Previous posts in this discussion:
Post"Pale of Settlement": Ireland and Russia (Edward Jajko, USA, 08/29/20 3:58 am)
I must admit that I'm strong neither in Irish history nor historiography, but is "Pale of Settlement" the term that is used for "the West and Southwest coasts of Ireland and a good distance eastwards," as Patrick Mears, no, Mier, no, Mear (the singular form?), no, Mearis, no, Myers--he's Jewish?--oh, whatever, says in his posting of August 28?
Is this a borrowing? As far as I know, "Pale of Settlement" (черта оседлосли) (דער תחום-המושב) is a specific term of art that refers to the western areas of the Russian Empire to which the majority of Jews under Czarist rule were confined. I know that the Czars ruled over and stole vast territories of the earth, but the Emerald Isle?
JE comments: "Pale" comes from the Latin palus, stake, and (literally) suggests a fenced-off area. Compare this with the Spanish Palo Alto, "tall stick," which refers to the town's namesake coast redwood. In the Irish case, the Pale was the area around Dublin always controlled by the English monarch. The implication was that the lands outside the Pale were barbaric, suitable only for rustic folk with behavior "beyond the pale."
I sense the Russian and Irish "Pales" arose independently, although the Irish one dates back longer. The Russian Pale was established under Catherine the Great, in 1791.
What do we know about the Anglo-Irish Protestants who controlled most of Ireland's land? Pat Mears, next, follows up.
"Pale of Settlement": Ireland and Russia; from Michael Frank
(John Eipper, USA
08/31/20 4:14 AM)
Reader Michael Frank sent this comment in response to Edward Jajko (August 29th):
The original Russian term for Russia's "Pale of Settlement" area literally translates "boundary of permanent residence of Jews." This was shortened to "boundary of settlement" in the 1850s.
I believe the English translation, Pale of Settlement, is attributable to Michael Davitt. Davitt, among his various careers, was a freelance reporter working for the Hearst papers. He was sent to Russia to cover the 1903 Kishinev pogrom. His legacy is an exhaustive journalistic opus, summarized in his book Within the Pale. As it happens, Davitt was Irish, and a Republican. The primary focus of his life was representing the counties "beyond the pale," and more than likely imported the term from his homeland. I'm not aware of any English language citation predating Davitt.
JE comments: Michael Frank introduced himself as a lifelong New Yorker and the retired Chief Information Officer of the Bank of New York's institutional brokerage subsidiary. His contribution here solves the Russia-Ireland riddle. The Czarist "pale" had nothing to do with Ireland until an Irishman made the connection.
Thanks for writing in, Michael! Here's Wikipedia on your fellow Michael (Davitt; 1846-1906). A fascinating figure, who was both an Irish Republican and an advocate of Zionism. Read more: