April 24, 2013



Studies in prose and verse of the etymology and history of place-names in Ireland: streams, raths, mounds and rocks, preserved in variant forms in 12th-century and later monastic manuscripts.

The Dinnsheanchas constitute what the 20th-century scholar Robin Flower has aptly called "a kind of Dictionary of National Topography".

They contain much pre-Christian mythology, especially stories of gods and fairies. The most famous is the Dinnsheanchas describing over 200 locations, ascribed to Amergin mac Amhalgaidh, a poet to King Diarmaid in the 6th century. It is preserved in the Rawlinson manuscript (Bodleian Library, oxford) and in the Book of Ballymote.

It was an important source for poets who were expected to be familiar with the lore of each area.

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