Thursday, June 10, 2010

Irish History Podcast

Here is a new podcast that is off to a promising start. The Irish History Podcast started a couple of months ago and has produced two fascinating episodes so far (feed). It has paid some attention to the earliest known inhabitants of Ireland - those barbarians the Greeks and Romans referred to. And it has begun a series about the Vikings.

When I was listening to this podcast I was reminded of the beginning of the Celtic Myth Podshow. This series kicked off two years earlier. It vividly retells Celtic myths and at the time started with the Irish myths. These Irish tales contained a lot of coming into existence and historized narrative. At the time I would have loved the CMP to compare the myths to history. And in exactly the same way, I was hoping, and am still hoping, the Irish History Podcast will take on Irish tales and address them as some kind of source for the earliest history of Ireland, or at least as a viable source to compare with what regular history makes of Irish history.

Maybe this is to come when the podcast reaches the middle ages, when most of those old tales were written down or to the later ages when Celtic culture was rediscovered as the roots of many from the British Isles. In any case, no history can go without historiography and the construction of histories, the imagined history if not as the actual history than as the cultural history. Yet, even without that, the Irish History podcast is a welcome addition to the world of history podcasts especially since it addresses a realm that nobody else pays that kind of attention to.