While Rome never conquered Ireland, there was trade, especially with Roman Britain. When Roman power waned, two tribes in Munster expanded into the western part of the island. The Uì Liathàin established colonies in the territory of the Ordovices. To the south, the Dèisi became the rulers of the Demetae, but they adopted Romano-British customs.
The Romans could not conquer all the Celtic tribes of Britain. Along the eastern coast, those tribes north of Hadrian’s Wall became the Picts. West of the Spine of Britain, the tribes that remained unconquered had a much easier time dealing with Ireland than those tribes across the mountains, and became more and more Irish as time went on. In time, the Scots even extended their kingdom, Dal Riata, to Ireland’s shores. Like the Picts, the Scots frequently raided Britain, and continue to do so.
Current Issue: Trading & Raiding
For several centuries, Ireland languished in a dark age. As Britain began to prosper in the third century, Ireland prospered as well from trade with the Roman diocese. As Rome’s military protection faltered but the island continued to prosper, raiding helped enrich Ireland as well. Niall of the Nine Hostages became High King at Tara, founding a dynasty that would last for centuries. That raiding has inadvertently led to another cultural import from Britain, one that is transforming Ireland once again: Christianity.
Face: Valerian mac Aed