Contents

Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]


Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]


Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…


Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]


Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.


Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland


Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.


Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.


Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.


Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.


False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.


Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.


Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.


Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…


Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device


The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Celtic Homes

The supposed foundations of the birthplace/family home of St Columcille in the middle of nowhere, County Donegal. This forlorn site is probably not a foudation at all, but rather just a flat rock. It is also very small, not the well-appointed palatial quarters described here.

The supposed foundations of the birthplace/family home of St Columcille in the middle of nowhere, County Donegal. This forlorn site is probably not a foudation at all, but rather just a flat rock. It is also very small, not the well-appointed palatial quarters described here.

The ancient middle class seem to have revelled in luxury every bit as much as the tastelessness of the recent Celtic Tigers. Below is the description of the home of a “boaire”. This was a freeman of a higher grade. This was not a member of the aristocracy. It was more likely the home of an early equivalent of a bank manager, upper-middle ranking civil servant or estate agent.

Even without a single mention of the surrounding neighbourhood it still sounds pretty flash.

The Crith Gablach (Brehon legal tract defining social status) describes the typical hiberno bourgeois pad. Although there is no mention of it being situated within close walking distance to anything, having an unsurpassed view of something or even mention of the surrounding neighbourhood it still sounds pretty flash. Also, there is no mention of local schools or the need for planning permission in the event of the owner wishing to extend:

“All the furniture of his house is in its proper place –

  • a cauldron with its spit and handles;
  • a vat in which a measure of ale may be brewed;
  • a cauldron for everyday use;
  • small vessels: iron pots and kneading trough and wooden mugs, so that he has no need to borrow them;
  • a washing trough and a bath;
  • tubs, candlesticks, knives for cutting rushes;
  • rope, an adze, an auger, a pair of wooden shears, an axe;
  • the work-tools for every season — every one unborrowed;
  • a whetstone, a bill-hook, a hatchet, spears for slaughtering livestock;
  • a fire always alive, a candle on the candlestick without fail;
  • a full ploughing outfit with all its equipment.

There are two vessels in his house always: a vessel of milk and a vessel of ale.

He is a man of three snouts:
the snout of a rooting boar that cleaves dishonour in every season, the snout of a flitch of bacon on the hook, the snout of a plough under the ground; so that he is capable of receiving a king or a bishop or a scholar or a brehon from the road, prepared for the arrival of any guest-company.

He owns seven houses:
a kiln, a barn, a mill (a share in it so that it grinds for him), a house of twenty-seven feet, an outhouse of seventeen feet, a pig-stye, a pen for calves, a sheep-pen.

He has twenty cows, two bulls, six oxen, twenty pigs, twenty sheep, four domestic boars, two sows, a saddle-horse, an enamelled bridle, sixteen bushels of seed in the ground. He has a bronze cauldron in which there is room for a boar. He possesses a green in which there are always sheep without having to change pasture.

He and his wife have four suits of clothes.”

The Iron Age 'Pimperne house' was reconstructed at Butser Hill near Petersfield, Hampshire and suggests that it is probably a mistake to assume primitive squalor. (Richard Muir)

The Iron Age 'Pimperne house' was reconstructed at Butser Hill near Petersfield, Hampshire and suggests that it is probably a mistake to assume primitive squalor. (Richard Muir)

Bibliography
The quoted text is mentioned variously in:
The Irish, A Treasury of Art and Literature, ed. Leslie Conron Carola, Trident, 1993
Ancient Laws of Ireland, Rolls Series, 1879
The Annals of Dublin, EE O’Donnell SJ, Wolfhound Press, 1987
The Crith Gabhlach on Wikipedia

This article was posted by on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 21:36.
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