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Among the positive effects of the English Conquest of Ireland in the late twelfth century was the stimulus it gave to the writing of the records of the Irish saints. All four martyrologies edited in this volume arguably date to the period immediately after the Conquest, when the Irish Church, faced with accusations of backwardness and irregularity, was at pains to demonstrate its modernity and orthodoxy. This was achieved by drawing on such external sources as the Martyrology of Ado, 'wedding' it to such native sources as the Martyrology of aengus. Judging by the text of the Martyrology of Drummond, Armagh played a pivotal role in the liturgical 'revival' reflected by all four texts. Use of the annotated version of the Martyrology of aengus prepared at Armagh about 1170-74 can be detected in three of the four texts.
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