Ancient coptic manuscript dating from
A variation is that the alphabet was first invented, for whatever reason, in 4th-century Irish settlements in west Wales after contact and intermarriage with Romanised Britons with a knowledge of the Latin alphabet.
Macalister believed that ogham was first invented in Cisalpine Gaul around 600 BC by Gaulish druids as a secret system of hand signals, and was inspired by a form of the Greek alphabet current in Northern Italy at the time.
The names he gave to the letters were those of his 25 best scholars.
Alternatively, the Ogam Tract credits Ogma mac Elathan (Ogmios) with the script's invention.
The etymology of the word ogam or ogham remains unclear.
One possible origin is from the Irish og-úaim 'point-seam', referring to the seam made by the point of a sharp weapon.
Alternatively, in later centuries when the threat of invasion had receded and the Irish were themselves invading the western parts of Britain, the desire to keep communications secret from Romans or Romanised Britons would still have provided an incentive.
is that ogham was invented by the first Christian communities in early Ireland, out of a desire to have a unique alphabet for writing short messages and inscriptions in the Irish language.
There are two main schools of thought among scholars as to the motivation for the creation of ogham.
After ten years, the investigations were complete, and Fenius created in Bérla tóbaide "the selected language", taking the best of each of the confused tongues, which he called Goídelc, Goidelic, after Goídel mac Ethéoir.