‘A Fenian pastime’? Early Irish board games and their identification with chess

  title={‘A Fenian pastime’? Early Irish board games and their identification with chess},
  author={Timothy Harding},
  journal={Irish Historical Studies},
  pages={1 - 22}
  • T. Harding
  • Published 1 May 2010
  • History
  • Irish Historical Studies
Twentieth-century scholars critically re-examining Ireland's origin myths explained how ‘synthetic pseudo-history’ such as the Lebor Gabála érenn arose. Sports, like nations, have need of origin myths, chess being no exception; moreover, sporting preferences have sometimes become bound up with a nation's sense of its unique identity. In the same ancient manuscripts where Celtic revivalists found legends of the earliest people in Ireland, they often also found references to board games. What may… 
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