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Author Topic: Medieval Gaelic Sources (Maynooth Research Guides for Irish History)  (Read 2481 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Topic Start: April 06, 2011, 10:27:00 pm »

Title: Medieval Gaelic Sources (Maynooth Research Guides for Irish History)
Author(s): Simms, Katharine
Publisher: Dublin: Four Courts Press
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 184682138X
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

From The Medieval Review:
There can be few bodies of historical materials more inherently daunting than the Gaelic-language sources extant from late medieval and early modern Ireland. Not only are the bardic schools and hereditary learned families in which many of these texts originated likely to seem very foreign to many scholars, the nature of the sources themselves can be such as to dissuade the historiographically timid from venturing any further. The language in which they are written differs markedly from modern spoken Irish and (outside of Ireland) is not easy to learn, and the manner in which these texts were used and transformed over time poses considerable hazards for the unwary. Moreover, as is well known, Gaelic records from this period tend not to be the sort of administrative or bureaucratic documents one finds elsewhere in Europe at this time. Rather, literacy was used in these centuries to create and reshape native power-relations, to celebrate Irish vernacular culture and promote a particular view of the past, and to preserve and examine in a scholarly way the intellectual riches of earlier centuries. What T. M. Charles-Edwards said of the early medieval period holds true as well for the era after the coming of the Normans: "A scholar turning from... continental Europe to Ireland in the same period must be struck by three things: how much written material survives; how much of it is in the vernacular; and how little of it is designed to do the jobs usually performed by the more utilitarian written documents in ancient, medieval or later literate societies." [1]

Read the full review at The Medieval Review web site.

Additional Description:
This short book is intended to serve as a practical guide to Gaelic language sources (as opposed to administrative or ecclesiastical records in Latin, French or English) for the history of these communities in the high Middle Ages, laying emphasis on published texts for which English translations are available. Under six headings (annals, genealogies, poems, prose tracts and sagas, legal material, colophons and marginalia), it discusses not only the nature of the sources themselves, the purposes for which they were originally created, and their survival and availability to researchers, but also how to glean usable historical information from them.

Special Notes:

Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron.

Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 10:29:04 pm by LyricFox » Logged

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