Lifeways of Gaelic Learned Families

Saturday, 7 April, 2018
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On Saturday 7 April, at 2.30pm, NUIG Professor Elizabeth FitzPatrick will give an illustrated talk at Galway City Museum on the lives and work of these hereditary learned classes, which were somewhat unique functionaries in European society of the time.

Law school building on the O'Davoren Estate, Burren, Co. Clare. Courtesy of Elizabeth FitzPatrick

Picture above: Law school building on the O'Davoren Estate, Burren, Co. Clare. Courtesy of Elizabeth FitzPatrick

In the late medieval period, professional learned families served the households of Gaelic and English-Irish lords in law, medicine, history, poetry, music and high-level crafts. Several of them conducted schools in the Gaelic arts on their landholdings as well as farming and providing hospitality. By the sixteenth century there were hundreds of such families on the island of Ireland.

Elizabeth FitzPatrick is a professor of historical archaeology at the School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway, a director of the Discovery Programme, a member of the international advisory Board for Medieval Archaeology, London, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. She has published widely on medieval landscape, settlement and land-use practices among early medieval Gaelic kings and later medieval lords, with an emphasis on topographies of elite power and territorial boundaries, assembly places and hunting grounds, churches, settlement forms, and medieval use of prehistoric landscapes in Gaelic polities. She is currently collaborating on an exhibition entitled ‘Keepers of Gael: Culture and Society in Gaelic Ireland AD 1200 - 1600’ with Galway City Museum, which is due to open in early 2019.

Admission is free but advance booking is recommended as places are limited. For further details or to make a booking please contact Galway City Museum on(091) 532460.