Run Time: 51:22
Ronald Hicks, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at Ball State University, spoke at the Toledo Museum of Art.
When one begins a study of Irish mythology, one is quickly struck by the attention devoted to places, most tales being linked to a number of locations across the island. The importance of these is emphasized by the fact that, between the 10th & 12th centuries, Irish scholars compiled a list of these places and their histories, the dindshenchas. These stories typically feature one or more of the gods of the pre-Christian Irish, and in many cases, the places mentioned can be linked with known prehistoric sites. It seems curious that so much attention would be devoted to the old gods and the places and tales associated with them in a Christian country and, in fact, in the monastic schools, where most of these manuscripts were assembled. This suggests that the tales carried a level of meaning that continued to be important. In this presentation, the speaker looked at the relationship between the myths, the sites, and the annual agricultural and calendrical cycle.