The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branches of Celtic mythology. Although many of the manuscripts have failed to survive, and much more material was probably never committed to writing, there is enough remaining to enable the identification of four distinct, if overlapping, cycles: the Mythological Cycle, The Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle and the Historical Cycle. There are also a number of extant mythological texts that do not fit into any of the cycles. Additionally, there are a large number of recorded folk tales that, while not strictly mythological, feature personages from one or more of these four cycles.
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