A uniquely Celtic Irish script, Ogam later spread among the Celts of Great Britain. Ogmic inscriptions have been found in Scotland, Wales, Devonshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Man.
Celtic Alphabet Designs
Ogam was inscribed upon wands and upright stone pillars. Celtic alphabet letters were notches, cuts or strokes across the edge of the angle.
The Ogam Celtic alphabet consisted of four types of markings:
- Dots – one or more dotes to request a letter
- Lines – right angle to the line of the edge
- Angled lines – straight lines made at and angle to the edge
- Cross – two lines crossing each other on the edge making an ‘X’ shape
Below are Free Celtic Letters For You To Reference and Use
Later, when Ogam was recorded in manuscript the dots were replaced with short lines through a horizontal line.
The following is taken from an Ogam inscription found on a stone pillar near Donmore head in the West of Kerry, it reads: ERC the SON of the SON of ERCA (descendant of) MONOVINA. Reference from Professor Rhys’s Hibbert Lectures.
Origin of the Celtic Alphabet
The origin of the Ogam Celtic alphabet letters is not entirely known. Some scholars believe it to be quite ancient while others believe its invention to be post-Christian. Ogam does seem to be based on the Roman alphabet or at least been influenced by the Roman alphabet at some stage in its development.
The Celtic God Ogma
Ogma, also called Cermait the “honey-mouthed”, son of the Dagda, was the Celtic god of literature. He is credited with being the inventor of the Celtic alphabet known as Ogam.
Ogma was also the strong man champion of the Tuatha Dé Danann, his epithet is Grianainech, “Sunny-faced’ because of his radiant, shinning countenance.
Celtic Alphabet Reference: Charles Squire’s Mythology of The Celtic People.