen, and the Irish king Matholwch. So the line is probably not referring to some random guy suddenly shouting about gadflies, but Bran intimidating his enemies and rallying his companions before battle.

Moral of the story: the translation makes a big difference!

(via the-concealed-ambry)

32 notes

Jan 03 2014

Thirteen Treasures of Britain

arthuriantravels:

1. White-Hilt, the Sword of Rhydderch Hael (Dyrnwyn, gleddyf Rhydderch Hael): “if a well-born man drew it himself, it burst into flame from its hilt to its tip. And everyone who used to ask for it would receive; but because of this peculiarity everyone used to reject it. And therefore he was called Rhydderch the Generous.”

2. The Hamper of Gwyddno Garanhir (Mwys Gwyddno Garanir): food for one man would be put in it, and when it was opened, food for a hundred men would be found in it.

3. The Horn of Brân Galed from the North (Corn Brân Galed o’r Gogledd): whatever drink might be wished for was found in it.

4. The Chariot of Morgan Mwynfawr (Car Morgan Mwynfawr): if a man went in it, he might wish to be wherever he would, and he would be there quickly.

5. The Halter of Clydno Eiddyn (Cebystr Clydno Eiddin), which was fixed to a staple at the foot of his bed: whatever horse he might wish for, he would find in the halter.

6. The Knife of Llawfrodedd Farchog (Cyllell Llawfrodedd Farchog), which would serve for twenty-four men to eat at table.

7. The Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant (Pair Dyrnwch Gawr): if meat for a coward were put in it to boil, it would never boil; but if meat for a brave man were put in it, it would boil quickly (and thus the brave could be distinguished from the cowardly).

8. The Whetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd (Hogalen Tudwal Tudclyd): if a brave man sharpened his sword on the whetstone, then the sword would certainly kill any man from whom it drew blood. If a cowardly man used the whetstone, though, his sword would refuse to draw blood at all.

9. The Coat of Padarn Beisrudd (Pais Badarn Beisrydd): if a well-born man put it on, it would be the right size for him; if a churl, it would not go upon him.

10-11. The Crock and the Dish of Rhygenydd the Cleric (Gren a desgyl Rhygenydd Ysgolhaig): whatever food might be wished for in them, it would be found.

12. The Chessboard of Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio (Gwyddbwyll Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio): if the pieces were set, they would play by themselves. The board was of gold, and the men of silver.

13 The Mantle of Arthur in Cornwall (Llen Arthyr yng Nghernyw): whoever was under it could not be seen, and he could see everyone.

- from early Welsh Legends, this list is the “Standard version” according to Wikipedia

(via fuckyeaharthuriana)

61 notes

Dec 24 2013

fuckyeahimagination said: Hi! Are you a celtic mythology major? I am quite interested in it and I don't seem to be able to find anything related to it in my Uni's library. I'd love to talk to you more about this!

I’m afraid not, I’m a political science major. I took a couple of courses in Medieval Welsh, and the rest I’ve studied on my own, because I was interested.

I’m sorry you’re having trouble finding resources at your uni’s library! There are a lot of materials available online (although more recent translations aren’t always in the public domain). If you scroll back through this blog, you’ll find some of the links. Several texts are available on Wikisource, and a number of texts are available at http://www.maryjones.us/index.html.

Are there any specific branches or aspects of Celtic mythology you’re interested in? It helps to know if you’re looking for Irish mythology, for example, as opposed to Welsh, Manx, Scottish, or one of the other groups that fall under the umbrella term “Celtic”.

Followers, what are your favorite resources for learning about Celtic mythology?

2 notes

Dec 18 2013
miriamjoyblogs:

Oh, now, really. This is getting a little silly now.
NaNoWriMo challenge: give your character one on these names. I do not advise accepting this challenge if, like me, you are dictating your novel.

miriamjoyblogs:

Oh, now, really. This is getting a little silly now.

NaNoWriMo challenge: give your character one on these names. I do not advise accepting this challenge if, like me, you are dictating your novel.

34 notes

Nov 12 2013
Oct 29 2013

spiralingink:

I’ve heard the Cwn Annwn call in the forest,
I’ve heard the Birds of Rhiannon sing,
I know what lies under the hill of Lundein 
I know the heart of this Island’s king.

I am the claw that stole the young prince,
I am the sword that pierced Hafgan’s side,
I am Branwen’s tears on the rock,
I am Efnyssien’s anger and pride.

I am Teyrnon, raising the child,
I am Manawydan’s knowledge and skill,
I am Rhiannon’s wisdom and patience
I am 
Bendigeidfran's constant will.

I am the word and I am the song
I am the tie that nothing can sever
I am the telling and I am the tale
I am the story and I am forever.

73 notes

Jul 02 2013
I liked myths. They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children’s stories. They were better than that. They just were.
— Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (via quotebook-notebook)

238 notes

Page 1 of 15