Armagh Diocesan Historical Society

March 2016 lecture to look at the 7th-century Easter controversy

The forthcoming history lecture on Wednesday 2nd March, hosted by Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha, will discuss the problematic evidence underlying our modern reconstruction of the history of the seventh-century Irish Easter controversy.

The paper will be presented by Dr Immo Warntjes, Lecturer in Irish Medieval History, Queen’s University Belfast, in the Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive in Armagh at 8pm.

In the lecture, entitled The Easter controversy and history writing in seventh-century Ireland’, Dr Warntjes will discuss the question of how to calculate Easter and detail the way that this sparked a vibrant controversy in the seventh century. From Ireland to Rome, intellects debated the theological and political implications. Some religious groups were accused of heresy. In Ireland, the conflict created a major rift between ‘Roman’ south and a ‘Celtic’ north.

Dr Immo Warntjes, who studied history and mathematics at Oldenberg and Gottingen (Germany) and from 2003-2006 was postgraduate researcher in the Foundations of Irish Culture Project at the National University of Ireland in Galway, will open the theme of his talk by demonstrating the unreliability of our key source, the Anglo-Saxon historian ‘the Venerable Bede’ (d,735).

In the course of the lecture Dr Warntjes will illustrate the problems surrounding the central native historical witness, the Irish annals and in the concluding segment will discuss how a reliable narrative has to be extracted from less obvious and less straight-forward documents.

As with all of the lectures hosted by Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, admission is free and everyone welcome to attend.