The Battle of Clontarf in 1014: an analysis by a theoretical physicist and mathematician

GDPR

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When the Vikings invaded Ireland in their long boats and in small groups, Ireland was (typically) riven by enmities between rival factions. Untypically they were united by Brian Boru to fight the foreigners, and in the final battle in 1014 at Clontarf the Irish defeated the Vikings.

The main contemporary account of this battle is called Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh (The War of the Irish with the Foreigners); there are other sources and although some of them are contradictory and have confusing timelines, all of them concluded that Brian Boru was a magnificent hero, the Irish were great and the Vikings were not (boo, hiss).

This conclusion has been questioned by revisionist historians who considered that the Battle of Clontarf was one primarily between the native Irish factions. Fighting the Vikings was only a secondary matter.

Now an analysis led by Ralph Kenna, a theoretical physicist and mathematician at Coventry University (and an Irishman) has concluded that it was likely the the original text sources were correct: the battle was between the Irish - united (for a change) under Brian Boru - and the invading Vikings.

The research team used social network analysis:
—the kind Facebook uses to figure out who your friends are—to analyze the relationships between characters in the Cogadh. Sindbæk says that although this method is used increasingly in anthropology, applying it to characters in ancient texts is quite ingenious. Kenna and colleagues mapped out every interaction among the 315 characters mentioned in the Cogadh, and coded their more than 1100 interactions as either friendly or hostile. They then tallied the hostile interactions into a single scorecard: If the nastiness was Irish-on-Irish, the score went up. If it was Irish-on-Viking, the score went down. The final score was negative. That means it’s quite likely that the war really was a struggle primarily against the Vikings, Kenna’s team reports.

The team admits the analysis relies on the accuracy of the relationships described in the sources, so it may not be perfect:
But even though the text is biased in its character descriptions, [Kenna] doesn’t think its authors would have altered the actual alliances and conflicts. “There’s an art to propaganda,” Kenna says. “You can’t falsify too much or else people won’t accept it.”

I find this a very interesting method to study historical events. Will historians of the future be required to have advanced mathematical and/or computer skills as well as the other skills needed to study history?

What other historical events should be analysed in this manner?

What do p.iesters with more historical knowledge than I have think of this analysis with regard to Irish history generally?

See the original article in Science magazine: The Vikings were enemy No. 1 for Irish hero Brian Boru, social network study says

 


Catalpast

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BB was a sworn enemy of the Vikings

- but he also wanted to rule Ireland

The Laigin [Leinster south of the Liffey] were traditionally seen as the vassals of the King of Tara

The King of Tara was drawn from alternatively two branches of the O'Neill family - the southern O'Neills and the northern O'Neills

But in 1002 AD King Brian got the southern O'Neills to submit

He then considered the Laigin his vassals

As might be imagined they were none too happy about it

They saw ready allies with the Vikings of Dublin (as the lesser of evils)

King Brian went to the battle with all Munster behind him + south Galway and very important the Mel the King of Meath (and ex High King)

The North stayed out of it all

And that boys and girls is a very simplified account as to what caused the Battle of Clontarf to take place....
 
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between the bridges

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BB was a sworn enemy of the Vikings

- but he also wanted to rule Ireland

The Laigin [Leinster south of the Liffey] were traditionally seen as the vassals of the King of Tara

The King of Tara was drawn from alternatively two branches of the O'Neill family - the southern O'Neills and the northern O'Neills

But in 2002 AD King Brian got the southern O'Neills to submit

He then considered the Laigin his vassals

As might be imagined they were none too happy about it

They saw ready allies with the Vikings of Dublin (as the lesser of evils)

King Brian went to the battle with all Munster behind him + south Galway and very important the Mel the King of Meath (and ex High King)

The North stayed out of it all

And that boys and girls is a very simplified account as to what caused the Battle of Clontarf to take place....
2002 AD? Twas Judge Dredd at it?
 

The Herren

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When the Vikings invaded Ireland in their long boats and in small groups, Ireland was (typically) riven by enmities between rival factions. Untypically they were united by Brian Boru to fight the foreigners, and in the final battle in 1014 at Clontarf the Irish defeated the Vikings.

The main contemporary account of this battle is called Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh (The War of the Irish with the Foreigners); there are other sources and although some of them are contradictory and have confusing timelines, all of them concluded that Brian Boru was a magnificent hero, the Irish were great and the Vikings were not (boo, hiss).

This conclusion has been questioned by revisionist historians who considered that the Battle of Clontarf was one primarily between the native Irish factions. Fighting the Vikings was only a secondary matter.

Now an analysis led by Ralph Kenna, a theoretical physicist and mathematician at Coventry University (and an Irishman) has concluded that it was likely the the original text sources were correct: the battle was between the Irish - united (for a change) under Brian Boru - and the invading Vikings.

The research team used social network analysis:
—the kind Facebook uses to figure out who your friends are—to analyze the relationships between characters in the Cogadh. Sindbæk says that although this method is used increasingly in anthropology, applying it to characters in ancient texts is quite ingenious. Kenna and colleagues mapped out every interaction among the 315 characters mentioned in the Cogadh, and coded their more than 1100 interactions as either friendly or hostile. They then tallied the hostile interactions into a single scorecard: If the nastiness was Irish-on-Irish, the score went up. If it was Irish-on-Viking, the score went down. The final score was negative. That means it’s quite likely that the war really was a struggle primarily against the Vikings, Kenna’s team reports.

The team admits the analysis relies on the accuracy of the relationships described in the sources, so it may not be perfect:
But even though the text is biased in its character descriptions, [Kenna] doesn’t think its authors would have altered the actual alliances and conflicts. “There’s an art to propaganda,” Kenna says. “You can’t falsify too much or else people won’t accept it.”

I find this a very interesting method to study historical events. Will historians of the future be required to have advanced mathematical and/or computer skills as well as the other skills needed to study history?

What other historical events should be analysed in this manner?

What do p.iesters with more historical knowledge than I have think of this analysis with regard to Irish history generally?

See the original article in Science magazine: The Vikings were enemy No. 1 for Irish hero Brian Boru, social network study says

Get a life FFS.
 

parentheses

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What a pity we don't have a patriot like Brian to lead us.

Now we only have the calibre of the Clowen brothers and Micheal Martin.
 

Lúidín

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We won some whiskey called 'Clontarf' before Christmas. It's still on top of the fridge, going down very slowly. We refer to it as the Bottle of Clontarf.
 

storybud1

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When the Vikings invaded Ireland in their long boats and in small groups, Ireland was (typically) riven by enmities between rival factions. Untypically they were united by Brian Boru to fight the foreigners, and in the final battle in 1014 at Clontarf the Irish defeated the Vikings.

The main contemporary account of this battle is called Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh (The War of the Irish with the Foreigners); there are other sources and although some of them are contradictory and have confusing timelines, all of them concluded that Brian Boru was a magnificent hero, the Irish were great and the Vikings were not (boo, hiss).

This conclusion has been questioned by revisionist historians who considered that the Battle of Clontarf was one primarily between the native Irish factions. Fighting the Vikings was only a secondary matter.

Now an analysis led by Ralph Kenna, a theoretical physicist and mathematician at Coventry University (and an Irishman) has concluded that it was likely the the original text sources were correct: the battle was between the Irish - united (for a change) under Brian Boru - and the invading Vikings.

The research team used social network analysis:
—the kind Facebook uses to figure out who your friends are—to analyze the relationships between characters in the Cogadh. Sindbæk says that although this method is used increasingly in anthropology, applying it to characters in ancient texts is quite ingenious. Kenna and colleagues mapped out every interaction among the 315 characters mentioned in the Cogadh, and coded their more than 1100 interactions as either friendly or hostile. They then tallied the hostile interactions into a single scorecard: If the nastiness was Irish-on-Irish, the score went up. If it was Irish-on-Viking, the score went down. The final score was negative. That means it’s quite likely that the war really was a struggle primarily against the Vikings, Kenna’s team reports.

The team admits the analysis relies on the accuracy of the relationships described in the sources, so it may not be perfect:
But even though the text is biased in its character descriptions, [Kenna] doesn’t think its authors would have altered the actual alliances and conflicts. “There’s an art to propaganda,” Kenna says. “You can’t falsify too much or else people won’t accept it.”

I find this a very interesting method to study historical events. Will historians of the future be required to have advanced mathematical and/or computer skills as well as the other skills needed to study history?

What other historical events should be analysed in this manner?

What do p.iesters with more historical knowledge than I have think of this analysis with regard to Irish history generally?

See the original article in Science magazine: The Vikings were enemy No. 1 for Irish hero Brian Boru, social network study says

The same can be said about the muslim invasion of Europe over the last thousand years,, the Vikings are gone but the muslims are still opening new mosques here. Only technology and nationalism have kept them at bay, their greatest weapon has been unveiled, it has done more for their cause than all the battles in the last thousand years,

Snowflakes and socialists,

Coppinger , Zappone, Blair, Merkel, Trudeau, Higgins, etc, etc, agents of change that despise their own people by the actions they partake,
 

between the bridges

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Interesting OP Gracie, one of the major problems with history is gauging the bias of ether the author or researchers! Now we just have to gauge the program writing!
 

GDPR

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Interesting OP Gracie, one of the major problems with history is gauging the bias of ether the author or researchers! Now we just have to gauge the program writing!
Maybe the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne could be analysed similarly, but I guess the right questions need to be asked about them.

Perhaps the most interesting would be that Battle near Cork which the Irish lost disastrously (cannot remember its name). They panicked. As usual the Irish were split: on that occasion as to where the Spanish should land.
 

Lúidín

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Coppinger , Zappone, Blair, Merkel, Trudeau, Higgins, etc, etc, agents of change that despise their own people by the actions they partake,
You left out the biggest agents of the EU open-border policy - Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin and the parties they lead.
 

between the bridges

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Maybe the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne could be analysed similarly, but I guess the right questions need to be asked about them.
The siege of Derry wasn't much of siege in military terms, and Aughrim was the more definitive battle. However as any historian worth bothering about will tell you the defence of Inniskilling and the battle of Newtownbutlter were key to the Williamite war. Without them William wouldn't have came to Ireland...
 

Dearghoul

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Maybe the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne could be analysed similarly, but I guess the right questions need to be asked about them.

Perhaps the most interesting would be that Battle near Cork which the Irish lost disastrously (cannot remember its name). They panicked. As usual the Irish were split: on that occasion as to where the Spanish should land.
Kinsale, I think you mean.

Not so much as to where the Spanish should land as whether to attack the English besieging the town. The Spaniards were already within by the time O Neil and O Donnell rocked up after an epic march. O Neill was for encircling the English force and letting their provisions run down. O Donnell wanted action.

I don't think the families are even Facebook friends because of what ensued.
 

GDPR

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Kinsale, I think you mean.

Not so much as to where the Spanish should land as whether to attack the English besieging the town. The Spaniards were already within by the time O Neil and O Donnell rocked up after an epic march. O Neill was for encircling the English force and letting their provisions run down. O Donnell wanted action.

I don't think the families are even Facebook friends because of what ensued.
Yes, Kinsale is the name of the place where the main battle took place.

It's a while since I read up on that period/events, but afair some Irish lord (neither Hugh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill nor Hugh Red O'Neill) had wanted the Spanish to land elsewhere from their preferred landing place for his own benefit, and most did - in Cork - which caused that long march from the north. The Spanish in Cork were effectively corralled by the English who were also in a pathetic and unhealthy condition. Irish "logistics" were utterly appalling.

Rather than looking up my records (which are in storage anyway), I'll wait for someone like Mitsui2 to to correct the error of my remembrances if s/he can be bothered.

As for the two Hughs, exile for both of them and an early death for Hugh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill away from his own land. Tragic.
 

Man or Mouse

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Yes, Kinsale is the name of the place where the main battle took place.

It's a while since I read up on that period/events, but afair some Irish lord (neither Hugh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill nor Hugh Red O'Neill) had wanted the Spanish to land elsewhere from their preferred landing place for his own benefit, and most did - in Cork - which caused that long march from the north. The Spanish in Cork were effectively corralled by the English who were also in a pathetic and unhealthy condition. Irish "logistics" were utterly appalling.

Rather than looking up my records (which are in storage anyway), I'll wait for someone like Mitsui2 to to correct the error of my remembrances if s/he can be bothered.

As for the two Hughs, exile for both of them and an early death for Hugh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill away from his own land. Tragic.
Possibly even a tragedy.
 


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