AMS presents, "The Irish at the Carolingian Court and the Europeanization of Europe"

Monday, March 28, 2022 at 5:15pm to 6:15pm

Building E51, 095
70 MEMORIAL DR, Cambridge, MA 02142

MIT Ancient & Medieval Studies Colloquium Series
Speaker: Alexander O’Hara,
Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University

When: Monday, March 28th @ 5:15pm (ET)
Where: In Person, Building E51, E51-095*

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 paper explores how these Irish immigrants wrote about their place within Europe and their identity as Irishmen.
Bio: Dr Alexander O'Hara is a Fulbright Fellow in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University and Honorary Fellow in the Faculty of Theology at St Patrick's Pontifical University, Maynooth. A graduate in Medieval History of the University of St Andrews and Oxford University, he has held Research Fellowships at Trinity College Dublin, the Institute of Medieval Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is the author of Jonas of Bobbio and the Legacy of Columbanus (Oxford University Press, 2018), editor of Columbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe (Oxford University Press, 2018), and translator of Jonas of Bobbio: Life of Columbanus, Life of John, and Life of Vedast (Liverpool University Press, 2017). He is co-editor of St Sunniva: Irish Queen, Norwegian Patron Saint (Bergen, 2021) and his current book project concerns the cultural perception of Ireland and the Irish from Antiquity to the Anglo-Norman Conquest of Ireland.
*Until further notice: Attendees who are not members of the MIT Community on COVID Pass may contact for a Tim Ticket.
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