Fall 2017: Celtic Studies 128

Medieval Celtic Cultures

4 units
206 Dwinelle
MWF 10-11
Annalee Rejhon

L&S Breadth: Historical Studies OR Social & Behavioral Sciences

A study of medieval Celtic culture as it is reflected in Irish and Welsh texts ranging from literary works to law tracts and historical chronicles.  The course examines the sweep of medieval Celtic culture, beginning with its pre-history and extending to the thirteenth century, but with a focus on the last centuries of that time frame; it will examine how Celtic culture fared in the face of Anglo-Norman incursions and will briefly study how Celtic material became a major source for European literature.  The works for Irish include the pseudo-historical Book of Invasions, the Testimony of Morann, the Bee Laws, tales from the Finn Cycle, and Gerald of Wales’ History and Topography of Ireland.  For Wales, texts include the Gododdin, Culhwch and Olwen, the Chronicle of the Princes (extracts), the Laws of Hywel Dda, and Gerald of Wales’ Description of Wales.  Irish, Welsh, and Norse versions of the Tristan legend will also be read.  All texts will be available in English translation.

Course requirements include a midterm and final examination.

Jarman, A.O.H.  Aneirin:  Y Gododdin.  Llandysul, Dyfed:  Gomer Press, 1988. ISBN-13: 9780863833540
Jenkins, Dafydd, ed. & tr.  The Law of Hywel Dda.  Llandysul, Dyfed:  Gomer Press, 1990.  ISBN-13: 9780863832772
Ford, Patrick, tr.  The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales.  Berkeley and Los Angeles:  Univ. of Calif. Press, 1977.  ISBN-13: 9780520253964
Thorpe, Lewis, tr.  Gerald of Wales:  The Journey through Wales/The Description of Wales.  New York:  Penguin Books, 1978.  ISBN-13: 9780140443394
O’Meara, John J., tr.  Gerald of Wales:  The History & Topography of Ireland.  New York:  Penguin Books, 1982.   ISBN-13: 9780140444230

In addition to the books, two Readers will be available for purchase at Copy Central.  TBA

Prerequisites: None.