Ó Béarra, Feargal, “The otherworld realm of Tír scáith”, in: Gisbert Hemprich (ed.), Festgabe für Hildegard L. C. Tristram: überreicht von Studenten, Kollegen und Freunden des ehemaligen Faches Keltologie der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 1, Berlin: Curach Bhán, 2009. 81–100.

  • article in collection
Citation details
“The otherworld realm of Tír scáith
Abstract (cited)
The journey of the hero to the Otherworld is a familiar theme in the early literature of Ireland. The Early Middle Irish didactic text Síaburcharpat Con Culaind contains three separate accounts of Cú Chulainn’s journeys to the hostile otherworld realms of Lochlainn, Ifrend and Tír Scáith. The contrasting of the imagery of light and dark as well as that of diametrically opposite concepts through the creation of sets of homonymic pairs i. e. the creation of coincidentia oppositorum, is a quite common penchant of the Christian redactors, and is found in much of the earlier literature. Much of the imagery found in the Síaburcharpat Con Culaind account of the journey to Tír Scáith bears a close resemblance to that of the dread-inspiring mediaeval Christian imagery of Hell. The redactor of the tale sought to appropriate the pre-existing native familiarity with the concept of an orbis alius as a means of introducing his audience to the torments and horrors of the unfamiliar Christian (unhappy) orbis alius, thus furthering the propagation of the Faith and satisfying the Church’s hunger for the salvation of souls.
(source: publisher, slightly redacted)
Subjects and topics
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
June 2011, last updated: January 2019