The The Lebor Gabála tells of a series of mythical Irish migration stories, which can be traced back to a very early date. Its history is somewhat complex and, although fascinating, it is not an ‘easy read’. So, join Chris and Jamie as they share Jamie’s new telling. ‘The Writing of The Takings’. Jamie has created an entertaining and highly amusing interpretation, which gets to the heart of how and why these mythical migration stories were so valued.
Read the full version of The Writing of the Takings. Highly recommended!
Jamie is planning to record an audio version of ‘The Writing of the Takings’. I will add a link to this as soon as it is available. Meanwhile, find out more about Jamie’s writing on Jamiemadden.org
About the Lebor Gabála / The Book of Invasions or the Book of the Taking of Ireland
The ‘Book of Invasions’ (‘Leabhar Gabhála’ in modern Irish) is not the name of a specific manuscript. Rather it is an origin legend of the Irish people that exists in many variant versions, in poetry and prose. The origins of the tradition can be traced to the seventh century, although the earliest surviving manuscripts are much later. The story was extensively reworked in verse form in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Over time, prose versions were derived from the poetry, and additional historical material was added. It was revised again in the seventeenth century by the team of historians known as the Four Masters. It continued to be accepted as a plausible story of the settlement of people on the island of Ireland long after that.
The core of the story of the peopling of Ireland was built on top of biblical traditions. It begins with Noah and the Flood, and Noah’s granddaughter Cesair (she does not feature in the Bible), who was said to be the first to arrive in Ireland. The next wave involved the Parthalonians, descendants of Japhet, son of Noah, but they succumbed to plague. The third wave of settlers, descendants of Nemed, were vaguely related to the Parthalonians. The Nemedians were eventually defeated by the Formorians. Some Nemedians later returned from Greece as the Fir Bolg. They, in turn, were replaced by the Tuatha Dé Danann. A second strand traces other descendants of Japhet, including Fénius Farsaid and his grandson, Goídel Glas (the term ‘Gael’ is traced to him). Later, Breóghan, descended from Goídel Glas, viewed Ireland from a tower in Galicia on a clear night. His grandson, Míl Espáine, went to Ireland, where he defeated the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Clann Mhíleadh (‘sons of Míl’), Ír, Éibhear and Éireamhón and their descendants, became established in Ireland.