Orality, literacy and genealogy in medieval Ireland and Wales
Thornton, David E.
Cambridge Universty Press
83 - 98
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Literacy in medieval Celtic societies
For historians of early medieval Ireland and Wales the genealogical sources, along with the chronicles, constitute the primary means of reconstructing dynasties, and thereby of understanding the transmission of power and analysing power structures. 1 Given this evident importance, it is regrettable that for many scholars genealogies have, in the words of John Kelleher,'all the charm of an obsolete telephone directory from some small, remote capital'.