Authentic Irish History

From An Illustrated History of Ireland by Margaret Anne Cusack

« start... Chapter VI. ...continued

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At the reign of Cimbaoth (b.c. 716) we come to that period which Tighernach considers the commencement of indisputably authentic history. It is strange that he should have selected a provincial chief, and a period in no way remarkable except for the building of the palace of Emania.[3] But the student of Irish pre-Christian annals may be content to commence with solid foundation as early as seven centuries before Christ. The era was an important one in universal history. The Greeks had then counted sixteen Olympiads, and crowned Pythagoras the victor. Hippomenes was archon at Athens. Romulus had been succeeded by Numa Pompilius, and the foundations of imperial Rome were laid in blood by barbarian hordes. The Chaldeans had just taken the palm in astronomical observations, and recorded for the first time a lunar eclipse; while the baffled Assyrian hosts relinquished the siege of Tyre, unhappily reserved for the cruel destruction accomplished by Alexander, a few centuries later. The prophecies of Isaiah were still resounding in the ears of an ungrateful people. He had spoken of the coming Christ and His all-peaceful mission in mystic imagery, and had given miraculous evidences of his predictions. But suffering should be the precursor of that marvellous advent. The Assyrian dashed in resistless torrent upon the fold. Israel was led captive. Hosea was in chains. Samaria and the kingdom of Israel were added to the conquests of Sennacherib; and the kingdom of Judah, harassed but not destroyed, waited the accomplishment of prophecy, and the measure of her crimes, ere the most ancient of peoples should for ever cease to be a nation.

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[3] Emania.—The legend of the building of this palace will be given in a future chapter.


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