Early origins of urbanisation (Background. (Town. (Began as monastic…
Early origins of urbanisation
Originated in the Early Christian Period (400 - 800 AD).
Described as "villages" by scholars to explain nucleation in Early Middle Ages ("villa" and "vicus").
"Pre-villages" have been 👀 dating C5th-C10th.
Pre-village = territory that sometimes produced nucleation/ often synonymous w/ military nucleation.
= Monastic towns which developed urban characteristics.
Associated w/ social organisation & hierarchical structures.
Gaelic of pre-history were 👀 as rural pastorialists.
Began w/ the Norse?
Began as monastic settlements that evolved into towns.
Derives from English "tun".
Ceremonial-centre-origin of urbanism (Sjoberg).
folk-urban continuum (Wheatley).
A physically distinctive entity w/ relatively large population & redistributive functions.
Settlements whose functions & inhabitants exhibit traits (cultural, religious, administrative or ceremonial) that are sufficiently different from rural settlements.
What is urban?
A city settlement whose inhabitants live primarily for commerce & trade opposed to agriculture (Weber).
Requires 10 characteristics based on foreign trade & non-food producers as well as population densities (Childe).
Pre-industrial urban centres (where humans & animals ≠ machines provide energy (Sjoberg).
Requires high pop. density, non-agr. specialisms & literary elite.
Butlin was 1st to apply Wheatley's "ceremonial centres" to Ireland.
Clarke argued: pre-urban core ≠ town.
C5th monastic, pre-village settlements.
Churches which acted as focal points for small rural communities (Swan.)
simple small enclosed burial grounds ≠ evidence of monastic landscapes.
Domnach = early C5th churches sited in mag.
Originated w/ arrival of St. Patrick 7 arrival of the 1st gen. 12 territorial sees.
See was based on Roman civitas & by the C5th related to main kingdoms.
2nd gen monastic expansion in C7th. The largest of these monastic settlements 👀 as quasi-urban (est. pop of 2000) e.g. Kells & Glendalough.
Circular enclosure w/ a church, library & scriptorium.
Some were continued & others abandoned.
NB continuation is importance for proto-urbanisation!
Filled an urban function & acted as a foci for Norman urban development (Armagh, Downpatrick, Kells & Cashel).
Armagh hill-top: dated (radiocarbon) to 290 AD & became a town of importance: 1) 996 raid, 2) 1090 fire, 3) 1112 & 1166 arsons.
= e.g. of settlement continuity & a monastic town.
Mostly Iron Age but some Neotlithic sites.
Raftery rejects the possibility that these ever achieved town status. BUT what is a town?
= Began as summer grazing ground & represent communal life and exchange of services. Represent a transhumance village.
Nucleated clachans (raths & souterrains).
Reflect class-based system of early-Celtic
Nucleated upland site in co. Antrim dated cca. 500 AD.
Criticised by Proudfoot.
Criticised by Edwards (rejects that they were nucleated sites
= Place-names of townlands which are an administrative framework dating back to Medieval Period.
Equivalent to English town.
Associated w/ coming of the Normans.
Based on primary evidence ; Irish bailas were replaced by tuns (English terminology) following colonisation.
Problematic - baile meant "a piece of ground" until the C14th were it transformed into "small house clusters."
Traditional 👀 favours a Norman origin prefaced by small no. of Viking settlements. - Linked to the 👀 of Gaelic-Irish as wildlings.
Chadwick: discounts the existence of early-Medieval Irish towns or communal life.
Rural pre-Norman Gaelic community (≈ Balkans) before introduction of towns by colonists.
= Secondary urban generation resulting from primary diffusion of urban form and organisation.
More recent revisionism highlights the importance of proto-urban sites that have acted as a foci for later urban settlements.
C8th Viking towns (Butlin, 1997).
At end of C10th Viking raiders began to est. permanent harbours (longphorts) & settlements around Irish coast.
Given royal status by the Normans (e.g. Dublin, Cork, Waterford & Limerick).
Norse coastal urban development enhanced dev. of major peripheral nodes of a new central place system based on external trading contacts.
Introduction of the Hiberno-Norse currency cca. 991 (processes of raiding & trading).
Clarke cites this as a "slow drift towards urbanisation" in C10th, which was developed by Chester links.
Only by the C11th had the Hiberno-Norse adopted a standard form of town layout."
There is nothing to suggest that there was anything specifically urban about Viking Age Cork in 9th & C10th. It was an insular site w/ urban potential.
What is "urban?"
Considerable debate over the origins of urbanisation in Ireland.
Began in early Christian Ireland w/ the development of society & the development of Christianity (monastic centres).
This was a result of the evolution of Bronze Age and even Neolithic structures.
Urbanisation began with the Vikings cca. 795.
Thesis: while monastic centres do present a clear example of proto-urbanisation, these origins can be traced back to the Bronze and Iron Age, perhaps even as early as the Neolithic.
what is "urban"
Pre-villages (European context)
Pre-villages (Irish context)
Ceremonial centres (Butlin & Wheatley)
Early Christian period origin (Butlin).