History and Antiquities of Kilkenny, Ireland
To illustrate local History and Antiquities is a most useful and interesting literary occupation. Some years ago, whilst reading over the "Inquisitions of Leinster," the thought occurred to me that much might be done for Kilkenny by publishing, with notes, those that had reference to our County and City, as it would rescue from oblivion the names of families and places whose memories and worthy traditions hare almost perished with time. Ancient feudal castles and battle grounds, ruined monasteries and decayed churches, holy wells, raths, cromlechs, cairns, &c., are plentifully enough scattered over the length and width of the county, but their history is largely neglected, and the story of their former significance is mostly lost. It is no small task for a clergyman, face to face with the sterner duties of his profession, to undertake the elucidation of such subjects even in an humble way. Yet I hope the day will ever be when many such can command time for the profound study of their country's history, and like another Keating, or an O'Clery, "find it quite consistent with the strict observance and efficient discharge of the onerous duties of a Catholic priest."
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All Annalists and Historians agree that Ireland was peopled at a very early period — almost incredibly so if we adhere to the chronology of "The Four Masters," who make the age of the world at the birth of Christ 5,200. According to the Four Masters the world was 2,242 years old at the time of the Deluge, and in this they adopt the computation of the Septuagint as given by St. Jerome. According to the Annals of Clonmacnoise and other ancient sources the world, from the Creation to the Flood, reckoned no more than 1656 years, or 586 years less than that assigned it by the Septuagint. This was the computation of the Hebrews, and was the one which the calculation of the ancient Irish poets most favored.