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Native Irish Skies

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Native Irish Skies was created by Diane ODonovan

Most of the world's peoples have indigenous traditions in astronomy - their own names for the stars and constellations not used elsewhere.

I am particularly interested in the native star-traditions around the world, as well as any area of astronomy that falls between mathematical astronomy and astrology (such as use of stars in navigation, surveying, time-keeping, popular proverbs etc.)

Since some of the early relics indicate an advanced knowledge of navigation by sea, I expect there should be information about native Irish star-lore.

Has anyone come across information about this? I haven't been able to find any so far.

Diane O'Donovan
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
16 years 3 months ago #33984

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

One source to look up is the legend that Saint Brendan sailed from (I think it was) Donegals coast in the 5th century. He travelled by the stars, going North, and apparently found Greenland... even before the Vikings claimed they did.

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
16 years 3 months ago #33988

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Replied by ftodonoghue on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

One source to look up is the legend that Saint Brendan sailed from (I think it was) Donegals coast
Seanie.


Like all good thinks it was from kerry. :D
Cheers
Trevor
16 years 3 months ago #33989

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

One source to look up is the legend that Saint Brendan sailed from (I think it was) Donegals coast
Seanie.


Like all good thinks it was from kerry. :D


:oops:
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
16 years 3 months ago #33990

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Replied by stepryan on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

One source to look up is the legend that Saint Brendan sailed from (I think it was) Donegals coast
Seanie.


Like all good thinks it was from kerry. :D


was he not going away from kerry, i.e. trying to escape ;).
16 years 3 months ago #33991

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Replied by ftodonoghue on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

just spreading the good word about the place
Cheers
Trevor
16 years 3 months ago #33993

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Replied by Diane ODonovan on topic irish native astronomy - Brendan Voyage

I accept Tim Severin's account of the voyage. He didn't think it was just as legend, and nor do I.

But the irish names for the stars are not recorded, I think.

D
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
16 years 3 months ago #33994

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Replied by johnflannery on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

Hi Diane,

Welcome to the board!

Check out Anthony Murphy's www.mythicalireland.com web site for some details of the archaeoastronomy aspect.

The SDAS web site at www.southdublinastronomy.org has a link to the English-Irish astronomy dictionary under the "Community" section.

One example is Bó Finne being the Irish for "Milky Way". I think there is possibly an association here with the Táin Bó Chuilne legend but I can't remember where I read about that unfortunately.

atb,

John
John Flannery ( aurorawatcher - at * gmail - dot * com ... remove hyphens/asterisks/spaces for email)
The chicken's motive for crossing the road would not be questioned in an ideal world
16 years 3 months ago #33995

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

The SDAS web site at www.southdublinastronomy.org has a link to the English-Irish astronomy dictionary under the "Community" section.


www.southdublinastronomy.org/wiki/Focl%C3%B3ir
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
16 years 3 months ago #33996

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Replied by Diane ODonovan on topic Native Irish Skies

re MythicIreland and irish folk astronomy

When Gregory of Tours organised his roster for the monks to recite the Psalter, he had to adjust an older scheme, and when he did, he made the 'cross' of Cygnus an important time-marker.
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
16 years 3 months ago #33997

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Replied by pmgisme on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

From the Fifth Century AD until the Eleventh Century AD Irish Monks recorded every single Solar and Lunar Eclipse visible from Ireland and Irish religious colonies in Britain and Europe.

Those Colonies included Iona and Lindisfarne and St. Gallen, among a lot of others.

They are by far the best Astronomical records from anywhere in the World from that period.

And they are here in Ireland to this day.

As I mentioned another time, this this year 2006 marks a thousand years since the brightest supernova in recorded history..the Great Lupus Supernove of 1006 AD.

The best European record of this Supernova is found in the Swiss city of St. Gallen. Founded by St. Gall the Irishman and named after him.

The city of St. Gallen celebrated the anniversary this year...but the Irish have forgotten St. Gall.

Most Irish astronomers never heard of those Irish records.

Peter.
16 years 3 months ago #34001

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Replied by Diane ODonovan on topic irish astronomical records of the early medieval period

Thank you for the reference.

Where are the records kept?
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
16 years 3 months ago #34075

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Replied by Diane ODonovan on topic re Southdublin dictionary

Sadly, these are Arabic or Greek star-names, translated into Irish as far as I can see, though I only checked three or four pages worth.
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
16 years 3 months ago #34076

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Replied by pmgisme on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

Daniel P. McCarthy (Trinity College Dublin) is the worlds leading expert in this. (I've put this up before, but it's interesting anyway.)

See his site:

www.cs.tcd.ie/Dan.McCarthy/


Also the Irish colony of St. Gallen, from where the 1006 Supernova was described

europeforvisitors.com/switzaustria/articles/st_gallen.htm

And the description:

celestialdelights.info/pub/SN1006_1.htm

The Irish monks described all their old pagan gods and wrote down their legends.
Significantly,they did not suppress the memory of the pagan past.

(The pagan legend of the Tain for instance: vassun.vassar.edu/~sttaylor/Cooley/detail.html )

So I wouldn't be surprised if old Irish star and constellation names are buried in those manuscripts somewhere as well.

McCarthy is the man to ask !

Peter.
16 years 3 months ago #34079

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

You've probably come across this already in your research but 'Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland' by Clive Ruggles is worth getting your hands on if you are interested in archeoastronomy. Its a refreshing scientific look at what the people of these islands were actually able to determine and what they were not, and is thankfully free from the usual waffle that is written about passage graves and stone circles.

I see that he has also edited a book called 'Songs from the Sky: Indigenous Astronomical and Cosmological Traditions of the World'.This appears to delve more into folklore which may be of interest for your star naming perhaps.

His website is www.le.ac.uk/ar/rug/ he is now Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
16 years 3 months ago #34084

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Replied by Diane ODonovan on topic DanMcCarthy's site and Songs of Sky

These are fine sites. Thanks. I should have picked up the second, since it is actually Vols 12 & 13 of Archaeoastronomy.

Anyone care to hear what I dig up?

(I hope I may meet some of you at meetings in a year or two.)
:)
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
16 years 3 months ago #34100

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Replied by voyager on topic Re: DanMcCarthy's site and Songs of Sky

T
Anyone care to hear what I dig up?


Absolutely! I find all this stuff fascinating!

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
16 years 3 months ago #34111

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Native Irish Skies

Diane,
if you are able to, you might even consider (in your Oz-twanged Irish accent) doing an audio piece of a couple minutes that we can add to one of our monthly Podcasts!

:D

How are your nerves now?

S.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
16 years 3 months ago #34123

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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: DanMcCarthy's site and Songs of Sky

Anyone care to hear what I dig up?


Would love to hear it!
16 years 3 months ago #34127

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Replied by Diane ODonovan on topic Podcasts and things

If I do find any details on this, it will probably come from Irish scholars like Dan McCarthy.

I rather think those are the people who should get the credit
for all that I'd enjoy - even - the reflected glory 8)
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
16 years 3 months ago #34130

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