Tuesday, January 5, 1999

Reading List: Medieval Celtic Culture 500-1500 AD; Melia

Medieval Celtic Culture 500- 1500 AD; 
Prof. Daniel Melia, Rhetoric
(Full participation/grade/audit: A)
SPRING 1999  Celtic Studies 128 (4 units), 

A study of medieval Celtic culture, its society, laws, religion, history, and the daily life of the Celtic peoples, as they are reflected in a selection of texts ranging from medieval literary works to legal texts and historical chronicles. “The past is another country; they do things differently there.” How did they do things in the medieval world? Who were”they” anyway? We will review existing evidence of daily life: law, literature, religion, family life. We will look at the question of modern reconstruction of the Celtic past. Is the past merely an artifact of the present?  How can we judge the validity of our scattered and difficult sources?

A Short History of Wales-- Dodd
Mabinogion & Other Tales--Ford
Oxford History of Ireland--Foster
Táin Bó Culaigne --Thos Kinsella
Confessions of St. Patrick _-tr Skinner
Tripartite Life of St Patrick

This class was intense, I poured my all into it, and Dan, Himself, was magnificent, so glad I got to spend time with him (as an overeager older student....I was burning with the desire to learn. Amergin's flame in the head, was a bonfire.)

I eventually plan to transcribe my Celtic Studies class notes, so this post is a placeholder (as well as a reading list). A reminder, a smack in the gob. What brought this on: I was asked to do a lecture on Celtic Bardic Poetry at Sacramento Poetry Center, and a) I was far too long gone from this material, b) I couldn't put my hands on the notes, but I at least still had some of the books. and TG for the internet. So many texts are now online (not so in 1999). I was able to reconstruct what I needed. But it was almost as bad as reinventing the wheel.   —MH 11/2015

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