Royal Inauguration in Gaelic Ireland C. 1100-1600: A Cultural Landscape Study
This investigation considers the places on the Irish landscape where open-air Gaelic royal inauguration assemblies were held in the period c. 1100-1600. Specially designated inauguration sites played an important role in the political life of Gaelic lordships in later medieval Ireland. Gaelic ruling families often appropriated prehistoric ritual landscapes for their royal assemblies in order to attach the pedigree of a royal candidate to an illustrious past; such sites might be an alleged burial place of an eponymous ancestor or a legendary heroic figure, or an ancient landscape associated with renowned events. This study of their physical appearance, place-names, and geographical and historical contexts ranges over all the archaeological sites identified as inauguration places - enclosures, sepulchral mounds, natural places, ringforts and churches, and associated inauguration furniture in the form of 'leaca' and stone thrones, basin stones and sacred trees. Irish royal assembly places and practices are viewed in relation to sites elsewhere in Britain and greater Europe, and the circumstances that brought about the ending of the Gaelic practice of inauguration are also considered. ELIZABETH FitzPATRICK is Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology, National University of Ireland, Galway.
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List of Attested Inauguration Sites
agus Amalgaid Aodh Archaeological assembly place barony Book of Lecan Breifne cairn Carn Amhalghaidh Carn Fraoich Carraig Catherine Martin chief church Cill Mhic Nenain Cineal Clann Aodha Buidhe Cnoc Conchobhair Connacht County Cruachain diameter Domhnaill Donegal Dubhda Dublin Dunadd Eamhain early medieval East Breifne enclosure Eoghain footprint stone Gabhra Gaelic hill Ibid inauguration ceremonies inauguration place inauguration site inauguration sites inauguration stone inauguration venues Inghine Briain Ireland Irish Kings Killala Kilmacrenan king of Connacht king-making Kings to Warlords kingship landscape later medieval period lordship Maedoc Mag Uidhir Magh Adhair Metrical Dindshenchas monuments Mullach Leac O'Donovan O'Flanagan Oirghialla Ordnance Survey place-name poem prehistoric Raith recorded ridge ringfort Riogh rite ritual rock royal inauguration Ruairc S. P. Ire sandstone Sgiath Gabhra Simms stone chair suggests summit Tadhg Teamhair territory Tir Conaill townland tradition trans Tudor Ui Chonchobhair Ui Fhiachrach Ui Neill Uilliam Ulster Westropp