Patrick and a question of identity

Patrick and a question of identity

Mar 17

Last year Vox Hiberionacum published two posts on the historical Patrick and the voicing of early Irish identity: one relating to classical and early medieval terms used by outsiders and a sequel on terms used in Patrick’s own writings. In brief, Patrick used the term Scotti, which had with negative connotations, but mainly to refer to the pagan Irish. The converts he referred to as...


Biography: Peter of Ireland

Biography: Peter of Ireland

Jul 05

The first biographies of Thomas Aquinas, the immensely influential philosopher and theologian, were written about forty years after his death. In the first (by William of Tocco) it is said that Aquinas was educated at Naples in grammar and logic by Master Martin and in natural philosophy by “Petrus de Ibernia” ie. Peter of Ireland. In the second (by Peter Calo), Aquinas is said to...


New Avatar

New Avatar

Apr 09

As you can see the avatar has been changed. The new image is of a salmon leaping so that it grasps its own tail. The salmon was a symbol of wisdom and knowledge in Irish myth. The Fiannaidheacht (Fenian cycle of stories) include a tale where Fionn mac Cumhaill (anglicised to Finn McCool) was set by his master, the druid Finnegas to catch the salmon of knowledge who lived in a pool on the Boyne....


Medieval snap; or The necessity of martyrs

Medieval snap; or The necessity of martyrs

Apr 03

An early horse meat scandal in Ireland (via “Topography”) A look at the history of Irish philosophy shows that a rather high proportion of our well known philosophers worked abroad. But we do know that bishops capable of debate were around before John Toland aggravated Bishops Edward Synge and William King. Gerald of Wales (Giraldus Cambrensis) came to Ireland to visit his Barry...


Borges on Irish Philosophy

Borges on Irish Philosophy

Mar 17

I was intrigued by this quotes from Jorge-Luis Borges in Richard Kearney’s Post-Nationalist Ireland. My father introduced me to Berkeley’s philosophy at the age of ten. Before I was even able to read or write properly he taught me to think. He was a professor of psychology and every day after dinner he would give me a philosophy lesson. I remember very well how he first introduced me to...


We Irish think otherwise: The Irish Enlightenment

We Irish think otherwise: The Irish Enlightenment

Mar 17

I had never heard of the Irish Enlightenment before last week. It makes sense that there was one but I never heard of it. Here is a brief sketch of the philosophical struggle that went on in Ireland over the ideas of the Enlightenment. It is based heavily on part II of David Berman’s Berkeley and Irish Philosophy. (By the way, “We Irish think otherwise” is a quote from...


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