An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 946 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.

[Illustration:  CROMLECH IN THE PHOENIX PARK.  The urn and necklace, figured at page 154, were found in this tomb.]



[144] Authors.—­Strabo, l. iv. p. 197; Suetonius, V.  Cla.; Pliny, Hist.  Nat. l. xxv. c. 9.  Pliny mentions having seen the serpent’s egg, and describes it.

[145] Virgil.—­Ec.. 6, v. 73.

[146] Year.—­Dio.  Sic. tom. i. p. 158.

[147] Magi.—­Magi is always used in Latin as the equivalent for the Irish word which signifies druid.  See the Vitae S. Columbae, p. 73; see also Reeves’ note to this word.

[148] Worship.—­In the Chronicle of Richard of Cirencester, ch. 4, certain Roman deities are mentioned as worshipped by the British druids; but it is probable the account is merely borrowed from Caesar’s description of the Gauls.

[149] Ceremonies.—­Bohn’s edition, p. 431.

[150] Wren.—­In Scotland the wren is an object of reverence:  hence the rhyme—­

“Malisons, malisons, more than ten, That harry the Ladye of Heaven’s hen.”

But it is probable the idea and the verse were originally imported from France, where the bird is treated with special respect.  There is a very interesting paper in the Ulster Archaeological Journal, vol. vii. p. 334, on the remarkable correspondence of Irish, Greek, and Oriental legends, where the tale of Labhradh Loinseach is compared with that of Midas.  Both had asses’ ears, and both were victims to the loquacious propensities of their barbers.

[151] Etruscans.—­See Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, vol i p. 295, where the bas-reliefs are described which represent the praeficae, or hired mourners, wailing over the corpse.

[152] Laid down.—­Law, Saxon, lagu, lah; from lecgan==Goth. lagjan, to lay, to place; Gael. lagh, a law; leag, to lie down; Latin, lex, from Gr. lego, to lay.

[153] It.—­Four Masters, vol. i p. 133.  The Seanchus Mor was sometimes called Cain Phadruig, or Patrick’s Law.

[154] Seanchus.—­From the old Celtic root sen, old, which has direct cognates, not merely in the Indo-European, but also in the Semitic; Arabic, sen, old, ancient—­sunnah, institution, regulation; Persian, san, law, right; sanna, Phoenicibus idem fuit quod Arabibus summa, lex, doctrina jux canonicum.—­Bochart, Geo. Sae. 1. ii. c. 17.  See Petrie’s Tara, p. 79.

[155] Day.—­O’Curry, page 201.

[156] Works.—­He appears to have been the author of the original Book of Rights, and “commenced and composed the Psalter of Caiseal, in which are described the acts, laws," &c.—­See Preface to Seanchus Mor, p. 17.

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