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Encyclopedia > Brian Boru
Brian Boru
High King of Ireland
A much later engraving of Brian Boru, Emperor of the Irish
Reign 10021014
Full name Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig
Predecessor Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill
Successor Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill
Father Cennétig mac Lorcáin
Mother Bé Binn ingen Murchada

Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig (926 or 941[1]23 April 1014) (known as Brian Boru in English) was High King of Ireland from 1002 to 1014. Image File history File links Brian_boru_scaled. ... Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. ... Events November 13 - English king Ethelred gives order to kill all Danes in England, leading to the St. ... Events February 14 - Pope Benedict VIII recognizes Henry of Bavaria as King of Germany July 29 - Battle of Kleidion: Basil II inflicts not only a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army, but his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly causes Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria to die of shock... Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (died 2 September 1022), sometimes called Máel Sechnaill Mór or Máel Sechnaill II, was king of Mide and High King of Ireland. ... Cennétig mac Lorcáin (died 951) was an Irish king. ... In Early Irish mythology, Bébinn was a goddess associated with birth and the sister of the river-goddess, Boann. ... Events Bohai is conquered by the Khitan Births Emperor Murakami of Japan Deaths Categories: 926 ... Events Oda the Severe becomes Archbishop of Canterbury Births Charles dOutremer son of Louis IV of France Deaths Categories: 941 ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 14 - Pope Benedict VIII recognizes Henry of Bavaria as King of Germany July 29 - Battle of Kleidion: Basil II inflicts not only a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army, but his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly causes Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria to die of shock... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Events November 13 - English king Ethelred gives order to kill all Danes in England, leading to the St. ... Events February 14 - Pope Benedict VIII recognizes Henry of Bavaria as King of Germany July 29 - Battle of Kleidion: Basil II inflicts not only a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army, but his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly causes Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria to die of shock...


Although the exact details of his birth are unknown, he was born in the mid tenth century near Killaloe (Kincora) (in modern County Clare). His father was Cennétig mac Lorcáin, King of Thomond and his mother was Bé Binn ingen Murchada, daughter of the King of West Connacht. After his brothers death he became leader of the Dál gCais, and subsequently gained control over Munster. By 1002 the reigning High King of Ireland, Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, passed his title to Brian. Boru sought to make good the title of High King in a way that previous holders had not; to make himself the actual ruler of Ireland rather than in name only. By 1011 all of the regional rulers of Ireland recognised him as their superior, this however was short lived. The following year the King of the province of Leinster with the support of the Norse king of Dublin and Viking mercenaries rebelled against Brian's authority and, although the rebel forces were decisively defeated in 1014 at the Battle of Clontarf, Boru was killed along with most of the leaders of the province of Munster. Killaloe is a town in east County Clare, Republic of Ireland, situated in the midwest of Ireland. ... Kincora was the palace of Brian Boru, situated on the summit of the hill in Killaloe, County Clare, Ireland. ... County Clare (Contae an Chláir in Irish) is in the Irish province of Munster. ... Cennétig mac Lorcáin (died 951) was an Irish king. ... Thomond (Irish: Tuadh Mumhan, meaning North Munster) sometimes called County Thomond was an ancient Kingdom of Ireland which included much of what is now County Clare and at its greatest extents included parts of the counties of Kerry, Limerick, Offaly and Tipperary. ... In Early Irish mythology, Bébinn was a goddess associated with birth and the sister of the river-goddess, Boann. ... Statistics Area: 17,713. ... The Dál gCais (or Dal Cais) were a dynastic group of related septs in located in north Munster, and who rose to political prominence in the early medieval era in Ireland. ... Statistics Area: 24,607. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (died 2 September 1022), sometimes called Máel Sechnaill Mór or Máel Sechnaill II, was king of Mide and High King of Ireland. ... Statistics Area: 19,774. ... Norse is an adjective relating things to Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden. ... For other uses, see Dublin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). ... Mercenary (disambiguation). ... Combatants Irish of Munster Irish of Leinster and Dublin Vikings Commanders Brian Boru† Máelmorda mac Murchada, Sigtrygg Strength ca. ...

Contents

Biography

Early life

Brian Boru, was likely born in 941, although some sources place his birth as early as 926. He was born near Killaloe, a town in the region of Thomond where his father, Cennétig mac Lorcáin, was king. Killaloe is a town in east County Clare, Republic of Ireland, situated in the midwest of Ireland. ... Thomond (Irish: Tuadh Mumhan, meaning North Munster) sometimes called County Thomond was an ancient Kingdom of Ireland which included much of what is now County Clare and at its greatest extents included parts of the counties of Kerry, Limerick, Offaly and Tipperary. ... Cennétig mac Lorcáin (died 951) was an Irish king. ...


When Brian's father died, the kingship of Thomond passed to his older brother, Mathgamain, and when Mathgamain was killed in 976, Brian replaced him. Subsequently he became the King of the entire kingdom of Munster. His mother Bé Binn was also killed by Vikings when he was a child. Mathgamain mac Cennétig (died 976) was king of Munster. ... Statistics Area: 24,607. ... In Early Irish mythology, Bébinn was a goddess associated with birth and the sister of the river-goddess, Boann. ... The name Viking is a loan from the native Scandinavian term for the Norse seafaring warriors who raided the coasts of Scandinavia, Europe and the British Isles from the late 8th century to the 11th century, the period of European history referred to as the Viking Age. ...


The origin of his cognomen Boru or Boruma (Tributes) is believed to relate to a crossing point on the river Shannon where a cattle-tribute was driven from his sept, the Dál gCais to the larger sept to which they owed allegiance, the Eóganachta. However, it seems more likely that he would have been given this name for being the man to reverse the tide of this tribute, and receive it back from those who his family formerly paid it to. Later legends originated to suggest that it was because he collected monies from the minor rulers of Ireland and used these to rebuild monasteries and libraries that had been destroyed during Norsemen (Viking) invasions. The cognomen (name known by in English) was originally the third name of a Roman in the Roman naming convention. ... Carrick-on-Shannon-Bridge Leitrim Shannon-Bridge Offaly The River Shannon (Irish: altenatively Sionna), Irelands longest river, divides the West of Ireland (mostly the province of Connacht) from the east and south (Leinster and most of Munster). ... Sept could mean: An abbreviation for September, written as Sept. ... The Dál gCais (or Dal Cais) were a dynastic group of related septs in located in north Munster, and who rose to political prominence in the early medieval era in Ireland. ... The Eóganachta (or Eoghanachta), by tradition founded by Eógan, king of Munster, was an Irish dynasty centred around Cashel which dominated southern Ireland from the 5th to the 16th century. ... Monastery of St. ... Julio Pérez Ferrero Library - Cúcuta, Colombia A modern-style library in Chambéry A library is a collection of information, sources, resources, and services: it is organized for use and maintained by a public body, an institution, or a private individual. ... Norseman redirects here; for the town of the same name see Norseman, Western Australia. ... For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). ...


The Dál Cais

Brian Boru belonged to the Dál Cais (or Dalcassians) who occupied a territory straddling the largest river in Ireland, the River Shannon, a territory that would later be known as the Kingdom of Thomond and today incorporates portions of counties Clare and Limerick. The Shannon served as an easy route by which raids could be made against the province of Connacht (to the river's west) and Meath (to its east). Both Brian's father, Cennétig mac Lorcáin and his older brother Mathgamain conducted river-borne raids, in which the young Boru would undoubtedly have participated. This was probably the root of Brian's appreciation for naval forces in his later career. The Dál gCais (also Dal Cais; IPA: ) were a dynastic group of related septs located in north Munster, and who rose to political prominence in the early medieval era in Ireland. ... Carrick-on-Shannon-Bridge Leitrim Shannon-Bridge Offaly The River Shannon (Irish: altenatively Sionna), Irelands longest river, divides the West of Ireland (mostly the province of Connacht) from the east and south (Leinster and most of Munster). ... Thomond (Irish: Tuadh Mumhan, meaning North Munster) sometimes called County Thomond was an ancient Kingdom of Ireland which included much of what is now County Clare and at its greatest extents included parts of the counties of Kerry, Limerick, Offaly and Tipperary. ... County Clare (Contae an Chláir in Irish) is in the Irish province of Munster. ... Statistics Province: Munster County Town: Limerick Code: LK Area: 2,686 km² Population (2006) 183,863 (including Limerick City); 131,303 (without Limerick City) Website: www. ... Statistics Area: 17,713. ... Cennétig mac Lorcáin (died 951) was an Irish king. ... Mathgamain mac Cennétig (died 976) was king of Munster. ... Naval redirects here. ...


An important influence upon the Dalcassians was the presence of the Hiberno-Norse city of Limerick on an island in the estuary of the Shannon River (known today as King's Island). Undoubtedly the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick and the Dalcassians frequently came to blows, but it's unlikely that the relationship was always one of hostility; there was probably peaceful contact as well, such as trade. The Dalcassians may have benefited from these interactions, from which they would have been exposed to Norse innovations such as superior weapons and ship design, all factors that may have contributed to their growing power. The Hiberno-Norse were a mix of Irish and Norwegians who inhabited certain settlements in Ireland in the 900s. ... For other uses, see Limerick (disambiguation). ... Kings Island is an area of Limerick City, Ireland. ...


Mathgamain

In 964, Brian Boru's older brother, Mathgamain, claimed control over the entire province of Munster by capturing the Rock of Cashel, capital of the rival Eóganacht dynasty. The Eóganacht King, Máel Muad mac Brain, organised an anti-Dalcassian alliance that included at least one other Irish ruler in Munster, and Ivar, the ruler of Limerick. At the Battle of Sulchoid a Dalcassian army led by Mathgamain and Boru decisively defeated the Hiberno-Norse army of Limerick and, following up their victory, looted and burned the city. The Dalcassian victory at Sulchoid may have led Máel Muad to decide that deception might succeed where an open contest of strength on the battlefield had failed. In 976 Mathgamain, attended what was supposed to be a peaceful meeting for reconciliation, where he was seized and murdered. It was under these unpromising circumstances that Brian, at age thirty-five, became the new leader of the Dalcassians. An old view of the Rock of Cashel from the town. ... For other uses, see Limerick (disambiguation). ...


Brian immediately set about avenging his brother's death and reinstating the control of the Dalcassians over the province of Munster. In quick succession, Brian attacked and defeated the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick, Máel Muad's Irish allies, and finally, Máel Muad himself. Boru's approach to establishing his control over the Munster demonstrated features that would become characteristic of all of his wars: he seized the initiative, defeating his enemies before they could join forces to overwhelm him, and although he was ruthless and horribly brutal by our standards, he sought reconciliation in the aftermath of victory rather than continuing hostility. After he had killed both the ruler of Limerick, Ivar, and Ivar's successor, he allowed the Hiberno-Norse in Limerick to remain in their settlement. After he had killed Máel Muad, he treated his son and successor, Cian, with great respect, giving Cian the hand of his daughter, Sadhbh in marriage. Cian remained a faithful ally for the rest of his life.


Extending authority

Having established unchallenged rule over his home Province of Munster, Brian then turned to extending his authority over the neighboring provinces of Leinster to the east and Connacht to the north. By doing so, he came into conflict with High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill whose power base was the Province of Meath. For the next fifteen years, from 982 to 997, High King Máel Sechnaill repeatedly led armies into Leinster and Munster, while Brian, like his father and brother before him, led his naval forces up the Shannon to attack Connacht and Meath on either side of the river. Brian suffered quite a few reverses in this struggle, but he appears to have learned from his setbacks. He developed a military strategy that would serve him well throughout his career; the coordinated use of forces on both land and water, including on rivers and along Ireland's coast. Brian's naval forces, which included contingents supplied by the Hiberno-Norse cities that he brought under his control, provided both indirect and direct support for his forces on land. Indirect support involved a fleet making a diversionary attack on an enemy in a location far away from where King Brian planned to strike with his army. Direct support involved naval forces acting as one arm in a strategic pincer, the army forming the other arm. Statistics Area: 19,774. ... Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (died 2 September 1022), sometimes called Máel Sechnaill Mór or Máel Sechnaill II, was king of Mide and High King of Ireland. ... Meath (An Mhí in Irish) is a county in the Republic of Ireland, the county is often informally called The Royal County. ...


In 996 Brian finally managed to control the Province of Leinster, which may have been what led Máel Sechnaill to reach a compromise with him in the following year. By recognising King Brian's authority over Leth Moga, that is, the Southern Half, which included the Provinces of Munster and Leinster (and the Hiberno-Norse cities within them), Máel Sechnaill was simply accepting the reality that confronted him and retained control over Leth Cuinn, that is, the Northern Half, which consisted of the Provinces of Meath, Connacht, and Ulster. Statistics Area: 19,774. ... Leath Cuinn (Conns Half) and Leath Moga (Mughs half) refers to an ancient division of Ireland. ... Leath Cuinn (Conns Half) and Leath Moga (Mughs half) refers to an ancient division of Ireland. ... Statistics Area: 17,713. ... This article is about the nine-county Irish province. ...


Precisely because he had submitted to Brian's authority, the King of Leinster was overthrown in 998 and replaced by Máel Morda mac Murchada. Given the circumstances under which Máel Morda had been appointed, it is not surprising that he launched an open rebellion against King Brian's authority. In response, King Brian assembled the forces of the Province of Munster with the intention of laying siege to the Hiberno-Norse city of Dublin, which was ruled by Máel Morda's ally and cousin, Sigtrygg Silkbeard. Together Máel Morda and Sigtrygg determined to meet King Brian's army in battle rather than risk a siege. Thus, in 999, the opposing armies fought the Battle of Glen Mama. The Annals all agree that this was a particularly fierce and bloody engagement, although claims that it lasted from morning until midnight, or that the combined Leinster-Dublin force lost 4,000 killed are open to question. In any case, Brian followed up his victory, as he and his brother had in the aftermath of the Battle of Sulchoid thirty-two years before, by capturing and sacking the enemy's city. Once again, however, Brian opted for reconciliation; he requested Sigtrygg to return and resume his position as ruler of Dublin, giving Sigtrygg the hand of one of his daughters in marriage, just as he had with the Eoganacht King, Cain. It may have been on this occasion that Brian married Sigtrygg's mother and Máel Morda's sister Gormflaith, the former wife of Máel Sechnaill. Sigtrygg Silkbeard Olafsson (known also as Sitric in Irish texts) was the son of King Olaf Cuaran and Gormflaith. ... A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by force or attrition, often accompanied by an assault. ... Annals (Latin Annales, from annus, a year) are a concise form of historical writing which record events chronologically, year by year. ... Looting (which derives via the Hindi lut from Sanskrit lung, to rob), sacking, plundering, or pillaging is the indiscriminate taking of goods by force as part of a military or political victory, or during a catastrophe or riot, such as during war,[1] natural disaster,[2] or rioting. ... Gormflaith was the daughter of Murchad MacFinn, King of Leinster, sister of his sucessor, Mael Mordha, and widow of Olaf Cuaran, the Viking king of Dublin and York. ...


The struggle for Ireland

King Brian made it clear that his ambitions had not been satisfied by the compromise of 997 when, in the year 1000, he led a combined Munster-Leinster-Dublin army in an attack on High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill's home Province of Meath. The struggle over who would control all of Ireland was renewed. Máel Sechnaill's most important ally was the King of Connacht, Cathal mac Conchobar mac Taidg (O'Connor), but this presented a number of problems. The Provinces of Meath and Connacht were separated by the Shannon River, which served as both a route by which King Brian's naval forces could attack the shores of either province and as a barrier to the two rulers providing mutual support for each other. Máel Sechnaill came up with an ingenious solution; two bridges would be erected across the Shannon. These bridges would serve as both obstacles preventing King Brian's fleet from traveling up the Shannon and as a means by which the armies of the Provinces of Meath and Connacht could cross over into each others kingdoms. Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (died 2 September 1022), sometimes called Máel Sechnaill Mór or Máel Sechnaill II, was king of Mide and High King of Ireland. ... The Kings of Connacht were rulers of the cóiced (variously translated as portion, fifth, province) of Connacht, which lies west of the River Shannon, Ireland. ...


The Annals state that, in the year 1002, Máel Sechnaill surrendered his title to Brian, although they do not say anything about how or why this came about. The Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh provides a story in which Brian challenges High King Máel Sechnaill to a battle at the Hill of Tara in the Province of Meath, but the High King requests a month long truce so that he can mobilise his forces, which Brian grants him. But Máel Sechnaill fails to rally the regional rulers who are nominally his subordinates by the time the deadline arrives, and he is forced to surrender his title to Brian. This explanation is hardly credible, given Brian's style of engaging in war; if he had found his opponent at a disadvantage he would certainly have taken full advantage of it rather than allowing his enemy the time to even the odds. Conversely, it is hard to believe, given the length and intensity of the struggle between Máel Sechnaill and Brian, that the High King would surrender his title without a fight. The War of the Irish with the Foreigners (Irish: Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib) is a two-part medieval Irish chronicle that claims to record the depredations of the Vikings in Ireland and the Irish king Brian Borus great war against them. ... The Hill of Tara (Irish Teamhair na Rí, Hill of the Kings), located near the River Boyne, is a long, low limestone ridge that runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin in County Meath, Leinster, Ireland. ...


Where that fight may have occurred and what the particular circumstances were surrounding it we may never know. What is certain is that in 1002 Brian Boru became the new High King of Ireland.


Unlike some who had previously held the title, Brian intended to be High King in more than name only. To accomplish this he needed to impose his will upon the regional rulers of the only Province that did not already recognise his authority, Ulster. Ulster's geography presented a formidable challenge; there were three main routes by which an invading army could enter the Province, and all three favored the defenders. Brian first had to find a means of getting through or around these defensive 'choke points', and then he had to subdue the fiercely independent regional Kings of Ulster. It took Brian ten years of campaigning to achieve his goal which, considering he could and did call on all of the military forces of the rest of Ireland, indicates how formidable the Kings of Ulster were. Once again, it was his coordinated use of forces on land and at sea that allowed Brian to triumph; while the rulers of Ulster could bring the advance of Brian's army to a halt, they could not prevent his fleet from attacking the shores of their kingdoms. But gaining entry to the Province of Ulster brought him only halfway to his goal. Brian systematically defeated each of the regional rulers who defied him, forcing them to recognise him as their overlord. This article is about the nine-county Irish province. ... In military strategy, a choke point (or chokepoint) is a geographical feature (such as a valley or defile) which forces an army to go into a narrower formation (greatly decreasing combat power) in order to pass through it. ...


Emperor of the Irish

It was during this process that Brian also pursued an alternate means of consolidating his control, not merely over the Province of Ulster, but over Ireland as a whole. In contrast to its structure elsewhere, the Christian Church in Ireland was centered, not around the bishops of diocese and archbishops of archdiocese, but rather around monasteries headed by powerful abbots who were members of the royal dynasties of the lands in which their monasteries resided. Among the most important monasteries was Armagh, located in the Province of Ulster. It is recorded in the 'Book of Armagh' that, in the year 1005, Brian donated twenty-two ounces of gold to the monastery and declared that Armagh was the religious capital of Ireland to which all other monasteries should send the funds they collected. This was a clever move, for the supremacy of the monastery of Armagh would last only so long as Brian remained the High King. Therefore, it was in the interest of Armagh to support Brian with all their wealth and power. It is also interesting that Brian is not referred to in the passage from the 'Book of Armagh' as the 'Ard Ri' – that is, High-King – but rather he is declared "Emperatus Hibernium," or "Emperor of the Irish." Pope Pius XI blesses Bishop Stephen Alencastre as fifth Apostolic Vicar of the Hawaiian Islands in a Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace window. ... In some Christian churches, the diocese is an administrative territorial unit governed by a bishop, sometimes also referred to as a bishopric or episcopal see, though more often the term episcopal see means the office held by the bishop. ... Monastery of St. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 54. ... A page of text from the Book of Armagh. ...


Though it is only speculation, it has been suggested that Brian and the Church in Ireland were together seeking to establish a new form of kingship in Ireland, one that was modelled after the kingships of England and France, in which there were no lesser ranks of regional Kings – simply one King who had (or sought to have) power over all. In any case, whether as High King or Emperor, by 1011 all of the regional rulers in Ireland acknowledged Brian Boru's authority. Unfortunately, no sooner had this been achieved than it was lost again. For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ...


Máel Mórda mac Murchada of Leinster had only accepted Brian's authority grudgingly and in 1012 rose in rebellion. The Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh relates a story in which one of Brian's sons insults Máel Morda, which leads him to declare his independence from Brian's authority. Whatever the actual reason was, Máel Morda sought allies with which to defy the High-King. He found one in a regional ruler in Ulster who had only recently submitted to Brian. Together they attacked the Province of Meath, where the former High King Máel Sechnaill sought Brian's help to defend his Kingdom. In 1013 High King Brian led a force from his own Province of Munster and from southern Connacht into Leinster; a detachment under his son, Murchad, ravaged the southern half of the Province of Leinster for three months. The forces under Murchad and Brian were reunited on 9 September outside the walls of Dublin. The city was blockaded, but it was the High King's army that ran out of supplies first, so that Brian was forced to abandon the siege and return to Munster around the time of Christmas. Máel Mórda mac Murchada (died 23 April 1014) was King of Leinster. ... The War of the Irish with the Foreigners (Irish: Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib) is a two-part medieval Irish chronicle that claims to record the depredations of the Vikings in Ireland and the Irish king Brian Borus great war against them. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ...


Máel Morda may have hoped that by defying Brian, he could enlist the aid of all the other regional rulers Brian had forced to submit to him. If so, he must have been sorely disappointed; while the entire Province of Ulster and most of the Province of Connacht failed to provide the High King with troops, they did not, with the exception of a single ruler in Ulster, provide support for Máel Morda either. His inability to obtain troops from any rulers in Ireland, along with his awareness that he would need them when the High King returned in 1014, may explain why Máel Morda sought to obtain troops from rulers outside of Ireland. He instructed his subordinate and cousin, Sigtrygg, the ruler of Dublin, to travel overseas to enlist aid.


Sigtrygg sailed to Orkney Island, and on his return stopped at the Isle of Man. These islands had been seized by the Vikings long before and the Hiberno-Norse had close ties with Orkney and the Isle of Man. There was even a precedent for employing Norsemen from the Isles; they had been used by Sigtrygg's father, Olaf Cuaran, in 980, and by Sigtrygg himself in 990. Their incentive was loot, not land. Contrary to the assertions made in the Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh, this was not an attempt by the Vikings to reconquer Ireland. All of the Norsemen, both the Norse-Gaels of Dublin and the Norsemen from the Isles, were in the service of Máel Morda. It should also be remembered that the High King had 'Vikings' in his army as well; mainly the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick (and probably those of Waterford, Wexford, and Cork as well), but also, according to some sources, a rival gang of Norse mercenaries from the Isle of Man. ... Location Geography Area Ranked 16th  - Total 990 km²  - % Water  ? Admin HQ Kirkwall ISO 3166-2 GB-ORK ONS code 00RA Demographics Population Ranked 32nd  - Total (2006) 19,800  - Density 20 / km² Scottish Gaelic  - Total () {{{Scottish council Gaelic Speakers}}} Politics Orkney Islands Council http://www. ... Coin minted by Olaf Cuaran as King of Dublin, c. ... Loot has several meanings: Loot is a stage play by Joe Orton; see loot (play). ... The Norse-Gaels were a people who dominated much of the Irish Sea region and western Scotland for a large part of the Middle Ages, whose aristocracy were mainly of Scandinavian origin, but as a whole exhibited a great deal of Gaelic and Norse cultural syncretism. ...


Essentially this could be characterised as an Irish civil war in which foreigners participated as minor players.


Along with whatever troops he obtained from abroad, the forces that High King Brian mustered included the troops of his home Province of Munster, those of Southern Connacht, and the men of the Province of Meath, the latter commanded by his old rival Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill. He may have outnumbered Máel Morda's army, since Brian felt secure enough to dispatch a mounted detachment under the command of his youngest son, Donnchad, to raid southern Leinster, presumably hoping to force Máel Morda to release his contingents from there to return to defend their homes. Unfortunately for the High King, if he had had a superiority in numbers it was soon lost. A disagreement with the King of Meath resulted in Máel Sechnaill withdrawing his support (Brian sent a messenger to find Donnchad and ask him to return with his detachment, but the call for help came too late). To compound his problems, the Norse contingents, led by Sigurd Hlodvirsson, Earl of Orkney and Brodir of the Isle of Man, arrived on Palm Sunday, the 18 April. The battle would occur five days later, on Good Friday. Earl Sigurd Hlodvirsson (Sigurd the Stout) was the 14th Jarl of the Orkneys and a key figure in the Battle of Clontarf. ... Earl of Orkney - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Bróðir and Óspak of Man were two Danes mentioned in the 13th century Njals Saga and the 12th century Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh as key leaders in the Battle of Clontarf. ... For the book by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Good Friday is the Friday before Easter (Easter always falls on a Sunday). ...


The fighting took place just north of the city of Dublin, at Clontarf (now a prosperous suburb). It may well be that the two sides were evenly matched, as all of the accounts state that the Battle of Clontarf lasted all day. Although this may be an exaggeration, it does suggest that it was a long, drawn-out fight. WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 53. ... Combatants Irish of Munster Irish of Leinster and Dublin Vikings Commanders Brian Boru† Máelmorda mac Murchada, Sigtrygg Strength ca. ...


There are many legends concerning how Brian was killed, from dying in a heroic man-to-man combat to being killed by the fleeing Viking mercenary Brodir while praying in his tent. He is said to be buried in the grounds of St. Patrick's Cathedral in the city of Armagh (currently Church of Ireland). Legend dictates he is buried at the north end of the church. Bróðir and Óspak of Man were two Danes mentioned in the 13th century Njals Saga and the 12th century Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh as key leaders in the Battle of Clontarf. ... St. ... The Church of Ireland (Irish: ) is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion, operating seamlessly across the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. ...


Historical view

The popular image of Boru - as a ruler who managed to unify the regional leaders of Ireland so as to to free the land from a 'Danish' (Viking) occupation - originates from the powerful influence of a work of 12th century propaganda, Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh (The War of the Irish with the Foreigners) in which Boru takes the leading role. This work is thought to have been commissioned by Boru's great-grandson, Muirchertach Ua Briain as a means of justifying the Ua Briain (O'Brien) claim to the High-Kingship, a title upon which the Ui Neill had had a monopoly. For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). ... The War of the Irish with the Foreigners (Irish: Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib) is a two-part medieval Irish chronicle that claims to record the depredations of the Vikings in Ireland and the Irish king Brian Borus great war against them. ... Muircheartach Ua Briain was a high king of Ireland (1101-1118 AD). ...


The influence of this work, on both scholarly and popular authors, cannot be exaggerated. Up until the 1970s most scholarly writing concerning the Vikings' activities in Ireland, as well as the career of Brian Boru, accepted the claims of Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh at face value. Most popular authors, though often relying on older books as source material, continue to perpetuate a mythical version of Boru's career.


Boru did not free Ireland from a Norse (Viking) occupation simply because it was never conquered by the Vikings. In the last decade of the 8th century, Norse raiders began attacking targets in Ireland and, beginning in the mid-9th century, these raiders established the fortified camps that later grew into Ireland's first cities: Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, and Cork. Within only a few generations, the Norse citizens of these cities had converted to Christianity, inter-married with the Irish, and often adopted the Irish language, dress and customs; thus becoming what historians refer to as the 'Hiberno-Norse'. Such Hiberno-Norse cities were fully integrated into the political scene in Ireland, long before the birth of Brian Boru. They often suffered attacks from Irish rulers, and made alliances with others, though ultimately came under the control of the kings of the Provinces of Meath, Leinster, or Munster, who chose those among Hiberno-Norse who would rule the cities, subservient to their loyal subordinates. Rather than conquering Ireland, the Vikings, who initially attacked and subsequently settled in Ireland were, in fact, assimilated by the Irish. For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Dublin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Limerick (disambiguation). ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: , Irish Grid Reference S604123 Statistics Province: Munster County: Area: 41. ... This article is about the Irish town. ... This article is about the city in the Republic of Ireland. ... This article is about the modern Goidelic language. ... The Hiberno-Norse were a mix of Irish and Norwegians who inhabited certain settlements in Ireland in the 900s. ... Meath (An Mhí in Irish) is a county in the Republic of Ireland, the county is often informally called The Royal County. ... Statistics Area: 19,774. ... Statistics Area: 24,607. ...


Marriages

Brian was married four times:

  • First to Mór. She was the mother of Murchad, who was slain with Brian at Clontarf.
  • Secondly to Echrad. She was mother of his successor Tadc.
  • Thirdly to Gormflaith. She is the best known of his wives and said to be the most beautiful. She was the daughter of Murchad mac Finn, King of Leinster, sister of Máel Morda and also widow of Olaf Cuaran, the Viking king of Dublin and York. She was the mother of Donnchad, who succeeded Brian as King of Munster. She was said to be his true love, having mistakeningly challenged his authority one too many times, they divorced. Though she is said to be the cause of his death, she was also said to be the one to mourn him the most.
  • Fourthly to Dub Choblaig. She was daughter of the King of Connacht.

WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 53. ... Gormflaith was the daughter of Murchad MacFinn, King of Leinster, sister of his sucessor, Mael Mordha, and widow of Olaf Cuaran, the Viking king of Dublin and York. ... Coin minted by Olaf Cuaran as King of Dublin, c. ...

Cultural heritage

OBrien is a common surname of Irish origin. ... A dynasty is a family or extended family which retains political power across generations, or more generally, any organization which extends dominance in its field even as its particular members change. ... The Chief of the Name is the recognized head of a family or clan. ...

In popular culture

Celtic Metal band, Cruachan has written many songs involving the Viking raids on Ireland and the Celts' triumph over the Vikings. One of which, "Ard Ri Na Heireann" (Translation: the High King of Ireland) is directly about Boru. The band also featured an instrumental song titled "Brian Boru" It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Folk Metal. ... Cruachan is an Irish Celtic metal band founded in 1992 by Keith Fay after the end of Minas Tirith which existed since 1989. ...


Morgan Llywelyn has written a novelization of Brian Boru's life called simply Lion of Ireland. The sequel, Pride of Lions, tells the story of his sons, Donough and Teigue, as they vie for his crown. Morgan Llywelyn is an American-born Irish author of historical fantasy, historical fiction, and historical non-fiction. ...


In "Strapping Young Lads" by Brian Dunning, Brunnhilde claimed to have killed Brian Boru in single combat, and "torn his still-beating heart from his breast."


Limerick band Lucky Numbers released their hit single Brian Boru in 1979.


On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Miles O'Brien claimed he was a direct descendant of Brian Boru. Space station Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9 or STDS9 or DS9 for short) is a science fiction television series produced by Paramount and set in the Star Trek universe. ... Miles OBrien Miles Edward OBrien is a character in the fictional Star Trek universe, played by Colm Meaney. ...


Trivia

  • The descendants of High King of Ireland Brian Boru were known as the Ua Brian (O'Brien) clan, hence the surnames O'Brien, O'Brian, Ó Briain, etc. "O" was originally Ó which in turn came from Ua (originally hUa), which means "grandson", or "descendant" of a named person. The prefix is often anglicised to O', using an English apostrophe instead of the Irish fada mark.
  • The term the Brian Boru is also used to refer to the Brian Boru harp, the national symbol of the Republic of Ireland which appears on the back of Irish euro currency (ironically, the harp also appears on the Leinster flag, even though Brian Boru was from Munster). Brian Boru's harp is also the symbol of Guinness stout.
  • The Spire of Dublin was very nearly named the Brian Boru Spire.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... The Coat of Arms of the Republic of Ireland. ... For other uses, see Euro (disambiguation). ... Statistics Area: 19,774. ... Statistics Area: 24,607. ... Guinness logo Guinness is Good for You — Irish language advertisement. ... Looking south along OConnell Street at night: the Spires tip is illuminated. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Various sources cite either 941 or 926 as Brian Boru's year of birth. Since the latter date would make him 88 when he was still acting as a general in 1014, 941 is considered to be more likely.

Sources

Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Brian.

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The Annals of Ulster are a chronicle of medieval Ireland. ... The War of the Irish with the Foreigners (Irish: Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib) is a two-part medieval Irish chronicle that claims to record the depredations of the Vikings in Ireland and the Irish king Brian Borus great war against them. ... Brjáns saga is a hypothetical early specimen of Old Norse literature. ...

Further reading

  • O’Brien, Donough. History of the O’Briens from Brian Boroimhe, A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1945. B. T. Batsford, 1949.

See also

  • Irish kings
  • History of Ireland
  • Early Medieval Ireland 800-1166
Preceded by
Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill
High King of Ireland
1002-1014
Succeeded by
Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, restored

  Results from FactBites:
 
Brian Boru Summary (5087 words)
Brian Boru was, with his brother Mahon, prince of a tribe in Munster called the Dal Chais.
The origin of his cognomen Boru or Boruma (Tributes) is believed to relate to a crossing point on the river Shannon where a cattle-tribute was driven from his sept, the Dál gCais to the larger sept to which they owed allegiance, the Eóganachta.
In response, King Brian assembled the forces of the Province of Munster with the intention of laying siege to the Hiberno-Norse city of Dublin, which was ruled by Mael Mordha's ally and cousin, Sigtrygg Silkbeard.
Brian Boru - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3448 words)
The origin of his cognomen Boru or Boruma (Tributes) is believed to relate to a crossing point on the river Shannon where a cattle-tribute was driven from his sept, the Dal Cais to the larger sept to which they owed allegiance, the Eoganacht.
Brian Boru was from a group of people so obscure that they adopted a fictitious, but more prestigious name, the 'Dal gCais' (Dalcassians in the plural).
In response, King Brian assembled the forces of the Province of Munster with the intention of laying siege to the Hiberno-Norse city of Dublin, which was ruled by Mael Mordha's ally and cousin, Sigtrygg Silkbeard.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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