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
A Romano-Celtic temple is a sub-class of Roman temple found in the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire. Many may have had roots in the late Iron Age either in direct relation to pre-Roman structures or on sites with pre-Roman activity; each temple consisted of a box-like cella, of variable height, surrounded by an ambulatory or veranda built from stone, wood or both. This floor-plan is square or rectangular, but triangular and polygonal layouts are known. In size they vary with the outer ambulatory ranging from 8.5m to 22m in length and the cella from 5.1m to 16m A central tower building, accessible from a door on one side, was roofed, as was the ambulatory, though the tower may rise above the height of the surrounding ambulatory or be pitched so that the two features join together. Some features of the Classical Roman temples are included in the architectural tradition of these temples, such as the addition of columns as part of the exterior wall; the internal features included decorative wall paintings.
Structures but not without exception, stand within a temenos or sacred enclosure. Temples, as centres of religious ceremonies and festivals, may have attracted people from surrounding areas; each temple would be dedicated with a statue in the cella. Votive offerings such as coins, statues, miniature votive figurines can be found both within the building and in the surrounding ambulatory and temenos, suggesting that access may be available throughout the structure and that the external architectural components serve a purpose within the ritual environment of the temple; the temple at Woodeaton produced evidence for multiple hearths within the temple superstructure, suggesting the use of fire within the religious worship at that site. A priest would perform religious ceremonies within the temple or outside in the enclosure, although the exact daily role they played in Romano-Celtic temples is not well understood. Performing sacrifice and overseeing festivals are key features of priesthoods in the Roman Empire.
In Aquae Sulis, an altar was dedicated by a haruspex. Fragments of priestly regalia have been found in British excavations: a copper alloy sceptre-cap from the temple at Farley, a chained headpiece or "crown" at Wanborough and a bronze crown with an adjustable band at Hockwold cum Wilton, they are, by far, the most occurring type of temple in Roman Britain in place of the Classical Temple which are few in number: the Temple of Claudius in Colchester, the temple of Sulis-Minerva in Bath and the examples at Maryport, Gloucester, St. Albans are the only known examples. Romano-Celtic temples occur across Britannia and are associated with sites with recorded pre-Roman activity, such as at Jordan Hill. Temples may be associated with an extra-mural settlement near a fort, as at Vindolanda, or along a roadside. Prominent places within a landscape may be chosen as sites for Romano-Celtic temples, for example the temple on top of the huge Iron Age Hillfort at Maiden Castle, Dorset or the temple on the coastal promontory at Brean Down, Somerset.
The distribution of these temples includes rural sanctuaries. In towns they can occur in groups of two or more within an enclosure. At least seven have been identified at Camulodunum, several of which can be linked to certain deities by the statues and inscriptions found at the sites. Roman Religion Roman Britain Syncretism Roman Temple Lewis, M. J. T. 1966. Temples in Roman Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Mukelroy, K. 1976. "Enclosed Ambulatories in Romano-Celtic Temples in Britain". Britannia Vol.7 pp173–191 Romano-Celtic Temple Typology
Mainz is the capital and largest city of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The city is located on the Rhine river at its confluence with the Main river, opposite Wiesbaden on the border with Hesse. Mainz is an independent city with a population of 206,628 and forms part of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. Mainz was founded by the Romans in the 1st Century BC during the Classical antiquity era, serving as a military fortress on the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire and as the provincial capital of Germania Superior. Mainz became an important city in the 8th Century AD as part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the capital of the Electorate of Mainz and seat of the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz, the Primate of Germany. Mainz is famous as the home of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable-type printing press, who in the early 1450s manufactured his first books in the city, including the Gutenberg Bible. Before the 20th century, the city was known in English as Mentz and in French as Mayence.
Mainz was damaged during World War II, with more than 30 air raids destroying about 80 percent of the city's center, including most of the historic buildings. Today, Mainz is a center of wine production. Mainz is located on the 50th latitude, on the left bank of the river Rhine, opposite the confluence of the Main with the Rhine; the population in the early 2012 was 200,957, an additional 18,619 people maintain a primary residence elsewhere but have a second home in Mainz. The city is part of the Rhein Metro area comprising 5.8 million people. Mainz can be reached from Frankfurt International Airport in 25 minutes by commuter railway. Mainz is a river port city as the Rhine which connects with its main tributaries, such as the Neckar, the Main and the Moselle and thereby continental Europe with the Port of Rotterdam and thus the North Sea. Mainz's history and economy are tied to its proximity to the Rhine handling much of the region's waterborne cargo. Today's huge container port hub allowing trimodal transport is located on the North Side of the town.
The river provides another positive effect, moderating Mainz's climate. After the last ice age, sand dunes were deposited in the Rhine valley at what was to become the western edge of the city; the Mainz Sand Dunes area is now a nature reserve with a unique landscape and rare steppe vegetation for this area. While the Mainz legion camp was founded in 13/12 BC on the Kästrich hill, the associated vici and canabae were erected in direction to the Rhine. Historical sources and archaeological findings both prove the importance of the military and civilian Mogontiacum as a port city on the Rhine. Mainz experiences an oceanic climate; the Roman stronghold or castrum Mogontiacum, the precursor to Mainz, was founded by the Roman general Drusus as early as 13/12 BC. As related by Suetonius the existence of Mogontiacum is well established by four years though several other theories suggest the site may have been established earlier. Although the city is situated opposite the mouth of the Main, the name of Mainz is not from Main, the similarity being due to diachronic analogy.
Main is from the name the Romans used for the river. Linguistic analysis of the many forms that the name "Mainz" has taken on make it clear that it is a simplification of Mogontiacum; the name appears to be Celtic and it is. However, it had become Roman and was selected by them with a special significance; the Roman soldiers defending Gallia had adopted the Gallic god Mogons, for the meaning of which etymology offers two basic options: "the great one", similar to Latin magnus, used in aggrandizing names such as Alexander magnus, "Alexander the Great" and Pompeius magnus, "Pompey the great", or the god of "might" personified as it appears in young servitors of any type whether of noble or ignoble birth. Mogontiacum was an important military town throughout Roman times due to its strategic position at the confluence of the Main and the Rhine; the town of Mogontiacum grew up between the river. The castrum was the base of Legio XIV Gemina and XVI Gallica, XXII Primigenia, IV Macedonica, I Adiutrix, XXI Rapax, XIV Gemina, among others.
Mainz was a base of a Roman river fleet, the Classis Germanica. Remains of Roman troop ships and a patrol boat from the late 4th century were discovered in 1982/86 and may now be viewed in the Museum für Antike Schifffahrt. A temple dedicated to Isis Panthea and Magna Mater is open to the public; the city was the provincial capital of Germania Superior, had an important funeral monument dedicated to Drusus, to which people made pilgrimages for an annual festival from as far away as Lyon. Among the famous buildings were a bridge across the Rhine; the city was the site of the assassination of emperor Severus Alexander in 235. Alemanni forces under Rando sacked the city in 368. From the last day of 405 or 406, the Siling and Asding Vandals, the Suebi, the Alans, other Germanic tribes crossed the Rhine at Mainz. Christian chronicles relate that the bishop, was put to death by the Alemannian Crocus; the way was open to the invasion of Gaul. Throughout the changes of time, the Roman castrum never seems to have been permanently abandoned as a military installation, a testimony to Roman military judgemen
Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is performed when a relief is cut in from a flat surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field, leaving the unsculpted parts raised; the technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, a time-consuming exercise. On the other hand, a relief saves forming the rear of a subject, is less fragile and more securely fixed than a sculpture in the round one of a standing figure where the ankles are a potential weak point in stone. In other materials such as metal, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the sculpted form from the field, for which the Italian and French terms are still sometimes used in English.
The full range includes high relief, where more than 50% of the depth is shown and there may be undercut areas, mid-relief, low-relief, shallow-relief or rilievo schiacciato, where the plane is only slightly lower than the sculpted elements. There is sunk relief, restricted to Ancient Egypt. However, the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, these two are the only terms used to discuss most work; the definition of these terms is somewhat variable, many works combine areas in more than one of them, sometimes sliding between them in a single figure. The opposite of relief sculpture is counter-relief, intaglio, or cavo-rilievo, where the form is cut into the field or background rather than rising from it. Hyphens may or may not be used in all these terms, though they are seen in "sunk relief" and are usual in "bas-relief" and "counter-relief". Works in the technique are described as "in relief", in monumental sculpture, the work itself is "a relief".
Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of smaller settings, a sequence of several panels or sections of relief may represent an extended narrative. Relief is more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with many figures and active poses, such as battles, than free-standing "sculpture in the round". Most ancient architectural reliefs were painted, which helped to define forms in low relief; the subject of reliefs is for convenient reference assumed in this article to be figures, but sculpture in relief depicts decorative geometrical or foliage patterns, as in the arabesques of Islamic art, may be of any subject. Rock reliefs are those carved into solid rock in the open air; this type is found in many cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries. A stele is a single standing stone; the distinction between high and low relief is somewhat subjective, the two are often combined in a single work. In particular, most "high reliefs" contain sections in low relief in the background.
From the Parthenon Frieze onwards, many single figures in large monumental sculpture have heads in high relief, but their lower legs are in low relief. The projecting figures created in this way work well in reliefs that are seen from below, reflect that the heads of figures are of more interest to both artist and viewer than the legs or feet; as unfinished examples from various periods show, raised reliefs, whether high or low, were "blocked out" by marking the outline of the figure and reducing the background areas to the new background level, work no doubt performed by apprentices. A low relief or bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief. In the lowest reliefs the relative depth of the elements shown is distorted, if seen from the side the image makes no sense, but from the front the small variations in depth register as a three-dimensional image. Other versions distort depth much less, it is a technique which requires less work, is therefore cheaper to produce, as less of the background needs to be removed in a carving, or less modelling is required.
In the art of Ancient Egypt, Assyrian palace reliefs, other ancient Near Eastern and Asian cultures, Meso-America, a consistent low relief was used for the whole composition. These images would be painted after carving, which helped define the forms; the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, now in Berlin, has low reliefs of large animals formed from moulded bricks, glazed in colour. Plaster, which made the technique far easier, was used in Egypt and the Near East from antiquity into Islamic times and Europe from at least the Renaissance, as well as elsewhere. However, it needs good co
Epidaurus was a small city in ancient Greece, on the Argolid Peninsula at the Saronic Gulf. Two modern towns bear the name Epidavros:Palaia Epidavros and Nea Epidavros. Since 2010 they belong to the new municipality of part of the regional unit of Argolis; the seat of the municipality is the town Lygourio. Epidaurus was independent of Argos and not included in Argolis until the time of the Romans. With its supporting territory, it formed. Reputed to be founded by or named for the Argolid Epidaurus, to be the birthplace of Apollo's son Asclepius the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary situated about five miles from the town, as well as its theater, once again in use today; the cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC, when the older hill-top sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas was no longer spacious enough. The asclepeion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world, the place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. To find out the right cure for their ailments, they spent a night in the enkoimeteria, a big sleeping hall.
In their dreams, the god himself would advise them. Within the sanctuary there was a guest house with 160 guestrooms. There are mineral springs in the vicinity, which may have been used in healing. Asclepius, the most important healer god of antiquity, brought prosperity to the sanctuary, which in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC embarked on an ambitious building program for enlarging and reconstruction of monumental buildings. Fame and prosperity continued throughout the Hellenistic period. After the destruction of Corinth in 146 BC Lucius Mummius visited the sanctuary and left two dedications there. In 87 BC the sanctuary was looted by the Roman general Sulla. In 74 BC a Roman garrison under Marcus Antonius Creticus had been installed in the city causing a lack of grain. Still, before 67 BC the sanctuary was plundered by pirates. In the 2nd century AD the sanctuary enjoyed a new upsurge under the Romans, but in AD 395 the Goths raided the sanctuary. After the introduction of Christianity and the silencing of the oracles, the sanctuary at Epidaurus was still known as late as the mid 5th century as a Christian healing center.
The prosperity brought by the asclepeion enabled Epidaurus to construct civic monuments, including the huge theatre that delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty, used again today for dramatic performances, the ceremonial hestiatoreion, a palaestra. The ancient theatre of Epidaurus was designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC; the original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. As is usual for Greek theatres, the view on a lush landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself and is not to be obscured, it seats up to 14,000 people. The theatre is admired for its exceptional acoustics, which permit perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken words from the proscenium or skēnē to all 14,000 spectators, regardless of their seating. Famously, tour guides have their groups scattered in the stands and show them how they can hear the sound of a match struck at center-stage. A 2007 study by Nico F. Declercq and Cindy Dekeyser of the Georgia Institute of Technology indicates that the astonishing acoustic properties may be the result of the advanced design: the rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, amplify the high-frequency sounds of the stage.
The municipality Epidavros was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 2 former municipalities, that became municipal units: Asklipieio EpidavrosThe municipality has an area of 340.442 km2, the municipal unit 160.604 km2. Arafat, K. W.. "N. Yalouris: Die Skulpturen des Asklepiostempels in Epidauros. Pp. 92. Munich: Hirmer, 1992. Cased"; the Classical Review. 45: 197–198. Doi:10.1017/S0009840X00293244. ISSN 1464-3561. Retrieved 14 August 2018. Burford, Alison. 1969. The Greek Temple Builders At Epidauros: A Social and Economic Study of Building In the Asklepian Sanctuary, During the Fourth and Early Third Centuries B. C. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Fossum, Andrew. "Harmony in the Theatre at Epidauros". American Journal of Archaeology. 30: 70–75. Doi:10.2307/497923. JSTOR 497923. Hartigan, Karelisa V. 2009. Performance and Cure: Drama and Healing in Ancient Greece and Contemporary America. Classical Interfaces. London: Duckworth. Holland, Leicester B. 1948. Thymele: Recherches sur la of Archaeology, 85, no.
3, pp. 387–400. Holland, Leicester B.. "Review of Thymele. Recherches sur la signification et la destination des monuments circulaires dans l'architecture religieuse de la Grèce". American Journal of Archaeology. 52: 307–310. Doi:10.2307/500631. JSTOR 500631. Lembidaki, Evi. 2002. "Three Sacred Buildings in the Asklepieion at Epidauros: New Evidence from Recent Archaeological Research." In Peloponnesian Sanctuaries and Cults: Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium at the Swedish Institute at Athens, 11-13 June 1994. Edited by Robin Hägg. Stockholm: Svenska Institutet i Athen, 123-136. LiDonnici, Lynn R. 1995. The Epidaurian Miracle Inscriptions: Text and Commentary. Atlanta: Scholars. Melfi, Milena. Galli, Marco, ed. "Religion and Communication in the Sanctuaries of Early-Roman Greece: Epidauros and Athens". Roman Power and Greek Sanctuaries: Forms of Interaction and Communication. Tripodes. Athens: Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene. 14: 143–158. Miller, Stephen G. Robert C. Knapp, David Chamberlain.
2001. Excavations at Nemea II: The Early Hellenistic Stad
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, the entire Forest of Dean; the county town is the city of Gloucester, other principal towns include Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Dursley. Gloucestershire borders Herefordshire to the north west, Wiltshire to the south and Somerset to the south west, Worcestershire to the north, Oxfordshire to the east, Warwickshire to the north east, the Welsh county of Monmouthshire to the west. Gloucestershire is a historic county mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the 10th century, though the areas of Winchcombe and the Forest of Dean were not added until the late 11th century. Gloucestershire included Bristol a small town; the local rural community moved to the port city, Bristol's population growth accelerated during the industrial revolution. Bristol became a county in its own right, separate from Gloucestershire and Somerset in 1373, it became part of the administrative County of Avon from 1974 to 1996.
Upon the abolition of Avon in 1996, the region north of Bristol became a unitary authority area of South Gloucestershire and is now part of the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire. The official former postal county abbreviation was "Glos.", rather than the used but erroneous "Gloucs." or "Glouc". In July 2007, Gloucestershire suffered the worst flooding in recorded British history, with tens of thousands of residents affected; the RAF conducted the largest peacetime domestic operation in its history to rescue over 120 residents from flood affected areas. The damage was estimated at over £2 billion. Gloucestershire has three main landscape areas, a large part of the Cotswolds, the Royal Forest of Dean and the Severn Vale; the Cotswolds take up a large portion of the east and south of the county, The Forest of Dean taking up the west, with the Severn and its valley running between these features. The Daffodil Way in the Leadon Valley, on the border of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire surrounding the village of Dymock, is known for its many spring flowers and woodland, which attracts many walkers.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Gloucestershire at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling. The following is a chart of Gloucestershire's gross value added total in thousands of British Pounds Sterling from 1997-2009 based upon the Office for National Statistics figures The 2009 estimation of £11,452 million GVA can be compared to the South West regional average of £7,927 million. Gloucestershire has comprehensive schools with seven selective schools. There are 42 state secondary schools, not including sixth form colleges, 12 independent schools, including the renowned Cheltenham Ladies' College, Cheltenham College and Dean Close School. All but about two schools in each district have a sixth form, but the Forest of Dean only has two schools with sixth forms. All schools in South Gloucestershire have sixth forms. Gloucestershire has two universities, the University of Gloucestershire and the Royal Agricultural University, four higher and further education colleges, Gloucestershire College, Cirencester College, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and the Royal Forest of Dean College.
Each has campuses at multiple locations throughout the county. The University of the West of England has three locations in Gloucestershire. Gloucestershire has one city and 33 towns: Gloucester The towns in Gloucestershire are: Town in Monmouthshire with suburbs in Gloucestershire: Chepstow The county has two green belt areas, the first covers the southern area in the South Gloucestershire district, to protect outlying villages and towns between Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury from the urban sprawl of the Bristol conurbation; the second belt lies around Gloucester and Bishop's Cleeve, to afford those areas and villages in between a protection from urban sprawl and further convergence. Both belts intersect with the boundaries of the Cotswolds AONB. There are a variety of religious buildings across the county, notably the cathedral of Gloucester, the abbey church of Tewkesbury, the church of Cirencester. Of the abbey of Hailes near Winchcombe, founded by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, in 1246, little more than the foundations are left, but these have been excavated and fragments have been brought to light.
Most of the old market towns have parish churches. At Deerhurst near Tewkesbury and Bishop's Cleeve near Cheltenham, there are churches of special interest on account of the pre-Norman work they retain. There is a Perpendicular church in Lechlade, that at Fairford was built, according to tradition, to contain a series of stained-glass windows which are said to have been brought from the Netherlands; these are, adjudged to be of English workmanship. Other notable buildings include Calcot Barn in a relic of Kingswood Abbey. Thornbury Castle is a Tudor country house, the pretensio
The Irish Dog is a breed of domestic dog a large sighthound from Ireland. The name originates from its purpose—wolf hunting with dogs—rather than from its appearance. Developed from war hounds with the purpose of being a hunting or guard dog; the Irish Wolfhound can be an imposing sight due to their formidable size. The breed is old; these dogs are mentioned, as cú in Irish laws and in Irish literature which dates from the 6th century or, in the case of the Sagas, from the old Irish period - AD 600-900. The word "Cú" became an added prefix of respect on the names of warriors as well as kings denoting that they were worthy of the respect and loyalty of a Cú. Ancient artworks and writings have encouraged modern authors to imagine their existence as a breed by 273 BC. However, there is indication that large dogs may have existed as early as 279 BC when the Tectosages and Tolistobogii Celts sacked Delphi. Survivors left accounts of the fierce Celts and the huge dogs who fought with them and at their side.
They were mentioned by Julius Caesar in his treatise, The Gallic Wars, by 391 AD, they were written about by Roman Consul, Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, who received seven of them, "canes Scotici", as a gift to be used for fighting lions and bears, in his words, "all Rome viewed with wonder". Wolfhounds were bred as hunting dogs by the ancients; the Irish continued to breed them for this purpose, as well as to guard their homes and protect their stock. CúChulainn, a name which translates as "hound of Culann", gained his name when as a child, known as Sétanta, when he slew the ferocious guard dog of Culann, forcing him to offer himself as a replacement. During the English Conquest of Ireland, only the nobility were allowed to own Irish Wolfhounds, the numbers permitted depending on position, they were much coveted and were given as gifts to important personages and foreign nobles. Wolfhounds were the companions of the regal, were housed themselves alongside them. King John of England, in about 1210 presented an Irish hound, Gelert, to Llewellyn, a prince of Wales.
The poet The Hon William Robert Spencer Immortalized this hound in a poem. In his History of Ireland completed 1571, Edmund Champion gives a description of the hounds used for hunting the wolves on the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, he says: "They are not without wolves and greyhounds to hunt them, bigger of bone and limb than a colt". Due to their popularity overseas many were exported to European royal houses leaving numbers in Ireland depleted; this led to a declaration by Oliver Cromwell himself being published in Kilkenny on 27 April 1652 to ensure that sufficient numbers remained to control the wolf population. References to the Irish Wolfhound in the 18th century tell of its great size and greyhound shape as well as its scarcity. Writing in 1790, Bewick described it as the largest and most beautiful of the dog kind, he said that their aspect was mild, disposition peaceful, strength so great that in combat the Mastiff or Bulldog was far from being an equal to them. The last wolf in Ireland is thought to have been killed at Myshall, on the slopes of Mount Leinster in Co.
Carlow in 1786 by a pack of wolfdogs kept by a Mr Watson of Ballydarton. The remaining hounds in the hands of a few families who were descendants of the old Irish chieftains, were now symbols of status rather than hunters, they were said to be the last of their race. Scotsman Captain George Augustus Graham is responsible with a few other breeders for attempting to reaffirm the breed's existence. In 1879 he wrote: "It has been ascertained beyond all question that there are few specimens of the breed still left in Ireland and England to be considered Irish Wolfhounds, though falling short of the requisite dimensions; this blood is now in my possession." Captain Graham devoted his life to ensuring the survival of the Irish Wolfhound. Owing to the small numbers of surviving specimens outcrossing was used in the breeding programme, it is believed that Borzoi, Great Dane, Scottish Deerhound and English Mastiff dogs all played their part in Graham's creation of the dog we know. The famous English Mastiff Garnier's Lion was bred to the Deerhound Lufra, their offspring Marquis enters Wolfhound pedigrees through his granddaughter Young Donagh.
Graham included "a single outcross of Tibetan Wolf Dog". This was long assumed to have been a Tibetan Mastiff. However, a photograph of "Wolf" shows a bearded, long-coated dog—what would now be called a "Tibetan Kyi Apso" or "dokhyi apso". In 1885 Captain Graham with other breeders founded the Irish Wolfhound Club, the Breed Standard of Points to establish and agree the ideal to which breeders should aspire; the Wolfhound was a dog that only nobles could own and was taken up by the British during their rule in Ireland. This made it unpopular as a national symbol and the Kerry Blue Terrier was adopted by Republicans such as Michael Collins; the Wolfhound has been adopted as a symbol by both rugby codes. The national rugby league team is nicknamed the Wolfhounds, the Irish Rugby Football Union, which governs rugby union, changed the name of the country's A national team in that code to the Ireland Wolfhounds in 2010. Considered by the American Kennel Club to be the tallest of all dog breeds, describing the breed as, "Of great size and commanding appearance, the Irish Wolfhound is remarkable in combining power and