The Early Christian History Of Ireland
Christianity came to the Irish in the 4th century as a consequence of trade between the Irish and the Roman Empire. At the start of the ftth century Pope Clenstine appointed a bishop, Palladius to Ireland already believing in Christ' the community the community had grown so large. The most successful missionary was Patrick, who in the 5th century converted almost all of the Northern part of Ireland. His principal foundation, Armagh which was strategically located near the ancient prestigious heroic capital of Ulster. Emain Macha grew to be the premier church of Ireland and is today Primatial seat.
The early church in Ireland was episcopal in it's organisation and by the late 6th century was transformed into a monastic one. This was because the influence from the monastic traditions from the East, especially Egypt, stimulated by the need to adapt to a dispersed rural population which was tribally organised.
The church became assimilated to lay society and the monasteries became large and important centres of population .Missionary activity became important and Irish monks in the 7th century founded important monasteries in Britain, Iona and Lindisfarne and also in Europe, St. Gallen, bobbio and converted parts of France Italy and Germany.
Social relationships and wealth determined social standing and the exchange of goods was by the barter system as the first coin was not made until 10th century in the Viking Town Od Dublin. Warfare was frequent and tribal war bands were led by their kings. Ireland at the time was divided into many small kingdoms. The economy was based on raising cattle and agriculture. Trade with other countries was carried out for both lukuries and ray materials. This period of Irish history is generally marked by the splendour of it's religious art of manuscript illumination of stone sculpture, it's what we now call Celtic Crosses.