Medieval Studies-Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures Joint Lecture


Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 5:30pm to 7:00pm


The Kates Room, Warren House

Alexander O'Hara (Trinity College Dublin), Irish Émigrés at the Carolingian Court: Imagining Ireland from the Heart of Europe, 751-888. Co-sponsored by the Committee on Medieval Studies and the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures.

Abstract: During the eighth and ninth centuries Irish clergymen and theologians such as Virgil of Salzburg, Dicuil, Sedulius Scottus, and John Scottus Eriugena were drawn to the courts of the Carolingian kings and emperors. They served as advisors, teachers, and theologians for their royal and episcopal patrons in Frankia. As had been the case with the Merovingian court of the seventh century, the Carolingian court to an even greater extent brought together a cosmopolitan multi-ethnic array of courtiers, clergymen, and scholar that served as a middle ground for an emerging European consciousness. A new European dialectic emerged from this cultural mixing, one grounded in a biblical hermeneutics of the Franks as the new Israel. Coming from the margins of Europe, the Irish embraced a more inclusive strategy than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts that put them within this new European framework. This lecture explores how these Irish immigrants wrote about their place within Europe and their identity as Irishmen.