The Irish were Egyptians? Do tell. This popular ditty was copyrighted in the 1920's, meaning the copyright has long expired--leaving me free to publish the lyrics here:
I've studied things Egyptic
Those writings weird and cryptic
Upon the tombs that dot Sahara's sands,
I've solved each strange inscription
Left by each wise Egyptian
And hold the mystic secret in my hands:
The Irish were Egyptians long ago,
Just read between the lines and you will know
It must have been the Irish who built the Pyramids
For no one else could carry up the bricks.
It must have been a Doyle
That dug the river Nile,
For no one but an Irishman would fight a crocodile.
I think those Micks were Turks,
Mohammedans and Gurks.
They speak of "Irish Turkey" till today,
Cleopatra was a colleen who came from Conamarra,
She lost her nationality while roaming the Sahara,
So all the Hooligans and all the Dooligans
Must have been Egyptians long ago.
Cute huh? It made me chuckle a little, but then I started thinking--what if there was a grain of truth here? So I powered up the ThinkCenter (that actually is the name of the computer we use here at Ellie's Ancestor's, I'm not making that up) and found some evidence.
Claudius Ptolomy (you may have heard of him) was a Greek who lived in Egypt, and it was there in the early second century he wrote his Geographia, a sort of atlas of the known world. It includes in its maps what is believed to be Ireland. This seems to imply the Egyptians must have had knowledge of Ireland at an even earlier date since it would take awhile to explore an island well enough to map it accurately.
And how about this? In the 1950's a Dr. Sean O'Riordan of Trinity College conducted a dig at the Mound of the Hostages at Tara. He found a burial site containing skeletal remains wearing beads that were made in the very same way as the beads worn by King Tut (you may have heard of him too). Even the designs on the beads were identical to those of the boy king.
And speaking of Egyptian royalty, the story of Scota has been around a long time. It appears in the Annals of the Four Masters which by the way, have been proven accurate on many matters over the years. If you aren't familiar with the Annals, also known as the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, briefly--they were compiled in the 1600's mostly from existing annals though some of the writing is original. A Franciscan Brother, Michael O'Clery, assisted by three laymen scoured the island painstakingly copying any historical manuscripts they could find. The result of their labors was the iconic Annals.
But back to Scota. The Annals have this to say-- "The age of the world 3500. The fleet of the sons of Milidh [Milesius of Spain] came to Ireland at the end of this year, to take it from the Tuatha-De-Dannans, and they fought the battle of Sliabh Mis with them on the third year after landing. In this battle fell Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, wife of Milidh; and the grave of Scota is between Sliabh Mis and the sea." Scota's sons were ultimately victorious and their sons and grandsons became kings of Ireland. It's also said that Scotland was named for Scota.
|Fragment of Psalter|
So was there contact between Ireland and Egypt? Were the old Irish kings descendants of an Egyptian Pharaoh? Well, the distance between the two countries seems far easier to traverse than the miles St. Brendan and his crew traveled across the north Atlantic to discover America. From Egypt to Spain was a short pleasant sail across the Mediterranean, and from Spain to Ireland was an easy journey. My money is on the Four Masters.