Showing posts from February, 2023

Getting Into the Mythological Cycle

This month, we will be looking at the Mythological Cycle of medieval Irish literature. Before we begin, however, it is necessary to clarify what is meant by the term 'Mythological Cycle'. The categorization of the Irish texts into 'cycles' of stories is something that’s had a fair amount of controversy over the years (as the ' Getting into the Ulster Cycle ' post discussed), even though it’s still one of the more convenient ways for us to group texts, and the Mythological Cycle in particular can be problematic. Unlike, for example, the Ulster and Fenian Cycle, which have a more or less fixed cast of characters, even as the details of the rosters might change, the Mythological Cycle is not so fixed. Likewise, some stories that are often considered to be part of the Mythological Cycle 'canon', such as Aislinge Óenguso ('Dream of Óengus'), overlap with other cycles such as the Ulster Cycle.   The term 'myth' in and of itself isn’t easy to d