Professor Dafydd Johnston speaks at Symposium on Dánta Grádha

Posted on 21 September 2016

To celebrate the passing of one hundred years since the publication of the first edition of Dánta Grádha, an anthology of Irish love poetry collected and edited by Tomás Ó Rathile, a symposium on the dánta grá, the courtly love poetry of Early Modern Ireland and Scotland, was held at the weekend in the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS).

Amongst the speakers was Professor Dafydd Johnston, Director of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies (CAWCS) who presented a paper entitled Metaphors of love in the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym. His paper considered some of the metaphors used by the fourteenth-century Welsh poet and explored themes including the body as landscape, love as a violently invasive force, and the potential of metaphor for ambiguity and duality.

Founded in 1940 as part of DIAS, the School of Celtic Studies is dedicated to the study of Celtic languages throughout history, both written and spoken, as well as related history of cultural, social and legal issues. Its establishment gave rise to aspirations for a similar school in Wales and its increasing reputation, and the fact that other Celtic nations were establishing similar institutions, provided additional impetus to the campaign, eventually realised in 1985 with the establishment of CAWCS.

With a full day’s programme, other speakers at the symposium included Neil Buttimer (University College Cork) Mícheál Hoyne (DIAS) Mícheál Mac Craith (St. Isidore’s College, Rome) Damian McManus (Trinity College, Dublin), Deirdre Nic Mhathúna (St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra) Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha (National University of Ireland, Galway), Síle Ní Mhurchú (DIAS), Ruairí Ó hUiginn (National University of Ireland, Maynooth) and Mícheál Ó Mainnín (Queen’s University, Belfast).

For more information about the School of Celtic Studies at DIAS please visit –

For more information about CAWCS please visit –


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