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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2005 7:53 am    Post subject: Irish Arms & Armour: Bronze Age to 17th C.         Reply with quote

I had the good fortune to be in Cork, Ireland, last week (Up the Rebels!) and took advantage of the Boole Library at University College Cork. I know there are others here interested in Irish arms & armour, so I’ll share a bibliography of the material I found there and elsewhere. You should be able to get all of these items through interlibrary loan (with the possible exception of the magazine articles, but those can be purchased from the publisher). See also the article Renaissance Armies: The Irish on this site and Osprey’s book,The Irish Wars.

References in the Boole Library, UCC
------------------------------------------------
Native Irish Arms and Armour In Medieval and Gaelic Literature, 1170-1600
Peter Harbison
Definintions, descriptions, illustrations, etymology-everything. Get this article if nothing else.
The Irish Sword: The Journal of the Military History Society of Ireland Vol. XII (1975-1976).173-179 and 270-284.
Printed at the Three Candles Ltd., Aston Place, Fleet Street, Dublin

Sixteenth Century Irish Swords in the National Museum of Ireland
G.A. Hayes-McCoy
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin. 1977.

The Galloglach Axe
Adolf Mahr
Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 18 (1938): 66-68.

The Galloglach Axe
G.A. Hayes-McCoy
Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 17 (1937): 101-121.
NOTE: The Boole Library has this journal, but this particular volume was not on the shelf, to my great dismay.

The Early History of Guns in Ireland
G. A. Hayes-McCoy
Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society 18 (1938-1939): 43-65.

Guns in Medieval and Tudor Ireland
S. DehÓir
Irish Sword 15 (1982-1983: 76-88

Weapons and Weaponry
Andrew Halpin
This includes a good bib., some of whose titles are included in the refs here
Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia
Routledge,an imprint of Taylor & Francis Books Ltd, 2004. 511-514.

Concerning the Force and Effect of Manual Weapons of Fire (London, 1594)
Humfrey Barwick
Not Irish, but fascinating contemporary discussion of firearms vs. bows, pikes, halberds, bills, etc.
Walter J. Johnson, Inc.
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Ltd.
Amsterdam/Norwood, N.J., 1974

Other References
-----------------------------------------------
Experimental Combat With Bronze Age Weapons
“Archaeologist Barry Molloy describes the primary function of Bronze-Age weapons and provides insights into the functionality of swords and shields through practical experiments”
Archaeology Ireland, Vol. 17, No. 4, Issue No. 66-Spring 2004. 32-34.
For back-issues, see www.wordwellbooks.com

Reconstructing An Early Bronze Age Halberd
“Ronan O’Flaherty, Boyd Rankin and Lynne Williams replicate one of the most enigmatic artefacts of the prehistoric period in Ireland–the Bronze Age halberd.”
Archaeology Ireland, Vol. 17, No. 4, Issue No. 66-Spring 2004. 30-34.
Volume 16 No. 3, Issue No. 61-Autumn 2002
For back-issues, see www.wordwellbooks.com

Irish Medieval Swords, c. 1170-1600
Andrew Halpin
Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 86C (1986). 183-236

Medieval Bronze Maceheads
Andrew Halpin
Keimelia: Studies in Medieval Archaeology and History in Memory of Tom Delaney, edited by G. MacNiocaill and P.F. Wallace, 168-92.
Galway University Press, Galway. 1988.

Irish Medieval Figure Sculpture 1200-1600
J. Hunt
Irish University Press, Dublin/London. 1974.

The Sword of the Ulster Cycle
J.P. Mallory
Studies in Early Ireland: Essays in Honour of M.V. Duignan, edited by B.G. Scott, 99-114.
Association for Young Irish Archaeologists, Dublin. 1982.

A Reclassification of Pre-Viking Irish Iron Swords
E. Rynne
Studies in Early Ireland: Essays in Honour of M.V. Duignan, edited by B.G. Scott, 99-114.
Association for Young Irish Archaeologists, Dublin. 1982.

Early Irish Ironworking
B.G. Scott
Ulster Museum, Belfast. 1990.

A Summary Classification of Viking Age Swords in Ireland
A. Walsh
Ireland and Scandinavia in the Early Viking Age, edited by H.B. Clarke, M. Ní Mhaonaigh and R. Ó Floinn, 222-235.
Four Courts Press, Dublin. 1998.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2005 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some great stuff there, Sean .... thanks for posting it !

I've read a few of them, heard of a few others, but some of them there I was not aware of .... Cool ;-) Mac

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Eric Bergeron




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2005 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean did you happen to go to any of the museums and take pics of any irish swords if they allowed you to take pics?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Sep, 2005 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Bergeron wrote:
Sean did you happen to go to any of the museums and take pics of any irish swords if they allowed you to take pics?


Unfortunately, I saw only one post-Bronze age/pre-modern sword, and that was a late, massive bearing sword at Bunratty Castle. Bunratty has lots of late 16th-mid-17th c. armour, though.

The Hunt museum in Limerick is heaven for you Bronze-Age aficionados. Take special note of the "Study Collection" rooms there, with long drawers packed with bronze axe heads and blades of every discription. You can just pull out the plexi-lidded drawers and get up-close with the objects. No photography allowed there, but they might allow serious scholars to photograph individual objects for study if you plead your case in advance. They seem to take seriously their mission to foster education about the collection.

The "Rock of Cashel" castle ruin has some fascinating 16th c. carvings incidentally depicting arms of the period. Of greatest interest is one showing the large two-handed axe associated with the Galloglass.

The most interesting A&A-related items I saw in museums were two irish darts (one at Cobh and one at Cork). Strangely enough, these were modern interpretations of the ancient weapon, and were/are used by mayors and such in special annual ceremonies. They throw the darts as a sign of authority over a particular area, apparently. It's a modern (18th c?) tradition, but the size of the weapon seems to correspond with 16th/17th c. darts shown in artwork. The heads and flights of the modern examples are very large, but the shafts are elegant, tapering from head to flights (the reverse of what seems to be shown in the famous portrait of (supposedly) Neil O'Neil. These were/are made for throwing, so I have to at least take seriously the design and wonder how it might be related to the famous Irish darts.

Apart from Limerick, we were only in the south/southwest around County Cork, so didn't get to the Dublin collection(s).

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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