Ratass Church is a medieval church with ogham stone forming a National Monument in Tralee, Ireland. The church is located in the eastern suburbs of Tralee, it is believed that a ringfort or embanked enclosure was built here first, before a sandstone church was erected in the 10th century AD, served as the centre of Kerry diocese from 1111 to 1117, when the seat was moved to Ardfert. The west gable and part of the nave walls belong to this earlier construction; the ogham stone is much earlier. The stone is of fine purple sandstone, with the inscription NM SILLANN MAQ VATTILLOGG, it was discovered in 1975 during a cleanup.
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man, sometimes referred to as Mann, is a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann and is represented by a lieutenant governor. Defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom; the island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC. Gaelic cultural influence began in the 5th century AD, the Manx language, a branch of the Gaelic languages, emerged. In 627, Edwin of Northumbria conquered the Isle of Man along with most of Mercia. In the 9th century, Norsemen established the Kingdom of the Isles. Magnus III, King of Norway, was King of Mann and the Isles between 1099 and 1103. In 1266, the island became part of Scotland after being ruled by Norway. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of Scotland and England, the island came under the feudal lordship of the English Crown in 1399; the lordship revested into the British Crown in 1765, but the island never became part of the 18th-century Kingdom of Great Britain or its successors the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the present-day United Kingdom.
It retained its internal self-government. In 1881, the Isle of Man parliament, became the first national legislative body in the world to give women the right to vote in a general election, although this excluded married women. In 2016, the Isle of Man was awarded biosphere reserve status by UNESCO. Insurance and online gambling generate 17% of GNP each, followed by information and communications technology and banking with 9% each. Internationally, the Isle of Man is best known for the Isle of Man TT competition; the Manx name of the Isle of Man is Ellan Vannin: ellan is a Manx word meaning "island". The short form used in English, Mann, is derived from the Manx Mannin, though sometimes the name is written as Man; the earliest recorded Manx form of the name is Mana. The Old Irish form of the name is Mano. Old Welsh records named it as Manaw reflected in Manaw Gododdin, the name for an ancient district in north Britain along the lower Firth of Forth; the oldest known reference to the island calls it Mona, in Latin.
Latin references have Mevania or Mænavia, Eubonia or Eumonia by Irish writers. It is found in the Sagas of Icelanders as Mön; the name is cognate with the Welsh name of the island of Anglesey, Ynys Môn derived from a Celtic word for'mountain', from a Proto-Celtic *moniyos. The name was at least secondarily associated with that of Manannán mac Lir in Irish mythology. In the earliest Irish mythological texts, Manannán is a king of the otherworld, but the 9th-century Sanas Cormaic identifies a euhemerised Manannán as "a famous merchant who resided in, gave name to, the Isle of Man". A Manannán is recorded as the first king of Mann in a Manx poem; the island was cut off from the surrounding islands around 8000 BC, but was colonised by sea some time before 6500 BC. The first residents were fishermen. Examples of their tools are kept at the Manx Museum; the Neolithic Period marked the beginning of farming, megalithic monuments began to appear, such as Cashtal yn Ard near Maughold, King Orry's Grave at Laxey, Meayll Circle near Cregneash, Ballaharra Stones at St John's.
There were the local Ronaldsway and Bann cultures. During the Bronze Age, burial mounds became smaller. Bodies were put in stone-lined graves with ornamental containers; the Bronze Age burial mounds created long-lasting markers around the countryside. The ancient Romans knew of the island and called it Insula Manavia although it is uncertain whether they conquered the island. Around the 5th century AD, large-scale migration from Ireland precipitated a process of Gaelicisation evidenced by Ogham inscriptions, giving rise to the Manx language, a Goidelic language related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Vikings arrived at the end of the 8th century, they introduced many land divisions that still exist. In 1266 King Magnus VI of Norway ceded the islands to Scotland in the Treaty of Perth. In 1290 King Edward I of England sent Walter de Huntercombe to take possession of Mann, it remained in English hands until 1313, when Robert Bruce took it after besieging Castle Rushen for five weeks. A confused period followed when Mann was sometimes under English rule and sometimes Scottish, until 1346, when the Battle of Neville's Cross decided the long struggle between England and Scotland in England's favour.
English rule was delegated to a series of magnates. The Tynwald passed laws concerning the government of the island in all respects and had control over its finances, but was subject to the approval of the Lord of Mann. In 1866, the Isle of Man obtained limited home rule, with democratic elections to the House of Keys, but an appointed Legislative Council. Since democratic government has been extended; the Isle of Man has designated more than 250 historic sites as registered buildings. The Isle of Man is located in the middle of t
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is the largest and southernmost county of Ireland, situated in the province of Munster and named after the city of Cork, Ireland's second-largest city; the Cork County Council is the local authority for the county. Its largest market towns are Mallow, Macroom and Skibbereen. In 2016, the county's population was 542,868. Notable Corkonians include Michael Collins, Jack Lynch, Sonia O'Sullivan. Cork borders four other counties; the county contains the Golden Vale pastureland and stretches from Kanturk in the north to Allihies in the south. The south-west region, including West Cork, is one of Ireland's main tourist destinations, known for its rugged coast, megalithic monuments, as the starting point for the Wild Atlantic Way; the county is known as the "Rebel county", a name given to them by King Henry VII of England for its support of a man claiming to be Richard, Duke of York in a futile attempt at a rebellion. The main third-level educator is University College Cork, founded in 1845, with a current undergraduate population around 15,000.
Significant local industry and employers include technology company Dell EMC, the European headquarters of Apple, Dairygold, which own milk-processing factories in Mitchelstown and Mallow. Two local authorities have remits which collectively encompass the geographic area of the county and city of Cork; the county, excluding Cork city, is administered by Cork County Council, while the city is administered separately by Cork City Council. Both city and county are part of the South-West Region. For standardized European statistical purposes, both Cork County Council and Cork City Council rank as first-level local administrative units of the NUTS 3 South-West Region. Thirty-four such LAU 1 entities are in the Republic of Ireland. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is divided into five constituencies—Cork East, Cork North-Central, Cork North-West, Cork South-Central and Cork South-West. Together they return 18 deputies to the Dáil; the county is part of the South constituency for the purposes of European elections.
For purposes other than local government, such as the formation of sporting teams, the term "County Cork" is taken to include both city and county. County Cork is located in the province of Munster, bordering Kerry to the west, Limerick to the north, Tipperary to the north-east and Waterford to the east, it is the largest county in Ireland by land area, the largest of Munster's six counties by population and area. At the last census in 2016, Cork city stood at 125,657; the population of the entire county is 542,868 making it the state's second-most populous county and the third-most populous county on the island of Ireland. The remit of Cork County Council includes some suburbs of the city not within the area of Cork City Council. Twenty-four historic baronies are in the county—the most of any county in Ireland. While baronies continue to be defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes, their official status is illustrated by Placenames Orders made since 2003, where official Irish names of baronies are listed.
The county has 253 civil parishes. Townlands are the smallest defined geographical divisions in Ireland, with about 5447 townlands in the county; the county's mountain rose during a period mountain formation some 374-360 million years ago and include the Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountains on the Beara Peninsula, the Ballyhoura Mountains on the border with Limerick and the Shehy Mountains which contain Knockboy, the highest point in Cork. The Shehy Mountains are on the border with Kerry and may be accessed from the area known as Priests Leap, near the village of Coomhola; the Galtee Mountains are located across parts of Tipperary and Cork and are Ireland's highest inland mountain range. The upland areas of the Ballyhoura, Boggeragh and Mullaghareirk Mountain ranges add to the range of habitats found in the county. Important habitats in the uplands include blanket bog, glacial lakes, upland grasslands. Cork has the 13th-highest county peak in Ireland. Three rivers, the Bandon and Lee, their valleys dominate central Cork.
Habitats of the valleys and floodplains include woodlands, marshes and species-rich limestone grasslands. The River Bandon flows through several towns, including Dunmanway to the west of the town of Bandon before draining into Kinsale Harbour on the south coast. Cork's sea loughs include Lough Hyne and Lough Mahon, the county has many small lakes. An area has formed where the River Lee breaks into a network of channels weaving through a series of wooded islands. About 85 hectares of swamp are around Cork's wooded area; the Environmental Protection Agency carried out a survey of surface waters in County Cork between 1995 and 1997, which identified 125 rivers and 32 lakes covered by the regulations. Cork has a flat landscape with many beaches and sea cliffs along its coast; the southwest of Ireland is known for its peninsulas and some in Cork include the Beara Peninsula, Sheep's Head, Mizen Head, Brow Head. Brow Head is the most southerly point of mainland Ireland. There are many islands off the coast in particular, off West Cork.
Carbery's Hundred Isles are the islands around Long Island Roaringwater Bay. Fastnet Rock lies in the Atlantic Ocean 11.3 km south of mainland Ireland, making it the most southerly point of Ireland. Many notable islands lie off Cork, including Bere, Great and Cape Clear. Cork has 1,094 km of coastline, the second-longest coastline of any county after Mayo
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
County Kerry is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and forms part of the province of Munster, it is named after the Ciarraige. Kerry County Council is the local authority for the county and Tralee serves as the county town; the population of the county was 147,707 at the 2016 census. Kerry is the fifth-largest of the 26 counties of the 15th-largest by population, it is the second-largest of Munster's six counties by area, the fourth-largest by population. Uniquely, it is bordered by only two other counties: County Limerick to the east and County Cork to the south-east; the county town is Tralee. The diocesan seat is Killarney, one of Ireland's most famous tourist destinations; the Lakes of Killarney, an area of outstanding natural beauty are located in Killarney National Park. The Reeks District is home to Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest mountain at 1,039m; the tip of the Dingle Peninsula is the most westerly point of Ireland. There are nine historic baronies in the county.
While baronies continue to be defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes. Their official status is illustrated by Placenames Orders made since 2003, where official Irish names of baronies are listed under "Administrative units". Clanmaurice – Clann Mhuiris Corkaguiny – Corca Dhuibhne Dunkerron North – Dún Ciaráin Thuaidh Dunkerron South – Dún Ciaráin Theas Glanarought – Gleann na Ruachtaí Iraghticonnor – Oireacht Uí Chonchúir Iveragh Peninsula – Uíbh Ráthach Magunihy – Maigh gCoinchinn Trughanacmy – Triúcha an Aicme Coolgarriv – An Chúil Gharbh Aghadoe – Achadh Deo Maglass Ard na Caithne Sliabh Luachra Corca Dhuibhne Bounard Kerry faces the Atlantic Ocean and for an Eastern-Atlantic coastal region, features many peninsulas and inlets, principally the Dingle Peninsula, the Iveragh Peninsula, the Beara Peninsula; the county is bounded on the west on the north by the River Shannon. Kerry is one of the most mountainous regions of Ireland and its three highest mountains, Carrauntoohil and Caher, all part of the MacGillycuddy's Reeks range.
Just off the coast are a number of islands, including the Blasket Islands, Valentia Island and the Skelligs. Skellig Michael is a World Heritage Site, famous for the medieval monastery clinging to the island's cliffs; the county contains the extreme west point of Ireland, Dunmore Head on the Dingle Peninsula, or including islands, Tearaght Island, part of the Blaskets. The most westerly inhabited area of Ireland is Dún Chaoin, on the Dingle Peninsula; the River Feale, the River Laune and the Roughty River flow into the Atlantic. The North Atlantic Current, part of the Gulf Stream, flows north past Kerry and the west coast of Ireland, resulting in milder temperatures than would otherwise be expected at the 52 North latitude; this means that subtropical plants such as the strawberry tree and tree ferns, not found in northern Europe, thrive in the area. Because of the mountainous area and the prevailing southwesterly winds, Kerry is among the regions with the highest rainfall in Ireland. Owing to its location, there has been a weather reporting station on Valentia for many centuries.
The Irish record for rainfall in one day is 243.5 mm, recorded at Cloore Lake in Kerry in 1993. In 1986 the remnants of Hurricane Charley crossed over Kerry as an extratropical storm causing extensive rainfall and damage. Kerry means the "people of Ciar", the name of the pre-Gaelic tribe who lived in part of the present county; the legendary founder of the tribe was son of Fergus mac Róich. In Old Irish "Ciar" meant black or dark brown, the word continues in use in modern Irish as an adjective describing a dark complexion; the suffix raighe, meaning people/tribe, is found in various -ry place names in Ireland, such as Osry—Osraighe Deer-People/Tribe. The county's nickname is the Kingdom. On 27 August 1329, by Letters Patent, Maurice FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Desmond was confirmed in the feudal seniority of the entire county palatine of Kerry, to him and his heirs male, to hold of the Crown by the service of one knight's fee. In the 15th century, the majority of the area now known as County Kerry was still part of the County Desmond, the west Munster seat of the Earl of Desmond, a branch of the Hiberno-Norman FitzGerald dynasty, known as the Geraldines.
In 1580, during the Second Desmond Rebellion, one of the most infamous massacres of the Sixteenth century, the Siege of Smerwick, took place at Dún an Óir near Ard na Caithne at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula. The 600-strong Italian and Irish papal invasion force of James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald was besieged by the English forces and massacred. In 1588, when the fleet of the Spanish Armada in Ireland were returning to Spain during stormy weather, many of its ships sought shelter at the Blasket Islands and some were wrecked. During the Nine Years' War, Kerry was again the scene of conflict, as the O'Sullivan Beare clan joined the rebellion. In 1602 their castle at Dunboy was taken by English troops. Donal O'Sullivan Beare, in an effort to escape English retribution and to reach his allies in Ulster, marched all the clan's members and dependants to the north of Ireland. Due to harassment by hostile forces and freezing weather few of the 1,000 O'Sullivans who set out reached their destination. In the aftermath of the War, much of the native owned land in Kerry was confiscated and given to English settlers or'planters'.
The head of the MacCarthy M
A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication. While both writing and speech are useful in conveying messages, writing differs in being a reliable form of information storage and transfer; the processes of encoding and decoding writing systems involve shared understanding between writers and readers of the meaning behind the sets of characters that make up a script. Writing is recorded onto a durable medium, such as paper or electronic storage, although non-durable methods may be used, such as writing on a computer display, on a blackboard, in sand, or by skywriting; the general attributes of writing systems can be placed into broad categories such as alphabets, syllabaries, or logographies. Any particular system can have attributes of more than one category. In the alphabetic category, there is a standard set of letters of consonants and vowels that encode based on the general principle that the letters represent speech sounds. In a syllabary, each symbol correlates to a syllable or mora.
In a logography, each character represents morpheme, or other semantic units. Other categories include abjads, which differ from alphabets in that vowels are not indicated, abugidas or alphasyllabaries, with each character representing a consonant–vowel pairing. Alphabets use a set of 20-to-35 symbols to express a language, whereas syllabaries can have 80-to-100, logographies can have several hundreds of symbols. Most systems will have an ordering of its symbol elements so that groups of them can be coded into larger clusters like words or acronyms, giving rise to many more possibilities in meanings than the symbols can convey by themselves. Systems will enable the stringing together of these smaller groupings in order to enable a full expression of the language; the reading step expressed orally. A special set of symbols known as punctuation is used to aid in structure and organization of many writing systems and can be used to help capture nuances and variations in the message's meaning that are communicated verbally by cues in timing, accent, inflection or intonation.
A writing system will typically have a method for formatting recorded messages that follows the spoken version's rules like its grammar and syntax so that the reader will have the meaning of the intended message preserved. Writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, which used pictograms and other mnemonic symbols. Proto-writing lacked the ability to express a full range of thoughts and ideas; the invention of writing systems, which dates back to the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic Era of the late 4th millennium BC, enabled the accurate durable recording of human history in a manner, not prone to the same types of error to which oral history is vulnerable. Soon after, writing provided a reliable form of long distance communication. With the advent of publishing, it provided the medium for an early form of mass communication; the creation of a new alphabetic writing system for a language with an existing logographic writing system is called alphabetization, as when the People's Republic of China studied the prospect of alphabetizing the Chinese languages with Latin script, Cyrillic script, Arabic script, numbers, although the most common instance of it, converting to Latin script, is called romanization.
Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that a writing system is always associated with at least one spoken language. In contrast, visual representations such as drawings and non-verbal items on maps, such as contour lines, are not language-related; some symbols on information signs, such as the symbols for male and female, are not language related, but can grow to become part of language if they are used in conjunction with other language elements. Some other symbols, such as numerals and the ampersand, are not directly linked to any specific language, but are used in writing and thus must be considered part of writing systems; every human community possesses language, which many regard as an innate and defining condition of humanity. However, the development of writing systems, the process by which they have supplanted traditional oral systems of communication, have been sporadic and slow. Once established, writing systems change more than their spoken counterparts.
Thus they preserve features and expressions which are no longer current in the spoken language. One of the great benefits of writing systems is that they can preserve a permanent record of information expressed in a language. All writing systems require: at least one set of defined base elements or symbols, individually termed signs and collectively called a script. In the examination of individual scripts, the study of writing systems has developed along independent lines. Thus, the terminology employed differs somewhat from field to field; the generic term text refers to an instance of writte
Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet used to write the early Irish language, the Old Irish language. There are 400 surviving orthodox inscriptions on stone monuments throughout Ireland and western Britain; the largest number outside Ireland are in Wales. The vast majority of the inscriptions consist of personal names. According to the High Medieval Bríatharogam, names of various trees can be ascribed to individual letters; the etymology of the word ogam or ogham remains unclear. One possible origin is from the Irish og-úaim'point-seam', referring to the seam made by the point of a sharp weapon, it has been argued that the earliest inscriptions in ogham date to about the 4th century AD, but James Carney believed its origin is rather within the 1st century BC. Although the use of "classical" ogham in stone inscriptions seems to have flowered in the 5th and 6th centuries around the Irish Sea, from the phonological evidence it is clear that the alphabet predates the 5th century. A period of writing on wood or other perishable material prior to the preserved monumental inscriptions needs to be assumed, sufficient for the loss of the phonemes represented by úath and straif, gétal, all of which are part of the system, but unattested in inscriptions.
It appears that the ogham alphabet arose from another script, some consider it a mere cipher of its template script. The largest number of scholars favours the Latin alphabet as this template, although the Elder Futhark and the Greek alphabet have their supporters. Runic origin would elegantly explain the presence of "H" and "Z" letters unused in Irish, as well as the presence of vocalic and consonantal variants "U" vs. "W", unknown to Latin writing and lost in Greek. The Latin alphabet is the primary contender because its influence at the required period is most established, being used in neighbouring Roman Britannia, while the runes in the 4th century were not widespread in continental Europe. In Ireland and in Wales, the language of the monumental stone inscriptions is termed Primitive Irish; the transition to Old Irish, the language of the earliest sources in the Latin alphabet, takes place in about the 6th century. Since ogham inscriptions consist exclusively of personal names and marks indicating land ownership, linguistic information that may be glimpsed from the Primitive Irish period is restricted to phonological developments.
There are two main schools of thought among scholars as to the motivation for the creation of ogham. Scholars such as Carney and MacNeill have suggested that ogham was first created as a cryptic alphabet, designed by the Irish so as not to be understood by those with a knowledge of the Latin alphabet. In this school of thought, it is asserted that "the alphabet was created by Irish scholars or druids for political, military or religious reasons to provide a secret means of communication in opposition to the authorities of Roman Britain." The Roman Empire, which ruled over neighbouring southern Britain, represented a real threat of invasion to Ireland, which may have acted as a spur to the creation of the alphabet. Alternatively, in centuries when the threat of invasion had receded and the Irish were themselves invading the western parts of Britain, the desire to keep communications secret from Romans or Romanised Britons would still have provided an incentive. With bilingual ogham and Latin inscriptions in Wales, one would suppose that the ogham could be decoded by anyone in the Post-Roman world.
The second main school of thought, put forward by scholars such as McManus, is that ogham was invented by the first Christian communities in early Ireland, out of a desire to have a unique alphabet for writing short messages and inscriptions in the Irish language. The argument is that the sounds of Primitive Irish were regarded as difficult to transcribe into the Latin alphabet, so the invention of a separate alphabet was deemed appropriate. A possible such origin, as suggested by McManus, is the early Christian community known to have existed in Ireland from around AD 400 at the latest, the existence of, attested by the mission of Palladius by Pope Celestine I in AD 431. A variation is that the alphabet was first invented, for whatever reason, in 4th-century Irish settlements in west Wales after contact and intermarriage with Romanised Britons with a knowledge of the Latin alphabet. In fact, several ogham stones in Wales are bilingual, containing both Irish and British Latin, testifying to the international contacts that led to the existence of some of these stones.
A third theory put forward by the noted ogham scholar R. A. S. Macalister was influential at one time, but finds little favour with scholars today. Macalister believed that ogham was first invented in Cisalpine Gaul around 600 BC by Gaulish druids as a secret system of hand signals, was inspired by a form of the Greek alphabet current in Northern Italy at the time. According to this theory, the alphabet was transmitted in oral form or on wood only, until it was put into a written form on stone inscriptions in early Christian Ireland. Scholars are united in rejecting this theory, however because a detailed study of the letters shows that they were created for the Primitive Irish of the early centuries AD