Downham, Clare


Downham, Clare, “The ‘annalistic section’ of Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib”, Peritia 24–25 (2013–2014): 141–172.

  • journal article
Citation details
“The ‘annalistic section’ of Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib
Abstract (cited)
Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib ‘The war of the Irish and the Foreigners’, one of the best known medieval Irish historical sagas, celebrates the deeds of the Irish king Brian Boru, culminating in his victory and death at the battle of Clontarf in ad 1014. The text did much to establish Brian’s reputation and the fame of the battle of Clontarf in Irish historiography. While most of the saga records Brian’s achievements, the early parts treat of events prior to his reign. This paper is an analysis of the function and chronology of these early sections. The conclusion is that the term ‘annalistic section’, often applied to them, is misleading. Such a term conceals the artistry and purpose of the author and conveys a mistaken view of their historicity.
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