Tomrair mac Ailchi, or Thormod/Thorir Helgason, was the Viking jarl and prince who reestablished the preexisting small Norse base or settlement at Limerick as a powerful kingdom in 922 overnight when he is recorded arriving there with a huge fleet from an unknown place of departure. His ancestry is uncertain but he evidently did not belong to the Uí Ímair dynasty who only a few years before had reestablished themselves in the Kingdom of Dublin, of which Tomrair, the first King of Limerick, would immediately make himself the chief rival.
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced by duke (hertig/hertug/hertog). In later medieval Britain, it became the equivalent of the continental count. However, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could also mean a sovereign prince. For example, the rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway had the title of jarl and in many cases they had no less power than their neighbours who had the title of king. Alternative names for the rank equivalent to "earl/count" in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era.
A prince is a male ruler ranked below a king and above a duke or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. Prince is also a title of nobility, often hereditary, in some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess. The English word derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun princeps, from primus (first) and capio, meaning "the chief, most distinguished, ruler, prince".
The Norse people or Norsemen were a group of Germanic people who inhabited Scandinavia and spoke what is now called the Old Norse language between c. 800 and 1300 AD. The language belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages and is the predecessor of the modern Germanic languages of Scandinavia. In the late eighth century Norsemen embarked on a massive expansion in all directions. This was the start of the Viking Age.
The Annals of Ulster are annals of medieval Ireland. The entries span the years from A.D. 431 to A.D. 1540. The entries up to A.D. 1489 were compiled in the late 15th century by the scribe Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, under his patron Cathal Óg Mac Maghnusa on the island of Belle Isle on Lough Erne in the kingdom of Fermanagh. Later entries were added by others.
Chronicon Scotorum, also known as Chronicum Scotorum, is a medieval Irish chronicle.
A number of Irish annals, of which the earliest was the Chronicle of Ireland, were compiled up to and shortly after the end of the 17th century.
Cinioch, named Cínaed mac Luchtren in the Irish Annals, was king of the Picts, in modern Scotland, from circa 616 to 631, when his death is reported in the Annals of Ulster, the Annals of Tigernach and the Chronicon Scotorum.
Saint Secundinus, or Sechnall as he was known in Irish, was founder and patron saint of Domnach Sechnaill, now Dunshaughlin, who went down in medieval tradition as a disciple of St Patrick and one of the first bishops of Armagh. Historians have suggested, however, that the connection with St Patrick was a later tradition invented by Armagh historians in favour of their patron saint and that Secundinus is more likely to have been a separate missionary, possibly a companion of Palladius.
Muirgius mac Tommaltaig was a King of Connacht from the Uí Briúin branch of the Connachta. He was the great-grandson of Indrechtach mac Muiredaig Muillethan, a previous king. The death of his father Tommaltach mac Murgail is recorded in the annals where he is called king of Mag nAi. Muirgius was of the Síl Muiredaig sept of the Uí Briúin. He reigned from 792 to 815.
Conchobar mac Taidg Mór was a King of Connacht from the Uí Briúin branch of the Connachta. He was the grandson of Muirgius mac Tommaltaig, a previous king. His father Tadg Mór had been slain fighting in Muirgius' wars versus the minor tribes of Connacht. He was of the Síl Muiredaig sept of the Uí Briúin. The Ó Conchobhair septs of Connacht are named for him.
Ivar of Limerick, died 977, was the last Norse king of the city-state of Limerick, and penultimate King of the Foreigners of Munster, reigning during the rise to power of the Dál gCais and the fall of the Eóganachta.
Ivar of Waterford was the Norse king of Waterford from at least 969 until his death in the year 1000, and also reigned as King of Dublin, possibly from 989 to 993, and certainly again for less than a year between 994 and 995, returning after his expulsion from the city in 993 by Sigtrygg Silkbeard, who would expel him for good the next time.
Tigernach Ua Braín was abbot of Clonmacnoise and abbot of Roscommon. He was once held to be the author of the Annals of Tigernach, hence its name, but though this view is no longer sustainable, the nature and extent of his involvement remain unclear.
Earl Ottir, also known as Ottir the Black, was a jarl who occupied a prominent position among the Norse of Britain and Ireland in the early 10th century. He is believed to be the founder of the settlement, Veðrafjǫrðr in the year 914. From 917 to his death in 918 Ottir was a close associate of the powerful overking Ragnall ua Ímair, although they are not known to have been related.
The Battle of Sulcoit was fought in the year 968 between the Irish of the Dál gCais, led by Brian Boru, and the Vikings of Limerick, led by Ivar of Limerick. It was a victory for the Dál gCais and marked the end of Norse expansion in Ireland. It was also the first of three battles that highlight the career of Brian Boru. The battle took place during a military campaign led by Ivar of Limerick into Dál gCais territory. After the battle, the Dál gCais seized and burned the Viking stronghold of Limerick.
Annals of Inisfallen AI967.2: "A defeat of the foreigners of Luimnech by Mathgamain, son of Cennétig, at Sulchuait, and Luimnech was burned by him before noon on the following day."
Annals of Ulster U967.5: "Mathgamain son of Cennáitig, king of Caisel, plundered and burned Luimnech."
Máel Muad mac Brain, commonly anglicised Molloy, was King of Munster, first possibly from 959 or alternatively 963 to around 970, when he may have been deposed (usurped) by Mathgamain mac Cennétig of the Dál gCais, and then again from 976, following his putting to death of the latter, until his own death in the Battle of Belach Lechta against Mathgamain's brother Brian Bóruma in 978. From around 970 to 976, he is referred to in the sources only as King of Desmond, but remained "in opposition" to Mathgamain throughout his career. Máel Muad's chief ally in Munster was Donnubán mac Cathail, to whom he owed his second reign, and with whom he is also associated earlier. Along with Donnubán he was also allied, according to the not contemporary saga and political tract Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib, with Ivar of Limerick, who may himself have temporarily been overlord of the province.
Amlaíb Cenncairech was a Norse ruler and presumably King of Limerick notable for his military activities in Ireland in the 930s, especially in the province of Connacht and apparently even in Ulster and Leinster. This period, the 920s and 930s, is commonly regarded as the very height of Norse power in Ireland, and was when Limerick essentially equalled Dublin in power.
The Battle of Cathair Cuan refers to a perhaps extended conflict fought in or between 977 and 978, or simply to a single battle in one or the other year, in Munster in Ireland. Attacking were Brian Bóruma and the Dál gCais, while defending were Donnubán mac Cathail and the remainder of the Viking army of Limerick. The latter were probably the followers of the newly elected and final King of the Foreigners of Munster Aralt mac Ímair, son of the recently slain Ivar of Limerick, although it is possible Donnubán was in overall command. Brian and the Dál gCais were victorious, with the result that the Limerick lordship and its territories were decisively lost to the Gaels until the Norman invasion of Ireland. Much had already been lost to the Dál gCais by 977, probably including the great dún of Limerick itself, but the lordship included other territories, some a number of miles inland, and the Norse-Irish themselves appear to have briefly remained viable in these. Aralt was probably slain in the conflict but Donnubán seems to have survived. Later accounts state he also was killed.
Cacht ingen Ragnaill was the queen of Donnchad mac Briain, from their marriage in 1032 to her death in 1054, when she is styled Queen of Ireland in the Irish annals of the Clonmacnoise group: the Annals of Tigernach and Chronicon Scotorum. Her husband himself, though King of Munster, is not widely regarded as having been High King of Ireland and so the extent of Cacht's influence is uncertain. That her style is superior to his presents an obviously strange situation in medieval Gaelic Ireland's male-dominated politics.
Bárid mac Ímair was a ninth-century King of Dublin. He was a son of Ímar and a member of the Uí Ímair.
The Battle of Islandbridge, also called the Battle of Áth Cliath, took place on 14 September 919, between a coalition of native Irish, led by Niall Glúndub, overking of the Northern Uí Néill and High King of Ireland, and the Dublin-based Vikings of the Uí Ímair, led by Sitric Cáech. It was one in a series of battles initiated by the native Irish to attempt to drive the Vikings of the Uí Ímair from Ireland. The battle was a decisive victory for Sitric Cáech and the Uí Ímair, with Niall Glúndub and five other Irish kings dying in the battle.
The Battle of Strangford Lough was fought in 877 between two groups of rival Vikings described by the Irish Annals as the "fair heathens" and the "dark heathens". The Annals of Ulster describe "Albann", a figure usually identified with Halfdan Ragnarsson, a leader of the Great Heathen Army, as king of the "dark heathens", and Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib identifies Bárid mac Ímair, King of Dublin as the leader of the "fair heathens". All accounts agree Halfdan was killed in the battle, and Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib adds that Bárid was wounded in it.
Ailill mac Fáeláin was a King of Osraige in the south east of Gaelic Ireland. Ailill was of a dynasty known as the Dál Birn. Osraige was located in modern County Kilkenny, Ireland.
The Annals of Clonmacnoise are an early 17th-century Early Modern English translation of a lost Irish chronicle, which covered events in Ireland from pre-history to AD 1408. The work is sometimes known as Mageoghagan’s Book, after its translator Conall the Historian.
The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland or the Annals of the Four Masters are chronicles of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the Deluge, dated as 2,242 years after creation to AD 1616.
John O'Donovan, from Atateemore, in the parish of Kilcolumb, County Kilkenny, and educated at Hunt's Academy, Waterford, was an Irish language scholar from Ireland.
Ériu is an academic journal of Irish language studies. It was established in 1904 as the journal of the School of Irish Learning in Dublin. When the school was incorporated into the Royal Irish Academy in 1926, the academy continued publication of the journal, in the same format and with the same title. Originally, the journal was published in two parts annually, together making a volume, but parts slipped further apart after Volume III. Articles are written in either Irish or English.
Four Courts Press is an independent Irish academic publishing house, with its office at 7 Malpas Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.
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