story Archaeology

Exploring stories in the landscape
The Book of Ballymote

Reading List

Bibliography and links to online resources

On this page, you will find full references to all texts referred to in the articles and podcasts.  There are links to online versions of texts where available, links to sites where texts can be purchased, and to good online resources and reading lists.

If we have omitted a text that you think should be included, please contact us and let us know.  We’ll keep updating this page as we go along.

Enjoy reading!

Online Resources

The best online resource for original Irish texts online is CELT, a project at University College Cork.

A related project has put Hogan’s Onamasticon Goedelicum online.  This text lists place-names mentioned in a wide range of Irish texts, and attempts to identify the places in modern Ireland.


Many texts and translations relating to Celtic Literature, including a vast set of Irish texts, have been gathered together on The Celtic Literature Collective:


The Irish Folklore Commission of 1937 collected stories and folklore from all over Ireland, often getting schoolchildren to scribe the stories of elderly relatives and neighbours.  The Commission’s research is housed in the National Folklore Collection at the National University of Ireland, Dublin (aka UCD).

These websites by Will Parker give an in-depth account of the Welsh mythological cycle, often called the Mabinogi(on):

This classic translation of the Mabinogion can be read online:

Jones, Gwyn and Jones, Thomas. The Mabinogion. Golden Cockerel Press, 1948. Omits “Taliesin”.

And here is a link to an ongoing study project about the Mabinogion:


Many out-of-copyright texts of all kind are being made available on   This incredible project not only works to make all public domain media available for free to everyone, but simultaneously stores hard copies of all this information for future generations.  We have a public bookmark list of texts of interest to Story Archaeologists here:

For websites with archaeological and artistic resources, see the “Links List” on the right of each page.

Studies and Compilations

A Guide to Early Irish Law

by Fergus Kelly

This is a crucial book that reviews the huge corpus of Irish law and status texts.  Its importance is partly because it is arranged by topic rather than by text, and is both comprehensive and readable.  A must for the bookshelf of anyone interested in Early Irish Society!

Buy this book from Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies:

Early Irish Farming

by Fergus Kelly

A “sequel” to A Guide to Early Irish Law.  This book breaks down the boundaries between disciplines, as it compares textual evidence with archaeological discoveries to build a picture of life for people in Early Irish Society.  It also reviews evidence by topic, making a fascinating insight into the lives of the authors and audiences of Early Irish literature.

Buy this book from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies:

On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish: a series of lectures

by Eugene O’Curry; edited by William K. Sullivan

One of the first works to take a comprehensive view of the Irish manuscript tradition.  O’Curry’s translations and conclusions are often flawed, but the book has been incredibly influential. (For more on this, read “The Importance of the Source”)

Volume 1 (Introduction by William K. Sullivan):

Volume 2 (includes O’Curry’s version of the story of Sinann):

Volume 3 (includes bibliographic information):

Three Irish Glossaries: Cormac’s glossary, O’Davoran’s glossary and the glossary of Oengus Céile Dé

Edited by  Whitley Stokes

These medieval glossaries show us the scholarly ideas of our medieval predecessors.  While they are not an accurate guide to the language and lore of pre-9th century Ireland, they are nonetheless influential and sometimes informative.

Irische Texte : mit ersetzungen und Wterbuch

edited with translations by Whitley Stokes and Ernst Windisch

This is a collection of various Irish texts, but includes the “Mittleirische Verslehren”, a text concerning the training of poets, edited by Rudolf Thurneysen.

Recommended Reading

Myths of the World: A Thematic Encyclopedia

by Michael Jordan

An interesting and entertaining overview of myths from every corner of the world, groups according to themes.  We use extracts from this book in “Stories of Creation“.

View on Google Books:

The Rites of Brigid: Goddess and Saint

by Seán Ó Duinn

This book contains a wide selection of traditions associated with St. Brigid and the festival of Imbolc / Lá ‘le Bhríde.  Ó Duinn has done extensive research using the Irish Folklore Commission, and quotes directly from this research in his book.

View on Google Books:


The Ark Before Noah

by Irving Finkel
(highly recommended)
A truly Story-Archaeological investigation of the earliest ancestors to the Biblical story of the great flood.

Worlds of Arthur

by Guy Halsall

An academic investigation of the textual evidence (or lack thereof) for a historical King Arthur. Unusually, it includes Ireland as part of the European context for the material.

Original Irish Texts and Translations

Here are links to the texts from CELT we have used:

The Metrical Dindshenchas

Edited by Edward Gwynn

Volume 1:

Volume 2:

Volume 3:

Volume 4:

Translations by Edward Gwynn

Volume 1:

Volume 2:

Volume 3:

Volume 4:

 The Book of Leinster / Lebor Laigin (LL)

Edited by R. I. Best, Osborn Bergin and M. A. O’Brien

Volume 1:

Volume 2:

Volume 3:

Volume 4:

Volume 5:

The Fitness of Names / Cóir Anmann

Edited by Whitley Stokes

The Colloquy of the Ancients / Acallam na Senórach

Edited by Whitley Stokes

The Dindshenchas of Emain Macha

Edited by Kuno Meyer

 The Book of Invasions / Lebor Gabála

Contained in the Book of Leinster, Volume 1, Section 1

Edited by R. I. Best, Osborn Bergin and M. A. O’Brien

The Battle of Moytura / Cath Maige Tuired

Edited by Elizabeth Gray

Translation by Elizabeth Gray

The Cattle Raid of Cooley / Táin Bó Cullaigne

Edited Cecile O’Rahilly

Recension 1:

Translation by Cecile O’Rahilly

from the Book of Leinster (LL):

Translation by Cecile O’Rahilly

The Cattle Raid of Fraoch / Táin Bó Fraoch

Edited by Wolfgang Meid

Bricriu’s Feast / Fled Bricrenn

Edition from Codex Vossianus, Ludwig Christian Stern

Translation by George Henderson, Irish Texts Society, 1899 [Lebor na hUidre version]:

The Wooing of Étaín / Tocmairc Étaíne

Edited by Osborn Bergin and R. I. Best

Translation by Osborn Bergin and R. I. Best


The Conception of Cú Chulainn / Compert Chon Chulaind

Edited by A. G. van Hamel

The Life of Brigit / Bethu Brigte

from the Book of Lismore (Rawlinson B 512)

Edited by Donnchadh Ó hAodha

Translation by Donnchadh Ó hAodha

The Life of Brigit / Betha Brigte

from Lebar Brecc (RIA 1230)

Edited by Whitley Stokes

Translation by Whitley Stokes

The Melodies of the House of Buchet / Esnada Tige Buchet

Edited by David Greene

The Destruction of Dá Derga’s Hostel / Togáil Bruiden Dá Derga

Edited by Whitley Stokes

Translated by Whitley Stokes

Reicne Fothaid Canainne

Edited by Kuno Meyer

Translation by Kuno Meyer

The Triads of Ireland

Edited by Kuno Meyer

Translated by Kuno Meyer

Saltar na Rann

Edited by Whitley Stokes

The Martyrology of Óengus the Culdee / Féilire Óengusso Céile Dé

Edited by Whitley Stokes

The Scholar’s Primer / Auraceipt na nÉces

Edited and translated by George W. Calder


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