The earliest written records of Ireland come from classical Greco-Roman geographers. Ptolemy in his Almagest refers to Ireland asMikra Brettania (Little Britain), in contrast to the larger island, which he called Megale Brettania (Great Britain). In his later work,Geography, Ptolemy refers to Ireland as Iouernia and to Great Britain as Albion. These “new” names were likely to have been the Celtic names for the islands at the time. […]
The Iron Age in Ireland is traditionally associated with people known as the Celts. The Celts were commonly thought to have colonised Ireland in a series of invasions. The first Celtic-speaking tribes are believed to have arrived on the island about 600 BC in what is referred to as the Hallstatt era. Other colonists followed them, the main thrust […]
Most of Ireland was covered with ice until the end of the last ice age over 9,000 years ago. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, was part of continental Europe. Mesolithic stone age inhabitants arrived from Britain some time around 7,000 BC and agriculture followed with the Neolithic Age around 3,000 BC. At the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in […]
The island’s geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until medieval times. Today, the amount of land that is forested in Ireland is just one […]
Ireland is an island to the north-west of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island inEurope and the twentieth-largest island on Earth. To its east is the island of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the Irish Sea. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remaining area and is located […]
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