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Mythology, by definition, offers an often fantastical explanation for the origins of a people and the land they inhabit. So it is perhaps not surprising that a land so verdant, so rich in natural beauty, and indeed, in many corners, so treacherous as Ireland would inspire one of the world’s most vast and varied mythologies.
While the origins of Irish mythology are rooted in its broader Celtic progenitor, there’s no denying the influence the Irish landscape played in shaping the stories of the Irish gods, heroes, and monsters into their final, familiar forms.
It’s also important to remember that when the Goidelic-speaking Celts (a.k.a. Gaels) arrived in Ireland sometimes between 500 and 300 BCE, they did not enter a purely natural world devoid of human interference: Since 7,000-6,500 BCE, the…
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