The Salmon of Knowledge in Irish Literature; a Scholarly Concept
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The salmon of knowledge is generally regarded by Celticists as an established and widely referenced concept. However, when reviewing the extent medieval texts, it becomes clear that the salmon of knowledge is only a widely referenced concept in scholarly literature, not medieval literature. The concept of the salmon of knowledge has been exaggerated by scholars. After reviewing a corpus of thirteen medieval Irish texts it becomes clear that there is very little evidence for the existence of a medieval concept of the salmon of knowledge. A Salmon is also frequently associated with other qualities, such as heroism. Moreover, other elements within the concept of the salmon of knowledge, such as the nuts of imbas, seem to be more closely connected with knowledge than salmon. This thesis would encourage scholars to reconsider the concept of the salmon of knowledge. To let go of the immediate association between salmon and knowledge will allow us to better interpret the appearance of salmon in Medieval Irish texts.
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