.@CelticStudents Conference Timetable / Clàr-ama na co-labhairt ACSIB #Glaschu2017

The 5th Annual Conference of the Association of Celtic Students of Ireland and Britain

Disathairne 25mh Màrt 2017
Saturday 25th March 2017

09:00 - 17:00

Togalach Mheadaigeach Wolfson, Oilthigh Ghlaschu, Lònach an Oilthigh, G12 8QQ Alba
Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, G12 8QQ Scotland

Clàr-ama na Co-labhairt / Conference Timetable

DiHaoine (24mh) / Friday (25th)

20:00  Cèilidh sòisealta / Social get-together

DiSathairne (25mh) / Saturday (25th)

09:00 Clàradh / Registration

09:30 Fàilte / Welcome

Seisean 1 / Session 1

09:45 Rona Wilkie, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann / University of Edinburgh (Gàidhlig / Scottish Gaelic)

"Hopeless in Tone": Highland Political Activity 1851-1880

Many Gaelic scholars lament at the “depressing and even hopeless” tone (Sorley MacLean) of the Highland reaction to the Clearances. Historians often argue that it was socio-economic oncerns that precipitated political action, and that these encounters were rare and a by-product of harsh times. Perhaps the most famous of these disruptions came in the 1880s, commonly referred to as The Land War. The mid-nineteenth century however, witnessed a socio-economic stabilisation in the aftermath of the famines of the 1830s and 1840s – James Hunter labelled it “The Years of Recovery”. This period also saw reduced levels of obvious political action, such as the civil disobedience and the organised lobbying seen in the rest of the nineteenth century. However, if we are to broaden the definition of “political action” to include aspects such as cultural activity and participation in the disestablished Free Church, a different view emerges of Gaelic politicking. In doing so we can engage with a Victorian Gael’s perspective on what constituted political activity, rather than prescribing the political norms of the Jacobite period or the rest of the contemporary English-speaking population of Great Britain. It also allows us to disregard our own critical eye on the poetry, and engage with the art as they would have done. In adopting a Gaelic perspective on political engagement, we can re-assign them as politically normal, rather than weak; they worked to preserve and better their place in society.

10:00 Christopher Lewin, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann / University of Edinburgh (Beurla / English)

Is Manx a Norse-Gaelic or Anglo-Gaelic creoloid?

Manx has often been considered to be ‘de-gaelicised’ and heavily influenced by English, Norse or both. It has been suggested that Manx is a ‘creoloid’ (Ó Sé). O’Rahilly claims that Manx is heavily anglicized, while Williams, recognizing the relatively slight impact of English on the Isle of Man until the eighteenth century, looks further back in time and claims that Manx is a ‘béarlagair Lochlannaithe’ ‘a Nordicized patois’. In this paper these claims are re-evaluated. The linguistic evidence suggests that Manx is not so untypical for a Gaelic dialect as has been claimed. If there is any simplifcation due to language contact, it does not appear much more pronounced than that found in Scottish Gaelic. Several characteristic Manx developments have clear internal motivations, including the use of object person pronouns with the verbal noun, and perhaps also the substitution of the substantive verb (Sc.G. tha) for the copula (Sc.G. is). At any rate most changes which could plausibly show English or Norse influence represent additive complexification — i.e. the addition of new features on the model of the other languages alongside maintenance of existing structures — rather than the simplification or loss of features characteristic of creoloids such as Afrikaans (in Trudgill’s framework).

10:15 Jacob Ellis, Sean Cheann-suidhe / Former President (Cymraeg / Welsh)

The Welsh Language in the Media

The role the Welsh language has played in different news and media platforms over the years - touching upon the setting up of S4C and its role today on social media etc. A modern paper that will show that this Celtic language has an important role to play in today's 'English' World.

10:30 Teàrlach Wilson, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann / Edinburgh University (Beurla / English)

‘The copula in Scottish Gaelic: a challenger to the VSO structure’

Recent morphosyntactic studies on Welsh have suggested the development VSO > AuxSVO > SVO (e.g. Davies 2010) is underway as a result of intense bilingualism (i.e. convergence to English, e.g. Phillips 2007). An area in which ScG differs from Irish, but has in common with Welsh, is the more dependent use of periphrastic (i.e. AuxSVO) structures, especially in the present tense (e.g. Ronan 2012). As well as arguing that that ScG presents AuxSVO (see also analytic transparency, e.g. Trudgill 2002), this study draws on recorded natural speech data from the Linguistic Survey of Scotland (LSS) corpus to show that the copula in clefted constructions is no longer a verb, therefore there is erosion of ScG’s VSO structure. It is argued that increased analytic transparency (e.g. bha mi dèanamh in lieu of rinn mi) and defunct tense marking in clefted constructions (e.g. ‘s e an tè thàinig in lieu of b’ e an tè a thàinig) may stimulate convergence to English syntactic structure, i.e. that ScG is being directed onto the same evolutionary track as Welsh, i.e. VSO > AuxSVO > SVO. This presentation does not seek to undermine the view that Gaelic is VSO, but rather to test the potential for language change, e.g. convergence to SVO in Welsh (Davies 2010).

10:45 Teresa Cassin, Ollscoil Mhá Nuad / Maynooth University (Gaeilge / Irish)

An Chinsireacht sa Ghúm: Staidéar ar Théacs

Is é an Gúm an foilsitheoir leabhar Gaeilge is mó in Éirinn. Chuaigh an Gúm i mbun oibre i 1926 mar chuid de Roinn Oideachais Shaorstát Éireann. Ní raibh an Gúm i bhfad ar bun nuair a thug siad faoi scéim aistriúcháin, chun cur leis an mbeagán d’ábhar bunaidh léitheoireachta a bhí ar fáil. Le linn na dtríochaidí, foilsíodh breis agus 250 saothar; saothair a aistríodh ó theangacha de chuid na hEorpa, an Béarla go háirithe. Cuireadh an bhéim ar leabhair bhunaidh ó 1940 i leith agus maolaíodh ar scéim an aistriúcháin. Tá cartlann an Ghúim (1921-1999) ar coimeád i gCartlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, agus táim féin ag díriú ar na comhaid a bhaineann le haistriúcháin a rinneadh sa tréimhse idir 1927 agus 1967 i mo chuid taighde. Bhí cinntí fós á ndéanamh ag an rialtas faoi fhorbairt an náisiúin óig agus na Gaeilge sa tréimhse seo, cinntí atá á bhfiosrú i mo chuid taighde agam i gcomhthéacs obair an Ghúim. Sa pháipéar seo ba mhian liom na cinntí a glacadh ó thaobh na cinsireachta de, go háirithe, a phlé, i gcomhthéacs an leabhar staire Taoisigh Eorpa: Gearr-insint ar Stair na hEorpa i gcómhair Scoláirí Meán-Scol.

11:00 Fois / Break

Aoigh / Plenary Speaker

11:15 Alasdair Whyte, Oilthigh Ghlaschu / University of Glasgow (Gàidhlig / Scottish Gaelic)

Coimhearsnachd is Cànan: Muile sna meadhan-aoisean ann am fianais nan ainmeannan-àite.

Seisean 2 / Session 2

11:45 Adam Dahmer, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann / Edinburgh University (Beurla / English)

Celticity and the Edinburgh Beltane: Identity, authenticity and meaning in the context of cultural revival

In May of 1988, five performance artists gathered on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill to stage a reinterpretation of the ancient ‘Celtic’ festival, Beltane. With artistic guidance from anarchic industrial musician Angus Farquhar, and instruction on history and Scottish Gaelic from renowned folklorist Margaret Bennett, they had set out to connect contemporary city-dwellers with one another and their shared agrarian past, in the hope of restoring a collective sense of place and community  they felt had fled Edinburgh with the advent of modernity. Thirty years later, Beltane’s all-volunteer cast numbers in the hundreds, and will draw an estimated twelve-thousand spectators to this year’s reenactment of the ritual. Commencing as early as February each year, preparations require hours of unpaid planning and rehearsal from each participant every week. The research underlying this paper seeks to discover what compels Beltaners to devote their time and energy to annually resurrecting a once-extinct pagan festival, and attempts to ascertain what Celticity means to festival participants and to what extent their definitions coincide with those of academics in Celtic Studies.

12:00 Angelika Rüdiger, Prifysgol Bangor / Bangor University (Cymraeg / Welsh)

Dehongli Traddodiadau o’r Tylwyth Teg: Offeryn i Ddyfeisio Hanes Cymru

Yr oedd John Rhŷs yn brifathro cyntaf o astudiaethau Celtaidd yn Rhydychen. Roedd e’n gasglwr mawr o lên gwerin Cymru hefyd ac is-lywydd enwog o Folklore Society. Credai Syr John Rhŷs na all hanes pobl yn cael eu hystyried yn eglur, os nad yw'r traddodiadau gwerin wedi eu dadansoddi yn ofalus. Y mae’r papur hwn yn archwilio modd John Rhŷs i ddefnyddio straeon o’r Tylwyth Teg a motiffau naratifol-storїol sy’n perthyn i’r llên gwerin ynghylch traddodiad o’r Tylwyth Teg. Dangosir fod Rhŷs yn defnyddio llên gwerin i greu a chadarnhau ei ddamcaniaeth a syniadau o gynhanes Cymru. Y mae dadansoddiad o fodd Rhŷs i ddehongli straeon y Tylwyth Teg yn dangos fod syniadau Rhŷs yn seilio ar Darwinism cymdeithasol.  Mae’r ddamcaniaeth am strwythurau cymdeithasol gan Bachofen, Morgan a Engels  neu waith Frazer, awdur o The Golden Bough, yn dylanwadu ar ddehongli straeon y Tylwyth Teg gan Rhŷs ac ar greu cynhanes Ynys Prydain. Bwriad Rhŷs oedd dangos nad yw cenhedloedd Celtaidd yn israddol i Eingl-Sacsoniaid. Roedd hyn yn bwnc pwysig yn y sgwrs gymdeithasol yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg, yn arbennig gan fod rhai yn anffafario iaith Gymraeg a honni nad yw’r Gymraeg yn iaith addas i gefnogi diwylliant y bobl.

12:15 Samantha Summers, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (Beurla / English)

"Her Hands Tied": Gender-bending in The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu

Deirdre of The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu is one of the most complicated characters in Irish mythology. Imprisoned from birth by a king (Conchobur) who wished to ultimately make her his wife, she plans a rebellious escape and an illicit marriage with Noisiu. She comes to a tragic end when her actions result in a series of disasters and her own suicide. It is popular to read this as a medieval commentary on the ways in which women with power were thought of as dangers to social order in medieval Ireland. Indeed, Deirdre has been compared to Helen of Troy, another mythical woman who is blamed for the destruction of a kingdom. Rather than reading Deirdre as performing femininity poorly, however, this paper will argue that she is more appropriately read as performing masculinity well. Read in this light, The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu is not a story about the dangers of women, rather, it is a story highlighting the dangers of subverting gender roles. Relying on the theoretical basis of such academic giants at Butler and Laqueur, this paper will ultimately demonstrate that this is not a story about a woman who ruins a kingdom by virtue of being a woman. Rather, this is a story about a cast of individuals who, in subverting gendered behaviour, subvert the stability of a kingdom.

12:30 Amy Mitchell, Ollscoil Mhá Nuad / Maynooth University (Gaeilge / Irish)

Fórsa Fireann, Fórsa Baineann: An Chruthaitheacht agus Cúrsaí Inscne sna Dánta ‘Banfhile’ agus ‘A Sheanfhilí, Múinidh Dom Glao’ le Seán Ó Ríordáin.

Cé gur thuig an file nua-aoiseach Seán Ó Ríordáin tábhacht an traidisiúin liteartha, bhí fonn air coinbhinsiúin an traidisiúin a cheistiú. Bhí smacht ag na scríbhneoirí fireanna ar chanóin na Gaeilge le fada. Cháin criticeoirí feimineacha mar Ní Annracháin (1981), Nic Eoin (1982; 1998), Nic Dhiarmada (1992) agus Ní Dhomhnaill (1995) dearcadh diúltach na scríbhneoirí fireanna i leith scríbhneoireacht na mban. Luaigh siad uilig an dán ‘Banfhile’ ina maíonn an Ríordánach gur ‘fórsa fireann’ é an fórsa cruthaitheach agus gur béithe iad na mná. Is dearcadh coimeádach é seo, ach is dán casta é ‘Banfhile’ agus déanfaidh mé mionphlé ar chastacht an dáin sa pháipéar seo. Ba mhinic a thuig an Ríordánach an fórsa cruthaitheach mar fhórsa baineann agus tá teannas idir fórsa fireann agus fórsa baineann na cruthaitheachta le brath ina chuid dánta dá bharr. Pléifidh mé ‘A Sheanfhilí, Múinidh Dom Glao’  chun an teannas seo a léiriú. Bhí sé deacair don Ríordánach cloí le coinbhinsiúin inscne an traidisiúin ‘fhirinn’ toisc gur aithin sé taobh ‘baineann’ na cruthaitheachta.

12:45 Lòn / Lunch

Seisean 3 / Session 3

13:45 Llewelyn Hopwood, Oilthigh Oxford / Oxford University (Cymraeg / Welsh)

Pwy yw ‘Tared’? Chwilio am atebion yn 'El libro del Caballero Zifar' a 'Culhwch ac Olwen'

Mae’r elfennau Arthuraidd yn y chwedl Sbaenaidd El Libro del Caballero Zifar o’r bedwaredd ganrif ar ddeg wedi eu nodi, eu dadansoddi a’u trafod ers cryn dipyn bellach. Yr hyn a wna’r paper hwn yw holi a oes un ar ôl, boed hynny o achos ddylanwad neu gyd-ddigwyddiad. Yma, elfen gyswllt fydd dan sylw, rhwng y chwedl hon a’r chwedl Gymraeg hynaf, Culhwch ac Olwen, drwy’r cymeriad dieithr, ‘Tared’. Perthyn brif gymeriad Zifar i linach brenhinol gŵr a enwir ‘Brenin Tared’ a gollodd ei linach oherwydd ei ‘ddrygioni’, a’r gorchwyl i adenill y goron hon yw sylfaen y stori i bob pwrpas. Cynsail Culhwch yw fod ei brif gymeriad yntau angen cwblhau nifer o dasgau cyn cael priodi Olwen; y mwayf amlwg o’r rhain yw cael gafael ar y crib a’r gwellau sydd ar ben y baedd gwyllt, ‘Twrch Twyth’. Cyn cael ei droi’n faedd, brenin Gwyddelig oedd yr anifail, a mab i un oedd yn dwyn yr enw arwyddocaol, ‘Tared Wledig’, h.y. yr un enw, ac o bosib, yr un motiff, a geir yn stori Zifar; ‘Brenin Tared’. Bydd y papur hwn, felly, yn archwilio cymeriad diddorol ac, hyd yn hyn, anhysbys, ‘Tared’, a’r cyswllt posib mae’n cynnig rhwng y ddau chwedl dan sylw.

14:00 Thomas Fidler & John Ault, Oilthigh Exeter / Exeter University (Beurla / English)

The use of identity in the Isle of Man General Election 2016

Described by the local media as a ‘quiet revolution’, the Isle of Man General Election on the 22nd September 2016 saw a significant turnover in Man’s elected representatives.1 The House of Keys, the elected body for this Celtic Nation of Britain, saw a number of long-standing representatives opt not to seek re-election. Constituency boundary changes added to the atmosphere of change on the Isle of Man. Given its status as a Crown Dependency with an independent administration; the members of which do not represent the island at Westminster, nor are represented by Westminster-based parties, it does not fit into the conventional frameworks for Celtic Political Studies. Rogers, Fox and Gerber have emphasised that ‘voting is not merely a decision, but it is also an expression of one’s identity’, though in an election largely composed of independents, what is the delineating factor that separates one candidate from another in the selection process for the voter in the Isle of Man? This paper therefore uses both qualitative and quantitative research based on the election manifestos of candidates from the 2016 general election, alongside media coverage in the lead up to the election that contributed to the personal image constructed by candidates seeking election and the extent to which their policies and image may be considered ‘Celtic’. Analysis of both the policies discussed and the language used in doing is provided, as well as conclusions as to whether the ‘Celtic’ brand of politics brings a greater level of electoral success across the various constituencies. This paper will also discuss the impact of the presence of political parties in the Manx context for constructing a greater social identity.

14:15 Erin McKinney, OE Gaillimh / NUI Galway (Beurla 's Gaeilge / English and Irish)

“To Whom All Lovers Pray:” W.B. Yeats’ Appropriations of Aengus Óg and Étaín

The transmission of Celtic mythologies could be seen as a series of appropriations, as each storyteller in retelling the stories in a new context and voice has necessarily altered them. The Irish Literary Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century exhibits examples of this appropriative myth-making process. W.B. Yeats, citing his sources as “poor translations” and Lady Gregory’s adaptations, was keen to inform the reader that he has not adapted but appropriated medieval Irish themes, “where I interpret the myth my own way” (Jeffares 442, 530). This essay will examine the ways in which Yeats borrowed from Tochmarc Étaíne and Aislinge Óenguso for his artistic vision, focusing on Aengus Óg and Étaín as they appear in “Baile and Aillin,” “The Harp of Aengus,” “Song of the Wandering Aengus,” and “The Shadowy Waters.” Through a close, intertextual analysis of early Irish sources and Yeats’ appropriations of Aengus and Étaín, important changes to their characterizations are revealed that illuminate aspects of both Yeats’ creative processes and reception of the Ulster and Mythological Cycles in 20th century Ireland.

14:30 Grégory Moigne, L'Université de Bretagne Occidentale (Breatnais / Breton)

GORSEDDAU : Welsh origin of the Breton movement

In the 19th century, La Villemarqué and a few other intellectuals and writers from Brittany, came to Wales in order to discover the Celtic Welsh culture, its awakening, its fighting spirit, and its most representative form : the Gorsedd of Wales. More than travels, research is getting more and more facts and one can find similarities between the Celtic cultures. The « romantisme » influenced that movement. Fantasy took precedence over research : the history of these two peoples was invented all over again. Then comes the creation of a first bardic group from Brittany (with La Villemarqué) before the arrival of a much more important movement in 1899 : the birth of the Gorsedd of Brittany, in Wales. It’s the work of activists who followed in the footsteps of the Welsh. The intellectual, political and cultural exchanges and travels between the two Celtic nations in search for identity and assertion are at the origins of the Gorsedd of Brittany, that is spiritually descended from the one of Wales and copied its organisation on it, as well as its spiritual references, and partly literary too. The two Gorseddau were leading cultural movements but each one chose a different path to keep up their fight : before the First World War, what are those Gorseddau, mother and daughter?

14:45 Talwyn Baudu, Prifysgol Aberystwyth / University of Aberystwyth (Beurla / English)

‘From pupil to parent’: Understanding former immersion  pupils’ attitudes, challenges and opportunities in revitalizing Breton language transmission within the family

Current research on language revitalization has sufficiently demonstrated the difficulties for “new speakers” in appropriating a minority language. Indeed, pupils who acquire the language at school may not carry over a positive ideology toward the minority language in question into the sphere of language use beyond the school gates or in social use amongst their peers, making transmission of the revitalised language within the private domain much more of a challenge. The aim of this paper is to present research regarding family language transmission practices in Brittany amongst former Diwan school pupils. It focuses on language use and those language ideologies which underscore parents’ perceptions of transmitting the Breton language to their own children, and relate it to their past experiences within the school system. Data from qualitative interviews reveal that there are two main issues regarding family language transmission among these former pupils, namely their understanding of the nature of bilingualism and of ‘linguistic naturalism’ in a family context. The research also examines how the first generation of Diwan pupils were often more favourable towards this transmission than younger, more recent Diwan graduates. This research aims to give a greater understanding towards language revitalisation by relating both the micro and meso level of language planning.

15:00 Fois / Break

Seisean 4 / Session 4

15:15 Ben Ó Ceallaigh, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann / University of Edinburgh (Gàidhlig / Scottish Gaelic)

Gluasad cànain agus an nualibearalachas: Gàidhlig na h-Èireann ri linn an chrìonaidh eaconamaich 2008-2016

Is tric ann an litreachas a’ phlanaidh cànain a tha eaconomas  air ainmneachadh mar aon de na prìomh rudan a tha a’ toirt buaidh air dàn mhionchànain. Ged a tha ùghdaran mar Grin, Romaine, Spolsky, msaa, air bruidhinn air a’ chuspair seo, tha glè bheag de dh’obair ann gu ruige seo a tha a’ feuchainn ris na pròiseasan seo a mhìneachadh. Ciamar a tha forsan eaconomaigeach a’ toirt gluasad cànain gu buil gu mionaideach?  Air sgàth ‘s gu bheil Èirinn glè àrd air an sgèile de na dùthchannan as “nualibearalaiche”, tha i a’ toirt deagh chothrom dhuinn a’ cheist seo a rannsachadh a thaobh Gàidhlig na h-Èireann. Chan eil tuigse againn fhathast air ciamar a tha bàs an “tìgeir Cheiltich”  air buaidh a thoirt air neart nan coimhearsnachdan far a bheil an cànan fhathast beò. Mar atharrachadh sòiseo-eaconomaigeach glè mhòr bhiodh luchd sòiseo-chànanachais an dùil ri atharrachadh ann an cleachdadh cànain na lùib. Anns a’ phàipear seo, feuchaidh mi ris a’ cheist seo fhuasgladh. Coimheadaidh mi air na h-impleachdan sòiseo-chànanach a bha aig a’ chrìonadh eaconomaigeach do sgìrean air Ghàidhealtachd na h-Èireann. Bidh an sgrùdadh seo stèidhte air obair eitneagrafach ach bheir mi sùil cuideachd air poileasaidhean riaghaltais a chaidh a chur an gnìomh eadar 2008-16. Leis a seo, chì sinn eiseamplair practaigeach den dòigh a tha an nualibearalachas agus an dlùthchruinneas a’ toirt buaidh air mionchànan na h-Èireann.

15:30 Paulus van Sluis, Oilthigh na Cuimrigh / University of Wales (Beurla / English)

The orthographical development of lenition in Middle Welsh’

Lenition, a grammatical feature common to all Celtic languages, only came to be written in the historical period in Welsh. It is commonly known that Old Welsh did not represent lenition orthographically, but that Middle Welsh did generally represent lenition (except for d and rh). However, even Middle Welsh is known for its inconsistency in representing lenition. The patterns and developments behind this inconsistency have not yet been charted, except anecdotally. I have found that lenition of different consonants started to be written at different stages within the Middle Welsh period. Specifically, lenition of p, t, c was not generally written up until about 1300, but many exceptions to this pattern may be found. Furthermore, traces of this system remain after 1300, with texts representing lenition only for some of these consonants, or only in limited grammatical contexts. I argue that knowledge of this pattern and its traces may aid us in dating the original compositions of Middle Welsh texts, and may tell us about their latter transmission.

15:45 Poliana Gomes, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (Beurla / English)

The Gosforth Cross: intericonicity, visual identity and Celtic heritage on the conversion of Northumbria

The Gosforth Cross is a high-cross sculpture from the mid-10th century located in the northwest of England, a region that received Hiberno-Norse settlements in the ninth century. Its iconographic repertoire mixes the Anglo-Saxon sculptural tradition with motifs from Scandinavian, Celtic, and continental Christian art. Such a fusion evidences the presence of intericonicity, syncretic visual language, and an intricate juxtaposition of different mythologies. The “pagan iconography of Christian ideas”  is a powerful visual register of the rhetoric used in the Christianization of Celtic and Norse peoples. The cross as the tree of life merges in Gosforth with the Celtic arbor aeterna and the Nordic axis mundi, Yggdrasil. Other elements such as the triquetra, the stag, the circle from Celtic crosses, the hunt scenes from Arthurian cycles, and a possible representation of The Morrígan, Nuada, and Cath Maige Tuired are also clear evidence of Celtic heritage. The association of art objects and expressions of artistic endeavor with religion and with funeral rites illustrates their central importance to Celtic culture. Art was an essential part of a belief system deep rooted in Celtic society. The Gosforth Cross endorses this, whilst an archaeologic record from the Renaissance of Celtic Art period, and the survival of Celtic myths in the social imaginary of Christian Britain.

16:00 Tatiana Shingurova, Oilthigh Obar Dheathain / University of Aberdeen (Beurla / English)

Tlachtga: Traces of Pre-Christian Authority in Dindṡenchas Érenn

 “Tlachtga, proud and princely hill, has seen the passing of many a stern king since long ago”. Thus begins poem 45 from 4th volume of Dindṡenchas Érenn. It tells us about the origin of the Hill of Ward, the royal site in Co. Westmeath. It was rarely mentioned by medieval authors; however, in the 17th century Geoffrey Keating called it one of the four chief fortresses of Ireland, together with Uisneach, Tailltiu and Tara. Dindṡenchas links the origins of Tlachtga to a powerful druidess, the daughter of the “druid king” Mogh Ruith, a disciple of Simon Magus. She gave birth to three sons and died in the childbirth on the hill which still bears her name. This poem could be surviving evidence about the heathen cult which was significant for local kingship before Christianity. Recent archaeological excavations proved high ritual activity at the site of Tlachtga dating back to 500 AD. However, after Christianization the site was abandoned and the name of the goddess remained only in the stories about Mogh Ruith. In this paper, I am going to investigate the character of Tlachtga in relation to Mogh Ruith, by appealing to these texts and comparing her with other local heathen cults of land and power. I hope this research will shed new light on the process of euhemerization as well as on rituals that took place on the Hill of Ward and other royal sites across early medieval Ireland.

16:15 Duaisean / Awards 
Duais na GàidhligDuais Nuadhais Social Media Alba ®, Duais Ault-Tregidga airson Eòlas Chòrnais, Duais Louis Allan airson Eòlas Ceilteach Coimeasach
Scottish Gaelic Award, Social Media Alba ® Innovation Award, Ault-Tregidga Award for Cornish Studies, Louis Allan Award for Comparative Celtic Studies

16:30 Faclan mu dheireadh agus Crìoch / Final words and Close

17:00 Coinneamh Choitcheann Bhliadhnail / Annual General Meeting

Didòmhnaich (26mh) / Sunday (26th)

12:00  Tachartas ionadail / Local event

Le taic bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig | Supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig


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