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Early Modern Irish Identities

Irish Identities and Political Thought in Early Modern Historical Writing: Greek and Roman Sources is a Marie Curie postdoctoral research project which will be carried out by Feliks Levin at Aarhus University during September 2023-August 2025. The project investigates two foundational pieces of seventeenth-century Irish historical writing: the Irish-language Foras Feasa ar Éirinn  (Foundation of Knowledge on Ireland) by Geoffrey Keating (1580-1644) and the Neo-Latin Cambrensis Eversus (Refutation of Cambrensis) by John Lynch (1599-1677), which provided extensive infuential narratives of Irish history alternative to the English colonial version. 

“Irish identities” will contextualize the influence of Greek and Roman models on the emergence of Irish protonational discourse and on the vindication of the Irish past, with a focus on the plurality of Irish identities. It will ask how and why early modern Irish authors exploited the cultural capital of classical rhetoric, history, and political thought through both Irish and Latin languages in order to fashion a distinct representation of Irish history, which underlined connections between Ireland and Britain as well as between Ireland and Europe.