First page of the Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh Sorce: wikipedia

Network Analysis of the Battle of Clontarf in 1014

Network analysis of the Viking Age in Ireland as portrayed in Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh reveals the cultural difference between Vikings and the Irish

Network analysis of the Viking Age in Ireland as portrayed in Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh
By Joseph Yose, Ralph Kenna, Máirín MacCarron, Pádraig MacCarron
Royal Society Open Source


network analysis of the battle of clontarf © The authors
The entire Cogadh network of interacting characters. Characters identified as Irish are represented by green nodes and those identified as Vikings are in blue. Other characters are in grey. Edges between pairs of Irish nodes are also coloured green while those between Viking pairs are blue. Edges linking Irish to Viking nodes are brown and the remaining edges are grey.© The authors

Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh (‘The War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill’) is a medieval Irish text, telling how an army under the leadership of Brian Boru challenged Viking invaders and their allies in Ireland, culminating with the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Brian’s victory is widely remembered for breaking Viking power in Ireland, although much modern scholarship disputes traditional perceptions. Instead of an international conflict between Irish and Viking, interpretations based on revisionist scholarship consider it a domestic feud or civil war.

Counter-revisionists challenge this view and a long-standing and lively debate continues. Here, quantitative measures to the discussions are introduced. The article presents statistical analyses of network data embedded in the text to position its sets of interactions on a spectrum from the domestic to the international. This delivers a picture that lies between antipodal traditional and revisionist extremes; hostilities recorded in the text were mostly between Irish and Viking—but internal conflict also formed a significant proportion of the negative interactions too.

Read the full story here


Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh: The War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill: Or, The Invasions of Ireland by the Danes and Other Norsemen
Series: Cambridge Library Collection – Rolls

by James Henthorn Todd
Cambridge University Press 2012