The battle of Clontarf in later Irish tradition

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Title: The battle of Clontarf in later Irish tradition
Authors: Ní Úrdail, Meidhbhín
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Date: 12-Apr-2014
Online since: 2019-04-01T08:28:56Z
Abstract: In considering the battle of Clontarf in later Irish tradition, an obvious starting point is a tale known as CCT which, according to the present writer, was one of the most popular Irish prose texts to have come down to us in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish manuscripts. Its popularity may be ascribed in part to two reasons. First, at the heart of the tale’s message is the fact that the battle of Clontarf amounted to Brian Bóraimhe’s victory over centuries of foreign heathen oppression, a message which, as will emerge below, appealed to Irish scribes. Second, rather than being a laconic record of events, CCT presents the historical battle as a story in which ‘heroes shine and villains play their sinister parts and dramatic incidents are invented or exaggerated for the benefit of the reading public’. These two reasons are not exceptional to this prose tale, of course, as the same could be said (and indeed has been said) about the earliest literary account we have in Irish concerning the battle, that in the early-twelfth century Irish text CGG. Many of the plot details in the Modern Irish story, in fact, ultimately derive from those forming part of the account of the battle in the latter Middle Irish text.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Publisher: Four Courts Press
Copyright (published version): 2017 Four Courts Press
Keywords: Battle of ClontarfBrian BóraimheHistorical battleEighteenth centuryNineteenth centuryIrish manuscripts
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Duffy, S. (ed.). Medieval Dublin XVI Proceedings of Clontarf 1014–2014: national conference marking the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf
Conference Details: The Battle of Clontarf Conference: International symposium to mark the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 11-12 April 2014
ISBN: 978-1-84682-604-7
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Appears in Collections:Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore Research Collection

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