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Bardi, a race of Gaul, or of ancient Saxony'. In an Irish author we might expect to find the Bardi termed Ui Baird, or Hy Baird, the descendants of Bard.
It is remarkable, however, that two of St. Patrick's disciples are also spoken of as sons of Ua Baird, viz. Comitius, or Connetus (filius Hua Baird), Bishop of Cluainsean-moil (now Clonshanville, county Roscommon), and Dabonna (filius Hua Baird), Bishop of Cluain-Da-manach.- Vit. Trip., lib. ii. c. 18, 19. Aengus the Culdee, in his book “On the Mothers of the Saints of Ireland” (extant in MS. only), mentions Dabonna as one of the sons of St. Patrick's sister, and a brother of St. Sechnall:-
Lupait siur Padraic macair .uni. mac in Lupaitk, sister of Patrick, was the mother of the ui baird .. Sechnall, Nechtand, Dabonna, seven sons of the La Baird, i.e. Sechnall, Nechtann, Mogornan, darigoc, Auraille, Cruimthin Dabonna, Mogornan, Darigoc, Ausaille, Priest lugnath.
Lugnath. It does not appear, however, that Comitius, or Connetus, was the son of St. Patrick's sister, and of Restitutus, although Colgan (p. 227) seems to assume that such was the case, and therefore, attributes to Liemania nine sons in all, adding to the seven enumerated by Aengus, this Comitius, and another named Diarmid, who is expressly called the son of Restitutus, and the nephew of St. Patrick, in the Tripartite Life, lib. ii. c. 6.
Perhaps, however, the only reason why Diarmid and Comitius are supposed to be the sons of Liemania, is their having been sons of an Hua Baird. All these statements are obscurities that need further and more patientinvestigation than these remote corners of Church history have ever yet received.
2. But how are we to receive the assertion that St. Patrick's sister, in the fifth century, was the wife of a Longobard of Italy; if that be what is meant (as is generally supposed) by a Longobard of Leatha, for it is notorious that the Longobards did not obtain a settlement in Italy until the middle of the sixth century, A. D. 568? Are we to question this latter date, as Colgan has done, or are we, with Dr. Lanigan, to solve the difficulty by a note of admiration, and reject the statement of the Irish authorities as an ignorant fabrication ?
Before we make choice between these alternatives, some other considerations must be taken into account. There is mention of Longobards, and of Longobards of Leatha, in a much earlier period of Irish history.
j Sarony.-Aliis visum est, hanc illis appellatio tombstone of Lugnath, the last of the seven sons nem a Saxonibus, eorum agminibus immixtis, pro above enumerated, may still be seen, with its ancient venisse; quod Bardos appellari solitos Saxones tradit Irish inscription, on the island of Inis-an-ghoill in antiquitas. —Alb. Krantz. Daniæ lib. iv. c. 19. See Lougb Corrib, and in that inscription he is expressly also Hoffman, Lexicon, voce Longobardi.
styled mac lmenueh, son of Liemania. See Lupait.—Colgan shows that Lupait is here an Petrie on the Round Towers (Trans. R. I. Acad., error for Liemania.— Tri. Thaum., p. 225 sq. The vol. xx. p. 164).
The Four Masters tell us that Aengus Olmucadba, King of Ireland, A. M. 3790 (or 3150, according to O'Flaherty), gained twelve battles over the Longobards, -a statement derived from the Leabhar Gabhala,' on the authority of an ancient poem, which celebrates the victories of King Aengus, and records his battles with the Lombards thus:Ro bris da cath decc iartain
He gained twelve battles afterwards I leatha for Longbairdaib.
In Leatha over the Longobards. So that we have here the Longobards in Italy in the year of the world 3790, and an Irish king invading their territory Im
To escape this difficulty, O'Flaherty" maintains that the Longobardi vanquished by King Aengus were a people of North Britain, who are not to be confounded with the Longobards or Lombards of the continent of Europe, and that from these British Longobards, so called from their bards or poets, and not from their beards, the husband of St. Patrick's sister was descended. But this hypothesis takes no account of the fact, that the same authorities from which we learn the existence of these Longo bards place them in Leatha (wherever that may be), and that there is not the smallest evidence to prove that there was ever a people of that name in North Britain.°
| Leabhar gabhala. – The Leabhar Gabhala, or Book of Conquests, is a collection of historical poems and documents of great value, and the chief source, in fact, of Irish traditional history. The MS. of it here quoted is in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy, and is in the bandwriting of one of the compilers of the Annals of the Four Masters.
m Their territory.-It will observed that the Four Masters in their Annals do not call these Longobards the Longobards of Leatha. Is this an evidence that they were conscious of the difficulty ?
n O'Flaherty.--Longobardi a barba Norvegis, Gothis, et Germanis bard dicti, qui e Scandia Danica circa an. Domini 382 egressi, et Sclavoniam, Istrum, Galliam, et Gerinaniain pervagati in Pannoniam pervenerant, et inde anno 568, Narsete in Italiam avocati Longobardiæ seu Lombardiæ regnum, Ticino sede, sibi in Italia condiderant, fuerunt diversi ab his Longobardis Borealis Britanniæ, gente a Bardis suis appellationem illam desumente, e qua oriundus gente Restitutus S. Patricii sororius nunc Longobardus, nunc Huabaird, i. e. e progenie Bardi cognominatur. -Ogyg. p. 206.
North Britain. At least none of the authorities
which O'Flaherty has quoted in support of the assertion give any countenance to the opinion that the Lombards of whom they spoke were in any way different from the people generally known by that
He cites, for example, the Martyrology of Tamblacht, and the scholiast of Marianus on the 27th November. Of these works, preserved in MS. in the Burgundian Library at Brussels, I have been permitted by the liberality of the Belgian Government to take copies. In the Martyrology of Tamhlacht there is a defect from October 17 to December 17; and the Brussels MS. has a note stating that this defect existed in the old book" from which that MS. was transcribed. Its testimony, therefore, cannot now be ascertained, but the Martyrology of Marianus O'Gorman, at November 27, records the feast of St Sechnall in these words
Sechnall mor mac u baird.
Sechnall the great, son of Ua Baird. And the scholiast bas the following note:- Odom. nach Seačnaill in-deiscerc brey; do Longobardaib do, 7 Secundinus a ainm, mac do Liamain siur patraic e, 7 no boi ina priomaid in Ardmača.—"Of Dombnach-Seachnaill in
Colgan' has dealt with this difficulty entirely with reference to the father of St. Secundinus, and the existence of Lombards in Italy in the fifth century. After stating the objection that the Longobardi had not established themselves in Italy, according to the earliest computation (that of Sabellicus and Baronius), until A. D. 568, he asserts that the opinion of Krantzius is much more probable, which assigns their migration from their primitive Scandinavian settlements to the year 382, and that even if it were certain that they had not obtained a fixed settlement in Italy before the latter half of the sixth century, it is undeniable that they had spread through Sclavonia, Germany, and Gaul, and he concludes that it is therefore not impossible that the Lombard Restitutus may have become acquainted with St. Patrick and his sister in Gaul or Britain, or even in Italy, although his nation had not then obtained a fixed habitation there.
the south of Bregia ; he was of the Longobards, and Secundinus was his name; he was the son of Liamhan, the sister of Patrick, and he was Primate of Arinagh.” O'Flaherty refers also to the Martyrology of Donegal, where we find the following notice of St. Seachnall at the 27th of November :
Seachnall .1. Secundinus priomaidh Andamača. mac do liarnain siur Padraicc e, zon.domnach Sechnaill i m-bregaið ata a ceall. Adeir beta Patraicc leabar ii., cap. 25, go n-dernad Patraicc ecclais is in ionad ipraibe Secundinus fo crann Quillig ag urnaigte ina aonar, 1 go Bfuil dealo na croice isin inao rin .1. ag copar mucna a cconnaćtaib, amail cuigter as imtectaio Patraicc.
“Seachnall, i. e. Secundinus, Primate of Armagh. He was the son of Liamhain, Patrick's sister, and his churcb was at Domhnach Sechnaill in Bregia. The Life of Patrick, lib. 2, c 25, says [ Vit. Trip., 1. ii. c. 58, Colg., p. 137], that Patrick was erecting a church in a place where Secundinus was taking pleasure in praying under a tree alone, and the figure of the cross is in that place, i. e. in Tobarmucna in Connaught, as is known from the travels of Patrick."
Here it will be observed there is no mention whatsoever of the Lombards, whilst in the passage quoted from the Martyrology of Marianus, they are spoken of by their usual name, without any mention either of North Britain or of Leatha.
The same remark applies to the other authorities cited by O'Flaherty, viz. the Annals of the Four Masters at 447 (where we read of the death of “ Secundinus Mac Ua Baird, the son of St. Patrick's sister," without any mention of Longobards), and the passage from Aengus the Culdee, on the Mothers of the Saints, which has already been quoted. O'Flaherty refers also to the Tripartite Life of S. Patrick, lib. i. c. 18. This is the passage upon which I have already commented, in which Cometius, or Connetus, and Dabonna, are spoken of as sons of Ua Baird. It contains no mention of Longobards, much less of Longobards of North Britain.
Besides these, O'Flaherty cites two other authori. ties which I am unable to verify, namely, the Martyrology of Cathald Maguire, and that of Cashel. No MSS. of these works are known to exist in this country.
On the whole, then, it would seem that O'Flaherty's assertion of a tribe called Longobards existing in North Britain at that early period is a mere conjecture, devised to meet a difficulty, and having no other foundation than the fact that Aengus Ollmuchadha is said to have made incursions into the country of the Picts, in North Britain.
p Colgan.- Colgan's words are:-“Sed dices gentem Longobardorum non extitisse tempore S. Patricii: nam ipso multis ante annis mortuo, gens hæc ex Scandinavia, hodie Scandia, Danici vel Norwegici imperii regione, primum egressa est anno 686 juxta
But the authorities do not say that Restitutus, a Lombard, met Liemania and married her in Italy, for this would have been no very great historical difficulty; what they do say is, that her husband was of the race of the Lombards of Italy, implying that the Lombards were established there in the fifth century.
And it is further to be observed, that Colgan's solution of this difficulty does not at all explain the existence of Lombards in Italy in the times of King Aengus Ollmuchadha, but rather seems to give up that as a hopeless case, for he contents himself with showing that the Longobards began their migrations in the fourth century, and takes no notice of the other difficulty. If he had known of a nation of Longobards, settled in North Britain, some centuries before the Christian era, he could not have failed to notice what would have been so much to his purpose.
3. The fact, however, with which we are to grapple, and which cannot be ignored, is, that the Irish authorities speak of Longobards of Italy (if Leatha be Italy), as existing, not only in the age of St. Patrick, but in that of Aengus Ollmuchadba.
But Leatha, in the language of ancient Irish authors, often signifies Letavia, or Armorica. This was in all probability its original meaning, and it may be doubted whether the interpretation Leatha = Latium = Italia be not a mistake.
Restitutus, therefore, may have been a Longobard, not of Italy, but of Armorica, and the warlike and victorious King Aengus Ollmuchadha may have invaded the Lombards in Letavia or Armorica, not in Italyą.
I admit, however, that we are here met by the same difficulty which is apparently fatal to O'Flaherty's hypothesis. We have no evidence of a settlement of Lombards in Armorica at the early period which is necessary to save the credit of our Irish historical authorities.
4. It is a further difficulty that the name given to the husband of Liemania is Latin, and even Christian in its signification. We find no such names as Restitutus among the Pagan Lombards of that age; and therefore there is suspicion that there is here some corruption of the history, from the imaginations of a later age. But if Patrick's heathen name of Succath was changed into the Latin Patricius, the name of Liemania's Lombardic husband may have undergone a similar transformation. Here is matter for further investigation and inquiry.
Saxonem Grammaticum; vel saltem, juxta Sabelli. cum et Baronium non fixit sedem in Italia ante annum 568 ; nec ingressa est Pannoniam (ex qua in Italiam erupit), ante annum 525. Respondeo, Saxonem in hoc, quemadmodum et in aliis, fabulis indulsisse. Verius enim est quod Crantzius scribit, egressam esse circa annum 382. Et esto non fixerit sedem in Pannonia aut Italia, ante prædictos annos, certum tamen est eam, permultis antea annis, natali solo excessisse, et
per Sclavoniæ, Istri, Germaniæ, et Galliæ fines divagatam fuisse
Potuit autem Restitutus maritus Liemaniæ, vel in Gallia, vel in Britannia, vel etiam in Italia, esto ibi gens ejus eo ævo non babitaverit, S. Patricio occurrisse, ejusque sororem in uxorem accepisse.”—Colgan, Actt. Sanctorum (De S. Mele. 6. Febr.), p. 262, n. 17.
9 Not in Italy.-See Irish version of Nennius, Addit. Notes, No. xi. p. 19.
5. The historical poem of Eochaidh O'Flannagain describes the Longobards as "pure, fierce, and white-coloured."
The epithets pure and fierce may be taken as words of course, and they are strictly in the spirit of the Irish bardic poetry. But white-coloured seems to imply.something historical, and it receives an apparent confirmation from the following notices of the dress of the ancient Longobards, by Paulus Diaconus (or Warnefridus), himself a Lombard.
In one place he represents the son of Turisend, King of the Gepidi, as reproaching the Longobards for their custom of wearing white bands or swathes round their legs:
Tunc regis alter qui aderat filius, patris sermone stimulatus, Longobardos injuriis lacessere cæpit, asserens pos, quia suris inferius candidis utebantur fasciolis, equabus, quibus crurum tenus pedes albi sunt, similes esse, dicens :-Fætulæ sunt equæ quas simulatis.
Again, in describing the dress of the ancient Lombards, as represented in a picture in the palace of Queen Theudelinda, he speaks of them as wearing loose linen garments like those of the Anglo-Saxons.
In quâ picturâ manifeste ostenditur quomodo Longobardi eo tempore comam capitis tondebant, vel qualis illis vestitus, qualisve habitus erat. Si quidem cervicem usque ad occipitium radentes nudabant, capillos a facie usque ad os dimissos babentes, quos in utramque partem in frontis discrimine dividebant. Vestimenta vero eis erant laxa, et maxime linea, qualia Angli-Saxones habere solent, ornata institis latioribus, vario colore contextis. Calcei vero eis erant usque ad summum pollicem pene aperti, et alternatim laqueis corrigiarum retenti. Postea vero cæperunt hosis uti, super quas equitantes tubrugos birreos mittebant, sed hoc de Romanorum consuetudine traxer unt'.
On the whole, it is possible that there may be found more golden grains of true history in these rude and seeming blunders about Longobards of Leatha than would at first sight seem probable to the modern reader.
6. It remains to notice one further mention of Longobards in the Lives of St. Patrick, although it does not assist us in clearing up the historical difficulties we have been considering
The author of the fourth Life in Colgan's collection tells us, that the nine daughters of the King of the Longobards, together with a daughter of the King of Britain (Regis Britanniæ, which may be Brittany or Armorica), leaving their country and kindred, came in pilgrimage to St. Patrick, and submitted themselves to his spiritual direction in a life of monastic retirement. The same story is told by Jocelyn, but he speaks only of " quædam virgo filia Regis Britanniæ, cum novem puellis sanctis, quæ cum ipsa illuc ad S. Patricium venerat”u; he does not, however, say that these last were the daughters of a Lombard king.
Not so the author of the Vita Tripartita; speaking of the fame of St. Patrick, which
* De gestis Longobard, lib. i. c. 24.
• Cap. 88, Tr. Thi, P. 46.