Literature 1 - The Celtic Heroic Age

Maynooth University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Literature 1 - The Celtic Heroic Age

  • Host University

    Maynooth University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Celtic Studies, History, Literature

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This module introduces the students to different types of so-called heroic literature from sources relating to the Ancient Celtic Continent, to Medieval Ireland and Wales, and to High Medieval European courts. On the one hand, heroic literature comprises texts that relate to warrior-dominated societies (e.g. classical accounts about ancient Gauls, the Welsh Gododdin, or the Ulster cycle), but at the same time it also can mean tales that contain narrative motifs that form part of the ?International Heroic Biography?, and which are thus inherently fictional. Exemplary heroic figures in the early Irish (e.g., Cormac mac Airt, Cú Chulainn) and the British literary tradition (e.g., Pryderi, King Arthur) will be studied in the light of international heroic biographical models. It will be critically evaluated if there is something unifyingly ?Celtic? in these accounts and narratives, or if they are better studied as manifestations of universal ideological patterns typical of chieftain societies.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
    - Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of medieval Irish heroic tales and some models and parallels in the literatures of other cultures.
    - Understand a range of theoretical and critical approaches for the study of heroic literature.
    - Appreciate questions relating to the ideological, social and literary functions of heroic narrative.
    - Development of analytical, critical and essay-writing skills.

    Teaching & Learning Methods:
    - Lectures: 24 hours

    - Continous Assessment: 50%
    - University scheduled written examination: 50%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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