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Ogham: was the language of the druids

Ogham was invented by the first Christian communities in early Ireland,


July 20, 2017



They had an alphabet of twenty letters called Ogham.

Each letter was named after a tree from the land where they lived.

That filled my heart. I wonder if the person (people?) who created ogham was a romantic. Someone awed by and touched by the atmosphere created by nature, that they would name letters after it. I can think of no higher expression of love/respect/fear(perhaps) than to name the letters of the alphabet after the objects of ones esteem.

(Note: Not atmosphere like gasses. But, atmosphere as in "the pervading tone or mood of a place, situation, or work of art."--Google)

Thank you for this magnificent post!


Ogham wasn't a language, it was a script/alphabet - it was used to write inscriptions in Primitive Irish but there are also some examples of Pictish.

It's purely conjecture that the letters were originally named after trees - that suggestion comes from centuries later, and wasn't particularly associated with (essentially modern) romantic notions of druidism.


Is that where the phrase Oggi Oggi Oggi came from? :-/


Thank you Jack. :) That was an interesting post, I was not aware of this. :)


What an amazing post!

And you have 4 languages level 25. Wow!


The part about the alphabet (each letter named from a tree) was really interesting, and I wasn't aware of any of this, thanks a lot!


Actually the Ogham wasn't invented by the first Christian communities though it was thought to originate somewhere between the Gauls and Ireland itself. Mind you this dates either pre-Celtic, or during the Celtic reign, way before Christianity started doing its crusades and conversions in the Celtic regions. If you wish to read up on it's use, you could check out the 12th century Book of Leinster, the 14th century Book of Ballymote, and O'Flaherty's Ogygia (published in 1793). Source: http://www.druidry.org/druid-way/teaching-and-practice/druid-tree-lore


While modern day so-called druids have latched on to half baked theories about the history of ogham, these have largely been debunked by modern scholarship, including the links to pre-Christian Gaul. Even the myth about the letters being named for trees is considered a medieval invention - some of the letters were named for trees, so the names of the other letters were modified or "re-interpreted" to find a connection to trees.

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