Events

Bealtaine Term 2018

Download Bealtaine Event Calendar/Brochure

Wednesdays 20, 27 June, 4, 11, 25 July, 1 August
Scottish Gaelic Conversation for Beginners

Learn to hold a basic conversation in the Scottish Gaelic language.  Become familiar with greetings and everyday expressions in the ancestral language of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
Schedule
6.30-8.30 – weekly seminar
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$185     $125 student/unwaged
includes light suppers and booklet
Scottish Gaelic Conversation for Beginners registration form

Sunday 22 July
History of the Celts in Twenty Objects
ADELAIDE

The Celts are defined linguistically, and yet we are able to associate a vast collection of objects, decorative and utilitarian, with Celtic culture over more than two millennia.  An attempt to define the history of the Celts through such a small sample as twenty objects is doomed to failure.  Rather, this study day seeks to touch on some of the more intriguing aspects of Celtic culture though the objects that are associated with it.
In examining our twenty objects, we will also glance quickly at some additional objects that did not make the cut.  We will talk about what makes an object Celtic, what is special about each object, and how it represents a particular aspect of Celtic culture.  Each object will be illustrated with a range of photographs.
Schedule
10.00-12.00 – metalwork
lunch break
1.00-2.15 – stone sculpture
afternoon tea
2.30-4.30 – manuscripts and other objects
Venue
Adelaide Irish Club, 13-15 Carrington St
Cost
$75 full fee  ($45 student/unwaged)
includes afternoon tea and booklet
Adelaide brochure

Monday 23 July
Book of Kells Seminar
ADELAIDE

The Book of Kells is a beautiful, illuminated manuscript made around 750. Join us for a look at the manuscript, its background and its decoration. We will have many photographs of details from the manuscript.
Schedule
10.00-11.30 – Iona, Kells and the book
morning tea
11.45-1.00 – Influences and decorations
Venue
Adelaide Irish Club, 13-15 Carrington St
Cost
$40 full fee  ($25 student/unwaged)
includes afternoon tea and booklet
Adelaide brochure

Monday 23 July
Early Irish Law Seminar
ADELAIDE

The legal system of early Ireland is remarkable: it is the best-documented vernacular legal system in pre-modern Europe, and remained in use for over a millennium. It was also highly sophisticated and profoundly effective. Careful attention was given to proving not only guilt and innocence, but intentionality and culpability. Complicated formulas weighed up the social usefulness of the situation in which the offence occurred, the capacity of individuals to take responsibility for their actions, and the extent of the damage. A delicate balance of family and community responsibilities and entitlements compelled compliance, taking the place of a police force. Join us in this seminar to explore some of the most interesting, unexpected and ingenious aspects of early Irish law, and to trace its fascinating development.
Venue
Adelaide Irish Club, 13-15 Carrington St
Cost
$30 full fee  ($20 student/unwaged)
includes handout
Adelaide brochure

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Lughnasadh Term 2018

Download Lughnasadh Term Sydney Event Calendar/Brochure

Saturday 4 August
Lughnasadh study day

In the week of the Celtic festival of Lughnasadh, we will look first at historical events involving the Celts at this time of year, then turn our attention to the ancient Celtic seasonal festivals, discussing how they were marked at various points in history.  We discuss the traditions specific to Lughnasadh, which occurs at the beginning of Autumn in the northern hemisphere.  We will conclude the day by sharing some music and tales specific to Lughnasadh.
Schedule

10.00-11.30 – 4 August in Celtic history
11.45-1.00 – marking the Celtic seasons
2.00-3.15 – Lughnasadh traditions old-new
3.30-5.00 – Lughnasadh music and tales
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$95 ($65 student/unwaged) – please register in advance
includes morning and afternoon teas and booklet

Download Lughnasadh study day registration form

Saturday 25 August
Holy Islands – Iona seminar

At the centre of Saint Columba’s federation of monasteries and churches, the island of Iona was a centre of learning.  We will spend the morning with this beautiful island and its intriguing history.  In particular, we will discuss the complicated history of the church in Saint Columba’s time, and investigate the many early medieval and later artefacts associated with Iona.
Schedule
10.00-11.30 – Saint Columba and Iona
11.45-1.00 – stone crosses and artefacts
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$50 ($35 student/unwaged) – please register in advance
includes morning tea and booklet
Download Holy Islands – Iona registration form

Saturday 25 August
Holy Islands – Lindisfarne seminar

Established by monks from Iona at the invitation of the king of Northumbria, the tidal island of Lindisfarne came to be of central importance for Christianity in the north of England.  In this seminar, we will explore the background of Lindisfarne’s establishment and its role in the development of Christianity in England.  Lindisfarne is the place of origin for many important early medieval manuscripts including the Lindisfarne Gospels, and we will look closely at these manuscripts and other artefacts from Lindisfarne and the surrounding areas.
Schedule
2.00-3.30 – history and place
3.45-5.00 –  manuscripts and artefacts
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$50 ($35 student/unwaged) – please register in advance
includes afternoon tea and booklet
Download Holy Islands – Lindisfarne registration form

Holy Islands day package
$95 ($65 student/unwaged)
Download Holy Islands registration form

Saturday 8 September
Saint Ninian seminar

There is some uncertainty about the origin of the name of Saint Ninian:  the most popular view is that this is a scribal misspelling.  In this seminar, we will consider the most likely form of Ninian’s original name, who he was, what he did and where he came from.  Much of our information about Ninian comes from the Venerable Bede, who informs us that Ninian established the monastery at Whithorn as the basis for a mission to the southern Picts.  We will consider the likelihood of that being the case, who the southern Picts might have been, and what Ninian’s activities are likely to have been.
Schedule
10.00-11.30 – who was Saint Ninian?
11.45-1.00 – mission to the southern Picts?
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$50 ($35 student/unwaged) – please register in advance
includes morning tea and booklet
Download Saint Ninian registration form

Saturday 8 September
Whithorn seminar

The monastic site at Whithorn, centre of Saint Ninian’s activity in southern Scotland, is a marvellous record of a church in use for over a millennium, and has been extensively excavated.  In this seminar, we will explore the archaeological evidence that has been uncovered there, and the range of activities carried out on the site.  We will pay particular attention to the carved stone crosses and other artefacts that have been recovered from Whithorn and the surrounding area.
Schedule
2.00-3.30 – archaeology of a monastery
3.45-5.00 –  stone crosses and artefacts
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$50 ($35 student/unwaged) – please register in advance
includes afternoon tea and booklet
Download Whithorn registration form

Saint Ninian & Whithorn day package
$95 ($65 student/unwaged)
Download Ninian and Whithorn registration form

Saturday 22 September
Adomnán of Iona seminar

Adomnán was the eighth abbot of Iona and a blood relation to Saint Columba.  He was author of the Life of Columba, a treatise on the holy places, various letters and an important legal tract.  In this seminar, we will consider Adomnán the man and religious leader, the library he assembled at Iona, and the works he wrote.  We will give particular attention to Cáin Adomnáin, also known as the Law of Innocents – the law Adomnán wrote which ostensibly gives protection to women, clerics and young boys, but which changed the face of the law in Scotland and Ireland.
Schedule
9.30-11.00 – life and literary works
11.15-12.30 – Adomnán’s Law of Innocents
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$50 ($35 student/unwaged) – please register in advance
includes morning tea and booklet
Download Adomnan of Iona registration form

Saturday 22 September
Vernal Equinox celebration

Join us at a free event to celebrate the Spring equinox:  chat with like-minded folk over a light lunch and be the first to see our Samhain term event calendar.
Schedule
1.00-3.00 – lunch, music, short talk and launch of Samhain calendar
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
free event:  RSVP


Saturday 6 October
Lord of the Rings study day

JRR Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, was a noted scholar of languages and literature.  In this study day, we will investigate the traces of historical Celtic, Norse and Anglo-Saxon language and literature in The Lord of the Rings.  We begin by discussing Tolkien’s academic work, his literary output, and what he revealed about his opinions and methods in the many letters he wrote. We will then consider the distinct cultures of the Celts, Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, and how they are reflected in the different races depicted in the novels.  We will also look at how these traits were adapted in Peter Jackson’s movie series.
Schedule
10.00-11.30 – Tolkien: scholar and author
11.45-1.00 – Hobbits and Anglo-Saxons
2.00-3.30 – Elves and Celts
3.45-5.00 – Dwarves and Vikings
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$95 ($65 concession/$50 school student) – please register in advance
includes morning and afternoon teas and booklet
Download Lord of the Rings registration form

Saturday 20 October
Who were the Picts seminar

The Picts occupied much of the territory of north-eastern Scotland in the iron age and early medieval period.  We know little of them, because the only writings in their language that survive are fragmentary inscriptions and some names of places and people.  They have generated a great deal of speculation because of the enigmatic symbols they carved on stone boulders.  Picts also famously killed the warlike king Ecgfrith of Northumbria in an ambush.  In this seminar, we will attempt to separate speculation from fact, and understand as much as it is possible to know about the Picts.
Schedule
10.00-11.30 – historical sources for Picts
11.45-1.00 – linguistic and other evidence
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$50 ($35 student/unwaged) – please register in advance
includes morning tea and booklet
Download Who were the Picts registration form

Saturday 20 October
Pictish Carved Stones seminar

The Picts’ greatest legacy is the many carved stones they left behind.  These take two particular forms:  the rough boulders with the mysterious Pictish symbols incised on them, and the intricately shaped and carved slabs adorned with crosses, hunt scenes, Celtic decoration and symbols.  In this lavishly illustrated seminar, we will look closely at the Pictish carved stones, considering the nature and style of the carving, its influences and possible meanings.
Schedule
2.00-3.30 – Pictish symbol stones
3.45-5.00 –  Pictish cross-slabs
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$50 ($35 student/unwaged) – please register in advance
includes afternoon tea and booklet
Download Pictish Carved Stones registration form

The Picts day package
$95 ($65 student/unwaged)
Download The Picts registration form

Wednesdays 8, 15, 22, 29 August, 5, 12 September
Introduction to Irish Language

Learn the basics of the Irish language.  Discover its grammatical features and historical development, acquire basic vocabulary and learn to read simple text.
Schedule
6.30-8.30 – weekly seminar
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$185 ($125 student/unwaged)
includes light supper and booklet
Download Introduction to Irish Language registration form

Wednesdays 19, 26 September, 3, 10, 17, 24 October
Irish Conversation for Beginners

Learn to hold simple conversations in the Irish language.  Become familiar with greetings and everyday expressions in the Celtic language of Ireland.
Schedule
6.30-8.30 – weekly seminar
Venue
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Cost
$185 ($125 student/unwaged)
includes light supper and booklet
Download Irish Conversation for Beginners registration form

Irish Language pair package
$350 ($230 student/unwaged)
Download Irish language registration form

 

On very rare occasions, we may have to cancel an event due to circumstances beyond our control.  On such occasions, we will notify all registered participants and arrange a full refund.  If you are unable to attend an event for which you have registered, we will arrange a full refund if you cancel with at least 48 hours’ notice.  If you cancel with less than 48 hours’ notice, we will endeavour to arrange a reduced registration fee for a substitute event.

Really want to come but can’t afford it?
Contact us about payment plans or scholarships.

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Past Events

Bealtaine Term 2018

Wednesdays 9, 16, 23, 30 May, 6, 13 June
Introduction to Scottish Gaelic

Saturday 19 May
The Venerable Bede study day

Saturday 2 June
The Book of Kells study day

Saturday 16 June
Early Medieval Routes across Scotland seminar

Saturday 16 June
Winter Solstice Celebration

Saturday 30 June
Outlander study day

Monday 9 to Friday 13 July
Old Irish boot camp

Saturday 14 July
Early Irish Law study day

Imbolc Term 2018

Saturday 3 February
St Brigit’s Day / Imbolc study day

Friday 16 March
St Patrick:  reading the ‘Lives’ study day

Friday 23 March
St Cuthbert’s Day seminar

Friday 23 March
Autumnal Equinox celebration

6.30-8.30pm Wednesdays 7, 14, 21, 28 March, 4, 11 April
Introduction to Celtic Languages

Saturday 21 April
History of the Celts in 20 Objects study day