Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race
poetry of the world. But here the object has been to
present the myths
and legends of the Celt as they
actually are. Crudities have not been refined away,
things painful or monstrous have not been suppressed,
except in some few instances, where it has been necessary
to bear in mind that this volume appeals to a
wider audience than that of scientific students alone.
The reader may, I think, rely upon it that he has here
a substantially fair and not over-idealised account of
the Celtic outlook upon life and the world at a time
when the Celt still had a free, independent, natural life,
working out his conceptions in the Celtic tongue, and
taking no more from foreign sources than he could
assimilate and make his own. The legendary literature
thus presented is the oldest non-classical literature of
Europe. This alone is sufficient, I think, to give it a
strong claim on our attention. As to what other claims
it may have, many pages might be filled with quotations
from the discerning praises given to it by critics not of
Celtic nationality, from Matthew Arnold downwards.
But here let it speak for itself. It will tell us, I believe,
that, as Maeldūn said of one of the marvels he met
with in his voyage into Fairyland: “What we see here
was a work of mighty men.”
GLOSSARY AND INDEX
THE PRONUNCIATION OF CELTIC NAMES
To render these names accurately without the living voice is impossible.
But with the phonetic renderings given, where required, in the
following index, and with attention to the following general rules,
the reader will get as near to the correct pronunciation as it is at all
necessary for him to do.
Vowels are pronounced as in French or German; thus i (long) is
like ee, e (long) like a in “date,” u (long) like oo. A stroke over a
letter signifies length; thus dūn is pronounced “doon” (not “dewn”).
ch is a guttural, as in the word “loch.” It is never pronounced with
a t sound, as in English “chip.”
c is always like k.
gh is silent, as in English.
w, when a consonant, is pronounced as in English; when a vowel,
y, when long, is like ee; when short, like u in “but.”
ch and c as in Gaelic.
dd is like th in “breathe”.
f is like v; fflike English f.
The sound of ll is perhaps better not attempted by the English
reader. It is a thickened l, something between cl and th.
Vowels as in Gaelic, but note that there are strictly no diphthongs
in Welsh, in combinations of vowels each is given its own sound.
Abred. The innermost of three concentric circles representing the totality of being in the Cymric cosmogony—the stage of struggle and evolution, 333
Abundance. See Stone of Abundance
(ay´da). 1. Dwarf of King Fergus mac Leda
2. Royal suitor for Vivionn's hand;
Vivionn slain by, 287
Æd´uans. Familiar with plating of copper and tin, 44
Ægira. Custom of the priestess of Earth at, in Achæa, ere prophesying, 167
Æsus. Deity mentioned by Lucan, 86
Aed the Fair (Aed Finn) (aid). Chief sage of Ireland;
author of “Voyage of Maeldūn,” 331
Aei (ay´ee), Plain of, where Brown Bull of Quelgny meets and slays Bull of Ailell, 225
African Origin. Primitive population of Great Britain and Ireland, evidence of language suggests, 78
Age, Iron. The ship a well-recognised form of sepulchral enclosure in cemeteries of the, 76
Ag´noman. Nemed's father, 98
Aideen. Wife of Oscar, 261;
dies of grief after Oscar's death, 261;
buried on Ben Edar (Howth), 262
Aifa (eefa). Princess of Land of Shadows;
war made upon, by Skatha, 189;
Cuchulain overcomes by a trick, 190;
life spared conditionally by Cuchulain, 190;
bears a son named Connla, 190
Fortress in Co. Donegal, where Ith hears MacCuill and his brothers are arranging the division of the land, 132
Ailill (el'yill), or Ailell.
1. Son of Laery, treacherously slain by his uncle Covac, 152.
2. Brother of Eochy; his desperate love for Etain, 160.
3. King of Connacht, 122;
Angus Ōg seeks aid of, 122;
Fergus seeks aid of, 202;
assists in foray against province of Ulster, 251;
White horned Bull of, slain by Brown Bull of Quelgny, 225;
makes seven years' peace with Ulster, 225;
hound of mac Datho pursues chariot of, 244;
slain by Conall, 245
Of the sept of the Owens of Aran;
father of Maeldūn, slain by reavers from Leix, 310
Ailill Olum (el-yill olum)
King of Munster;
ravishes Ainé and is slain by her, 127
A love-goddess, daughter of the Danaan Owel;
Ailill Olum and Fitzgerald her lovers, 127;
mother of Earl Gerald, 128;
still worshipped on Midsummer Eve, 128;
appears on a St. John's Night, among girls on the Hill, 128
Brother of Naisi, 198
Alexander the Great.
Counter-move of Hellas against the East under, 22;
compact with Celts referred to by Ptolemy Soter, 23
Allen, Mr. Romilly.
On Celtic art, 30
Allen, Hill of.
Finn's chief fortress, 273
Human sacrifices abolished by, 86
Son of Dōn;
and the ploughing task, 390
Milesian poet, son of Miled, husband of Skena, 133;
his strange lay, sung when his foot first touched Irish soil, 134;