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Idols and Good Previous Gods

Idols and Good Previous Gods

2023-01-14 21:11:47

Historical past and Salvation in Medieval Eire, Elizabeth Boyle, Routledge, 218 pp., £36.99, ISBN: 978-0367684297

Donnchadh Ó Corráin’s Key to What the Irish Wrote (Clavis Litterarum Hibernensium) appeared in three volumes in 2017. The Irish wrote a really nice deal throughout Ó Corráin’s chosen interval, which spans over a thousand years (to the early seventeenth century). Each in Latin and in Irish, the surviving supplies are huge. Making his manner by means of the mass of writings, Ó Corráin to begin with provides the naked particulars of the actual work and its editions, gives some transient description, and lists the secondary literature. He wants shut on 2,000 pages to do that.

Ó Corráin, in fact, was not content material simply to make lists. He interprets, in giant methods and small. And to start with, an uncompromising priority is given to writings in Latin. He takes greater than 1,100 pages to get to the vernacular poets. That is logical, as a result of Latin was the missionary language, and Ó Corráin thought that the missionaries had merely overwhelmed the pre-Christian tradition.

Christianity, in his view, got here into Eire like an avalanche, obliterating no matter was earlier than it. Even when some pre-Christian supplies likely have been retained within the new tradition, what of it? We will observe nothing now (Ó Corráin tirelessly insisted) that has not already been scrutinised, pruned, reworked or realigned, cleaned up and added to, re-contextualised … If, say, Táin Bó Cuailgne turns up within the surviving literature, it’s as a result of some imaginative missionaries thought it could possibly be christianly helpful – maybe as a result of they detected sure biblical patterns and parallels, which we might not essentially see there now.

Elizabeth Boyle largely adopts Ó Corráin’s perspective. Nonetheless, her Historical past and Salvation in Medieval Eire has a way of mental journey that makes it extra fascinating than most issues written on such themes. It’s not simple to determine one’s personal place, and the place of 1’s inherited tradition, within the story of mankind. It was not simple to take action in sixth or tenth or twelfth century Eire, utilizing the data sources out there plus one’s powers of in-spiration. Boyle can think about doing her personal share of that troublesome job, and the supplies which she encounters, and in some circumstances interprets for the primary time, are offered with out condescension.

Eire on the fringe of the world – find out how to join it with the world’s central story? The place to start? Clearly, not with some account of the shallowly rooted Roman empire. One would begin with the Bible, which included a historical past and family tree of the Jews, going again to the world’s creation and ahead to the occasion of salvation. Irish readers examined that guide very carefully; Boyle notes, for instance, how they noticed the discrepancy within the family tree of Jesus between St Matthew’s Gospel and the Ebook of Kings. They seemed for doable factors of junction, collating the Bible with two or three Latin world histories and with a inventory of Irish traditions going again effectively past Christian occasions (our writer doubts the existence of the latter, however with out them the try at grafting Eire onto world historical past may scarcely have been made in any respect).

And so, by no matter routes of impressed guesswork, the ancestors of the Irish flip up at Babel, to create and obtain their distinctive language. In a while, when Moses leads the Jews out of Egypt, some extra Gaelic ancestors go together with them, however then take a distinct route. Irish historical past and Jewish historical past are woven collectively on this manner, most elaborately within the Ebook of Invasions (Lebor Gebála Éireann). The Irish Christian elite discovered the Previous Testomony extra fascinating and simpler to narrate to than the New, and so they drew closely on Previous Testomony inspirations of their literature and legal guidelines.

There have been two biblical individuals who have been supremely fascinating for the Irish, Moses being the primary. Boyle factors out that in trendy occasions Moses has been regarded as a determine of the revolutionary, who liberates a folks from overseas or native oppression. Muirchú, the best of St Patrick’s biographers, truly casts his “Irish Moses” in one thing like that function: the folks have been in bondage to paganism “within the Egypt of this our island” till Patrick arrived to set them free. Extra necessary, nonetheless, was Moses as a determine of the nationwide lawgiver. Right here the parallel is drawn most absolutely within the dramatic prologue to the nice assortment of legal guidelines known as Senchas Már, the place Patrick heads a committee of three bishops, three kings and three poets. Reviewing the complete physique of pre-Christian regulation, they approve virtually every thing in it as Christian, since it’s in accordance with “the regulation of nature”.

The opposite peculiarly fascinating biblical personage was David. Boyle presents a collection of 5 narratives from the Yellow Ebook of Lecan, the place Irish writers take into account numerous elements of David’s complicated story and complicate it nonetheless extra, or add to it. These writers actually didn’t deal with their sources mechanically. Within the first story the younger David, shepherd and budding hero, is offered in one thing like the way of Cú Chulainn doing his deeds of youth (Macgnímhartha). Within the subsequent two tales (the primary of which is concentrated on the killing of Uriah, whose dying was engineered by David in order that he may have Uriah’s spouse; the second on the killing of David’s son Absalom) the Bible is bent and compressed, in order to provide Irish ethical tales in two completely different kinds. The ultimate two tales (how David was wiser than Solomon, and the way Solomon was wiser than David) don’t have any biblical foundation, however I don’t suppose they conflict very a lot with the biblical characters. Within the fifth and remaining story Boyle finds a criticism of the twelfth century church, personified by the stingy David, and she or he could also be proper.

Many different writings give attention to David, together with Saltair na Rann (“The Poem-Psalter”), written within the late tenth century, which is nothing lower than the Bible summarised in verse. David will get greater than anybody else of its 150 poems (usually pretty quick, averaging 13 verses). An extra cause for curiosity in David is the truth that he was believed to have composed many of the psalms, and the psalms have been probably the most learn and most recited spiritual materials of their occasions. “There was no uniformity of apply,” Boyle says, “however the common monk would in all probability have recited three psalms at every of the providers at prime, terce, sext, nones and vespers, for a complete of 15 psalms per day, each day.” Nonetheless, the actual non secular athletes have been anticipated to do actually ten occasions that: to recite the 100 and fifty psalms each single day, which Boyle reckons may take about 5 hours.

There have been delicate commentaries on the psalms, and one particularly (the “Previous Irish Treatise on the Psalter”) had the outstanding thought that each psalm has 4 ranges of that means. Echoes of psalms will be heard in sure Irish poems. Primarily, nonetheless, the psalms have been technique of salvation. For individuals who recited the complete 100 and fifty each day salvation was assured, although a Ebook of Leinster story means that even this wasn’t thought to be probably the most demanding and meritorious marathon of prayer. The bar was not at all times set so excessive, and one psalm particularly – No. 118 (119), the Beati – was thought to have particular saving energy. In addition to saving oneself, one may save others; and apart from saving them, one may be capable to rattling them. “In early medieval Eire, the psalms had the facility to curse enemies, rescue the damned from hell, redeem the penitent and make sure the salvation of the righteous.”

Probably the most well-known psalms is in regards to the Babylonian captivity, and the older Irish writers considered Babylon in these phrases: a spot of captivity and wretched exile. Or, related to the Tower of Babel, it signified confusion, and as such it may even be a picture of Hell. Nonetheless, the world-historian Orosius had included an extravagant description of Babylon’s monumental dimension and mighty partitions, and in regards to the eleventh century this side of Babylon started to draw Irish consideration. Cathir dírecra dímhór, that “metropolis unparalleled and huge”, was described with additional embellishment by some gifted poets. They have been at pains to emphasize that by no means, “within the east or the west, amongst all of the dwelling-places of the descendants of Adam”, had there been a stronghold to match with Babylon.

The perfection of the palace of Ninus, as a poet describes it, is corresponding to to make one consider the Irish Otherworld, Boyle observes. And but she means that the brand new sense of Babylon as a wondrous human achievement could have been impressed by a visual and tangible and really this-worldly native phenomenon: Dublin. Within the twelfth century Dublin was thriving as by no means earlier than, and its prosperity was famous elsewhere. For instance, the enterprising church of Armagh was claiming a proper to be paid an import tax on all cargoes landed there (as expressed within the poem Senchas Gall Átha Cliath).

Might it’s that the instance of Dublin, and the sense of its potential, stimulated a brand new curiosity in Babylon, and certainly in historic Rome (necessary books corresponding to Lucan’s Civil Struggle have been being translated at roughly the identical time)? One would very very similar to to know whether or not an curiosity in Babylon was proven by anybody in Limerick, as a result of that was the city which a excessive king (Muircheartach Ó Briain) had already made his base of operations. Was there anybody who may see a germ of Babylon in Limerick?

The writings that Boyle has uncovered from the tenth to the twelfth centuries are notably helpful. They present a substantial amount of psychological exercise occurring in Eire, with giant initiatives being undertaken and a seamless earnest effort to search out orientation in historical past. As such, they reinforce the argument made by Donnchadh Ó Corráin in his finest guide (The Irish Church, Its Reform and the English Invasion), the place he reveals that Gaelic Christianity was not, in truth, burnt-out and decadent, and didn’t require the importation of overseas missionary orders, and in the end an English invasion, to place it proper.

Nonetheless, on sure factors I need to take concern with the writer. “It’s laborious to overestimate the pervasiveness of antisemitic rhetoric in early Irish thought, though it ranges in diploma from the formulaic to the virulent.” This assertion appears to me to be gross exaggeration. The place is the antisemitism in Saltair na Rann? I can discover solely philosemitism in that poem (I’ll have missed one thing, in fact). And if antisemitism was pervasive within the tradition, how may it’s doable to compose a poem of almost eight thousand traces, protecting not simply Previous Testomony historical past however the lifetime of Jesus right down to and together with the Crucifixion, with out giving this antisemitism some vent?

Boyle gives three examples of writers that she regards as virulent antisemites, and astonishingly, considered one of them is Columbanus. The one noteworthy statements about Jews in all of that saint’s printed letters, sermons and guidelines are in his letter to Pope Gregory, which must be put in context. Columbanus was making an attempt to defend his proper to have fun Easter concurrently the Jews celebrated the Passover; he due to this fact thought it smart to guarantee the pope that he was not unacceptably pro-Jewish, that he was ready to make use of the anti-Jewish expressions authorized by the Catholic mainstream. His references to “reprobate Jews, and so forth” have to be learn on this gentle: they’re formulaic.

Idols are the theme of the guide’s final chapter, and so they increase the biggest questions. The centrepiece is a twenty-four-verse poem from in regards to the eleventh century, giving a abstract account of the origin, rise and fall of idol-worship on the earth. Composed by a master-poet, it’s a fascinating piece of labor. The introductory verses, telling how idolatry first started, are notably spectacular. A second of nice depth, we’re instructed, went flawed: a person known as Zerophanes, grieving for his lifeless son, one way or the other turned demonic. He made a picture of the boy in gold and silver, and a satan resourceful in evil went into it. From this small impulse one thing monumental grew, in order that in the end there was no group in Europe, Asia or Africa that didn’t have its idol. The harm achieved to mankind was inconceivable.

This continued till the apostles have been despatched forth to evangelise the reality to Adam and Eve’s descendants: Peter to Rome, Andrew to the far west of Europe, Paul to Greece, and the others to many various lands. Two of them, the Jameses, remained at house a tír tairrngire, “within the Promised Land” of Palestine. The final man talked about, Barnabas, was killed on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The ultimate verse is intriguing:

Na apstail ro indarbsat –
nírbo oirecht dis díbaid,
na fir a tír tarngaire –
bríg anbfine cech ídail.

The apostles drove out –
they weren’t a minor elite who died out,
the boys from the Promised Land –
the tempestuous drive of each idol.

Reviewing this outstanding poem, Boyle doesn’t appear to ask whether or not the poet could have been partaking in up to date Irish arguments, and whether or not some related instance of “a minor elite who died out” is being signalled. For her, that is merely a part of the propaganda of Christianity’s conquer idolatry. It celebrates the defeat of what preceded Christianity, in Eire as in all places else: pernicious devil-worship, whose eventual downfall was usually achieved at a earlier value of martyrdom.

However now that we point out martyrdom … The place are the Irish martyrs? Within the twelfth century Gerald of Wales, making his case that the Irish have been a degraded folks with a degraded Christian church, as considered one of his arguments declared: they don’t have any martyrs! The archbishop of Cashel, in a witty reply to Gerald, acknowledged the absence of martyrs, and I consider that nobody since then has been capable of argue the alternative case convincingly. A daring try was made by John Lynch in his Cambrensis Eversus: he pointed, for instance, to the martyrdom of Odhrán, St Patrick’s charioteer, whom King Laoghaire ordered to be killed as an experiment (to see how Patrick would react – cf the prologue to the Senchas Már). However such examples are suspected of being poetic, and our writer acknowledges that to the current day “it’s a truism of medieval Irish scholarship that alternatives for martyrdom in early Christian Ire-land have been few and much between”.

Elizabeth Boyle could also be delicate to Gerald’s barb. Anyhow, exactly at this level she turns into uncomfortable with the too easy story of Christian triumph in Eire, as bequeathed by Donnchadh Ó Corráin. If the previous Irish tradition was merely greatly surprised, roughly painlessly, by missionary dynamism, does it not stand to cause that over 4 or 5 centuries the Christianity so established would turn out to be complacent and decadent? And but, exploring the tradition of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries, one can see that Irish Christianity continues to be energetic. What are the distant furnaces that gas its energies? Might it’s that there was, in truth, a interval of laborious and sometimes bloody battle with Irish paganism, and that the ultimately triumphant church, in its complete reconstruction of Irish tradition, has erased a complete historical past of martyrdom?

This can be a new enterprise in considering, and one must see how far it may be taken. There’s a “lack of dependable written proof” that Eire was christianised peacefully, Elizabeth Boyle says. Myself, I’m satisfied by what twentieth century students have been happy to name “the Pseudo-Historic Prologue to the Senchas Már”. Not the story as such; the plot and the main points are unimaginable, and they’re woven round an previous poem that’s saying one thing fairly completely different and awkward. However none of that basically issues. When the extravagant narrative reaches its climax and the writer lets us know what he actually means, his ideas ring true.

The next paragraph from the Historic Prologue (as I’ll name it, since I occur to suppose that its writer wrote sounder historical past than any of these students who label his work offensively) is the very best piece of writing I do know on the Christianisation of Eire. I exploit a translation of mine, printed a few years in the past; it won’t differ a lot in substance from different printed translations, although it could be a bit of extra readable. The scene is the final overview of Irish regulation by the kings, poets and bishops, presided over by Patrick. The duty of presenting the regulation is entrusted to Dubhthach maccu Lugair, described because the king-poet of Eire and a physician of regulation, “a vessel stuffed with the Holy Spirit”, and Patrick’s first follower on the royal courtroom in Tara.

All of the discovered professions in Eire have been assembled, and every exhibited their artwork earlier than Patrick within the presence of the lords of the land. Dubhthach was entrusted then with the presentation of all of the poetic judgments of Eire: no matter had prevailed in Eire’s judicial choices, as delivered by the poets underneath the pure regulation. For the pure regulation had lined a lot that the regulation of Scripture didn’t attain; and it was the Holy Spirit that spoke and prophesied by means of the mouths of the simply males who lived in Eire up to now, simply as he prophesied by means of the mouths of the righteous patriarchs within the Previous Testomony; and the poets had foretold the approaching of a vivid and blessed language, i.e. the regulation of Scripture. Dubhthach due to this fact exhibited to Patrick all of the judgments of pure fact that the Holy Spirit had spoken by means of the mouths of the simply judges and poets of Eire, from the primary occupation of the island to the approaching of the Religion. What didn’t battle with the phrase of God within the Scriptural regulation and the New Testomony, or with Christians’ consciences, was confirmed within the judicial order by Patrick and the churchmen and lords of Eire: i.e. no matter was within the pure regulation, other than religion and its claims and the interweaving of church and kingdom.

Can the pre-Christian tradition that’s so described be known as idolatrous or pagan? In fact not. “Paganism” as an idea – loaded as it’s with negativity, confrontation, polemic, exclusion and violence – has no relevance right here. As described within the Prologue, the pre-Christian Irish have been a Chosen Folks; the parallel with the Hebrews couldn’t probably be made extra express. They prefigured Christianity, whose coming was prophesied by their poets. Their nice judges and poets, impressed by the Holy Spirit, had delivered completely legitimate judgments of pure fact.

The approaching of Christianity was due to this fact in no sense a defeat or an overthrow for them or for his or her tradition. Fairly, it was the culminating triumph of their tradition, which their poets had foretold. Dubhthach, because the up to date grasp of poetry and regulation, had the responsibility of presenting the pre-Christian regulation, to be duly authorized as Christian. Some deletions have been obligatory to adapt with the religion; some additions have been essential to safe the standing of the church. In any other case, the complete regulation was acceptable: the overwhelming mass of it, we’re given to know. The indispensable agent in all of this was the poet, the grasp of the previous tradition.

I consider that that is considerably the true story of the Christianisation of Eire. What the writer of the Historic Prologue presents as an occasion have to be understood as a course of, not by any means full in his personal time. In a poetic fashion, he articulates the historic sense of mainstream Gaelic Christianity. (Solely the mainstream, in fact; there have been at all times different currents. Specifically, there was the militant missionary Christianity represented by Muirchú, who laid emphasis on the novel break with idolatry and paganism and confirmed Patrick going forth “to smash the top of the dragon”).

If the previous mental class of Gaelic judges and poets has such manifest title to respect, if they aren’t to be dismissed as mere pagans or idolators, then they’ve the suitable, and certainly the responsibility, to contain themselves intensively within the work of Christianisation. Every thing means that they did simply that. (When Columbanus, for instance, tells Pope Gregory that Hibernici antiqui philosophi, “the traditional philosophers of Eire”, had concerned themselves in discussions on the computation of Easter, it’s apparent whom he should imply.) The druid-poets engaged with the Latin tradition of the missionaries. Some took on the missionary spirit themselves; others have been involved to place the missionary tradition in context. They responded to the disturbances, the shocks, in their very own inherited tradition, as a result of nothing in truth was neat or computerized. That is illustrated by the exemplary determine of druid-missionary engagement, Dubhthach maccu Lugair. I don’t doubt that he was an actual particular person, and that his poem, which the Historic Prologue is surprisingly constructed round, was an actual poem with a disturbing energy.

To this extent, I agree with Donnchadh Ó Corráin: there are correctly no things like “pagan survivals”, as a result of every thing we see has St Patrick’s stamp of approval. However when St Patrick goes up to now, in Altrum Tighe Dá Medar and Acallamh na Senórach, as to transform a number of the pre-Christian gods to Christianity, one could marvel if that is fairly the missionary Christianity of the European mainstream. As soon as once more, to know the importance of such issues one should throw overboard the idea of “paganism”. Hibernici antiqui philosophi couldn’t conceive that their worthy previous hero-gods is likely to be on the identical stage because the odious gods of idolators. They have been anxious to protect them in some respectable area of interest within the Christian tradition.

To begin with, they constructed them into the story of Eire in world historical past (Lebor Gebála Éireann) because the Tuatha Dé Danann, the second final group of the traditional invaders of Eire, earlier than the Milesians. Poets crammed within the chronology; Boyle quotes a verse from a poem monitoring the reigns of the Assyrian emperors. When the Tuatha Dé Danann got here to Eire to remain perpetually, Belocus, with nice profit, dominated the inexperienced grassy land of Assyria:

Ag techt Tuaithe Dé Danann
go Banba dá búantadall,
Belocus, ba trom tarba,
os fonn fhódglas Asarda.

See Also

It’s hardly a coincidence that Tuatha Dé, “Tribes of God / Tribes of the gods” can also be used to imply the Tribes of Israel. After which there’s Tír tairngire, the Promised Land. As within the poem quoted above, which may be Palestine. Or it could be the previous Irish otherworld, with out sin or ache or dying, which is described within the Voyage of Bran. Some folks believed that the Tuatha Dé Danann dwelt there; others thought that they resided within the fairy mounds (sídhe) and lived in methods fairly just like human beings, with whom they’d many shut contacts. All of this was controversial and sophisticated, as one could collect from Leabhar Gebála Éireann. One contributor wrathfully declares that the Promised-Land the place the Tuatha Dé Danann reside is the depth of Hell, and that nobody who believes that they reside within the fairy forts will ever get to Heaven.

In a guide printed not too way back (Understanding Celtic Faith: Revisiting the Pagan Previous), Professor John Carey supplied some ideas on the surprisingly excessive standing of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

The Irish additionally put ahead different theories, for which no parallel is to be discovered elsewhere in western Christendom. In these conjectures they sought to present their former divinities a standing which was each preternatural and benevolent: there appear to have been some who wished to proceed to carry these beings in reverence, to the extent that doing so was in any manner appropriate with Christian religion … There’s the concept that the folks of the facet could have been “half-fallen angels”, banished from Heaven as a result of they sympathised with Lucifer, however allowed to stay on the earth, as a result of they’d not fought on his facet … Nonetheless extra venturesome was the suggestion that the gods represented an unfallen department of humanity, nonetheless dwelling in some inaccessible area of the earth, whose deathless bliss preserved the beatitude of Eden …
There’s accordingly a physique of proof that, between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries, the Irish intelligentsia have been grappling in numerous methods with a persistent notion that the Tuatha Dé Danann have been one way or the other related to an unorthodox different to the Christian afterlife.

However the intelligentsia in query had little interest in “unorthodoxy” or alternate options to Christianity. They tried to not provoke individuals who may interpret their pursuits in that manner. When Gerald of Wales sought an account of Irish historical past, he was given what is mostly a wonderful abstract of Lebor Gebála Éireann. There was only one main omission, noticed by Geoffrey Keating: the invasion of the Tuatha Dé Danann was diminished to one thing barely important, a minor repetition of the Nemedian invasion of the previous. What I’d deduce is that his informant didn’t need Gerald to look carefully on the Tuatha Dé.

Professor Carey doesn’t provide any elucidation of the reverence (although not worship, as the nice poet-historian Eochaidh Ó Floinn identified) paid to the previous gods. He seems to not know that the Irish have been a Chosen Folks. And I presume that he doesn’t settle for the testimony of what he himself has edited and translated underneath the opprobrious title of “An Version of the Pseudo-Historic Prologue to the Senchas Már”.

To return to Elizabeth Boyle’s work: the writings she has centered on, from the tenth to the twelfth century, are putting and thought-provoking, however on the entire I don’t suppose they belong to the mainstream of Irish Christianity. To me, they seem like extra on the militant wing. Writings of the interval that I regard as mainstream embody, for instance, Acallamh na Senórach, the place St Patrick is pretty comprehensively Gaelicised; moreover, the uninhibited saints’ lives produced in nice numbers in Irish and Latin, which have so little regard for pious decorum; and the flowery contextualisation, version and rationalization of the eulogy to Colum Cille known as Amra Coluimb Chille.

(The latter, by the way, is placed on a stage with the psalms. Its historic editor ensures that anybody who will recite the Amra each day, with an understanding of its sense and sound, won’t fail to achieve Heaven. In regards to the current essential version by Jacopo Bisagni, I’ll solely say this: it’s outstanding that the writer, who Bisagni thinks was a Columban monk of the early ninth century pretending to be a late sixth century eulogist of the lately deceased saint, and who has allegedly drawn upon the imagery of three previous poems about Colum Cille (beforehand thought to have drawn upon the Amra), and who actually has some command of Latin – it’s outstanding that this poet ought to have completely escaped the affect of probably the most prestigious work of Columban Latin literature, the Lifetime of Columba written by Abbot Adomnán of Iona in regards to the 12 months 700. Adomnán’s guide is laden with miracle tales – Colum Cille calming the seas and so forth, or exhibiting prophetic data of distant occurrences or occasions sooner or later; the Amra has nothing of the sort, focusing as a substitute on Colum Cille’s distinction as a sage and scholar and ascetic champion. Moreover, this essential version doesn’t present us the eleventh century editor’s work, as if that have been of scant concern. However the historic editor has taken nice pains to contextualise a troublesome poem, each time we suppose it dates from; and truly all trendy editors, Bisagni included, rely very a lot on his explanations, and maybe they need to take extra curiosity in how he does what he’s doing.)

I conclude by hoping that the broad-minded perspective proven in Elizabeth Boyle’s guide to numerous sorts of historic and transhistorical writing (supported by the biblical scholar Robert Alter’s views on the Ebook of Samuel and on Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner’s transposition of the story of David to the American Civil Struggle) will at some point be proven to the Historic Prologue to the Sen-chas Már. That masterpiece has not been broken by any of the issues mentioned about it. In its many-sidedness, it’s ready.

Be aware on sources:
A translation of the Historic Prologue, together with the paragraph cited, will likely be present in Chapter 16 of: John Minahane, The Christian Druids (Howth Free Press, Dublin 2008).
Hibernici antiqui philosophi: Opera omnia Columbani, ed. GSM Walker (Dublin 1957), p 6.     Patrick changing pre-Christian gods: “Altrum Tige dá Medar”, ed Lilian Duncan, Ériu 11 (1932), p. 222; Acallamh na Senórach, ed. Whitley Stokes, p 147. In: Irische Texte 4 (1), ed WH Stokes and E Windisch (Leipzig 1900).
“The Irish additionally put ahead …”: John Carey, “The Previous Gods of Eire within the Later Center Ages”, pp 52, 64. In: Understanding Celtic Faith: Revisiting the Pagan Previous, ed Ok Ritari and A Bergholm (Cardiff 2015).
Reciting the Amra ensures Heaven: “The Bodleian Amra Choluimb Chille”, ed Whitley Stokes, p 146. In: Revue Celtique 20 (1899).
Essential version of Amra: Amrae Coluimb Chille: a Essential Version, Jacopo Bisagni (Dublin 2019)

John Minahane is the writer of The Christian Druids: on the filid or philosopher-poets of Eire (Howth Free Press, Dublin 2008). Most lately he has edited and translated: Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh, Poems to the English / Dán na nGall (Aubane Historic Society 2020).

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