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Fiery Shapes – Celestial Portents and Astrology in Ireland and Wales 700–1700 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Fiery Shapes: Celestial Portents and Astrology in Ireland and Wales 700–1700

Mark Williams


The presentation of the magical and mantic in Celtic literature has persistently been dogged by misunderstanding and over-romanticised readings. Among the misconceptions about the ancient and medieval Celtic peoples, the notion of a specifically ‘Celtic’ astrology remains widespread in the popular mind. This study aims to counter such myth-making, and to demonstrate how a number Irish and Welsh literary writers in the medieval and Early Modern period conceived of portents in the heavens — comets, blood-coloured moons, darkened suns — and what they knew of the complex art of astrology. The book ... More

Keywords: Celtic, astrology, portents, Welsh, Irish, Merlin, prophet, druid

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199571840
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571840.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark Williams, author
Research Fellow, Peterhouse, Cambridge
Author Webpage