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...


Swift crowned

Swift crowned

Jun 18

This year marks the 300th anniversary of Swift becoming Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral (he was installed on 13th June, 1713). The picture above is from the title page to Jonathan Swift’s Works of 1735. Beneath Swift’s feet lies a figure, probably Mr. Wood, with his brass half-pennies strewn below. Ireland kneels before Swift to thank him. The Latin inscription, from Horace,...


A Giant Among Men: Daniel O’Connell

A Giant Among Men: Daniel O’Connell

May 15

The satirical picture above (1831) from the National Portrait Gallery London depicts Daniel O’Connell approaching a (narrowed for artistic effect) Irish Channel, with Anglesey (Lord Lieutenant of Ireland) and Stanley (Chief Secretary of Ireland) attempting to restrain him by a large document headed PROCLAMATION. O’Connell holds a paper on which is written “Repeal of the...


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...


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