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Carlisle Cursing Stone, carved in 2000 using a 16th century curse.

Cursing Stones of Ireland: When Christianity and Pagans Pooled Their Sacred Water

Ireland is a country famed for its spectacular scenery and landscapes. Known to many as the Emerald Isle, the land is characterized by lush and verdant greenery. But the landscape is more than just...
Portion of Ibn Sīna’s Canon of Medicine folded into medieval text

Irish Translation of Ibn Sīna Medical Text Discovered in Medieval Book Binding

A recent discovery is demonstrating the influence of Islamic medicine on European physicians. A fragment from a book dating from the 1400s has revealed the influence of a Muslim Persian polymath on...
Formidable Viking in Armor with axe.

Ragnar Shaggy-Trousers and Eystein Foul-Fart: The Truth Behind Viking Names

Vikings are pretty trendy of late. Marvel’s Thor films, for example, gave Viking mythology the Hollywood treatment and plonked its characters in contemporary America. There have been multiple Viking...
Drawing by Albrecht Dürer of Irish soldiers.

Niall of the Nine Hostages, One of the Most Fruitful Kings in History

Niall Noígíallach or Niall of the Nine Hostages in English, was an Irish king believed to have lived during the 4th / 5th century. The Uí Néill dynasties, which dominated the northern part of Ireland...
The notes in the Book of Deer are the first written examples of Scottish Gaelic and they hint at the location of the monastery where it was written

Search for Long-Lost Monastery Linked with the Medieval ‘Book of Deer’ May Be Over

The monastery where the significant Scottish text called the ‘Book of Deer’ was created disappeared from the pages of history about 1,000 years ago. After a decade of excavations looking for the site...
A man in traditional Scottish attire

Willies, Ghillies and Horny Highlanders: Scottish Gaelic Writing has a Filthy Past

Think of Scotland’s Highlands and islands and you probably think hills, glens, tartan, shortbread, bagpipes, caber-tossing, whisky, haggis, stags in the mist, grandiose aristocrats, bearded ghillies...
Wailing Out the Lament-Filled Legends and Origins of Irish Banshees

Wailing Out the Lament-Filled Legends and Origins of Irish Banshees

To hear her harrowing wail tear through the night sky was an omen of certain death. The cry of the banshee implied that someone in your family had died or was about to– or, that you were about to...
The scene depicts Hinguar and Hubba setting out to avenge their father, Lothbrok

Viking beaters: Scots and Irish may have settled Iceland a century before Norsemen

Remarkably similar carvings and simple cross sculptures mark special sites or places once sacred, spanning a zone stretching from the Irish and Scottish coasts to Iceland. We can look to Skellig...