IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 525: Memory and Myth: Remembering Medieval Ireland and Its Neighbours, I - Community Identity

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Medieval History Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin
Organiser:Áine Foley, Medieval History Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin
Moderator/Chair:Seán Duffy, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin
Paper 525-aBrennu-Njáls saga and the Memory of Ireland in Iceland
(Language: English)
Annie Humphrey, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Social History
Paper 525-bEarly Irish Identity, c. 600-900: Féni, Gael, and the Manipulation of Memory
(Language: English)
Brendan Meighan, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin
Index terms: Language and Literature - Celtic, Political Thought, Social History
Paper 525-cA New Book of Invasions?: The Historiography of Medieval Ireland
(Language: English)
Clare Downham, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool
Index terms: Historiography - Modern Scholarship, Social History, Teaching the Middle Ages
Abstract

The first paper will examine the memory of the Norse in Ireland using the Icelandic Brennu-Njáls saga, a 13th-century source that describes events between 960 and 1020, including incidents in Ireland. In the second paper early Irish identity will be investigated, particularly examining the use of the term Gael versus the use of Féni, as descriptors of social groups. Did the use of these terms signify a growth in ‘national consciousness’? The final paper will review the historiography of three historical watersheds from the perspective of the 18th century, namely, the arrival of St Patrick in the 5th century, the first Viking raids at the end of the 8th century and the invasion of the English in the late 12th century. This historiography was shaped by the opposing agendas of British colonialism and Irish nationalism. This poses the question, can a new framework of ideas be developed to analyse Ireland’s past?