'Irish population in serious decline before Vikings arrived, research finds' - Really?

Catahualpa

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I see on the RTE website this morning that an Academic in Belfast is making some startling claims on the state of Ireland's population during the latter centuries of the 1st Millennium.

For instance:
It had been assumed that the Irish population saw a steady rise across the centuries until the Famine in the 1840s.

Assumed by whom? It is well known that the population has fluctuated over the centuries and has not been one long steady progression.

But academics at Queen's University Belfast have produced an estimate of past population numbers which show there had been a decline for almost 200 years before the Vikings settled in Ireland in the 10th century.

Well the Vikings so called arrived at the end of the 8th Century in these islands:

M793.7
Inis Padraig, was burned by foreigners, and they bore away the shrine of Dochonna; and they also committed depredations between Ireland and Alba [Scotland].
Annals of the Four Masters

We think that their 1st permanent settlements date from the 840s [9th century] so it would be interesting to see where they came up with a figure from another century!

Dr Rowan McLaughlin said Ireland's population appears to have gone into an unexplained decline around 700AD.
"Millions of people lived in Ireland during prehistory and the earliest Christian times," he said.
"Around the year 700, this population in Ireland mysteriously entered a decline, perhaps because of war, famine, plague or political unrest.


There is nothing unexplained about it - Ireland was hit by a Plague in the 660s - An Buidhe Connail - The Yellow of Connal

We don't know what it was exactly but according to the Annals it was pretty devastating

See:

A great mortality in Ireland came on the calends of August i.e. in Magh Itha in Leinster.
The Annals of Tigernach 664 AD
The plague reached Ireland on the Kalends of August.
Chronicum Scotorum

A great mortality prevailed in Ireland this year, which was called the Buidhe Connail, and the following number of the saints of Ireland died of it: St. Feichin, Abbot of Fobhar, on the 14th of February; St. Ronan, son of Bearach; St. Aileran the Wise; St. Cronan, son of Silne; St. Manchan, of Liath; St. Ultan Mac hUi Cunga, Abbot of Cluain Iraird Clonard; Colman Cas, Abbot of Cluain Mic Nois; and Cummine, Abbot of Cluain Mic Nois.
After Diarmaid and Blathmac, the two sons of Aedh Slaine, had been eight years in the sovereignty of Ireland, they died of the same plague.
There died also Maelbreasail, son of Maelduin, and Cu Gan Mathair, King of Munster; Aenghus Uladh. There died very many ecclesiastics and laics in Ireland of this mortality besides these.

Annals of the Four Masters 664 AD

Its Bizarre that these Researchers would be unaware of this huge event in Irish History!

It also devastated Britain too.
IN the same year of our Lord 664, there happened an eclipse of the sun, on the third day of May, about the tenth hour of the day. In the same year, a sudden pestilence depopulated first the southern parts of Britain, and afterwards attacking the province of the Northumbrians, ravaged the country far and near, and destroyed a great multitude of men.
Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England

Then they tell us:

"The Vikings settled in Ireland in the 10th century, during the phase of decline and despite being few in number, they were more successful than the 'natives' in expanding their population.

This is very doubtful as they never came remotely close to dominating Ireland. They did however establish bases in urban areas that they dominated. But they never had the numbers to permanently control much territory outside of them.
 
Last edited:


jmcc

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There is also tree ring evidence for colder than usual weather around 700 to 900 AD. But it is just RTE's reporting. It would be better to read the literature and ask people who understand it to explain rather than rely upon RTE.
 

silverharp

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There is also tree ring evidence for colder than usual weather around 700 to 900 AD. But it is just RTE's reporting. It would be better to read the literature and ask people who understand it to explain rather than rely upon RTE.
it was also behind the Vikings needing to head south?
 

jmcc

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it was also behind the Vikings needing to head south?
Cold weather and lower crop yields force expansion but so does exhausting local resources. Some of it was seasonal but there was also a permanent element to it. The Vikings even got as far south as the Med and as far west as Newfoundland ( L'Anse aux Meadows - Wikipedia ), Greenland and possibly into North America. The sea lanes were the motorways of that age and Europe was a lot better connected than people today seem to understand.
 

silverharp

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Cold weather and lower crop yields force expansion but so does exhausting local resources. Some of it was seasonal but there was also a permanent element to it. The Vikings even got as far south as the Med and as far west as Newfoundland ( L'Anse aux Meadows - Wikipedia ), Greenland and possibly into North America. The sea lanes were the motorways of that age and Europe was a lot better connected than people today seem to understand.
or even with Iceland , when they arrived there first there were trees etc. its just that they burned through the resources quicker then nature could replace it.
 

jmcc

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or even with Iceland , when they arrived there first there were trees etc. its just that they burned through the resources quicker then nature could replace it.
Yep. And the Irish were there first. :)
 

Emily Davison

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This is very doubtful as they never came remotely close to dominating Ireland. They did however establish bases in urban areas that they dominated. But they never had the numbers to permanently control much territory outside of them.
One of my children started in a job in a supermarket here last Monday. One of the staff told the others said child was from Sweden. I kid you not.

So this doesn't surprise me one bit.

Our family is a mix of everything. All different hair and eye colours, you name it we have it. So that's celt/viking/anglo saxon. Some of us tan, some do not, some have freckles some have none. We have near olive skin and pure Irish white.
 

lostexpectation

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I see on the RTE website this morning that an Academic in Belfast is making some startling claims on the state of Ireland's population during the latter centuries of the 1st Millennium.

For instance:
It had been assumed that the Irish population saw a steady rise across the centuries until the Famine in the 1840s.

Assumed by whom? It is well known that the population has fluctuated over the centuries and has not been one long steady progression.

But academics at Queen's University Belfast have produced an estimate of past population numbers which show there had been a decline for almost 200 years before the Vikings settled in Ireland in the 10th century.

Well the Vikings so called arrived at the end of the 8th Century in these islands:

M793.7
Inis Padraig, was burned by foreigners, and they bore away the shrine of Dochonna; and they also committed depredations between Ireland and Alba Scotland.
Annals of the Four Masters


We think that there 1st permanent settlements date from the 840s [9th century] so it would be interesting to see where they came up with a figure from another century!

Dr Rowan McLaughlin said Ireland's population appears to have gone into an unexplained decline around 700AD.
"Millions of people lived in Ireland during prehistory and the earliest Christian times," he said.
"Around the year 700, this population in Ireland mysteriously entered a decline, perhaps because of war, famine, plague or political unrest.


There is nothing unexplained about it - Ireland was hit by a Plague in the 660s - An Buidhe Connail - The Yellow of Connal

We don't know what it was exactly but according to the Annals it was pretty devastating

See:

A great mortality in Ireland came on the calends of August i.e. in Magh Itha in Leinster.
The Annals of Tigernach 664 AD
The plague reached Ireland on the Kalends of August.
Chronicum Scotorum

A great mortality prevailed in Ireland this year, which was called the Buidhe Connail, and the following number of the saints of Ireland died of it: St. Feichin, Abbot of Fobhar, on the 14th of February; St. Ronan, son of Bearach; St. Aileran the Wise; St. Cronan, son of Silne; St. Manchan, of Liath; St. Ultan Mac hUi Cunga, Abbot of Cluain Iraird Clonard; Colman Cas, Abbot of Cluain Mic Nois; and Cummine, Abbot of Cluain Mic Nois.
After Diarmaid and Blathmac, the two sons of Aedh Slaine, had been eight years in the sovereignty of Ireland, they died of the same plague.
There died also Maelbreasail, son of Maelduin, and Cu Gan Mathair, King of Munster; Aenghus Uladh. There died very many ecclesiastics and laics in Ireland of this mortality besides these.

Annals of the Four Masters 664 AD

Its Bizarre that these Researchers would be unaware of this huge event in Irish History!

It also devastated Britain too.
IN the same year of our Lord 664, there happened an eclipse of the sun, on the third day of May, about the tenth hour of the day. In the same year, a sudden pestilence depopulated first the southern parts of Britain, and afterwards attacking the province of the Northumbrians, ravaged the country far and near, and destroyed a great multitude of men.
Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England

Then they tell us:

"The Vikings settled in Ireland in the 10th century, during the phase of decline and despite being few in number, they were more successful than the 'natives' in expanding their population.

This is very doubtful as they never came remotely close to dominating Ireland. They did however establish bases in urban areas that they dominated. But they never had the numbers to permanently control much territory outside of them.
learn how to use quotes
 

stopdoingstuff

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Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
22,399
One of my children started in a job in a supermarket here last Monday. One of the staff told the others said child was from Sweden. I kid you not.

So this doesn't surprise me one bit.

Our family is a mix of everything. All different hair and eye colours, you name it we have it. So that's celt/viking/anglo saxon. Some of us tan, some do not, some have freckles some have none. We have near olive skin and pure Irish white.
The Lord will punish your race-mixing ways.
 

rainmaker

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
22,664
I see on the RTE website this morning that an Academic in Belfast is making some startling claims on the state of Ireland's population during the latter centuries of the 1st Millennium.

For instance:
It had been assumed that the Irish population saw a steady rise across the centuries until the Famine in the 1840s.

Assumed by whom? It is well known that the population has fluctuated over the centuries and has not been one long steady progression.

But academics at Queen's University Belfast have produced an estimate of past population numbers which show there had been a decline for almost 200 years before the Vikings settled in Ireland in the 10th century.

Well the Vikings so called arrived at the end of the 8th Century in these islands:

M793.7
Inis Padraig, was burned by foreigners, and they bore away the shrine of Dochonna; and they also committed depredations between Ireland and Alba Scotland.
Annals of the Four Masters


We think that there 1st permanent settlements date from the 840s [9th century] so it would be interesting to see where they came up with a figure from another century!

Dr Rowan McLaughlin said Ireland's population appears to have gone into an unexplained decline around 700AD.
"Millions of people lived in Ireland during prehistory and the earliest Christian times," he said.
"Around the year 700, this population in Ireland mysteriously entered a decline, perhaps because of war, famine, plague or political unrest.


There is nothing unexplained about it - Ireland was hit by a Plague in the 660s - An Buidhe Connail - The Yellow of Connal

We don't know what it was exactly but according to the Annals it was pretty devastating

See:

A great mortality in Ireland came on the calends of August i.e. in Magh Itha in Leinster.
The Annals of Tigernach 664 AD
The plague reached Ireland on the Kalends of August.
Chronicum Scotorum

A great mortality prevailed in Ireland this year, which was called the Buidhe Connail, and the following number of the saints of Ireland died of it: St. Feichin, Abbot of Fobhar, on the 14th of February; St. Ronan, son of Bearach; St. Aileran the Wise; St. Cronan, son of Silne; St. Manchan, of Liath; St. Ultan Mac hUi Cunga, Abbot of Cluain Iraird Clonard; Colman Cas, Abbot of Cluain Mic Nois; and Cummine, Abbot of Cluain Mic Nois.
After Diarmaid and Blathmac, the two sons of Aedh Slaine, had been eight years in the sovereignty of Ireland, they died of the same plague.
There died also Maelbreasail, son of Maelduin, and Cu Gan Mathair, King of Munster; Aenghus Uladh. There died very many ecclesiastics and laics in Ireland of this mortality besides these.

Annals of the Four Masters 664 AD

Its Bizarre that these Researchers would be unaware of this huge event in Irish History!

It also devastated Britain too.
IN the same year of our Lord 664, there happened an eclipse of the sun, on the third day of May, about the tenth hour of the day. In the same year, a sudden pestilence depopulated first the southern parts of Britain, and afterwards attacking the province of the Northumbrians, ravaged the country far and near, and destroyed a great multitude of men.
Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England

Then they tell us:

"The Vikings settled in Ireland in the 10th century, during the phase of decline and despite being few in number, they were more successful than the 'natives' in expanding their population.

This is very doubtful as they never came remotely close to dominating Ireland. They did however establish bases in urban areas that they dominated. But they never had the numbers to permanently control much territory outside of them.
Unless you can include an immigration angle on a thread about population decline this thread will never get beyond two pages.
 

parentheses

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I think the main commodity in Ireland for the Vikings was slaves.

It's hard to see how a country being raided for slaves could have a growing population.
 

Catahualpa

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irelandinhistory.blogspot.com
I think the main commodity in Ireland for the Vikings was slaves.

It's hard to see how a country being raided for slaves could have a growing population.
The amount of people taken as slaves was relatively small

After the initial raids and once the Vikings decided to 'over winter' in Ireland they mostly would have been High Born people who were held for ransom.
 

parentheses

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The amount of people taken as slaves was relatively small

After the initial raids and once the Vikings decided to 'over winter' in Ireland they mostly would have been High Born people who were held for ransom.
I find that hard to believe. The Vikings estabblished a number of bases in Ireland. The main high value commodity would have been slaves. I expect they either raided for slaves or paid local clanns to deliver to them, as happened in Africa.

We have some evidence of viking raiding in Ireland. The Vikings tried to smoke out a large number of people in a cave in Kilkenny. The people suffocated. Apparently the bones were still there in the 19th century.
 

Catahualpa

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I find that hard to believe. The Vikings estabblished a number of bases in Ireland. The main high value commodity would have been slaves. I expect they either raided for slaves or paid local clanns to deliver to them, as happened in Africa.

We have some evidence of viking raiding in Ireland. The Vikings tried to smoke out a large number of people in a cave in Kilkenny. The people suffocated. Apparently the bones were still there in the 19th century.
No one is disputing that the Vikings took Slaves

- but the numbers involved are open to question.

Dublin was an entrepôt for all manner of goods coming into and out of Ireland that connected into a Trade network with entrails reaching as far as Constantinople and the Artic regions.

It should be borne in mind that slaves were also brought into Ireland for sale. For instance in 871 Olaf and Ivar, joint Kings of Dublin, returned to Dublin with 200 shiploads of English, Britons and Pictish prisoners for the Slave market.

Allowing for say 10 slaves per ship that would be 2,000 people for Sale!
 
Last edited:

AhNowStop

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The slavery thing would no doubt have had an impact but would it have been that big ? .. who knows..

here's some info on the possible extradition of slaves form Ireland to Iceland around the time .. or it could just have been emigration

 

between the bridges

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between the bridges

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Fritzbox

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One of my children started in a job in a supermarket here last Monday. One of the staff told the others said child was from Sweden. I kid you not.
Were there no blond-haired people in Ireland before the arrival of the Vikings?
 

Catahualpa

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The slavery thing would no doubt have had an impact but would it have been that big ? .. who knows..

here's some info on the possible extradition of slaves form Ireland to Iceland around the time .. or it could just have been emigration

What is not in doubt, however, is that a large proportion of the earliest Icelandic settlers reached Iceland from these islands. This accounts for the surprise felt by many Irish who visit Iceland when they see people walking down the streets of Reykjavik who look so Irish they could have been plucked from the streets of Dublin. Perhaps their ancestors were.

That article is from the year 2000!

Today Reykjavik could look more Irish than Dublin now is!
 


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