Brian Boru is the most famous Irish person before the modern era, whose death at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 is one of the few events in the whole of Ireland's medieval history to retain a place in the popular imagination. This book proposes a far-reaching reassessment of Brian Boru and Clontarf. It offers a new interpretation of the role of the Vikings in Irish affairs and explains how Brian emerged from obscurity to attain the high-kingship of Ireland because of his exploitation of the Viking presence. It concludes that Clontarf was deemed a triumph, despite Brian's death, because of what he averted - a major new Viking offensive in Ireland - on that fateful day.
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Sean Duffy is Professor of Medieval History at Trinity College Dublin and is one of Ireland's foremost medieval historians. Previous books include Ireland in the Middle Ages (1997) and The Concise History of Ireland (2000) and he is editor of the long-running Medieval Dublin series (2000-).Review:
`I cannot recommend enough Sean Duffy's book for its readability and the enormity of backbreaking historical scholarship lightly borne and compellingly presented.' -- Dr Pat Wallace, Director Emeritus of the National Museum of Ireland
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