Saturday, March 31, 2018

Brian Boru didn’t save Ireland from the Vikings

From the Irish Times:
Dublin and the Viking World
A gorgeous new book, Dublin and the Viking World, introduces readers to the period when Dublin became Ireland’s first fully functioning town. Written by Prof Clarke, a director of the Medieval Trust (the parent body of Dublinia, the Viking and medieval museum near Christchurch, Dublin) and formerly a historian at UCD, Sheila Dooley who was curator and educational officer in Dublinia, and Dr Ruth Johnson, city archaeologist for Dublin City Council, it will be published just after Easter weekend’s first Viking festival, hosted by Dublinia.

The big surprise for us is that Brian Boru didn’t actually save Ireland from the Vikings, and the prevailing wisdom about the Battle of Clontarf is based on propaganda.

Dublin and the Viking World is handsomely illustrated and accessible, drawing on a tremendous amount of research. Clarke makes the point that it represents “the best possible attempt anyone can make to demonstrate the nature of a major Viking settlement anywhere in Europe”.

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