Literature in Gaelic I

Duncan Sneddon, M. Pía Coira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter is divided in two parts: before and after 1200. Naturally, all periodisations in literary history are fairly arbitrary, but 1200 is a meaningful inflexion point here for linguistic reasons (as the conventional beginning of Early Modern Gaelic) as well as changes in the social structures and patronage of Gaelic intellectual life. The explorer of medieval Scotland's Gaelic literature is rather like an adventurer in one of the immrama, (‘voyage tales’). In late medieval Gaelic Scotland two distinct literary streams remained in place, one oral and the other written. While the oral dimension of Gaelic literature has often been noted and emphasised, to the educated professionals of Gaelic society, commonly termed learned orders or learned classes, the written record was of paramount importance. Religious prose (and verse) texts come in a variety of genres: sermons, instructional tracts, hagiographical pieces, and of course prayers and charms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Scottish Literature
EditorsGerard Carruthers
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781119651550
ISBN (Print)9781119651444
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Gaelic intellectual life
  • Gaelic literature
  • linguistic reasons
  • medieval Scotland
  • oral dimension
  • religious prose
  • written record


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