THE OGHAM STONE

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Other Books / Reviews

 

This book contains the 12th-century Irish grammatical treatise, Auraicept na n-…ces (Auraicept na n-‚eces = The scholars' primer), which is devoted to the training of poets in the art of grammar. The Auraicept is unique among medieval grammatical works in that it represents the earliest vernacular tradition in Europe. Its earliest ('canonical') parts date as far back as the 7th century. In its present form, it contains much ancient material relating to the Latin and Ogham alphabets, the nature of Old Irish and Latin gender, comparison, and declension. Added to this there is much commentary and annotation from later periods.

The Auraicept is, in effect, a syllabus of poetic education that pre-dates the Bardic schools, as well as informing them throughout their long history (the text is mentioned in the Bardic Introductory Tract and as late as Keating's History of Ireland.

In this edition, George Calder collated the two most important texts of the Auraicept - those from the Book of Ballymote and the Yellow Book of Lecan.

Note however, that some have some interesting opinions on what the book actually is:
The Auraicept is a magical comedy written and added to between c.650-1000 CE, and is thinly disguised as an ancient learned treatise describing the hoary antiquity of ogham.... more


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Last Updated: November 2002