chapter  4
Early Irish
Pages 62

The term ‘Early Irish’ as used here embraces the various stages of the Irish language from prehistoric times until the twelfth century AD, of which the Old Irish stage is the best known. The period under review here is framed by two terminal points of great cultural signifi cance, the advent of Christianity in the third or fourth centuries and, in the twelfth century, ‘Europeanization’ through the Anglo-Norman invasion and the church reform. For a general history of the Irish language, see Greene 1966.