Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
The Stowe Missal, strictly speaking is a sacramentary rather than a missal. It is written mainly in Latin with some Irish and dates from c. 750AD. In the mid-11th century it was annotated and some pages rewritten at Lorrha Monastery in County Tipperary, Ireland. Also known as the Lorrha Missal, it is known as the "Stowe" Missal as it once belonged to the Stowe manuscripts collection formed by George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham at Stowe House. When the collection was bought by the nation in 1883, it and the other Irish manuscripts were handed over to the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, where it remains, catalogued as MS D II 3. The cumdach or reliquary case which up to this point had survived together with the book was later transferred, with the rest of the Academy's collection of antiquities, to the National Museum of Ireland (museum number 1883, 614a). The old story was that the manuscript and shrine left Ireland after about 1375, as they were collected on the Continent in the 18th century,but this appears to be incorrect, and they were found inside a stone wall at Lackeen Castle near Lorrha in the 18th century.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
c.f. Ni Chonaill, B. Child-centred law in medieval Ireland. In Davis, R. and Dunne, T. (Eds) The Empty Throne: Childhood and the Crisis of Modernity. Cambridge University Press (2008)
Posted by Histor at 6:00 AM
Thursday, August 23, 2012
1167 years before the signing of the first Geneva Convention in 1864 a law protecting non combatants in war was passed in Ireland at the Synod of Birr in 697AD. It is regarded by many as the first piece of human rights legislation. Cáin Adomnáin sometimes called the Law of the Innocents signifies the beginning of the enormous Christian movement to minimize social violence, a movement that has continued until the present day. It is important to note that Adomnán wrote the law to be upheld by both religious and secular leaders as well as across country lines, demonstrating his early commitment to the idea of international moral law. Many regard the Law of the Innocents to be a precursor to the Geneva Convention, an agreement that shows the considerable progress of international standards of justice in war.
Posted by Histor at 4:55 PM
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Ancient Irish had laws on mental health and disability. Heavy fines were imposed on anyone mocking the disabled. Below is a relevant extract from “Medicine and early Irish law” by F. Kelly
The Brehon laws distinguish between a person who is mentally retarded (drúth), deranged (mer) or violently insane (dásachtach). The law texts contain no references to specific treatment for mental illness. Their main concern is that such individuals should not be exploited: one text states that “the rights of the insane precede all other rights”. Hence a contract with a person of unsound mind is invalid, and anyone who incites a drúth to commit a crime must himself pay the fine.
A man who impregnates a deranged woman is solely responsible for rearing the offspring, as is anyone who mischievously allows two insane persons to mate. In most circumstances, responsibility for crimes by the insane devolves on his or her guardian, generally a close relative. Society must be protected from the dangerously insane, hence a dásachtach should be tied up when he poses a threat to others. An epileptic (talmaidech) enjoys full legal competence, provided he is of sound mind. However, he must be watched over by a guardian to prevent injury to himself or to others during fits. A heavy fine is levied on anyone who mocks the disability of an epileptic, a leper, or one who is lame, blind or deaf.
Posted by Histor at 6:32 PM
Anthony Harvey, Editor, Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources (DMLCS)
Posted by Histor at 9:48 AM
Posted by Histor at 9:46 AM
Posted by Histor at 9:45 AM
Of the most common words in use in the English language today 70% are French in origin. Anglo Saxon apologists seek to dilute this percentage by including obsolete words from the largely defunct old English language. The 'English' King Richard Coeur de Lion (the Lionheart) could not speak a word of English. The Statutes of Kilkenny (1366AD), were a set of regulatory laws which prohibited, (among other things) the use of the Irish language in public dealings in favour of the English language. However the "English" language which the statutes are written in looks suspiciously like French! It was after all apart from Irish, the only language the Irish Norman nobility could understand.
Posted by Histor at 9:42 AM
Christmas night in the year 835AD the pagan Vikings raided two of the great monasteries of Ireland; the monastery of St. Kevin at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow and the monastery of St. Mogue at Clonmore, Co. Carlow, near Hackettstown.
The Vikings expected that by carrying out raids on Christmas night that valuable relics of the monasteries would be removed from their secret hiding place and placed display as part of the Christmas celebration. Of course the added bonus for the Vikings is likely that more people will be in the church boosting the number of potential prisoners that can subsequently sold as slaves. Indeed history records that at Clonmore the Vikings burnt the monastery and carried off a large number of prisoners into slavery. Wile at Glendalough they burned the oratory but there is no mention of prisoners. Raids are also recorded to have taken place in Connacht the same night. Just two years later the Vikings were to establish a permanent settlement in Ireland at Dublin.
Photo: The upper lake at Glendalough.
Posted by Histor at 9:36 AM
Posted by Histor at 9:24 AM