Leeuw (Henny de)

  • (agents)
Leeuw, Henny de, “Chariots on high crosses: Celtic or Christian?”, The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 138 (2008): 5–25.  

Many questions arise concerning the meaning of the chariots depicted on the Irish high crosses. Although some scholars have tried to interpret these images in a Christian way, no satisfactory solution has come up. Therefore, in this paper the question is asked whether the chariot could belong to a Celtic motif. By looking at the details of the images found on the Irish high crosses and comparing them to literary descriptions, the possibility is proposed that the figures in the chariots are Cú Chulainn and his charioteer Lóeg. It seems probable that the story of the Phantom Chariot of Cú Chulainn, Siaburcharpat Conculaind, is depicted in these cases. Even though this story has a clear Celtic element, it also has strong connections with Christian topics, which makes it even more probable that this is the story depicted on the Irish high crosses.


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Dennis Groenewegen
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December 2021