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This book is meant to be useful and readable. It assumes some experience in ordinary historical techniques, but no expert knowledge. In discussing the various kinds of source material for early Irish history, the problems each kind raises and the sort of questions it will answer, the author discusses many of the major historical issues. Her book is therefore not so much a bibliographical guide as a work of historical analysis and discussion. It deals with the main sources of Irish history between c. 400 and c. 1170, and has nine chapters: on archaeology (with appendices on aerial photography and coins), the secular laws, ecclesiastical legislation, the annals (with an appendix on the genealogies), secular literature, ecclesiastical learning, hagiography, art and architecture, eleventh- and twelfth-century histories and compilations. A bibliography and index complete the book.
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