Friday, August 22, 2008

Brian Boru (Brian Borumha) (c 941 to April 23, 1014) was originally King of Munster. He became High King of Ireland by overthrowing the power of the Ui Neill's, and later defeating the Vikings at their Dublin settlement on Good Friday, April 23, 1014. He, and a huge number of the nobility on both sides were killed in the battle, but he became legend after his death.
The reputed "Harp of Brian Boru" became the national symbol of Ireland and is housed in the 'Old Library' at Trinity College which we visited a couple of days ago. More on Trinity College, the Old Library and The Book of Kells later. The problem with 'Brian Boru's Harp isn't Brian Boru's Harp, despite all the legends that grew up about this item over the centuries. Ah, yet another illusion shattered. The harp, however, is the oldest harp extant in Ireland, dating from the 15th century. It certainly is of fine craftsmanship, and has recently been restored. It makes a beautiful sight in its display case.

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