[Rev.] Patrick Power

WorksQuotationsNotes

Life
1862-1951; b. Callaghane, nr. Waterford; ed. Catholic Univ. School, and St John’s College, Waterford; worked as priest in Liverpool and Australia; attached to Waterford Cathedral, and diocesan schools inspector; lecturer in archaeology, Maynooth 1910-31; Prof. of Archaeology, UUC, 1931-34; published on Irish place-names in Munster, and wrote ecclesiastical studies incl. Places and Names of Decies (1907); Parochial History of Waterford and Lismore (1912; 1937); Lives of Declan and Mochuda (ITS 1915); Place Names and Antiquities of S. E. Cork (1917); The Ancient Topography of Fermoy (1931); A Bishop of the Penal Times (1932), and The Cathedral and Priory of the Holy Trinity, Waterford (1942); his archaeological works incl. Prehistoric Ireland (1922); Early Christian Ireland (1922; rev. enl. edn. 1925); elected to RIA: ed. Journal of Waterford and S. E. Ireland Arch. Society. DIH

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Works
  • Places and Names of Decies (1907)
  • Parochial History of Waterford and Lismore (1912; 1937)
  • Lives of Declan and Mochuda (ITS 1915)
  • Place Names and Antiquities of S. E. Cork (1917)
  • Ardmore-Decglaim (1919)
  • Prehistoric Ireland: A Manual of Irish pre-Christian Archaeology (Dublin: Mellifont Press 1922), vim,96pp. [see details] ; Do. [rev. & enl. edn.] (Mellifont 1925), 109pp.
  • Early Christian Ireland (1925)
  • The Ancient Topography of Fermoy (1931)
  • A Bishop of the Penal Times (1932)
  • A Short History of Co. Waterford (1933)
  • The Cathedral and Priory of the Holy Trinity, Waterford (1942)
  • He was also the editor of the Journal of Waterford and S. E. Ireland Archaeological Society .

Bibliographical details
Prehistoric Ireland: A Manual of Irish pre-Christian Archaeology (Kildare House, Westmoreland St., Dublin: Mellifont Press [1922]), vi, 96pp. [Chap 1: The Stone Age [9]; Chap. 2: The Bronze Age [43]; Chap. 3: The Early Iron Age [61]; Chap. 4: Ancient Irish Religion [85]. [see extracts.]

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References
There is a Wikipedia page on Patrick Power [online]. It is substantially indebted to, and acknowledges, the Princess Grace Irish Library EIRData (Monaco) website [link] - itself an earlier edition of the present RICORSO corpus.

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Quotations
Prehistoric Ireland: A Manual of Irish pre-Christian Archaeology (Kildare House, Westmoreland St., Dublin: Mellifont Press [1922]) - Preface: Although a full undestanding of Irish history is impossible without some study of our national antiquities, it must be admitted that the latter is a sadly neglected subject. for long Irish Archaelogy had in fact been left to charlatans and dabblers, whence it acquired a rather dubious reputation which, to a certain extent, perhaps adheres to it still. The time is, however, at hand, if indeed it has not already come, when Irish Archaelology can be no longer ignored in Ireland, and when no Irihsman who claims to be educated can afford to be ignorant of his country’s ancient monuments. In some form the subject must find its way even into the secondary, and, probably, into the primary school. / The present Manual, which makes no pretence to originality or learning, but which its comiler thinks supplies a decided deen, is intended primarily for popular use. The student who wants to read the subject more fully is referred to Macalister’s Ireland in Pre-Celtic Times. [...] (p.v.) The author expresses gratitude to E. C. R. Armstrong in reading proofs and ‘for valued suggestions’.

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Prehistoric Ireland: A Manual of Irish pre-Christian Archaeology (1922) - Chap. 4:] “Ancient Irish Religion” ‘[...] Only a single goddess, Minerva, is named in Caesar’s list, and, though her name occurs in a great number of inscriptions, in but three of them is she identified with a Gaulish divinity. The reason of this is that in the Celtic pantheon there seems to have been hardly any independent female divinity; the Celitc gods are mostly all male and, when occasionally the divinity is female, she is almost invariably the associate (wife, mother or sister), or duplicate, of a male god. Thus the female counterpart of the Celtic Mars is a weird being named Cathabodua, no doubt identical with the Irish war-fury Bodh Catha of the Táin Bó. The Bod Catha is, in her turn, identical with the Baidhb or Banshe of modern Irish superstition. In the Cuchullain, or Red Branch Tales, this Bodh Catha is found accompanied by three other demales, cruel and bloody as herslef, scil[icet]:- Macha, Morrigu and Neman, who may indeed be, and very probably are, merely repetitions of herself. It is curious to note, in passing, that in Neemman we have another link between irish and Continental-Celtic paganism; according to the inscriptions Neman was a war-gaoddess of Eastern Gaul. / More than one ancient authority has made comment on the lively religious sense of the Celtics - in marked contrast with the rationalism of their conquerors. To the Celt the futur life was no hazy or indefinite [95] possibility, but an existence as clear-cut and real as the present. On the occasion of funerals - so Roman writers say - the Gauls threw on the funeral pure letters addressed to the dead. Moreover, it was no uncommon thing to lend money to the living on securuty that the debt should be repaid in the world to come’. p.96; End.) See also his account of primitive burials as evidence of that our progenitors believed in a life to come, and references to ‘rude stone monuments’, p.87) in this context,and note that this chapter very largely draws on Roman classics for its material. See also his remarks on Iron Age cookery, in Notes, infra. (Cont.)

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Prehistoric Ireland: A Manual of Irish pre-Christian Archaeology (1924) - On dolmens: ‘Here, arising out of what has just been said, the theory of Messrs. Worsae and Lukis claims notice. Worsae, a distinguished Danish archaeologist, held - and he is supported in the matter by Lukis, an eminent English investigator - that all dolmens were originally encased in, or covered by mounds of earth or cairns of stone. If the mounds of earth, they say, no longer remain, it is only because they have been removed, the one perhaps by nature, the other by man. On may argue, e contra that after the prodigious [30] labour expended on the erection of such a stone chamber, surely no one would be mad enough to bury the whole beneath a mass of earth and stone, clean out of human sight. To argue thus, however, is to beg the question and imply that we fully understand the builders’ motives and the religious notions which animated them in their work. It must be admitted the dolmens, as we know them, show no trace, or hardly any, of mound or cairn. We must, however, on the other hand, remember that cattle and sheep have grazed over the structures for untold ages, that foxes and rabbits and dogs and treasure seekers have burrowed and dug into them, that the rains and storms, the summers and winters of forty centuries have beaten upon them, and finally that man has coveted their poor materials and grudged them the few feet of earth they occupied. Borlase, whose great work, The Dolmens of Ireland (3 vols.), though none too accurate, is the standard work on the subject, adopts Worsae’s theory at least generally. He does not, however, claim, as Worsae seems to have claimed, a mound of earth in every case. In many cases he would admit there was only a pile of small stones carried around the uprights up to, or about, the height of the capstone. It is very easy to understand how, in the course of a few hundred years, mould would accumulate upon the stones and give them the appearance of an earthen mound. [...] (pp.30-31.) Further: ’The total number of Irish dolmens recorded by Borlase is seven hundred and eighty-six. Although Borlase enumerates as dolmens some hundreds of monuments which are, almost certainly, not what he makes them out, it is extremely probably - to the present writer, indeed, quite certain - that Borlase’s estimate errs by defect. Many existing monuments have not been recorded; for instance, the writer has found, in one country (Waterford) alone, five dolmens not hitherto noted, and unknown to Borlase. [... &c.]’ (p.34.) [Full text held at Internet Archive online in a copy acquired by Toronto UL 7 Jan. 1977, bearing a pencilled date of publication, ‘1924’, added to the t.p.; accessed 01.07.2010.]

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Notes
Oz: Power evidently visited Australia at some time prior to 1924 and derived the following conclusions: ‘Man of the Stone Age, we may take it, was not over particular about his cooking. Possibly, during the Palaeolithic, he mostly preferred to eat meat raw; probably most of the time he had no choice. Among the aboriginas of Australia today, as the writer can testify from observation, only the most elementary cooking is done, although the Australians are really in the Neolithic stage. The carcase - skin, hair (or [20] feathers and all - is cast into the embers and hauled out agaain to be eaten before skin or feathers are much more than singed. nay, the writer is bound to confess, sometimes the game is not laid on the fire at all, but eaten entirely uncooked.’ (Prehistoric Ireland: A Manual of Irish pre-Christian Archaeology, Dublin: Mellifont Press 1924, pp.20-21.) But see also his remarks on the Fulacht Fiadhaigh or cooking-place of the venison, p.21.

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