Bibliography

Nicholas
Evans

5 publications between 2010 and 2019 indexed
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Works authored

Evans, Nicholas, The present and the past in medieval Irish chronicles, Studies in Celtic History 27, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2010.  
abstract:
Ireland has the most substantial corpus of annalistic chronicles for the early period in western Europe. They are crucial sources for understanding the Gaelic world of Ireland and Scotland, and offer insights into contacts with the wider Christian world. However, there is still a high degree of uncertainty about their development, production, and location prior to 1100, which makes it difficult to draw sound conclusions from them. This book analyses the principal Irish chronicles, especially the Annals of Ulster, Annals of Tigernach, and the Chronicum Scotorum, identifying their inter-relationships, the main changes to the texts, and the centres where they were written in the tenth and eleventh centuries - a significant but neglected period. The detailed study enables the author to argue that the chroniclers were in contact with each other, exchanging written notices of events, and that therefore the chronicle texts reflect the social connections of the Irish ecclesiastical and secular elites. The author also considers how the sections describing the early Christian period (approximately 431 to 730 AD) were altered by subsequent chroniclers; by focussing on the inclusion of material on Mediterranean events as well as on Gaelic kings, and by comparing the chronicles with other contemporary texts, he reconstructs the chronicles' contents and chronology at different times, showing how the accounts were altered to reflect and promote certain views of history. Thus, while enabling readers to evaluate the sources more effectively, he also demonstrates that the chronicles were sophisticated and significant documents in themselves, reflecting different facets of contemporary medieval society and their shifting attitudes to creating and changing accounts of the past.
abstract:
Ireland has the most substantial corpus of annalistic chronicles for the early period in western Europe. They are crucial sources for understanding the Gaelic world of Ireland and Scotland, and offer insights into contacts with the wider Christian world. However, there is still a high degree of uncertainty about their development, production, and location prior to 1100, which makes it difficult to draw sound conclusions from them. This book analyses the principal Irish chronicles, especially the Annals of Ulster, Annals of Tigernach, and the Chronicum Scotorum, identifying their inter-relationships, the main changes to the texts, and the centres where they were written in the tenth and eleventh centuries - a significant but neglected period. The detailed study enables the author to argue that the chroniclers were in contact with each other, exchanging written notices of events, and that therefore the chronicle texts reflect the social connections of the Irish ecclesiastical and secular elites. The author also considers how the sections describing the early Christian period (approximately 431 to 730 AD) were altered by subsequent chroniclers; by focussing on the inclusion of material on Mediterranean events as well as on Gaelic kings, and by comparing the chronicles with other contemporary texts, he reconstructs the chronicles' contents and chronology at different times, showing how the accounts were altered to reflect and promote certain views of history. Thus, while enabling readers to evaluate the sources more effectively, he also demonstrates that the chronicles were sophisticated and significant documents in themselves, reflecting different facets of contemporary medieval society and their shifting attitudes to creating and changing accounts of the past.


Contributions to journals

Evans, Nicholas, “Cultural contacts and ethnic origins in Viking Age Wales and northern Britain: the case of Albanus, Britain's first inhabitant and Scottish ancestor”, Journal of Medieval History 41:2 (2015): 131–154.  
abstract:
Albanus, an eponymous ancestor for the kingdom of Alba, provides an example of the extent to which the creation of an ethnic identity was accompanied by new ideas about origins, which replaced previous accounts. Through an analysis of the Historia Brittonum’s textual tradition and Welsh knowledge of early Roman history and medieval ethnic groups, this article establishes that Albanus was added to the Historia Brittonum in the late ninth or early tenth century as an ancestral figure for the new kingdom of Alba in northern Britain. This was potentially a result of shared political situations in Gwynedd, Alba (formerly Pictland) and Strathclyde in relation to Scandinavian power at this time, which encouraged contacts and the spread of Alba-based ideology to Gwynedd. The later development of this idea and its significance in Alba itself, Geoffrey of Monmouth's account and English claims to supremacy over Scotland are also traced.
abstract:
Albanus, an eponymous ancestor for the kingdom of Alba, provides an example of the extent to which the creation of an ethnic identity was accompanied by new ideas about origins, which replaced previous accounts. Through an analysis of the Historia Brittonum’s textual tradition and Welsh knowledge of early Roman history and medieval ethnic groups, this article establishes that Albanus was added to the Historia Brittonum in the late ninth or early tenth century as an ancestral figure for the new kingdom of Alba in northern Britain. This was potentially a result of shared political situations in Gwynedd, Alba (formerly Pictland) and Strathclyde in relation to Scandinavian power at this time, which encouraged contacts and the spread of Alba-based ideology to Gwynedd. The later development of this idea and its significance in Alba itself, Geoffrey of Monmouth's account and English claims to supremacy over Scotland are also traced.
Evans, Nicholas, “Circin and Mag Gerginn: Pictish territories in Irish and Scottish sources”, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 66 (2013): 1–36.

Contributions to edited collections or authored works

Evans, Nicholas, “Personal names in early medieval Gaelic chronicles”, in: Hammond, Matthew (ed.), Personal names and naming practices in medieval Scotland, Studies in Celtic History, Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2019. 18–40.
Evans, Nicholas, “News recording and cultural connections between early medieval Ireland and northern Britain”, in: Cooijmans, Christian [ed.], Traversing the inner seas: contacts and continuity in and around Scotland, the Hebrides, and the North of Ireland, Edinburgh: Scottish Society for Northern Studies, 2017. 140–169.