Public Lecture

"Patrick, Comets and Christianity"


Professor Mike Baillie

Palaeoecology Centre, Queen's University, Belfast

Wednesday 17th March 2004
19:30 in The Rotunda Lecture Theatre
St Patrick's Trian, Armagh

Professor Mike Baillie of the Palaeoecology Centre, The Queen's University of Belfast, will look at links between the weather and calamitous social events during the fifth and sixth centuries AD. Irish oaks first gave a clue that there had been a severe global climate event around AD 540. In trying to find out what caused this global environmental downturn, with associated famines and plague it became clear just how thin the historical record is around that time. This led to wondering just why we know so little about Saint Patrick. Everything about the fifth century, that is, Patrick's century, was written down sometime after 540; apparently there are no contemporary Irish records. So, did the 540 event wipe out the earlier records?

All events are free of charge, however, owing to limited space, numbers may be restricted. Therefore, if you or groups with which you are involved are planning to attend one of these functions, please contact the Armagh Observatory as soon as possible in order to obtain your free tickets. For tickets and further details, please write, telephone or send an e-mail to: Mrs Aileen McKee, Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG; Tel: 028-3752-2928; e-mail:

See also:

Cambridge Conference Network

"Exodus To Arthur" at Amazon

Last Revised: 2010 February 22nd