A Social History of Ireland II: Land of Saints & Scholars?
A Social History Of Ireland, from Antiquity to the Early Enlightenment
In this series of talks, we will explore the history of Ireland from the first recorded arrival of homo sapiens until the consolidation of English rule at the end of the 17th Century AD.
Part 2: Land of Saints & Scholars?
In this part we will take a close look at the so-called Golden Age of Gaelic Ireland: namely the Early Christian or Early Medieval Era between around Protected content . It was this period that inspired much of later nationalist myth, promoting the belief in a holy land awash with celibate, ascetic monks and scribes who either stayed at home and wrote religious or poetic texts in exquisitely ornamented calligraphy, or became pioneering missionaries who sailed away to rescue the former Roman empire’s Christian heritage from ‘the barbarous heathen’.
We will attempt to disentangle some of these myths and bring our focus, as always, back onto what changes were taking place in Gaelic Irish society and on how it was interacting with, or adapting to, the new, post-Roman, early medieval world.
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