I’m going to do something different today. I’ve reviewed books and websites before but this is the first time I review a study course.
The course is on the website Udemy The course is called Ancient Ireland: Culture and Society by Kevin Flanagan. Kevin Flanagan owns the website The Brehon Law Academy. The course is self-paced so you can take it in your own time.
I’m going to start with what I didn’t like to get it out of the way. I was hoping for a further reading file on every lecture or a big one at the end but there wasn’t one. I was also hoping for a bibliography or a works cited file but there wasn’t one either. A lot of the time I wasn’t sure where his information was coming from but he was very good at telling us where his quotes were coming from and the precise page in the book it came from. Finally, and this might not be important to everyone, there wasn’t any homework or quizzes to help me check my understanding of the lectures.
I really liked the course despite what I said above. I didn’t agree with some of what he said especially about the Tuatha De Dannan turning into the sidhe (it is not that simple) but for the most part his information is pretty sound. The subjects that Flanagan discussed were logical and grouped very well. They gave a good understanding of the Irish society and culture. I loved that he uses the Irish word for what he is discussing whenever possible.
His sources for the quotes were a bit on the old side but they were sound for the subjects he was discussing. He has resources on each lesson that sometimes included articles off site or YouTube lectures by well known professors of Celtic studies along side his slides and wave files of the lectures themselves. Almost all of it is downloadable.
Some of the subjects discussed in this course were the structure of Irish society, kings, warriors, women (I was very impressed with this subject as he gets it right), divisions of the land and the sacred sites, pagan religion, and burial rites.
All in all I would recommend this course to people who are interested in a solid introduction to the ancient Irish culture and society, but as with everything…cross-reference, cross-reference, cross-reference.