Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search

Irish, An Introduction to Early Irish Saga

This lecture-only course in Early (i.e. pre-twelfth-century) Irish saga literature will examine a variety of texts, mainly from the Ulster, Mythological and King cycles. The texts will be provided in English translation but the original versions in Old and Middle Irish will be viewed in manuscript and referred to when necessary. The lecture series will attempt an analysis of the significance of this kind of material and its contemporary relevance. The heroic biography, the prince’s truth, the sovereignty goddess, the role of the Otherworld and of clerical propaganda will all feature in the discussion. Sagas to be read will include the tragic story of Deirdre’s love for Naoise, the story of Niall Frasach’s judgement regarding the lesbian mother of a fatherless child, Sín’s (or Lady Vengeance’s) cold-blooded determination to exact revenge on her lover for the slaughter of her family, Conaire’s fatal loyalty to his foster-brothers and Cú Chulainn’s remarkable triple conception and double birth. One saga will be read and discussed each week over a twelve-week term, commencing Monday 26th September, with a one-week break in the term (7th-11th November).

Course Co-ordinator

Damian McManus

How to apply

The closing date for online and postal applications is Friday 16th September 2016. You can download an application form from and send it with a cheque/money order made payable to Trinity College Dublin number 1 account to: Damian McManus, Department of Irish and Celtic Languages, Room 4056, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2. Applications may be made in person by arrangement with Damian McManus T: 01 896 1105, E:


The fee for the series is €85. The concession fee is €45. A concession rate is available to second and third level students and people whose primary source of income is social welfare, health board or a government-sponsored employment scheme.

Time and place

Please check our website after 8th August for update or contact Caoimhe ní Bhraonáin at