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Inis» Forums » General

Subject: Mythological Sources? rss

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Michael Stone
United States
Astoria
New York
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Hey Mr Martinez,

It would be great if you could point us to some sources on mythology on which Inis is based. I've been doing some reading, and already have figured out that there are several time periods and even a little geographical variation all under the "Celtic" umbrella. Can you point us to the books or other sources you found most useful? Even if you narrowed the time period and place a little, that would be helpful.

It would be great to know more about the background context of this game!

Thank You
Mstone
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Christian
France
Lyon
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Hello,

The main sources are The Book of Conquests and The Ulster Cycle, mainly The Cattle Raid of Cooley. Other sources are the Fenian Cycle and historical books like the Historical Atlas of the Celtic World by John Haywood, plus a number of essays about Celtic history or mythology.

Hope that helps!


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Myles Mulroy
United Kingdom
Manchester
Greater Manchester
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http://bardmythologies.com/ is a great site for brief rundowns of most of the basic stories.

I'd also highly recommend Thomas Kinsella's translation of the Tain (the story of the Cattle Raid of Cooley that Christian mentioned above), which gives you most of what you need to know about Cuchulainn and the Ulster Cycle (the particularly action-packed Irish mythological cycle).

If you're a fan of comics, it would be worth checking out the 2000 AD comic character Slaine Mac Roth by Pat Mills. It's not straight-up Irish/Celtic mythology but it's chock full of accurate references. Slaine himself is kind of a cross between Cuchulainn and Conan the Cimmerian and his hero warp-spasm is a nigh perfect representation of that described in the Tain.

As an aside, I moved to Ireland from New York when I was 10 and fell in love with the fact that I suddenly started getting actual school lessons about Irish mythology. They don't do that in England and I've always wondered if that's done to the same extent in Fenno-Scandinavia and other regions with well-preserved mythological cultures...
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Christian
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Hey Myles,

Thanks for the link!

Yes Slaine (the first cycle) is a great spin off of the Mythological cycle! And the drawings of Simon Bisley are awesome, so powerful and playful...

Cheers!

 
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Brian K
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I was about to mention Kinsella's Tain, but honestly, once you get past the Tain and Dierdre, it gets tricky. Irish myth is a lot more fractured than Greek myth, where we had organized worship recording the details, and polished practitioners like Homer producing epics around them. Even the Tain reads more like collected vignettes at times. And to complicate things further, as a consequence of the 19th century cultural revival, a lot of what people tend to think of as Irish myth is actually a Victorian-esque re-imagining - much more coherent and sanitized than the bits that actually survive from the pre-Roman period. It's basically "Ok, here's a bunch of story fragments. Make of them what you will." But a lot of them are super tantalizing.

Edit - Oh, and Mad Sweeney survives more or less intact. Seamus Heaney's translation is pretty good. (Although that's also newer).
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