Ad Solis Victi Hibernicum: To the Conquered Irish Sun


Setting Sun, Atlantic Ocean, Ireland (Image: Author)

Seeing as today is the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, I thought I’d share the earliest contemporary historical reference to pagan Irish sun-worship which is found within Patrick’s Confessio, written sometime in the fifth century AD. It occurs at the very climax of the document as Patrick is signing off and declaring his deep Christian faith and belief in his ‘children of the living God and co-heirs of Christ’…

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Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair: Rappelling Round Towers in Medieval Ireland

kells 253vThis is just a brief little ditty thrown together in haste –  in reply to a recent highly entertaining and thoughtful blog post by Robert M Chapple: ‘George and the Giant Archaeological Theory’. In it, he implies (somewhat alarmingly) that a) I am level-headed (slander, your honour!) and b) that I may somehow know something about monastic ‘rope-ladders’ in Ireland.

Sadly, I have yet to come across anything tangible involving rope ladders in either archaeology or hagiography, something which is only slightly lessened by my absolute devastation at the lack of early medieval pole vaulting evidence. (Confused? Read the original post.)

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In the Name of Allah? Broaching Carolingian Connections at Ballycottin, Co. Cork

The British Museum’s Collection Database is a wonderful online resource containing over two million objects. It’s an incredible research tool in itself, for all periods and personages. Perhaps a lesser known aspect are some wonderful archaeological tidbits relating to finds from nineteenth century Ireland. Taking a virtual wander through the database one can stumble across some really intriguing objects, like this particular oddity from 1875; an early medieval Carolingian Brooch said to have been found in a bog at, or near, Ballycottin, Co. Cork.


Carolingian Brooch/Amulet (1875,1211.1) © The Trustees of the British Museum

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