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Forged of Irish Bronze and Iron: The High Kings is a Pot 'O Gold event pick #irishhistory #giveaway
Title: Forged of Irish Bronze and Iron: The High Kings
Author: Cornelia Amiri
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Irish history,
A Legacy no one can steal For centuries in grand feasting halls and around flickering peat fires bards sung of the exploits of High Kings such as Tigernmas, Lord of Death and Niall, of the Nine Hostages—possibly one of the most potent men to ever live. Forged in Irish Bronze and Iron chronicles this mythic legacy from around 1700 BC up to 500 AD. This fascinating record of the High Kings is interwoven with modern scientific, DNA, and archeological evidence from the Bronze Age and the Iron age. Two bonus fiction novelettes are included. Romantic tales of the Bronze and Iron age and the High Kings.
We begin with High King Tigernmas. His warrior prowess was so fierce that he was known as Lord of Death. Some say he reigned seventy-seven years, some fifty-eight, and some fifty. But everyone agrees his sovereignty was long and prosperous.
Tigernmas’ army was renowned. Within a year of his accession, the new king’s mettle was tested in fighting twenty-seven battles against the descendants of Eber Finn. He won them all, nearly destroying Eber's line.
The Roll of Kings lists his victories as the Battle Of:
• Eile, where King Rochorp son of Gollan fell
• Lochmag, where Dagerne son of Goll, son of Gollan, fell
• Cúl Ard, which was fought with valor
• Cúl Fróecháin
• Cúl Athguirt, westward in Seimhne
• Ard Niadh, in Connaught
• Carn Fearadhaigh, where Fearadhach, son of Rochorb, fell. Carn Fearadhaigh is named for him.
• Cnámhchoill in Connachta
• Cuil Feadha of Clear Causes
• The cruel Battle of Congnach in Tuath Eabha
• Cluain Cuas, in Teathbha, an exciting battle
• Cluain Min of Muirisc Muirsg
• Cuil Fothair against the Erna
• The battle of Mag Techt of Commar
• Seven battles at Loch Luigdech in one day
• Two battles in one hour in Argatros
• And three battles against the Fir Bolg
As fierce and brave as the Lord of Death was, he was much more than a warrior king. Through trade with the Phoenicians, he obtained dyes to create green, purple, and blue. Those colors were first worn in Ireland during his reign.
The ancient Irish wore plaid of multiple hues, and Tigernmas enacted sumptuary laws for the numbers of colors worn by the different classes.
• Seven for kings and queens
• Six for bards, priests, men of learning
• Five for the chieftains
• Four for land owners
• Three for warriors such as hirelings and fighting men
• Two for peasants—a checkered pattern rather than plaid
• One for slaves—a solid color only
Gold was first smelted on the Isle of Kings during Tigernmas’s reign. He is credited with founding the first gold mine in Ireland. Iuchadán was the name of the king’s wright who smelted the gold. He hammered it flat into thin sheets similar to gold foil. Moreover, he hammered the sheets from behind—the repoussé technique, which he also used to decorate the edges with concentric circles. Additionally, he cut round shapes out of the beaten gold to make sun discs, then he’d punch two holes into the discs’ center to thread gold wire through so men or women could tie them onto their clothing or hair. Some archaeologists believe the sun disc symbolizes the power of the sun and fertility.
In similar fashion, he created crescent moon lunulas decorated with zigzags and diamond shapes by cutting into the surface of the gold —a technique called incision. Lunulas were some of the first gold objects crafted in Ireland, and they actually go back prior to the time period we show for Tigernmas’s reign.
Iuchadan and other Bronze Age goldsmiths also created beads, oval plaques, dress fasteners, and torques—open-ended neck rings made of twisted bands of gold. Torques were worn from 1200 BC to 600 AD by kings, queens, and chieftains as emblems of sovereignty and power, like crowns worn by other royalty. The goldsmiths beat the gold thin at the edges to form a flange, then wound it into a rope design. It is also said that Iuchadan crafted glistening gold drinking horns that Tigernmas generously gave as gifts to each of his followers.
However, there was a dark spot on Tigernmas’s reign…a god called Crom Cruach. The deity supposedly demanded human sacrifice. One version of this legend says Crom Cruach was the chief god of the Fomorians—an ancient race of supernatural giants from Irish mythology. Tigernmas and his followers agreed to worship Crom Cruach as the price of peace with the Fomorians. This myth goes on to blame High King Tigernmas’s death on this god.
On the plain of Magh Slecht, in Breifne, stood a golden idol of the god surrounded by twelve stone or bronze figures. On Samhain (the New Year, celebrated as Halloween in modern times), while worshipping Crom Cruach, three-fourths of his men perished—killed by the god. Only one-fourth of his men managed to escape. Tigernmas had a long, strong reign, but it endded with his mysterious death. According to some sources, he died of a severe plague that slaughtered the people of Ireland. Geoffrey Keating dates his reign from 1209 to 1159 BC. The Annals of the Four Masters from 1621–1544 BC.
The Annals of the Four Masters recorded that the throne of the High King sat empty for seven years, until Eochaid Etgudach, Tigernmas’s son, took his father’s place.
A few sources attribute the hierarchy laws of specific number of colors per class to Eochaid instead of his father. Eochaid Etgudach reigned for four years, but at the end of his fourth year, Cearmna Finn slew him in the battle of Teamhair. Geoffrey Keating dates his reign from 1159 to 1155 BC. The Annals of the Four Masters from 1537 to 1533 BC.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
It explores the myth, science, and history of bronze and iron age Ireland. Though nonfiction it’s an interesting and entertaining read. Much like a real-life Game of Thrones but without the dragons. Whether you believe the High Kings of Ireland were real or not, both sides of that issue are addressed. No matter which camp you are in you will find the book intriguing. This is also a great reference source for writers of Irish fiction set in this period. whether their genre is fantasy, historical, or romance. If you are unfamiliar with the legends of the High Kings, this is an excellent introduction. Also, this book really is one of a kind.
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I never stopped writing for fun, but I veered off from professional writing due to the responsibilities and time restraints of a single mom. That was until I was introduced through books, to the woman who became my favorite historical character, Boudica. The Celtic Warrior Queen made me start writing professionally. I love history and in reading a book about the dark ages, I came across the rebel queen. She inspired me so much, I started jotting down notes, but they were fiction, visions of me involved in the Boudica revolt. Before I knew it, I had accidentally written a rough draft for a novel. And I've been writing books on purpose ever since. Drawing on my love of a happy ending I have currently penned over 30 published romance books.
Now, for the more mundane stuff. I and my muse, Severus the Cat, live amid the hustle and bustle of humid Houston, Texas. When not writing, I love to read, watch movies, and attend comic cons. I'm currently working on a sequel to Rare Finds and a sequel to The Brass Octopus, which I am renaming and republishing as The Librarian and the Rake.
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