…and want to know more about what medieval literary sources have to say about it?
Then, you’re in luck!
The School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies has made available this statutory public lecture from last year’s Tionól; the lecture took place at Trinity College Dublin, and was by Prof. Fergus Kelly, and is introduced by Prof. Damian McManus. (Prof. Kelly is one of the nicest Celticists, and one of the nicest and most gentlemanly human beings, you could ever have the pleasure of meeting; and Prof. McManus is, too!)
Just to entice you further–in this lecture, you will learn about things such as:
–how a Latin word for a Dionysian-related instrument came to mean “harp” in Old Irish
–how an Irish writer didn’t have the vocabulary to describe the “dance” of Salome in an account of the beheading of John the Baptist
–how the three things that Ireland was renowned for in one Triad were its music, its poetry, and its shaving of faces (!?!)
–how a late 19th century scholar mistook the word that means “organ (or any musical instrument)” for “destruction,” with some rather hilarious consequences
–and much, much more!
This lecture reminds me of the several occasions on which I met and spoke with Prof. Kelly (especially at the annual Tionól, as well as on a few other occasions), and what the sorts of lecture I attended in Ireland regularly were like in terms of their depth of detail, the simultaneous specificity and yet breadth of the knowledge of those who work in these fields (including, in relation to some subjects, myself!), and the sheer amount of data about which we simply do not and cannot know in relation to these things that happened or that were written about less than a millennium ago. If you’d like a little more than an hour’s experience of what six years of my doctoral degree and its attendant lectures and some of the areas of study related to it was like (and many of the texts cited by Prof. Kelly are things that I used in my own studies, because they also have information on dogs in them!), go ahead and give this a listen.