Kingship and Warfare: Ireland, 1000-1318



This module begins with the rise of Brian Ború from modest origins to become Ireland’s most famous high king – a spectacular career that ended in the iconic battle of Clontarf in 1014. We explore how Irish society and kingship changed in the aftermath of Clontarf as a result of inter-provincial warfare and the changing role of the church.

The second half of the module examines the causes and implications of the English (or Anglo-Norman) invasion of the late 1160s, perhaps the single most formative development in Irish secular affairs. We study the interaction of cultures in its aftermath and the Irish opposition to English rule that saw the emergence of England’s ongoing Irish problem through later centuries. The module closes with the most serious challenge to English power in medieval Ireland: the Scottish invasion (1315-1318) led by Edward Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce, King of Scots.

This course is led by Professor Seán Duffy, who specialises in the history of medieval Ireland and, in particular, three aspects: the political history of Ireland from the Viking Age to the Bruce Invasion; Irish relations with England, Scotland, and Wales in the same period; and lastly the history and archaeology of medieval Dublin.

Date, Time and Place

This lecture-only module comprises of two lectures per week over one term commencing in September 2024.

Please check the School of Histories and Humanities website for updates on this course at:

Course Fees

€170 full rate, €90 concession rate.

The concession rate is available to all those retired, over 65s, and those on a government pension / payment plan and the unwaged, including second- and third-level students.


Please check our website in August for updates on enrolment and term dates at:

You may apply online or by telephone as follows:

Online: Register and pay by credit/debit card online after enrolments open at:

By telephone: Text ‘APPLY FOR COURSE’ to +353 (0)87 2572015 and you will receive a call back confirming your registration. The phone will be busy during the application period so responses may be delayed. Please do not call to enroll for this course.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 8968589 or TEXT 087 257 2015