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O Ogma

I thought it was time to revisit the figures on the doors on the Adams Building and decided that it was Ogma’s turn.

Ogma (Oghma, Ogmae, Ogme) appears in Irish and Scottish mythology. I am not an expert in this area so I won’t recount all of his story, but he was an orator and warrior of the Tuatha Dé Dannan and along with Lug and Dagda, one of its three principle champions.

In his 1911 book The Religion of the Ancient Celts, J. A. MacCulloch says Ogma was the master of poetry and the inventor of ogham writing or alphabet which, according to the Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, was the earliest form of Irish writing where the Latin alphabet was adapted.  MacCulloch says the following:

It is more probable that Ogma’s name is a derivative from some word signifying “speech” or “writing,” and that the connection with “ogham” may be a mere folk-etymology.  Ogma appears as the champion of the gods, a position given him perhaps from the primitive custom of rousing the warriors’ emotions by eloquent speeches before a battle. (p.75)

So it seems Ogma was chosen to be on the doors because he is credited with inventing an alphabet, which was named after him.

From Madison to Adams

These are photographs of the Adams Building that I took from the 6th floor of the Madison Building. People on the street looking up at the building don’t see all of the levels clearly, but the overall shape of the building is clearer from this perspective. It seems to be similar to that of a […]

Nabu and Tahmurath in Bronze

The exterior bronze doors of the John Adams Building Building depict figures that brought learning, knowledge, and communication to the world. We have done individual posts on several already, but this post features two that are paired together – Nabu and Tahmurath. Nabu was the scribe for Marduk (often referred to as Bel), who was […]


One of my goals in writing for the blog has been to feature the decorative details of the Adams Building, including the figures that grace the bronze doors.  I thought it was time revisit this topic, so this post is dedicated to Odin, the image that stands beside Quetzalcoatl. Odin, sometimes written as Wodan, Woden, […]

Pics of the Week: Sequoyah

We have visited the topic of the images on the bronze doors of the Adams Building in several posts – Itzamna, Quetzalcoatl, and Brahma.  Today’s post  celebrates Native American Heritage Month by featuring two pictures from the Adams Building. One image is of Sequoyah from the building’s bronze doors done by Lee Lawrie, the other […]