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 Battle of Clontarf

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PostSubject: Battle of Clontarf   Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:09 pm

Brandubh wrote:
23 April 1014: The Battle of Clontarf /Cath Cluain Tarbh, (The Pasture of the Bulls) was fought on this day – Good Friday. The victors were the forces of King Brian Boru of Munster leading a force primarily of the men of Munster and south Connacht along with a small contingent of Limerick and perhaps Waterford Vikings. His erstwhile ally Mael Sechnaill of Meath held back on the day of the Battle.
Thus Brian’s men alone faced the Vikings of Dublin and the Isles and their allies the Leinstermen under King Maelmorda. The result was a great Victory for King Brian but as the day ended he was killed himself while praying in his camp. Clontarf was the greatest and bloodiest battle of the Viking age in Ireland.

Did you lift that straight out of Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib? 'Greatest and bloodiest battle of the Viking Age'? What about poor Máel Sechnaill and the battle at Tara in 980, against Dublin and Scottish Norse? It was far more significant as Dublin was a force to be reckoned with back then; they had defeated Máel Sechnaill's predeccessor Domnall Ua Néill. Máel Sechnaill defeated them and occupied the town, imposing tribute. Over time Brian Boru challenged Máel Sechnaill for the tribute and control of the town, and by 998 it was undisputedly his. When the battle of Clontarf came round Brian Boru power was weakening and Dublin and Leinster revolted against him (and Máel Sechnaill decided to take a sick day). That was all Clontarf was, putting down a rebellion.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:45 pm

905 wrote:
Brandubh wrote:
23 April 1014: The Battle of Clontarf /Cath Cluain Tarbh, (The Pasture of the Bulls) was fought on this day – Good Friday. The victors were the forces of King Brian Boru of Munster leading a force primarily of the men of Munster and south Connacht along with a small contingent of Limerick and perhaps Waterford Vikings. His erstwhile ally Mael Sechnaill of Meath held back on the day of the Battle.
Thus Brian’s men alone faced the Vikings of Dublin and the Isles and their allies the Leinstermen under King Maelmorda. The result was a great Victory for King Brian but as the day ended he was killed himself while praying in his camp. Clontarf was the greatest and bloodiest battle of the Viking age in Ireland.

Did you lift that straight out of Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib? 'Greatest and bloodiest battle of the Viking Age'? What about poor Máel Sechnaill and the battle at Tara in 980, against Dublin and Scottish Norse? It was far more significant as Dublin was a force to be reckoned with back then; they had defeated Máel Sechnaill's predeccessor Domnall Ua Néill. Máel Sechnaill defeated them and occupied the town, imposing tribute. Over time Brian Boru challenged Máel Sechnaill for the tribute and control of the town, and by 998 it was undisputedly his. When the battle of Clontarf came round Brian Boru power was weakening and Dublin and Leinster revolted against him (and Máel Sechnaill decided to take a sick day). That was all Clontarf was, putting down a rebellion.

Mael Sechnaill was a formidable soldier and statesman in his own right. He had succeeded to the Kingdom in 980 and in a major battle at Tara in that year, had soundly defeated King Olaf Cuaran who led the Dublin Norse and their allies from the Western Isles of Scotland and the Isle of Man. Olaf abdicated after this and retired to the monastery of Iona off the Scottish Coast where he died the following year. Strange to relate but King Olaf, like many of the Scandinavian inhabitants by this time, was a Christian.

In the aftermath of the battle Mael Sechnaill seized Dublin after a very brief siege, released from bondage any Irish held there and demanded and received Tribute from the inhabitants. From this time on and for many years to come the kingdom of Dublin was militarily impotent and not a factor of much import in Irish Wars.

I think Clontarf was a bit more than that - it put beyond doubt that the 'Vikings' were finished as a major threat to the Irish. It's true though that this did not begin or end in 1014.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:55 am

WRONG AGAIN!

Sorry, but I think Olaf or Aleifr Cúarán died the same year he lost to Máel Sechnaill, in 980.

Most Norse seem to have been Christian at this time, the rulers of Limerick certainly were. They hid in a church when Boru came looking for them; he violated sanctuary and killed them, to avenge his brother. But the idea of pagan Hiberno-Norse is based more on propaganda than truth.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:39 pm

It wasn't merely a local revolt. It had much stronger repercussions than that. The power of the dublin vikings may have been on the wane, but they had tremendous draw across the western Isles and northern England. They were able to summon an army of 7,000 men, almost equal to the number Brian was able to summon that day, drawn from Norse-Irish towns, Leinster as well as from man, the Western Isles and the Earldom of Orkney. It was not merely the suppression of a local revolt, as a loss on that day (and the result was fairly pyrrhic anyway, putting pay to Uí Bhriain aspirations till the time of Toirdhealbhach) would have caused a massive shift in the balance of power within Irish polity. Munster would have been indefensible, and the Norse mercenaries hungry for lands.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:51 pm

All right, it was significant enough; but it wasn't the biggest battle. Had Boru lost then Máel Sechnaill would have been free to rule the roost again, which is what he did anyway. Boru was the shift in Irish power, which was weakening anyway and which the Battle finished off. Back to business as usual for the Uí Néill.

Norse mercenaries were never too ravenous for land in Ireland.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:01 pm

905 wrote:
All right, it was significant enough; but it wasn't the biggest battle. Had Boru lost then Máel Sechnaill would have been free to rule the roost again, which is what he did anyway. Boru was the shift in Irish power, which was weakening anyway and which the Battle finished off. Back to business as usual for the Uí Néill.

Norse mercenaries were never too ravenous for land in Ireland.

7,000 versus 7,000. It was as big as hastings. How do you imagine Sitriuc would have paid off his allies in the event of a victory? A weak defenceless Mumha would have been a prime target.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:42 pm

Where are we getting this figure of 7,000? Sitric couldn't pay them what he didn't own. Sitric had a sizeable navy at his disposal, it wouldn't have been difficult to pay off allies with his service, or maybe they owed him already.

And Munster was always weak and divided by Irish standards, the Eogannacht were always a bit flabby. That's how an unheard of family became so powerful in the first place. Weak and defenceless Munster would still have powerful neighbours who would feel themselves just as entitled to Munster, the Norse would still have had a struggle on their hands.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:20 pm

905 wrote:
Where are we getting this figure of 7,000? Sitric couldn't pay them what he didn't own. Sitric had a sizeable navy at his disposal, it wouldn't have been difficult to pay off allies with his service, or maybe they owed him already.

Now now, you have a 7,000 strong army at your disposal, you have a politically powerless munster. I think there was only one option available to him, and a very advantageous one at that. Look what happened with canute across the water.


Quote :

And Munster was always weak and divided by Irish standards, the Eogannacht were always a bit flabby. That's how an unheard of family became so powerful in the first place. Weak and defenceless Munster would still have powerful neighbours who would feel themselves just as entitled to Munster, the Norse would still have had a struggle on their hands.

No not at all. I think Munster was fairly solidified compared to connact and leinster for instance. There was a recognition amongst most of the polity about who exactly would inherit the throne. The Uí Bhriain power in the North was tolerated because it was a marcher area. However, once this pillar of defence turned on them, it was going to collapse. It was still able to muster a large unified army of defence, something that would have been impossible if they were defeated in Clontarf.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:33 pm

An fíor gur dathanna Chondae an Chláir a chaith na Cláirínigh an lá sin? Chuala mé freisin gur úsáid siad caonach eicínt leis an sileadh fola óna gcréachta a stopadh. Ar chuala tú é sin?
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:37 pm

anmajornarthainig wrote:
An fíor gur dathanna Chondae an Chláir a chaith na Cláirínigh an lá sin? Chuala mé freisin gur úsáid siad caonach eicínt leis an sileadh fola óna gcréachta a stopadh. Ar chuala tú é sin?

Níor chuala, ach tá mana na gclairíneach le fáil i gCogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh. Na céadta sa chath is na deireannacha as.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:38 pm

riadach wrote:
anmajornarthainig wrote:
An fíor gur dathanna Chondae an Chláir a chaith na Cláirínigh an lá sin? Chuala mé freisin gur úsáid siad caonach eicínt leis an sileadh fola óna gcréachta a stopadh. Ar chuala tú é sin?

Níor chuala, ach tá mana na gclairíneach le fáil i gCogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh. Na céadta sa chath is na deireannacha as.

Nárbh é sin an mana a bhí ag Clare`s Dragoons? Níor chuala mé é sin cheana faoi Chogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:44 pm

anmajornarthainig wrote:
riadach wrote:
anmajornarthainig wrote:
An fíor gur dathanna Chondae an Chláir a chaith na Cláirínigh an lá sin? Chuala mé freisin gur úsáid siad caonach eicínt leis an sileadh fola óna gcréachta a stopadh. Ar chuala tú é sin?

Níor chuala, ach tá mana na gclairíneach le fáil i gCogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh. Na céadta sa chath is na deireannacha as.

Nárbh é sin an mana a bhí ag Clare`s Dragoons? Níor chuala mé é sin cheana faoi Chogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh.

Chonaic mé inné é nuair a bhí mé á léamh. Ní mar sin a bhí sé scríofa, ach bhí an éirim chéanna leis.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:47 pm

Cén comhthéacs ina raibh sé scríofa? An raibh sé mar mhana ag grúpa ar leith nó mar dhearcadh cogaíochta ginearálta?
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:32 am

anmajornarthainig wrote:
Cén comhthéacs ina raibh sé scríofa? An raibh sé mar mhana ag grúpa ar leith nó mar dhearcadh cogaíochta ginearálta?

Bhí sé mar chur síos ar an dal gcais go ginearálta.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:41 pm

Riadach, where did you get the figure of 7,000 for either side?
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:54 pm

905 wrote:
Riadach, where did you get the figure of 7,000 for either side?

Shockingly here. Probably not the best source though, especially since it has no references or sources :-(

However

Annals of ulster

Brian son of Ceinnétig son of Lorcán, king of Ireland, and Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall, king of Temair, led an army to Áth Cliath. All the Laigin were assembled to meet him, and the foreigners of Áth Cliath, and a like number of the foreigners of Scandinavia, i.e. to the number of 1,000 breastplates. A valiant battle was fought between them, the like of which was never before encountered. Then the foreigners and the Laigin first broke in defeat, and they were completely wiped out. There fell on the side of the foreign troop in this battle Mael Mórda son of Murchad, king of Laigin, and Domnall son of Fergal, king of the Forthuatha, and of the foreigners there fell Dubgall son of Amlaíb, Siucraid son of Lodur, jarl of Innsi Orc, and Gilla Ciaráin son of Glún Iairn, heir designate of the foreigners, and Oittir Dub and Suartgair and Donnchad grandson of Erulb and Griséne and Luimne and Amlaíb son of Lagmann and Brotor who slew Brian i.e. chief of the Scandinavian fleet, and six thousand who were killed or drowned. Of the Irish moreover there fell in the counter-shock Brian son of Ceinnétig, over-king of the Irish of Ireland, and of the foreigners and of the Britons, the Augustus of the whole of north-west Europe, and his son Murchad, and the latter's son, i.e. Tairdelbach son of Murchad, and Conaing son of Donn Cuan son of Cennéitig, heir designate of Mumu, and Mothla son of Domnall son of Faelán, king of the Déisi Muman; Eochu son of Dúnadach and Niall ua Cuinn and Ceinnéitig's son, —Brian's three companions; two kings of Uí Maine, Ua Cellaig . . . . . . . . , and Mael Ruanaid ua hEidin, king of Aidne, and Géibennach ua Dubagáin, king of Fernmag, and Mac Bethad son of Muiredach Claen, king of Ciarraige Luachra and Domnall son of Diarmait, king of Corcu Baiscinn, and Scannlán son of Cathal, king of Eóganacht of Loch Léin, and Domnall son of Eimen son of Cainnech, earl of Marr in Scotland, and many other nobles. Mael Muire son of Eochaid, successor of Patrick, with his venerable clerics and relics, came moreover to Sord Coluim Chille, and brought away the body of Brian, king of Ireland, and the body of his son Murchad, and the head of Conaing and the head of Mothla, and buried them in Ard Macha in a new tomb. For twelve nights the community of Patrick waked the bodies in honour of the dead king.

Afm

An army was led by Brian, son of Ceinneidigh, son of Lorcan, King of Ireland, and by Maelseachlainn, son of Domhnall, King of Teamhair, to Ath-cliath. The foreigners of the west of Europe assembled against Brian and Maelseachlainn; and they took with them ten hundred men with coats of mail. A spirited, fierce, violent, vengeful, and furious battle was fought between them, the likeness of which was not to be found in that time,—at Cluaintarbh, on the Friday before Easter precisely. In this battle were slain Brian, son of Ceinneidigh, monarch of Ireland, who was the Augustus of all the West of Europe, in the eighty-eighth year of his age; Murchadh, son of Brian, heir apparent to the sovereignty of Ireland, in the sixty-third year of his age; Conaing, son of Donncuan, the son of Brian's brother; Toirdhealbhach, son of Murchadh, son of Brian; Mothla, son of Domhnall, son of Faelan, lord of the Deisi-Mumhan;

Eocha, son of Dunadhach, i.e. chief of Clann-Scannlain; Niall Ua Cuinn; Cuduiligh, son of Ceinneidigh, the three companions of Brian; Tadhg Ua Ceallaigh, lord of Ui Maine; Maelruanaidh na Paidre Ua hEidhin, lord of Aidhne; Geibheannach, son of Dubhagan, lord of Feara-Maighe; Mac-Beatha, son of Muireadhach Claen, lord of Ciarraighe-Luachra; Domhnall, son of Diarmaid, lord of Corca-Bhaiscinn; Scannlan, son of Cathal, lord of Eoghanacht-Locha Lein; and Domhnall, son of Eimhin, son of Cainneach, great steward of Mair in Alba. The forces were afterwards routed by dint of battling,

bravery, and striking, by Maelseachlainn, from Tulcainn to Ath-cliath, against the foreigners and the Leinstermen; and there fell Maelmordha, son of Murchadh, son of Finn, King of Leinster; the son of Brogarbhan, son of Conchobhar, Tanist of Ui-Failghe; and Tuathal, son of Ugaire, royal heir of Leinster; and a countless slaughter of the Leinstermen along with them. There were also slain Dubhghall, son of Amhlaeibh, and Gillaciarain, son of Gluniairn, two tanists of the foreigners; Sichfrith, son of Loder, Earl of Innsi hOrc; Brodar, chief of the Danes of Denmark, who was the person that slew Brian. The ten hundred in armour were cut to pieces, and at the least three thousand of the
foreigners were there slain.
It was of the death of Brian and of this battle the following quatrain was composed:



    1. Thirteen years, one thousand complete, since Christ was born, not long since the date,
      Of prosperous years—accurate the enumeration—until the foreigners were slaughtered together with Brian.

Maelmuire, son of Eochaidh, successor of Patrick, proceeded with the seniors and relics to Sord-Choluim-Chille; and they carried from thence the body of
Brian, King of Ireland, and the body of Murchadh, his son, and the head of Conaing, and the head of Mothla. Maelmuire and his clergy waked the bodies with great honour and veneration; and they were interred at Ard-Macha in a new tomb.

Annals of Loch Cé

LC1014.3



10] A great assemblage of the men of Mumha, and Midhe,
11] and the South of Connacht, by Brian Boromha, son of
12] Cenneidigh, i.e. the King of Erinn, against the Foreigners
13] of Ath-cliath, and against the Lagenians, to bring them
14] under his obedience, as he had previously brought them;
15] for a mutually aggressive war kindled and arose, at that
16] time, between Brian and the Foreigners of Ath-cliath and
17] the Lagenians. Brian took up a position in Cluain-tarbh
18] in old Magh-Ealta, to the north of Ath-cliath. To attack
19] Ath-cliath on this occasion was not to attack a 'neglected
20] breach.' It was like putting a hand into a griffin's nest
21] to assail it. It woulld not be evading conflict, but seeking
22] great battles and contests, to advance against the multitude
23] that had then arrived there; for the choicest brave


1] men and heroes of the island of Britain had arrived
2] there, from Caer-Eabhrog, and from Caer-Eighist, and
3] from Caer-Goniath. There arrived there, still, the principal
4] kings and chieftans, knights and warriors, champions
5] of valour and brave men of the north of the world, both
6] Black Lochlonnachs and Fair Lochlonnachs, in the
7] following and friendship of the Foreigners, until they
8] were in Ath-cliath, with the son of Amhlaibh, offering
9] war and battle to the Gaeidhel. Thither came Siograd
10] Finn, and Siograd Donn, two sons of Lothar, Jarl of
11] Innsi-hOrc, accompanied by the armies of Innsi-hOrc.
12] Thither came, moreover, great hosts from Innsi-Gall, and
13] from Manainn, and from the Renna, and from the Britons,
14] and from the Flemings. There arrived there also Brodar,
15] i.e. the Jarl of Caer-Eabhrog, with very great hosts, and
16] Uithir the Black, i.e. the warrior of Caer- Eighist, and
17] Grisine, a knight of the Flemings, and Greisiam from the Normans.
18] There arrived there, likewise, a thousand bold,
19] brave, powerful heroes of the black Danars, with shields
20] and targets, and with many corslets, from Thafinn. The
21] great armies and famous young bands of Fine-Gall were
22] also there, and the merchants who had come from the
23] lands of France, and from the Saxons, and from Britain,
24] and from the Romans. There arrived there, moreover,
25] Maelmordha, son of Murchadh, son of Finn, i.e. the chief
26] king of the province of Laighen, with the kings, and
27] chieftains, and brave men of Laighen, with youths and
28] servants accompanying them in the same multitude.


29] Great,indeed, was the multitude and assemblage that
30] came thither. Warlike and haughty was the uprising they


1] made, viz.:—the warriors and champions of the Foreigners,
2] and of the Gaeidhel of Laighen, against the battalions of the
3] men of Mumha, and to ward off from them the oppression of
4] Brian Boromha. The muster of the Danars was, therefore,
5] six great battalions, i.e, one battalion guarding the fortress
6] within, and five battalions contending against the
7] Gaeidhel.


8] Brian, however, assembled neither host nor multitude
9] against this great army of the west of the world, and of
10] Foreigners, but the men of Mumha alone, and Maelshechlainn
11] with the men of Midhe; for there came not to him the
12] Ulidians, nor the Airghialla; nor the Cenel-Eoghain,
13] nor the Cenel-Conaill; nor the men of Connacht, save the Hi-Maine,
14] and Hi-Fiachrach, and Cenel-Oedha; for goodwill
15] existed not then between Brian and Tadhg-an-eichghil,
16] son of Cathal, son of Conchobhar, king of Connacht;
17] and hence it was that Tadhg refused to go with Brian to
18] that battle of Cluain-tarbh.

19] Moreover, Indeirghe, son of Uradhan, i.e. Brian's orderly-servant,
20] saw in a vision, the night before the battle, a
21] synod of many clerics, as he thought, coming towards the
22] camp, singing psalms and reading aloud; and Indeirghe
23] asked who the clerics were. ‘That is Senan, son of Gerrchinn’,
24] said the clerics. ‘What has brought him hither
25] from his own church?’ asked Indeirghe. ‘Debts that are
26] due to him from Brian’, replied the cleric, ‘and it is to


1] demand them he has come here’. ‘They would be paid
2] to him at his house’, said Indeirghe, ‘even though he
3] had not come here’. ‘To-morrow the time for paying
4] them to Senan arrives’, said the cleric, ‘and they must
5] be paid’. They afterwards departed from him. Indeirghe
6] told Brian, moreover, the vision that he had seen, and his
7] Brian's mind was the worse for hearing it.


8] Diarmaid Ua Corcrain, i.e. the orderly-man of Domhnall,
9] son of Diarmaid, and who had been at the killing
10] of the Foreigners in Inis-Cathaigh, saw the same vision,
11] on the night of Easter Friday, for Brian; and
12] thirty-seven years before that Friday night in which Brian was slain
13] this vision was seen.

14] Oebhinn, daughter of Donn-Oilen, came a short time
15] before nocturns on that night, from the Sidh of Craigliath,
16] to converse with Brian, and told him that he
17] would fall on the morrow. Brian enquired of her which
18] of his sons would be king after him, and how many of them
19] would be slain in the battle along with himself.
20] ‘The first son whom thou shalt see shall be king after
21] thee,’ said she. Wherefore it was that Brian sent for
22] Murchadh, in order that he might come to speak with him
23] before all, ere the multitude would arrive. Murchadh
24] came not until he put on his garment. Then it was that
25] Donnchadh heard the voice of Brian, conversing with his
26] Ordlerly-servant, and he waited not to put on all his
27] clothes, but came quickly and placed his hand on the post
28] of the bed in which Brian was, in his tent, and asked
29] Brian what he should do, whether he should go on the


1] foraging excursions, or remain in the camp. Brian said,
2] however, when he recognized Donnnchadh's voice, for he
3] liked not his being the first to come to him
, ‘I care not
4] what thou doest,’ said he, ‘as it was not for thee I was
5] seeking’ Donnchadh, moreover, left the tent after that,
6] in anger, and Murchadh met him in the door of the tent,
7] and neither of them saluted the other.


8] When Murchadh, also, came and was conversing with
9] Brian, Brian said to him: ‘go to thy bed’, said he, ‘until
10] the day comes, and that which I should wish, God has not
11] permitted to thee.’ All evil omens were thus crowding
12] upon them until the morning of the day came with its full
13] brightness, i.e. Easter Friday. It was then that a brave,
14] noble battle was fought between them on both sides,
15] for which no equal was found in Erinn. The Foreigners
16] and Lagenians were first defeated and entirely routed, in
17] quo bello cecidit ex adversa caterva Gallorum, Maelmordha,
18] son of Murchadh, chief king of Laighen, and
19] Domhnall, son of Ferghal, king of the Fortuatha, and
20] Brogarbhan, son of Conchobhar, king of Uí-Failghe.
21] Cecidit vero a Gallis, Dubhgall, son of Amhlaibh, and
22] Sighrud, son of Lothar, Jarl of Insi-hOrc, and Gillaciarain,
23] son of Gluniarainn, royal heir of the Foreigners; Uithir
24] the Black, and Suairtghair, and Donnchadh, grandson of
25] hErulbh, and Grisine, and Luimne, and Amhlaibh, son of
26] Lagmann, and Brodar, i.e. the captain of the Lochlann
27] fleet, who slew Brian
; and six thousand, either by killing
28] or drowning
. There fell there, also, in the mutual
29] wounding of that battle, of the Gaeidhel, Brian, son of
30] Cenneidigh, son of Lorcan, supreme king of the Gaeidhel
31] of Erinn, and of the Foreigners of Britain, and the
32] Augustus of the whole north-west of Europe, and his son,
p.13


1] i.e. Murchadh, and his son, viz. Toirrdhelbhach, son of
2] Murchadh; and Conaing, son of Donncuan, son of Cenneidigh,
3] royal heir of Mumha; and Mothla, son of Domhnall,
4] son of Faelan, king of the Deisi-Mumhan; and Eochaidh,
5] son of Dunadhach, and Niall, son of Conn, and Cuduiligh,
6] son of Cenneidigh—Brian's three guards; and Tadhg, son of
7] Murchadh Ua Ceallaigh, king of Uí-Maine; Maelruanaidh
8] Ua hEidhin, king of Aighne; Geibhendach Ua Dubhagain,
9] king of Fera-Maighe; and Mac-Bethaidh, son of Muiredhach
10] Claen, king of Ciarraighe-Luachra; and Domhnall,
11] son of Diarmaid, king of Corca-Bhaiscinn; Sgannlan, son
12] of Cathal, king of Eoghanacht-Locha-Léin; and Domhnall,
13] son of Eimhin, son of Cainnech Mór, great steward
14] of Marr in Alba; et alii multi nobiles.


15] The supreme king, i.e. Brian, son of Cenneidigh, and
16] Conaing, son of Donncuan, were behind the battalions,
17] chaunting their psalms, and performing prayers, when
18] a vehement, furious, Danmarkian escaped from the battle,
19] avoiding death, until he came to the place where the king
20] was. As soon as the Danmarkian perceived the king
21] unguarded, he unsheathed his sword, and beheaded
22] the supreme king of Erinn, and he beheaded Conaing likewise;
23] and he himself fell in the mutual wounding of that
24] fight.

25] Maelmuire, son of Eochaidh, i.e. the comarb of Patrick,
26] came, truly, with seniors and, relics to Sord-Choluim-Chille,
27] and bore from thence the bodies of Brian and his
28] son Murchadh, and the head of Conaing, and the head of
29] Mothla, which he buried at Ard-Macha, in a new grave.
30] Two nights, moreover, was he, with the congregation of Patrick,
31] waking the bodies, propter honorem regis positi.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:18 pm

I 'd have been happy with Wikipedia. I still contend that the 980 battle was proabbly more significant, and that Munster wasn't in great danger, from the foreigners anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:18 pm

Chronicon Scottorum

An army was led by Brian son of Cendétigh son of Lorcán king of Ireland, and by Mael Sechnaill, king of Temair, to Áth Cliath. The foreigners of the world, such of them as were to the west of Lochlainn, gathered against Brian and Mael Sechnaill; they had a thousand men in breastplates. A fierce and bitter battle is fought between them to which no parallel has been found in these times, and there fell therein Brian son of Cendétigh, overking of Ireland and the foreigners and the Britons, in the eighty-eighth year of his age, and Murchad son of Brian, heir designate of Ireland, in the sixty-third year of his age, and Tairdelbach son of Murchad son of Brian and Conaing son of Donncuan, son of Brian's brother, and Mothla son of Domnall son of Faelán king of the Déisi of Mumu, and Eochu son of Dúnadach and Niall ua Cuinn and Cú Duiligh son of Cendétigh the three companions of Brian, and Tadc ua Cellaigh king of Uí Maine and Mael Ruanaidh ua Eidhin king of Aidhe and Gébennach son of Dubacán king of Fir Maighe and Mac Bethad son of Muiredach Claen king of Ciarraige Luachra and Domnall son of Diarmait king of Corco Baiscinn and Scanlán son of Cathal king of the Eoganacht of Loch Léin and Domnall son of Emin son of Cainnech and others. The battle was fought i.e. from the Tolcha to Áth Cliath, and the foreigners and the Laigin were put to flight by dint of battle and


conflict and valour, and there fell there Mael Mórdha son of Murchad son of Finn king of Laigin, and Tuathal grandson of Ugaire heir designate of Laigin and the son of Brogarbán son of Conchobor heir designate of Uí Failge and many others, and there fell there Dubgall son of Amlaíb and Gilla Ciaráin son of Glún Iarainn, two heirs designate of the foreigners, and Sigrit son of Lodair earl of Innsi Orc and Bruadar chief of the Danes, and it was he killed Brian, and all the thousand men in breastplates and no less than three thousand of the foreigners fell there.

And how's your middle Irish?

Leabhar Oiris

Torchair do'n leith eile do'n chath Maol Mórdha mac Murchadha, Laighean, & Brogharbán mac Conchubhair, Ó bh-Failghe, & Baodhán mac Dúnlaing, Iarthair Liffe, & aon chéad déag & fiche do Laighnibh maille riu. Do marbhadh do Lochlannaibh ann Conmhaol & Carolus & Anradh mac Elbric, trí meic rígh Lochlann, & Sitric mac Lodair, iarla Innsi h-Orc, & Brodar Caire Aibhroc, Plaid & Conmhaol, dá chathmhilidh Lochlannach, & Oitir Dubh, & Gilla Ciaráin mac Glúin Iarainn, & Grisin, & Lumín, & Suagair, & Amhlaobh mac Laighmainn, & Dubhghall mac Amhlaoibh, & Cuarán, & seacht & trí fichid céad do Ghallaibh umpa, & do leanadh an mhaidm orra go dorus an dúnaidh.

Seven and three twenty hundreds. That's 6,007 by my reckoning. Interestingly, there seems to be two traditions around the numbers who fell.

I would like to compare the account between the two battles. Naturally one could assume that the reason for this was Cogad Gaedhel re Gallaibh which used the victory as propaganda, but many of the sources I list above predate this, therefore that cannot be assumed to be the reason. The main reason why it was given more attention, was because of the numbers involved, the result, and no doubt because it caused the downfall of Uí Bhriain, and the subsequent weakness of Munster for the next 50 years.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:07 pm

I never questioning the numbers you gave, I was justed wondering is all. My middle Irish is about on-par with my Swahili, do you have any records from Mombasa? Surely such a momentous battle would have been recorded down there.

I don't have your knowledge of sources, but you are aware that they are not neccessarily unbiased either. All those references to the Augustus of the whole of Western Euorope (are they saying what I think they're saying?) are a bit off-putting. Anfd they all seem to come from the same sourse, the repeated reference to breastshields. And can you explain why they thought Máel Sechnaill fought too?

If Munster was so weak for fifty years then why didn't any other foreigners attack it? Were they all wiped out? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:56 pm

Nice working of the sources there! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:11 pm

905 wrote:
I never questioning the numbers you gave, I was justed wondering is all. My middle Irish is about on-par with my Swahili, do you have any records from Mombasa? Surely such a momentous battle would have been recorded down there.

Not in Mombasa, but it is recorded in Njall's Saga which is of course Norwegian. So obviously the Norse saw it as momentous too.

Quote :

I don't have your knowledge of sources, but you are aware that they are not neccessarily unbiased either. All those references to the Augustus of the whole of Western Euorope (are they saying what I think they're saying?) are a bit off-putting. Anfd they all seem to come from the same sourse, the repeated reference to breastshields. And can you explain why they thought Máel Sechnaill fought too?

Well some are definitely not. The Leabhar Oiris is certainly an Ua Briain influenced document for instance. However, I have not listed the most biased source outside that which was Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh. The other sources such as the Annals of Ulster as well as the annals of Loch Cé, need not show any bias, as they were from areas traditionally hostile to the Uí Bhriain. These were both contemporary accounts, however it seems they too saw it as a tremendous victory. The august of western europe is merely an epithet designed to praise the man, there was no indication that he had actually controlled western europe, but merely was it's best leader/general. The reference to breastshields does not mean they were from the same source, but merely how the Irish referred to these armoured warriors. Exact descriptions vary from piece to piece. As for Maelseachnaill's part in the battle, this was actually the truth. His ommission from the battle in the Cogadh was merely a propaganda device to increase Brian's dignity above Maelseachnaill's.


Quote :

If Munster was so weak for fifty years then why didn't any other foreigners attack it? Were they all wiped out? Wink

All the one's that mattered it seems. If it took Munster 50 years to recover a pre-eminent position, how long do you think it took the foreigners who actually lost the battle? Limerick became the Uí Bhriain stronghold, Corcaigh was taken over by the Meic Carthaigh, and the Uí Chennsalaig were able to subsume Wexford, whereas the Uí Bhriain and the Uí Chennsalaig struggled for control over both Dublin for the next 100 years, and Muircheartach Ua Briain was able to appoint his brother as Dux of Waterford. Clontarf prevented a potential resurgence of the ostmen, now they merely became a source of wealth and manpower for ambitious Irish kings.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:27 pm

Let's compare the battle of tara though

Annals of Ulster

The battle of Temair was won by Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall against the foreigners of Áth Cliath and the Isles, and very great slaughter was inflicted on the foreigners therein, and foreign power ejected from Ireland as a result. There fell therein Ragnall son of Amlaíb, the son of the king of the foreigners, and Conamal, son of a tributary king of the foreigners, and many others.

Annals of Inisfallen

A great battle between Mael Sechnaill and the son of Amlaíb, and a slaughter of foreigners including Ragnall, son of Ímar, at Temuir, a measuring rod being required everywhere.(Cath mór eter Máel Sechnaill & mc. Amlaib & ár n-Gall im Regnall m. Ímair oc Temraich, .i. fé ille & fé innund.)

Annals of the Four Masters

The battle of Teamhair was gained by Maelseachlainn, son of Domhnall, over the foreigners of Ath-cliath and of the Islands, and over the sons of Amhlaeibh in particular, where many were slain, together with Raghnall, son of Amhlaeibh, heir to the sovereignty of the foreigners; Conamhail, son of Gilla-Arri; and the orator of Ath-cliath; and a dreadful slaughter of the foreigners along with them. There fell also in the heat of the battle Braen, son of Murchadh, royal heir of Leinster; Conghalach, son of Flann, lord of Gaileanga, and his son, i.e. Maelan; Fiachna and Cuduilich, the two sons of Dubhlaech, two lords of Feara Tulach; and Lachtnan, lord of Mughdhorn-Maighen. After this Amhlaeibh went across the sea, and died at I-Coluim-Cille.


A great army was led by Maelseachlainn, son of Domhnall, King of Ireland, and by Eochaidh, son of Ardgar, King of Ulidia, against the foreigners of Ath-cliath; and they laid siege to them for three days and three nights, and carried thence the hostages of Ireland, and among the rest Domhnall Claen, King of Leinster, and all the hostages of the Ui-Neill. Two thousand was the number of the hostages, besides jewels and goods, and the freedom of the Ui- Neill, from the Sinainn to the sea, from tribute and exaction. It was then Maelseachlainn himself issued the famous proclamation, in which he said:— "Every one of the Gaeidhil who is in the territory of the foreigners, in servitude and bondage, let him go to his own territory in peace and happiness." This captivity was the Babylonian captivity of Ireland, until they were released by Maelseachlainn; it was indeed next to the captivity of hell.

Chronicon Scottorum

The battle of Temair won by Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall, king of Ireland, over the foreigners of Áth Cliath and the sons of Amlaíb in particular, in which many fell including Ragnall son of Amlaíb, heir designate of the foreigners, and Conamail son of Gille Aire and the spokesman of Áth Cliath and a large number besides. Bran son of Murchad, heir designate of Laigin, and Congalach son of Flann, king of Gailenga, and his son i.e. Maelán, and Fiachra and Cú Duiligh, two sons of Dublaech, two kings of Fir Tulach, and Lachtnán, king of Mugdorna Maigen, fell in the counter-attack of the battle.
A great army was led by Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall, king of Temair, and by Eochaidh son of Ardgal, king of Ulaid, to the foreigners of Áth Cliath and they besieged them for three days and three nights, and brought away the hostages of Ireland including Domnall Claen, king of Laigin, and the aitire of uí Néill as well, their full tribute from the foreigners—a hundred score cows with other valuables and treasures, with the freedom of the Uí Néill from the Sinna to the sea from tribute or tax. It is then that Mael Sechnaill proclaimed that anyone of the Irish that is in the territory of the foreigners in bondage and oppression should depart thence to his own land in peace and rejoicing. That army was the end of the Babilonian captivity of Ireland.

Now, that seems to be Ó Néill influenced propaganda, given that the annalistic accounts differ greatly in breadth depending on the viewpoint. AFM draws mainly, as it was wont to, on the chronicon scottorum, which was based in the heart of Clann Cholmáin territory during this period.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:14 pm

Poor Riadach, you have drawn the wrath of my history notes again.
riadach wrote:
it is recorded in Njall's Saga which is of course Norwegian. So obviously the Norse saw it as momentous too.
Njálssaga is considered to be just as biased as Cogad Gáedal re Gallaib. It was cetainly written in the same vein, describing the struggle as one of the Pagan overlords versus the Christian hero-king. It was not, of course, Norwegian. It was written in Old Norse, and probably came from Dublin when it was dominated by BB's descendants. Obviously.
Riadach wrote:
The Leabhar Oiris is certainly an Ua Briain influenced document for instance. However, I have not listed the most biased source outside that which was Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh. The other sources such as the Annals of Ulster as well as the annals of Loch Cé, need not show any bias, as they were from areas traditionally hostile to the Uí Bhriain.
If the annals of Ulster were influenced by Armagh then they would be as biased as the rest. Armagh'a ambitions mirrored those of Boru.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:28 pm

905 wrote:

Njálssaga is considered to be just as biased as Cogad Gáedal re Gallaib. It was cetainly written in the same vein, describing the struggle as one of the Pagan overlords versus the Christian hero-king. It was not, of course, Norwegian. It was written in Old Norse, and probably came from Dublin when it was dominated by BB's descendants. Obviously.

Now now, strange uses of the word obviously. Can you give me a reference to an account that stated that it was written in dublin, given the rest of Njall's saga is icelandic based? Most accounts say that it's view of Brian Ború and clontarf is ahistoric. This, however, would actually mean it was less likely to be composed by dublin ostmen than the reverse. The Cogadh may be propaganda material but it still manages to adhere to the overall structure of events outlined in the annals. If Njall's saga does not, then this would rule out that it was anything more than composed from a distance. Not to mention the fact that Njall's saga is dates to the 13th century, and therefore well outside the remit of Uí Bhriain dominance of the Norse cities.


Riadach wrote:
If the annals of Ulster were influenced by Armagh then they would be as biased as the rest. Armagh'a ambitions mirrored those of Boru.

Admittedly I hadn't considered the Armagh angle. I am aware that the chronicle of Ireland was composed there till 911, however I also know from experience that it had been moved to Derry. Whether this had occurred or not before 1014 is a question I cannot answer, but I accept it could be an indication of a bias. But loch cé's/annals of boyle? These were wholly Connacht based.The Chronicon Scottorum may have been under Southern Uí Néill patronage, yet it describes the battle, not Tara, as the greatest of its time. Perhaps it would be easier for the argument, if you found a source that downplayed the significance of Clontarf that claimed the battle of Tara had more importance. No such source, to my knowledge exists, therefore I find it hard to understand where this claim actually comes from. It seems to imply that there is an underlying history that none of us truly know about, which is a very uncertain opinion to posit, given we base history on sources and not vivid imagination. It would be ridiculous to assert that all the annals were biased in Brian's favour, and that those against simply didn't survive.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle of Clontarf   Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:59 pm

You started it with obviously.

You want references. You dare question my notes? Clearly you are beyond reason. Njálssaga contains the same nonsense as the CGrG about omens and demons in the air. It has the same spin on the Christian vs. Pagan overlords. It portrays Boru as a martyr.

My notes indicate (I said 'probably' before and wouldn't pretend to actually know) that Njálssaga was written in Dublin aroumnd a hundred years after the event, at the time when Muirchertach O'Brien was Dublin's overlord.

On the subject of my notes, they announce that Máel Sechnaill didn't fight in the battle, that he wisely stayed away. MS was hardly BB greatest ally and he gained the most from the battle. Boru's power was weakening so there was no need for MSto participate.

The Armagh angle isn't concrete, there is no direct link between the annals of Ulster and Armnagh's records that I know of. I know nothing about Loch Cé.

My whole position on this is based on the simple assumption that the battle that brought Dublin under Irish control for the first time was more important than the one which asserted its control over Dublin. I don't have a source but that hardly matters. History often forgets the more important events. Which massacres will be remembered of the twentieth century , the Jewish Holocaust or the larger genocides of Africa? Or which nineteenth century famines get more recognition, the Irish famine or the much larger Indian famines?

You have provided annals which recognise the importance of the Tara battle. You say they are biased. I say the Clontarf annals are often biased. Why do we expect annals to be objective? History has been based on vivid imagination before; you forget that the battle of Clontarf has always been overshadowed by its fictional counterpart with its bloodthirsty barbarians and plucky Irish.
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