Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The High Kings of Ireland

From Medievalists:
The sources of the eleventh and twelfth centuries certainly allow us to discern a considerable extension in the powers of the greatest overkings. These sources also record for the first time a number of practices which hitherto had not been noticed; however, the extent to which such practices were new features of the period is difficult to determine. The proposition that local kings suffered a drastic decline in status (as opposed to power) in the same period is reappraised, and found to receive little support from the contemporary sources, principally the chronicles. The thesis demonstrates that overall, we must think of Irish kingship as a dynamic institution, but one in which many different kings and dynasties, were significant, rather than the select few which have received the most scholarly attention. The medieval Irish polity was more complex, but therefore more interesting. (Read more.)

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