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A Great Source Book for Historical Celtic Atrifacts
on 7 May 2015
Frankly, I think that the book is perhaps incorrectly titled, or could use a rewrite with some serious additions. Miranda Green is a professor of Archaeology, not Celtic Mythology, and I was looking for a specialist breakdown of Celtic mythology, legend and folklore. All that I desired was a fast, reliable break down of the Lebor Gabála Érenn and the Mabinogion for research purposes, to be honest Miranda Green's, 'Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend' did not suit 'my' purposes really.
It is a very good book if you are looking for a phenomenal quantity of illustrations and photographs of ancient Celtic sites, museum pieces, bog bodies and items such as the Gundestrup Cauldron. It is well researched and put together. As noted above Miranda Green is a highly qualified academic and has been interviewed for television documentaries including the bog bodies. She knows her stuff! And her approach to understanding Roman, Greek and Celtic ancient gods is recognisably structured and intelligent.
For me, there was no where enough myth or legend.
For example, I was looking for information on Donn, the god of the dead; like many people I had him confused with Donn Fierna of Knockfierna mountain in County Limerick. Green's entry for Donn is interesting, she recognises the affinity with Dispater the Roman lord of the dead, but does not state that there is any confusion with Donn Fierna, the faery king of Knockfierna. There also seems to be a link between Donn the Milesian god of the dead (IRL), and Arawn lord of the united Otherworld (Wales) in certain circles it is said that Arawn was also known as Donn; in Irish, the word donn means brown; Arawn said to be brown skinned, again not discussed, nor dismissed. There is no entry under leprechauns; but there's a huge history dating back to the Lebor Gabála Érenn. That's just two topics that could have been fleshed out further for an updated version.