Dictionary of Celtic Mythology

Dictionary of Celtic Mythology

3.86 (61 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


The Celts were one of the great founding civilizations of Europe and the first North European people to emerge into recorded history, producing a vibrant labyrinth of mythological tales and sagas that have influenced the literary traditions of Europe and the world. The first A-Z reference of its kind, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology is fascinating and accessible guide to the gods and goddesses, the heroes and heroines, the magical weapons, fabulous beasts, and otherworld entities that populate the myths of this rich European culture. Like A Dictionary of Irish Mythology before it, this is a who's who and what's what of the epic Celtic sagas and tales. Predated only by Greek and Latin by virtue of the fact that the Celtic languages were not written until the early Christian era, Celtic mythology is a development from a far earlier oral tradition containing voices from the dawn of European civilization. The peoples of these Celtic cultures survive today on the western seaboard of Europe--the Irish, Manx, and Scots, who make up the Goidelic- (or Gaelic) speaking branch of Celts, and the Welsh, Cornish, and Brentons, who represent the Brythonic-speaking branch. And it is in these languages that their vibrant and fascinating mythology has been recorded and appreciated throughout the world. In his introduction, Ellis discusses the roles of these six cultures, the evolution (or demise) of the languages, and the relationship between the legends, especially the Irish and Welsh, the two major Celtic cultures. From Celtic legends have come not only the stories of Cuchulainn and Fionn MacCumhail, of Deidre of the Sorrows and the capricious Grainne, but the stories of the now world-famous Arthur, and the romantic tragedy of Tristan and Iseult. An easy-to-read handbook, The Dictionary of Celtic Mythology presents a fascinating window to centuries of rich oral and written tradtion from the mists of Europe's origins.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 135.6 x 202.9 x 12.7mm | 223.94g
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195089618
  • 9780195089615
  • 968,038

Review quote

"A very good introduction....Entries are thorough and well written. An excellent selected bibliography rounds out this interesting reference."--Booklist "Makes available in convenient form copious information about [this] rich tradition."--Wilson Library Bulletin "Accessible....Especially useful to students unfamiliar with the subject....Its easy-to-use format and readable text will make it a welcome resource for students as well as for fans of epics and romances."--School Library Journal "Just what I was looking for to accompany required texts--it helps the student organize the unfamiliar....An excellent text for Celtic studies. It helps make sense of the seeming chaos of unfamiliar material."--Jan Anderson, Clackamas Community Collegeshow more

About Peter Berresford Ellis

Peter Berresford Ellis is a historian and novelist. He is the author of twenty-four books including A Dictionary of Irish Mythology (Oxford, 1991).show more

Back cover copy

An easy-to-read handbook, the Dictionary of Celtic Mythology presents a fascinating window to centuries of rich oral and written tradition from the mists of Europe's origins.show more

Rating details

61 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 25% (15)
4 43% (26)
3 28% (17)
2 5% (3)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X