Aon Amharc ar Éirinn: Gaelic Families and their Manuscripts Bernadette Cunningham

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Aon Amharc ar Éirinn: Gaelic Families and their Manuscripts  by  Bernadette Cunningham

Aon Amharc ar Éirinn: Gaelic Families and their Manuscripts by Bernadette Cunningham
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Many of the late medieval and early modern Irish manuscripts now preserved in the collections of the Royal Irish Academy were long associated with particular learned families in Gaelic Ireland. The scholars who compiled these manuscripts, either forMoreMany of the late medieval and early modern Irish manuscripts now preserved in the collections of the Royal Irish Academy were long associated with particular learned families in Gaelic Ireland.

The scholars who compiled these manuscripts, either for their own use or for particular patrons, produced fascinating cultural artefacts that are the key to understanding Gaelic scholarship and culture in the past. The manuscripts range across the full spectrum of medieval scholarship, with examples surviving of the work of members of the Gaelic learned class who specialised in law, medicine, history and poetry. Many of these same scholars also transcribed religious poems and texts, religious belief being integral to their world.

Some of the most important manuscripts such as the Book of Ballymote, Book of Lecan, and Book of Uí Mhaine are miscellanies, their contents reflecting many varied strands of medieval Gaelic learning.Behind every manuscript in the Academy collection lie the very real people from the past, the scribes, compilers and patrons of those manuscripts with all their varied interests, ambitions, and their particular view of the world and their place in it. The manuscripts in our collection are the principal tools for understanding the world of those scribes, scholars, patrons, keepers and readers of manuscripts, the leading families of medieval Ireland.The learned class formed part of the court of the native elite and they were accorded prominence in Irish society and were rewarded with hereditary tenure of land and other forms of wealth in return for their services.

They maintained important schools of learning, where students were trained and manuscripts were copied. Many of them retained their privileged status down to the end of the sixteenth century.



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