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The Sacred Isle: Belief and Religion in Pre-Christian Ireland [Hardcover]

Dáithí O hOgain
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 29 1999 Belief and Religion in Pre-Christian Ireland
The myths and legends of prehistoric Ireland have inspired writers through the ages, down to W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney in our own century, but what do we know of the realities of ancient Irish belief? Daithi O hOgain's book approaches the question by studying archaeological remains such as tumuli, stone henges and circular enclosures and analysing the rich materials that have been handed down both in the great cycles of Irish heroic tales and the humble but significant survivals of modern folklore, for instance the traditions associated with wells and springs. Drawing evidence from these varied sources, he arrives at a balanced picture of a society and its beliefs which have all too often been the subject of conjecture and fancy. CONTENTS Pre-Celtic Cultures . Basic Tenets in the Iron Age . The Druids and their Practices . The Teachings of the Druids . The Society of the Gods . The Rites of Sovereignty . The Triumph of Christianity. DAITHI O HOGAIN is Associate Professor of Folklore at University College Dublin.

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Review

An excellent book... a highly accessible and lively assessment of c ontinuity and change in belief and religion from pre-Celtic times through to the arrival of St Patrick. ...A fine book and to be recommended to a wide readership, especially to all those who think that Irish history started in 1601. IRISH STUDIES REVIEW The focus of this book is the evidence for pagan cult systems in ancient Ireland, particularly the period 500BC to AD600...on the whole a thoroughly researched and rigorously referenced study... a useful reference work. ZEITSCHRFT FUR CELTISCHE PHILOLOGIE

About the Author

DAITHI O HOGAIN is Associate Professor of Folklore at University College Dublin. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough and scholarly June 16 2003
Format:Hardcover
This is a definitive work on the subject. The author surpasses credible to the level of genuine expert. I feel safe in trusting his research and speculations. Being a scholarly work, the book isn't for the faint of heart (it can be thick reading at times), but if your into Celtic studies, the history of Ireland, the history of the Druids, then this book is a must and should be read and referred to again and again. The author uses a wonderful blend of archaeology, literature, and mythology not only of Ireland, but also from a vast range of sources. He ties in accounts of the Continental Celts, the Indo-Europeans, the Greek and Roman sources, and even accounts from India (Vedic, rig Veda, etc). The author gives us a complete picture that is supported by a myriad of sources and language associations. The only thing that I felt could have enhanced the book would be an index. Very great work, well worth the money.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
O'Hogain has done it again, by providing another invaluable resource for those interested in learning more about Celtic and Irish pre-christian religion. Very well-researched and written, this book will take you on a journey back in time, which you'll never forget! Don't miss his other works either.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough and scholarly June 16 2003
By "majnoon_" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a definitive work on the subject. The author surpasses credible to the level of genuine expert. I feel safe in trusting his research and speculations. Being a scholarly work, the book isn't for the faint of heart (it can be thick reading at times), but if your into Celtic studies, the history of Ireland, the history of the Druids, then this book is a must and should be read and referred to again and again. The author uses a wonderful blend of archaeology, literature, and mythology not only of Ireland, but also from a vast range of sources. He ties in accounts of the Continental Celts, the Indo-Europeans, the Greek and Roman sources, and even accounts from India (Vedic, rig Veda, etc). The author gives us a complete picture that is supported by a myriad of sources and language associations. The only thing that I felt could have enhanced the book would be an index. Very great work, well worth the money.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes! Aug. 1 2005
By BottledHammer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent! Very blunt, well put, and provides the information in a way that is no nonsense, straight way. Loved it.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! A stunning work that every Celt/Irish nut will want! Jan. 5 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
O'Hogain has done it again, by providing another invaluable resource for those interested in learning more about Celtic and Irish pre-christian religion. Very well-researched and written, this book will take you on a journey back in time, which you'll never forget! Don't miss his other works either.
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating! Jan. 19 2012
By Anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent text. Precise annotations. Comprehensive bibliography. But no index. This omission is sure to frustrate any researcher who intends the book as a reference source.
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