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A Popular History of Ireland: from the Earliest Period to by Thomas D'Arcy McGee

By Thomas D'Arcy McGee

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Extra info for A Popular History of Ireland: from the Earliest Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics

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The language of the country, and the language of the Roman Church; the languages of Scripture--Greek and Hebrew; the logic of Aristotle, the writings of the Fathers, especially of Pope Gregory the Great--who appears to have been a favourite author with the Irish Church; the defective Physics of the period; Mathematics, Music, and Poetical composition went to complete the largest course.

The music which made the vale of Bangor resound as if inhabited by angels, was their composition; the hymns that accompanied it were their own. "It is a poor Church that has no music," is one of the oldest Irish proverbs; and the _Antiphonarium_ of Bangor, as well as that of Armagh, remains to show that such a want was not left unsupplied in the early Church. All the contemporary schools were not of the same grade nor of equal reputation. We constantly find a scholar, after passing years in one place, transferring himself to another, and sometimes to a third and a fourth.

In his reign, the most remarkable event was the public curse pronounced on Tara, by a Saint whose sanctuary the reckless monarch had violated, in dragging a prisoner from the very horns of the altar, and putting him to death. For this offence--the crowning act of a series of aggressions on the immunities claimed by the clergy--the Saint, whose name was Ruadan, and the site of whose sanctuary is still known as Temple-Ruadan in Tipperary, proceeded to Tara, accompanied by his clergy, and, walking round the royal rath, solemnly excommunicated the monarch, and anathematized the place.

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