Peritia: Journal of the
Medieval Academy of Ireland

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Peritia:Volume 10 (1996)

  • SEVEN STUDIES IN SEVENTH-CENTURY TEXTS

    DAVID HOWLETT

    ABSTRACT. The following works are examined here: Versus de annis a principio; Ailerán's Interpretatio mystica and Canon euangeliorum; three verse prayers from the Book of Cerne; seven works by and for Cummianus Longus (ob. 662), including Celebra Iuda, which is here edited; three works by Virgilius Maro Grammaticus; the Oratio Gildae and a verse paraphrase of Carmen paschale, taken as examples of Hiberno-Latin hendecasyllables; and the Lorica of Laidcenn mac Baíth (ob. 661), for which a date of AD 659 is suggested. On the basis of these texts, two inferences may be made of Irish culture of the period: the intellectual agility and acuity exhibited in this precisely constructed prose and verse was not the achievement of a few isolated clerics; and the title sapiens was not given lightly or loosely by the monastic annalists.

    KEYWORDS: medieval Latin, Insular Latin, metrics, Book of Cerne, Interpretatio mystica, Canon euangeliorum, Celebra Iuda, Epitomae, Altus Prosator, sapiens, Ailerán, Cummian, Virgilius Maro Grammaticus, Laidcenn mac Baíth, infixed dating devices, computistic verse, Hebrew, Greek.

    David Howlett, Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, Bodleian Library, Oxford OX1 3BG howlett@vax.ox.ac.uk

    47,142 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 1-70. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • RUBISCA: AN EDITION, TRANSLATION, AND COMMENTARY

    DAVID HOWLETT

    ABSTRACT. From indications of original internal orthography in two MSS from Saint Augustine's in Canterbury the editor attempts to restore the authorial text of Rubisca, a brilliant and light-hearted poem in a rare metre, signed by its author, identified here as Brían mac Con Catha, an Irish monk with some knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. Quotations from and allusions to earlier Hiberno-Latin and Anglo-Latin texts suggest composition after the beginning of the ninth century. Diction from this text in an Anglo-Latin and Old English glossary and a charter dated 16 April 928 suggest that the poem, if not the poet, like bishop Dub Innse of Bangor and Israel the Grammarian, may have been known at the court of king Æthelstan.

    KEYWORDS: rhythmic double adonic metre, Æthelstan's charter, alphabetic verse, editorial principles, Greek, Hebrew, Hiberno-Latin, Harley Glossary, Brianus Molosi Belli, Brían mac Con Catha.

    David Howlett, Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, Bodleian Library, Oxford OX1 3BG howlett@vax.ox.ac.uk

    7144 WORDS, Peritia 10 (1996) 71-90. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0.

  • VENANTIUS FORTUNATUS, IRELAND, JEROME: THE EVIDENCE OF PRECAMUR PATREM

    CLARE STANCLIFFE

    ABSTRACT. The Irish hymn Precamur patrem does not draw on hymns of Venantius Fortunatus; rather parallels in Precamur patrem and Fortunatus's hymns occur because both draw on Jerome's letters. This strengthens the case for Columbanus's authorship of the hymn while demolishing the evidence for the transmission of Fortunatus's hymns from Poitiers to early medieval Ireland.

    KEYWORDS: Columbanus, Precamur patrem, Venantius Fortunatus, Jerome, Ireland, hymns, Irish-Gaulish links.

    Clare Stancliffe, St Oswald's Vicarage, Church St, Durham DH1 3DG

    2807 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 91-97. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • THE VIEW FROM IONA: ADOMNÁN'S MENTAL MAPS

    THOMAS O'LOUGHLIN

    ABSTRACT. Adomnán wrote a geographical work. How did he view the world around which he imagined people travelling. This raises questions about the state of contemporary geographical knowledge and whether we can assume that he shares our notions of time and space. In fact, both are different. Here mental maps are used to allow him to tell us about his world rather than about the past of ours. We can use a series to reconstruct this world: (i) a T-O map to explain the actual sequence of movement in De locis sanctis and why Arculf's arrival in Iona did not raise any questions for him; (ii) a Square-V map of the races of mankind; (iii) a map of circles based on Luke and Acts to explain the division of De locis sanctis into books; (iv) a map of scriptural signs which would explain the temporal inconsistencies in the description of places; and (v) an eschatological map which shows the book beginning at the gates of heaven and ending at the gates of hell.

    KEYWORDS: geography, medieval cartography, exegesis, mental maps, sacred space, sacred time, pilgrimage, De locis sanctis, Isidore, Jerusalem.

    Thomas O'Loughlin, School of Celtic Studies, DIAS, 10 Burlington Road, Dublin 4

    11821 words, Peritia 10 (1996) 98-122. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • BERNHARD BISCHOFF (1906-1991): A MEMOIR

    DÁIBHÍ Ó CRÓINÍN

    ABSTRACT. Bernhard Bischoff was one of the greatest palaeographers and medievalists of modern times. Besides his many important contributions to the study of Late Antique and early medieval Latin manuscripts, he also made path-breaking discoveries in the field of Hiberno-Latin literature. This memoir offers a sruvey of his life and career by one who knew him.

    KEYWORDS: Anonymus ad Cuimnanum, Bischoff, Carolingian manuscripts, Codices Latini antiquiores, glosses, oldest Italian text, Paul Lehmann, E. A. Lowe, Munich school of palaeography, Ludwig Traube, `Wendepunkte'.

    Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, School of History, University College, Galway daibhi.ocroinin@ucg.ie

    5766 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 123-35. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • THE LLANDDEWI-BREFI `IDNERT' STONE

    CHARLES THOMAS

    ABSTRACT. A now dismembered Welsh christian Latin memorial inscription in 12 words and 64 letters was intricately constructed in `biblical style'—allusive, arithmetical and (except to the initiated) cryptographic. Analysis introduces this entirely new aspect of post-400 Insular epigraphy. The `Idnert' memorial does not stand alone, but may be unique in its pictorial culmination. An appendix summarises related features from other memorials.

    KEYWORDS: Insular Latin, biblical style, memorial inscriptions, Wales, Cornwall, arithmetical composition, quasi-cryptograms, Crucifixion, Calvaria, Rab(b)ula gospels, Idnert, Iaco, St David.

    Charles Thomas, Lambessow, St Clement, Truro, Cornwall TR1 1TB, United Kingdom

    21230 words, 5 figures. Peritia 10 (1996) 136-83. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • HENRY II, THE COUNCIL OF CASHEL AND THE IRISH BISHOPS

    MARIE THERESE FLANAGAN

    ABSTRACT. The endorsement by the Irish episcopate of king Henry II's personal intervention in Ireland has been viewed as an important element in advancing Anglo-Norman interests in Ireland: this paper explores the motivation, degree of unanimity, and import of the Irish bishops' response, and its association with a church reform council at Cashel. While factors promoting episcopal solidarity in the twelfth-century Irish church may be identified, account also has to be taken of tensions resulting from the relatively recent creation of a diocesan constitution and, in the sphere of secular politics, the struggle for the high-kingship, which would have served to undermine collective episcopal action, as highlighted by the conflicting concerns of Gilla Críst Ua Connairche, bishop of Lismore and papal legate, and Cadla Ua Dubthaig, archbishop of Tuam.

    KEYWORDS: Ireland, Anglo-Norman invasion, Irish church, synod/council of Cashel, 1172, Henry II, king of England, pope Alexander III, Gilla Críst Ua Connairche, bishop of Lismore, Cadla Ua Dubthaig, archbishop of Tuam.

    Marie Therese Flanagan, School of Modern History, Queen's University, Belfast BT7 1NN mtflanagan@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk

    14200 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 184-211. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • `KEEPING THE NATIVES IN ORDER': THE ENGLISH KING AND THE `CELTIC' RULERS 1066-1216

    REES DAVIES

    ABSTRACT. English kings exercised some control of the `Celtic' societies on their periphery, 1066-1216, through well tried mechanisms—parleys, submission, the surrender of hostages and the payment of tribute, often in animals. This relationship was essentially personal in character, non-penetrative in its nature, and reflected the contemporary realities of power. It was a form of extensive, or indirect, rather than intensive rule. In the later twelfth century this relationship between the king of England and the rulers of Scotland, Ireland and Wales was being re-defined and intensified. Relationships were increasingly expressed in written documents composed in the English chancery: the technical language of feudal dependence was being applied; and there was growing emphasis on the need to stipulate more precisely the tenurial, territorial and jurisdictional dependence of the client rulers on their English overlord. By the time of king John it looked as if an essentially loose overlordship was about to be converted into a more direct English lordship of the British Isles.

    KEYWORDS: King of England; rulers of Wales, Ireland and Scotland; submission and dependence, direct and indirect rule, extensive and intensive authority, parleys, hostages, tribute, impact of written definition of relationships, feudal dependence, tenurial and jurisdictional dependence.

    Rees Davies, All Souls College, Oxford OX1 4AL

    5999 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 212-24. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • HENRY II, RICHARD I AND THE LORD RHYS

    JOHN GILLINGHAM

    ABSTRACT. It has generally been assumed that when Richard I insulted the lord Rhys in October 1189 this needlessly brought to an end an Anglo-Welsh detente that had lasted since 1171. Against this it is argued that Rhys had already broken the peace twice before October 1189, and that Richard's employment of Gerald de Barri on missions to Wales does not suggest that the refusal to meet Rhys was due to the new king's indifference to Welsh affairs. It was Richard—and not, as has always been thought, his brother John—who met the other Welsh kings at Worcester in September 1189. Right from the start Richard was determined to keep the peace with the Welsh (as with the Scots)—a policy which paid off in 1193 when he was in prison in Germany and they chose not to join John's rebellion.

    KEYWORDS: Anglo-Welsh relations, Rhys ap Gruffudd, Henry II, Richard I, John, Gerald de Barri (Gerald of Wales), Roger of Howden, Deheubarth, Worcester, Brut y Tywysogyon, Glamorgan, Abergavenny, William de Braose.

    John Gillingham, Department of International History, London School of Economics, London WC2 2AE

    5850 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 225-36. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • 1098 AND ALL THAT: THEOPHYLACT BISHOP OF SEMNEA AND THE ALEXIAN RECONQUEST OF ANATOLIA

    MARGARET MULLETT

    ABSTRACT. The reconquest of Anatolia by Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118) has been ignored by recent scholars; it was not emphasised by narrative and panegyric sources close to the emperor, and the epigraphic and archaeological evidence is sparse. That there was an attempt at such a reconquest however is clear from three groups of letters by Theophylact of Ochrid, relating to the Aegean islands (expedition of John Doukas), Pontos (expedition of Gregory Taronites), and the hinterland of Attaleia. This last group suggests that bishops may have been in place in Semnea and Side at the time of writing. The reconquest began with John Doukas's expedition to the islands in 1092, received a setback with the cooling of Byzantine-crusader relations after Antioch in 1098-89, and was seriously hampered by Bohemond's invasion of Albania in 1107, though Alexios continued to plan a counterattack until his death. The silence in his daughter Anna's history, the Alexiad, and his (or his son John's) poem the Mousai can be explained by the failure of Alexios's policy. If a turning-point can be identified, it was Alexios's decision not to advance to the assistance of the crusaders at Antioch in 1098.

    KEYWORDS: Byzantium, reconquest, Alexios I Komnenos, Theophylact of Ochrid, letter-writing, patronage, network, Bohemond, metropolitan of Side, bishop of Semn(e)a; Danishmend, Anna Komnene's Alexiad, the Mousai Crusade.

    Margaret Mullett, School of Greek, Roman and Semitic Studies, Queen's University, Belfast BT7 1NN mem@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk

    7809 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 237-52. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • DAVID MACCARWELL AND THE PROPOSAL TO PURCHASE ENGLISH LAW, c.1273-c.1280

    SEYMOUR PHILLIPS

    ABSTRACT. It has long been known that David MacCarwell, archbishop of Cashel (1254-89), played an important part in the attempted purchase of English law for the Irish between about 1276 and 1280. This paper argues that, although Edward I probably had no personal objection to the extension of English law to the Irish, the primary role in initiating and carrying forward the project was played by the archbishop of Cashel; that the plan emerged from and followed his successes between 1273 and 1277 in restoring the houses of the Cistercian order in Ireland to the control of Mellifont and in vindicating his rights as archbishop after a bitterly fought dispute with Edward I and his administration in Ireland; and lastly that it represented an attempted grand scheme of reconciliation between the king and the archbishop, involving a re-definition of the relationship between Gaelic Irish society and the English crown which would have produced significant benefits for the church.

    KEYWORDS: David MacCarwell, Edward I, Cashel, Cistercians, Mellifont, English law, Brehon law, Ireland, England, Council of Lyons, church-state relations, Anglo-Irish relations, Laudabiliter.

    Seymour Phillips, Department of Medieval History, University College, Dublin 4

    12005 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 253-73. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • THOMAS ROKEBY, SHERIFF OF YORKSHIRE, JUSTICIAR OF IRELAND

    ROBIN FRAME

    ABSTRACT. Thomas Rokeby served as justiciar in Ireland (1349-57) after making his reputation as a soldier and administrator during the Anglo-Scottish wars. His justiciarship saw an attempt, encouraged by Edward III after years of friction with some Anglo-Irish, to rule in collaboration with those who mattered, including marcher lineages and Gaelic lords. The approach to warfare emphasised the recovery of land and its fortification. The underlying policy was to make Ireland profitable, and it led to heavier English military intervention from 1361. Rokeby's handling of Irish politics and war may be better understood in the context of his earlier service in the north. His career highlights the contrasts as well as the parallels between two frontiers of the Plantagenet state, and reveals the questionable assumptions that underlay English policies in Ireland.

    KEYWORDS: frontiers, medieval warfare, Irish medieval government, Anglo-Scottish wars, north of England, Yorkshire, Cork, Wicklow, earldom of Ulster, Edward III.

    Robin Frame, Department of History, University of Durham, 43 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3EX, England r.f.frame@durham.ac.uk

    11307 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 274-96. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • LIONEL OF CLARENCE AND THE ENGLISH OF MEATH

    BRENDAN SMITH

    ABSTRACT. Relations between the English colonial community in Ireland and the English of England had become strained by the mid fourteenth century, and the visit of the king's son, Lionel, to the lordship as his father's deputy between 1361 and 1366 brought these tensions to the surface. In 1366 one of Lionel's household, Henry de Ferrers, was besieged at Clonee on the Meath-Dublin border by the local settler gentry and had to be rescued by the lieutenant himself. The cause of the dispute was Henry's marriage to Joan Tuit, a local heiress whose previous marriage to a most important colonist of the region, Walter Cusak (also her cousin), had been annulled by the bishop of Meath. In 1364 the archbishop of Armagh, Milo Sweteman, revoked this decision and ordered Joan to resume living with Walter on pain of excommunication. She refused. De Ferrers retained control of his wife's estates even after her death, but when he died they passed to Cusak. This incident provides an insight into the tensions between settler and visitor `on the ground' and the way in which such disputes were usually resolved in favour of the colonists.

    KEYWORDS: Ireland, medieval colony, colonists, Lionel, Duke of Clarence, marriage, inheritance, absentees.

    Brendan Smith, Department of Historical Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TB brendan.smith@bristol.ac.uk

    2601 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 297-302. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • GOVERNMENT BY COMMISSION: THE CONTINUAL COUNCIL OF 1386 AND ENGLISH ROYAL ADMINISTRATION

    W. M. ORMROD

    ABSTRACT. The extraordinary council established in the `wonderful' parliament of October-November 1386 to inquire into and reform the royal administration had a pivotal role in the politics of Richard II's reign: its attack on the prerogative powers of the crown explains much of the vehemence with which the king subsequently proceeded against its members. The opposition of the king, and his removal from the capital in 1387, are commonly supposed to have prevented the commission fulfilling the expectations of the political community. In fact, the limitations of its actions were determined as much by the naivety and conservatism of parliament evident in the powers accorded to the council. The administrative record reveals that it took active steps to assert its judicial authority, to control royal patronage, and to impose retrenchment in the management of the king's finances. Although it formally held power for only a year, the work of the commission had an enduring influence on the development of the council as an administrative agency of the crown.

    KEYWORDS: medieval politics, government, administration, kingship, Richard II, royal council, royal justice, royal finance, patronage.

    W. M. Ormrod, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, York YO1 2EP

    9634 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 303-21. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • MISTRANSLATIONS AND MISINTERPRETATIONS IN MEDIEVAL ENGLISH HISTORY

    J. O. PRESTWICH

    ABSTRACT. Despite the many excellent translations of Latin sources for the history of England in the two centuries following the Norman conquest, it is easy to forget the inevitable limitations of all translations and to overlook the occasional mistranslations which still influence, or are influenced by, interpretations of the period. The examples considered here include laboriose as applied to king John and others (meaning with difficulty, not indefatigably); the purpose or purposes of Domesday Book and the oath of Salisbury (the first, it is argued, being a purely fiscal measure, the second to secure the loyalty of knights at a critical juncture); the mistaken belief in `natural counsellors', whereas naturalis in political contexts means native-born, reflecting the strength of anti-alien sentiment in thirteenth-century England; and the evidence for a plurality of royal treasures rather than a single treasury.

    KEYWORDS: Saladin tithe, king John, Domesday Book, oath of Salisbury, `natural counsellors', treasures.

    J. O. Prestwich, The Queen's College, Oxford, OX1 4AW

    9138 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 322-40. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • THE ROUEN RIOT AND CONAN'S LEAP

    WARREN HOLLISTER

    ABSTRACT. The Rouen urban riot was less a bid for communal independence than the outcome of a power struggle between the sons of William the Conqueror. The rebels, led by a wealthy merchant, Conan, were allied to king William II of England, who was trying to wrest Normandy from his elder brother, duke Robert Curthose. Henry, the third brother, rendered decisive aid to Curthose and led the aristocratic faction that defeated William II's allies in Rouen and seized Conan. Taking him atop the tower of Rouen, Henry ignored Conan's pleas for mercy and pushed him to his death. Although historians often cite this episode as evidence of Henry's cruelty, most contemporaries saw it as a proper punishment of a traitorous upstart. The contrast between Henry's courage and Curthose's timidity could well explain why the duke turned against Henry shortly afterwards and then went on Crusade.

    KEYWORDS: Robert Curthose, William II, Henry, Normandy, medieval towns, Rouen, Conan, urban riots, Cotentin, Robert of Bellême, Orderic Vitalis, William of Malmesbury.

    C. Warren Hollister, 4592 Via Clarice, Santa Barbara, CA 93111, USA

    4596 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 341-50. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • THE PORTRAYAL OF WOMEN IN THE HISTOIRE DE GUILLAUME LE MARÉCHAL

    EVELYN MULLALLY

    ABSTRACT. The author of the French verse life of William Marshal, writing in the 1220s, depicts women as marginal to a male-dominated aristocratic power structure. Nevertheless, he portrays them favourably and without the distortions of literary convention.

    KEYWORDS: William Marshal, Isabel de Clare, courtly literature, medieval marriage, gender stereotypes.

    Evelyn Mullally, School of Modern Languages, Queen's University, Belfast BT7 1NN

    5655 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 351-62. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0

  • WILLIAM REEVES AND THE MEDIEVAL TEXTS AND MANUSCRIPTS AT ARMAGH

    JOHN THOMPSON

    ABSTRACT. The achievement of William Reeves as Armagh keeper can be closely associated with the changing mid-nineteenth-century fortunes of the Armagh library property. In the absence of a detailed survey of small Irish collections to match the example set by N. R. Ker's magisterial Medieval manuscripts in British libraries, this study traces the crucial role played by Reeves in the history of several important manuscripts and early books now in Armagh Public Library.

    KEYWORDS: Armagh Public Library and archiepiscopal registry, Lord John George Beresford, Book of Armagh, James H. Todd, John O'Donovan, archbishop Richard Robinson, Lodge manuscripts, Annals of Clonmacnoise, Conell Mageoghagan, Michael Ignatius Dugan, Roderick O'Flaherty, Walter Harris, Sir James Ware, Richard Pynson, John Lydgate's Fall of Princes, Pontigny manuscripts, Abbé Joseph Felix Allard, Sir Thomas Phillipps, Rabanus Maurus commentaries.

    John Thompson, School of English, Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN

    8950 words. Peritia 10 (1996) 363-80. Turnhout:Brepols. ISBN 2-503-50574-0