The North Atlantic Frontier of Medieval Europe

The North Atlantic Frontier of Medieval EuropeThe North Atlantic Frontier of Medieval Europe

Edited by James Muldoon
Ashgate Publishing, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7546-5958-7

Discussion of medieval European expansion tends to focus on expansion eastward and the crusades. The selection of studies reprinted here, however, focuses on the other end of Eurasia, where dwelled the warlike Celts, and beyond whom lay the north seas and the awesome Atlantic Ocean, formidable obstacles to expansion westward. This volume looks first at the legacy of the Viking expansion which had briefly created a network stretching across the sea from Britain and Ireland to North America, and had demonstrated that the Atlantic could be crossed and land reached. The next sections deal with the English expansion in the western and northern British Isles. In the 12th century the Normans began the process of subjugating the Celts, thus inaugurating for the English an experience which was to prove crucial when colonizing the Americas in the 17th century. Medieval Ireland in particular served as a laboratory for the development of imperial institutions, attitudes, and ideologies that shaped the creation of the British Empire and served as a staging area for further expansion westward.


Part 1 The Viking Age

A note on the Norse occupation of Ireland, Jean I. Young

Vikings in the West Atlantic: a model of Norse Greenlandic medieval society, Christian Keller

The political policies of Cnut as king of England, Laurence M. Larson

Part 2 Creating an Empire Along the Atlantic Frontier

The beginnings of English imperialism, John Gillingham

‘Keeping the natives in order’: the English king and the ‘Celtic’ rulers 1066-1216, Rees Davies

Overlordship and reaction, c.1200-c.1450, Robin Frame

Part 3 The Conquest of Britain

Lords and communities: political society in the 13th century, Michael Brown

Kings, lords and liberties in the March of Wales, 1066-1272, R.R. Davies

The Normans and the Welsh March, J.G. Edwards

Part 4 Expansion Overseas: The Coming of the English to Ireland

Strongbow, Henry II and Anglo-Norman intervention in Ireland, Marie Therese Flanagan

The Bull Laudabiliter, Kate Norgate; The character of Norman settlement in Ireland, Jocelyn Otway-Ruthven

Conquest and settlement: patterns of Anglo-Norman settlement in North Munster and South Leinster, C.A. Empey

Urbanisation in Ireland during the high Middle Ages, c.1100 to c.1350, Brian Graham

Part 5 Governing Medieval Ireland

The native Irish and English law in medieval Ireland, Jocelyn Otway-Ruthven

Les Engleys nées en Irlande’: the English political identity in medieval Ireland, Robin Frame

The Irish Remonstrance of 1317: an international perspective, J.R.S. Phillips

England against the Celtic fringe: a study in cultural stereotypes, W.R. Jones

Part 6 Sailing West from the British Isles at the End of the Middle Ages

The argument for the English discovery of America between 1480 and 1494, David B. Quinn

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