ENG 306 Seminar: Foundations of Celtic Europe

Craig Davis, T 3:00 PM-4:50 PM

Foundations of Celtic Europe: Old European, Indo-European, Etruscan, Greek, and Roman

A study of the civilization of the Celts, the only Indo-European people to adopt the Old European cult of the great mother as their dominant divinity, creating the La Tène complex in the fourth century BC after contacts with Etruscans and Greeks. The Celtic tradition of art and imagination was replicated in Britain and Ireland for centuries into the first millennium AD, ultimately yielding such manuscript treasures as the Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels, as well as vernacular poems and sagas of two parallel universes, this world and Annwfn ‘the Unworld’, neither home to the gods nor land of the dead, but a preternatural realm whose inhabitants interact in love or hostility with humans.

In addition to looking at aspects of material culture, we will read Greek and Roman authors on the ancient Celts, as well as religious and literary texts composed in Old Irish, medieval Welsh, medieval Latin, Anglo-Norman, Old French and Middle English. One seminar project and presentation.