Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition

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Palgrave Macmillan, 1995 - History - 226 pages
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Irish history has traditionally been described either in isolation or in the manner in which it was influenced by outside forces, especially by England. This book strikes a different balance. First, the time span covered is longer then usual, and more attention is being paid to the early medieval centuries than to the later period. Whether the twelfth century marked a turning point in Irish history, as is normally taken for granted, is questioned here. Secondly, less emphasis is placed in this book on the political or military history of Ireland than on general social and cultural aspects. As a result, a new interpretation of medieval Ireland emerges, one in which social and cultural norms inherited from pre-historic times are seen to survive right through the Middle Ages. They gave Irish society a stability and inherent strength unparalleled in Europe. Christianity came in as an additional, enriching factor.

"Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition" is an overview of Irish society from the coming of Christianity in the fourth century to the Reformation in the sixteenth. Such a broad survey reveals features otherwise not easily detected. For all the complexity of political developments, Irish society remained basically stable and managed to withstand the onslaught of both the Vikings and the English. The inherent strength of Ireland consisted in the cultural heritage from pre-historic times which remained influential throughout the centuries discussed here.

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About the author (1995)

Hisayoshi Sato, Dr. Eng., is Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo.

Brian Stone, Ph.D., is professor of mechanical engineering at The University of Western Australia. He won the inaugural Australian National Teaching Award for Engineering 1997. Dr. Stone's longstanding research area, for which he has an international reputation, is in the area of stopping vibration in production processes. He is the only Australian to be invited by the Japanese Machine Tool Builders as a visiting expert. Dr. Stone has two patents on his inventions, one held by Rolls Royce and the other by DeBeers Diamonds.

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