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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Celtic

Postgraduate Course: Fianaigheacht: Tales, Ballads and Tradition (CELT11044)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis seminar-based course considers a range of key issues relating to the literary field of fianaigheacht, addressing, among other topics:

* The social and literary concept of the fian and the associated genres of literature
* the nature of the literary environment which generated the texts
* the development of fianaigheacht over time
* key aspects of oral and manuscript transmission
* the motivations that underlie the collection and preservation of texts
* the status and characteristic features of key texts as literary material and within the canon of Gaelic literature
* the differences and commonalities that pertain to Gaelic Ireland and Gaelic Scotland in relation to the genres studied
* the development of the scholarly debates of the eighteenth century relating to fianaigheacht and their eventual resolution
* the literary significance of James Macpherson¿s Ossian and its relationship to the heroic ballads
Course description 1. Gaelic Ireland: The Early Irish traditions of fianaigecht: prose and verse

2. Purveyors of Gaelic literature and literary culture in the Middle Ages

3. Gathering together the strands of fianaigheacht: Acallam na Senórach

4. Early Modern genres of fianaigheacht: themes, forms, and characteristics

5. Gaelic Scotland: The Book of the Dean of Lismore

6. Gaelic Ireland: Duanaire Finn and the manuscript tradition

7. Gaelic Scotland: James Macpherson, the Ossianic Controversy and Macpherson¿s imitators

8. Gaelic Ireland: scribal culture and the scholarly response to Macpherson

9. Gaelic Scotland: collecting fianaigheacht in the eighteenth century

10. Gaelic Scotland: the place of fianaigheacht in John Francis Campbell¿s work

11. Course Review
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. explain the literary characteristics of the different texts and genres of fíanaigheacht;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the linguistic backgrounds of the texts studied in translation;
  3. analyse the texts in the light of the changing social and intellectual environments in which they originated;
  4. demonstrate a detailed understanding of the different processes of literary and oral transmission and preservation of the texts;
  5. demonstrate competence in transferable skills, e.g. close engagement with texts, critical evaluation of source material, independent reading, coherent and clearly structured writing at an academic level, oral presentation, group discussion, time management.
Reading List
Arbuthnot, Sharon J. & Geraldine Parsons, eds, The Gaelic Finn Tradition, (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2012) 179-194.

Breatnach, Risteárd A., 'Two Eighteenth-Century Irish Scholars: J.C. Walker and Charlotte Brooke', Studia Hibernica 5 (1965), 88-97.

Brooke, Charlotte, Reliques of Irish Poetry (Dublin 1789)

Bruford, Alan, 'Oral and Literary Fenian Tales', Béaloideas, 54-55 (1986-87), 25-56.

Bruford, Alan, Gaelic Folk-Tales and Mediaeval Romances (Dublin 1969)

Campbell, John Francis, ed. and tr., Popular Tales of the West Highlands vol.3 (Paisley 1892 and reprints)

Campbell, John Gregorson, ed. and tr., The Fians (Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition vol.4) (London 1891)

Carey, John, ed., Duanaire Finn: Reassessments (London 2003)

Christiansen, Reidar T, The Vikings and the Viking Wars in Gaelic and Irish Tradition (Oslo, 1931)

Cross, Tom Peete, 'The Gaelic "Ballad of the Mantle"', Modern Philology XVI (1918-1919), 649-658.

Dillon, Myles, Early Irish Literature (Blackrock 1997, reprint of 1948 edition)

Dooley, Ann & Harry Roe, tr., Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Oxford 1999).

Gaskill, Howard, ed., Ossian Revisited (Edinburgh 1991)

Gaskill, Howard, ed., The Reception of Ossian in Europe (London/New York 2004)

Gillies, William, 'Heroes and Ancestors', B. Almqvist, S. Ó Catháin, P. Ó Héalaí (eds.): The Heroic Process - Form, Function and Fantasy in Folk Epic (Dun Laoghaire 1987); pp.57-73.

Gillies, William, 'Arthur in Gaelic Tradition - Part I: Folktales and Ballads' Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 2 (Winter 1981), 47-72.

Gowans, Linda, Am Bròn Binn - An Arthurian Ballad in Scottish Gaelic (Eastbourne 1992)

Gunderloch, Anja, '18th Century Literary Fraud and Oral Tradition: the "Real" Ossian', Dietrich Scheunemann, ed., Orality, Literacy and Modern Media (Columbia 1996), 44-61.

Gunderloch, Anja, 'Duncan Kennedy, Collector and Poet', Scottish Gaelic Studies, vol. 28 (2011) 55-95.

Gunderloch, Anja, 'Duncan Kennedy and his heroic ballads', The Gaelic Finn Tradition, ed. by Arbuthnot, Sharon J. & Geraldine Parsons (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2012) 179-194.

Harmon, Maurice, tr., The Colloquy of the Old Men (Acallam na Senórach) (Dublin 2001)

Hill, Thomas F., Antient Erse Poems, Collected among the Scottish Highlands, in Order to Illustrate the Ossian of Mr Macpherson (n.p. 1784)

McCone, Kim R., 'Werewolves, Cyclopes, Díberga and Fíanna: Juvenile Delinquency in Early Ireland', Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, 12 (1986), 1-22.

MacGregor, Martin, 'The View from Fortingall: the worlds of the Book of the Dean of Lismore', Scottish Gaelic Studies 22 (2006), 35-85.

Maciver, Iain F., et al., eds, Lamplighter and Story-Teller ¿ John Francis Campbell of Islay 1821-1885 (Edinburgh 1985)

Mackenzie, Henry, (ed.), Report of the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland, appointed to inquire into the nature and authenticity of the Poems of Ossian (Edinburgh 1805)

MacKinnon, Donald, 'Collection of Ossianic Ballads by Jerome Stone', Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 14 (1887-1888), 314-369.

MacNeill, Eóin, ed. and tr., Duanaire Finn vol. 1 (London 1908)

Macpherson, James, The Poems of Ossian and Related Works Edinburgh 1996)

Matheson, William, 'Laoidh Fhraoich', Tocher 35 (1981), 292-297.

Meek, Donald, E., 'The Gaelic Ballads of Scotland: Creativity and Adaptation', Hugh Gaskill, ed., Ossian Revisited (Edinburgh 1991), 18-48.

Meek, Donald, E., 'Táin Bó Fraích and other Fráech-Texts - a Study in Thematic Relationships' (two parts), Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 7 (Summer 1984), 1-37 and 8 (Winter 1984), 65-85.

Meek, Donald, E., 'The Death of Diarmaid in Scottish and Irish Tradition¿, Celtica 21 (1990), 335-361.

Meek, Donald, E., 'Development and Degeneration in Gaelic Ballad texts', B. Almqvist, S. Ó Catháin, P. Ó Héalaí, eds., The Heroic Process - Form, Function and Fantasy in Folk Epic (Dun Laoghaire 1987), 131-160.

Meek, Donald, E., 'The Banners of the Fian in Gaelic Ballad Tradition', Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 11 (Summer 1986), 29-69.

Meek, Donald, E., 'The Gaelic Ballads of Mediaeval Scotland', Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 55 (1986-1988), 47-72.

Meyer, Kuno, Fianaigecht, Royal Irish Academy: Todd Lectures, vol.16 (1910), (Dublin 1910).

Meyer, Kuno, 'Finn and the Man in the Tree' Revue Celtique, vol. 25 (1904), 344-349.

Murphy, Gerard, ed. and tr., Duanaire Finn vol. 2 (Dublin/London, 1933)

Murphy, Gerard, ed. and tr., Duanaire Finn vol. 3 (Dublin/London, 1953)

Murphy, Gerard, The Ossianic Lore and Romantic Tales of Mediaeval Ireland (Dublin 1955)

Murray, Damien, Romanticism, Nationalism and Irish Antiquarian Societies, 1840-80 (Maynooth 2000).

Nagy, Joseph Falaky, 'Compositional Concerns in the Acallamh na Senórach', in Sages, Saints and Storytellers: Celtic Studies in Honour of Professor James Carney, ed. Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Liam Breatnach and Kim McCone, Maynooth Monographs, 2 (Maynooth 1989), pp. 149-58

Nagy, Joseph Falaky, 'Oral Tradition in the Acallam na Senórach', in Oral Tradition in the Middle Ages, ed. W.F.H. Nicolaisen, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 112 (Binghampton, NY 1995), pp. 77-95

Nagy, Joseph Falaky, Conversing with Angels and Ancients: Literary Myths of Medieval Ireland (Dublin/Ithaca 1997)

Nagy, Joseph Falaky, 'Life in the Fast Lane: The Acallam na Senórach', in Medieval Celtic Literature and Society, ed. Helen Fulton (Dublin 2005), pp. 117-31

Nagy, Joseph Falaky, The Wisdom of the Outlaw (London/Berkeley, 1985)

Ní Shéaghdha, Nessa, 'Collectors of Irish Manuscripts: Motives and Methods', Celtica 17 (1985), 1-28. (An Leabharlann, in folder).

Ní Úrdail, Meidhbhín, The Scribe in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Ireland: Motivations and Milieu (Münster, 2000).

O¿Conor, Charles, 'Origins of the Royal Irish Academy', Studies 38 (1949), 325-337.

O'Daly, John ed., Laoithe Fiannaigheachta (Transactions of the Ossianic Society of Dublin vol. IV) (Dublin 1859)

Ó Fiannachta, Pádraig, 'The Development of the Debate between Pádraig and Oisín', B. Almqvist, S. Ó Catháin, P. Ó Héalaí, eds., The Heroic Process - Form, Function and Fantasy in Folk Epic (Dun Laoghaire 1987), 183-205.

O'Kearney, Nicolas, ed., Transactions of the Ossianic Society, for the Year 1853, Vol.I: Battle of Gabhra (Dublin 1854)

Parsons, Geraldine, 'The Structure of Acallam na Senórach', Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 55 (2008), 11-39.

Robinson, Fred Norris, 'A Variant of the Gaelic "Ballad of the Mantle"', Modern Philology I (1903-1904), 145-157.

Ross, Neil, ed. and tr., Heroic Poetry from the Book of the Dean of Lismore (Edinburgh, 1939)

Stafford, Fiona, The Sublime Savage - James Macpherson and the Poems of Ossian (Edinburgh 1988)

Thomson, Derick S., ed. and tr., The MacDiarmaid Manuscript Anthology (SGTS - Edinburgh 1991)

Thomson, Derick S., The Gaelic Sources of Macpherson's Ossian (Edinburgh/London 1951)

Thomson, Derick S., 'Bogus Gaelic Literature c.1750-c.1820', Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Glasgow V (1958), 172-188.

Thomson, Derick S., 'Macpherson¿s Ossian: Ballads to Epics' B. Almqvist, S. Ó Catháin, P. Ó Héalaí, eds., The Heroic Process - Form, Function and Fantasy in Folk Epic (Dun Laoghaire 1987), 243-264.

Thomson, Derick S., 'The McLagan Manuscripts in Glasgow University Library: A Survey', Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 58 (1992-1994), 406-424.

Thompson, Francis, 'John Francis Campbell', Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 54 (1984-1986), 1-54.

Young, Rev. Matthew, 'Ancient Gaelic Poems respecting the Race of the Fians, collected in the Highlands of Scotland in the year 1784', Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy vol. I (part 3: Antiquities) (1787), 43-119.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will be expected to develop their critical skills in understanding and analysing literary texts from different contexts and periods in the light of both historical and current scholarly discourses.
Course organiserDr Anja Gunderloch
Tel: (0131 6)51 1374
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Harvey
Tel: (0131 6)51 5470
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