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Holy Hills of Ireland

1 INTRODuCTION Ireland has an extraordinary wealth of mythological material, and almost every hill, mountain, river, valley and lake has legends attached to them. Many of these tales come out of very ancient lore. Some even claim to name the first settlers, saying where they came from, where they landed and what happened to them. The medieval Lebor Gabla Erenn, the Book of Invasions, is a major source for this material, and much spin doctoring went into its creation. The Iron Age Celts, arriving thousands of years after the first settlers, reworked the countrys ancient mythologies, so as to amalgamate them with their own, and thus created a new brand of Irish legend. Much later still, medieval churchmen gathered together all the traditions they could about tribal origins, concocted biblically slanted versions, and created a genealogical framework to the myths that would conveniently lead back to Noah and Adam. To achieve this neatly they made almost everyone descend from a Spanish prince called Ml who himself descended from Scota, a daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh called Nl, Noahs greatgreat grandson. They even managed to give Taras pagan, and very phallic, inauguration stone, the Lia Fil, a respectable biblical origin as Jacobs Pillow, which Mls family had conveniently brought with them. An early map relating the visible structures of Tara to legendary names.
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