The Viking Age is a period in European history Northern European and Scandinavian history, following the Germanic Iron Age. It is the period of history when Scandinavian Norsemen explored Europe by its seas and rivers for trade, raids and conquest. In this period, the Norsemen settled in Norse Greenland and present-day Faroe Islands, Norway, Normandy, England, Ireland, Isle of Man, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia and Italy. Viking travellers and colonists were seen at many points in history as brutal raiders. Many historical documents suggest that their invasion of other countries was retaliation in response to the encroachment upon tribal lands by Christian missionaries, by the Saxon Wars prosecuted by Charlemagne and his kin to the south, or were motivated by overpopulation, trade inequities, the lack of viable farmland in their homeland. Information about the Viking Age is drawn from what was written about the Vikings by their enemies, primary sources of archaeology, supplemented with secondary sources such as the Icelandic Sagas.
In England, the beginning of the Viking Age is dated to 8 June 793, when Vikings destroyed the abbey on Lindisfarne, a centre of learning on an island off the northeast coast of England in Northumberland. Monks were killed in the abbey, thrown into the sea to drown, or carried away as slaves along with the church treasures, giving rise to the traditional prayer—A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine, "Free us from the fury of the Northmen, Lord."Three Viking ships had beached in Weymouth Bay four years earlier, but that incursion may have been a trading expedition that went wrong rather than a piratical raid. Lindisfarne was different; the Viking devastation of Northumbria's Holy Island was reported by the Northumbrian scholar Alcuin of York, who wrote: "Never before in Britain has such a terror appeared". Vikings were portrayed as wholly bloodthirsty by their enemies. In medieval English chronicles, they are described as "wolves among sheep"; the first challenges to the many anti-Viking images in Britain emerged in the 17th century.
Pioneering scholarly works on the Viking Age reached a small readership in Britain. Linguistics traced the Viking Age origins of rural proverbs. New dictionaries of the Old Norse language enabled more Victorians to read the Icelandic Sagas. In Scandinavia, the 17th-century Danish scholars Thomas Bartholin and Ole Worm and Swedish scholar Olaus Rudbeck were the first to use runic inscriptions and Icelandic Sagas as primary historical sources. During the Enlightenment and Nordic Renaissance, historians such as the Icelandic-Norwegian Thormodus Torfæus, Danish-Norwegian Ludvig Holberg, Swedish Olof von Dalin developed a more "rational" and "pragmatic" approach to historical scholarship. By the latter half of the 18th century, while the Icelandic sagas were still used as important historical sources, the Viking Age had again come to be regarded as a barbaric and uncivilised period in the history of the Nordic countries. Scholars outside Scandinavia did not begin to extensively reassess the achievements of the Vikings until the 1890s, recognising their artistry, technological skills, seamanship.
Until the history of the Viking Age had been based on Icelandic Sagas, the history of the Danes written by Saxo Grammaticus, the Kievan Rus's Primary Chronicle, Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib. Today, most scholars take these texts as sources not to be understood and are relying more on concrete archaeological findings and other direct scientific disciplines and methods; the Vikings who invaded western and eastern Europe were pagans from the same area as present-day Denmark and Sweden. They settled in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, peripheral Scotland and Canada, their North Germanic language, Old Norse, became the mother-tongue of present-day Scandinavian languages. By 801, a strong central authority appears to have been established in Jutland, the Danes were beginning to look beyond their own territory for land and plunder. In Norway, mountainous terrain and fjords formed strong natural boundaries. Communities remained independent of each other, unlike the situation in lowland Denmark. By 800, some 30 small kingdoms existed in Norway.
The sea was the easiest way of communication between the outside world. In the eighth century, Scandinavians began to build ships of war and send them on raiding expeditions which started the Viking Age; the North Sea rovers were traders, colonisers and plunderers. Many theories are posited for the cause of the Viking invasions. At the time, England and Ireland were vulnerable to attack, being divided into many different warring kingdoms in a state of internal disarray, while the Franks were well defended. Overpopulation near the Scandes, was influential. Technological advance like the use of iron, or a shortage of women due to selective female infanticide had an impact. Tensions caused by Frankish expansion to the south of Scandinavia, their subsequent attacks upon the Viking peoples, may have played a role in Viking pillaging. Harald I of Norway had displaced many peoples; as a result, these people sought for new bases to launch counter-raids against Harald. Vikings would plant crops after the winter and go raiding as soon as the ice melted on the sea return
Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair
Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair was King of Connacht from 1156 to 1186, High King of Ireland from 1166 to 1193. He was the last High King of Ireland before the Norman invasion. Ruaidrí was one of over twenty sons of King Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair, he and his sister Mór were Tairrdelbach's only children from his third wife, Cailech Dé Ní hEidin of Aidhne. Ruaidrí was not a favourite of his father, his brother Conchobar Ua Conchobair being Tairrdelbach's tánaiste and designated heir. In 1136, he and his brother Aedh took advantage of a low in Tairrdelbach's fortunes to stage a rebellion. Aedh was blinded by Conchobar on Tairrdelbach's orders but Ruaidrí was protected by the Archbishop of Connacht, Muireadhach Ua Dubhthaigh. In 1143, he staged another rebellion, he was arrested by Tighearnán Ua Ruairc. Ruaidhri, was taken by Toirdhealbhach Ua Conchobhair, in violation of laity and clergy and protection; these were the sureties: Muireadhach Ua Dubhthaigh, with the clergy and laity of Connacht. The clergy of Connacht, with Muireadhach Ua Dubhthaigh, fasted at Rath-Brenainn, to get their guarantee, but it was not observed for them.
After a year's imprisonment, Archbishop of Armagh Gilla Meic Liac mac Diarmata sought his release by April 1144, along with his confederates Domnall Ua Flaithbertaig and Cathal Ua Conchobair. However, Tairrdelbach only acquiesced upon the assassination of Conchobar in Mide that year. Tairrdelbach now chose another son, Donnell Mor Mideach Ua Conchobair, as tánaiste, but Ruaidrí improved his status with raids against Tighearnán Ua Ruairc in 1146 and capturing and killing Tairrdelbach's nephew and opponent, Domnall Ua Conchobar, in 1150. Donnell Mór Mideach began to lose favour in 1147 and his fate was sealed when he was arrested in 1151, making solid Ruadrí's claim as his father's heir. In that year Ruadrí raided Thomond, where Tairrdelbach won a great victory at the Battle of Móin Mór. In 1152, Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn travelled into compelling hostages of Tairrdelbach. "They divided Meath into two parts on this occasion. On this occasion Dearbhforgaill, daughter of Murchadh Ua Maeleachlainn, wife of Tighearnan Ua Ruairc, was brought away by the King of Leinster".
Ruaidrí remained active in suppressing the Ua Briain's of Munster, burning Croome, dividing Munster in half, expelling Toirrdelbach mac Diarmata into Ailech. This gave reason for Mac Lochlainn to travel south with an army in 1153. Tairrdelbach was beaten off by Mac Lochlainn, leaving Ruaidhri and his men exposed at Fordruim,: Ruaidhri, son of Toirdhealbhach, the battalion of West Connacht, the recruits of Sil-Muireadhaigh, came to Fordruim; the Ua Conchobair's brought "the fleets of Dun-Gaillmhe, of Conmhaicne-mara, of the men of Umhall, of Ui-Amhalghadha, Ui-Fiachrach" north and defeated Mac Lochlainn at Inis Eoghain, but the latter was strong on land, forcing them to respond to incursions in east Connacht and Breifne, along with attempted settlements in Mide in 1155. The latter led to "The castle of Cuileanntrach burned and demolished by Ruaidhri." Tairrdelbach died at his capital of County Galway. Ruaidri became king of Connacht "without any opposition" As a precaution, he arrested three of his twenty-two brothers, "Brian Breifneach, Brian Luighneach, Muircheartach Muimhneach" to prevent them from usurping him.
On learning of Tairrdelbach's death, Mac Lochlainn assumed the High-Kingship and began a war of attrition in Leinster and Osraige, using their regional allies against one another. Over the winter of 1156–57 he positioned a fleet on the River Shannon in anticipation of an attack from Aileach, yet Mac Lochlinn imposed his own client king in Mide, took hostages from Dermot MacMurrough, evicted the kings of Loígis, Uí Failghe and Osraige, all of whom fled to Connacht. He subdued all Munster and captured Luimneach. Forced to attack or lose face, Ruaidrí responded by plundering and burning areas around Strabane and Derry. While Mac Lochlinn was returning home to counter him, Ruaidrí entered Munster and overturned Mac Lochlinn's political settlement; the last of Ruaidrí's descendants to hold the kingship of Connacht, Aedh mac Ruaidri Ua Conchobair, died in 1233. The Annals of Connacht give the following reason for this: Aed mac Ruaidri had been five years King of Connacht, as the poet said:'Aed mac Ruaidri of the swift onslaught, five years his rule over the province, till he fell— a loss on every frontier— by the hand of Fedlimid.'
Here ends the rule of the children of Ruaidri O Conchobair, King of Ireland. For the Pope offered him the title to Ireland for himself and his seed for and six wives, if he would renounce the sin of adultery henceforth.
Saint Columba was an Irish abbot and missionary Evangelist credited with spreading Christianity in what is today Scotland at the start of the Hiberno-Scottish mission. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries, he is the Patron Saint of Derry. He was regarded by both the Gaels of Dál Riata and the Picts, is remembered today as a Catholic saint and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. Colmcille studied under some of Ireland's most prominent church figures and founded several monasteries in the country. Around 563 he and his twelve companions crossed to Dunaverty near Southend, Argyll, in Kintyre before settling in Iona in Scotland part of the Ulster kingdom of Dál Riata, where they founded a new abbey as a base for spreading Celtic Christianity among the northern Pictish kingdoms who were pagan, he remained active in Irish politics. Three surviving early medieval Latin hymns may be attributed to him. Colmcille was born to Fedlimid and Eithne of the Cenel Conaill in Gartan, a district beside Lough Gartan, in Tír Chonaill in the north of Ireland.
On his father's side, he was great-great-grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish high king of the 5th century. He was baptised in Temple-Douglas, in the County Donegal parish of Conwal, by his teacher and foster-uncle Saint Crunathan, it is not known for sure if his name at birth was Colmcille or if he adopted this name in life. In the Irish language his name means'dove', the same name as the Prophet Jonah, which Adomnán of Iona as well as other early Irish writers were aware of, although it is not clear if he was deliberately named after Jonah or not; when sufficiently advanced in letters he entered the monastic school of Movilla, at Newtownards, under St. Finnian who had studied at St. Ninian's "Magnum Monasterium" on the shores of Galloway, he was about twenty, a deacon when, having completed his training at Movilla, he travelled southwards into Leinster, where he became a pupil of an aged bard named Gemman. On leaving him, Colmcille entered the monastery of Clonard, governed at that time by Finnian, noted for sanctity and learning.
Here he imbibed the traditions of the Welsh Church, for Finnian had been trained in the schools of St. David. In early Christian Ireland the druidic tradition collapsed due to the spread of the new Christian faith; the study of Latin learning and Christian theology in monasteries flourished. Colmcille became a pupil at the monastic school at Clonard Abbey, situated on the River Boyne in modern County Meath. During the sixth century, some of the most significant names in the history of Celtic Christianity studied at the Clonard monastery, it is said that the average number of scholars under instruction at Clonard was 3,000. Colmcille was one of twelve students of St. Finnian who became known as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, he became a monk and was ordained a priest. Another preceptor of Colmcille was St. Mobhi, whose monastery at Glasnevin was frequented by such famous men as St. Canice, St. Comgall, St. Ciarán. A pestilence which devastated Ireland in 544 caused the dispersion of Mobhi's disciples, Colmcille returned to Ulster, the land of his kindred.
He was a striking figure of great stature and powerful build, with a loud, melodious voice which could be heard from one hilltop to another. The following years were marked by the foundation of several important monasteries: Derry, at the southern edge of Inishowen. While at Derry it is said that he planned a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem, but did not proceed farther than Tours. Thence he brought a copy of those gospels that had lain on the bosom of St. Martin for the space of 100 years; this relic was deposited in Derry. Tradition asserts that, sometime around 560, he became involved in a quarrel with Saint Finnian of Movilla Abbey over a psalter. Colmcille copied the manuscript at the scriptorium under Saint Finnian. Saint Finnian disputed his right to keep the copy; the dispute led to the pitched Battle of Cúl Dreimhne in Cairbre Drom Cliabh in 561, during which many men were killed. A second grievance that led him to induce the clan Neill to rise and engage in battle against King Diarmait at Cooldrevny in 561 was the king's violation of the right of sanctuary belonging to Colmcille's person as a monk on the occasion of the murder of Prince Curnan, the saint's kinsman.
Prince Curnan of Connaught, who had fatally injured a rival in a hurling match and had taken refuge with Colmcille, was dragged from his protector's arms and slain by Diarmaid's men, in defiance of the rights of sanctuary. A synod of clerics and scholars threatened to excommunicate him for these deaths, but St. Brendan of Birr spoke on his behalf with the result that he was allowed to go into exile instead. Colmcille's own conscience was uneasy, on the advice of an aged hermit, Molaise, he resolved to expiate his offence by going into exile and win for Christ as many souls as had perished in the terrible battle of Cúl Dreimhne, he left Ireland, to return only many years later. Colmcille's copy of the psalter has been traditionally associated with the Cathach of St. Colmcille. In 563, he travelled to Scotland with twelve companions in a wicker currach covered with leather. According to legend he first landed o
Annals of the Four Masters
The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland or the Annals of the Four Masters are chronicles of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the Deluge, dated as 2,242 years after creation to AD 1616. Due to the criticisms by Irish historian Tuileagna Ó Maol Chonaire, the text was not published in the lifetime of any of the participants; the annals are a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636 at a Franciscan friary near the Drowes river in County Leitrim, on the border with County Donegal and County Sligo; the patron of the project was Fearghal Ó Gadhra, M. P. a Gaelic lord in Coolavin, County Sligo. The chief compiler of the annals was Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh from Ballyshannon, assisted by, among others, Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire and Peregrine Ó Duibhgeannain. Although only one of the authors, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, was a Franciscan friar, they became known as'The Four Friars' or in the original Irish, Na Ceithre Máistrí.
The Anglicized version of this was "The Four Masters", the name that has become associated with the annals themselves. The annals are written in Irish; the several manuscript copies are held at Trinity College Dublin, the Royal Irish Academy, University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. The first substantial English translation was published by Owen Connellan in 1846; the Connellan translation included the annals from the eleventh to the seventeenth centuries. The only version to have a four-colour frontispiece, it included a large folding map showing the location of families in Ireland; this edition, neglected for over 150 years, was republished in the early twenty-first century. The original Connellan translation was followed several years by a full translation by the historian John O'Donovan; the translation was funded by a government grant of £1,000 obtained by the notable mathematician Sir William Rowan Hamilton while he was president of the Royal Irish Academy. The Annals are one of the principal Irish-language sources for Irish history up to 1616.
While many of the early chapters are lists of names and dates, the chapters, dealing with events of which the authors had first-hand accounts, are much more detailed. The reliability and usefulness of the Annals as a historical source has sometimes been questioned on the grounds that they were limited to accounts of the births and activities of the Gaelic nobility of Ireland and ignore wider social trends or events. On the other hand, the Annals, as one of the few prose sources in Irish from this period provide a valuable insight into events such as the Desmond Rebellions and the Nine Years War from a Gaelic Irish perspective; the early part of this work is based upon the Lebor Gabala. Today, most scholars regard the Lebor Gabála as myth rather than history, it appears to be based on medieval Christian pseudo-histories, but it incorporates some of Ireland's native pagan mythology. Scholars believe the goal of its writers was to provide an epic history for Ireland that could compare to that of the Israelites or the Romans, which reconciled native myth with the Christian view of history.]
It is suggested, for example, that there are six'takings' to match the "Six Ages of the World" Lebor Gabála Érenn is considered a "highly influential Middle Irish prose-and-verse treatise written in order to bridge the chasm between Christian world-chronology and the prehistory of Ireland". O'Donovan, John, ed. Annala rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616, 7 volumes, Royal Irish Academy. Volume 1, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 2, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 3, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 4, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 5, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, Volume 6, HTML e-text via CELT: irish, english † Volume 7 † The appendix of volume 6 contains the done pedigrees of a small selection of the Gaelic Irish nobility, pp.2377 ff Irish annals The Chronicle of Ireland Template:Cite AFM for citing the Annal in articles at Wikipedia Cunningham, Bernadette. The Annals of the Four Masters: Irish History and Society in the Early Seventeenth Century.
Dublin: Four Courts. ISBN 978-1-84682-203-2. Cunningham, Bernadette, ed.. O'Donnell Histories: Donegal and the Annals of the Four Masters. Rathmullan: Rathmullan & District Local Historical Society. Mc Carthy, Daniel P.. The Irish Annals: Their Genesis and History. Dublin: Four Courts. Mc Carthy, Daniel P.. "Irish Chronicles and Their Chronology". Retrieved 5 April 2010. Ó Muraíle, Nollaig. "The autograph manuscripts of the Annals of the Four Masters". Celtica. 19: 75–95. O'Sullivan, William. "The Slane manuscript of the Annals of the Four Masters". Ríocht na Mídhe: Journal of the County Meath Historical Society. 10: 78–85. Catholic Encyclopedia: Annals of the Four Masters List of Published Texts at CELT — University College Cork's Corpus of Electronic Texts project has the full text of the annals online, both in the original Irish and in O'Donovan's translation. Irish Script On Screen — The ISOS project at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies has high-resolution digital images of the Royal Irish Academy's copy of the Annals
Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity; the term arises from the unattested Vulgar Latin's *superanus, meaning "chief", "ruler". Its spelling, which varied from the word's first appearance in English in the fourteenth century, was influenced by the English "reign"; the concepts of sovereignty have been discussed throughout history, are still debated. Its definition and application has changed throughout during the Age of Enlightenment; the current notion of state sovereignty contains four aspects consisting of territory, population and recognition. According to Stephen D. Krasner, the term could be understood in four different ways: domestic sovereignty – actual control over a state exercised by an authority organized within this state, interdependence sovereignty – actual control of movement across state's borders, assuming the borders exist, international legal sovereignty – formal recognition by other sovereign states, Westphalian sovereignty – lack of other authority over state other than the domestic authority.
These four aspects all appear together, but this is not the case – they are not affected by one another, there are historical examples of states that were non-sovereign in one aspect while at the same time being sovereign in another of these aspects. According to Immanuel Wallerstein, another fundamental feature of sovereignty is that it is a claim that must be recognised by others if it is to have any meaning: The Roman jurist Ulpian observed that: The people transferred all their imperium and power to the Emperor. Cum lege regia, quae de imperio eius lata est, populus ei et in eum omne suum imperium et potestatem conferat The emperor is not bound by the laws. Princeps legibus. Quod principi placuit legis habet vigorem. Ulpian was expressing the idea that the Emperor exercised a rather absolute form of sovereignty, that originated in the people, although he did not use the term expressly. Ulpian's statements were known in medieval Europe, but sovereignty was an important concept in medieval times.
Medieval monarchs were not sovereign, at least not so, because they were constrained by, shared power with, their feudal aristocracy. Furthermore, both were constrained by custom. Sovereignty existed during the Medieval period as the de jure rights of nobility and royalty, in the de facto capability of individuals to make their own choices in life. Around c. 1380–1400, the issue of feminine sovereignty was addressed in Geoffrey Chaucer's Middle English collection of Canterbury Tales in The Wife of Bath's Tale. A English Arthurian romance, The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell, uses many of the same elements of the Wife of Bath's tale, yet changes the setting to the court of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; the story revolves around the knight Sir Gawain granting to Dame Ragnell, his new bride, what is purported to be wanted most by women: sovereignty. We desire most From men both lund and poor, To have sovereignty without lies. For where we have sovereignty, all is ours, Though a knight be so fierce, And win mastery.
It is our desire to have master Over such a sir. Such is our purpose. Sovereignty reemerged as a concept in the late 16th century, a time when civil wars had created a craving for stronger central authority, when monarchs had begun to gather power onto their own hands at the expense of the nobility, the modern nation state was emerging. Jean Bodin in reaction to the chaos of the French wars of religion, presented theories of sovereignty calling for strong central authority in the form of absolute monarchy. In his 1576 treatise Les Six Livres de la République Bodin argued that it is inherent in the nature of the state that sovereignty must be: Absolute: On this point he said that the sovereign must be hedged in with obligations and conditions, must be able to legislate without his subjects' consent, must not be bound by the laws of his predecessors, could not, because it is illogical, be bound by his own laws. Perpetual: Not temporarily delegated as to a strong leader in an emergency or to a state employee such as a magistrate.
He held that sovereignty must be perpetual because anyone with the power to enforce a time limit on the governing power must be above the governing power, which would be impossible if the governing power is absolute. Bodin rejected the notion of transference of sovereignty from people to the ruler, and the sovereign is not above natural law. He is above only positive law, he emphasized that a sovereign is bound to observe certain basic rules derived from the divine law, the law of nature or reason, the law, common to all nations, as well as the fundamental laws of the state that determine, the sovereign, who succeeds to sovereignty, what limits the sovereign power. Thus, Bodin’s sovereign was restricted by the constitutional law of the state and by the higher law, considered as binding upon every human being; the fact that the sovereign must obey divine and natural law imposes ethical constraints on him. Bodin held that the lois royales, the fun
Adomnán or Adamnán of Iona known as Eunan, was an abbot of Iona Abbey, statesman, canon jurist, saint. He was the author of the most important book on the life of his cousin St Columba and the promulgator of the Law of Adomnán or "Law of Innocents". Adomnán was born a relative on his father's side of Columba, he was the son of Rónán mac Tinne by Ronat, a woman from the Northern Uí Néill lineage known as the Cenél nÉnda. Adomnán's birthplace was a town in County Donegal in Ulster; some of Adomnán's childhood anecdotes seem to confirm at least an upbringing in this area. It is thought that Adomnán may have begun his monastic career at a Columban monastery called Druim Tuamma, but any Columban foundation in northern Ireland or Dál Riata is a possibility, although Durrow is a stronger possibility than most, he joined the Columban familia around the year 640. Some modern commentators believe that he could not have come to Iona until sometime after the year 669, the year of the accession of Fáilbe mac Pípáin, the first abbot of whom Adomnán gives any information.
However, Richard Sharpe argues that he came to Iona during the abbacy of Ségéne. Whenever or wherever Adomnán received his education, Adomnán attained a level of learning rare in Early Medieval Northern Europe, it has been suggested by Alfred Smyth that Adomnán spent some years teaching and studying at Durrow, while this is not accepted by all scholars, it remains a strong possibility. In 679, Adomnán became the ninth abbot of Iona after Columba. Abbot Adomnán enjoyed a friendship with King Aldfrith of Northumbria. In 684, Aldfrith had been staying with Adomnán in Iona. In 686, after the death of Aldfrith's brother King Ecgfrith of Northumbria and Aldfrith's succession to the kingship, Adomnán was in the Kingdom of Northumbria on the request of King Fínsnechta Fledach of Brega in order to gain the freedom of sixty Gaels, captured in a Northumbrian raid two years before. Adomnán, in keeping with Ionan tradition, made several more trips to the lands of the English during his abbacy, including one the following year.
It is sometimes thought, after the account given by Bede, that it was during his visits to Northumbria, under the influence of Abbot Ceolfrith, that Adomnán decided to adopt the Roman dating of Easter, agreed some years before at the Synod of Whitby. Bede implies that this led to a schism at Iona, whereby Adomnán became alienated from the Iona brethren and went to Ireland to convince the Irish of the Roman dating. Jeffrey Wetherill sees Adomnán's long absences from Iona as having led to something of an undermining of his authority, it is clear that Adomnán did adopt that Roman dating, moreover did argue the case for it in Ireland. It is believed that in 697, Adomnán promulgated the Cáin Adomnáin, meaning the "Canons" or "Law of Adomnán"; the Cáin Adomnáin was promulgated amongst a gathering of Irish, Dál Riatan and Pictish notables at the Synod of Birr. It is a set of laws designed, among other things, to guarantee the safety and immunity of various types of non-combatants in warfare. For this reason it is known as the "Law of Innocents".
Adomnán's most important work, the one for which he is best known, is the Vita Columbae, a hagiography of Iona's founder, Saint Columba written between 697 and 700. The format borrows to some extent from Sulpicius Severus' Life of Saint Martin of Tours. Adomnán adapted traditional forms of Christian biography to group stories about Columba thematically rather than chronologically, present Columba as comparable to a hero in Gaelic mythology. Wetherill suggests that one of the motivations for writing the Vita was to offer Columba as a model for the monks, thereby improve Adomnán's standing as abbot; the biography is by far the most important surviving work written in early medieval Scotland, is a vital source for our knowledge of the Picts, as well as a great insight into the life of Iona and the early medieval Gaelic monk. However, the Vita was not his only work. Adomnán wrote the treatise De Locis Sanctis, an account of the great Christian holy places and centres of pilgrimage. Adomnán got much of his information from a Frankish bishop called Arculf, who had visited the Egypt, Rome and the Holy Land, visited Iona afterwards.
Adomnán gave a copy to the scholar-king Aldfrith of Northumbria. Attributed to him is a good deal of Gaelic poetry, including a celebration of the Pictish King Bridei's victory over the Northumbrians at the Battle of Dun Nechtain. Adomnán died in 704, became a saint in Scottish and Irish tradition, as well as one of the most important figures in either Scottish or Irish history, his death and feast day are commemorated on 23 September. Along with St. Columba, he is joint patron of the Diocese of Raphoe, which encompasses the bulk of County Donegal in the north west of Ireland; the Cathedral of St. Eunan and St. Columba, the Catholic cathedral in that diocese, is in Letterkenny. In his native Donegal, the saint has given his name to several institutions and buildings including: The Cathedral of St. Eunan and St Columba in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
Annals of Ulster
The Annals of Ulster are annals of medieval Ireland. The entries span the years from A. D. 431 to A. D. 1540. The entries up to A. D. 1489 were compiled in the late 15th century by the scribe Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, under his patron Cathal Óg Mac Maghnusa on the island of Belle Isle on Lough Erne in the kingdom of Fermanagh. Entries were added by others. Entries up to the mid-6th Century are retrospective, drawing on earlier annalistic and historical texts, while entries were contemporary, based on recollection and oral history. T. M. Charles-Edwards has claimed that the main source for its records of the first millennium A. D. is a now lost Armagh continuation of the Chronicle of Ireland. The Annals used the Irish language, with some entries in Latin; because the Annals copied its sources verbatim, they are useful not just for historians, but for linguists studying the evolution of the Irish language. A century the Annals of Ulster became an important source for the authors of the Annals of the Four Masters.
It informs the Irish text Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib. The Library of Trinity College Dublin possesses the original manuscript. There are two main modern English translations of the annals – Mac Airt and Mac Niocaill and MacCarthy. Several kings are mentioned throughout the Annals of Ulster; the Annals tend to follow the lives of the kings, including important battles and their ultimate death. Between the years of 847 and 879, three different kings are highlighted. For example: Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid, the king of the southern Ui Neill clan from 846–862: 839.6 – First mentioned in the Annals of Ulster having killed Crunnmael son of Fiannamail. 841.2 – Kills Diarmait 843.1 – Mael Sechnaill's father, Mael Ruanaid, dies 845.7 – Kills his brother Flann 845.8 – Takes Tuirgéis prisoner 846.7 – Suffers heavy losses at hands of Tigernach 847.2 – Begins his reign. 847.3 – Destroys the Island of Loch Muinremor 848.4 – defeats Vikings at Forach 849.12 – conducts siege in Crupat 850.3 – Cinaed, king of Cianacht, with help from foreign forces rebels against Mael Sechnaill 851.2 – kills Cinaed, king of Cianacht 851.5 – attends conference in Ard Macha 854.2 – took hostages from Mumu at Inneóin na nDéise 856.2 – took hostages from Mumu at Caisel 856.3 – battle against the Vikings 858.4 – marched against Mumu, took hostages from them and travelled with them "from Belat Gabráin to Inis Tarbnai off the Irish coast, from Dún Cermna to Ára Airthir."
859.3 – attends conference at Ráith Aeda Meic Bric "to make peace and amity between the men of Ireland" 860.1 – leads army into the north, but hold position 862.5 – Dies and is described as "king of all Ireland"The same pattern is followed for Aed mac Neill, the king of the northern Ui Neill clan. Aed mac Neill appears in the following entries in the Annals of Ulster: 855.3, 856.5, 860.1, 861.1, 862.2, 862.3, 863.2, 864.1, 864.3, 866.4, 868.4, 870.2, 874.4, 879.1 The final entry ends with the entry about his death and includes a poem. It reads "Aed son of Niall, king of Temair, fell asleep on the twelfth of the Kalends of 20 December Nov at Druim Inasclainn in the territory of Conaille. 1. "Just as with the Irish kings, the Annals of Ulster follow the lives of the Viking kings of Dublin. For example, Amlaíb Conung is mentioned in the following entries: 853.2, 857.1, 859.2, 863.4, 864.2, 866.1, 867.8, 869.6, 870.6, 871.2, 875.4 The final entry deviates from the Irish kings and instead tells of the death of Amlaib’s son, Oistín and reads: "Oistín son of Amlaíb, king of the Norsemen, was deceitfully killed by Albann."
Along with kings and kingdoms, the entries in the Annals of Ulster focus on important places of Ireland such as Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland which appears several times throughout the text. Dublin for example, referred to in the text as either Áth Cliath or Duiblinn, is described in the Annals of Ulster with entries ranging from the settlement of Dublin by Vikings to deaths of notable names to Dublin being ruled by the Irish; the town appears 66 different times in the Annals of Ulster and can be found in the following entries: 770.1, 790.2, 841.4, 842.2, 842.7, 845.12, 851.3, 870.2, 871.2 893.4, 895.6, 902.2, 917.4, 919.3, 920.5, 921.5, 921.8, 924.3, 926.6, 927.3, 930.1, 936.2, 938.5, 938.6, 939.1, 942.3, 942.7, 944.3, 945.6, 946.1, 947.1, 950.7, 951.3, 951.7, 956.3, 960.2, 961.1, 978.3, 980.1, 994.6, 995.2, 999.8, 1000.4, 1013.12, 1013.13, 1014.2, 1018.2, 1021.1, 1022.4, 1031.2, 1035.5, 1070.2, 1075.1, 1075.4, 1084.8, 1088.4, 1094.2, 1095.4, 1100.5, 1103.5, 1105.3, 1115.4, 1118.6, 1121.7, 1126.7, 1128.6 The Annals of Ulster contain a large amount of historical information on the invasions of the Vikings into Ireland and several specific events are mentioned that are paralleled in other Irish works such as the Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib.
The Annals of Ulster documents the Viking invasions one year after the common starting event of the Viking Period, the raiding of Lindisfarne in 793, as mentioned by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The first mentioning of the Vikings is brief. "794.7 Devastation of all the islands of Br