Annals of the Four Masters Image: Royal Irish Academy
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The Irish Annals
There are a number medieval annals documenting Irish history. The four most importantare The Annals of Ulster, The Annals of the Four Masters, The Fragmentary Annals and The Annals of Inisfallon.
The Annals of Ulster and the Annals of the Four Masters were both written in the late medieval period, but they compiled from documents that are now lost or destroyed. They are all written in Gaelic or Latin. The Annals of Inisfallon were written slightly earlier in the medieval period but again are probably compiled from older documents.
The annals all follow a similar chronological pattern with an entry being written for each. Some accounts are more detailed than others. For example the Annals of the Four masters, the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of Inisfallon are basically births, death and noted events in the lives of kings
The annals were nearly all written by monks under the patronage of the male Gaelic aristocracy. The annals are concern with the lives of kings and aristocrats and show little interest in the lives of peasants or women.