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Three Monks


Tríar Manach

nahua voluta

A Medieval Irish Joke

Edited, Translated, Illustrated and Spoken
Dennis King

A thousand-year-old Irish joke about three monks (tríar manach): 




“Three penitents resolved to quit the world for the ascetic life, and so sought the wilderness. After exactly a year’s silence the first one said: ‘’tis a good life we lead.’ At the next year’s end the second answered: ‘it is so.’ Another year being run out, the third exclaimed: ‘if I cannot have peace and quiet here I’ll go back to the world.”

Read and hear the full story and complete history at



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