Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lost History of Eire: Excerpt from the Manx Chronicle

The following is an excerpt from the The Manx Chronicle, compiled around A.D. 927 by Demetrus, Bishop of Mann. The author of this specific passage is unknown but the passage, if accurate, was written around A.D. 540 by probably a monk of a monastery that later became the Cathedral of Saint German on Saint Patrick's Isle. Little is known of the early Celtic monastery, but if my predictions are true, this location may have been the first permanent settlement of exiles from Ireland following the chaotic events of A.D. 536. This excerpt is heavily edited from the original due to various translation errors. A better translation is forthcoming
"September 537 anno domini. Flight again takes us. We have been in such a situation since the plague first spread among the elders three months ago. I have lived many days but never seen a year without sun. With no rain and no crops. It is dark even during noontime. We left another thirty men behind yesterday, with countless women and children to add. Our party is reduced to sixty-two men and women. We abandoned all the children and now only flee with the fittest among us. If doubt we will find more survivors in this unbearable hell. Every town we pass is desolate. Bodies often are found rotting in the streets.
"Corfel is leading us to a refuge his father one knew. It is docks hidden among the ledges of the Giant's Causeway. All of us survivors are weary but we are well and alive. The last of the cursed are dead or dying, and we are all who remain.
"November 537 anno domini.  The Causeway appears more barren than of recent years, leading far out into the tepid sea. Indeed, as I watch it, the sea continues to recede into a bleak nothingness. An ancient stone path, the elders, now gone, called the Giant's Causeway, and so it seems, disappearing into the Irish Sea. Pancaked hexes form a straight road far into the sea toward Leogrï and Cumbrï. I fear to walk across such an unnatural plain.
"The ships of Corfel's refuge lay haggard atop stones, so ruined as to appear a graveyard of timbers. Whether by the recession of the sea or due to earlier calamity, the ships are no longer an option lest Corfel wishes to build a ship anew atop the muddy mire of stone and sand. Living fish splash on bare earth urging us into the bereft sea bed.
"As Moses crossed the Sea of Reeds so too do we journey on land that should be water. Thick mud sticks to our shoes and sinks to our ankles yet we continue onward, hoping beyond hope to avoid Pharaoh's fate, and to escape our land of captivity so that we may arrive in a new Paradise, free from pestilence and darkness. May God protect us and keep us in this dark night. Amen."
I hope that further analysis of passages from other early chronicles produce equally strong sources of information on the calamities that befell Ireland in and around 536 C.E.

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