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Irish Mythology

  • Date Submitted: 09/10/2015 02:58 PM
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Irish mythology


Introduction:


Irish mythology is one of the most extensive, most comprehensive, most creatively designed, most intellectual challenging and most imaginative inspiring mythological system. Of the three major mythological systems in Europe, next to the Norse and the Hellenic, the Irish mythology has a self-evident place. Unfortunately, it is little-known in relation to Norse mythology and even less popular and widely known than the Hellenic mythology. It is perhaps because it has been limited to Ireland and is associated with Irish nationalism. In recent decades, however, "Celtic Mythology" has been popular in certain circles, as in the Hard-rock scene for example.
The Irish are without doubt one of Europe's most imaginative people. In this, they can only compete with the Icelanders in the Middle age, the ancient Greeks in ancient Hellas and perhaps the Jewish intellectual in Spain in 1200 - 1300's. The volume of oral data, legends, fairy-tales and folk-beliefs, which are collected and written down in modern times is clearly greater than that found in other European countries. The volume of written material from The Middle ages which only includes Irish mythology, however, is not as impressive as I later will come back to.
Nowadays, most textbooks and reference books and also novels that deal with this mythology are called "Celtic mythology”. Irish mythology is therefore used synonymously with "Celtic mythology”. The reason for this is that in English-speaking countries, "Celtic" reminiscent of something mysterious, ancient and romantic. It is also related to the desire to emphasize unity among all the Celtic peoples of Europe. Here I have chosen consistently to use the term "Irish Mythology" and reserve the term "Celtic mythology" to the mythical elements of the religion of the Celtic peoples which were spread widely throughout the ancient Europe and where gradually Romanized when they came under the Roman Empire.
Ireland, or Hibernia as...

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