Translation unlocks key history text

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Academics are involved in a major translation project which could shed new light on the history of Ireland in the 17th century. The scholars from the University of Ulster's Magee campus in Londonderry are translating a record of life in Ireland in the 1640s from Latin into modern English.

It has been compiled from the correspondence of Catholic clergyman Giovanni Baptist Rinuccini, who was sent to Ireland as the representative of Pope Innocent X.

According to the academics, those memoirs - Commentarius Rinuccinianus - are an important source of information about 17th century politics, military history and personnel in Ireland, Britain and in Europe.

Giovanni Baptist Rinuccini was sent to Ireland in March 1645 by Pope Innocent X as his nuncio extraordinary.

The work, which is being carried out by the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages, is being officially launched in Dublin on Tuesday by the Republic's Minister of Arts, Sport and Tourism John Donoghue.

During the course of initial research the project team discovered a previously unknown manuscript about the history of Ireland, the Historia, which was written by Robert O'Connell in the 17th century.

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