Irish Nationality

Irish Nationality
Catalog # SKU3315
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Alice Stopford Green
ISBN 10: 1610336992
ISBN 13: 9781610336994


Irish Nationality

Alice Stopford Green

Ireland lies the last outpost of Europe against the vast flood of the Atlantic Ocean; unlike all other islands it is circled round with mountains, whose precipitous cliffs rising sheer above the water stand as bulwarks thrown up against the immeasurable sea.

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It is commonly supposed that the fortunes of the island and its civilisation must by nature hang on those of England. Neither history nor geography allows this theory. The life of the two countries was widely separated. Great Britain lay turned to the east; her harbours opened to the sunrising, and her first traffic was across the narrow waters of the Channel and the German Sea. But Ireland had another aspect; her natural harbours swelled with the waves of the Atlantic, her outlook was over the ocean, and long before history begins her sailors braved the perils of the Gaulish sea. The peoples of Britain, Celts and English, came to her from the opposite lowland coasts; the people of Ireland crossed a wider ocean-track, from northern France to the shores of the Bay of Biscay. The two islands had a different history; their trade-routes were not the same; they lived apart, and developed apart their civilisations.

We do not know when the Gaels first entered Ireland, coming according to ancient Irish legends across the Gaulish sea. One invasion followed another, and an old Irish tract gives the definite Gaelic monarchy as beginning in the fourth century B.C. They drove the earlier peoples, the Iberians, from the stupendous stone forts and earthen entrenchments that guarded cliffs and mountain passes. The name of Erin recalls the ancient inhabitants, who lived on under the new rulers, more in number than their conquerors. The Gaels gave their language and their organisation to the country, while many customs and traditions of the older race lingered on and penetrated the new people.

Over a thousand years of undisturbed life lay before the Gaels, from about 300 B.C. to 800 A.D. The Roman Empire which overran Great Britain left Ireland outside it. The barbarians who swept over the provinces of the empire and reached to the great Roman Wall never crossed the Irish Sea.

Out of the grouping of the tribes there emerged a division of the island into districts made up of many peoples. Each of the provinces later known as Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connacht had its stretch of seaboard and harbours, its lakes and rivers for fishing, its mountain strongholds, its hill pastures, and its share of the rich central plain, where the cattle from the mountains "used to go in their running crowds to the smooth plains of the province, towards their sheds and their full cattle-fields." All met in the middle of the island, at the Hill of Usnech, where the Stone of Division still stands. There the high-king held his court, as the chief lord in the confederation of the many states. The rich lands of Meath were the high-king's domain.

212 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover
ISBN-10: 1610336992
ISBN-13: 9781610336994

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