An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 779 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.

[179] Probable.—­The legend of St. Brendan was widely diffused in the Middle Ages.  In the Bibliotheque Imperiale, at Paris, there are no less than eleven MSS. of the original Latin legend, the dates of which vary from the eleventh to the fourteenth century.  In the old French and Romance dialects there are abundant copies in most public libraries in France; while versions in Irish, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, abound in all parts of the Continent.  Traces of ante-Columbian voyages to America are continually cropping up.  But the appearance, in 1837, of the Antiquitates Americanae sive ita Scriptores Septentrionales rerum ante-Columbiarum, in America, edited by Professor Rafu, at Copenhagen, has given final and conclusive evidence on this interesting subject.  America owes its name to an accidental landing.  Nor is it at all improbable that the Phoenicians, in their voyage across the stormy Bay of Biscay, or the wild Gulf of Guinea, may have been driven far out of their course to western lands.  Even in 1833 a Japanese junk was wrecked upon the coast of Oregon.  Humboldt believes that the Canary Isles were known, not only to the Phoenicians, but “perhaps even to the Etruscans.”  There is a map in the Library of St. Mark, at Venice, made in the year 1436, where an island is delineated and named Antillia.  See Trans.  R.I.A. vol. xiv.  A distinguished modern poet of Ireland has made the voyage of St. Brendan the subject of one of the most beautiful of his poems.

[180] Magh-Rath.—­Now Moira, in the county Down.  The Chronicum Scotorum gives the date 636, and the Annals of Tighernach at 637, which Dr. O’Donovan considers to be the true date.

[181] Gratis.—­Ven.  Bede, cap. xxviii.

[182] Rule.—­“The light which St. Columbanus disseminated, by his knowledge and doctrine, wherever he presented himself, caused a contemporary writer to compare him to the sun in his course from east to west; and he continued after his death to shine forth in numerous disciples whom he had trained in learning and piety.”—­Benedictine Hist.  Litt. de la France.

[183] World.—­See Herring’s Collectanea and the Bibliotheca Patrum, tom. xii.

[184] Bobbio.—­My learned friend, the Rev. J.P.  Gaffney, of Clontarf, has in his possession a printed copy of the celebrated Bobbio Missal.  It is contained in a work entitled “MUSEUM ITALICUM, seu collectio Veterum Scriptorum ex Bibliothesis Italicis,” eruta a D.J.  Mabillon et D.M.  Germain, presbyteris et monachis, Benedictinae, Cong.  S. Maure.  This work was published at Paris in 1687.  The original Missal was discovered by Mabillon two hundred years ago, and is at present preserved in the Ambrosian Library at Milan.  It dates from the seventh century, and is no doubt the identical Missal or Mass-book used by the saint.  As my friend has allowed me to retain the treasure for a time, I intend to give full

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