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The image of Ireland and the Irish in the classical and late antique Roman sources

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  1. In the classical antique Roman sources, Ireland is related as a space of oddity, in terms both of its geography and its inhabitants
  2. The transformation of the image of the Irish in late Antiquity is largely due to the Christianisation of Ireland
  3. Conclusion

Classical Antiquity is a broad term referring to artistic civilization with its existence over a considerable length of time. Classical Antiquity pertains primarily to cultural history and is centered along the Mediterranean Sea. This evolution along the Mediterranean Sea dates back to the earliest recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC) and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD). The term ?Late Antiquity' suggests that the social and cultural priorities of Classical Antiquity endured throughout Europe and proceeded into the advent of the middle ages (700/800 AD). If one does reflect on the origin and history of geography and the expansion of knowledge through conquest and exploration, the first impression one assumes is to focus attention on the Mediterranean world. Another interesting fact to recapitulate is that the island of Ireland was never formally incorporated into the Roman Empire. Hence, Ireland was free from Roman influence and existed as a relatively isolated corner of Celtic culture.

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