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CANCELLED ‘What is the proper name for them as a nation, by which they are known in their own country?’ Irish ethnonyms in Insular Late Antiquity

5:15pm - 7:30pm / Thursday 26th March 2020 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 4 Rendall Building
Type: Lecture / Category: Research / Series: Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Admission: This is a free event
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The University is closely monitoring national and international developments in relation to COVID-19 and taking actions as appropriate. As a result, we have taken the decision to cancel or postpone all University led public events until the end of April 2020. Thereafter, events will remain under review.

The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors is our highest priority and while we realise that the cancellation of events will cause some inconvenience and disappointment, this temporary measure is aimed at ensuring that our response to the current situation remains responsible and informed by the latest public health advice and expertise.

We regret that the University cannot be held liable for any loss or damage, including but not limited to travel and accommodation costs, arising from this event cancellation.


Patrick Wadden (Belmont Abbey College, NC, USA)

Why and how - and with what authority and in what contexts - do groups of any kind self-identify, label themselves and refer to each other? Medieval Irishmen referred to themselves using a variety of names, chief among them Goídil (Gaels), Scotti (Scots) and Féni. The learned classes explained these terms with reference to eponymous ancestors from the distant past.

As this paper will show, however, the reality is that they were coined and adopted between the fourth and the seventh centuries as part of a process of identity formation best explained by situating Ireland in its Insular, European and Late Antique contexts.