Thinking in Threes: The Triad in Early Irish Literature

Fergus Kelly

in Proceedings of the British Academy Volume 125, 2003 Lectures

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263242
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734014 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Thinking in Threes: The Triad in Early Irish Literature

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This lecture discusses the most extensive collection found in Irish language. It consists of 214 triads and several nonads, tetrads, duads, and single items. An anonymous author composed this collection sometime during the ninth century AD, and included general observations on law, nature, geography, human behaviour, and the Church. Some of the triads in this collection were adapted from earlier sources, but most of them display the vivid style of the author.

Keywords: triads; extensive collection; ninth century AD; general observations; earlier sources; Irish language

Chapter.  8500 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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