Brian as King

Justin McCarthy
Chapter II | Start of Chapter

He was not allowed to obtain his place of supremacy without opposition. Some of the Irish Chieftains denounced him as a mere usurper, and rose in arms against him; but he bore down their opposition. The Irish people, who had seen their country conquered by the Danish invaders because the separate Chieftains could not unite in resistance, might well have believed that the government of a single ruler, and that ruler the man who had just overcome the Danes, would bring about a better era for their native land.

Brian was before long acknowledged as King of all Ireland, and he proved himself a most wise and capable monarch. Under his reign peace prevailed throughout the land; the laws of property were respected, men and women could make their living in safety and no attempt was made at any uprising, even local, against his beneficent rule. The poems and legends which tell of the perfect order and prosperity prevailing under Brian's rule, although sometimes extravagant in their terms, form a very substantial tribute to the general character of his reign. When the whole minstrelsy and legendary art of a people unite in describing a certain ruler as wise and beneficent, their testimony is not to be classed with the mere eulogy of court poets and flattering pensioners.