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Caherdaniel

Ogham Stone

Located near Caherdaniel Village, County Kerry.

History of Ogham

The marks on the edges of this pillar stone (left) are characters from an alphabet that was used in fifth-century Ireland.  Known as Ogham, the 25-letter alphabet was supposedly inspired by Ogma, god of eloquence.

  • Ogham was carved and read from BOTTOM to TOP.  (Also carved, occasionally, right to left).
  • Also written as ogam or ogum, it is pronounced “AHG-m” or “OH-ehm.”
  • Ogham served as an alphabet for one of the ancient Celtic languages. Its origin is uncertain: it may have been adapted from a sign language.
  • Current understanding is that the names of the main twenty letters are also the names of 20 trees sacred to the druids.
  • Some authors have suggested the existence of a 13 month calendar which shared some of these names.
  • A 15th century treatise on Ogham, The Book of Ballymote, confirms that Ogham was a secret, ritualistic language.
  • However, there is no direct evidence that the Ogham alphabet was used [in antiquity] for divination or any other magical purposes.

Oagham Stone

Oagham Stone

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