Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

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A mysterious and magical island. Source: Marina Varnava / Adobe Stock

Avalon: Island of Apples

The Celtic Otherworld has always been a mystery; a strange, mysterious, and elusive place. What is not always appreciated is the extent to which the Celtic Otherworld, especially the magic Island of Apples, agrees with its Greek counterpart.

Since ancient times it had in fact been believed that the Celts got their concept of the Blessed Isles from the Greeks. The Greek historian, Plutarch, in his Life of Sertorius (8.2-3), maintains that the belief in the Elysian Fields passed into the Celtic world and modern scholars hold the same opinion.

In order to delve somewhat deeper and explore these possible origins, a closer look needs to be taken at a Celtic god and goddess closely associated with the Celtic Otherworld, namely Manannán/Manawydan and his consort, Rhiannon.

Manannán/Manawydan

An intriguing figure among the Tuatha Dé Danann was Manannán mac Lir, remembered in Welsh tradition as Manawydan fab Llŷr, “Son of the Sea.”


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