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The Irish Classical SelfPoets and Poor Scholars in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries$
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Laurie O’Higgins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198767107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767107.001.0001

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The Stage Is Set

The Stage Is Set

(p.15) 1 The Stage Is Set
The Irish Classical Self

Laurie O’Higgins

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses ideas and arguments generated on the European continent by seventeenth-century Irish scholars, in Irish, English, and Latin. Geoffrey Keating, author of Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, was the most influential, but contemporaries, writing in Latin, were making similar claims. These ideas encompassed the value and antiquity of Irish culture and language; the fact that they were under attack; the indispensability of Irish-language sources for the study of history; the relationship between Irish saints and Irish claims to civility in the European context; Catholicism as an integral part of Irish identity; Latin as the language of Catholicism and an important means of asserting Irish civility in Europe. Men and books travelled the Continent and Ireland, where ideas circulated through sermons and poems, which illustrated the complexities of language interaction.

Keywords:   Latin, Foras Feasa, Catholicism, Keating, Irish saint, language interaction

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