Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife

This 1854 painting by Irish artist Daniel Maclise depicts the 1169 wedding between Norman invader Richard de Clare, Earl of Striguil, known as "Strongbow" -- has there ever been a better name? -- and Irish princess Aoife, daughter of Dermot MacMurrough, the King of Leinster. The king had been driven from Ireland and Strongbow agreed to help him get his kingdom back in return for his daughter and the succession of the kingdom. This bargain helped the Normans secure a foothold in Ireland. The wedding probably looked nothing like this.

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