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 St Patrick and Irish identity

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PostSubject: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:40 pm

[size=18][size=12]Nice One – thanks! Very Happy



And what a time to start the ball rolling with the Feast Day of our national saint almost upon us.





Some people now doubt whether St Patrick really existed at all given that the historical evidence is a bit blurry for that time. But his name is mentioned in the ancient annals enough to allow us I think to be confident there was really a Saint Patrick.



From The Annals of Ulster:


U432.1


Patrick arrived in Ireland in the ninth year of the reign of Theodosius the Less and in the first year of the episcopate of Xistus, 42nd bishop of the Roman Church. So Bede, Maxcellinus and Isidore compute in their chronicles.




After all the English, Scots and Welsh don’t make a big deal out of their Saint’s day bur we really go to town on it.



To me though he really did exist and its right to recall his great mission here that helped bond a nation together and expand our horizons.



Notwithstanding the excesses of some younger people on the day it’s the one time of the year that anyone in the World with so much as an ounce of Irish blood can celebrate their links to Ireland.



Its also a great way of allowing those immigrants who want to join in and be with us too – speaking to some this week who intend to do just that!



So lets celebrate! alien
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:32 pm

I don't think the historicity of st patrick is based on the annals, as most were written more than a hundred years after his death. It's his two letters, confessio and letter to the coroticus, that provide us with an historical foundation.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:40 pm

riadach wrote:
I don't think the historicity of st patrick is based on the annals, as most were written more than a hundred years after his death. It's his two letters, confessio and letter to the coroticus, that provide us with an historical foundation.

IIRC the Annals date back to 563 AD when St Columba on Iona started one - though maybe they date back further.

I think that is near enough to that time (5th Century) to place a fair degree of reliance on them and thus for there being a real St Patrick.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:48 pm

As far as I remember from my time there the Welsh make a big deal out of St. David's Day - much singing, dancing and wearing of national costumes. Not a drinking day though.

Any views on where St Patrick came from?
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:49 pm

Brandubh wrote:
riadach wrote:
I don't think the historicity of st patrick is based on the annals, as most were written more than a hundred years after his death. It's his two letters, confessio and letter to the coroticus, that provide us with an historical foundation.

IIRC the Annals date back to 563 AD when St Columba on Iona started one - though maybe they date back further.

I think that is near enough to that time (5th Century) to place a fair degree of reliance on them and thus for there being a real St Patrick.

But was there only one Wink
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:50 pm

cactus flower wrote:
As far as I remember from my time there the Welsh make a big deal out of St. David's Day - much singing, dancing and wearing of national costumes. Not a drinking day though.

Any views on where St Patrick came from?

Other than he was welsh-speaking, no none. But of course at that time, Welsh was spoken all the way up to the antonine wall.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:58 pm

riadach wrote:
Brandubh wrote:
riadach wrote:
I don't think the historicity of st patrick is based on the annals, as most were written more than a hundred years after his death. It's his two letters, confessio and letter to the coroticus, that provide us with an historical foundation.

IIRC the Annals date back to 563 AD when St Columba on Iona started one - though maybe they date back further.

I think that is near enough to that time (5th Century) to place a fair degree of reliance on them and thus for there being a real St Patrick.

But was there only one Wink

Perhaps there was or perhaps there were two with the same or adopted name - the Popes do it all the time! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:09 pm

So how much of the Sliabh Mish/ Niall of the Nine Hostages story is true?
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:11 pm

Kate P wrote:
So how much of the Sliabh Mish/ Niall of the Nine Hostages story is true?

Most of it, as far as we can tell. It's all to be found in the confessio. He wasn't kidnapped by Niall though, and I don't believe he is mentioned by Patrick.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:19 pm

Brandubh wrote:
riadach wrote:
Brandubh wrote:
riadach wrote:
I don't think the historicity of st patrick is based on the annals, as most were written more than a hundred years after his death. It's his two letters, confessio and letter to the coroticus, that provide us with an historical foundation.

IIRC the Annals date back to 563 AD when St Columba on Iona started one - though maybe they date back further.

I think that is near enough to that time (5th Century) to place a fair degree of reliance on them and thus for there being a real St Patrick.

But was there only one Wink

Perhaps there was or perhaps there were two with the same or adopted name - the Popes do it all the time! Wink

The two patricks was a ploy by armagh to explain the anomaly of palladius as far as I know.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:03 pm

Well Saint Patrick was supposed to have banished the snakes from
Ireland. And now, every Saint Patrick's day the snakes still
leave Ireland in his honour.

Regards...jmcc
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:44 pm

lol

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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:19 pm

riadach wrote:
Brandubh wrote:
riadach wrote:
Brandubh wrote:
riadach wrote:
I don't think the historicity of st patrick is based on the annals, as most were written more than a hundred years after his death. It's his two letters, confessio and letter to the coroticus, that provide us with an historical foundation.

IIRC the Annals date back to 563 AD when St Columba on Iona started one - though maybe they date back further.

I think that is near enough to that time (5th Century) to place a fair degree of reliance on them and thus for there being a real St Patrick.

But was there only one Wink

Perhaps there was or perhaps there were two with the same or adopted name - the Popes do it all the time! Wink

The two patricks was a ploy by armagh to explain the anomaly of palladius as far as I know.

I thought the two Patricks theory was more about his arrival being recordered here as a Bishop in 432 AD and his death in the 490s?

U432.1


Patrick arrived in Ireland in the ninth year of the reign of Theodosius the Less and in the first year of the episcopate of Xistus, 42nd bishop of the Roman Church. So Bede, Maxcellinus and Isidore compute in their chronicles.

U492.1


The Irish state here that Patrick the Archbishop died.

1. 1] Three score years (we deem it few)
2] And an mystic nine,
3] Patrick spent preaching in Ireland
4]
[...]
with many miracles.




And Vincent in the Speculum Historiarum states that Patrick spent four score years in Ireland preaching and that at Patrick's request God restored to life 40 persons; he founded 365 churches and created the same number of bishops, as well as 3000 priests; and he baptized 12,000.


But note this entry in Chronicon Scotorum
Annal CS457. Kal. iv. A.D.457 Repose of Old Saint Patrick, Bishop, i.e. of the church of Glastonbury.


and


Kal. iii. A.D.489 Patrick, Archbishop and Apostle of the Irish, in the 122nd year of his age,on the l6th of the Kalends of April, quievit, ut dicitur:— 1. Since Christ was born, a joyful reckoning, Four hundred and fair ninety; Three exact years after that To the death of Patrick, Chief Apostle.

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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:56 pm

Perhaps, it's been a while since I studied it. Wrote an essay in 2nd year on the political machinations of armagh as found in Muirchiú's life of st Patrick.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:54 pm

riadach wrote:
Perhaps, it's been a while since I studied it. Wrote an essay in 2nd year on the political machinations of armagh as found in Muirchiú's life of st Patrick.

Muirchiú certainly was touching up his account so that the ruling dynasties of the Ui Neills saw their ancestors cast in a good light.

However the evidence as we have it is that Patrick's mission did have a northern focus rather than a southern one so its no big surprise that Armagh claimed him and perhaps with good reason. As far as I know there is no compelling case against their claim.

The fact that a certain amount of 'spin' was involved does not mean the essentials were not true.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:58 pm

Brandubh wrote:
riadach wrote:
Perhaps, it's been a while since I studied it. Wrote an essay in 2nd year on the political machinations of armagh as found in Muirchiú's life of st Patrick.

Muirchiú certainly was touching up his account so that the ruling dynasties of the Ui Neills saw their ancestors cast in a good light.

However the evidence as we have it is that Patrick's mission did have a northern focus rather than a southern one so its no big surprise that Armagh claimed him and perhaps with good reason. As far as I know there is no compelling case against their claim.

The fact that a certain amount of 'spin' was involved does not mean the essentials were not true.

Oh it did. But they also claimed a lot of the connacht churches through Tírechán's life. More importantly they claimed him as the patron of their church, and that he was buried at armagh, and that they were his successors. That was the spin involved. They also claimed dominance over every church with the name domhnach.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:08 pm

Fair enough but what's to say they weren't correct?

IIRC St Patrick is supposed to be buried in/beside Down Cathedral?
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:12 pm

What did the inhabitants of Ireland believe before Patrick and Palladius et al came to Ireland? Was there a distinct shared belief system across the island or did different tribes have different sets of spirits/gods and religious practices? There are still some pagan practices lingering on in rural areas. I was interested to read recently most Lithuanians did not adopt Christianity until the 16th century, although their leaders went through a political 'conversion' in the 14 Century. Michael Palin's programme a few nights ago showed hundreds of Bulgarian pagans ('The White Brotherhood') outdoor dancing in pagan rites.
There appears to have been a continuity of pagan belief in some parts of Europe.

The survival of Christianity was apparently much more touch and go than I had believed and the Irish role in it was perhaps critical. I wonder what difference it would have made if Constantine had gone the other way and if Ireland had not gone for Christianity at the early stage it did...
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:17 pm

Brandubh wrote:
Fair enough but what's to say they weren't correct?

IIRC St Patrick is supposed to be buried in/beside Down Cathedral?

There is something in Muirchiú's life of st Patrick which states he died at Armagh and was brought to Down Patrick (I always get mixed up between the two). It sounds overly concerted I suppose, one of the things that takes away from it. It was at a time where Armagh was trying to gain primacy over other churches.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:47 pm

cactus flower wrote:
What did the inhabitants of Ireland believe before Patrick and Palladius et al came to Ireland? Was there a distinct shared belief system across the island or did different tribes have different sets of spirits/gods and religious practices? There are still some pagan practices lingering on in rural areas. I was interested to read recently most Lithuanians did not adopt Christianity until the 16th century, although their leaders went through a political 'conversion' in the 14 Century. Michael Palin's programme a few nights ago showed hundreds of Bulgarian pagans ('The White Brotherhood') outdoor dancing in pagan rites.
There appears to have been a continuity of pagan belief in some parts of Europe.

The survival of Christianity was apparently much more touch and go than I had believed and the Irish role in it was perhaps critical. I wonder what difference it would have made if Constantine had gone the other way and if Ireland had not gone for Christianity at the early stage it did...

They followed the Druids who promoted worship of the Gods of Nature. Google 'Celtic Mythology' for some of the flavour.

Probably by the end of the 6th Century Ireland was mostly Christian but with a lot of localised input too.

It might well be the case that certain Gods and Spirits menat more to some people in one area than another - this even happened under the Christian Saints too.

For instance at the Cath Almaine/Battle of Almu (Hill of Allen) in 722 AD the opposing forces of the Uí Néill's from Leth Cuinn (the northern half of Ireland) met in battle the Laigin (Leinstermen) there - both sides called upon respectively St Columba and St Brigid to help them rout their enemies.

BTW prayers to St Brigid worked better on this occasion! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:16 pm

BTW prayers to St Brigid worked better on this occasion! Wink

Is St Brigid not said to have been a morphed goddess? something to do with milk?
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:42 pm

cactus flower wrote:
BTW prayers to St Brigid worked better on this occasion! Wink

Is St Brigid not said to have been a morphed goddess? something to do with milk?

With the price O milk these days it mightn't be a bad idea to blow a prayer or two her way!

Some of the more nasty cynics try to deny she ever existed but there is no great reason to think she didn't. Brigid was a popular name as it comes from an ancient Goddess and St Brigid's family were of noble or indeed Royal birth.

People far closer to those times believed in her well enough so what's the problem now?
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:01 am

What's the connection with Patrick and the Rock of Cashel (the older one...) It's called St Patrick's Rock, isn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:28 am

Brandubh wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
BTW prayers to St Brigid worked better on this occasion! Wink

Is St Brigid not said to have been a morphed goddess? something to do with milk?

With the price O milk these days it mightn't be a bad idea to blow a prayer or two her way!

Some of the more nasty cynics try to deny she ever existed but there is no great reason to think she didn't. Brigid was a popular name as it comes from an ancient Goddess and St Brigid's family were of noble or indeed Royal birth.

People far closer to those times believed in her well enough so what's the problem now?

There is still a very lively cult of Brigid in Kildare: I am not sure whether their orientation is Christian of pagan, or that it matters.
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PostSubject: Re: St Patrick and Irish identity   Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:33 am

cactus flower wrote:
Brandubh wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
BTW prayers to St Brigid worked better on this occasion! Wink

Is St Brigid not said to have been a morphed goddess? something to do with milk?

With the price O milk these days it mightn't be a bad idea to blow a prayer or two her way!

Some of the more nasty cynics try to deny she ever existed but there is no great reason to think she didn't. Brigid was a popular name as it comes from an ancient Goddess and St Brigid's family were of noble or indeed Royal birth.

People far closer to those times believed in her well enough so what's the problem now?

There is still a very lively cult of Brigid in Kildare: I am not sure whether their orientation is Christian of pagan, or that it matters.

It's a bit of both. There used to be a fire maintained by virgins down there in honour of St Brigid. The fire was never allowed to go out. I think they stopped that tradition when they ran out of virgins in that county. Doesn't sound very christian to me, a bit more like the vestal virgins.
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