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Early Christian Ireland


  • Date Published: July 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521037167

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About the Authors
  • This book provides a fully documented history of Ireland and the Irish between the fourth and ninth centuries AD, from St Patrick to the Vikings - the earliest period for which historical records are available. It opens with the Irish raids and settlements in Britain, and the conversion of Ireland to Christianity. It ends as Viking attacks on Ireland accelerated in the second quarter of the ninth century. The book takes account of the Irish both at home and abroad, including the Irish in northern Britain, in England and on the continent. Two principal thematic strands are the connection between the early Irish Church and its neighbours, and the rise of Uí Néill and the kingship of Tara.

    • A fully documented study of this period of Irish history, which relates early medieval Ireland to its European context, in matters of culture, society and religion
    • Covers both the early Irish church and the political history of the period in some detail, and explains how the special features of the Irish Church and kinship were related to early Irish society
    • Illustrated by specially drawn maps and tables
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Early Christian Ireland is a considerable achievement; it should be essential reading for students and scholars for many years to come.' The Innes Review

    'There is a wealth of data … Charles-Edwards is an expert guide whom even the uninitiated might follow and chapters can be enjoyed selectively. This book is a model of source criticism and must now become a standard reference.' Church Archaeology

    '… closely argued, high quality research … Charles-Edwards … is able to lead his readers through quite complex territory without sacrificing clarity.' The Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521037167
    • length: 728 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 41 mm
    • weight: 1.05kg
    • contains: 14 maps 40 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of maps
    List of tables
    List of figures
    A note on pronunciation
    A note on the Chronicle of Ireland
    1. Ireland in the seventh century: a tour
    2. Irish society c.700: I. Communities
    3. Irish society c.700: II. Social distinctions and moral values
    4. Ireland and Rome
    5. Conversion to Christianity
    6. The organisation of the early Irish church
    7. Columba, Iona and Lindisfarne
    8. Columbanus and his disciples
    9. The Paschal controversy
    10. The primatial claims of Armagh, Kildare and Canterbury
    11. The origins and rise of Uí Néill
    12. The kingship of Tara
    13. The powers of kings
    14. Conclusion
    Appendix: genealogies and king-lists
    Glossary: Irish and Latin

  • Author

    T. M. Charles-Edwards, University of Oxford
    Thomas Charles-Edwards is Professor of Celtic in the University of Oxford. His previous books include Bechbretha (1983, with Fergus Kelly), The Welsh Laws (1989) and Early Irish and Welsh Kinship (1993).

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