Both Scotland and Ireland possess common roots of language, culture, and tradition. Throughout the past two thousand years, these two lands, though separated by the Irish Sea, have nonetheless shared many triumphs and woes. The course will provide a basis for students to understand the complex relationship between these two Celtic nations. Foundations of the Gael begins this story with the rise of Celtic culture in ancient Europe. Fundamentals of the Celtic world will be exposed and analyzed through classical sources like the Romans as well as traditional myths and legends that reveal more than most people think. The course is organized into two parts with seven lectures and a quiz in each part. This equates to nearly an hour and a half of content in the lectures themselves.
An introduction to not only the subject of the ancient Celts, but also to the type of sources that the information has been gleaned from and the possible benefits and pitfalls of the different types of sources.
Further talk of possible sources as well as a bit of a traditional tale that illustrates the possibility of bias in the sources.
A telling of a traditional Celtic legend which explains how the Celtic peoples first came to Ireland.
An investigation and in-depth look at the "Sons of the Mil" legend to see what aspects of the legend can be backed up with historical sources and what we can learn from such stories.
A description of one of the cycles of Irish mythology and the beginings of its most widely known story.
A continuation of the Tain story-line as well as a look at warrior women in Celtic history and tales.
A look at ritualized combat among the Celts and the conclusion of the Tain.
Looking at the advances in technology in the ancient world and the subsequent changes that brought about the Celtic culture.
Relating how the Celts spread their culture across the whole of the European continent.
A look at the early history of Rome and their first interactions and clashes with their Celtic neighbors.
A massive Celtic migration through Roman lands caused the rise of a great Roman general and the formation of the well-known professional Roman Legion.
Probably the most well-known Roman general in history conquers the Celts in Gaul, but not without opposition.
The Roman experience in Briatin and a rebellion that would almost push them out of the Isles entirely.
The consolidation of Roman power in the South of Britain and the campaigns of the general Agricola into what is now Scotland.
I've been fascinated in history, arms and armor, and Celtic culture since I was a kid. Following this passion has resulted in a B.A. in History, a Certificate of Celtic Studies, and a M.A. in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies. This last degree I earned from the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
I've also been involved in various living history and reenactment organizations for over 13 years. I have performed educational weapons demonstrations and presentations for both adults and children as well as acting as an assistant and guest instructor for several martial arts classes.