Brian Boru

From Academic Kids

Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, known as Brian Boru born probably 941 (near Killaloe in modern County Clare). He was the High King of Ireland from 1002, until he was killed in 1014 after the [[Battle of Clontarf. He is credited with being a unifying leader who brought the Irish nation together to drive the occupying Viking Danes out of the country.

His father was Cennétig mac Lorcáin, King of Thomond who died in 957 and his mother was Bé Binn ingen Aurchada, daughter of the King of West Connacht.

His brother Mathgamain suceeded to the leadership of Thomond, and when he died in 976, Brian replaced him, eventually becoming the King of Munster and later High King of Ireland from 1002. He was killed by a lone assassin on Good Friday April 23, 1014 during the Battle of Clontarf against the Norsemen of Dublin. Brian was buried at Ard Macha (Armagh).

The origin of his cognomen Boru or Boruma (Tributes) is believed to relate to a crossing point on the river Shannon where a cattle tribute was driven from his sept, the Dal Cais to the traditional larger sept, the Éoganacht. Later legends originated to suggest that is 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 family descended from him (the O'Briens) subsequently ranked as one of the chief dynastic families of the country (see Chiefs of the Name).

Brian was married four times:

  • First to Mór. She was the mother of Murchad, who was slain with Brian at Clontarf.
  • Secondly to Echrad. She was mother of his successor Tadc.
  • Thirdly to Gormflaith. She is the best known of his wives. She was the daughter of Murchad MacFinn, King of Leinster and also widow of Olaf Cuaran, the Viking king of Dublin and York. She was the mother of Donnchad, who succeeded Brian as King of Munster.
  • Fourthly to Dub Choblaig. She was daughter of the King of Connacht.

In the 12th century his O'Brien descendents commissioned a dynastic propaganda tract known as Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh (the War of the Irish with the Foreigners) in which he takes the leading role. Uncritical reading of this tract in the past has given rise to the inflated position he holds in the popular imagination.

The term the Brian Boru is also used to refer to the Brian Boru harp, the national symbol of the Republic of Ireland.

Sources

fr:Brian Boru ga:Brian Bórú he:בריאן בורו nl:Brian Boru pt:Brian Boru sv:Brian Boru

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