Both Scotland and Ireland possess common roots of language, culture, and tradition. Throughout the past two thousand years, these two lands, though separated by the Irish Sea, have nonetheless shared many triumphs and woes. The course will provide a basis for students to understand the complex relationship between these two Celtic nations. Changing Lands and Faiths begins with the life of the most well-known figure in Irish history, Saint Patrick, and follows the path of his faith from Ireland into Scotland. Old peoples such as the Picts and new peoples such as the Saxons and the Scandinavian raiders known as Vikings will leave their mark upon the lands of the Celts and will be discussed in turn.
Setting the stage for the history and stories of the Celts as Christianity and foreign migrations affects the lands and people.
The story of Saint Patrick before he was a saint and how he came to Ireland.
The story of Patrick's mission to Ireland and the rather unique type of religion that sprung out of the blending of Christianity and the local Irish faiths.
The story of the Celtic saint who is most directly responsible for spreading Patrick's Christianity outside of Ireland.
A brief history of the Roman fall and subsequent "invasion" of Britain by Germanic mercenaries just in time for the influence of Patrick and Colmcille to make its way through Scotland and into the South.
A discussion of the differences between Celtic Christianity and Roman Christianity as seen during the Synod of Whitby.
An introduction to the strange people known as the Picts.
The beginnings of a kingdom that would span the Irish sea and contain Celts from both sides of the water.
Who were the Scots? Where did they come from? What does "Scot" even mean?
The story of an incoming force that would change the face of the British Isles forever.
How the invading Northmen, also known as the "Vikings", became part of the cultural landscape in Scotland and Ireland.
The story of a man who became a king and who would go down in history as the leader who threw the Vikings out of Ireland (whether he actually did or not).
The battle for supremacy of Ireland between the Irish and Viking Kings and their armies of mixed Celt and Norseman.
I've been fascinated in history, arms and armor, and Celtic culture since I was a kid. Following this passion has resulted in a B.A. in History, a Certificate of Celtic Studies, and a M.A. in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies. This last degree I earned from the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
I've also been involved in various living history and reenactment organizations for over 13 years. I have performed educational weapons demonstrations and presentations for both adults and children as well as acting as an assistant and guest instructor for several martial arts classes.