Ireland in the medieval world, AD400–1000

Landscape, kingship and religion


Edel Bhreathnach

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February 2014. 316pp; colour ills.

Aimed at the student and general reader, this is a study of Ireland’s people, landscape and place in the world from late antiquity to the reign of Brian Bórama. It narrates the story of Ireland’s emergence into history, using anthropological, archaeological, historical and literary evidence. Subjects covered include the king, the kingdom and the royal household; religion and customs; free and unfree classes in society; exiles and foreigners. The rural, urban, ecclesiastical, ceremonial and mythological landscapes of early medieval Ireland anchor the history of early Irish society in the rich tapestry of archaeological sites, monuments and place-names that have survived to the present. A historiography of medieval Irish studies presents the commentaries of a variety of scholars from the 17th-century Franciscan Mícheál Ó Cléirigh to Eoin Mac Neill, the founding father of modern scholarship.

Edel Bhreathnach is Chief Executive Officer of the Discovery Programme, and has published extensively on a wide range of topics relating to medieval Irish history and culture.