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By M. Williams

From majestic Celtic crosses to complicated knotwork designs, visible symbols of Irish identification at its so much medieval abound in modern tradition. Consdering either scholarly and renowned views this booklet bargains a remark at the mixing of pasts and provides that reveals everlasting visualization in those modern signs.

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26 As in the lowermost image on the cross, the precise identification of these two warrior kings is subordinated to their gesture of compromise. Their static, frontal poses suggest that they are not currently fulfilling their duties as warriors, despite their preparedness for battle. Moreover, their tunics extend to their ankles, unlike the nobleman’s shorter costume in the panel beneath, indicating that they are wealthy, but not currently engaged in physical activity. They are civilized leaders who are involved in a political liaison, but they keep their weapons close at hand in order to demonstrate their military potential.

The cross sends the message that those who behave appropriately within the parameters of the earthly Clonmacnoise will eventually be welcomed into the reconstituted community in the afterlife. In a sense, that re-membered Clonmacnoise is the one that George Petrie depicted in 1828, for his vision of the place as a locus of communal Irishness has resonated with subsequent audiences, both popular and scholarly. 28 His later work, also called The Last Circuit of the Pilgrims at Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly, ca.

In the tenth century, the creation of that place was reasserted by renovations and renewals. What is more, these two individuals—and the sacred and secular realms that they represent—are eternally linked to one another by means of their act of foundation. They stand between the past and the present, between a pagan holy site called Ard Tiprat and a Christian monastic settlement called Clonmacnoise, and their act of unity is permanently recorded in the stone carving on the Cross of the Scriptures.

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