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21

(1922) [MARC] Author: A. Walsh
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CHAPTER III.
THE GROWTH OF THE SEAPORT TOWNS.
THE foundation of the seaport towns was the most important,
and at the same time the most permanent effect of the
Viking invasion of Ireland. Before this the only towns
were"the larger monastic centres 1
at Armagh, Clonmacnois,
Durrow and Clonfert, which, besides the monastery itself,
consisted of numerous beehive-shaped houses of stone, or
small huts of clay and wattles built for the accommodation
of the students attending the schools. During the first
half of the ninth century these monasteries suffered sorely
from the attacks of Viking raiders. After a stubborn
resistance on the part of the Irish, Armagh fell into the hands
of Turgeis, who drove out the abbot Farannan and
"
usurped
the abbacy
"
(c. A.D. 839). Some years later Armagh was
abandoned when the Vikings captured Dublin, at this time
a small
"
town by the hurdle ford,"
2
but they were quick
to realise its possibilities as the seat of their monarchy and
the chief centre of their trade. As a result of the struggle
for ecclesiastical supremacy, which took place at a later
period
3
between Armagh and Dublin, the Bishops of Dublin
were obliged to acknowledge the Primate of Armagh ;
1 In the Annais of Tighernach (A.D. 716), the Annals of Ulster
(A.D. 715), and the Book of Hymns (ed. Todd, p. 156) the Latin
civitas (Ir. Cathair) is the word used for a monastery.
* The old name for Dublin was Baile-atha-Cliath, "the town of
the hurdle ford.-" It was afterwards called Dubh-linn (" black pool "),
of which the O.N. Dyflin is a corruption,
8
See p. 55.
31

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