UCC medievalist Diarmuid Scully gives a keynote lecture in Cardiff
UCC medievalist Diarmuid Scully gave a keynote lecture at Medieval Myths and British Identities: Past, Present and Future, an interdisciplinary postgraduate conference held at Cardiff University on 18th September 2015.
Diarmuid spoke about Gerald of Wales’s re-interpretation of Ireland’s mythical history in a British context. Gerald’s Topography of Ireland (1188) and Conquest of Ireland (1189) rewrote Irish origin legends to legitimise King Henry II of England’s claim to be Ireland’s rightful ruler. Gerald, and the artists who illuminated his manuscripts, represent Henry and Gerald’s own kinsmen reclaiming an ancient British dominion over Ireland. Medieval Myths and British Identities was organised by Vicky Shirley of Cardiff University. It was a great success: vibrant, friendly and engaged with major cultural issues. The event brought together postgraduate researchers from across the disciplines to discuss the relationship between myth and national identity in Britain and Ireland. In particular, the conference focused on the changing political and ideological potential of medieval myths, and considered how these myths have been used to construct the national identities of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, from the medieval period to the present day.