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Author Topic: The Irish Annals: Their genesis, evolution and history  (Read 2342 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Topic Start: February 20, 2010, 10:09:49 am »

Title: The Irish Annals: Their genesis, evolution and history
Author(s): Daniel P. McCarthy
Publisher: Four Courts Press
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 1846820480
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

From The Medieval Review:
The Irish annals constitute one of the most significant sources for medieval Ireland (and also Scotland for the period before 1100). Irish chronicles were maintained over the whole medieval period and survive in a number of manuscripts from the late eleventh to mid-seventeenth century. One prominent feature of the Irish annals is the sheer number of events recorded per year, which is much greater in the early medieval period at least than any equivalent corpus in Europe, although this abundance is tempered by the extreme brevity employed, resulting in the annals providing tantalising snapshots lacking the broader narrative of cause and effect found in equivalent texts elsewhere. The quantity of material, combined with the late dates of the main manuscripts and the small number of Irish scholars, has meant that the Irish annals are still poorly understood in terms of their development and usefulness as evidence. Studies have often been highly focussed while wider studies have frequently been too abbreviated or have neglected important areas, so there is a great need for a comprehensive study of all the Irish annals, such as that produced by Daniel McCarthy in The Irish Annals. McCarthy, from a background in Computer Science, has written a large number of articles on the Irish chronicles, focussing on the chronological data which structure them, typically kal. for the kalends (first) of January of each year, but also A.D. and Anno Mundi dates, ferials, and epacts, using this to draw wider conclusions about the inter-relationships and development of the Irish annals. This publication, therefore, provides McCarthy with the opportunity to bring his conclusions together and explain why contradictory interpretations are incorrect, by covering areas he had previously not studied so that a complete picture of the annals is created. The result is an exposition which is radically different from those offered in previous studies.

Read the full review at The Medieval Review web site.

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