Dover Castle: Royal Power in Stone

Dover Castle has the appearance of a glittering crown atop the famous White Cliffs, high above the narrowest portion of the English Channel. It is one of the most important defensive sites on the British coastline, and a spectacular example of Norman castle architecture. Just twenty-one miles across the channel lies the territory of the French. By the time Henry II began construction on the castle in the 1160s, enmity between the English and these on-again off-again foes was just beginning to bubble. Read More…

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The Poetic Scholars of Early Ireland

In early Ireland, three groups of educated professionals participated in the creation, preservation, and transmission of the senchas, or traditional knowledge of the Irish. They were members of a greater class of privileged freemen, valued for their professional skill. The filid, or scholarly poets were one of these three groups. They flourished for at least one thousand years after the coming of writing to Ireland. Read More…

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