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During the Middle Ages, many saga narratives were written in Ireland and Wales which are now generally regarded as ‘heroic literature’. This module will begin by defining heroic literature, before examining the literary models for heroic literature in the Middle Ages – including Old Testament narrative and Virgil’s Aeneid. We will then progress to reading and analysing a wide range of medieval Irish heroic literature, including texts on literary heroes, such as Cú Chulainn and Finn mac Cumaill, and historical heroes, such as Brian Boru. The status of hagiography as a form of heroic literature will also be discussed, and we will consider whether women could be regarded as heroic or whether the ‘hero’ was a purely masculine paradigm in medieval literature. Comparisons and contrasts will be made with medieval Welsh heroic literature, particularly the corpus of tales which centre on King Arthur.