display | more...
The Book of Invasions
Leabhar Gabhála Érenn

Preserved in several late manuscripts (12th to 15th C), the Book of Invasions is a sort of pseudo-history of the populating of Ireland, starting with creation to the coming of the Milesians, who are likely Iberian Celts. Similar to the early British histories, it serves to tie the Irish to the continent, while recording early pieces of mythology, and its tales are often called "The Mythological Cycle" to distinguish it from The Ulster Cycle and the Fenian Cycle:

  • I. From the Creation to the Dispersal of the Nations
  • II: The Ancestors of the Gaedil:
    • The Roman Conquest of Egypt
    • Míl in Egypt
    • The Four Divisions of Gaelic
    • The Importance of History
    • The Four Names of the Language
  • III: The Invasion of Cessair
  • IV: The Invasion of Partholon
  • V: The Invasion of Nemed
  • VI: The Invasion of the Fomorians and Fir Bolg
  • VII. The Invasion of the Tuatha de Danaans.
  • VIII. The Invasion of the Sons of Míl
  • IX. The Roll of the Kings before Christianity.
  • X.The Roll of the Kings after Christianity

Parts have been translated; the best available collection is Cross & Slover's Ancient Irish Tales, which for the most part sticks to the "conquests" and skips the things in Vol II.

It is thought that the text does preserve some record of actual successive populations of the island by different groups, ending with the Celts. This has been bourne out by science; as the Fir Bolg are called dark and short, they are likely a race of neolithic hunters who have gone on to be labled the Black Irish.

The earliest recording is in the Book of Leinster, dated around 1150 CE. A copy of this edition can be found at http://members.aol.com/lochlan2/lebor.htm

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.