State Stability, 360-1000 A.D.

From The Historic Case for Irish Independence by Darrell Figgis

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2. After the middle of the fourth century the hegemony that till then prevailed became changed for a central Monarchy. The political system was reconstituted. The local militia were unified in a national system; and were finally overthrown and disbanded on their attempt to create a military dictatorship. The Monarchy then, and at irregular intervals thereafter, convened large and representative Assemblies to deal with national affairs. On such occasions the Monarch presided, with the provincial kings about him. The lawyers met among themselves to codify and unify the practice of the law. Local rulers met among themselves. They unified social custom, and discussed the question of fiscal rights between ranks of authority from the Monarch downwards. The scholars met, and among such scholars a remarkable correspondence of thought must have continued to have produced the close uniformity seen in the creation of legendary as well as of. actual history during the last centuries of the millenium. Also the poets met, and discussed the burthen and highly elaborate technique of their Art. They were the especially honoured of the nation, and maintained culture at the public charges. Such assemblies were occasions of national festival. Thus the rites with which these assemblies were celebrated gave the deliberations authority, and joined with them in the creation of national unity. The poetry of that time, no less than the poetry since that time, is marked by a passion of tenderness for a country personified by a number of sacred and secret names.

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