Celtic Medieval Languages and Literatures

The Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures offers a secondary field in Celtic medieval languages and literatures for PhD students enrolled in other departments at Harvard. The Celtic languages, once spoken over much of Europe and Asia Minor, are of great linguistic interest, and the splendid medieval literatures of Ireland and Wales constitute a hugely rewarding field of study. Students of comparative literature, of other medieval languages and literatures, of history, of historical linguistics, and of religion may wish to consider this secondary field. Students, for example of medieval epic and romance, and of genres such as prophecy and vision poetry may wish for comparative purposes to read texts in the Celtic languages. The Celtic material offers invaluable sources for medieval historians of the Western Church, and of secular institutions and customs as well. Students of historical linguistics will know that a thorough knowledge of Old Irish is important for the investigation of Indo-European. The secondary field affords an opportunity to achieve professional competence in one of the Celtic languages, the range of its literature, and the scholarship in the field.

Requirements

The secondary field is organized in three separate tracks, Early and Medieval Irish, Medieval Welsh, and Medieval Celtic Languages. Each of them requires the student to take four courses (16 credits) in the department, the distribution of which is as follows:

Early and Medieval Irish: 
•    Irish 200: Introduction to Old Irish and Irish 201: Continuing Old Irish 
•    Either Irish 204r: Readings in Early Irish Poetry or Irish 205r: Readings in Early Irish Prose 
•    A Celtic course with a medieval focus, to be chosen in consultation with the director of graduate studies. Irish 204r or Irish 205r, whichever has not been chosen under b), is among the courses from which a choice will be made. 

Medieval Welsh: 
•    Welsh 225a: Medieval Welsh Language and Literature and Welsh 225b: Medieval Welsh Poetry
•    Either Welsh 226r: Readings in Middle Welsh Prose or Welsh 227: Seminar: Welsh Bardic Poetry 
•    A Celtic course with a medieval focus, to be chosen in consultation with the director of graduate studies. Welsh 226f or Welsh 227, whichever has not been chosen under b), is among the courses from which a choice will be made. 

Medieval Celtic Languages: 
•    Irish 200: Introduction to Early Irish
•    Irish 201: Continuing Early Irish
•    Welsh 225a: Medieval Welsh Language and Literature
•    Welsh 225b: Medieval Welsh Poetry

Course schedule: Certain courses in the department are given in alternate years. Irish 204r, Irish 205r, Welsh 225a and Welsh 225b will be given in 2016-17. Irish 200, Irish 201r, Welsh 226r, Welsh 227 are expected to be given in 2017-18.

For details contact the Department Administrator, Mary Violette, or the Director of Graduate Studies, Joseph F. Nagy.