Assembly Places and Elite Collective Identities in Medieval Ireland

kd201
Tuesday 6 February 2024

FitzPatrick, Elizabeth. Journal of the North Atlantic 801 (April 2015): 52–68.

This article covers the concept of regular, public assemblies in the medieval Gaelic tradition and culture. Within its wide scope, this paper pays special attention to topics of lineage, archaeology, and medieval Irish culture to explain the importance of the assembly-place in creating collective identities and facilitating peacemaking. The gathering of people in a place which holds cultural identifiers of strength – such as trees within a forest – and funerary monuments binds the people’s identity to their land. Similarly, the occurrence of these assemblies on feast days and other days of celebration contributed to a sense of identity through communal celebration, and especially through activities such as chariot races and markets. Overall, this article is useful for understanding how a combination of time and place created a local sense of peace and collective identity, as well as influencing the proceedings of meetings between different communities.

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