The admonishment of Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 63BC), Roman orator, statesman and philosopher:

To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man’s lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times.” “De oratore” [Section 34]. This reprimand was brought forward by Seán O’Casey 1919 that depicted  the dichotomy on the two classes of Irish thought: “… those who love themselves so well that they have none left for Ireland, and those who love Ireland so well that they have none left for themselves ‑‑ The first love is selfish; the second foolish.” The counterpoint to Irish nationalist O’Casey was penned by English essayist George Keith Chesterton who in “George Bernard Shaw” stated: “Ireland is a country in which the political conflicts are at least genuine: they are about patriotism, about religion, or about money: the three great realities.” What is your viewpoint?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In the 12th century, Ireland becomes known throughout the Islamic world

Did you know that eminent Arabic cartographer, Abu Abd Allah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani al-Sabti [or simply Al Idrisi] was the first person to make Islamic scholars aware of a Greater Ireland; look-up this renowned individual. He was a friend of the Roger II of the infamous DeHautville clan, that show William the Bastard how to transport warhorses across water; without this knowledge, the Norman ruffians could not have invaded the island of Britain in 1066. Betcha you didn’t know about that!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vergelt’s Gott

In ancient Ireland the vast majority of abbatial monks were secular [not in what is called Holy Orders] and only a very few were “consecrated in priestly vows.” Irish monks did not sleep in communal rooms but in seperate isolated cells. They left their cells only to work or join their fellow monks for the ritual of the Mass. Upon entering the abbey monks would dip their hand in Holy Water and blessed themselves (as outward sign of their baptism vow) and greet their Abbot and fellow monks with: go mbeannaighe dhuit [God Bless you]. This ancient Irish blessing is still used, in the West of Ireland, Western Isles of Scotland, Wales, and, Isle of Man. In the 7th and 8th century, Irish monk-scholars brought this greeting with them to the European continent; were it became part of the German vocabulary. Today, German-born Pope Benedict XVI greets his visitors and begins every speech with Vergelt’s Gott, the German transliteration of “go mbeannaighe Dia dhuit.” Do you know the translatiteration of this blessing in another language? Share it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The quarrel: Saint Pátraic a Strathclyde Briton?

One of the contentious questions in Irish history is identifying the actual birthplace of Ireland’s greatest saint. I joined the crowd of Irish historians that contend Pátraic was probably born at Alcuith Dumbarton south of Antoninus Wall in Strathclyde. If true, his father Calpurnius, was a Roman official (either Spanish or German) and his mother Conchessa could have been of P-Celtic stock (note: Romans never took spouses with them). Thus Pátraic would have spoken Brythonic, Latin, and Greek, languages of the upper class Romans.

On the other hand in her 1868 book: The Illustrated History of Ireland: From Early Times 400AD – 1800AD Sister Mary Cusak “The Nun of Kenmare” was convinced Pátraic was born in Armorica (Bretagne) and his familiae moved to a Roman settlement in the Bristol basin (contemporary Wales). If true, his basic language skill would have been Gallo-Latin and possibly Greek.  (Note: Cusak adhered to a mindset set by Henthorn Todd DD (1864) in the 19th and set forth by John Bagnell Bury (1905) in the 20th century.

What’s your opinion?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s discuss Irish-Scandinavians

Did you know that in 498AD, as the Roman Empire was disintegrating on the continent, Fergus Mór MacErc a warlord from the northeast of Scotia (today’s Ireland) led a band of warriors across the North Sea to invade the Western Hebrides Isles and mainland of Alba (today’s Scotland) where he established the kingdom of Dálriada [geographically modern Argyll].  The descendants of these warriors intermarried with the indigenous population, whom the Roman called “Picts” or “painted people” (yes, they painted their faces as in  “Braveheart”). The Scots and the Picts waged continious war each other; but, often joined forces to raid Northumbria [Northeast Britian] an area previously overrun by Germanic Angles and Saxons. In 843, Kenneth MacAlpin, King of the Dálriadan Scots, vassal of the Irish Ard Rí, [High King] and likely aided by Vikings(?) united the Scots & Picts into the Kingdom of Alba, with Scone as its capital. The Ard Rí accepted this territory as Scotia Minor a vassal state of Scotia Major [Ireland]and later simply called Scotland, i.e., “the land of the Scots [Irish]“. In the next century Vikings invaded and settled in Hebrides Archipelagos and Western Highlands taking Irish wives. Their descendants were called Gall-Gaedheal (foreign-Gaels) became the fearless mail-cladded, axe-weilding mercenaries known in the Middle-Ages as Gall-ó-glaigh (foreign-warriors) that were imported, firstly, into Ulster to fight unto the death on behalf of the Uí Néill dynasts of Tír Chonaill (Ó Domhnaill) and Tír Eoghain (Ó Neill); within a century their services would be sought after by the Anglo-Irish (FitzGeralds, Burkes, et. al.) until the end of the 16th century. How many of your Irish/Scotch friends, with surnames such as MacSweeney, MacDougal, MacDonald, MacSheey, MacCabe, etc., know of their Irish-Scandinavian heritage? Ask them and share us their comments.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Did you know that Irish Monks changed the standards of the World??

In early 5th century Europe northern Germanic tribes crashed across a frozen Rhein River into the Roman Diocese of Gaul, destroying everyone and everything in their path. Rome’s administrative center at Trier was devastated by ruthless gangs of nomadic barbarians and the countryside was plundered in search of treasure and food. The viaduct system that, for centuries, supplied clean water was destroyed; Europe would have to wait more than a thousand year to regain a semblance of sanitation that existed under the Romans. On the other hand, the illiterate German warlords longed to live like the Romans; but, they lacked the wherewithal to organize a bureaucracy to administer the vast lands they had conquered. What to do? Their dilemma was resolved by wandering Irish monk-scholars who became the most significant and positive force in developing medieval Europe’s social order. Great Irish monks, such as Columbanus, founded monastic foundations that evolved as learning centers to transform violent-prone illiterate warlords as educated leaders, and created an intelligentsia for Western Europe.

Too often people have succumbed to Hollywood’s version of knights in shining armor, performing noble deeds; sadly, that picture was far from reality. Early knights can be compared to heavily armed mounted thugs devoid of any moral scruples that self-aggrandizing despotic warlords granted land holdings in returning for their fighting allegiance in ruthlessly expanding their monarchial hegemonies. When these “noble knights” were not fighting on behalf of their benefactor (Liège lord) they were either plotting against him, fighting each other or terrorizing the local countryside. During this historical period Irish monk-scholars, key advisers to emerging kings and emperors,  strove to educate Europe’s new ruling class that it was in their political interest to adopt Christain values as the societal normative to maintain order within their realms.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello and Welcome

I’m excited to share with you the journey of early European History.  I’ve studied the subject for many years and continue to find it fascinating.  I’d love to hear your opinion on the subject and invite anyone to discuss my findings during my travels throughout Europe.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments