Branwen is the name of a character in some versions of Tristan and Iseult. Branwen, Daughter of Llŷr is a major character in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, sometimes called the "Mabinogi of Branwen" after her. Branwen is a daughter of Penarddun, she is married to the King of Ireland. The story opens with Branwen's brother, Brân the Blessed and King of Britain, sitting on a rock by the sea at Harlech and seeing the vessels of Matholwch, king of Ireland, approaching. Matholwch has come to ask for the hand of Branwen in marriage. Brân agrees to this, a feast is held to celebrate the betrothal. While the feast is going on, Efnysien, a half-brother of Branwen and Brân, arrives and asks why there are celebrations. On being told, he is furious that his half sister has been given in marriage without his consent, vents his spleen by mutilating Matholwch's horses. Matholwch is offended, but conciliated by Brân, who gives him a magical cauldron which can bring the dead to life; when Matholwch returns to Ireland with his new bride, he consults with his nobles about the occurrences in the Isle of the Mighty.
They are outraged and believe that Matholwch was not compensated enough for the mutilation of his horses. In order to redeem his honor, Matholwch banishes Branwen to work in the kitchens. Branwen is treated cruelly by her husband Matholwch as punishment for Efnysien's mutilation of the horses, though not before she gives birth to an heir, Gwern, she tames a starling and sends it across the Irish Sea with a message to her brother and Brân brings a force from Wales to Ireland to rescue her. Some swineherds see the giant Brân wading the sea and report this to Matholwch, who retreats beyond a river and destroys the bridges. However, Brân lays himself down over the river to serve as a bridge for his men, he said. Matholwch, fearing war, tries to reconcile with Brân by building a house big enough for him to fit into in order to do him honour. Matholwch agrees to pacify Brân; the Irish lords do not like the idea, many hide themselves in flour bags tied to the pillars of the huge, newly-built house to attack the Welsh.
Efnysien, checking out the house prior to the arrival of Brân and his men, guesses what is happening and kills the hidden men by squeezing their heads. At the subsequent feast to celebrate Gwern's investiture as King of Ireland, Efnysien, in an unprovoked moment of rage, throws his nephew Gwern into the fire; this causes chaos between the two countries, they start fighting each other. Ireland keep throwing the dead soldiers into the magical cauldron, so that they have an infinite supply of warriors. However, Efnisien sees what he has done, regrets it, he jumps into the magical cauldron, pushes against its walls so that it explodes. The war is still bloody, leaves no survivors except for Branwen and seven Welsh soldiers, they sail home to Wales. Upon reaching Wales, they realize that Bran has been hit with a poisoned arrow on his leg, he dies. Branwen, overwhelmed with grief for everyone she has lost, dies of a broken heart. In the ensuing war, all the Irish are killed save for five pregnant women who lived in Wales who repopulate the island, while only seven of the Welsh survive to return home with Branwen, taking with them the severed head of Bendigeidfran.
On landing in Wales at Aber Alaw in Anglesey, Branwen dies of grief that so much destruction had been caused on her account, crying, Oi, a fab Duw! Gwae fi o'm genedigaeth. Da o ddwy ynys a ddiffeithwyd o'm hachos i!, "Oh Son of God, woe to me that I was born! Two fair islands have been laid waste because of me!" She was buried beside the Afon Alaw. Brân had commanded his men to cut off his head and to "bear it unto the White Mount, in London, bury it there, with the face towards France." And so for seven years, his men spent feasting in Harlech, accompanied by three singing birds and Brân's head. After the seven years they go to Gwales in Penfro, they go to London and bury the head of Brân in the White Mount. Legend said. At Llanddeusant, Anglesey on the banks of the Alaw can be found the cairn called Bedd Branwen, her supposed grave. Now in ruins, it still has one standing stone, it was dug up in 1800, again in the 1960s by Frances Lynch, who found several urns with human ashes. It is believed that if the story of Branwen is based on real events, these must have taken place during the Bedd Branwen Period of Bronze Age British history.
Mabinogion The Children of Llyr Medieval Welsh literature Christopher Williams painted three paintings from the Mabinogion. Brânwen can be viewed at Swansea. Branwen Ferch Lyr. Ed. Derick S. Thomson. Medieval and Modern Welsh Series Vol. II. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1976. ISBN 1-85500-059-8 Ford, Patrick K. "Branwen: A Study of the Celtic Affinities," Studia Celtica 22/23: 29-35. In 1994 a feature film was released called Branwen. Branwen Uerch Lŷr: The Second Branch Of The Mabinogi Translated by Lady Charlotte Guest Branwen uerch Lyr The original Welsh text Goddess Branwen Who was Branwen
Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure. For Celts in close contact with Ancient Rome, such as the Gauls and Celtiberians, their mythology did not survive the Roman Empire, their subsequent conversion to Christianity and the loss of their Celtic languages, it is through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either political or linguistic identities left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies that were put into written form during the Middle Ages. Although the Celtic world at its height covered much of western and central Europe, it was not politically unified nor was there any substantial central source of cultural influence or homogeneity. Inscriptions of more than three hundred deities equated with their Roman counterparts, have survived, but of these most appear to have been genii locorum, local or tribal gods, few were worshiped.
However, from what has survived of Celtic mythology, it is possible to discern commonalities which hint at a more unified pantheon than is given credit. The nature and functions of these ancient gods can be deduced from their names, the location of their inscriptions, their iconography, the Roman gods they are equated with, similar figures from bodies of Celtic mythology. Celtic mythology is found in a number of distinct, if related, subgroups corresponding to the branches of the Celtic languages: Ancient Celtic religion mythology in Goidelic languages, represented chiefly by Irish mythology Mythological Cycle Ulster Cycle Fenian Cycle Cycles of the Kings mythology in Brittonic languages Welsh mythology Cornish mythology Breton mythology As a result of the scarcity of surviving materials bearing written Gaulish, it is surmised that the most of the Celtic writings were destroyed by the Romans, although a written form of Gaulish using Greek and North Italic alphabets was used. Julius Caesar attests to the literacy of the Gauls, but wrote that their priests, the druids, were forbidden to use writing to record certain verses of religious significance while noting that the Helvetii had a written census.
Rome introduced a more widespread habit of public inscriptions, broke the power of the druids in the areas it conquered. Although early Gaels in Ireland and parts of modern Wales used the Ogham script to record short inscriptions, more sophisticated literacy was not introduced to Celtic areas that had not been conquered by Rome until the advent of Christianity. Indeed, many Gaelic myths were first recorded by Christian monks, albeit without most of their original religious meanings; the oldest body of myths stemming from the Heroic Age is found only from the early medieval period of Ireland. As Christianity began to take over, the gods and goddesses were eliminated as such from the culture. What has survived includes material dealing with the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians, which forms the basis for the text Cath Maige Tuired "The Battle of Mag Tuireadh", as well as portions of the history-focused Lebor Gabála Érenn; the Tuatha Dé represent the functions of human society such as kingship and war, while the Fomorians represent chaos and wild nature.
The leader of the gods for the Irish pantheon appears to have been the Dagda. The Dagda was the figure on which male humans and other gods were based because he embodied ideal Irish traits. Celtic gods were considered to be a clan due to their lack of specialization and unknown origins; the particular character of the Dagda was as a figure of burlesque lampoonery in Irish mythology, some authors conclude that he was trusted to be benevolent enough to tolerate jokes at his own expense. Irish tales depict the Dagda as a figure of power, armed with a club. In Dorset there is a famous outline of an ithyphallic giant known as the Cerne Abbas Giant with a club cut into the chalky soil. While this was produced in modern times, it was long thought to be a representation of the Dagda; this has been called into question by recent studies which show that there may have been a representation of what looks like a large drapery hanging from the horizontal arm of the figure, leading to suspicion that this figure represents Hercules, with the skin of the Nemean lion over his arm and carrying the club he used to kill it.
In Gaul, it is speculated that the Dagda is associated with Sucellus, the striker, equipped with a hammer and cup. The Morrígan was a tripartite battle goddess of the Celts of Ancient Ireland, she was known as the Morrígan, but the different sections she was divided into were referred to as Nemain and Badb, with each representing different aspects of combat. She is most known for her involvement in the Táin Bó Cúailnge
Dywel fab Erbin
Dywel fab Erbin is a minor character and warrior of Welsh tradition, the son of Erbin and the brother of Geraint and Ermid. Alongside his brothers, he is named in the early Arthurian tale Culhwch ac Olwen as a knight of Arthur's court at Celliwig, his death in battle is recorded in the Black Book of Carmarthen poem The Dialogue of Myrddin and Taliesin, in which it is written: Again and again, in great throngs they came, There came Bran and Melgan to meet me. At the last, they slew The son of Erbin, with all his men. In the Stanzas of the Graves, Dywel's final resting place is given as "Caewaw" or "Caeo", a commot in south-west Wales; the englyn extolls Dywel's bravery on the battlefield. The Grave of Dywel, the son of Erbin, is in the plain of Caewaw. A. O. Jarman, Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin eto, Ymddiddan Myrddin a Thaliesin
Preiddeu Annwfn or Preiddeu Annwn is a cryptic poem of sixty lines in Middle Welsh, found in the Book of Taliesin. The text recounts an expedition with King Arthur to Annwfn or Annwn, the Welsh name for the Celtic Otherworld. Preiddeu Annwfn is one of the best known of mediaeval British poems. English translations, in whole or in part, have been published by R. Williams, by Robert Graves in The White Goddess and by Roger Sherman Loomis, Herbert Pilch, John T. Koch, Marged Haycock, John K. Bollard, Sarah Higley. At some points it requires individual interpretation on the part of its translators owing to its terse style, the ambiguities of its vocabulary, its survival in a single copy of doubtful reliability, the lack of exact analogues of the tale it tells and the host of real or fancied resonances with other poems and tales. A number of scholars, have pointed out analogues in other medieval Welsh literature: some suggest that it represents a tradition that evolved into the grail of Arthurian literature.
Haycock was the first to point out that the poem is "about Taliesin and his vaunting of knowledge", Higley calls the poem "a metaphor of its own making—a poem about the material'spoils' of poetic composition". The poem is uniquely preserved in the Book of Taliesin, dated to the first quarter of the 14th century; the text of the poem itself has proved immensely difficult to date. Estimates range from the time of the bard Taliesin in the late 6th century to that of the completion of the manuscript. On the basis of linguistic criteria Norris J. Lacy suggests that the poem took its present form around AD 900. Marged Haycock notes that the poem shares a formal peculiarity with a number of pre-Gogynfeirdd poems found in the Book of Taliesin, that is, the caesura divides the lines into a longer and shorter section, she contends, that there is no firm linguistic evidence that the poem predates the time of the Gogynfeirdd. The poem may be divided into eight stanzas, each for the most part united by a single rhyme but with irregular numbers of lines.
The first stanza begins and the last ends with two lines of praise to the Lord taken to be Christian. In the last couplet of each stanza except the last the speaker mentions a dangerous journey into Annwfn with Arthur and three boat-loads of men, of whom only seven returned with the "spoils" from Annwfn. Annwfn is referred to by several names, including "Mound or Fairy Fortress," "Four Peaked or Cornered Fortress," and "Glass Fortress", though it is possible these are intended to be distinct. Whatever tragedy occurred is not explained; each stanza except the last two begins in the first person. The last two refer to crowds of monks who again rely upon the words and the knowledge of authorities and lack the type of experience the poem claims. Between these beginnings and ends the first six stanzas offer brief allusions to the journey. In the first Gweir is encountered imprisoned in the fort's walls, a character whom Rachel Bromwich associates with Gwair, one of "Three Exalted Prisoners of Britain" known from the Welsh Triads.
He is imprisoned in chains until Judgment Day, singing before the spoils of Annwfn. The second stanza describes the cauldron of the Chief of Annwn, finished with pearl, how it was taken being itself the "spoils"; the third and fourth allude to difficulties with the forces of Annwfn while the fifth and sixth describe a great ox richly decorated, that may form part of Arthur's spoils. The first stanza has mentioned Pwyll, the legendary prince of Dyfed who in the first branch of the Mabinogi becomes the Chief of Annwfn after helping its king and was credited with ownership of a cauldron; the speaker may be intended to be Taliesin himself, for the second stanza says "my poetry, from the cauldron it was uttered, from the breath of nine maidens it was kindled, the cauldron of the chief of Annwfyn" and Taliesin's name is connected to a similar story in the legend of his birth. Song is heard in the fourfold fort, which therefore seems to be Annwfn: Gweir was imprisoned in perpetual song before a cauldron that first gave out poetry when breathed upon by nine maidens, reminiscent of the nine muses of classical thought.
Just as, we are told, the cauldron "does not boil the food of a coward", so the song it is inspires is "honoured in praise", too good for petty men of ordinary mentality. Two works in particular, the tale of Bran the Blessed in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi and a tale included in Culhwch and Olwen in which Arthur's retinue sail to Ireland aboard Prydwen to obtain the Cauldron of Diwrnach, are cited as narratives resembling that of the present poem. In the Second Branch Bran gives his magic life-restoring cauldron to his new brother-in-law Matholwch of Ireland when he marries Bran's sister Branwen. Matholwch mistreats his new wife and Bran's men cross the Irish Sea to rescue her; this attack involves the destruction of the cauldron, which Matholwch uses to resuscitate his soldiers. There is a battle between the hosts and in the end only seven of Bran's men escape alive, including Taliesin and Pryderi. In Culhwch and Olwen Arthur's retinue sail to Ireland to obtain the cauldron which, like that in Preiddeu Annwfn, would ne
Peredur son of Efrawg
Peredur son of Efrawg is one of the Three Welsh Romances associated with the Mabinogion. It tells a story analogous to Chrétien de Troyes' unfinished romance Perceval, the Story of the Grail, but it contains many striking differences from that work, most notably the absence of the French poem's central object, the grail; the central character of the tale is son of Efrawg. As in Chrétien's Percival, the hero's father dies when he is young, his mother takes him into the woods and raises him in isolation, he meets a group of knights and determines to become like them, so he travels to the court of King Arthur. There he is ridiculed by Cei and sets out on further adventures, promising to avenge Cei's insults to himself and those who defended him. While travelling, he meets two of his uncles; the first warns him not to ask the significance of what he sees. The second reveals a salver containing a man's severed head; the young knight does not ask about this and proceeds to further adventure, including a stay with the Nine Witches of Gloucester and the encounter with the woman, to be his true love, Angharad Golden-Hand.
Peredur returns to Arthur's court, but soon embarks on another series of adventures that do not correspond to material in Percival. In the end, the hero learns the severed head at his uncle's court belonged to his cousin, killed by the Nine Witches. Peredur avenges his family by helping Arthur and others destroy the Witches, is celebrated as a hero. Versions of the text survive in four manuscripts from the 14th century: the mid-14th century White Book of Rhydderch or Aberystwyth, NLW, MS Peniarth 4; the texts found in the White Book of Rhydderch and Red Book of Hergest represent the longest version. They are in close agreement and most of their differences are concentrated in the first part of the text, before the love-story of Angharad. MS Peniarth 7, the earliest manuscript, concludes with Peredur's the hero's 14-year stay in Constantinople, reigning with the Empress; this has been taken to indicate that the adventures in the Fortress of Marvels, which follow this episode in the longest version, represent a addition to the text.
Like the other Welsh Romances, scholars debate as to the work's exact relationship to Chrétien's poem. It is possible; the sequence of some events are altered in Peredur, many original episodes appear, including the reign in Constantinople, which contains remnants of a sovereignty tale. The grail is replaced with a severed head on a platter, reflecting stories of Bran the Blessed from the Mabinogion. Despite these seemingly-traditional elements, influence from the French romance cannot be discounted; as John Carey notes, there are significant phrase-for-phrase parallels between Chretien's poem and Peredur in the conversation between Gawain/Gwalchmai and Perceval/Peredur that occurs after Gawain/Gwalchmai covers the blood on the snow which reminds Perceval/Peredur of his love. Moreover, the black-haired hag describes the bleeding spear Peredur saw earlier in the tale as a small spear carried by one youth with a single drop running down, but this is different from how the relevant earlier passage in Peredur depicts it, as a gigantic spear carried by two youths and bleeding three drops.
The hero of the poem has a father, whose name has been etymologically associated with York. Thus, it can be speculated that Peredur may have been based on a Brythonic prince who ruled in what is now Northern England. There is no clear evidence for a Welsh dynasty in the York area, legendary sources should always be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt. Carey himself connects the Peredur of this romance, Perceval by proxy, with the otherworldly Mabinogion character Pryderi, as other scholars have done. Of course, it is hardly necessary to find a source for every detail of the narrative: the narrator whose text we have may have indulged in original creativity. A parallel case with traditional stories in Ireland is found in the examples given in J. E. Caerwyn-Williams, Y Storïwr Gwyddeleg a'i Chwedlau, where Caerwyn-Williams admits that the form of the story given by the storyteller depends on the audience to which it is delivered, it is not necessary therefore always to find literary sources for such tales in their Middle Welsh form: in any case, most written sources will have perished, there is no way that we can tell if the surviving sources are in any way representative of the whole of what might have been extant.
Gantz, The Mabinogion, Penguin, 1987. ISBN 0-14-044322-3 Lovecy, Ian. "Historia Peredur ab Efrawg." In The Arthur of the Welsh: the Arthurian legend in medieval Welsh literature, edited by Rachel Bromwich, A. O. H. Jarman and B. F. Roberts. Cardiff, 1991. 171-82. Vitt, Anthony M. Peredur vab Efrawc: Edited Texts and Translations of the MSS Peniarth 7 and 14 Versions, https://core.ac.uk/reader/1920379. MPhil thesis, Aberystwyth University, 2011. 203-204. Peredur son of Efrawg, ed. Glenys W. Goetinck, Historia Peredur vab Efrawc. University of Wales, 1976. Aronstein, Susan L. "
The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not survive the conversion to Christianity. However, much of it was preserved in medieval Irish literature, though it was shorn of its religious meanings; this literature represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branches of Celtic mythology. Although many of the manuscripts have not survived and much more material was never committed to writing, there is enough remaining to enable the identification of distinct, if overlapping, cycles: the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle and the Historical Cycle. There are a number of extant mythological texts that do not fit into any of the cycles. Additionally, there are a large number of recorded folk tales that, while not mythological, feature personages from one or more of these four cycles. Today some of the best known tales are of Tír na nÓg, Fionn MacCumhaill, Na Fianna, The Aos Sí / Aes Sídhe, Sétanta, The Tuatha Dé Danann, the Children of Lir, Táin Bó Cúailnge & the Salmon of Knowledge.
Depending on the sources, the importance of gods and goddesses in Irish mythology varies. The geographical tales, emphasize the importance of female divinities while the historical tradition focuses on the colonizers, inventors, or male warriors with the female characters only intervening in episodes. Goddesses are linked to a place and they seem to draw their power from that place, they are maternal deities caring for the earth itself as well as children. They are connected to poetry, smith craft, healing. Many appear to be prophetic when foretelling death as well as transformational. Zoomorphism is an important feature for many Irish deities. Badb Catha, the Raven of Battle, introduces zoomorphism to celtic deities of both sexes. Male deities are less zoomorphic than the female deities in the Irish tradition, but there are still some instances of shapeshifting among gods. There is a presence in Irish Mythology of the Triad referred to as the "power of three," which expresses the extreme potency of a deity rather than dividing the power.
It is an attribute more pronounced among female deities. Dagda is called by two other names, Lug has two brothers, there is the Three Gods of Skill There is a lack of a goddess of love equivalent to Aphrodite or Venus due to the predominance of the maternal element in the culture of the Celts. There are multiple categories of goddesses in Irish Mythology: the Mother Goddess, Seasonal Goddess, Warrior Goddess are a few; some of these goddesses are considered to be all one goddess while other stories treat them as separate. Among the mother goddesses is Anu the goddess of Danu. Additionally, Brigit is a mother goddess, sometimes considered one goddess and sometimes considered the three sisters Brigit, she is the mother goddess that watches over childbirth. She brings abundance. Brigit can be categorized as a seasonal goddess and one can win her favor by burying a fowl alive at the meeting of three waters as a form of sacrifice, she survives as Saint Brigit in the Christian faith and some modern folklore makes her midwife to the Blessed Virgin.
The function of these goddesses involves the entire cycle of life from birth through adolescence and the fertility. They are protecting forces that provide the necessities of life within the home and are envisioned as being the earth itself, their importance have led some scholars to propose a matrilineal social organization and others highlight this argument as being feminist propaganda and deny all indications of importance. These goddesses are the patronesses of feasts, they appear during great feasts of Ireland and they bring abundance. The main goddesses are the Machas: Carman, Tea, but there are other seasonal goddesses. Warrior Goddesses are linked with warrior women because there is historical evidence of women leading their tribes into battle. Oftentimes, warrior goddesses are depicted in a trio; this trio can change to include different goddesses. They reign over the battlefield without having to physically be involved, they do not need to strike a blow because they control the events while the male deities are depicted as being in the battles.
This aspect leads to the discussion of women as the gods of slaughter. Scholars note that the female deities govern the natural event while the male deities govern the social event; the main goddesses of war are Morrigan and Bodb. The Irish Gods are divided into four main groups. Group one encompasses the older gods of Britain; the second group is the main focus of much of the mythology and surrounds the native Irish gods with their homes in burial mounds. The third group are the gods that dwell in the sea and the fourth group includes stories of the Otherworld; the gods that appear most are Dagda and Lug. Some scholars have argued that the stories of these gods align with the Greek gods. Druids were held in high esteem by the community as religious leaders, their functions and origins are debated which some attribute to the fact that there was no written tradition. This lack of documentary evidence is said to be because the practices become common property and this makes the student relax their diligence.
They are figures in Irish Mythology and study astronomy. Heroes in Irish mythology can be found in two distinct groups. There is the hero outside of the tribe; the first group encompasses all, subject to man and his works must belong to the tribe and live under its laws. Within the tribe, heroes are of the race of humans and gods
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s