Words & Learning

In the dim and distants past, beyond the ken of history, the Irish people told stories which, prior to the art of writing, were passed from father to son. Time went on, as these stories were retold, improved and modified by successive seanchaithe or storytellers. Scholars believe that the main stories were written between the seventh and ninth centuries. Unfortunately none of these original transcripts remain with us, as the manuscript books that contained them were destroyed. Yet we have copies of many of the tales, in the Book of Dun Cow and the Book of Leinster, dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries.