Early and Medieval Irish
One of Ireland’s most remarkable and most under-exploited cultural treasures is its rich medieval literature. Accordingly, the primary research commitment of staff in the Department of Early and Medieval Irish is to the editing, translation, analysis and interpretation of early Irish texts. Within this framework, there are several areas on which research activity tends to concentrate: the history and culture of the church; secular legend and narrative; the interaction of indigenous and external elements in the culture as a whole; and the study of placenames. These concerns are broadly reflected in the range of projects which the Department hosts, or in which it participates:
- Apocrypha Hiberniae contributes editions of Irish apocryphal texts to the Corpus Christianorum series
- the Locus Project has been engaged since 1996 on the production of a historical dictionary of Gaelic placenames
- De Finibus: Christian Representations of the Afterlife in Medieval Ireland , funded by IRCHSS in the period 2008-11; the books resulting from the project’s researches appeared in 2014
- Celtic Digital Initiative () makes scarce resources available to students and scholars in electronic format, serving both as a portal and as an archive of digitised material;
- Irish Sagas Online, a student-focused website supplies reliable versions of the original texts of medieval Irish sagas with parallel translations into Modern Irish and English.
The Department collaborates with the Department of Modern Irish and the Irish Texts Society in holding an annual seminar, dedicated to the reassessment of various of the Society’s publications. The proceedings of each seminar are published in time for the seminar of the succeeding year.
The Department administers three MA programmes, along with PhD programmes in Celtic Civilisation and in Early and Medieval Irish.