Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dunluce Castle, and town. Archeology in Antrim.

The life of common people of the 17th Century preserved.

The ruin of the basalt cliffside Castle Dunluce, dating from the 13th Century, is no longer alone.  With its tale of the later kitchens shearing off and falling into the sea along with 7 cooks (a cobbler escaped), the site is compelling: a must-see for car-wanderers.  Now there is another reason to explore:  a 17th Century town, there at Dunluce, ruins below ground, previously unexplored. See

Dunluce Timeline:

13th Century --  a rural manor was here
15th Century -- fireplace and doorway, part of first fortifications, found. (A settlement was earlier than known, see
1500 --  the MacQuillan family acquired the manor and improved it -- a castle, fortifications.
1550 or so -- Rival MacDonnells from Scotland (Catholic) captured Dunluce castle, and used it as their launching and administrative center for controlling the north Antrim coast.
1584 -- Queen Elizabeth I saw a threat in the Scots incursion and sent soldiers from Dublin to attack. In three days, they had succeeded; the English occupied the site for a year.
1585 -- A MacDonnell known as Sorley Boy returned, pledged allegiance to Elizabeth I, and resumed MacDonnell control.  His son, Randal,continued the relationship with England, with a settlement enlarging and encouraging Scots farmers and merchants (mainly Protestants) to emigrate to Ireland there.  "Plantation activity" -- precursor of the Plantation of Ulster. See
1608 -- Town of Dunluce is established. Cobblestone streets, house remains. Found now:  coins, artifacts, horseshoes, buckles, music memorabilia, board games, a 1550 coin, and so on, from Europe as well as nearby England and Scotland.
1630 -- Dunluce was eclipsed by nearby Coleraine, a town with a harbor and Dunluce had none.
1641 -- Irish rebellion. Catholics were displaced by Protestants, and revolted. Irish rebels (Catholic) burned Dunluce, allegedly deported many Scots back toward Scotland
1680 -- or so.  Dunluce abandoned. Castle remained privately held
1928 -- guardianship of Dunluce Castle stabilized the site

Monday, December 28, 2015

HISTORY. Ireland - Celtic History. Even Scythian. And More Ancient, Perhaps. A Manageable Timeline, Ireland

Celtic and more Ancient History
A Manageable Timeline, Ireland

Irish History Pre-History 
Focus:  Pre-christian, and some early Christian, later, for context

Update 12/2015.  An affirmation of migration concept to Ireland, here Rathlin Island.

Genomes -- ancient migration from Middle East to Ireland 5000 years ago, see

Finding history in contemporary authors:  The legendary-historical account of the origins of the Irish is not only in tomes, but also in a series of 20th Century medieval setting mysteries, Old Ireland monasteries: Mid-7th Century CE.  In Act of Mercy, A Celtic Mystery by Peter TremayneThe whole set is in our local library: Read the introductions for fine overviews of these early times.

Sister Fidelma, the sleuth in the series, is excluded from the later Catholic culture, that rejects this time when women were decision-makers in the church and culture; but she is pivotal the earlier Irish Christian era.  Women then were also judges in the culture, heads of religious houses, religious houses housed both genders in many cases. See

Even reading of a time without gender-separated religious houses, and where relationships and marriage occur without comment, is a worthwhile jolt to our assumptions of what "church" people have to be.

In Act of Mercy, at the Historical Note, pages vii-xii, the chronology of origins is laid out, as well as the system of laws at the time.  Do read.

Resource: See "Hiberia"; as well as Paralocac Scythae; Otio.Scythae and Runni Scythae;  written on ancient map of the Holy Land, see Kenneth Nebenzahl, Maps of the Holy Land, NY Abbeville Press 1986, shown in Biblical Archeology Review March-April 2006 at 56ff, Onomasticon of Eusebius article.


Scythians - The Mystery
I.  Overview
The history of the Celts, and other groups in ancient Ireland, such as Milesians, see, is hard to find in one location.  Some sites are overwhelming because they put all angles in one configuration:  religious, cultural, military, colonization, see  That comprehensive site is best used as a framework once the basic history is understood better. Start, then, with the more simplistic and changeable, perhaps not reliable as to each point (yet), but a framework:  Wiki -  This site at least separates out the Milesians and Picts from the later Celts.  Is that correct?

II.  Manageable Timeline
Scythians:  These may have been forebears of the Milesians, so are included here. See  They weaponized nature - spreading plague by boobytraps, toxic projectiles, hurl hornet hives, see Archeology Odyssey, magazine, March-April 2005, article Ancient WMD's by Adrienne Mayor.

Greeks, and these Scythians, a Central Asian nomadic people by that time, could also tip their arrows with "scythicon" - dung, human blood serum and poisonous viper venom, article at 31.  They were a martial force to be feared. Does that explain how they, if they did, migrated intact through Spain to Ireland, and also up the Eastern European Caucasus. A founding father of Troy was known for steeping his arrow tips with poison, one Amycus.

See Research notes at FN 1

1270 or so BC -- We are told that Milesians, and Queen Scota, arrived about 1270 BCE. See ; see also the long narrative at Egyptian roots? Scroll to Scota, at Odyssey magazine, at 17 (see site above) and find lists of the Egyptian dynasties -- if Scota is an Egyptian princess (?) the 1270 date would put her father as perhaps Rameses II, or perhaps Seti?

1000 BC  On the continent, Celts emerged as a loosely-knit "barbaric" (that at the time meant non-Greek, not any aspersion as to a less developed, more lawless culture) nation in the region north of the Alps. 
8th C BC  Southern England becomes populated with farming peoples, in the chalk-lands (Wiltshire?), and in the north with a more fierce group -- warriors with swords, horses, perhaps just bands of adventurers at that time.
5th C. BC  Migrants continued to come to southern England from northern France and the Low Countries areas, and those seemed to form the bulk of the population through the Roman conquest. Theirs became known as an Iron Age"A" culture and it appears that they were Celts in origin, by structures and culture. (need to go to the book directly for details and vetting)
450 BC  Herodotus era.  Herodotus, historian, 484-425 BC. See  The Greeks recognized the Celts as a major foreign people that they called Keltoi, living west and north of the Western Mediterranean.
400 BC  A tribe of the Celts, that the Romans called Galli, or Gauls, invaded northern Italy.
325 BC  Pytheas of Massilia (Marseilles), Greek navigator and geographer, see,  refers to Ireland and Britain as Pretanic Islands. 
3rd Century BC - Another group of Celts came to southern Britain, known to us now as the Iron Age "B" people. 
Then (when?) came a third wave of Celts known as the Belgae, also Celtic in organization and language.
64 BC - 27 AD --  Geographer and historian, and philosopher:  the Greek, Strabo. See  Strabo wrote (says Violet), "The whole (Celtic) nation is war-mad, high-spirited and quick for battle"  Other writers also noted their bravery in battle, but hospitality at home, and a strict code of etiquette towards visitors.  Artifacts show Celtic manual skills and artistic perception.
Cultural comments: Physical appearance, as noted frequently by Greek and Latin writers -- fair skin, blue eyes, blond hair, height tall, and muscular. Aristocratic dress: For men, tunic to the knees. For women, tunic to the ankles. Both, gathered at waist, belted. Cloak on top, a square, held by a brooch. Shoes: leather shoes and sandles. Headgear: unimportant. Ornaments: neck-ring, torque, or gold or bronze.
55-43 BC   Rome invades Britain, see  Ireland began receiving exiles and refugees from Gaul and Britain, as the Romans proceeded.  Did these new people merely augment an existing Celtic broad-based system, or were these the groups that crystalized it?  Not sure.
Roman conquest meant political oblivion for the Celts, except in Ireland. The Irish continued their raids on Roman Britain, and in the north of England these Irish were called Scotti. The name "Scotia" was given to Ireland. [Ultimately, in the 11th Century, this name "Scotia" was transferred to the northern part of Britain, now Scotland.]
5th Century AD -  Celts, pushed to the coast, set up the Kingdom of Dalraida (Dal Riata, see, there are in Argyll and the neighboring islands, both serving as an offshoot of northeast Ireland.  The two countries (Ireland areas and the now Scottish areas) at this point cannot be more than 25 miles apart. 

Find Rathlin at Settled since 6000 BC, but not by "Scottish" - settled by Celts of that era. The Irish language, Gaelic, was implanted in Scotland, thus the Highlands became Gaelic speaking, while the Lowlands became English speaking, says Violet in her notes of The Celts.

450 AD   Ireland's relative isolation also meant it was free not only from Roman intervention, but also the Saxon migrations that began in England when the Roman Empire fell, see  Saint Patrick arrived in about 479 ACE?

Early Christian Ireland continued on its own path with its age of saints and scholars untainted by the mainland Christianity evolving in Rome. Monasteries at Lindisfarne, Iona, drew monks and scholars, and led to their taking their message over parts of Europe and establishing monasteries and colleges.

479 ACE  - Saint Patrick arrives in Ireland

400-700's  Early Christians went to areas where, for 500 years after Rome fell, the ordinary people were illiterate, as was Charlemagne himself.  They brought literacy, but not much tempering of the Roman or papal branch in its drive to force conversions. 

7th Century AD  Fast forward .
 It appears to be known, however, that: (here I quote Cousin Violet (McConaghy) because I know her to be a diligent student of history -- go read the book, I'll take Violet's word as she wrote it April 15, 1977, as a Family Elder, here)
"Only in Ireland did there survive a language and literature that sprang directly from the ancient Celts, uncontaminated by Rome. The (Christian early) missionaries found in Ireland a highly organized body of learned men with specialists in customary law, in sacred arts, heroic literature and geneology. When paganism was supplanted, the traditional oral schools continued to flourish side by side with the new monasteries."
"By the 7th century A.D. (if not earlier) there existed aristocratic Irish monks who had also been fully educated in the traditional native learning.  This led to the first writing of the vernacular literature which because the oldest in Europe after Greek and Latin. (Yet) [t]he systematic study of Old Irish language and literature is a thing of only the past 100 years."
So far, she is right.

1249 AD  The last traditional inauguration of a King of the Scots took place, for Alexander III.  He was led to the sacred Stone of Scone, received homage of the people, and heard his pedigree recited in Gaelic, says Violet.

1603  AD. Scotland loses its independence.  James IV of Scotland became James I of England, after the death of Elizabeth I.

End of Violet's notes, letter April 15, 1977, from The Celts study. Vet Violet? I don't need to, but if you want to, be quick.    Other texts she has relied upon through the years: The Scottish Clans, I believe that is the one that is now an e-book, see; or is it this one?


FN 1  Research notes
  • Sites disagree. Are Picts, Angles also Celts? We do not think so.  How about the early Scots (Scotti) of Ireland, are they Milesians or Celts, raiding and then settling in what is now Scotland.  Were they Celts, or predate?  Wiki seems to resolve that.  Then go back to the many references to Spain and Iberians in Ireland (even sounds like Hibernia) in ancient times, see, e.g.,  There, the ancient road, the Escir Riada, from Dublin to Galway, divided Conn's northern half from Eoghan's southern, there was a quarrel, and a Spaniard enters.
  • Oral traditions were recorded, and anybody can probably find an old name close enough to claim a hypothetical lineage.  See ancient Milesian lineages (grain of salt?)at that Milesian ancestry, is anything reliable?  Scroll down to CONN CEADCATHACH; ("Conn of the Hundred Fights") -- sure sounds like McConaghy to me! at 11Oth Monarch Slain 157 A.D. at Tara, "Seat of Kings".  I hereby claim Conn of the Hundred Fights, CeadCathach as McConaghy.  Prove me wrong.
  • Article pointing to one origin of Milesians, from Spain, see  What authority for that site? At least it led us to the etymology of my father's middle name, Carman, he of the Scharfe-Irish who emigrated (Norse origins) in the 1840's from Kilkenny:  a goddess! We have to believe Wikipedia.  I've looked for that for years. See

Try this starting point:  at Find that the Irish and the Scots, the old Scotti,  are indeed from the same tribe, where they came from (originally Antrim area), influences, other quotations from contemporaneous sources, customs. Good site.  Then move to Celtic Mysteries, The Ancient Religion, by John Sharkey, see; and How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill, see

Our family is uniquely situated, perhaps, as to Ireland because we are a tripod: Three ways to confusion.  Nonetheless, all branches say with pride, Irish. Pursue, pursue. Identity is an illusion and a matter of choice of emphasis, is that so.
a. The Norse, ours through the Scariff line if that is so; Vikings 795 AD or so, see ;  Rathlin Island wasted.

b. The Scotti, the Scotic Colony, says, perhaps with even ancient middle eastern roots (Scota?), then through Spain and Milesians 489 BC.  Or 200 BC? This is the confusing group:  Fast forward to their activity once pressed by Celts into the northeast, to Ulster; raiders and emigrant settlers to Scotland and Campbell-Robertsons (even Robert the Bruce, gasp, like everyone else)  and perhaps then a loop. Back through the Plantation through the McConaghy (spelled a hundred ways) line in Ulster-Donegal.  Before that: the Firbolg, the Tuatha de Danaan, the Milesians that produce the Scotti, or is that incorrect? see  

c.  The Norman conquest line through the Briens, Norman Rule 1120 AD.  See Is any research using actual names and actual descent reliable? Or just the fun of finding the same name, De Brien in old records, and our Briens of Trillick.

Celts and Scotti, Milesians and Scotti.  More familiar is an association between Celts and Scotti, probably because of simultaneous activity against the Romans in Britain. A relative, named Violet, researched the Celts and provided summaries, after close work with The Celts, by T.G.E. Powell, see  I have put her information in a timeline, and added some comments and other information. Why the interest in old cultures?  Our family area is Donegal and Ulster, and Ulster was the last of Ireland to be overcome by the British after the Flight of the Earls left Ulster without leaders.  The border areas in particular between what is now Donegal, and Tyrone, and Londonderry were fiercely fought, opposing the Plantation and then at the later Troubles.  Is any family clearly one root or another.  Probably not.  Celtic Ireland, later migrations, invasions, much of a piece.

Ireland's isolation preserved its Celtic past, more than would have been possible if Rome or the Saxons had invaded, as they did and at the same time as in England.  As it was, the invasions still came (Normans), but at least at a later time. See the medieval Norman invasion at (overwhelming), or simplified,

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tyrone. Strabane. Territory and history.

Territory and history.  With names unfamiliar, look at a map. Strabane, in County Tyrone, abuts Donegal, the County Donegal with lands that extend lands farther north than Northern Ireland.  The area is at the heart of struggles between Anglo-Norman invaders, then settling in; and indigenous Irish, losing their lands.  See its history from 2500 to now at

There was Christianity in Ireland before Patrick, see same site at

And, in 800BC, the Milesian invasian, produced ancient names like Eoghan and Conail; geneologist.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

HISTORY. Limerick. ADARE. Ruins and Headstones. Ecclesiastical History. Tree 10; Gravestone 2.

Ruins and Headstones:  Ecclesiastical History
With an update 2014 

Theology vs. reality.  Reality wins.
Adare, Limerick
Monastic Traditions, Before and After Augustinian Reforms

Irish History Timeline focusing on Post-1150 ACE

For earlier era Timeline Pre-1150, see From Book of Kells to Synod of Kells.  

At issue is our perspective on time itself, institutional persistence regardless of changing needs and facts, and Power. Ruins, ruins.  How to place any of them in a chronology that makes sense.  We found this site, and recommend NewYork's Channel 13, broadcasting, timeline at

1.  Ruins -- Ecclesiastical Ireland. Adare's Friary is an example

We were here on our return to Shannon airport, but include it with the rest of Limerick, where we began. Is this so:  Time always wins. Humans who pit themselves against Nature and The Trees have a heavy lift.
2.  Adare as part of the Roman Christian Gregorian Reforms, the era after 1100 AD or so.
  • Ireland's ecclesiastical ruins may look alike, but their eras, and what they signify, differ:  Christianity was not all of one cloth.  Irish engaged Christianity their way first, before Rome came along after its split with the Eastern Christians, the Orthodox.  Irish Christianity, think St. Patrick, St. Finnian.  Their examples led to the monastic, contemplative, individualistic, creative phase to, say, 1100. With Gregorian Reforms on the Continent;  and the jurisdiction of Rome being asserted with its administrations and armies and Holy Roman Emperors, enforcements and regimentation became more important.  And there was no longer choice. That seems to be broadly true.

The 11th Century Gregorian Reforms turned the face of Christianity from withdrawing from the world, the deeply meditative, the deeply spiritual ascetic; to a new philosophy. Get out there and change the world; or, in the alternative, become a monk and totally live within the monastery, no or little contact with the outside world; and only with strict permissions and limits.

  "The Gregorian reform encourages the practice of Christian warfare in the pursuit of providing 'right order in the world' and establishes religious enthusiasm in all of Christendom."

See, Timeline entry at 1073 AD.

So what? What difference does that make to Ireland, and this friary?

It makes a difference because the Pope's increasing militance and crusades and moneyraising and identity forging on the Continent led directly to the invasion of the Anglo Normans in Ireland, and they never left.

Look back, as you think of the tree of the papacy overcoming over time even the very stones that leaned on it for support.

This begins with the 1100's;  needed is a timeline from far earlier, from St. Patrick in the 400's.  

Pope Adrian IV, in 1155, issued a Bull authorizing King Henry of England to invade Ireland to shape it up according to Roman Church (HRE) standards.  Why?

1. Not only did Henry want this power in his pocket, he and the Pope both had money to be made.  In exchange for the permission, the Pope got well paid, very well paid. The "Laudibiliter" provided for a king of tax to be paid to him, per capita, see

2.  But Henry had been himself petitioned by one Dermot, a king in Ireland, for help to get his lands back, from those who deposed him, after his affair with a lovely lady someone else's wife, is that so?

So, invasion authorized, an instigating event was very human indeed, it fit the Pope and the English King to indulge, and so they did.  What a change, for Christianity and the world because the new Christianity was a totally different entity, as a centralized, power institution.

Henry did so some 16 years later, launching the Anglo-Norman invasion of this nation. In came Roman regimentation, regulations and rules, back in the 1100's.  And, of course, Henry paid the Church for the privilege, an ongoing income stream to the Pope's coffers in exchange for the Bull.  FN 1

Back to Adare.

So, this old stone, now overwelmed, is on the grounds of a Franciscan Friary, not in the early tradition of contemplation and dedication, but  built by the Earl of Kildare 1464-1466, a building that was part of the institutional sweep after the age of isolated monastic activities, see  The date of the stone itself? Have to go back.

Nothing is simple.  What causes what? History of the Anglo - Norman Invasion of Ireland.

This step backward from religion into militance authorizing , was introduced earlier as well:  permission to kill unbelievers or whoever else without penalty did not start with Adrian.

a.   Pope Leo IV, 850 granted the indulgence to the Franks, Pope John in 878, a few years after Charlemagne's "crusades" against the northern people of Europe, massacre at  Sachsenhain in 872 est.

b.  Pope John VIII, see; If you die in these battles, you will have eternal life, your sins forgiven. -

c.  Read Pope Urban - "All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins". See     

We still live with the 3 conditions that make murder permissible  --

So the policy evolved. Killling is fine, indulgences for the killer, dispensation, forgiveness of sins, eternal life --

 " * * * the introduction of a new ideology of Christian warfare in which wars undertaken --
1) under the authority of the pope,
2) for the protection or in defense of the Church and Christianity, and
3) under a solemn vow would be regarded by the Church as meritorious acts akin to pilgrimages and earn the participants indulgences (remission of the temporal penalties of sin)."

It is time to put violence in perspective. The Vikings have been long maligned.  They were not the first at all to find the vulnerability of monasteries and churches. And the Roman Christian policy of invasion and murder at home and abroad if the target does not subject himself or herself to the Pope's law, makes the Vikings look like nursery school, is that so?

Does anyone care any more? Irish history, old stuff.
Now all of that, representing the New Ecclesiastical Enforcement Order, is a ruin surrounded by a golf course.  There is another "Trinitarian" Monastery from 1293 noted at, the "White Abbey" because monks wore white robes; that may have signified Cistercians, see It later the was known as the"Black Abbey" when it became Benedictine (Augustinian?) and the monks wore black robes. 

Are these at this White-Black friary one and the same or different from this Franciscan Friary?  Ireland's ruins have more to say than that.  So much of history is lost with such brief references. 

FN 1 When did these large ecclesiastical Orders come to Ireland?  It wasn't until 1100 AD. 

Christianity was well-established in Ireland without the Roman overlay.  Did creativity stop with the overlay?  See the chronology:



432 AD.  Christianity comes to Ireland, through Patrick? See the timeline at  Patrick dies 492, but leaves documentation in form of a letter and other items

550-650 AD.  Irish monasticism, a rural, highly varied expression of Christianity, expands and flowers

563 AD - Columcille, known as St. Columba, founds the monastery at Iona, and it becomes a focal point for outreach, Christian missionary work in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe

700 AD - Many monasteries become very large, wealthy and influential; Armagh as the center of Irish Christianity; Ui Niall becomes High King, and Armagh set as center of Irish Christianity and civil culture

794 AD - first Viking raids -- but this does not disrupt Irish Christianity because starting years before, the monasteries were being raided by other Irish, for their wealth, and also raided by other monasteries.

800 AD - flowering of Irish scholarship, in Ireland and Europe much sought after, even by Charlemagne

820-847 AD - Bishop of Cashel raids other monasteries and attacks other abbots (he is Feidlimid Mac Crimthainn and he is also the King of Munster) in an effort to get Ui Niall off the throne and become High King

841 - Vikings settle in Dublin, make alliances with some Kings; raid and settle at Wexford, Waterford, Limerick.

941 - Brian Boru becomes King, focuses power much as European Kings had earlier

976 - King Brian Boru routs the Vikings from Limerick

1014 - Brian is killed at Clontarf near Dublin, and go on to modern times at

1054 - Great Schism --  Rome was now on its own, had to build up authority

"Schism between Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches over 1) the Patriarch’s refusal to recognize the primacy of the Pope, and 2) question of the nature of the Trinity (“filioque” controversy). Humbert of Silva Candida excommunicates Patriarch Michael; Michael responds by excommunicating Humbert and Pope Leo IX (who had died three months earlier, which was not then known in Constantinople)" Fair use, from

4.  The "Reform" (read "Dictatorship") of the Irish Church by Rome

 So when was it that the early Christians were "reformed"  by the Roman Catholics?  Read the timeline --

Note that the coming of early monks sent by Augustine monks (Augustinians as an Order did not arrive until the 1200's, see 

This signaled "reforms" ordered by the Roman Church as to the wayward, individualist and compassionate loose-organization of the early Irish Christians.  Monasteries did indeed improve agriculture, provide for scriptoria to preserve and copy books, but they also found "last rites" as a sacrament an ideal way to get property -- How rich did they then become?  " In England they owned one fifth of all its cultivable land." Nice.  See

Earlier monasteries had wealth, see the raids by other monasteries and abbots and other Irish as to the earlier structures,, but nothing like the wealth that was possible for the church now through the "reforms."

5.  The power of discipline, conformity

Find the rules of differing Orders:

Read the Rule of St. Benedict at At what cost was that regimentation, how like political dictatorships as to individual thought? Is that so?

 The sensory deprivation of living in cells, minimal diet, and sleep deprivation of up to do services on rigid schedules, "rules" - today we would call the process  brainwashing.

Compare the Rule of St. Francis at  Somewhat more humana, but still not representing the pre-Augustinian reform Christianity in Ireland. Now, which Order would the Tea Party support?


1098 A.D. - Cistercian monastic order founded on the Continent, see

Cistercian Rule:  Strict obedience to the Benedictine Rule (need to clarify);
  • "separation from secular influence (no peasants serving the monastery;
  • rather lay brothers--peasants in orders, who served God by manual labor.)
  • Simplicity--churches and other buildings unadorned and undecorated; crucifixes only of cheap, plain material--no gold and silver ornamentation.
  • Accepted only uncultivated land.
  • Refused oblates.
  • Had to be 16 to become a monk."

 1100 A.D. --  Rome begins a propaganda effort against the Irish Christians.  On the continent, Gregory (the Gregorian Reforms ) change the Church into a mold controlled by Rome.  All this is summarized from the chronology at  No more independence to be tolerated as to the Irish Church

1113 A.D. - Cistercian Order acquires vast new properties under Bernard de Clairvaux. Number of houses grew from 5 to 393 at the time of his death in 1153.  In 1143, Cistercians come to Ireland.
c. 1100 - 1150 A.D. -- The Diocesan model arrives to control Irish Christianity.  Irish Christianity had focused on a family-owned system, and that now begins to die out -- and with it, the unique spirituality of the Irish Church. Enter Rules, firm Creeds, regulations, inclusions, exclusions. Control. Jurisdiction by Rome. 

1142 A.D. -- Cistercians come to County Meath. Now starts the influx of monastic Orders from the Continent to finish the job: Cistercians at Mellifont, County Meath, are first.  

1152 A.D. -- Synod of Kells. A new diocesan form is imposed on the Irish church, with the installation of four archbishops.  Hierarchy, hierarchy. And, from here on, women are barred from holding title of "bishop" and there are no more hereditary successions.  Celibacy is imposed as well and required for ordination.  These measures were already in effect on the Continent.

  • As an aside "Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster, abducts Dervorgilla, the wife of Tiernan Ua Ruairc. Dermot and Dervorgilla are said to be lovers and the whole of Ireland learns of the affair much to Ua Ruairc's embarrassment."  See Thirteen site.

1155 A.D. -- Invasion.

Pope Adrian IV is the only Pope to be from England, and he issues a "bull" allowing Henry II the King to invade Ireland to ensure Irish conformity to Roman church rule. Henry does so later, when it is more convenient as to his other wars.

c. 1160s A.D. -- Back to the scandal. Dermot the abductor wants to be High King, but so might his rival  Rory O'Connor. Rory wins out.  He was allied with the cuckold, Ua Ruairc, and Ua Rairc seeks revenge and manages to get Dermot removed as King in Leinster.

1167 A.D. -- Dermot runs to Henry II for help, and Henry II sends an army to help Dermot get his Kingship back in Leinster.  The Anglo-Normans accordingly arrive, and do not go home again.  First the invitation, then the invasion. Fine excuse, blessed by the Pope.

1175 A.D. -- King Henry II sets up his son John as Lord of Ireland. The pope, Alexander III (Adrian died when?) agrees.  John then ascends to the English throne and incorporates the title of Lord of Ireland into the English monarchy.  Ireland comes under the authority of the English crown.

And the centuries-old conflict begins. 

Thirteen/WNET New York see :

We came on this ruin without use of guidebook. Take back roads rather than the motorways.  Find the many ruins, old churches, castles. Free to roam. No guardrails usually, just a sign saying to be careful.


It is easy to find Roman Catholic sites on the later holy places, after their dominance was assured, here is one that begins with 1100 AD,  Or

Our interest, however, is with the "reforms" required by the Romans when they subjugated the existing Christians in Ireland.  Celtic Ireland is also easy to find, see

Go to There find accounts of the charisma of early founders of the monasteries, most now remembered as saints.  Is it so that the Great Saints, those beyond mere founding of monastic orders but in hearts of the faithful, those predating 700 in Ireland.  Those great saints predate the Roman reform programs, 
  • St. Finnian in Meath and his monastery, Clonard. 
  •  St. Ciaran who founded Clonmacnois, on the Shannon River,
  • St. Brendan,  founding Clonfort (Galway).  And
  • St. Columba, Columcille, who then went to Scotland, in 563, to Iona. Lindisfarne was an offshoot, off Northumberland. And
  • St. Patrick.
The greatest saints predate the Roman Catholic imposition.  Is that so?  And the greatest illumination of manuscripts similarly predating the institutional monastic movements, the Book of Kells in 800; the Lindisfarne Gospels in 700, the the Book of Durrow in 650.

Illuminated manuscripts: 7th - 11th century AD

Irish monks of the 7th and 8th century create illuminated manuscripts which are among the greatest treasures of Celtic and early Christian art.

Read more:

Human interest in graveyards:  It is reflected in all the words used to find them.  See hundreds of words/synonyms for a graveyard, including Poe's 100-  at

Saturday, February 09, 2013

HISTORY. From Book of Kells, to Synod of Kells: The Romanization of the Irish Church

The Book of Kells
The Great Gospel of Columcille -- The Dove of the Church

Irish History Timeline focusing pre-1150 ACE
(Before the Norman Invasion)

Leading to discussion of post 1150 - What the Normans and Other Wrought
How was the imagination, the verve and humor of the early Irish Celtic Church,
 drummed out
 by rigid rules, power-seeking, and institutional machinations of Rome's Branch.

Follow a chronology here.
 Did Roman branch religious feudalism, with its militarism and stratification, steamroll Ireland?
At what cost to the original concepts of Christitanity.

Kells.  Kells has lent its name to the masterpiece from the monastic, medieval era, the Book of Kells.  It also is the site of a later Synod of Kells, which transformed the Irish church into a Rome clone. The Book of Kells, book by Bernard Meehan, see below, traces the traditions of Columcille, born born 521 or 522 into the aristocratic O'Neills, at Tir Connail, near current Donegal. And to the town of Kells.
  • The Book of Kells itself was kept at the town of Kells, in Meath, some 40 miles from Dublin, and is now at the Long Room of Trinity College, Dublin.  The decorated pages, the illuminations, colour, "exuberance and wit," of the work, see its story at this work, The Book of Kells, by Bernard Meehan, who heads the research collections and is keeper of manuscripts at Trinity College, reviewed at Financial Times, Nov.24-25 2012.  The 11th Century Annals of Ulster is said, in the article, to call it primh-mind iarthair domain, "the most precious object of the western world". 
  •  It could have been composed, at the outset at least, by monks following St. Columba, or Columcille, on Iona, off the isle of Mull, on the western coast of Scotland in 800.  See Financial Times.  The term "codex" is appropriate to distinguish manuscript volumes from the later print.  
  • And, it is not necessarily accurate, despite its charm, see review, with an "erratic text" and scriveners' errors among the four scribes (understandable with working conditions in a stone beehive hut, winds blowing), some humorously and wittily corrected, or not, and with puns.  On what is it written? 180 calfskins, showing the community's wealth.  Pages remaining: 680. How fast did the scribes write? 180 words per hour. See Review.  
  • Any interaction with Rome at the time? Yes. Disagreements on dating Easter, leading to enmity between the Irish monks and St. Peter, who founded the Roman branch. See little images of Peter as a hare, thus timid. Leporine digs, says Meehan. More puns: church was founded on a pun, says James Joyce -- rock Peter. See also

So what happened after the brilliance of the Book of Kells, that so harnessed creativity that is there any other manuscript to surpass it?  What evolved in the religious realm -- so that the brilliance of a Kells would be prevented thereafter. 
1.  From a time of autonomy and respect for difference among Christians, Ireland was overcome by militant and highly organized Roman Orders.  Trace from European roots how the Irish were subjected to compulsory conversion.  Who really won?  The newcomers came by invitation of an already converted Abbot who sought a new abbey to enforce a strict rule.

Benedictines; to Cistercians:  Now are the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, or Cistercian Order of the Common Observance, or Trappists.  Start, however, far earlier, to see how the Irish really had no chance.


Follow the progression

Pre-Christian, pre-History:  see

489 or so:  Patrick born, in Dumbarton, Scotland, enslaved, ultimately becomes St. Patrick converting Ireland.
529 CE -- Saint Benedict established the Benedictine Order on the continent, monasteries and monks (were nuns included in the early years?) with its long periods of prayer and work in the fields, and their black robes, see  The Rule, laid out by Benedict at Monte Cassino in Italy,  by which the Benedictine monasteries and monks were governed, and which survived medieval Europe's violence and changes, required three oaths:  "obedience, stability, and conversion in the way of life."  See .  The Rule afforded much latitude, autonomy. The way of life was austere:  no property ownership, stay within the monastery bounds unless special permission, black robes (the Black Monks), early to bed, and various enforcement mechanisms,  not even letters from home. It was like a corporation with a life-Abbot.

But Benedictines, in the view of some, relaxed too much the Rule. Note:  no chastity.  Many monasteries were "double monasteries", both genders. Soon, other orders, such as at Citeaux with its vows of austerity and silence, branched into the more rigid structure, ultimately becoming, through Bernard of Fontaines, another order the Cistercians, or white monks becuase of their black robes but with white tunics, see below at 1112.

It was a time also of large numbers of double-monasteries in England and mainland Europe,  see, headed by Abbesses, and broad acceptance of women religious in ministerial roles up to the 1000 and 1100 year marks, generally.
  • Digression: Women in ministerial, ecclestical power positions. After that, Gregorian reforms initiated strong limitations and consolidation of power in the male religious. See Katie Ann-Marie Bugyis, of the Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame, paper entitled Sacerdotes Christi, Women Confessors in High Medieval England. Click and follow at Abstract doc .
  • Fast forward: The Benedictines themselves were marginalized in the 1100's, see, as Dominicans, Franciscans and Cistercians -- with their misogyny, drive to take over areas where women were indeed doing well and financially prospering, and the male-favoring, and celibacy, stricter rules, took over.
563.  Meanwhile, in 563, the Celtic-Irish Columcille-Columba set up a monastery on Iona to better convert the Scots Picts.  The community then fostered Lindisfarne, in Northumberland, set up by in 563 by another monk from Iona, Aidan.  These were not affiliated at all with the Roman movements.

795:  Violence.  Vikings invaded Iona. An era of further raids, and then subsequent settlements ensued. In 802, Vikings burned Iona. In 806, 86 inhabitants were killed, see Financial Times review.  So, the community of monks moved to Kells, where there was a hill-fort connected to royalty, for refuge. This was a small group, if an illustration in the Book of Kells is followed. There are angels holding some reeds.

And the Vikings attacked and raided and settled, year after year, century after century.   See The impact was devastating on the Celtic church, and its lack of central authority and organization.

1000 CE or so in Ireland:  Pastoral communities characterized old Ireland. The Irish family structure was a grouping of families called the Tuath.  The  leader lived in a home that was fortified, called a rath, or dun, like a little fort.  There would be a Brehon, or lawyer also part of that group; also a healer-physician, and a singer or minstrel, and craft persons or workers.  The subject, poor, lived in huts made of daub and wattle, or clay on reed framework, or mixed with sticks, and formed, a technique also part of the American experience, see And modern poetry:  W.B.Yeats, I will arise and go now/ and go to Innisfree/ And a small cabin build there/ of clay and wattles made....  See

The country in 1000 or so was beginning to emerge from centuries of turmoil, with Viking invasions, raids, and then settlements, and population shifts. A Celtic Christian religious life continued to consist of plain living and emulation of good, even divine, behavior, either in withdrawing into deep contemplation, or joining in loosely bound communities and helping others or engaging in scholarship, and script copying.

Then came a change in mindset for Rome. It had to establish itself independently, not a merely another aspect of Christianity.

1054 - The Great Schism. Roman Christianity broke from the Eastern Orthodox Christians, see  The newly independent Roman branch needed converts, authority, turf, power on its own.   So, after the early centuries of respect for-individualized interpretation of scriptures Christian, and loose organization geared to communication and ease of travel in Ireland, rather than uniformity; came the Roman version:  Ritual and authoritarian dogma from the continent.  The holy steamroller?

1112:  Bernard, then of Fontaines, a nobleman, arrived at Citeaux in France with a 31 men, a band of other nobles seeking to become postulants, including "many gay young men of his acquaintance,"  see Bernard and Stephen, Abbot of Citeaux, set up many daughter houses, and by 1115, including another foundation, Clairvaux nearby.  Bernard was first Abbot of Clairvaux. The "Charter of Charity" was established to supplant the looser earlier rule.  Abbots of parent-houses were to convene periodically to set up common legislation, enforce, and visit all their foundaitons annually for purposes of supervision. The era of forced conformity had well arrived.

1134:  The rise and dominance of militarism. A student of Bernard became the first Cistercian Pope, Eugenius III.  He directed Bernard to preach a crusade.  Bernard and the Cistercian monks helped set up military orders, Knights Templars, the Spanish Knights of Alcantara, the Wing of Saint Michael,and others set up Orders of military women, see

The church militant was on the march.

Mid 1100's.  The Norman Invasion.   Thomas a Becket, John of Salisbury and Bernard of Clairvaux, persuaded Pope Adrain IV to issue the Bull Laudibitur, authorizing the Norman invasion of Ireland.D

1140 - The Bishop of Down, Malachy, requested of the Cistercians at Clairvaux that a new abbey be constructed to enforce a stricter rule. That came to be Mellifont.  Accordingly, in 1142,  Roman Christians set up the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, called Mellifont, near Monasterboice, County Louth.  The monastery was the first in Ireland to follow the architectural model used in Europe, see  Mellifont, within a few decades, had become mother-church to some 21 monastic places, and 800 or so monks. And the monks by then were all Irish, as the French had been made unwelcome and left.

In 1152, the Synod of Kells.  This formally reshaped the Irish Christian Church into the Roman model:  Ireland was divided into some 36 dioceses and those in turn into four provinces, as required by Rome. It was easy.  There had been a long period of turmoil with Viking invasions, settlements, population shifts; and news of the militance of the new Orders on the Continent had spread.  Into the breach rode Bureaucracy -- who could fight the new boundaries of authority.  See

Irish ecclesiastical history is an evolution from the plain, close to original ways of life and teaching; to an institution. The powers of compelled conformity broke the backs of autonomous, deeply meditative and individualistic monastics and other clerics. Enter Rome. See the timeline at Ireland Road Ways, Limerick and Adare, Ruins and Headstones in Golf Courses, an Ecclesiastical History

And, on the continent, the Order of Citeaux became prominent not as a new order, but a stricter Benedictine, see  By the 13th Century, however, even Citeaux and the Cistercians were fading, along with other feudal-type organizations.

See details at 

1153 - Dermott MacMurrough invaded land and ran off with a lady, time passed with battles to and fro, MacMurrough was expelled for bad behavior by the High King, MacMurrough went to the King of England, Henry II, for support in getting back his lands (who cared by that time about the lady, who had already been returned).  Henry demurred, and suggested MacMurrough try to recruit noble efforts on his own. He did. He lined up barons and Strongbow.  In exchange for promising his daughter to Richard FitzGilbert de Clare (Strongbow) in marriage, Strongbow agreed to support MacMurrough. Time passes, alliances go here and there, machinations.

1170 - Strongbow invaded with many ships and Anglo-French Normans. See

1249 AD  Bonds between Irish and Scots tribes had remained strong, with English incursions into both territories. But the last traditional inauguration of a King of the Scots took place, for Alexander III, in 1249 AD.   He was led to the sacred Stone of Scone, received homage of the people, and heard his pedigree recited in Gaelic, says Cousin Violet.

1500's - ultimately, the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII of England, for financial and religious reasons, and were the religious reasons really political, for another day, see

1603  AD. Scotland loses its independence.  James IV of Scotland became James I of England, after the death of Elizabeth I.

England ruled it all.
So:  Ireland.  The creativity and love of the loosely-organized early Church was steamrolled.  And, it has not stopped. The mindset of the church militant, the one way of thought and belief, the forced conversion, plagues us yet.

HISTORY. Saga. Normans, Strongbow, and Norse Migrations.

Pick a Place.
Ireland.  Looking for Old Norse
Viking Invasions 700's on
Norman Invasion.
A.  The Norse (Vikings)

Vikings raided, invaded and captured Irish for slaves; and raided monasteries. Note that this was not a first occurrence of attacks by somebody against the monasteries: many of the early Christian monasteries also raided each other, and Irish people themselves also raided the monasteries.  Perhaps the loals did not have the same battleax-gusto, but there were raids, deaths, treasure to be had.  See
There were also tradesmen Vikings, agriculture Vikings,  town folk. Many Vikings came as settlers and stayed. Early Ireland was a place of contrasts, and even among clerics, self-interest.  Here is a view of life:
The Viking stories in Iceland offer a picture of a community with its own laws, allegiances, systems.  Not "barbaric" the sense of lawless.
B.  Tracking the Norse. Summary at FN 1
1.  We are accustomed to thinking of the Norse as Vikings from Norway or Iceland, or Denmark. Norse generally means North.
The Norwegian-Icelandic Norse headed for Scotland (including the Orkneys and the Hebrides) and Ireland (among far-ranging other parts of the world).  Ireland was as a target for the Viking-Norse - Ireland first as source of booty, then a settlement destination for the Norse.
Meanwhile, other waves of Norse aimed for the heart of France, up the Seine and any waterway that could be found. They made so much trouble that Paris bought them off so that they would continue up to Burgundy instead; and finally they all bought off the Vikings from their dreadful raids by giving them Normandy - land of the Northmen.  Normans.
So the Normans were named from the who raided France and were bought off by giving them Normandy, France. They are the ones who invaded the British Isles. And then, from there, Ireland.
Danes, another group of Norse, headed for England more likely.  Swedish Vikings tended to raid and invade and settle more south and East - into Northeast Europe, and Russia.
So:  relationships between groups include those stemming from raids, invasion, exploitation, enslavement in and this applies to Ireland's interaction with the Norse.  Where a stand-off results, with neither fully conquering the other, or fending them off,  see a cultural tolerance arise.  Settlers settle and contribute to the community, the community grudgingly accepts, many cross-pollinate eventually, there is intermarriage.
The Norse settling in Ireland as well as the rest of the British Isles, became integral parts now of that entire heritage.
FN 1.  Summary.  Timelines in history:
Try "The Timechart History of The World: 6000 Years of World History Unfolded," Third Millennium Press 2004.  Scandinavia and Britannia start about 450AD.
1. Norse invasions.
The Norse conquered - obtained Normandy, France, in 906; and the Norse conquered England a century later, in 1066.
In the 10th Century, after some back and forth as to Dublin, these towns were Norse:  Dublin, Wexford, Wicklow, Arklow, Waterford, Cork, Limerick. Lands were not necessarily firmly under Viking rule, however, as Irish kingdoms continued to resist, and in some areas, the relationship became one of mutual tolerance, see The Viking World at
Then another branch of Northmen, not the old Vikings in raiding longboats, but by then the "Normans," stemming from Normandy, and then from England as the Anglo-Normans, invaded Ireland in 1170.
Meet Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare, known as "Strongbow" (this name was also his father's in his time).  - from Waterford to Dublin and beyond, see Norman roots at France Road Ways, Normandy, Normans; and the Strongbow and Norman invasion at
There are long histories of castles, defenders, defeats, victors rebuilding, but the tall square Norman keep, strong and a refuge, see
2. King Henry of England.
Henry had rejected Strongbow's claims to certain lands, for reasons not entirely clear; but then the King became concerned at the successes of Strongbow and the Anglo-Normans in garnering support.  Henry had to reassert control,  and opportunities arose. 
Dermot of Ireland had come to Henry II for help in regaining his Leinster lands and throne, and Henry gave Dermot a writing declaring that all who supported Henry were released, if they chose, to support Dermot.  And many did, including Strongbow who saw a chance to regain his former glory another way, see 
3.  The tale behind Dermot's plight:
There was a scandalous event among kings in Ireland, giving rise to rivalries and retributions; and King Henry was open to helping the one who lost his lands (the one who had the affair was duly punished).  See Lough Gill entry here, where the affair apparently was had.  And follow-ups as to history at the Adare section here, showing the division between Christianity before 1100 or so, and after, with the imposition of Gregorian Reforms, see
And the Pope had the key: 
If the Pope gave permission for invasion, whether or not he had authority to do so, and for ecclesiastical ends (this being the era of Gregorian Reforms 1100 and on), and if the King pays handsomely for it, then the Pope wins by gaining clerical control over an unruly Christian non-Roman island; and the King Henry wins by getting his people in Ireland. 
Enter Strongbow and the Welsh lords invading in earnest,  paying the  Pope, the King in Ireland who lost his lands (Dermot) got them back, wed his daughter to Strongbow as promised, and maneuvered the throne to Strongbow upon Dermot's death, as promised, and the Pope got an ongoing payment of so much per head.  Nice. See The Norman strain apparently was feisty, requiring such controls - the King had to be Somebody.
A trip to Ireland - see the number of Norman towers along the coasts, inland, even Yeats' home  at Gort is a Norman tower house. Return and then find out the time sequence, the stresses, the conflicts.  So some surnames of Norse derivation may not have arrived with Vikings going a-Viking, or settling thereafter, but could have come from another direction: with William the Conqueror in Normandy invading England, and the Normans then in time invading Ireland with Strongbow and others,  Many Normans also settled in Wales.
This is like a paperless filing cabinet, putting in bits that we may want to follow up later.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

HISTORY. Tralee, Queen Scotia and Slieve Mish, Scota. Mountain Grave. An Irish Big Dig

for Scota.
Queen Scotia
 The Big Web Dig for Irish Pre-History Tribal Origins

Scota, Scotia, as ancestor of the Milesians, see
This is our Web Dig, to find the origins and attributes of Queen Scotia, Scota, Sgota. There is a grave with that identification-indications of name, as she was buried in antiquity and with Egyptian hieroglyphs, they say,  as befits the Pharaoh's daughter that she (some say) was. 

This grave of Scota is near Tralee, at the Slieve Mish Mountains, the range in the central area at the beginning of the Dingle Peninsula, western Ireland. Our interest then moves to other sources supporting the idea of this lady and her people peopling Ireland, at Plain Meaning, Origin Stories

Scholars and regular folk are interested.  See this large site, and track the Milesian connection alleged,, a site also for vetting Scota tales. Scota, Scotia.
1. Folk-source summary.  For a quick look at a folk-literature summary of the Scots connection, and information at those sites, see Caledonia, Queen Scotia, and Scotland.  Queen Scotia's husband had been killed while fighting Ireland's famed Tuatha de Danaan; and Scotia, a warrior herself, led the troops against the Tuatha-de herself, with her sons, and prevailed.  See her as a figurehead on a 19th Century Scots brig that was shipwrecked off Cornwall, The Caledonia. No wild woman, that. See
We want to know Scota's origins, her place in prehistory.
  •  She and her husband and their group fought (both were warriors) the old Tuatha de Danaan, here the Pantheon site, of prehistory. 
    • Was there a connection between their heritage, and /or the mysterious Tuath-de, that tie into migrations from the ancient Middle East. Haplogroups:  genetic evidence, for those interested in getting very concrete, if they have the expertise to decipher, see
    •  As an individual Queen:  We want to know her accomplishments. There are numerous tales, with variations, and we track some of those. What commonalities.
      • Was she merely a King's wife, in the same kind of patriarchal system that smothers us, and the mother of six sons who went on to rule Ireland; who was an accomplished horsewoman who died trying to leap a stream-bank while pregnant on her horse and falling off. And so she died. See that version at
  • If that is all there is, why do we find references to her and her Milesian people, that tie her people from ancient  Palestine and the Old Testament (yes!) and a tribe of Hebrews (not "Jews" at that time) who migrated through Egypt (perhaps) to Spain (Iberia - Eber- Hebrew) and from there to Ireland, Hibernia. The "Scotti" of Ireland (roots of Scotia?) went to Scotland, gave it their name, and the groups went back and forth for millennia.
  • Sources for ancient migration evidence or belief include: "The histories of England, Wales, and Scotland, even Ireland also, were intertwined in ancient times such that the whole British Isles, due to the proximity of the islands, then shared a common British history, with common elements in the population of the islands, until the time of the Roman conquest of a large part of Britain ...." See the account at The British Chronicles Book 1, by David Hughes, 2007 / at page 43.  As to Picts: "  ...Credne is remembered in Irish tradition as the leader of the migration of the majority of the Irish Picts from Ireland to Scotland (emphasis added) during the Gaelic Conquest of Ireland, whence their name." See page 46. See portions at the google book there.
    • So, were Picts in Ireland first (having come from the Orkneys and Hebrides or some such earlier) and did they fight Scota's group as Scota & Co. invaded; and then the pressured Picts headed (some) to Scotland; and then so did the Scotti or Scotii; and who was the Tuatha de Danaan that we understand that Scotia and group fought. The Picts?
  • What support is there for a migration route from the eastern Mediterranean to Ireland through Spain, including "evidence" like place names, and were they one of the Hebrew tribes; or counted instead (or in addition) from descendants of (here goes) Noah.  
    • This gets to be a rabbit hole. 
    • A medieval source, Nennius 8th Century (look up Medieval Sourcebook), ties in groups from Spain to Ireland, and matches the moving groups with Old Testament timing - see FN 1 (open source).
2,  For those of us new to this, it is confusing. Who? Which? Either?

 If the stories are irreconcilable, fine. Look at place names for history.

Making sense of markers is ongoing - Look at geography,  The Isle of Man, between the Irish Sea and Solway Firth, Scotland, and north England, would be a natural stop-off for people going back and forth from Europe, and even arriving.  There is a small wiry dark group there, with legends about them having Spanish origins, see Find there Spanish origins, and even Middle Eastern before that.
  • Of course, dating of legends is difficult. Was this reference merely the Spanish Armada shipwrecking in 1588? Scroll down to Kione Spainey, or Spanish Head - Spain was once visible from this spot, so it says.
If nothing is determinable beyond reasonable doubt, it is interesting, and we lay out what we have found here. We did find a discussion page with long dissertations on the tribes at and a map of Irish Celtic tribes.
  •  Is Celtic different from the differing migrations we read about? Is Scotia considered Celtic?  How could that be?  
  • That site also finds, at a post by a mysteryinternetchatsource (like us) "mikescottnz",  two Scotias, each with a different history-connection to Ireland. 
    • We read and tried to make sense of it, and came up with four Scotas, each of whom is fine and to be remembered:  
    • Hello? Mike Scott in New Zealand, is that you?  What did we get wrong?
3.  The various Scotas so far.
  • Scota One:  Scythian prince Fenius Farsaid, is her father-in-law. In a "pseudo-Biblical" account, a "Christianized myth" perhaps with Irish monastic glosses (Nennius?) she is an Egyptian princess, daughter of Nectanebus (there was Nectanebus I and Nectanebus II), married Mil. Mil would be the son of Fenius Farsaid.  Their son is Goidal Glas and he devises the Irish language from the 72 that arose "from the dispersal of the nations"(?) Goidal Glas' descendants are the Gaels and they wander for centuries (so clearly Scota One never got to Ireland to be buried) and finally settle in Iberia. Further descendant Breogan founds city Brigantia and builds tower. This may be at Coruna, NW Galicia. their sons
  • Scota Two:  From early Irish chronicle, the Lebor Gabala (Book of Invasions, Book of Conqests). Scota is an Egytian princess, daughter of Cingris (name only in legend). Princess Scota. She married Niul, a son of Fenius Farsaid who was a Babylonian who traveled to Scythia after the Tower of Babel collapsed (more Christian glosses?).Niul was a "linguistic scholar" and the Pharaoh invited him and gave him Scota to marry. They had the son, Goidal Glas, who did the Irish language. The Israelites leave Egypt, and so must Goidal.  His descendants settle in Iberia, where Mil Espaine was born. Two of his sons, Eber Finn and Eremon settle Ireland.
  • And Scota Three? The Story of the Irish Race, by Seumas McManus:  Scota married Niul, but Niul is the grandson of Goidal Glas. 
  • In the alternative, do we have Scota Four?  Scota is the Egyptian princess who married Miled or Miletius. Queen Scota. He died, she went to Ireland with her 8 sons and their fams, big storm and many died, and Scota died fighting the Tuatha de Denaan. And so to Glenn Scoithinn, Vale of the Little Flower, and Scotia, perhaps.
4. For earlier origins back to the Middle East, and then in Spain, see Zaragoza: Zahar of the Red Hand. Look for the Scythians, language links to the Phoenician, Hebrew borrowing from the Phoenician word forms, and so on.

And Zahar himself. This part is not in the usual Chronicles, apparently, and that is understandable because in time it was not desirable to have a Hebrew background, is that so?

5.  A Hebrew Speculative Connection, to be Woven In, Perhaps.  Eighth Century Chronicler Nennius and the Rest:  Prepare to Amend

Zahar was the grandson of Jacob, famed in Genesis by being identified as the firstborn of twins, thus entitled to the birthright, and the midwife tied a red cord around his wrist to identify him; but then he pulled his arm back in (precocious, but unwise for the inheritance) and his brother was fully born first, and got it all. See Genesis.  Zahar, left out, left. His own Odyssey.

Is Zahar's line a lost tribe of Israel, and is this their story.  Great fun.

5.1  Origins as Gaelic or Scythian.  Naming carries clues. 

The traditional name for the grave area, a diminutive "Little Flower" is shown by the name of the area of the alleged gravesite, near Tralee, at Glen Scoithin (the Flower part) or Foley's Glen.  
  • To some, the Scoithin argues for her Gaelic origins, Scoithin as a synonym for traditional women's Gaelic names, Flora or Rosa.  To others, the Scoithin ties with the Scythian woman, as she is also known. Wikipedia at Scotia's Grave adds that Scoithin information, that we had not had before.
  • However, there are far more possibilities, even though those do not help the Gaelic pride line, and do show many even more links to Scythian. See page 46 at ://
Identity and lineage.

5.2  The Red Hand took hold in Ireland in various ways, and not necessarily directly connected to Zahar.

There is also the Red Hand of Ulster, that we looked at in American politics -- the use of the red hand in political advertising, to rally political supporters.  See Red Hand, "Family", JPMorgan Chase, Code.  Scroll down to the Ulster section.  A modern exploitation of the red hand, a diminution of a core symbol for Ireland, with its pros and cons, uses in violence. A trivializing of The Red Hand to use it in America.

Ui Niall was a Milesian, as was Scotia.  If the Milesians were Hebrew by extraction, then the red hand has a double meaning - Ulster and the Old Testament.  And if it became unfashionable as centuries passed, to be known as Hebrews, then the red hand idea could move easily from Story 1, about the birth of Zahar and his descendants wandering; to Story 2, update when Ui Niall hacks his off and hurls it to the beach in time to claim the Ulster coast. But if Ui Niall himself is a descendant of the wandering tribe, we are back at square one, and happily so.


FN 1  Medieval Sourcebook, Nennis -Historia Brittonum, 8th Century, at ://  Note the main introduction, that this early source relies on oral and other traditions. This is not entirely to be discounted, however, see the modern The British Chronicles, Heritage Books, by David Hughes (2007) (incorporation of this and similar source material but with discussion and choices)

Meet Nennius and his account:
11. AEneas reigned over the Latins three years; Ascanius thirty-three years; after whom Silvius reigned twelve yeaars, and Posthumus thirty-nine years: the latter, from whom the kings of Alba are called Silvan, was brother to Brutus, who governed Britain at the time Eli the high-priest judged Israel, and when the Ark of the covenant was taken by a foreign people. But Posthumus his brother reigned among the Latins.
12. After an interval of not less than eight hundred years, came the Picts, and occupied the Orkney Islands: whence they laid waste many regions, and seized those on the left hand side of Britain, where they still remain, keeping possession of a third part of Britain to this day.
13. Long after this, the Scots arrived in Ireland from Spain (emphasis added) The first that came was Partholomus, with a thousand men and women, these increased to four thousand; but a mortality coming suddenly upon them, they all perished in one week. The second was Nimech, the son of …..who, according to report, after having his ships shattered, arrived at a port in Ireland, and continuing there several years, returned at length with his followers to Spain. After these came three sons of a Spanish soldier with thirty ships, each of which contained thirty wives; and having remained there during the space of a year, there appeared to them, in the middle of the sea, a tower of glass, the summit of which seemed covered with men, to whom they often spoke, but received no answer. At length they determined to besiege the tower; and after a year's preparation, advanced towards it, with the whole number of their ships, and all the women, one ship only excepted, which had been wrecked, and in which were thirty men, and as many women; but when all had disembarked on the shore which surrounded the tower, the sea opened and swallowed them up. Ireland, however, was peopled, to the present period, from the family remaining in the vessel which was wrecked. Afterwards, others came from Spain, and possessed themselves of various parts of Britain.
 Egyptian Princess become Queen. Milesian King.  A group arriving in Spain, and the Queen leading the band after the death of the king from there to Ireland?

Not out of the question after all. Ancient Carthage and ancient Egypt were great empires before Rome, and took over Spain as well as the Mediterranean coastal areas, and tips of other places.  Travel was not unusual, and would have been facilitated by the conquests. From Spain to Ireland:  short sail. See legends from the time of the Flood, through the Old Testament, at After the Flood:  Irish Biblical Roots and Egypt.