Ex Pervetustis Monumentus fideliter inter se collatis eruta, atque è Sacris ac Prophanis Literis primarum Orbis Gentium tam Genealogicis, quam Chronologicis susslaminata praesidiis … Prima Ogygiae Inslua; seu brevis Tractatus de Hiberniae Insula … Secunda Ogygiae Extera; seu Synchronismus, in quo Hibernorum tempora pariter, ac generationes cum Exteris accurate conferuntur. Tertia Ogygiae Domestica; seu Rerum Hibernicarum plenior, ac fusior dissertatio. Quibus Accedit, Regum Hiberniae Christianorum ab anno 428 ad annum 1022; aliorumque eventuum inde ad jam regnantem Carolum 2. brevis Chronologica Tabula Deinde Carmen Chronographicum summam omniun à Diluvio ad praesens tempus complectens. Postremò Catalogus Regum in Britannia Scotorum, ex Hiberniae Monumentis. London: Typis R. Everingham, Sumptibus Ben. Tooke, ad Insigne Navis in Coemeterio D. Pauli, 1685. Small quarto. pp. , 510. Nineteenth century full calf. Spine divided into six compartments by five gilt raised bands, title in gilt direct in the second and year in gilt direct at heel; board edges and turn-ins gilt, splash marbled endpapers. Ex. libris William O’Brien Milltown Park Trust, with bookplate and stamps. Spine professionally rebacked. A fine copy. All edges marbled. Rare.
Wing O 160 Sweeney 3257.
Roderick O’Flaherty, the noted historian and antiquarian of West Connaught, was born at Moycullen Castle, Co. Galway, in 1629. His father Hugh was the last chief of that proud race. Roderick devoted his life to the study of Irish history and antiquities and was a contemporary of Dr. John Lynch, Bishop Kirwan of Killala, and studied Irish literature and history under Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh of Lecan, then resident in the College of St. Nicholas in Galway. In 1652 without having taken part in the rebellion, he was included in the general Cromwellian proscription. He appealed to the Commissioners at Athlone, and was allowed a portion of his family’s estate in Iar Connaught. Afterwards he wrote: “I live a banished man within the bounds of my native soil; a spectator of others enriched by my birth-right; an object of condoling to my relatives and friends, and a condoler of their miseries”.
His first important work was a reply to Dr. Borlase’s History of the Rebellion. He also wrote A Description of West or hIar Connaught which was first published by the Irish Archaeological Society in 1846. His magnum opus however was the present work on offer here, the Ogygia, which according to Hardiman “remains a lasting monument of our author’s learning and genius. Immediately on its appearance it excited the curiosity and attracted the attention of the learned of Europe, many of whom testified their approbation of the work in the most flattering terms. Our ablest antiquaries since that time have admitted that in it he has given secure anchorage to Irish history”.
A monumental work on the history of Ireland from the earliest times to the year 1684. O’Flaherty consulted the Book of Lecan, the chronicle of Tighearnach O’Briain, the Liber Migrationum of Michael Ó Cléirigh, and numerous other Irish mediaeval manuscripts. The Irish type used in quotations and in giving the true forms of names is also the one used in Seanmora ar na Priom Phoncibh na Creideamh translated into Irish by Philip MacBrady and John O’Mulchonri, and published in 1711 by Elinor Everingham.
Edward Lhuyd of Oxford, who visited O’Flaherty in 1700, described him as “affable and learned”, but added the revolutions in Ireland had “reduced him to great poverty and destroyed his books and papers”. In 1709, Sir Thomas Molyneux, brother of the celebrated William Molyneux, made a journey to Connaught and called upon O’Flaherty in his castle at Park, in Cois Fhairrge, and wrote of his trip: “I went to visit old Flaherty, who lives very old, in a miserable condition … I expected to have seen here some old Irish manuscripts, but his ill-fortune had stripped him of these as well as his other goods, so that he had nothing now left but some few pieces of his own writings and a few old rummish books of history, printed.”
Nine years later, at the age of ninety, the old man passed away, the last of the ancient race of Irish historians and chronologers. He was survived by his only son Michael, to whom a portion of the family estates was restored.