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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnum opus on Ireland's medieval saints, 15 Aug 2013
This review is from: A Dictionary of Irish Saints (Hardcover)
This work represents decades of research and investigation by UCC retired professor, Pádraig Ó Riain. The work consists of a wonderful array of obscure and now little-known saints of the Irish Gaelic tradition, many of whom flourished in early medieval times and whose memory come down to us only in a series of fragmented, sometimes contradictory, manuscript tracts. Notwithstanding the difficulty of interpretation of these texts, problems concerning their dating and in some cases authenticity, Ó Riain systematically elucidates the chief facts of these saints and other details that maybe reconstucted concerning their lives. The work serves as a highly useful and authoritative study of Irish saints but also draws on topographical and genealogical history as well. To this end, the work is helpful for both historians as well as local enthusiasts who wish to know more about Ireland's saints, especially obscure ones who's names may still be found adorning pilgrimage sites, ancient church sites and holy wells. Based on an alphabetical `dictionary layout' the work is easy to follow and accessible, presenting the reader with discreet `biographies' of various saints, along with other relevent details such as their genealogical connections to secular dynasties, ecclesiastical foundations and manuscripts. Ó Riain also draws on the work of the nineteenth-century Ordnance Survey, including folklore accounts of saints' names and foundations to provide the reader with an impressive study of the lives of hundreds of Irish saints who were still remembered in the country-side into modern times. Recommended for the professional historian and enthusiast alike, Ó Riain's dictionary is a must have for any serious student of Irish medieval history.
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A Dictionary of Irish Saints
A Dictionary of Irish Saints by Padraig O'Riain (Hardcover - 7 Oct 2011)
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