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.