An illustration from a manuscript of
Topographia Hibernica
(The Topography of Ireland)
written in 1187
by Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales)

British Library Ms. Royal 13 B VIII
This copy made in 1196-1198 or 1207-1208

Two Irishmen of Connaught paddling a coracle.
An Irishman riding a horse.

Illustration from the bottom margin of folio 29r (Topographia Hibernica)

Click for a larger image.

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Another picture of Two Irishmen of Connaught paddling a coracle in National Library of Ireland Ms. 700
Another picture of An Irishman riding a horse in National Library of Ireland Ms. 700
Another picture of Two Irishmen of Connaught paddling a coracle in Bodleian Library MS. Laud Misc. 720, pt.II.

An echflesc is used by Irish horsemen in place of spurs.
Source: British Library Ms. Royal 13 B VIII

Chapter X: Of the Character, Customs, and Habits of this People

From 'The Topography of Ireland' by Sylvester Giraldus Cambrensis, 1187
Edited by Thomas Wright, 1863


... Likewise, in riding, they neither use saddles, nor boots, nor spurs, but only carry a rod in their hand, having a crook at the upper end, with which they both urge forward and guide their horses. They use reins which serve the purpose both of a bridle and a, bit, and do not prevent the horses from feeding, as they always live on grass. ...

Chapter XXVI: How numbers in the island are not baptized, and have never come to the knowledge of the faith

From 'The Topography of Ireland' by Sylvester Giraldus Cambrensis, 1187
Edited by Thomas Wright, 1863


... From this land not long afterwards they saw a small boat rowing towards them. It was narrow and oblong, and made of wattled boughs, covered and sewn with the hides of beasts. In it were two men, stark naked, except that they wore broad belts of the skin of some animal fastened round their waists. They had long yellow hair, like the Irish, falling below the shoulders, and covering great part of their bodies. The sailors, finding these men were from some part of Connaught, and spoke the Irish language, took them into the ship. ...

The translated text of Topographia Hibernica PDF




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