Euhemerism and demonisation, ‘two Christianisingdevices of unimpeachable orthodoxy which were disseminatedthroughout Europe’,(16) were not employed until the tenth century. This was not due to ignorance; Irish clergy were aware that other Christianwriters, such as Isidore of Seville, used these techniques. Instead,there developed the doctrine that the old gods, the Tuatha dé Dannan,were ‘half-fallen angels’ or ‘a branch of the human race whichsomehow escaped the contagion of the Fall’. (17) This is clearlyradically syncretic, and not merely an illustrative use of pre-Christianmaterial, as proposed by Carney and others. The conclusions of Carey, a cautious scholar, are supported by other reputable research. (18)
Do Irish MS reflect native, pre-christian tradition?
29 January 2013 by Me