>At 12:27 PM 2/22/96 -0800, you wrote:
>>Could someone please tell me whether the Irish Ard ri, "High king", was
>>used in Old or Middle Irish for the word "emperor"?
>>My gratitude is offered in advance.
>The "Aird Righ Eireann" was the chief king, something like an emperor but
not quite, usually located at Emain Macha or Tara, I believe the first of
which was Conn of the Hundred Battles...
Brian Boru was the first and, I think, only Ard Ri of Ireland. Most of the
kings of Tara, Emain Macha and Cashel used the term for themselves but
Ireland was not 'united' under a single king before Brian, and even his High
Kingship only lasted a few years. The king of Leinster, supported by the
Dublin Danes, rebelled against his rule and this led to the Battle of Clontarf.
I remarked on an earlier thread that Ireland stopped being Celtic and
started being Irish about the 12/13th c. I think that Brian's High Kingship
was the start of the change, because, although various kings had aspirations
to hold the office, Celtic societal structure prevented it happening. An
'actual' high kingship, imposed by Brian, was contrary to that structure
and, IMO, led to its eventual demise.