Independent Media Centre Ireland

Episode 3 of the Irish history podcast released

category national | history and heritage | press release author Wednesday June 23, 2010 14:44author by Irish Historyauthor email history at irishhistorypodcast dot ie

The Viking World.

Episode 3 of the series looks at the impact of the Viking world on Ireland. This saw a form of Globalisation in the 9th and 10th centuries. This increased trade and contact saw the first Africans arrive in Ireland in the 9th Century as well contact with the Byzantine Empire and Arab Caliphate.

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Comments (16 of 16)

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author by Hughpublication date Thu Jun 24, 2010 08:43author address author phone

After listening to it I don't get how Viking history qualifies to take up an entire show on something called "the Irish history podcast"

author by Engineer.publication date Mon Jun 28, 2010 08:33author address author phone

Irish seafarers transformed Europe much more than the Vikings.

Vikings seafarers were illiterate.

Irish seagoing monks were amongst the most literate people on the planet.

In 2012 Switzerland will explode in fireworks and celebration the visitation of two Irish monks.

The Swiss city of of Saint Gallen is named after one of them:
So is the Swiss Canton of Saint Gall.

Switzerland will celebrate 1600 years of the Irish arriving in less than 18 months time.

The Irish have utterly forgotten St. Gall it seems.



author by Swiss Visitor.publication date Mon Jun 28, 2010 09:13author address author phone

Fom the website:

"Another popular story about Gall has it that, at the command of the saint, a bear brought wood to feed the fire which Gall and his companions had kindled in the forest"

That bear is still on the Coat of Arms of Saint Gallen:

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Jun 28, 2010 15:47author address author phone

Hang on there E.The St Galls brought a book of Jewish folk tales to the Swiss and q.e.d. the Viking colonisations from Scandinavia through these islands and the waterways of Europe to Sicily Byzantium, Russia and back to Newfoundland amount to a hill of beans?They may have set out as barbarian pirates but they picked up a few alphabets in their travels.Lets not overblow the national pride.
And as for Switzerland, was it Paddy taught them all they know about legalised money laundering for everyone from the Rotschilds mercenary funding through Vatican black operations that make Mossad look angelic down to secreting away the Nazi loot from its victims and probably a good slice of all that suddenly disappeared Tiger wealth that sublimed into thin air?

author by Engineer.publication date Mon Jun 28, 2010 22:17author address author phone

Now Now Opus.

Blame the Greeks.

It was the Greeks who civilised the Romans who civilised the Irish who civilised the Swiss.

Maybe T'was the Irish influence which led the Swiss to be so greedy.

author by St. Gallen Resident.publication date Mon Jun 28, 2010 23:10author address author phone

Switzerland hangs on in the Alps surrounded by bullies.

Italy and France and Germany and Austria are VISIBLE from the same mountain perch in Switzerland.

The Irish helped to give us our fighting spirit.

author by Leifpublication date Mon Jun 28, 2010 23:18author address author phone

>Vikings seafarers were illiterate.

Not true. Who do you think wrote all their sagas?

author by Engineer.publication date Mon Jun 28, 2010 23:43author address author phone

The Bok of Kells was written FIVE centuries before the Icelandic Sagas.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:48author address author phone

Is a copy of a set of Palestinian folk tales dating from round the first century CE.It combines Celtic, Teutonic, Mediterranian and Near Eastern visual influences, many of whose precursors may have been brought to these islands by trading Vikings. Many of the attributes of the subject of this book have been traced back to Mesopotamian and other regional cultic beliefs. Stick to your last, Engineer, jingoistic simplifications may be self-satisfying, but generate more heat than light. The oral Norse history is at least as old as the tales from the Kells document, but literacy does not guarantee civility or ethical behaviour. Eichmann was an efficient clerk, as were the monks who copied these relics. Fortunately for those who appreciate their labours, they tended more to creative inclinations than the destructive administrator.

As for the fighting Irish spirit, its best left on the top shelf, unless excercised with a sliotar.

author by Engineer.publication date Tue Jun 29, 2010 15:43author address author phone

After Greek and Latin, Irish was the next language to be written down in Europe.

The Irish "Tain" (Handed down orally from the Iron Age) was the first piece of Northern European literature to be written down in it's original "vernacular" language.


Some English Encyclopedias say it was the Saxon tale "Beowolf" but this is not true.
(They would say that wouldn't they! Some of them would say they won the world cup if they could get away with it.)

The Scandinavian Sagas( Iron Age tales as well) were not written down until centuries later.

author by Engineer.publication date Fri Jul 02, 2010 05:32author address author phone

Our own Seamus Heaney did a wonderful translation of the Iron Age Saxon tale "Beowolf":

You can buy it on Amazon:

It is not being "jingoistic" to say that the Tain was written down more than a century before Beowolf.

It is being factual.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:20author address author phone

I find it jingoistic to classify such pre-national tribal records by modern nationalist labels.I prefer Michael Alexander's translation, but thats just personal taste. I also think Heaney is the Bono of modern Irish poets. An astute rider of the commercial and political storms, and like Bono is insipid compared to the likes of Rory Gallagher or Shane McGowan, I find Seamus less trenchant than the likes of Hartnett, or Kinsella who cut closer to the forementioned 'vernacular'.But, again, that could just be my personal vulgar tasteand allergy to the pontifications of self-appointed pundits.

author by Engineer.publication date Fri Jul 02, 2010 14:53author address author phone

"I find it jingoistic to classify such pre-national tribal records by modern nationalist labels."

Saxon is an ancient Germanic name for the Germanic tribe who invaded Britain in the sixth century.

The Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel comes from a place in Germany called Saxony.

Angela Merkel is a Saxon.

There is nothing modern about the name.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jul 02, 2010 16:10author address author phone

The reference is to your comparative methodology, E.
All these artifacts are part of a common heritage.To cheerlead that:-

'Irish seafarers transformed Europe much more than Vikings.'

'Viking seafarers were illiterate.'

'Irish seagoing monks were among the most literate people on the planet.'

and then twist and turn each point made with diversionary digressions makes me suspect a Jesuit education lurks someplace behind the chauvenist arras. I've lived, worked and travelled in Germany(and have a son born in Berlin), so hold the patronising till you have first extended a modicum of credit.You may find you will learn even more than your vast compendium already comprises if you pretend your audience is not in your lecture hall, and occasionaly question your own certitudes.Definite papal infallibility humming off your feedback. 'Our own seamus Heaney' might be surprised to find he is not Europe's, seeing as his subject was a piece of European and world literature.I consider Pablo Neruda and Jimi Hendrix equally my own, but I do not preclude an Andaman islander who feels so inclined from claiming them with the same legitimacy. Your polemical predilections are clouding your reception of non-antagonistic points.Slan.

author by Engineer.publication date Fri Jul 02, 2010 16:49author address author phone

Ask the wise man Daniel T. McCarthy in TCD.

See his website here:

Every Solar and Lunar eclipse was faithfully recorded by Irish Monks for five hundred years in the middle of the Dark Ages.

I have no interest in any religious rubbish but we should credit the hard work of the old Irish monks.
Even an atheist like myself likes the Book of Kells.

author by Engineerpublication date Fri Jul 02, 2010 17:51author address author phone

Nice pic of the Irish monk Saint Killian in Wurtzburg in Germany.

(The Sculptor assumed that he must have looked look like St. Patrick!)

Irish monks helped to found Lumieges,Auxerre,Laon,Luxeuil,Liege,Trier, Wurtzburg,Rheinau,Reichenau Salzburg,Fiesole,Lucca, Bobbio, St. Gallen. etc.

In less than two years time (2012) the Swiss city of St Gallen celebrates 1600 years.
It was founded by and named after the Irish monk Gall.

The Irish have completely forgotten this.

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