Kings, Chronicles and Genealogies:

Studies in the Political History of Early Medieval Ireland and Wales

by David E. Thornton


This volume is concerned with the problems and methods of reconstructing or (reconstituting) the origins and political history of Celtic dynasties of the early Middle Ages. As such, the book comprises two parts. Firstly, it offers a new methodology for reconstituting medieval Irish and Welsh dynasties: this is based partly on a qualitative analysis of the relevant genealogical and annalistic sources; and partly on the quantitative application of ‘nominal record linkage’ (more familiar to modern historians and demographers) to these primary sources. The second part of the book offers three case-studies which seek both to illustrate the ideas and methods of part one, as well as to stand as studies of individual dynasties in their own right. These case-studies are: the origins and expansion of the ‘Second Dynasty of Gwynedd’; the history of the Deisi Muman (of Munster) and its connection to the origins of the Welsh dynasty of Dyfed; and, the origins and history of the Conaille Muirtheimne (Co. Louth).