Who was Goídel Glas?
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
Goídel Glas was the progenitor of the Gaels and the inventor of the Gaelic language, at least, according to some Medieval Irish traditions. First mentioned in Irish and Scottish texts from the 12th Century CE, Goídel Glas was an important figure in Gaelic histories like the Scotichronicon and the Lebor Gabála Érenn. Along with Scota, who is identified by some authors as his mother and by others as his wife, Goídel Glas sailed from Egypt and founded a kingdom in Hispania.
Goídel Glas is credited with creating the Gaelic language from the most perfect parts of the 72 languages created after the Confusion of Tongues, when God caused the builders of the Tower of Babel to speak distinct languages. As a legendary Gaelic king, Goídel Glas was identified as the ancestor of most Irish kings in the Lebor Gabála Érenn.
Goídel Glas was likely a mythological figure, but elements of his biography are derived from ancient Irish mythology and fragments of oral histories, in addition to Biblical narratives which were introduced during Late Antiquity.