Books, Papers and Primary Sources on War Goddesses and Warriors

Irish Literature featuring the War Goddesses  | Books and Papers on Gaelic and I-E Warriors  | Fíanna in Literature  | Pagan Writings  | Cross-cultural/Modern Warrior  | Physical Feminism and Gender Issues

If you happen to be looking for my own writings on the subject they are listed on the index page

Preliminary Reading for those New to Celtic/Gaelic Reconstructionist Paganism

A conversation brought up that some finding this page may not have a background in cultural Reconstructionist methods and may be trying to fit this work into Wiccan-style structures and mindsets I highly suggest checking out A Study Program for An Irish Traditional Polytheist, but this is my number 1 must read here:

Nerys Patterson, Cattle Lords & Clansmen: The Social Structure of Early Ireland, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 1994

Papers on the War Goddesses

John Carey, “The Name ‘Tuatha Dé Danann’” Éigse, Vol. 18, prt. 2, 1981, pg. 291-94

——, “Notes on the Irish War-Goddess” Éigse, Vol. 19, prt. 2, 1983, pg. 263-275

Paula Powers Coe, “Macha and Conall Cernach: A Study of Two Iconographic Patterns in Medieval Irish Narratives and Celtic Artdissertation, UCLA, 1995

Angelique Gulermovich Epstein, “War goddess: the Morrígan and her Germano-Celtic counterparts” dissertation, University of California in Los Angeles, 1998

Kim Heijda,  “War-goddesses, furies and scald crows: The use of the word badb in early Irish literature” thesis, University of Utrecht, Feb. 27, 2007 (link updated on 11/19/17)

WM Hennessey, “The Ancient Irish Goddess of War”  Revue Celtique vol 1. 1870, pg. 32-57 (Please keep in mind the period and the development of research since then)

Irish Literature Featuring the War Goddesses

J. Fraser, “The First Battle of Moytura” (Cath Maige Tuired Cunga), Ériu 8, 1915 at JSTOR Or in English only on Mary Jones site

Elizabeth Gray, trans., Cath Maige Tuired: The Second Battle of Mag Tuired  English, In Irish Irish Text Society

Eleanor Hull, ed., The Cuchullin Saga in Irish Literature: being a collection of stories relating to the Hero Cuchullin, London: David Nutt on the Strand, 1898

A. H. Leahy,  The Courtship of Ferb: An Old Irish Romance Transcribed in the 12th Century into the Book of Leinster (Tochmarc Ferbe) New York, 1902 (translation only)

——-,  Táin Bó Regamna EnglishIn Irish Leahy, ed. Heroic Romances of Ireland, Volume II London: David Nutt, 1906

Robert A. Stewart MacAlister, ed. and trans., Lebor Gabála Érenn: The Book of the Taking of Ireland Vol IV Dublin: Irish Text Society, 1941

Kuno Meyer,  trans. ‘The Wooing of Emer’  Tochmarc Emire  Archaeological Review 1, 1888

——, trans.  Echtrae Nerai (The Adventure of Nera) Revue celtique 10 (1889), pg. 212-228

Cecile O’Rahilly, trans., Táin Bó Cúalnge Book of Leinster English, In Irish 1967

——–, trans., Táin Bó Cúalnge, Recession 1 English, In Irish  Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1976

AG van Hamel Compert Con Culainn and Other Stories, Medieval and Modern Irish Series, Vol 3, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1933

Books and Papers Related to Gaelic and other Indo-European Warriors

David Anthony and Dorcas Brown, “Midwinter Dog Sacrifices at LBA Krasnosamarskoe, Russia And Traces of Initiations for Männerbünde” Paper presented,  Conference: Tracing the Indo-European: Origin and migrations. Roots of Europe Research Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Dec 11 – 13, 2012

Sharon J. Arbuthnot and Geraldine Parsons, eds., The Gaelic Finn Tradition, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2012

Béaloideas Iml. 54/55, (1986/1987) — this issue of this journal has several excellent papers on the Fianna, including “Fenian Heroes and Their Rites of Passage” by Joseph Falaky Nagy, “Fianaigecht in the Pre-Norman Period” by Proinsias Mac Cana and “Magic Attributes of the Hero in Fenian Lore” by Dáithí Ó hÓgáin it can be found at JSTOR

Phillip Bernhardt-House, “Binding the Wolf, Leashing the Hound: Canid Eschatologies in Irish and Norse Myth,”Studia Celtica Fennica XIV, Finnish Society for Celtic Studies, 2017

——-, “Imbolc: A New Interpretation,” Cosmos: The Yearbook of the Traditional Cosmology Society, 18 (2005): pg. 57–76

——–, “Warriors, Words, and Wood: Oral and Literary Wisdom in the Exploits of Irish Mythological Warriors” Studia Celtica Fennica VI,  Finnish Society for Celtic Studies, 2009

———, Werewolves, Magical Hounds and Dog-Headed Men in Celtic Literature: A Typological Study of Shape-Shifting, Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010

John Carey, “Werewolves in Medieval Ireland” Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, Issue 44, 2002

Nora Chadwick, “Imbas ForosnaiScottish Gaelic Studies, vol 4, part 2, Oxford University Press, 1935

Diana Dominguez, Historical Residues in the Old Irish Legends of Queen Medb: An Expanded Interpretation of the Ulster Cycle  Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010. See my review here

Flahive, Joseph J., The Fenian Cycle in Irish and Scots-Gaelic Literature, Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 1, Cork: Cork University Press, 2017

Daniel Gershenson,  Apollo The Wolf-GodJournal of Indo-European Studies, Monograph No. 8., Washington D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man Inc., 1992

Kris Kershaw, The One-eyed God: Odin and the (Indo-) Germanic Männerbünde, Journal of Indo-European Studies, Monograph No. 36., Washington D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man Inc., 2000

Kim McCone, “Aided Cheltchair Maic Uthechair: Hounds, Heroes and Hospitallers in Early Irish Myth and Story.” Ériu 35, 1984 at JSTOR

——-, “Varia II.” Ériu 36, 1985 at JSTOR

——-, “Werewolves, Cyclopes, Díberga and Fíanna: Juvenile Delinquency in Early Ireland” Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, issue 12, 1986

Joseph Falaky Nagy. The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn in Gaelic Narrative Tradition, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985

J. R. Reinhard and V. E. Hull, “Bran and Sceolang,” Speculum 11, 1936 at JSTOR

R.F.M. Schiphorst, “The hound/wolf and warrior in Irish literature: A narratological and semiotic analysis of the Acallam na Senórach,” BA thesis Utrecht University, 2016

Richard Sharpe, “Hiberno-Latin Laicus, Irish Láech and the Devil’s Men,” Ériu  30, 1979 at JSTOR

Michael P. Speidel, “Berserks: A History of Indo-European ‘Mad Warriors,’” Journal of World History Vol. 13, No. 2 (Fall, 2002)

Máire West, “Aspects of Díberg in the Tale Togail Bruidne Da Derga,”  Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie (ZcP), Volume 49-50

Camilla Michelle With Penderson, “Metamorphoses: a Comparative Study of Representations of Shape-Shifting in Old Norse and Medieval Irish Narrative Literature,” Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth., 2015

Fíanna in Literature

John Gregorson Campbell, The Fians: or Stories, Poems & Traditions of Fionn and His Warrior Band, Elibron Classics, 2005 (org. pub. Date 1891)  original edition can be found online

Anne Dooley and Harry Roe, trans., Tales of the Elders of Ireland: a new translation of Acallamh na Senórach, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999 (This is my favorite translation. However, Standish Hayes O’Grady’s partial translation is available online “The Colloquy of the Ancients,” Medieval Irish Series, Cambridge, 1999 and the Irish as well as translations of parts O’Grady did not translate can now be found at Whitley Stokes, ed. Acallamh na Senórach I Stokes & E. Windisch, ed., Irische Texte vol 4 part 1, 1900)

Kuno Meyer, ed., Macgnimartha Find,” Revue Celtique 5, 1881 (the Irish, see next listing for translations)

——-ed. and trans., “The Boyish Exploits of Finn,” Ériu 1, 1904 (the translations of the above)

——-ed. & trans., Fianaigecht, Dublin, Ireland: Hodges, Figgis & Co., 1910

Gerard Murphy, ed. and trans., Duanaire Finn: The Book of the Lays of Finn Vol. I, London: Irish Texts Society, 1908

—–Duanaire Finn: The Book of the Lays of Finn Vol. II, London: Irish Texts Society, 1933

——Duanaire Finn: The Book of the Lays of Finn Vol. III, London: Irish Texts Society, 1953

Pagan Writings

“An Morrígan: War Goddess and More”  by Maya St.Clair -Another Polytheist’s Essay on one of the War Goddesses

A Wolf-Man, Not a Wolf in Man’s Clothing -especially focused on the lycanthropic aspects of the path

Trials of a Féinnid – another exploration of fénnidecht

Cross-cultural and Modern Warrior Path Resources

John Carman and Anthony Harding, eds. Ancient Warfare: Archaeological Perspectives, Gloustershire: Sutton Publishing, 2004

Rick Fields,ed. The Awakened Warrior, New York: Putnam Book 1994

Joshua S. Goldstein, War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001

Sun Tzu The Art of War

Physical Feminism and Gender Issues

Jeannine Davis-Kimball, Ph.D with Mona Behan. Warrior Women: An Archaeologist’s Search for History’s Hidden Heroines, New York: Warner Books, 2002 See my review here

Collette Dowling,  The Frailty Myth: Redefining the Physical Potential of Women and Girls, New York: Random House, 2001 See my review here

Shari L. Dworkin and Fay Linda Wach,  Body Panic: Gender Health and the Selling of Fitness, New York : NYU Press, 2009

Shari L. Dworkin and Leslie Heywood, Built to Win: the female Athlete as Cultural Icon, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003

Cynthia Eller, The Myth of Matriarchy: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future, Boston: Beacon Press, 2000

Leslie Heywood, Bodymakers: A Cultural Anatomy of Women’s Body Building, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1998

Abby Wettan Kleinbaum, The War Against the Amazons, New York: New Press/MacGraw-Hill Book Company, 1983

Katheryn M. Linduff and Karen S. Rubinson, eds. Are All Warriors Male? Gender Roles on the Ancient Eurasian Steppe, Lanham: AltaMira Press, 2008

Martha McCaughey, Real Knockouts: The Physical Feminism of Women’s Self-Defense,  NY: New York University Press, 1997

Ellen Snortland, Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls,  Trilogy Books, 1998

Mary Zeiss Stange,  Woman the Hunter, Boston: Beacon Press, 1997

Carol A. Wiley, ed. Women in the Martial Arts, North Atlantic Books, 1992

Wolf based on Newbigging Leslie stone sketch copyright © 2002 Aaron Miller