A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day Rerun: Ireland and Egypt

You know, with a name like Michael Collins Dunn, I have to appease the ghost of my Irish great-grandmother, at right, by noting Saint Patrick's Day. I'm told she often talked of the Little People, of whom the leprechauns are only a subset, and I don't want them pestering me. Way back in 2009 when this blog was young and spry, I did a lengthy post about the hazy but nonetheless real connections between Egypt and Ireland in the early Christian period, full of Egyptian monks buried in Ireland, Irish guides to pilgrimage in the Wadi Natrun, the curious artistic links (especially the nearly identical Coptic and Celtic wheel crosses), Egyptian glass in Ireland and British tin in Egypt, and Patrick's own apparent familiarity with Egyptian monks. That post is here, and I'd ask longtime readers to read it again, and those who haven't seen it before to do so now. Also note this later post on an Egyotian papyrus found in an Irish bog. Maybe my affinities with Egypt aren't just sentimental; perhaps they're genetic.

And again this year to you all, whether you're raising a Guiness or a Stella or something non-alcoholic, Misr umm al-Dunya and Éirinn go Brách.

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