bardic schools in Ireland

Gaelic: bard, minstrel or poet

Schools for poets. There were seven grades of poets, distinguished from bards, who were relatively only rhymesters, and of which there were eight grades. These schools, which were attached rather to individual teachers than to localities, were the direct offshoots of the ancient pagan Druidic foundations, and taught by a comprehensive and specialized system or curriculum which included metrical text-books, fragments of which may be found in the Book of Leinster (c.1150). These books prescribe a knowledge of magic, including numerous and varied incantations. The bardic poetry was remarkably metrical, although unrhymed; it was written in as many as 400 different meters, none of which, however, by the end of the 18th century, is found in use.