By P. W. Joyce
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Additional info for A social history of ancient Ireland
A vast proportion of the ancient books of Ireland were destroyed by the Danes in the ninth and tenth centuries, and among them, no doubt, numerous saints : original Memoirs of so that the later biographers had to depend very verbal tradition. These compilers constructed much on under great difficulties, collecting their materials from remnants of written records in the several monasteries, from the scanty entries in old their narratives as best they could, Annals, Genealogies, and other such documents, and largely from oral tradition, the most uncertain source of all.
Strabo I make little use of the writings of these authors, there is no need to notice them further here. Sometimes, however, passages in the works of foreign writers, when they had opportunities of coming at facts, and leave records of what they knew, afford valuable corroboration of Irish records, of which Bede's account of the students from Britain residing in Ireland, and Ethicus's mention oi * A brief but useful collection of Greek and Roman writers' stories about Ireland, compiled by John O'Donovan, will be found in the Ulst.
Island Monastery founded by St. Camin (died 653). Here was one of the Munst^r Colleges, where many distinguished men were educated. From Kilk. Archaeol. , 1889; made page 162 : Wakeman. ) — These everlasting jars and conflicts not more common in Ireland than in England though and Scotland brought untold miseries on the people, and were the greatest obstacle to progress. Sometimes great battles were fought, on which hung the fate of the nation, inquiry. — we have seen contested in Ireland within the two or three hundred years.
A social history of ancient Ireland by P. W. Joyce