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49–50. 40 THE NORMAN INVASION, 1166–1172 4 THE NORMAN INVASION, 1166–1172 Ireland had already for a century been threatened by the powerful monarchy of Norman England, and still more immediately by the aggressive Norman baronial race. The fall of Celtic Wales heralded the fall of Celtic Ireland. The earldoms of Chester, Shrewsbury, and Gloucester, and the Honour of Glamorgan had by 1100 brought most of Wales under the feudal yoke. When in 1090 Rhys ap Tewdwr, king of Dyved, was killed by the Normans the independence of southern Wales perished.

The Norman archbishops of Canterbury from Lanfranc on, in virtue of their claim derived from Augustine to be supreme over all the British isles, pointed out in various letters to the Irish leaders the need of a general purification. Ireland was asked to accept all the essentials of the Western Church, the supreme authority of Rome, conformity to one ritual, canonical marriage, a 33 A HISTORY OF IRELAND proper episcopate under Roman authority, celibacy and tithes for the clergy, and the freedom of the Church from lay domination.

Along with that, it must be added, went a strong pedantic and antiquarian strain. It is tragic that not only did the Scandinavian and then the Norman invasions dislocate and partly destroy Irish learning, but they also 17 A HISTORY OF IRELAND did much to cripple the natural inspiration of the Irish mind. Of the Golden Age the greater part of the manuscripts have perished and can only be partly deduced from the reconstructions made after the Norse period. The pedantic spirit of the professional literary man unfortunately got the better of the inspired but anonymous poet.

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