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1. Filid in Celtic Society: – The term ‘fili’ possibly derives from primitive Irish ᚃᚓᚂᚔᚈᚐᚄ. – The filid were originally prophetic poets who foretold the […]

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1. Filid in Celtic Society:
– The term ‘fili’ possibly derives from primitive Irish ᚃᚓᚂᚔᚈᚐᚄ.
– The filid were originally prophetic poets who foretold the future.
– There were seven orders of fili, with the highest being the ollam.
– Ollam required at least 12 years of training and memorization of tales.
– Filid were also seanchaí – historians advising chieftains and kings.
– The filid had significant influence and power over political leaders.
– The fear of satire from filid was a form of blackmail if not treated with respect.

2. Oral Tradition and Decline of Filid:
– The fili maintained an oral tradition predating Christianization in Ireland.
– Poetic and musical forms were crucial for mnemonic value and aesthetics.
– The decline of filid was due to the accommodation of Christianity and limited resources.
– Families like Ó Dálaigh and Ó hUiginn were accorded high ranks in poetry.
– Christian monks recorded much of the oral tradition in writing.

3. Legacy of Filid:
– Many manuscripts preserving tales by the fili have survived.
– Contributions to modern literature by authors like William Butler Yeats and James Joyce.
– Influence on fantasy literature and art with characters like Cúchulainn and Finn McCool.
– Musical tradition of the fili carried on by artists like Turlough OCarolan and Planxty.

4. Modern Interpretations and Practices:
– Modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic words for poet derived from fili.
– Practitioners reconstructing trance and visionary techniques used by fili.
– Rituals and practices being revived in a modern context.
– Connection between fili and earlier pagan elements.

5. References and Further Reading:
– References from various sources like MacKillop 2004, Hyde 1913, Coleman 2022, Noble & Evans 2022, and Foster 2014.
– Notes on Old Irish to Modern Irish comparison, and the different grades and roles of poets.
– Etymology of words like fili and druid.
– Rituals like tarbfeis and their significance.
– Web resources for further exploration of fili traditions and practices.

Poet (Wikipedia)

A poet is a person who studies and creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be the creator (thinker, songwriter, writer, or author) who creates (composes) poems (oral or written), or they may also perform their art to an audience.

NamesPoet, Troubador, Bard
Occupation type
Activity sectors
Related jobs
Novelist, writer, lyricist

The work of a poet is essentially one of communication, expressing ideas either in a literal sense (such as communicating about a specific event or place) or metaphorically. Poets have existed since prehistory, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary greatly in different cultures and periods. Throughout each civilization and language, poets have used various styles that have changed over time, resulting in countless poets as diverse as the literature that (since the advent of writing systems) they have produced.

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