An Evaluation Of Irish Annals Essay

2447 Words Oct 31st, 2016 10 Pages
An evaluation of Irish annals as a means of understanding viking-activity in North Britain.
The nature and intensity of Scandinavian activity in North Britain, that is, what is now Scotland and its islands, is a singularly murky realm of historical study. The historical record as it pertains to this area of focus is limited largely, though not exclusively, to a smattering of annals and chronicle entries, many of which were composed outside this geographical region, and many of which are not contemporary with the events which they relay. The former is especially relevant to the Irish annals, which only occasionally digress from Hiberno-centricity. Attempts to dissect these materials are frustrated further by their almost maddeningly matter-of-fact tone marked by a decided lack of descriptive language, and their muddled ethnic nomenclature. That said, these sources can be probed so as to extract, at the very least, a broad chronological overview, and at the very most, a great deal of insight as to the character of viking-activity in North Britain, and can be studied comparatively, by which means discrepancies and controversies can more easily be untangled. In order to determine the suitability of the Irish annals in studying viking-activity in North Britain, it is necessary first to examine the suitability of the sources themselves. The Irish annals most pertinent to the study of viking-activity in North Britain are as follows: The Annals of Boyle (AB), The Annals of…

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