Hunting the deer in Celtic and Indo-European Mythological Contexts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores various mythological concepts concerning the domestication of space and the taming of wild nature, the hunt of the deer as the epitome of the process, including its subject (‘the hunter’) and the object (‘the prey’), the interrelationship between the two and their interdependence on each other for their subsequent survival and success. The data provided by the Irish written sources, as well as by the iconographic depictions of the deer hunt in Continental Celtic and medieval Irish monuments, together with data of a comparative mythological nature, confirms that the domestication of space by a hero of a semi-divine status by way of hunting is a central feature of various Indo-European traditions, in which various religious figures embodying the veneration of wild nature are found.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCeltic Myth in the 21st Century: The Gods and their Stories in a Global Perspective
EditorsEmily Lyle
Place of PublicationCardiff
PublisherUniversity of Wales
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781786832061, 9781786832078, 9781786832085
ISBN (Print)9781786832054
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2018


  • Celtic mythology
  • sacred hunt
  • deer-hunt
  • early Irish kingship
  • Celtic iconography of the wild animals
  • Irish High Crosses
  • Lycian inscriptions
  • St. Patrick
  • Fenian hunting tales


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