Brian Boru, High King of Ireland

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Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, Rí na h'Éireann

Nicknames: "Brian Boru", "High King of Ireland"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Leinster, Ireland
Death: Died in Clontarf, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Cause of death: Killed at the battle of Clontarf
Place of Burial: Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral Armagh County Armagh, Northern Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Cennetig mac Lorcain, King of the Dal gCais and Be Binn inion Urchadh, Queen of Thomond
Husband of Eidan Ui Fiachrach Aidne; Eachraid Ui Naill Of Meath; Deidgre; Dub Choblaig; Mrs-Brian Boru Boroimhe Of Ireland and 2 others
Father of Tadc mac Brian, King of Thomond; Bé Binn; Prince (Terence) Teige O'Brien; Teige; Morough O'Brien, King of Leinster and 7 others
Brother of Marcán macCennétig, Abt of Terryglas; Lachtna mac Lorcain; Dub mac Lorcain; Finn mac Lorcain; Órlaith íngen Cinnétig and 6 others

Occupation: King of Munster, King of Ireland, King of Ireland & Munster/Monarch of Ireland, 175th Monarch of Ireland, KING OF IRELAND, KING OF MUNSTER, KING OF DALSASSIANS, High King of Ireland, Emperor of the Scots, Irish KIng 1014 Battle of Clontorf
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Brian Boru, High King of Ireland

Foundation for Medieval Genealogy:

BRIAN Boroma, son of CEINNÉITIG & his wife --- ([941]-killed in battle Clontarf 23 Apr 1014). The Annals of Ulster record the birth in 941 of "Brian son of Cennéitig”[839]. The Annals of the Four Masters record the birth in 925 of “Brian son of Ceinnedigh” adding that this was “24 years before Maelseachlainn son of Domnhall”[840], although this proposed date of birth of Brian is improbable considering the date of his death. The Annals of Tigernach record that “Brian mac Cendéidigh” attacked “Inis Cathaig (Scattery Island)…[and] therein the Foreigners of Limerick…Imar, and Olaf one of his sons and Dubchenn his other son” in [975/76][841]. The Annals of Ulster record that "Brian son of Cennétig” killed “Mael Muad king of Desmumu” in battle in 978[842]. The Annals of Inisfallen record that "Brian son of Cennétig” defeated and killed “Mael Muad son of Bran king of Caisel” at “the battle of Belach Lechta” in 978[843]. King of Munster. The Annals of Inisfallen record that "Brian son of Cennétig…and Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall king of Temuir” divided Ireland between them in 997 “Leth Cuinn to Mael Sechnaill and Leth Moga to Brian”[844]. High King of Ireland 1002. The Annals of Tigernach record that “Brían Boroma regnat” in [999/1000][845]. The Chronicon of Mariano Scotti records that "Brian rex Hiberniæ" was killed "1014 IX Kal Mai"[846]. Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd Jarl of Orkney went to Ireland “five years after the Battle of Svoldur” to support “King Sigtrygg Silk-Beard” against “King Brian of Ireland”, and left “his elder sons in charge of the earldom”, but was killed in the battle in which King Brian was killed[847]. The Annals of Ulster record that "Brian son of Ceinnéitig son of Lorcán king of Ireland and Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall king of Temair" led an army to “Áth Cliath” in 1014, adding that Brian was killed in the battle[848]. The Annals of the Four Masters record that “Brian son of Ceinneidigh monarch of Ireland in the 88th year of his age” was killed in 1013 in the battle [of Clontarf][849].

m [firstly] ---. The name of Brian´s first wife is not known. However, it is probable that he was married before his marriage to Gormlaith in order to have grandson who was killed in battle in 1014.

m [secondly] (after 981, [separated]) as her second husband, GORMLAITH, widow of OLAV Sihtricsson King of Dublin, daughter of MORUGH MacFinn King of Leinster & his wife --- (-1030). The Annals of Tigernach record the death in 1030 of “Gormlaith, daughter of Murchad son of Fland” mother of “Sitric son of Olaf king of the Foreigners and of Donnchad son of Brian king of Munster”[850]. Brian must have separated from his wife Gormlaith if the reference to his wife Dub is correct, unless the marriages were polygamous. She married thirdly, as his [third] wife, Maelsechnaill King of Ireland. The Annals of the Four Masters record the death in 1030 of “Gormlaith daughter of Murchadh son of Finn, mother of the king of the foreigners Sitric, Donnchadh son of Brian king of Munster, and Conchobhar son of Maeleachlainn king of Teamhair”[851].

m [thirdly] DUB Chablaig, daughter of [CATHAL King of Connaught & his wife ---] (-1009). The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1009 of "Dub Chablaig daughter of the king of Connacht…wife of Brian son of Ceinnéitig"[852]. The name of her father is not given. However, it is reasonable to suppose that he was Cathal who was king of Connaught at the time.

Brian & his first wife had one child:

1. MURCHAD (-killed in battle Clontarf 23 Apr 1014). The Annals of Ulster record that "Brian son of Ceinnéitig son of Lorcán king of Ireland and Mael Sechnaill son of Domnall king of Temair" led an army to “Áth Cliath” in 1014, adding that Brian was killed in the battle “and his son Murchad and the latter´s son…Tairdelbach”[853]. The Annals of the Four Masters record that “Murchadh son of Brain heir apparent of the sovereignty of Ireland in the 63rd year of his age” was killed in 1013 in the battle [of Clontarf][854]. m ---. The name of Murchad & his wife is not known.

Brian & his [first/second] wife had one child:

2. DOMNALL (-1011). The Annals of Inisfallen record the death in 1011 of "Domnall son of Brian”[856]. The Annals of the Four Masters record the death in 1010 of “Domhnall son of Brian son of Ceinneidigh, son of the king of Ireland”[857]. m ---. The name of Domnall´s wife is not known.

Brian & his second wife had two children:

3. TADHG (-killed 1023). The Annals of Tigernach record that “Tadg son of Brian Boroma” was killed by “the Eili instigated by his brother…Dondchad” in [1021/23][862]. The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1023 of "Tadc son of Brian killed by the Éile”[863].

4. [son . It is probable that Derborgaill´s father was one of the sons of Brian who are named above, but the primary source which names him as not yet been identified. The mother of this son was most probably Brian´s wife Gormlaith as his daughter Derborgaill had a daughter of this name, which appears to restrict his identity to Tadhg or Donnchad.] m ---.

Brian & his [second/third] wife had [four] children:

5. DONNCHAD (-Rome after 1064). The Chronicon of Mariano Scotti records that "Donchal filius suis annis 51" succeeded his father "Brian rex Hiberniæ" in 1014[865], although the reference to his age must clearly be incorrect. The Annals of Tigernach record that “Catharnach son of Aed of the Húi Caisín” attacked “Donnchad son of Brian” in [1017/19] and cut off his right hand[866]. King of Munster. The Annals of Tigernach record that “Donnchad son of Brián Boroma king of Munster” was “dethroned” in 1064 and “went to Rome on a pilgrimage” and died there “in the monastery of Stephen”[867]. m firstly ---, daughter of MURCHAD Mac Finn & his wife --- (-1030). The Annals of Inisfallen record the death in 1030 of "the daughter of Murchad son of Finn, queen of Mumu”[868]. m secondly --- [of Waterford], daughter of RAGNALL [King of Waterford] & his wife ---. The Annals of Inisfallen record the marriage in 1032 of "Donnchadh son of Brian” and “the daughter of Ragnall”[869]. It is not certain that King Donnchad´s father-in-law was the king of Waterford.

6. BÉ Binn (-Armagh 1073). The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1073 of "Bé Binn daughter of Brian…on pilgrimage in Ard Macha”[872].

7. [--- . m ---.] Two children:

a) two sons (-killed Man 1073). The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1073 of "Sitriuc son of Amlaib and two grandsons of Brian…killed in Man”[873].

8. SADB (-1048). The Annals of Inisfallen record the death in 1048 of "Sadb daughter of Brian”[874].

Brian & his [third wife] had one child:

9. MURCHAD Ua Brian (-killed in battle 1068). Bearing in mind Murchad´s date of death, he must have been born late in his father´s life and therefore from his father´s third marriage, unless he was illegitimate. The Annals of Tigernach record that “Diarmait son of Domnall son of Brian” was killed by “Murchad son of Brián” in 1051[875]. The Annals of Inisfallen record the death in 1051 of "Diarmait Ua Briain…slain by Murchad Ua Briain”[876]. The Annals of Ulster records that "Toirdelbach ua Briain” defeated “Murchad ua Briain” in 1055[877]. The Annals of Inisfallen record that "Murchad Ua Briain was attacked in Corcu Modruad and Tairdelbach inflicted a great slaughter upon him” in 1055[878]. The Annals of Inisfallen record that "Murchad Ua Briain” killed “Ua Nechtain” in 1061 “in Corrdam”[879]. The Annals of Inisfallen record the death in 1068 of "Murchad Ua Briain royal heir of Ireland and the king of Ireland´s son…slain by the men of Tethba”[880]. The Annals of Ulster record the death in 1068 of "Murchad ua Briain heir designate of Mumu…killed by the men of Tethba”[881]. m ---. The name of Murchad´s wife is not known.


-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Boru

Brian Boru, famed as a warrior and a statesman, became High King of Ireland and has passed into legend as the greatest Irishman of them all.

Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, (c. 941–23 April 1014), (English: Brian Boru, Middle Irish: Brian Bóruma, Irish: Brian Bóroimhe), was an Irish king who ended the domination of the so-called High Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and especially his elder brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated Leinster, making himself ruler of the south of Ireland. He is the founder of the O'Brien dynasty.

The Uí Néill king Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, abandoned by his northern kinsmen of the Cenél nEógain and Cenél Conaill, acknowledged Brian as High King at Athlone in 1002. In the decade that followed, Brian campaigned against the northern Uí Néill, who refused to accept his claims, against Leinster, where resistance was frequent, and against the Norse Gaelic kingdom of Dublin. Brian's hard-won authority was seriously challenged in 1013 when his ally Máel Sechnaill was attacked by the Cenél nEógain king Flaithbertach Ua Néill, with the Ulstermen as his allies. This was followed by further attacks on Máel Sechnaill by the Dubliners under their king Sihtric Silkbeard and the Leinstermen led by Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian campaigned against these enemies in 1013. In 1014, Brian's armies confronted the armies of Leinster and Dublin at Clontarf near Dublin on Good Friday. The resulting Battle of Clontarf was a bloody affair, with Brian, his son Murchad, and Máel Mórda among those killed. The list of the noble dead in the Annals of Ulster includes Irish kings, Norse Gaels, Scotsmen, and Scandinavians. The immediate beneficiary of the slaughter was Máel Sechnaill who resumed his interrupted reign.

The court of Brian's great-grandson Muirchertach Ua Briain produced the Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, a work of near hagiography. The Norse Gaels and Scandinavians too produced works magnifying Brian, among these Njal's Saga, the Orkneyinga Saga, and the now-lost Brian's Saga. Brian's war against Máel Mórda and Sihtric was to be inextricably connected with his complicated marital relations, in particular his marriage to Gormlaith, Máel Mórda's sister and Sihtric's mother, who had been in turn the wife of Amlaíb Cuarán‎, king of Dublin and York, then of Máel Sechnaill, and finally of Brian.

-------------------- Ireland's greatest King Brian was the twelfth son of Kennedy of Thomond. His eldest brother Malachi (or Mahon) succeeded to the throne of Munster. Both Malachi and Brian were exceptional men. When the Danes began to overrun the country, the two brothers united, and swept them back inside their walled cities. Malachi was the more noble; Brian was more forceful, capable and energetic. When Malachi was killed by treachery, Brian was undisputed king. He reigned for thirty-nine years. It was a time of unsurpassed glory,prosperity and happiness. He promoted the arts and learning. He is credited with having originated surnames. His patriotism and personal sacrifice brought the clans together, under one king, for the only time in Irish history.

He was eighty-nine when his army faced the armies of the Norsemen at the Battle of Clontarf. Brian's warriors won the day, but Brian was dead, as were his son and grandson. The days of Ireland's finest king were gone.

In the words of his eulogist, "Brian was the last man in Erin who was a match for a hundred."

Brian mac Cennétig (c. 941; 23 April 1014), called Brian Bóruma (English: Brian Boru, Irish: Brian Boraime), was an Irish king who overthrew the centuries-long domination of the Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated Leinster, making himself ruler of the south of Ireland.

The Uí Néill king Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, abandoned by his northern kinsmen of the Cenél nEógain and Cenél Conaill, acknowledged Brian as High King at Athlone in 1002. In the decade that followed, Brian campaigned against the northern Uí Néill, who refused to accept his claims, against Leinster, where resistance was frequent, and against Dublin. Brian's hard-won authority was seriously challenged in 1013 when his ally Máel Sechnaill was attacked by the Cenél nEógain king Flaithbertach ua Néill, with the Ulstermen as his allies. This was followed by further attacks on Máel Sechnaill by the Norse Gaels of Dublin under their king Sihtric and the Leinstermen led by Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian campaigned against these enemies in 1013. In 1014, Brian's armies confronted the armies of Leinster and Dublin at Clontarf near Dublin on Good Friday. The resulting Battle of Clontarf was a bloody affair, with Brian, his son Murchad, and Máel Mórda among those killed. The list of the noble dead in the Annals of Ulster includes Irish kings, Norse Gaels, Scotsmen, and Scandinavians. The immediate beneficiary of the slaughter was Máel Sechnaill who resumed his interrupted reign as the last Uí Néill High King.

Brian dead proved to be a greater figure than in life. The court of his great-grandson Muirchertach Ua Briain produced the Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, a work of near hagiography. The Norse Gaels and Scandinavians too produced works magnifying Brian, among these Njal's Saga, the Orkneyinga Saga, and the now-lost Brian's Saga. Brian's war against Máel Mórda and Sihtric was to be inextricably connected with his complicated marital relations, in particular his marriage to Gormlaith, Máel Mórda's sister and Sihtric's mother, who had been in turn the wife of Amlaíb Cuarán‎, king of Dublin and York, then of Máel Sechnaill, and finally of Brian.

Biography Early life Brian was likely born in 941 although some sources place his birth as early as 926. He was born near Killaloe, a town in the region of Thomond where his father, Cennétig mac Lorcáin, was king.

When their father died, the kingship of Thomond passed to Brian's older brother, Mathgamain, and, when Mathgamain was killed in 976, Brian replaced him. Subsequently he became the King of the entire kingdom of Munster. His mother Bé Binn was also killed by Vikings when he was a child.

The origin of his cognomen Boru or Borúma (Tributes) is believed to relate to a crossing point on the river Shannon where a cattle-tribute was driven from his sept, the Dál gCais to the larger sept to which they owed allegiance, the Eóganachta. However, it seems more likely that he would have been given this name for being the man to reverse the tide of this tribute, and receive it back from those who his family formerly paid it to. Later legends originated to suggest that it was because he collected monies from the minor rulers of Ireland and used these to rebuild monasteries and libraries that had been destroyed during Norsemen (Viking) invasions.

The Dál Cais Brian belonged to the Dál gCais (or Dalcassians) who occupied a territory straddling the largest river in Ireland, the River Shannon, a territory that would later be known as the Kingdom of Thomond and today incorporates portions of County Clare and County Limerick. The Shannon served as an easy route by which raids could be made against the province of Connacht (to the river's west) and Meath (to its east). Both Brian's father, Cennétig mac Lorcáin and his older brother Mathgamain conducted river-borne raids, in which the young Brian would undoubtedly have participated. This was probably the root of his appreciation for naval forces in his later career.

An important influence upon the Dalcassians was the presence of the Hiberno-Norse city of Limerick on an isthmus around which the Shannon River winds (known today as King's Island or the Island Field). Undoubtedly the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick and the Dalcassians frequently came to blows, but it's unlikely that the relationship was always one of hostility; there was probably peaceful contact as well, such as trade. The Dalcassians may have benefited from these interactions, from which they would have been exposed to Norse innovations such as superior weapons and ship design, all factors that may have contributed to their growing power.

Mathgamain In 964, Brian's older brother, Mathgamain, claimed control over the entire province of Munster by capturing the Rock of Cashel, capital of the rival Eóganacht dynasty. The Eóganacht King, Máel Muad mac Brain, organised an anti-Dalcassian alliance that included at least one other Irish ruler in Munster, and Ivar, the ruler of Limerick. At the Battle of Sulchoid, a Dalcassian army led by Mathgamain and Brian decisively defeated the Hiberno-Norse army of Limerick and, following up their victory, looted and burned the city. The Dalcassian victory at Sulchoid may have led Máel Muad to decide that deception might succeed where an open contest of strength on the battlefield had failed. In 976 Mathgamain attended what was supposed to be a peaceful meeting for reconciliation, where he was seized and murdered. It was under these unpromising circumstances that Brian, at age thirty-five, became the new leader of the Dalcassians.

Brian immediately set about avenging his brother's death and reinstating the control of the Dalcassians over the province of Munster. In quick succession, he attacked and defeated the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick, Máel Muad's Irish allies, and finally, Máel Muad himself. Brian's approach to establishing his control over the Munster demonstrated features that would become characteristic of all of his wars: he seized the initiative, defeating his enemies before they could join forces to overwhelm him, and although he was ruthless and horribly brutal by modern standards, he sought reconciliation in the aftermath of victory rather than continuing hostility. After he had killed both the ruler of Limerick, Ivar, and Ivar's successor, he allowed the Hiberno-Norse in Limerick to remain in their settlement. After he had killed Máel Muad, he treated his son and successor, Cian, with great respect, giving Cian the hand of his daughter, Sadb in marriage. Cian remained a faithful ally for the rest of his life.

Extending authority Having established unchallenged rule over his home Province of Munster, Brian turned to extending his authority over the neighboring provinces of Leinster to the east and Connacht to the north. By doing so, he came into conflict with High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill whose power base was the Province of Meath. For the next fifteen years, from 982 to 997, High King Máel Sechnaill repeatedly led armies into Leinster and Munster, while Boru, like his father and brother before him, led his naval forces up the Shannon to attack Connacht and Meath on either side of the river. He suffered quite a few reverses in this struggle, but appears to have learned from his setbacks. He developed a military strategy that would serve him well throughout his career: the coordinated use of forces on both land and water, including on rivers and along Ireland's coast. Brian's naval forces, which included contingents supplied by the Hiberno-Norse cities that he brought under his control, provided both indirect and direct support for his forces on land. Indirect support involved a fleet making a diversionary attack on an enemy in a location far away from where Brian planned to strike with his army. Direct support involved naval forces acting as one arm in a strategic pincer, the army forming the other arm.

In 996 Brian finally managed to control the Province of Leinster, which may have been what led Máel Sechnaill to reach a compromise with him in the following year. By recognising Brian's authority over Leth Moga, that is, the Southern Half, which included the Provinces of Munster and Leinster (and the Hiberno-Norse cities within them), Máel Sechnaill was simply accepting the reality that confronted him and retained control over Leth Cuinn, that is, the Northern Half, which consisted of the Provinces of Meath, Connacht, and Ulster.

Precisely because he had submitted to Brian's authority, the King of Leinster was overthrown in 998 and replaced by Máel Morda mac Murchada. Given the circumstances under which Máel Morda had been appointed, it is not surprising that he launched an open rebellion against Brian's authority. In response, Boru assembled the forces of the Province of Munster with the intention of laying siege to the Hiberno-Norse city of Dublin, which was ruled by Máel Morda's ally and cousin, Sigtrygg Silkbeard. Together Máel Morda and Sigtrygg determined to meet Boru's army in battle rather than risk a siege. Thus, in 999, the opposing armies fought the Battle of Glen Mama. The Irish annals all agree that this was a particularly fierce and bloody engagement, although claims that it lasted from morning until midnight, or that the combined Leinster-Dublin force lost 4,000 killed are open to question. In any case, Brian followed up his victory, as he and his brother had in the aftermath of the Battle of Sulchoid thirty-two years before, by capturing and sacking the enemy's city. Once again, however, Brian opted for reconciliation; he requested Sigtrygg to return and resume his position as ruler of Dublin, giving Sigtrygg the hand of one of his daughters in marriage, just as he had with the Eoganacht King, Cain. It may have been on this occasion that Brian married Sigtrygg's mother and Máel Morda's sister Gormflaith, the former wife of Máel Sechnaill.

The struggle for Ireland Brian made it clear that his ambitions had not been satisfied by the compromise of 997 when, in the year 1000, he led a combined Munster-Leinster-Dublin army in an attack on High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill's home Province of Meath. The struggle over who would control all of Ireland was renewed. Máel Sechnaill's most important ally was the King of Connacht, Cathal mac Conchobar mac Taidg (O'Connor), but this presented a number of problems. The Provinces of Meath and Connacht were separated by the Shannon River, which served as both a route by which Brian's naval forces could attack the shores of either province and as a barrier to the two rulers providing mutual support for each other. Máel Sechnaill came up with an ingenious solution; two bridges would be erected across the Shannon. These bridges would serve as both obstacles preventing Brian's fleet from traveling up the Shannon and as a means by which the armies of the Provinces of Meath and Connacht could cross over into each others kingdoms.

The Annals state that, in the year 1002, Máel Sechnaill surrendered his title to Brian, although they do not say anything about how or why this came about. The Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh provides a story in which Brian challenges High King Máel Sechnaill to a battle at the Hill of Tara in the Province of Meath, but the High King requests a month long truce so that he can mobilise his forces, which Brian grants him. But Máel Sechnaill fails to rally the regional rulers who are nominally his subordinates by the time the deadline arrives, and he is forced to surrender his title to Brian. This explanation is hardly credible, given Brian's style of engaging in war; if he had found his opponent at a disadvantage he would certainly have taken full advantage of it rather than allowing his enemy the time to even the odds. Conversely, it is hard to believe, given the length and intensity of the struggle between Máel Sechnaill and Brian, that the High King would surrender his title without a fight.

Where that fight may have occurred and what the particular circumstances were surrounding it we may never know. What is certain is that in 1002 Brian became the new High King of Ireland.

Unlike some who had previously held the title, Brian intended to be High King in more than name only. To accomplish this he needed to impose his will upon the regional rulers of the only Province that did not already recognise his authority, Ulster. Ulster's geography presented a formidable challenge; there were three main routes by which an invading army could enter the Province, and all three favored the defenders. Brian first had to find a means of getting through or around these defensive 'choke points', and then he had to subdue the fiercely independent regional Kings of Ulster. It took Brian ten years of campaigning to achieve his goal which, considering he could and did call on all of the military forces of the rest of Ireland, indicates how formidable the Kings of Ulster were. Once again, it was his coordinated use of forces on land and at sea that allowed him to triumph; while the rulers of Ulster could bring the advance of Brian's army to a halt, they could not prevent his fleet from attacking the shores of their kingdoms. But gaining entry to the Province of Ulster brought him only halfway to his goal. Brian systematically defeated each of the regional rulers who defied him, forcing them to recognise him as their overlord.

Emperor of the Irish It was during this process that Brian also pursued an alternate means of consolidating his control, not merely over the Province of Ulster, but over Ireland as a whole. In contrast to its structure elsewhere, the Christian Church in Ireland was centered, not around the bishops of diocese and archbishops of archdiocese, but rather around monasteries headed by powerful abbots who were members of the royal dynasties of the lands in which their monasteries resided. Among the most important monasteries was Armagh, located in the Province of Ulster. It is recorded in the 'Book of Armagh' that, in the year 1005, Brian donated twenty-two ounces of gold to the monastery and declared that Armagh was the religious capital of Ireland to which all other monasteries should send the funds they collected. This was a clever move, for the supremacy of the monastery of Armagh would last only so long as Brian remained the High King. Therefore, it was in the interest of Armagh to support Boru with all their wealth and power. It is also interesting that Boru is not referred to in the passage from the 'Book of Armagh' as the 'Ard Ri' – that is, High-King – but rather he is declared "Emperatus Scottorum," or "Emperor of the Irish."

Though it is only speculation, it has been suggested that Brian and the Church in Ireland were together seeking to establish a new form of kingship in Ireland, one that was modelled after the kingships of England and France, in which there were no lesser ranks of regional Kings – simply one King who had (or sought to have) power over all. In any case, whether as High King or Emperor, by 1011 all of the regional rulers in Ireland acknowledged Brian's authority. Unfortunately, no sooner had this been achieved than it was lost again.

Máel Mórda mac Murchada of Leinster had only accepted Brian's authority grudgingly and in 1012 rose in rebellion. The Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh relates a story in which one of Brian's sons insults Máel Morda, which leads him to declare his independence from Brian's authority. Whatever the actual reason was, Máel Morda sought allies with which to defy the High-King. He found one in a regional ruler in Ulster who had only recently submitted to Brian. Together they attacked the Province of Meath, where the former High King Máel Sechnaill sought Brian's help to defend his Kingdom. In 1013 Boru led a force from his own Province of Munster and from southern Connacht into Leinster; a detachment under his son, Murchad, ravaged the southern half of the Province of Leinster for three months. The forces under Murchad and Brian were reunited on 9 September outside the walls of Dublin. The city was blockaded, but it was the High King's army that ran out of supplies first, so that Brian was forced to abandon the siege and return to Munster around the time of Christmas.

Máel Morda may have hoped that by defying Brian, he could enlist the aid of all the other regional rulers Brian had forced to submit to him. If so, he must have been sorely disappointed; while the entire Province of Ulster and most of the Province of Connacht failed to provide the High King with troops, they did not, with the exception of a single ruler in Ulster, provide support for Máel Morda either. His inability to obtain troops from any rulers in Ireland, along with his awareness that he would need them when the High King returned in 1014, may explain why Máel Morda sought to obtain troops from rulers outside of Ireland. He instructed his subordinate and cousin, Sigtrygg, the ruler of Dublin, to travel overseas to enlist aid.

Sigtrygg sailed to Orkney, and on his return stopped at the Isle of Man. These islands had been seized by the Vikings long before and the Hiberno-Norse had close ties with Orkney and the Isle of Man. There was even a precedent for employing Norsemen from the isles; they had been used by Sigtrygg's father, Olaf Cuaran, in 980, and by Sigtrygg himself in 990. Their incentive was loot, not land. Contrary to the assertions made in the Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh, this was not an attempt by the Vikings to reconquer Ireland. All of the Norsemen, both the Norse-Gaels of Dublin and the Norsemen from the Isles, were in the service of Máel Morda. It should also be remembered that the High King had 'Vikings' in his army as well; mainly the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick (and probably those of Waterford, Wexford, and Cork as well), but also, according to some sources, a rival gang of Norse mercenaries from the Isle of Man.

Essentially this could be characterised as an Irish civil war in which foreigners participated as minor players.

Along with whatever troops he obtained from abroad, the forces that Brian mustered included the troops of his home Province of Munster, those of Southern Connacht, and the men of the Province of Meath, the latter commanded by his old rival Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill. He may have outnumbered Máel Morda's army, since Brian felt secure enough to dispatch a mounted detachment under the command of his youngest son, Donnchad, to raid southern Leinster, presumably hoping to force Máel Morda to release his contingents from there to return to defend their homes. Unfortunately for the High King, if he had had a superiority in numbers it was soon lost. A disagreement with the King of Meath resulted in Máel Sechnaill withdrawing his support (Brian sent a messenger to find Donnchad and ask him to return with his detachment, but the call for help came too late). To compound his problems, the Norse contingents, led by Sigurd Hlodvirsson, Earl of Orkney and Brodir of the Isle of Man, arrived on Palm Sunday, the 18 April. The battle would occur five days later, on Good Friday.

The fighting took place just north of the city of Dublin, at Clontarf (now a prosperous suburb). It may well be that the two sides were evenly matched, as all of the accounts state that the Battle of Clontarf lasted all day. Although this may be an exaggeration, it does suggest that it was a long, drawn-out fight.

There are many legends concerning how Brian was killed, from dying in a heroic man-to-man combat to being killed by the fleeing Viking mercenary Brodir while praying in his tent. He is said to be buried in the grounds of St. Patrick's Cathedral in the city of Armagh. Legend dictates he is buried at the north end of the church.

Historical view The popular image of Brian—the ruler who managed to unify the regional leaders of Ireland so as to to free the land from a 'Danish' (Viking) occupation—originates from the powerful influence of a work of 12th century propaganda, Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh (The War of the Irish with the Foreigners) in which Brian takes the leading role. This work is thought to have been commissioned by Boru's great-grandson, Muirchertach Ua Briain as a means of justifying the Ua Briain (O'Brien) claim to the High-Kingship, a title upon which the Ui Neill had had a monopoly.

The influence of this work, on both scholarly and popular authors, cannot be exaggerated. Until the 1970s most scholarly writing concerning the Vikings' activities in Ireland, as well as the career of Brian Boru, accepted the claims of Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh at face value.

Brian did not free Ireland from a Norse (Viking) occupation simply because it was never conquered by the Vikings. In the last decade of the 8th century, Norse raiders began attacking targets in Ireland and, beginning in the mid-9th century, these raiders established the fortified camps that later grew into Ireland's first cities: Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, and Cork. Within only a few generations, the Norse citizens of these cities had converted to Christianity, inter-married with the Irish, and often adopted the Irish language, dress and customs; thus becoming what historians refer to as the 'Hiberno-Norse'. Such Hiberno-Norse cities were fully integrated into the political scene in Ireland, long before the birth of Brian Boru. They often suffered attacks from Irish rulers, and made alliances with others, though ultimately came under the control of the kings of the Provinces of Meath, Leinster, or Munster, who chose those among Hiberno-Norse who would rule the cities, subservient to their loyal subordinates. Rather than conquering Ireland, the Vikings, who initially attacked and subsequently settled in Ireland were, in fact, assimilated by the Irish.

Marriages Brian married four women:

1. Mór, mother of Murchad, who was slain with Boru at Clontarf.

2. Echrad, mother of his successor Tadc.

3. Gormflaith, the best known of his wives and said to be the most beautiful. She was the daughter of Murchad mac Finn, King of Leinster, sister of Máel Morda and also widow of Olaf Cuaran, the Viking king of Dublin and York. She was the mother of Donnchad, who succeeded Boru as King of Munster. She was said to be his true love, having mistakeningly challenged his authority one too many times, they divorced. Though she is said to be the cause of his death, she was also said to be the one to mourn him the most.

4. Dub Choblaig, was daughter of the King of Connacht.

According to Njal's Saga, he also had a foster-son , Kerthialfad.[1]

Cultural heritage

• The family descended from him (the O'Briens) subsequently ranked as one of the chief dynastic families of the country (see Chiefs of the Name).

In popular culture Celtic Metal band, Cruachan has written many songs involving the Viking raids on Ireland and the Celts' triumph over the Vikings. One of which, "Ard Ri Na Heireann" (Translation: the High King of Ireland) is directly about Boru. The band also featured an instrumental song titled "Brian Boru"

Another Celtic Metal band, Mael Mordha devoted their début album, Cluain Tarbh, to the battle of Clontarf where Brian was killed.

Morgan Llywelyn has written a novelization of Brian's life called simply Lion of Ireland. The sequel, Pride of Lions (novel), tells the story of his sons, Donough and Teigue, as they vie for his crown.

In "Strapping Young Lads" by Brian Dunning, Brunnhilde claimed to have killed Boru in single combat, and "torn his still-beating heart from his breast."

Limerick band Lucky Numbers released their hit single Brian Boru in 1979.

French Brittanian singer Alan Stivell released in 1995 an album called Brian Boru.

Trivia Trivia sections are discouraged under Wikipedia guidelines.

The article could be improved by integrating relevant items and removing inappropriate ones.

• The descendants of Brian were known as the Ua Brian (O'Brien) clan, hence the surnames Ó Briain, O'Brien, O'Brian etc. "O" was originally Ó which in turn came from Ua, which means "grandson", or "descendant" (of a named person). The prefix is often anglicised to O', using an apostrophe instead of the Irish síneadh fada: "´".

• The term the Brian Boru is also used to refer to the Brian Boru harp, the national symbol of the Republic of Ireland which appears on the back of Irish euro currency. Forged between the 13th and 16th centuries, the harp also appears on the Leinster flag. A similar harp features in the trade mark of Guinness.

• The Spire of Dublin was very nearly named the Brian Boru Spire.

• The Royal Irish Regiment's mascot, an Irish Wolfhound, is always called Brian Boru. The current dog is Brian Boru VII.

• The website for Irish vodka brand Boru says it is "Inspired by Ireland's Visionary High King Brian Boru."

• A major motion picture film surrounding the life of Brian Boru is scheduled to be filmed in 2008 and released in 2009. The film will be entirely shot in Ireland and directed by Cork native Mark Mahon, from an award-winning script he wrote called, "Freedom Within the Heart". American actor, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to play Brian Boru. -------------------- Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, (c. 941–23 April 1014), (English: Brian Boru, Middle Irish: Brian Bóruma, Irish: Brian Bóroimhe, or more usually Brian Ború), was an Irish king who ended the domination of the so-called High Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated Leinster, making himself ruler of the south of Ireland. The O'Brien Clan regard him as their founder.

The Uí Néill king Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, abandoned by his northern kinsmen of the Cenél nEógain and Cenél Conaill, acknowledged Brian as High King at Athlone in 1002. In the decade that followed, Brian campaigned against the northern Uí Néill, who refused to accept his claims, against Leinster, where resistance was frequent, and against the Norse Gaelic kingdom of Dublin. Brian's hard-won authority was seriously challenged in 1013 when his ally Máel Sechnaill was attacked by the Cenél nEógain king Flaithbertach Ua Néill, with the Ulstermen as his allies. This was followed by further attacks on Máel Sechnaill by the Dubliners under their king Sihtric Silkbeard and the Leinstermen led by Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian campaigned against these enemies in 1013. In 1014, Brian's armies confronted the armies of Leinster and Dublin at Clontarf near Dublin on Good Friday. The resulting Battle of Clontarf was a bloody affair, with Brian, his son Murchad, and Máel Mórda among those killed. The list of the noble dead in the Annals of Ulster includes Irish kings, Norse Gaels, Scotsmen, and Scandinavians. The immediate beneficiary of the slaughter was Máel Sechnaill who resumed his interrupted reign as the last Uí Néill High King.

In death, Brian proved to be a greater figure than in life. The court of his great-grandson Muirchertach Ua Briain produced the Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, a work of near hagiography. The Norse Gaels and Scandinavians too produced works magnifying Brian, among these Njal's Saga, the Orkneyinga Saga, and the now-lost Brian's Saga. Brian's war against Máel Mórda and Sihtric was to be inextricably connected with his complicated marital relations, in particular his marriage to Gormlaith, Máel Mórda's sister and Sihtric's mother, who had been in turn the wife of Amlaíb Cuarán‎, king of Dublin and York, then of Máel Sechnaill, and finally of Brian.

Early life Many Irish annals state that Brian was in his 88th year when he fell in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. If true, this would mean that he was born as early as 926 or 927.[1] Other birth dates given in retrospect are 923 or 942.[1]

He was one of the 12 sons of Cennétig mac Lorcáin (d. 951), king of Dál Cais and king of Tuadmumu (Thomond, in north Munster). Cennétig was also described as rígdamna Caisil, meaning that he was either heir or candidate ("king material") to the kingship of Cashel or Munster.[2] Brian's mother was Bé Binn, daughter of Aurchad mac Murchada (d. 945), king of Uí Briúin Seóla in west Connacht.[2][1] This may explain why he received the name Brian, which was rare among the Dál Cais.[2]

Brian was born at Kincora, Killaloe, a town in the region of Tuadmumu (Thomond).[2] Brian's posthumous cognomen "Bóruma" (anglicised as Boru) may have referred to "Béal Bóruma", a fort north of Killaloe (Co Clare) in Thomond, where the Dál Cais held sway.[2][1][3] Another explanation, though possibly a late (re-)interpretation, is that the nickname represented Old Irish bóruma "of the cattle tribute", referring to his capaciy as a powerful overlord.[1]

When their father died, the kingship of Tuadmumu passed to Brian's older brother, Mathgamain, and, when Mathgamain was killed in 976, Brian replaced him. Subsequently he became the King of the entire kingdom of Munster.

The Dál gCais Brian belonged to the Dál gCais (or Dalcassians) who occupied a territory straddling the largest river in Ireland, the River Shannon, a territory that would later be known as the Kingdom of Thomond and today incorporates portions of County Clare and County Limerick. The Shannon served as an easy route by which raids could be made against the province of Connacht (to the river's west) and Meath (to its east). Both Brian's father, Cennétig mac Lorcáin and his older brother Mathgamain conducted river-borne raids, in which the young Brian would undoubtedly have participated. This was probably the root of his appreciation for naval forces in his later career.

An important influence upon the Dalcassians was the presence of the Hiberno-Norse city of Limerick on an isthmus around which the Shannon River winds (known today as King's Island or the Island Field). Undoubtedly the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick and the Dalcassians frequently came to blows, but it's unlikely that the relationship was always one of hostility; there was probably peaceful contact as well, such as trade. The Dalcassians may have benefited from these interactions, from which they would have been exposed to Norse innovations such as superior weapons and ship design, all factors that may have contributed to their growing power.

Mathgamain In 964, Brian's older brother, Mathgamain, claimed control over the entire province of Munster by capturing the Rock of Cashel, capital of the rival Eóganacht dynasty. The Eóganacht king, Máel Muad mac Brain, organised an anti-Dalcassian alliance that included another Irish king in Munster, Donndubháin mac Cathail of the Uí Fidgenti, and Ivar of Limerick, of the Uí Ímair. At the Battle of Sulchoid, a Dalcassian army led by Mathgamain and Brian decisively defeated the Hiberno-Norse army of Limerick and, following up their victory, looted and burned the city. The Dalcassian victory at Sulchoid may have led Máel Muad to decide that deception might succeed where an open contest of strength on the battlefield had failed. In 976 Mathgamain attended what was supposed to be a peaceful meeting for reconciliation, where he was seized and murdered. It was under these unpromising circumstances that Brian became the new leader of the Dalcassians.

Brian immediately set about avenging his brother's death and reinstating the control of the Dalcassians over the province of Munster. In quick succession, he attacked and defeated the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick, Máel Muad's Irish allies, and finally, Máel Muad himself. Brian's approach to establishing his control over the Munster demonstrated features that would become characteristic of all of his wars: he seized the initiative, defeating his enemies before they could join forces to overwhelm him, and although he was ruthless and horribly brutal by modern standards, he sought reconciliation in the aftermath of victory rather than continuing hostility. After he had killed both the ruler of Limerick, Ivar, and Ivar's successor, he allowed the Hiberno-Norse in Limerick to remain in their settlement. After he had killed Máel Muad, he treated his son and successor, Cian, with great respect, giving Cian the hand of his daughter, Sadb in marriage. Cian remained a faithful ally for the rest of his life.

Extending authority Having established unchallenged rule over his home Province of Munster, Brian turned to extending his authority over the neighboring provinces of Leinster to the east and Connacht to the north. By doing so, he came into conflict with High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill whose power base was the Province of Meath. For the next fifteen years, from 982 to 997, High King Máel Sechnaill repeatedly led armies into Leinster and Munster, while Brian, like his father and brother before him, led his naval forces up the Shannon to attack Connacht and Meath on either side of the river. He suffered quite a few reverses in this struggle, but appears to have learned from his setbacks. He developed a military strategy that would serve him well throughout his career: the coordinated use of forces on both land and water, including on rivers and along Ireland's coast. Brian's naval forces, which included contingents supplied by the Hiberno-Norse cities that he brought under his control, provided both indirect and direct support for his forces on land. Indirect support involved a fleet making a diversionary attack on an enemy in a location far away from where Brian planned to strike with his army. Direct support involved naval forces acting as one arm in a strategic pincer, the army forming the other arm.

In 996 Brian finally managed to control the province of Leinster, which may have been what led Máel Sechnaill to reach a compromise with him in the following year. By recognising Brian's authority over Leth Moga, that is, the Southern Half, which included the Provinces of Munster and Leinster (and the Hiberno-Norse cities within them), Máel Sechnaill was simply accepting the reality that confronted him and retained control over Leth Cuinn, that is, the Northern Half, which consisted of the Provinces of Meath, Connacht, and Ulster.

Precisely because he had submitted to Brian's authority, the King of Leinster was overthrown in 998 and replaced by Máel Morda mac Murchada. Given the circumstances under which Máel Morda had been appointed, it is not surprising that he launched an open rebellion against Brian's authority. In response, Brian assembled the forces of the Province of Munster with the intention of laying siege to the Hiberno-Norse city of Dublin, which was ruled by Máel Morda's ally and cousin, Sigtrygg Silkbeard. Together Máel Morda and Sigtrygg determined to meet Brian's army in battle rather than risk a siege. Thus, in 999, the opposing armies fought the Battle of Glen Mama. The Irish annals all agree that this was a particularly fierce and bloody engagement, although claims that it lasted from morning until midnight, or that the combined Leinster-Dublin force lost 4,000 killed are open to question. In any case, Brian followed up his victory, as he and his brother had in the aftermath of the Battle of Sulchoid thirty-two years before, by capturing and sacking the enemy's city. Once again, however, Brian opted for reconciliation; he requested Sigtrygg to return and resume his position as ruler of Dublin, giving Sigtrygg the hand of one of his daughters in marriage, just as he had with the Eoganacht King, Cian. It may have been on this occasion that Brian married Sigtrygg's mother and Máel Morda's sister Gormflaith, the former wife of Máel Sechnaill.

The struggle for Ireland Brian made it clear that his ambitions had not been satisfied by the compromise of 997 when, in the year 1000, he led a combined Munster-Leinster-Dublin army in an attack on High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill's home province of Meath. The struggle over who would control all of Ireland was renewed. Máel Sechnaill's most important ally was the King of Connacht, Cathal mac Conchobar mac Taidg (O'Connor), but this presented a number of problems. The Provinces of Meath and Connacht were separated by the Shannon River, which served as both a route by which Brian's naval forces could attack the shores of either province and as a barrier to the two rulers providing mutual support for each other. Máel Sechnaill came up with an ingenious solution; two bridges would be erected across the Shannon. These bridges would serve as both obstacles preventing Brian's fleet from traveling up the Shannon and as a means by which the armies of the Provinces of Meath and Connacht could cross over into each others kingdoms.

The Annals state that, in the year 1002, Máel Sechnaill surrendered his title to Brian, although they do not say anything about how or why this came about. The Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh provides a story in which Brian challenges High King Máel Sechnaill to a battle at the Hill of Tara in the province of Meath, but the High King requests a month long truce so that he can mobilise his forces, which Brian grants him. But Máel Sechnaill fails to rally the regional rulers who are nominally his subordinates by the time the deadline arrives, and he is forced to surrender his title to Brian. This explanation is hardly credible, given Brian's style of engaging in war; if he had found his opponent at a disadvantage he would certainly have taken full advantage of it rather than allowing his enemy the time to even the odds. Conversely, it is hard to believe, given the length and intensity of the struggle between Máel Sechnaill and Brian, that the High King would surrender his title without a fight.

Where that fight may have occurred and what the particular circumstances were surrounding it we may never know. What is certain is that in 1002 Brian became the new High King of Ireland.

Unlike some who had previously held the title, Brian intended to be High King in more than name only. To accomplish this he needed to impose his will upon the regional rulers of the only Province that did not already recognize his authority, Ulster. Ulster's geography presented a formidable challenge; there were three main routes by which an invading army could enter the Province, and all three favored the defenders. Brian first had to find a means of getting through or around these defensive 'choke points', and then he had to subdue the fiercely independent regional Kings of Ulster. It took Brian ten years of campaigning to achieve his goal which, considering he could and did call on all of the military forces of the rest of Ireland, indicates how formidable the Kings of Ulster were. Once again, it was his coordinated use of forces on land and at sea that allowed him to triumph; while the rulers of Ulster could bring the advance of Brian's army to a halt, they could not prevent his fleet from attacking the shores of their kingdoms. But gaining entry to the Province of Ulster brought him only halfway to his goal. Brian systematically defeated each of the regional rulers who defied him, forcing them to recognize him as their overlord.

Emperor of the Irish It was during this process that Brian also pursued an alternate means of consolidating his control, not merely over the Province of Ulster, but over Ireland as a whole. In contrast to its structure elsewhere, the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland was centered, not around the bishops of diocese and archbishops of archdiocese, but rather around monasteries headed by powerful abbots who were members of the royal dynasties of the lands in which their monasteries resided. Among the most important monasteries was Armagh, located in the Province of Ulster. It is recorded in the 'Book of Armagh' that, in the year 1005, Brian donated twenty-two ounces of gold to the monastery and declared that Armagh was the religious capital of Ireland to which all other monasteries should send the funds they collected. This was a clever move, for the supremacy of the monastery of Armagh would last only so long as Brian remained the High King. Therefore, it was in the interest of Armagh to support Brian with all their wealth and power. It is also interesting that Brian is not referred to in the passage from the 'Book of Armagh' as the 'Ard Ri' —that is, High-King— but rather he is declared "Imperator Scottorum," or "Emperor of the Irish" ("Scottorum" then being the common Late Latin term for the Irish: Ireland was usually referred to in Latin as "Scotia Major" while Scotland was referred to as "Scotia Minor").

Though it is only speculation, it has been suggested that Brian and the Church in Ireland were together seeking to establish a new form of kingship in Ireland, one that was modelled after the kingships of England and France, in which there were no lesser ranks of regional Kings – simply one King who had (or sought to have) power over all in a unitary state. In any case, whether as High King or Emperor, by 1011 all of the regional rulers in Ireland acknowledged Brian's authority. No sooner had this been achieved than it was lost again.

Máel Mórda mac Murchada of Leinster had only accepted Brian's authority grudgingly and in 1012 rose in rebellion. The Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh relates a story in which one of Brian's sons insults Máel Morda, which leads him to declare his independence from Brian's authority. Whatever the actual reason was, Máel Morda sought allies with which to defy the High-King. He found one in a regional ruler in Ulster who had only recently submitted to Brian. Together they attacked the Province of Meath, where the former High King Máel Sechnaill sought Brian's help to defend his Kingdom. In 1013 Brian led a force from his own Province of Munster and from southern Connacht into Leinster; a detachment under his son, Murchad, ravaged the southern half of the Province of Leinster for three months. The forces under Murchad and Brian were reunited on 9 September outside the walls of Dublin. The city was blockaded, but it was the High King's army that ran out of supplies first, so that Brian was forced to abandon the siege and return to Munster around the time of Christmas.

Máel Morda may have hoped that by defying Brian, he could enlist the aid of all the other regional rulers Brian had forced to submit to him. If so, he must have been sorely disappointed; while the entire Province of Ulster and most of the Province of Connacht failed to provide the High King with troops, they did not, with the exception of a single ruler in Ulster, provide support for Máel Morda either. His inability to obtain troops from any rulers in Ireland, along with his awareness that he would need them when the High King returned in 1014, may explain why Máel Morda sought to obtain troops from rulers outside of Ireland. He instructed his subordinate and cousin, Sigtrygg, the ruler of Dublin, to travel overseas to enlist aid.

Sigtrygg sailed to Orkney, and on his return stopped at the Isle of Man. These islands had been seized by the Vikings long before and the Hiberno-Norse had close ties with Orkney and the Isle of Man. There was even a precedent for employing Norsemen from the isles; they had been used by Sigtrygg's father, Amlaíb Cuarán, in 980, and by Sigtrygg himself in 990. Their incentive was loot, not land. Contrary to the assertions made in the Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh, this was not an attempt by the Vikings to reconquer Ireland. All of the Norsemen, both the Norse-Gaels of Dublin and the Norsemen from the Isles, were in the service of Máel Morda. It should also be remembered that the High King had 'Vikings' in his army as well; mainly the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick (and probably those of Waterford, Wexford, and Cork as well), but also, according to some sources, a rival gang of Norse mercenaries from the Isle of Man.

Essentially this could be characterised as an Irish civil war in which foreigners participated as minor players.

Along with whatever troops he obtained from abroad, the forces that Brian mustered included the troops of his home Province of Munster, those of Southern Connacht, and the men of the Province of Meath, the latter commanded by his old rival Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill. He may have outnumbered Máel Morda's army, since Brian felt secure enough to dispatch a mounted detachment under the command of his youngest son, Donnchad, to raid southern Leinster, presumably hoping to force Máel Morda to release his contingents from there to return to defend their homes. Unfortunately for the High King, if he had had a superiority in numbers it was soon lost. A disagreement with the King of Meath resulted in Máel Sechnaill withdrawing his support (Brian sent a messenger to find Donnchad and ask him to return with his detachment, but the call for help came too late). To compound his problems, the Norse contingents, led by Sigurd Hlodvirsson, Earl of Orkney and Brodir of the Isle of Man, arrived on Palm Sunday, 18 April. The battle would occur five days later, on Good Friday.

The fighting took place just north of the city of Dublin, at Clontarf (now a prosperous suburb). It may well be that the two sides were evenly matched, as all of the accounts state that the Battle of Clontarf lasted all day. Although this may be an exaggeration, it does suggest that it was a long, drawn-out fight.

There are many legends concerning how Brian was killed, from dying in a heroic man-to-man combat to being killed by the fleeing Viking mercenary Brodir while praying in his tent at Clontarf[citation needed]. He is said to be buried in the grounds of St. Patrick's Cathedral in the city of Armagh. Legend dictates he is buried at the north end of the church.

Historical view

The popular image of Brian—the ruler who managed to unify the regional leaders of Ireland so as to free the land from a 'Danish' (Viking) occupation—originates from the powerful influence of a work of 12th century propaganda, Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh (The War of the Irish with the Foreigners) in which Brian takes the leading role. This work is thought to have been commissioned by Brian's great-grandson, Muirchertach Ua Briain as a means of justifying the Ua Briain claim to the High-Kingship, a title upon which the Uí Neill had had a near-monopoly.

The influence of this work, on both scholarly and popular authors, cannot be exaggerated. Until the 1970s most scholarly writing concerning the Vikings' activities in Ireland, as well as the career of Brian Boru, accepted the claims of Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh at face value.

Brian did not free Ireland from a Norse (Viking) occupation simply because it was never conquered by the Vikings. In the last decade of the 8th century, Norse raiders began attacking targets in Ireland and, beginning in the mid-9th century, these raiders established the fortified camps that later grew into Ireland's first cities: Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, and Cork. Within only a few generations, the Norse citizens of these cities had converted to Christianity, inter-married with the Irish, and often adopted the Irish language, dress and customs; thus becoming what historians refer to as the 'Hiberno-Norse'. Such Hiberno-Norse cities were fully integrated into the political scene in Ireland, long before the birth of Brian. They often suffered attacks from Irish rulers, and made alliances with others, though ultimately came under the control of the kings of the Provinces of Meath, Leinster, or Munster, who chose those among Hiberno-Norse who would rule the cities, subservient to their loyal subordinates. Rather than conquering Ireland, the Vikings, who initially attacked and subsequently settled in Ireland were, in fact, assimilated by the Irish.

Wives and children

Brian's first wife was Mór, daughter of the king of Uí Fiachrach Aidne of Connacht. She is said to have been the mother of his sons Murchad, Conchobar and Flann. Later genealogies claimed that these sons left no descendants, although in fact Murchad's son Tadc is recorded as being killed at Clontarf along with his father and grandfather.[4]

Echrad daughter of the king of Uí Áeda Odba, an obscure branch of the southern Uí Néill, was the the mother of Tadc, whose son Toirdelbach and grandson Muirchertach rivalled Brian in power and fame.[5]

Brian's most famous marriage was with Gormflaith, sister of Máel Mórda of Leinster. Donnchad, who had his half-brother Tadc killed in 1023 and ruled Munster for forty years thereafter, was the result of this union.[6]

Brian had a sixth son, Domnall. Although he predeceased his father Domnall apparently had at least one surviving child, a son whose name is not recorded. Domnall may perhaps have been the son of Brian's fourth known wife, Dub Choblaig, who died in 1009. She was a daughter of Cathal mac Conchobair, the overking of Connacht.[7]

Brian had at least three daughters but their mothers are not recorded. Sadb, whose death in 1048 is recorded by the Annals of Innisfallen, was married to Cian, son of Máel Muad mac Brian. Bé Binn was married to the northern Uí Néill king Flaithbertach Ua Néill. A third daughter, whose name may have been Sláine, was married to Brian's stepson Sitric of Dublin.[8]

According to Njal's Saga, he also had a foster-son named Kerthialfad.[9]

Cultural heritage

The descendants of Brian were known as the Ui Briain (O'Brien) clan, hence the surnames Ó Briain, O'Brien, O'Brian etc. "O" was originally Ó which in turn came from Ua, which means "grandson", or "descendant" (of a named person). The prefix is often anglicised to O', using an apostrophe instead of the Irish síneadh fada: "´". The O'Briens subsequently ranked as one of the chief dynastic families of the country

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Brian Boroimhe macCennétig King of Munster

born about 0926 Ireland

died 23 April 1014 Battle of Clontarf, Dublin , Ireland

father:

  • Cennétig mac Lorcan King of Thomond

died 0951. He was the son of 5393891072.

mother:

  • BeBind ingen Urchada

siblings:

unknown

spouse (1st marriage):

  • Gormflaeth inger Murchada MacFinn of Naas

born 0957 Leinster, Ireland

died 1030

children (from 1st? marriage):

  • Slani ingen Briain (O'Brien) born 0983
  • Donnchad MacBrien born 0981 died 1064 buried San Stefano Rotunda Church, Rome, Italy

Murchad NicBrian born 0985

  • Taidig (Terence) MacBrien born 0987 died 1023

Domhnall Ban NicBrian

spouse (2nd?)

  • Princess Mor nic Eidigean

born Ui Fhaiachrach Aidhne, County Galway, Ireland

(end of information)

  • Morough O'Brien King of Leinster born after 0975 Ireland

Sadhbh nic Brian

  • Blanaid nic Brian born about 0962 Ireland

Flann mac Brian died 23 April 1014 in Clontarf, County Dublin, Ireland

Conor mac Brian died 23 April 1014 in Clontarf, County Dublin, Ireland

--------------------

KING BRIAN3 BORU (Cenneidig2, Lorcan1) of Dalrieda, son of (2) Prince Cenneidig2, was born in 941, and died in 1014 in Clontarf. He married (1st) (WN-2) GORMFLIATH OF NAAS, daughter of (WN-1) King Murchad, who died in 1030[1]. [3, 8]

King of Munster 976-1002, renowned King of Ireland 1002-1014.

d. Clontarf, near Dublin, Good Friday, 1014.

Brian's ancestry depends solely on tradition and is not accepted as proven. [1]

Child of: King Brian3 BORU and Gormfliath of NAAS:

+ 4 i. KING DONNCHAD4 OF MUNSTER, d. in 1064.

Child of: King Brian3 BORU:

+ 5 i. SLANI4; m. (VJ-2) KING SIHTRIC OF DUBLIN. --------------------

  1. D: I59119
  2. Name: Brian (Boru) Boroimhe King Of Ireland
  3. Given Name: Brian (Boru) Boroimhe King Of
  4. Surname: Ireland
  5. Sex: M
  6. Birth: 942 in Kincora, Munster, Ireland
  7. Death: 23 Apr 1014 in Battle of Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland
  8. Event: 1002-1014 Ruled
  9. Change Date: 21 Sep 2005 at 15:23
  10. Note:

Also Known As:<_AKA> Brian /Borum/, King of Ireland

The O'Briens, one of the few native Irish families with a peerage, descend in the male line from Brian Boroimhe, Prince of Thomond (NorthMunster or the north part of southwest Ireland, roughly commensurate with an area centered on modern Co. Clare) and Chief of the Dalgais, whobecame High King of Ireland 1002 and was killed at the victory over the Danes of Clontarf 23 April 1014. [Burke's' Peerage, p. 1495]

Father: Cennedi, Prince of Thomond b: 926 in Kincora, Munster, Ireland

Mother: BABHION (Be Bind) Of Connaught b: Abt 910-920 in Connaught, Ireland

Marriage 1 Eachraidh Ui Aeda Odba b: Abt 950 in Eireann, Ireland

  • Married:
  • Change Date: 24 Sep 2004

Marriage 2 GORMFLAITH Ingen Murchada Mac Finn b: Abt 950 in Leinster, Ireland

  • Married: Bef 985
  • Note: 2nd Husband 2nd Wife
  • Change Date: 21 Sep 2005

Children

1. Has Children Donnchad Ua Briain b: Abt 985 in Leinster, Ireland

2. Has Children SLANI of Ireland b: 983 in of Munster, Ireland

-------------------- Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig (født 926 eller 941[1], død 23. april 1014), eller i anglifisert form Brian Boru, var overkonge av Irland fra 1002 til 1014. Han har fått et ettermæle som den som forente de rivaliserende småkongene i Irland mot vikingenes herjinger, og har en plass i irsk folketradisjon lik Alfred den store i engelsk. Hvorvidt dette er historisk korrekt er omdiskutert.

Innhold [skjul]

1 Biografi

1.1 Familie

1.2 Tiden før han ble konge (941-976)

1.3 Konge av Munster (976-997)

1.4 Første Leinster-opprør (998-999)

1.5 Kampen om overherredømme (1000-1002)

1.6 Ard Rí na hÉireann (1002-1012)

1.7 Andre Leinster-opprør. Salget ved Clontarf. (1012-1014)

2 Historisk betydning

3 Kulturell betydning

4 Tillegg

4.1 Tilnavnet Boru(ma)

4.2 Om modernisering av navn

5 Litteratur

5.1 Videre lesning

6 Referanser

7 Eksterne lenker


[rediger] Biografi

Han ble født på Irlands vestkyst nær Killaloe (Kincora) i det som i dag er grevskapet Clare. Hans far var Cennétig mac Lorcáin, konge av Thomond og hans mor var Bé Binn ingen Murchada, datter av kongen av den vestlige delen av Connacht.

Brians mor skal ha blitt drept av vikinger mens han var et barn. Hans søster Órlaith var gift med Donnchad Donn, konge av Mide og overkonge av Irland. Etter Cennétigs død i 951, ble Brians bror Mathgamain konge av Thomond, og Brian ble konge etter hans død i 976.

Han videreførte med hell de krigene hans bror hadde innledet mot rivaliserende klaner, og ble etterhvert konge over hele Munster.

Brian bygde gradvis opp sin maktbase gjennom krig og politikk, og i 1002 tvang han den regjerende irske overkongen, Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, til å overgi tittelen til Brian. Brian lyktes i større grad enn sine forgjengere å virkelig bli overkonge mer enn bare i navnet.

Innen 1011 hadde alle de regionale herskerne i Irland anerkjent ham som deres overordnede, i 1012 gjorde kong Máelmorda av Leinster opprør mot Brian. Dette førte til Slaget ved Clontarf i 1014 mellom Máelmorda og hans norrøn-gæliske-allierte (blant dem orknøyjarlen Sigurd) på den ene siden, og Brian og hans allierte på den andre. Brians styrker vant slaget, men Brian selv ble drept.

[rediger] Familie

Brian var gift ikke mindre enn fire ganger. Hans første kone var Mór og den andre var Echrad. Om disse vet vi ikke så mye. Hans tredje kone var Gormflaith, datter av Leinster-kongen Murchad MacFinn og enke etter Olav Kvåran. Hans fjerde kone var Dub Choblaig, datter av kongen av Connacht.

Med Mór fikk han sønnen Murchad, som var aktiv som hærfører mens Brian var overkonge og ble drept sammen med Brian ved Clontarf. Murchads sønn Toirdhealbhach ble senere overkonge. Med Echrad fikk han sønnen Tadc. Med Gormflaith fikk han sønnen Dunnchad. Det nevnes også en datter som ble gift med Sigtrygg Silkeskjegg, hennes navn er ikke kjent.

[rediger] Tiden før han ble konge (941-976)

Brian Boru tilhørte en klan kalt Dál Cais som kontrollerte et territorium langs Shannon, den lengste elven i Irland. Dette området ble etterhvert kjent som kongedømmet Thomond, og utgjør i dag deler av grevskapene Clare og Limerick.

Brians klan hadde i generasjoner rivalisert med den sørlige Eóganacht-klanen om herredømmet i Munster. En annen maktfaktor i området var vikinge-byen Limerick ved elven Shannons utløp.

I 964 erobret Dal Cais under ledelse av Brians bror Mathgamain Caisel eller Cashel, hovedsetet til Eóganachtklanen. Etter dette gjorde han krav på hele provinsen Munster[2]. Eóganachts leder, Maelmuad, sønn av Bran, allierte seg blant annet med Limericks hersker Ivar i kampen mot Mathgamain. I 967 seiret Mathgamain over Ivars hær i slaget ved Sulchoid, og plyndret og brente byen Limerick. I 976 ble Mathgamain ved svik tatt til fange og overgitt til Maelmuad som drepte ham. Etter dette ble Brian leder for Dal Cais og konge av Thomond.

[rediger] Konge av Munster (976-997)

Brian Boru tok raskt initiativ for å hevne sin bror og bekrefte Dal Cais sin kontroll over Munster. I rask rekkefølge angrep og nedkjempet han først vikingene i Limerick, så Maelmuads irske allierte før han møtte Maelmuad til et avgjørende slag hvor Maelmuad ble drept. Etter dette hadde Brian og hans klan full kontroll over området resten av Brians levetid.

Måten Brian la under seg Munster viste egenskaper som skulle karakterisere alle hans senere kriger: Han tok initiativet og nedkjempet sine fiender før de kunne forene seg mot ham, og selv om hans framferd i krig nok kan karakteriseres som brutal etter vår tids standard, søkte han forsoning etter en seier heller enn å fortsette fiendskap med enn slagen fiende. Etter at han hadde drept både Ivar av Limerick og hans etterføger, lot han likevel den norrøne befolkningen få bli boende i bosetninhgen i Limerick. Etter at han hadde drept Maelmuad behandlet han hans sønn og etterfølger Cain med respekt, og ga ham sin egen datter Sadhbh til hustru. Slik knyttet han til seg Eóganachtklanen som allierte heller enn fiender, og Cain forble trofast alliert til Brian hele sitt liv.


Stilisert kart over provinsene i Irland på Brian Borus tid. Det refereres i denne artikkelen til de nordlige områdene Breifne, Oriel, Ulidia og Northern Ui Neill som Ulster. Områdene merket med rødt er norrøne bosetninger.Etter å ha etablert herredømme over Munster, begynte Brian Boru å utvide sin innflytelse til naboprovinsene Leinster i øst og Connacht i nordvest. Gjennom dette kom han raskt i konflikt med overkongen Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill som hørte hjemme i provinsen Meath[3]. I løpet av de neste femten årene, fra 982 to 997, ledet Máel Sechnaill gjentatte ganger hærstyrker inn i Leinster og Munster. Brian brukte elven Shannon til å angripe Connacht og Meath på hver sin side av elven. Brian led mange nederlag i denne striden, men det ser ut som om han lærte av sine feil. Han utviklet en militær strategi som han gjorde god nytte av også senere, en koordinert bruk av sjø- og landstridskrefter. Sjøstridskreftene hans inkluderte avdelinger fra vikingebyene som han hadde brakt under kontroll, han kombinerte på mange måter det beste fra vikingenes sjøstridstradisjon med tradisjonelt irsk infanteri. Skip som fraktet deler av hæren hans, enten på elvene eller langs kysten, kunne gi både direkte og indirekte støtte. Indirekte kunne en flåte av skip gjøre en avledningsmanøver ved å angripe fienden langt unna der Brian hadde planlagt sitt hovedangrep, og dermed få fienden til å spre styrkene sine. Han kunne også bruke flåten direkte sammen med hæren, slik at flåten og hæren utgjorde hver sin arm i en knipetangsmanøver.

I 996 hadde Brian endelig kontroll også over Leinster. Det kan ha vært dette som fikk Máel Sechnaill til å inngå et forlik og kompromiss med ham året etter. I 997 anerkjente Máel Sechnaill Brians autoritet over Leth Moga, den sørlige havldel, som inkluderte Munster og Leinster og vikingebyene i disse provinsene. Máel Sechnaill beholdt kontroll over «Leth Cuinn», den nordlige halvdel, altså provinsene Meath, Connacht og Ulster.

[rediger] Første Leinster-opprør (998-999)

Det var ikke populært i Leinster at kongen der hadde underkastet seg Brians autoritet, han mistet tronen i 998 og ble erstattet av Máelmorda mac Murchada. Ettersom Máelmorda kom til tronen som følge av misnøye med Brians kontroll over området, er det ikke overraskende at han gjorde åpent opprør mot Brians herredømme. Som svar samlet Brian Munster-styrkene for å beleire vikingebyen Dublin, hvor Sigtrygg Olavsson Silkeskjegg, Máelmordas nevø og nærmeste allierte, var hersker.

Máelmorda og Sigtrygg valgte å møte Brian på åpen mark heller enn å risikere enn beleiring, og i 999 møttes de i Slaget ved Glen Mama.[4] Brian vant seier, og plyndret Dublin etterpå. Men igjen viste Brian vilje til forsoning, han lot Sigtrygg få tilbake kontrollen over Dublin og befestet freden ved giftermål. Sigtrygg giftet seg med Brians datter, og selv giftet han seg med Gormflaith, Sigtryggs mor og Maelmordas søster. Hun hadde tidligere også vært gift med Máel Sechnaill.

[rediger] Kampen om overherredømme (1000-1002)

Kong Brians ambisjoner var ikke tilfredstilt bare med halve kongeriket, slik avtalen fra 997 ga ham. I år 1000 ledet han en hær med styrker fra Munster, Leinster og Dublin i et angrep på Máel Sechnaills egen provins Meath. Kampen om hvem som skulle ha overherredømme i Irland ble gjenopptatt.

Máel Sechnaills viktigste allierte var Cathal, kongen av Connacht. Mellom de to provinsene Connacht og Meath gikk elven Shannon, og Brian hadde med sine overlegne sjøkrefter kontroll over den. I denne tiden lot Máel Sechnaill bygge flerer broer over Shannon. Det gjorde transport av forsyninger og tropper mellom provinsene han kontrollerte enklere, og bruene fungerte også som hindringer for Brians flåte på plyndringstokt langs Shannon.

I 1002 overgir Máel Sechnaill tittelen Ard Ri til Brian, og Brian har rangen som overkonge til sin død. Det kommer ikke tydelig fram av de kjente annaler hvorfor Máel Sechnaill gir opp kampen. I skriftet Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh gjengis en historie om hvordan Brian utfordrer Máel Sechnaill til å kjempe et slag ved Tara i Meath. Máel Sechnaill ber om en måneds våpenhvile slik han han kan innkalle sine allierte, og Brian innvilger han dette. Men ingen vil støtte Máel Sechnaill mot Brian, og han må gi seg. Denne versjonen gjengis i flere senere irske historieverk, men virker usannsynlig. Ut i fra det vi ellers kjenner til om Brian er det lite trolig at han skulle gi en rival tid til å samle sine styrker når han befant seg i en svakere stilling enn Brian.

[rediger] Ard Rí na hÉireann (1002-1012)

I motsetning til andre hadde vært overkonge bare i navnet, ville Brian virkelig være konge over hele Irland. For å oppnå dette måtte han underkue den siste provinsen som ikke allerede anerkjente ham, nemlig Ulster. Det tok Brian ti år med kontinuerlig krigføring å oppnå dette. Tatt i betraktning at Brian kunne bruke hele den samlede Irske militærmakt mot Ulster, og også her benyttet seg av koordinerte felttog til lands og til sjøs, sier dette noe om hvor hårdnakket motstanden fra herskerne i Ulster var. Han nedkjempet de forskjellige regionale lederne en etter en og tvang dem til å anerkjenne hans overhøyhet, og i 1012 hadde han full kontroll over også denne provinsen.

Brian brukte ikke bare militærmakt for å konsolidere sin posisjon som overkonge. Som mange andre av middelalderens herskere søkte han en allianse med kirken. I motsetning til hva som var vanlig i andre områder, var kirken i Irland ikke dominert av biskoper og erkebiskoper med bispe- og erkebispedømmer. Kirken var bygd opp rundt klostre ledet av mektige abbeder. Disse abbedene tilhørte ofte de dominerende herskerklanene i områdene hvor klostrene lå. Blant de viktigste klostrene var Armagh (Ard Macha) i Ulster, hvor den hellige Patrick i følge tradisjonen opprettet sitt bispesete i 444. Armagh var den gang (som nå) senter for kirken i Irland. I følge opptegnelsene i Armaghs bok ga Brian i 1005 22 unser gull til klosteret, og erklærte at Armagh var den religiøse hovedstaden i Irland som alle andre klostre skulle sende innsamlede midler til.[5] Slik knyttet Brian det mektige Armagh-klosteret til seg, deres status som hovedsete for det åndelige liv var bekreftet av den verdslige makten - så lenge Brian var overkonge. I hvor stor grad kirken nå støttet Brian understrekes av at han i Armaghs bok og andre steder nå omtales som Augustus eller keiser.[6]

Det er mulig at Brian og kirken i samarbeid forsøkte å etablere en ny form for kongedømme i Irland, etter modell av kongedømmene i England og Frankrike, med en enekonge kronet av kirken i stedet for en overkonge som har under seg mer eller mindre selvstendige reginale konger. Brians allianse med kirken bidro sannsynligvis til å styrke hans posisjon i samtiden. Det er helt sikkert at det gode forholdet til kirkens menn har styrket hans ettermæle, ettersom det vi har av skriftlige kilder om Irland på denne tiden ble nedtegnet og overlevert i klostrene.

[rediger] Andre Leinster-opprør. Salget ved Clontarf. (1012-1014)

Máelmorda av Leinster gjorde igjen opprør mot Brian i 1012. Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh gjengir en historie om hvordan en av Brians sønner fornærmer Máelmorda. Máelmordas mor Gormflaith (som i mellomtiden har blitt tilsidesatt som Brians hustru) overtaler ham til å gå til opprør på grunn av denne fornærmelsen. Det er nok likevel sannsynlig at det lå realpolitiske overveielser bak opprøret.

Máelmorda allierte seg igjen med Sigtrygg, og fant også støtte i Ulster som Brian nylig hadde lagt under seg. De angrep først i provinsen Meath, og den tidligere overkongen Máel Sechnaill søkte nå Brians hjelp. I 1013 ledet Brian en hær fra sin Munster og det sørlige Connact inn i Leinster. Hans sønn Murchad ledet en styrke som herjet den sørlgie delen av Leinster i tre måneder. Brian og Murchads styrker ble forent utenfor Dublin 9. september, og byen ble beleiret. Brians hær slapp imidlertid opp for forsyninger, og beleringen ble hevet ved juletider.

Máelmorda hadde sannsynligvis håpet på bred støtte fra andre regionale herskere som Brian tidligere hadde tvunget til underkastelse. Denne støtten uteble - selv om få fra Connacht og færre fra Ulstersendte soldater til støtte for Brian, var det bare en hersker i Ulster som aktivt støttet Máelmorda. Det er sannsynlig at manglende støtte i Irland fikk Máelmorda til å søke støtte utenfra. Sigtrygg reiste til Orknøyene og øya Man, i følge Njåls saga på oppdrag av sin mor Gormflaith (i Njåls Saga Kormloð), men mer sannsynlig er det at det var Máelmorda som hadde bedt ham reise. Her får han støtte fra jarl Sigurd av Orknøyene og også en viss Brodir fra Man.

Brian med sine allierte, blant dem Máel Sechnaill, møtte Máelmorda og hans viking-allierte til et avgjørende slag ved Clontarf, like utenfor Dublin. Brians styrker vant slaget, men Brian selv ble drept. Brian skal ha blitt drept av Brodir, i følge tradisjonen mens han satt i teltet sitt og ba. Dette kan være en senere tradisjon, men det er ikke sannsynlig at den aldrende kongen selv aktivt deltok i kamphandlingene.

Det knytter seg flere legender til Brians død. En er at hans 15 år gamle sønn Tadc var i teltet sammen med ham, og at den ubevæpnete gutten løftet armen for å beskytte sin far. Brodir skal da i et eneste hugg ha hugget av Tadcs arm og Brians hode. Da blodet fra Brian traff Tadcs armstump grodde hånden mirakuløst ut igjen.

[rediger] Historisk betydning

Brian har fått et historisk ettermæle som kongen som forente Irland, og som den som fikk slutt på vikingenes herjinger i landet. Slaget ved Clontarf blir ofte framstillt som et invasjonsforsøk fra skandinaviske vikinger, som blir fordrevet av en irsk hær under Brians ledelse. Virkeligheten var nok adskillig mer sammensatt, det var irer på begge sider ved Clontarf, og selv om «vikinger» fra Dublin, Man og Orknøyene kjempet mot Brian så er det svært sannsynlig at «vikinger» fra Limerick, Cork og Waterford kjempet sammen med Brian.

Den viktigste grunnen Brians ættermæle er nok skriftet Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh. Dette skriftet ble avfattet på en tid da Brians etterkommere rivaliserte med andre slekter om posisjonen som overkonge, og bærer overdrevent preg av lovprisninger av Brian og apologier mot at han skulle være tronraner.

[rediger] Kulturell betydning


Du trenger ikke like klassisk musikk for å finne Brian Boru-harpenSelv om det ikke er noen historiske referanser til at Brian Boru spilte harpe eller brukte harpen som symbol, kalles harpen som brukes i det irske riksvåpen for Brian Boru-harpen. Irlands eldste irske harpe (gælisk Cláirseach), som finnes ved Trinity College i Dublin, kalles ofte bare «the Brian Boru». En viss ironi ligger i at provinsen Leinster, hvor Brian Boru møtte størst motstand, har Boru-harpen som sitt symbol. Harpen finnes også på baksiden av irske to euro mynter.

Dersom du spiller dataspillet Age of Empires II kan du risikere å møte Brian Boru på slagmarken, som datamaskinstyrt hærfører for kelterne.

[rediger] Tillegg

[rediger] Tilnavnet Boru(ma)

Opprinnelsen til tilnavnet Boru eller Borumha (engelsk tribute -avgift) er sannsynligvis knyttet til et av elven Shannons vadesteder hvor Brians klan Dál Cais måtte betale en kveg-skatt til den dominerende Eóganacht-klanen.

En annen teori er at han fikk tilnavnet siden han krevde inn penger fra de mindre herskerne i Irland og brukte disse til å gjenoppbygge klostere og annet som var blitt ødelagt under vikingenes herjinger. Denne siste teorien er nok oppstått etter Brians død.

[rediger] Om modernisering av navn

I nyere folkelige fortellinger om Brian er mange av personnavnene kraftig modernisert. Brians far Cennétig omtales ofte som Kennedy, hans bror Mathgamain for Mahon og overkongen Máel Sechnaill kalles Malachi.

[rediger] Litteratur

Donnchadh Ó Corraín, «Vikings in Ireland and Scotland in the Ninth Century». I: Peritia 1998. Årbok for Medieval Academy of Ireland. issn 0332-1592 pdf

Donnchadh Ó Corraín, The Vikings & Ireland,

Annalene av de fire mesterne

Armaghs bok*

Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh*

Inisfallen-annalene

Njåls saga

Ulster-annalene

  • sitert fra artikkel i engelsk wikipedia

[rediger] Videre lesning

O’Brien, Donough. History of the O’Briens from Brian Boroimhe, A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1945. B. T. Batsford, 1949.

[rediger] Referanser

^ Forskjellige kilder oppgir 926 (bl.a. de 4 store) eller 941 (bl.a. Ulster-annalene)som året for Brian Borus fødsel. Dersom han var født i 926 ville han vært 88 år ved sin død, en svært uvanlig høy alder på den tiden. Dette, sammen med kans vitale akitivet i tiden som overkonge, sannsynliggjør at det er 941 som er det korrekte årstallet for hans fødsel

^ Ulster-annalene omtaler Mathgamain og senere Brian som konger av «Caisil» Dette impliserer (symbolsk) herredømme over hele Munster, tilsvarende måten Konge av Tara (Irland]|Tara impliserte å være overkonge i hele Irland.

^ Meath regnes ikke lenger som en provins i Irland, se Meath (grevskap)

^ Annalene til de fire mesterne oppgir året 998. Den avviker fra andre kilder også på andre punkt: Den hevder at Máel Sechnaill kjempet sammen med Brian, nevner ikke at styrker fra Leinster sto sammen med Sigtrygg og styrkene fra Dubling og angir at Sigtrygg ble forvist fra Dublin etter nederlaget

^ I følge Annalene til de fire mesterne (1004.9) skjer dette i 1004 og beløpet er 20 unser gull.

^ Annalene til de fire mesterne (1013.11)«...áirdrí Erenn, Auguist iarthair Eorpa uile esídhe...», overkonge av Irland og Keiser av hele Vest-Europa.

[rediger] Eksterne lenker

Annalene av de fire mesterne, Ulster-annalene og Inisfallen-annalene i elektronisk utgave (både på gælisk og engelsk) hos CELT

Njåls saga i engelsk oversettelse hos «Online Medieval and Classical Library»

Forgjenger:

Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill  Overkonger av Irland

(1002–1014) Etterfølger:

Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (gjeninnsatt)  

Hentet fra «http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Boru»

-------------------- Brian was a member of the O'Conor clan. His lineage can be traced directly to the present owner of Clonalis House, a beautiful mansion open to visitors. Died on Good Friday. The battle of Clontarf was a victory he won against the Danes. After the battle he went into his tent & knelt to pray when some of the fleeing Danes slew him (axe to the head).

Sources:

The Irish Tourist Board Magazine, 'Ireland 1985'

The book, 'Ireland', by Knopf Guides

The book, 'The Oxford History of Ireland'

(plus many more ~ see Descendants) -------------------- This monarch of Ireland aka 'Boru'. Brian was a member of the O'Conor clan. His lineage can be traced directly to the present owner of Clonalis House, a beautiful mansion open to visitors. Died on a Good Friday. The battle of Clontarf was a victory he won against the Danes. After the battle he went into his tent & knelt to pray when some of the fleeing Danes slew him (axe to the head).

Sources:

The book, 'Ireland', by Knopf Guides

The Irish Tourist Board Magazine, 'Ireland 1985'

(plus many more ~ see Descendants) -------------------- Brian mac Cennétig, called Brian Bóruma, Brian Boru, Emperor of the Irish (c. 941–23 April 1014), (English: Brian Boru, Irish: Brian Bóraimhe), was an Irish king who ended the centuries-long domination of the Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated Leinster, making himself ruler of the south of Ireland.

The Uí Néill king Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, abandoned by his northern kinsmen of the Cenél nEógain and Cenél Conaill, acknowledged Brian as High King at Athlone in 1002. In the decade that followed, Brian campaigned against the northern Uí Néill, who refused to accept his claims, against Leinster, where resistance was frequent, and against Dublin. Brian's hard-won authority was seriously challenged in 1013 when his ally Máel Sechnaill was attacked by the Cenél nEógain king Flaithbertach Ua Néill, with the Ulstermen as his allies. This was followed by further attacks on Máel Sechnaill by the Norse Gaels of Dublin under their king Sihtric Silkbeard and the Leinstermen led by Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian campaigned against these enemies in 1013. In 1014, Brian's armies confronted the armies of Leinster and Dublin at Clontarf near Dublin on Good Friday. The resulting Battle of Clontarf was a bloody affair, with Brian, his son Murchad, and Máel Mórda among those killed. The list of the noble dead in the Annals of Ulster includes Irish kings, Norse Gaels, Scotsmen, and Scandinavians. The immediate beneficiary of the slaughter was Máel Sechnaill who resumed his interrupted reign as the last Uí Néill High King.

In death, Brian proved to be a greater figure than in life. The court of his great-grandson Muirchertach Ua Briain produced the Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, a work of near hagiography. The Norse Gaels and Scandinavians too produced works magnifying Brian, among these Njal's Saga, the Orkneyinga Saga, and the now-lost Brian's Saga. Brian's war against Máel Mórda and Sihtric was to be inextricably connected with his complicated marital relations, in particular his marriage to Gormlaith, Máel Mórda's sister and Sihtric's mother, who had been in turn the wife of Amlaíb Cuarán‎, king of Dublin and York, then of Máel Sechnaill, and finally of Brian.

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Boru -------------------- King of Munster and Ireland -------------------- Brian Boru was born Brian Mac Cennetig. His mother was sister to the mother of Conor, the King of Connaught. Brian's brother Mahon had become King of Munster in 951, upon the death of their father Cennetig. Together they fought against the invading Norsemen who had imposed taxes in Munster. This lead to the murder of Mahon in 975 by the Ostermen (Norse). Brian advenged his brother's death by killing the King of Ostermen of Limerick, King Imar.

Brian was the last great High King of Ireland and perhaps the greatest military leader the country has ever known.

He earned his name as "Brian of the Tributes" (Brian Boru) by collecting tributes from the minor rulers of Ireland and used the monies to restore monasteries and libraries that had benn destroyed during the invasions.

The Norsemen once again waged war on Brian Boru and his followers at Clontarf in Dublin in 1014. The King of Connaught, Tadhg O'Connor refues to ally with Brian against the Ostermen although Ui Fiachrach Aidne and Ui Maine did join him.

Despite the lack of backing from the men of Connaught, the Munstermen won the day but lost Brian Boru in the battle on Good Friday April 23, 1014. Brian was in his tent praying when retreating Norsemen came across his unguarded tent. They beheaded Brian and were immediatle captured. They suffered a long painful death. Brian's wake lasted 12 days. This battle was the turning point as the Norse presence in Ireland were now considered subordinate to the Kingships of Ireland. Their military threat had been ended and they retreated. They eventually became completely integrated into Gaelic culture.

After his death and the death of one of his sons, his remaining sons, Tadg and Donnchad, were unable to assume the kingship which was assumed by Mael Sechnaill. The role of High King of Ireland became more of a position in name only, rather than that of a powerful ruler.

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-------------------- Brian Boru

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Brian Bóruma

High King of Ireland, Emperor of the Scots

A much later engraving of Brian Boru, Emperor of the Irish

Reign 1002–1014

Predecessor Mathgamain mac Cennétig

Successor Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill

Father Cennétig mac Lorcáin

Mother Bé Binn ingen Murchada

Brian mac Cennétig, called Brian Bóruma, Brian Boru, Emperor of the Irish (c. 941–23 April 1014), (English: Brian Boru, Irish: Brian Bórumha or Brian Bóru), was an Irish king who ended the centuries-long domination of the High Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated Leinster, making himself ruler of the south of Ireland. The O'Brien Clan regard him as their founder.

The Uí Néill king Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, abandoned by his northern kinsmen of the Cenél nEógain and Cenél Conaill, acknowledged Brian as High King at Athlone in 1002. In the decade that followed, Brian campaigned against the northern Uí Néill, who refused to accept his claims, against Leinster, where resistance was frequent, and against the Norse Gaelic kingdom of Dublin. Brian's hard-won authority was seriously challenged in 1013 when his ally Máel Sechnaill was attacked by the Cenél nEógain king Flaithbertach Ua Néill, with the Ulstermen as his allies. This was followed by further attacks on Máel Sechnaill by the Dubliners under their king Sihtric Silkbeard and the Leinstermen led by Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian campaigned against these enemies in 1013. In 1014, Brian's armies confronted the armies of Leinster and Dublin at Clontarf near Dublin on Good Friday. The resulting Battle of Clontarf was a bloody affair, with Brian, his son Murchad, and Máel Mórda among those killed. The list of the noble dead in the Annals of Ulster includes Irish kings, Norse Gaels, Scotsmen, and Scandinavians. The immediate beneficiary of the slaughter was Máel Sechnaill who resumed his interrupted reign as the last Uí Néill High King.

In death, Brian proved to be a greater figure than in life. The court of his great-grandson Muirchertach Ua Briain produced the Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, a work of near hagiography. The Norse Gaels and Scandinavians too produced works magnifying Brian, among these Njal's Saga, the Orkneyinga Saga, and the now-lost Brian's Saga. Brian's war against Máel Mórda and Sihtric was to be inextricably connected with his complicated marital relations, in particular his marriage to Gormlaith, Máel Mórda's sister and Sihtric's mother, who had been in turn the wife of Amlaíb Cuarán‎, king of Dublin and York, then of Máel Sechnaill, and finally of Brian.

Contents [hide]

1 Biography

1.1 Early life

1.2 The Dál gCais

1.3 Mathgamain

1.4 Extending authority

1.5 The struggle for Ireland

1.6 Emperor of the Irish

2 Historical view

3 Marriages

4 Cultural heritage

5 In popular culture

6 Notes

7 Sources

8 Further reading

9 See also

Biography Early life

Brian was likely born in 941 although some sources date his birth as early as 926.[who?] He was born near Killaloe, a town in the region of Tuadmumu (Thomond) where his father, Cennétig mac Lorcáin, was king.

When their father died, the kingship of Tuadmumu passed to Brian's older brother, Mathgamain, and, when Mathgamain was killed in 976, Brian replaced him. Subsequently he became the King of the entire kingdom of Munster. His mother Bé Binn was also killed by Vikings when he was a child.[1]

The origin of his cognomen Boru or Borúma (of the tributes) is believed to relate to a crossing point on the river Shannon where a cattle-tribute was driven from his sept, the Dál gCais to the larger sept to which they owed allegiance, the Eóganachta. However, it seems more likely that he would have been given this name for being the man to reverse the tide of this tribute, and receive it back from those who his family formerly paid it to. Later legends originated to suggest that it was because he collected monies from the minor rulers of Ireland and used these to rebuild monasteries and libraries that had been destroyed during Norsemen (Viking) invasions.

The Dál gCais Brian belonged to the Dál gCais (or Dalcassians) who occupied a territory straddling the largest river in Ireland, the River Shannon, a territory that would later be known as the Kingdom of Thomond and today incorporates portions of County Clare and County Limerick. The Shannon served as an easy route by which raids could be made against the province of Connacht (to the river's west) and Meath (to its east). Both Brian's father, Cennétig mac Lorcáin and his older brother Mathgamain conducted river-borne raids, in which the young Brian would undoubtedly have participated. This was probably the root of his appreciation for naval forces in his later career.

An important influence upon the Dalcassians was the presence of the Hiberno-Norse city of Limerick on an isthmus around which the Shannon River winds (known today as King's Island or the Island Field). Undoubtedly the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick and the Dalcassians frequently came to blows, but it's unlikely that the relationship was always one of hostility; there was probably peaceful contact as well, such as trade. The Dalcassians may have benefited from these interactions, from which they would have been exposed to Norse innovations such as superior weapons and ship design, all factors that may have contributed to their growing power.

[edit]Mathgamain

In 964, Brian's older brother, Mathgamain, claimed control over the entire province of Munster by capturing the Rock of Cashel, capital of the rival Eóganacht dynasty. The Eóganacht king, Máel Muad mac Brain, organised an anti-Dalcassian alliance that included another Irish king in Munster, Donndubháin mac Cathail of the Uí Fidgenti, and Ivar of Limerick, of the Uí Ímair. At the Battle of Sulchoid, a Dalcassian army led by Mathgamain and Brian decisively defeated the Hiberno-Norse army of Limerick and, following up their victory, looted and burned the city. The Dalcassian victory at Sulchoid may have led Máel Muad to decide that deception might succeed where an open contest of strength on the battlefield had failed. In 976 Mathgamain attended what was supposed to be a peaceful meeting for reconciliation, where he was seized and murdered. It was under these unpromising circumstances that Brian became the new leader of the Dalcassians.

Brian immediately set about avenging his brother's death and reinstating the control of the Dalcassians over the province of Munster. In quick succession, he attacked and defeated the Hiberno-Norse of Limerick, Máel Muad's Irish allies, and finally, Máel Muad himself. Brian's approach to establishing his control over the Munster demonstrated features that would become characteristic of all of his wars: he seized the initiative, defeating his enemies before they could join forces to overwhelm him, and although he was ruthless and horribly brutal by modern standards, he sought reconciliation in the aftermath of victory rather than continuing hostility. After he had killed both the ruler of Limerick, Ivar, and Ivar's successor, he allowed the Hiberno-Norse in Limerick to remain in their settlement. After he had killed Máel Muad, he treated his son and successor, Cian, with great respect, giving Cian the hand of his daughter, Sadb in marriage. Cian remained a faithful ally for the rest of his life.

[edit]Extending authority

Having established unchallenged rule over his home Province of Munster, Brian turned to extending his authority over the neighboring provinces of Leinster to the east and Connacht to the north. By doing so, he came into conflict with High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill whose power base was the Province of Meath. For the next fifteen years, from 982 to 997, High King Máel Sechnaill repeatedly led armies into Leinster and Munster, while Brian, like his father and brother before him, led his naval forces up the Shannon to attack Connacht and Meath on either side of the river. He suffered quite a few reverses in this struggle, but appears to have learned from his setbacks. He developed a military strategy that would serve him well throughout his career: the coordinated use of forces on both land and water, including on rivers and along Ireland's coast. Brian's naval forces, which included contingents supplied by the Hiberno-Norse cities that he brought under his control, provided both indirect and direct support for his forces on land. Indirect support involved a fleet making a diversionary attack on an enemy in a location far away from where Brian planned to strike with his army. Direct support involved naval forces acting as one arm in a strategic pincer, the army forming the other arm.

In 996 Brian finally managed to control the province of Leinster, which may have been what led Máel Sechnaill to reach a compromise with him in the following year. By recognising Brian's authority over Leth Moga, that is, the Southern Half, which included the Provinces of Munster and Leinster (and the Hiberno-Norse cities within them), Máel Sechnaill was simply accepting the reality that confronted him and retained control over Leth Cuinn, that is, the Northern Half, which consisted of the Provinces of Meath, Connacht, and Ulster.

Precisely because he had submitted to Brian's authority, the King of Leinster was overthrown in 998 and replaced by Máel Morda mac Murchada. Given the circumstances under which Máel Morda had been appointed, it is not surprising that he launched an open rebellion against Brian's authority. In response, Brian assembled the forces of the Province of Munster with the intention of laying siege to the Hiberno-Norse city of Dublin, which was ruled by Máel Morda's ally and cousin, Sigtrygg Silkbeard. Together Máel Morda and Sigtrygg determined to meet Brian's army in battle rather than risk a siege. Thus, in 999, the opposing armies fought the Battle of Glen Mama. The Irish annals all agree that this was a particularly fierce and bloody engagement, although claims that it lasted from morning until midnight, or that the combined Leinster-Dublin force lost 4,000 killed are open to question. In any case, Brian followed up his victory, as he and his brother had in the aftermath of the Battle of Sulchoid thirty-two years before, by capturing and sacking the enemy's city. Once again, however, Brian opted for reconciliation; he requested Sigtrygg to return and resume his position as ruler of Dublin, giving Sigtrygg the hand of one of his daughters in marriage, just as he had with the Eoganacht King, Cian. It may have been on this occasion that Brian married Sigtrygg's mother and Máel Morda's sister Gormflaith, the former wife of Máel Sechnaill.

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Brian Boru, High King of Ireland's Timeline

941
941
Leinster, Ireland
951
951
Age 10

Brian's brother Mahon became King of Munster in 951 following the death of their father Cennetig.

965
965
Age 24
Clare, Munster, Ireland
968
968
Age 27
Ireland
968
Age 27
Munster, Ireland
974
974
Age 33
975
975
Age 34
975
Age 34
980
980
Age 39
Ireland
980
Age 39
Kincora, Munster, Ireland