The Celtic and Roman Traditions

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The Celtic and Roman Traditions
Conflict and Consensus in the Early Medieval Church



© Caitlin Corning, 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. First published in 2006 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN™ 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010 and Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England RG21 6XS Companies and representatives throughout the world. PALGRAVE MACMILLAN is the global academic imprint of the Palgrave Macmillan division of St. Martin’s Press, LLC and of Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. Macmillan® is a registered trademark in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries. Palgrave is a registered trademark in the European Union and other countries. ISBN-13: 978–1–4039–7299–6 ISBN-10: 1–4039–7299–0 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Corning, Caitlin. The Celtic and Roman traditions : conflict and consensus in the early medieval church / Caitlin Corning. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1–4039–7299–0 1. Celtic Church. 2. Church history—Middle Ages, 600–1500. 3. Church controversies—Europe—History—To 1500. I. Title. BR748.C67 2006 74 .02—dc22 Design by Newgen Imaging Systems (P) Ltd., Chennai, India. First edition: September 2006 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed in the United States of America. 2006044784

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

For my mother Corlee Corning and in loving memory of my father Robert Corning .

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The British Church and the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms to c.Contents List of Maps List of Illustrations List of Abbreviations Preface 1.620 5. Conclusion Appendix 1: Easter Dates Notes Bibliography Index viii ix x xii 1 19 45 65 81 95 112 130 150 169 182 191 232 251 . 665–735 9. Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 3. the Picts. Iona and Northumbria. Columbanian Monasticism after 615 AD 4. and the British 10. 634–65 8. Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. The Irish Church after 640 7. The Irish Church to 640 6. Introduction 2. Iona.

1 Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy Britain Ireland 23 66 90 .1 5.1 4.List of Maps 2.

2 2.1 7. 710–23 Comparative Easter dates. France. Paris. 661–66 Ceolfrid’s description of Biblical dates Comparative Easter dates. 680–89 Northumbrian family tree Comparative Easter dates. 590–608 Sunset and moonrise. 765–70 8 24 25 26 52 110 113 124 159 163 166 Figure 1.1 Phases of the moon 6 .2 9.1 7.3 3.1 2.List of Illustrations Tables 1.1 6.3 Comparison of Easter tables Simplified Merovingian family tree Comparative Easter dates.2 9.1 2.1 9. March/April 2005 Comparative Easter dates. 620–41 Comparative Easter dates.

VC ASE ATig AU AVC Bede.List of Abbreviations AC ABR Adomnán. continued as Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies (nos. 1–25). History HB JBS JEH JMH JML JRSAI JTS Annales Cambriae American Benedictine Review Life of Columba Life of Cuthbert Anglo-Saxon England Annals of Tigernach Annals of Ulster Anonymous Life of Cuthbert Ecclesiastical History of the English People Prose Life of Cuthbert The Reckoning of Time Brut y Tywysogyon Canterbury Cathedral Chronicle Collectio Canonum Hibernensis Catholic Historical Review Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies (nos. Reckoning BrT CCC CCH CHR CMCS Columbanus. Ep(s) EHR EME Gregory. HE Bede. VC Anonymous. PVC Bede. 26–) Epistles English Historical Review Early Medieval Europe History of the Franks/Ten Books of History Historia Brittonum Journal of British Studies Journal of Ecclesiastical History Journal of Medieval History Journal of Medieval Latin Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Journal of Theological Studies .

List of Abbreviations MGH:SRM NH PRIA PSAS SHR Stephanus. VW xi Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum Northern History Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Scottish Historical Review Life of Wilfrid .

sites detailing the “history” of the Celtic Church and Celtic Christian denominations. Third. While not the sole concern of this study. At the same time.Preface Since the 1970s and then especially with the publication of Kathleen Hughes’ groundbreaking article. this book should allow the reader . both its unique characteristics and the many areas of similarity it shared with the broader early medieval Church. Yet. “The Celtic Church: Is This a Valid Concept?” scholars have been reassessing much of what was understood about the “Celtic Church. many new theories have been proposed and scholars have abandoned the term Celtic Church believing it to be too closely associated with inaccurate ideas. it provides the nonspecialist with a more accurate understanding of aspects of the Celtic tradition. The focus of this study is the interactions between the Celtic and Roman traditions in Merovingian Gaul. the Easter controversy provides an excellent case study for how the early medieval Church in the West solved disputes over divergent practices. This book is a short introduction to current scholarly opinion and debate about some aspects of the Celtic tradition for the nonspecialist. since the popular books rarely reflect recent scholarship and depend instead upon other nonspecialists or out-of-date scholarly articles and books.”1 In recent decades. The number of books published each year by popular presses on these topics demonstrates that the interest in all things Celtic remains high. First. A quick search of the internet produces an abundance of links to Celtic spirituality seminars. the Celtic Church remains a fashionable topic outside of academic circles. This study has three main goals. From 600 to 768. Lombard Italy. one of the defining issues between these two groups was the conflict over how to correctly calculate the date of Easter. and the British Isles during the period of the Easter controversy. this curiosity with Celtic history and culture has done little to advance an accurate understanding of the early medieval Celtic tradition among nonspecialists. Second. the Easter controversy provides the chronological framework and a foundation upon which to analyze the ways in which these two traditions influenced and transformed each other.

there are numerous people to whom I am much in debt. my student assistant. all quotes have been translated into English. Along these same lines. and to my students who read draft chapters and asked important questions. it is the custom to list lunar days with Roman numerals (luna xiv). Thomas CharlesEdwards. This book assumes some knowledge of medieval history and an understanding of basic Christian theology. Last. all lunar dates have been converted to Arabic numbers. First to Drs. to aid the reader. and the anonymous reader reviewed draft chapters and provided invaluable criticism and suggestions. who went well above the call of duty for this project. In addition. in the bibliography. Christina Roseman and Alberto Ferreiro who nurtured my initial interest in medieval studies and have supported me throughout my career. Clare Stancliffe. more popular versions of personal names have been included: Columba rather than Colum Cille. since many readers may be unaccustomed to working with these. Due to the intended audience. as have the titles for most of the primary documents. In addition. As with all projects of this sort. but no specialized training in the topic.Preface xiii to gain a better understanding of the available primary sources and the complexities involved in using these documents to reconstruct the period. For instance. my sincere thanks to my family and friends who over the years have patiently listened to my complaints about Bede and have learned much more about the Easter controversy than they ever could have imagined. the titles of most primary documents have been translated into English to match the usage within the text. and Brunhild instead of Brunechildis. . but certainly not least. Englishlanguage secondary sources have been used whenever possible. My thanks also to Seth Martin. I have departed occasionally from scholarly norms. Edwin rather than Eadwine. Ian Wood. to Megan Weber and John Knox who designed the maps and charts. However.

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Liturgies. research suggests that the churches in the Celtic-speaking lands were not united in opposition to the “Roman” Church.3 Contrary to popular opinion. They might state. it was continually influenced by native paganism. While there were powerful and influential abbots in the Irish Church.2 In addition. and other issues of interest to Christians were not monolithic. that the Celtic Church did not acknowledge papal authority and was less authoritarian and bureaucratic than the Roman Church because it was guided by holy abbots. for instance. most would agree that the Roman and Celtic Churches were inherently dissimilar and in conflict throughout the Middle Ages until the Roman Church conquered and suppressed the Celtic tradition. the churches in the British Kingdoms—usually an area included in the term “Celtic Church”—were organized on an episcopal model closely resembling that used elsewhere in Europe. The early medieval Church was very diverse. monastic rules. pro-environment. there were also important bishops. rather than bishops.1 Ask most medievalists who specialize in the churches of the Celtic-speaking lands from the sixth through eighth centuries this same question and a remarkably different picture emerges.Chapter 1 Introduction Ask many people browsing through popular books on Celtic Christianity to describe the Celtic Church and several well-known ideas will probably emerge. they might add that it allowed women more power than was customary at the time. Simply stated. Depending on their interests. or that the Irish had a special link with the spiritual realm. Those in Celticspeaking regions acknowledged and respected the papacy as much as any area did at this time and the Irish and British were no more pro-women. it was environmentally friendly. but . or even spiritual than the rest of the Church.

the Church of England was not a new institution. Just as there are recognizable differences in the Catholic Church in America and France today. separate from Rome. In the Celtic-speaking areas. to use modern terms. one which was in opposition to the papacy. however. some intellectuals looked back at what had been lost to modernization.”4 This does not mean. This is why historians could use nineteenth-century prayers or hymns as evidence for the spirituality of the sixth and seventh centuries. not all the traditions in Ireland. that Christians identified themselves as members of a Church separate from and in opposition to Rome. In the uncultured Irish or Scottish peasant it was as though one could gain a glimpse of a distant.10 Separated from the intricacies of Irish culture. Not only did they see examples of primitive.9 As Europe became industrialized.7 This same appeal to a pure tradition. and of course. and Welsh in the postReformation period as well. Merovingian Gaul.8 A second strand came from Romanticism and its idea of the “noble savage” and focus on primitivism. and Visigothic Spain were identical.5 Christians in the West were united in major aspects of theology and the doctrinal decisions of the early ecumenical councils. it is simply a reflection of the diversity of local practices throughout Europe at this time.” Likewise.” Rather all considered themselves part of the universal Church whose differences lay solely in cultural locality. influenced the Scottish. people would not have thought to identify themselves as part of the “Celtic Church. isolated cultures in Africa or the East. but in the Irish and Scottish Highlanders as well. unchanging lives influenced by superstitious beliefs. but a restoration of the true Church in the British Isles.2 The Celtic and Roman Traditions varied regionally. Irish. .6 The first began during the Reformation when the Church of England broke from Rome and the split needed justification. Therefore. “local theologies” or “micro-Christendoms. their counterparts in Merovingian Gaul or Visigothic Spain would not have spoken about the “Continental Church. There were. was proto-Protestant in thought. these men imagined that the Irish led simple. Brief Overview of Modern Celtic Christianity Historians of the modern Celtic phenomenon have identified at least three main branches of thought that have influenced the more fashionable notions of the Celtic Church today. One way to do this was to identify a strand of Christianity more indigenous to the British Isles. unobtainable past.

this approach would be dismissed as totally inappropriate. Within this. Yet. natural. In its essence then. visionary and non-rational” in addition to being “spiritual.”11 Thus. combined with living on the very periphery of Europe. A third major area that has added to the popular notion of the Celtic Church is the increasingly emotional focus of modern. the Celts were characterized as “emotional.12 Although finally subjugated by the Roman Church in the seventh century. rejecting all dogmatic or authoritarian structures.13 Caught up with this are elements of the New Age movement. Anyone familiar with some of the popular writings about the Celtic Church should recognize the major influence these motifs have had on the modern construct of “Celtic spirituality. the Celtic Church becomes the embodiment of the dreams of these groups—whether it is the hope that this tradition gave women equality. popular Celtic spirituality in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries tells us much more about the spiritual desires of people today than those in the early medieval world. their mystical nature.400) to George MacDonald (1824–1905) to today. a historian could not use the novels and speeches of nineteenth. was able to access special layers of spirituality. there is a longing to restore something that seems to have been “lost” in modern life combined with the hope that in the past people “got it right.15 But these ideas reflect modern hopes.14 Within all of these groups. rural. not the reality of the early medieval Church in the Celtic lands or the concerns of those living during that time. the true spirituality of the Celts survived within the innermost natures of all those born in the Celtic lands. for some.and twentieth-century France as evidence for the attitudes of Christians in early medieval Gaul or to argue for an unbroken line of spirituality within France from Martin of Tours (d. In any other area of European spirituality. mostly Protestant churches as they attempt to reform worship and outreach to be more attractive to popular culture. neo-paganism and post-modernism. 397) to present day. authoritarian Rome and fought continually to maintain its distinctive form of Christianity. impractical.Introduction 3 Coupled with this assumption was the notion that each national/ethnic group had its own unchanging characteristics. this seems to be the methodology that underlies the assertion that the spirituality in the Celtic lands has remained unchanged from Pelagius (c. Celtic Christianity was in opposition to the rationalist. .” Many books on this topic draw from a broad range of texts with no sense of chronological or ideological development.” Therefore.16 Essentially. ensured that the Celts had nurtured a version of Christianity that was simplistic and spiritual. For example. and poetic. or continued and preserved pagan traditions.

however. This study.19 Easter Dating While a variety of different aspects of the early medieval Church will be discussed in this book. the churches in Merovingian Gaul and portions of Lombard Italy along with the kingdom of Kent in Anglo-Saxon England. this included. In c. not one or the other exclusively. the Roman tradition was in no way a monolith. Just as with the Celtic tradition. It is important to remember that all those adhering to the Celtic and Roman traditions acknowledged the special role of the papacy. As will be discussed. the papacy’s relationship with many church communities in the seventh century was quite complex. there was a separate Irish tradition of ideas and practices that was not identical to the British. The Lombard and Merovingian Churches were not identical to each other or to that in Kent. so these terms do not distinguish between those who honored the bishop of Rome and those who did not. In other words. When “Celtic tradition” is used in this book. The basic rule for finding the date of Easter is simple: it is to fall on the Sunday following the first full moon after .17 The general consensus is that this phrase is so associated with inaccurate ideas that its usage only furthers misconceptions. On the other hand.600. focuses on what they had in common and was distinctive from the rest of the Church in Western Europe. it seems appropriate to clarify some of the most important ideas and concepts at the outset. among others. As this study focuses on the interaction between the “Celtic” and “Roman” traditions in the period of the Easter controversy. many scholars have suggested that the term “Celtic Church” should be eliminated altogether. the term “Roman tradition” refers to those communities who were united in their acceptance of a set of practices also used in Rome.18 They argue against any unifying characteristics that set Celtic culture apart. it is important to define these terms carefully. it is clear from the primary source material that the most divisive debate between those from the Celtic and Roman traditions centered on the dating of Easter.4 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Definitions Due to the huge separation between popular and specialist conceptions. from the late sixth to early eighth centuries. it refers to a set of shared practices found both in the Irish and British Churches. Others want to reserve “Celtic” solely to define a language grouping and nothing else. First.

25 Nine months later. it actually occurred on March 22/23. However. the Light of the World.22 By the early first century.26 . there are more hours of darkness than light. This date then became symbolically important. in the lateantique world. by the early third century. Unfortunately. the new Adam.24 In addition. different groups argued for alternative dates. the winter solstice. it had moved to March 20 and by the early eighth century to March 17. Rome itself also had made the change to recognizing March 21 as the equinox in the fourth century. Before the vernal equinox. on the winter solstice or December 25.21 Although Easter dating involves many complex calculations. These dates were not fixed because of historical accuracy. the ancient Church believed that the equinox fell on March 25. Many Church fathers speculated that God had created the sun and the moon on this date when light and darkness were in balance. At first. Alexandria recalculated the equinox to March 21. some maintained that the ecclesiastical equinox should continue to be observed on March 25 since this was the date recognized by the early Church. in order to calculate the date of Easter it is necessary to know when the vernal or spring equinox occurs. As mentioned. and from that. the Messiah was conceived.23 Thus. due to the problems with the Julian calendar. but due to their symbolic meaning. those following Easter tables with the March 21 equinox could turn to the Council of Nicaea (325) for support since this ecumenical council had upheld the customs of Alexandria. Christ was born. On the longest night of the year. By the Council of Nicaea (325).Introduction 5 the spring equinox. Two of the most important aspects were the date of the equinox and the range of lunar dates on which it was permissible for Easter to occur. the date of the equinox moved earlier in the calendar year as time went on. would heal the world. attempting to predict the date of Easter from year to year is a complicated process because it requires the intercalculation of the lunar and solar calendars to determine the date and day of the week on which the full moon will occur. Then on the night when darkness and light are in balance. as this date more closely corresponded to astronomical data. During the controversy over Easter dating in the seventh and eighth centuries. the date of Easter Sunday. Christ. Therefore. the Savior. In addition. The Incarnation was also seen as the beginning of a new creation where Christ. there are only a few issues that need to be comprehended in order to understand how the debate over the correct date of Easter unfolded in the seventh and eighth centuries. the actual equinox was moving further out of sequence with the ecclesiastical one. was born. Placing Easter in relation to March 25 would complete the cycle. it was maintained that the annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Messiah occurred on March 25.20 On the other hand. although it might have been astronomically inaccurate.

As mentioned.1 Phases of the moon . Since the full moon can fall on any day of the week and Easter must be on a Sunday. If the full moon fell on a Monday. Some argued that luna 14 was an acceptable date for Easter and thus employed an lunar range of 14–20. in Sunday Monday Tuesday 1 Wednesday Thursday 2 3 Friday 4 Saturday 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 luna 14 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 New moon First quarter Full moon Last quarter Figure 1. such as luna 12 for the twelfth day of the lunar month or luna 17 for the seventeenth day of the month.6 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Another major issue that caused conflict during the seventh century was the lunar limits or the days of the moon on which Easter could be celebrated. For instance. The moon cycle helps to illustrate this idea (figure 1.1). however. then Easter would fall on luna 19. Lunar dates are usually designated by the term luna and the day of the cycle. there is a seven-day span in which Easter may occur. but the first day the moon was visible. This meant that the full moon occurred on luna 14. There was disagreement as to whether Easter could actually be celebrated on luna 14 if this was a Sunday.56 days. if the full moon fell on a Tuesday. those calculating Easter counted not from the new moon. Easter falls on the Sunday following the first full moon (luna 14) after the spring equinox. Each cycle of the moon is 29. Easter would occur on luna 20.

and the Celtic-84 tables. by the mid-sixth century there were a number of tables in use in Western Europe. calculated the full 532-year cycle. Victorius used a March 21 equinox. using Dionysius’ principles. Victorius argued that the Paschal full moon could fall before the equinox.28 He adapted the basic principles in use at Alexandria. Unfortunately. even if these groups had agreed on the date of the equinox. Dionysius calculated the Easter dates for ninety-five years (19 5) from 532 to 626. while still an archdeacon. Other groups rejected this and so employed alternative sets of lunar ranges. an Anglo-Saxon monk. Therefore. the Easter or Paschal full moon as it was called needed to occur after the equinox as well. commissioned Victorius to create a more accurate table to be used in Rome. the actual dates of Easter repeated only every 532 years.1). A table could list Easter dates far into the future so every church would know when to celebrate. the Victorian. At that time. The table which eventually won unanimous support in the West was composed by Dionysius Exiguus in 525 AD.Introduction 7 other words.31 Pope Hilarus (461–68).1). In the early seventh century. Like Dionysius. However. his table was continued for the years 627 to 721. the earliest calendar date for Easter was March 22 and the latest day was April 25 (table 1. luna 16–22. in some . Bede.30 In addition. As the Church expanded geographically. but he believed that Easter should fall between the sixteenth and twenty-second day of the moon. Again differing from Dionysius. thus often giving conflicting dates.457 AD. they might still disagree regarding whether the correct date of Easter should fall between luna 14–20 or some other range of dates. Easter Tables The early Church in the West appears to have relied on letters sent from Rome or other bishops to announce the date of Easter each year. Therefore Easter tables were invented. His table was based on a nineteen-year cycle in which the solar dates of the full moon before Easter rotated in a nineteen-year sequence.32 His limits for Easter were March 22 through April 24 (table 1. Easter should be celebrated on a Sunday between the fourteenth and the twentieth days of the moon. The second popular table was the 532-year table composed by Victorius in c.27 The three which most concerned Western Europe in the period under discussion were the Dionysian. Thus.29 Dionysius dated the equinox to March 21 and believed that Easter should fall on the Sunday between luna 15 and 21. Due to computational problems. these letters often did not reach outlying areas in time. all of which differed in how they calculated the date of Easter.

it was primarily used in Celtic-speaking areas. if the age of the moon on Easter was luna 17. Those using the Greek dates on Victorius’ table would actually be following an Easter used nowhere in Europe. while other areas of Gaul celebrated the Greek March 26 (table 2. not because historians assume that a Celt composed it. if one wished to celebrate with the Greek part of the Church. it might be necessary to use the Latin. this was not true for the Paschal full moon that could fall as early as March 21. but it was possibly composed in Gaul by Sulpicius Severus in the late fourth or early fifth century. in reality he was using luna 15–21.1). This means that although he thought his Latin dates reflected a luna 16–22 range. the luna dates in Victorius’ table were incorrect by one day. This combination of factors produced an Easter range of March 26–April 23 (table 1. This led to additional discrepancies between the three tables.36 Uncertainty surrounds its origins.8 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Table 1.2). not Greek dates. This is further complicated by the fact that at times. .35 The oldest of the three tables usually is referred to as the Insular or Celtic eighty-four year Paschal cycle (Celtic-84). the Celtic table would list this as luna 19—two full days off.37 It has “Celtic” in the title. but because by the time the controversy surrounding this table occurred.34 It is known for example. Therefore. There are also problems with this table because approximately every sixty-three years the lunar dates listed in the table advance one day ahead of the actual moon.1 Comparison of Easter tables Table Years Equinox Earliest Luna 14 Date Lunar Limits Earliest Easter Date Latest Easter Date April 25 April 24 Dionysian Victorian 95 532 March 21 March 21 March 21 March 18 Luna 15–21 Luna 16–22 (Latin) Luna 15–21 (Greek) Luna 14–20 March 22 March 22 Celtic-84 84 March 25 March 21 March 26 April 23 years Victorius listed both “Latin” and “Greek” dates.38 Its lunar limits were luna 14–20 and while Easter had to occur after the equinox. This table followed an 84-year cycle and the older March 25 equinox.33 This quickly negated Rome’s reason for commissioning the table because confusion arose over which date to follow. the Greek dates were calculated using luna 15–21 and the Latin dates luna 16–22.39 Therefore after about 150 years. that in 590 Tours observed Easter on the Latin date of April 2.

Christians celebrate Easter in remembrance of the death and resurrection of . some would be celebrating Easter. It argues that “by celebrating this feast of feasts on different days. Therefore. It is interesting that this same point is found in a statement issued by the World Council of Churches in 1997 on the need for all Christians to celebrate the same Easter. the fact that it was unable to determine the date of its most important festival and a period of fourteen weeks of fasting and celebrations undermined its claim to be the custodian of truth and knowledge.40 It also is critical in finding the dates for the Feast of the Ascension and the Pentecost. for married couples. the ecclesiastical calendar would be out of sequence. then Lent would begin on February 8 and Pentecost Sunday would be on May 14. Bede points out that at the Northumbria court. part of which followed the Dionysian table and the other the Celtic-84 before 664. fourteen weeks of the liturgical calendar are calculated from the date of Easter. If a competing table identified April 23 as Easter. All this can be contrasted to the celebrations after Easter when there were few dietary restrictions. In addition. The date for Easter is used to determine the start of Holy Week. Ash Wednesday. respectively. compromising their credibility and effectiveness in bringing the Gospel to the World. During Lent. as the seventh-century Church was involved in missions and evangelism. and marital relations were allowed. Therefore for eighteen weeks. which occur six and seven weeks after Easter. The first is practical. If one table listed March 26 as Easter. and undertake certain penances.Introduction 9 Practical Issues in the Easter Controversy The reason finding the correct date of Easter was critical to ecclesiastics in the early Middle Ages is twofold. eat only one meal a day. Lent would start on March 8 and Pentecost would be celebrated on June 11.”43 Theological Issues in the Easter Controversy Determining the date of Easter is also important in terms of theology.41 This would be exacerbated by Easter dates that could be up to four weeks apart. This means that the high feast/fast days would contradict as well as the readings for Mass and the daily prayer cycle. and the beginning of the Lent. especially after waiting seven weeks for the opportunity.42 Imagine a present-day church congregation where some of the members thought it was Easter and the rest believed it was still four weeks away. while the rest were still in the Lenten fast. It is easy to imagine tempers flaring over whether it was acceptable or not to eat meat. the churches give a divided witness to this fundamental aspect of the apostolic faith. people were to abstain from meat and dairy products. In addition to the internal conflict within Christian communities. sexual intercourse was often frowned upon. the normal meal schedule returned.


The Celtic and Roman Traditions

Christ because they believe that these events ensured forgiveness of sin and salvation. The exact calendar date of Easter is not contained in the New Testament, though it is clear that Christ’s death occurred on or directly after the Jewish Passover. According to Scripture, Christ rose from the dead three days later on Sunday.44 Since Christians wish to recreate as closely as possible the environment in which the first Easter happened, it is celebrated on the Sunday after Passover. Christ is also viewed as the symbolic Passover lamb, since it was his death that released humanity from the penalty of sin, just as the blood of the lamb at Passover saved the Hebrews in Egypt.45 Due to these associations with Passover, Christians believed that the date of Easter should be calculated using in part the requirements for the date of Passover as outlined in the Old Testament. In Exodus, it states that Passover should occur in the first month of the Jewish lunar calendar (March/April) on the full moon or luna 14.46 Thus the first full moon after the spring equinox is always the date of Passover. Unlike Easter, Passover can happen on any day of the week. As mentioned, Christians disagreed whether Easter could be celebrated on Passover itself if this was a Sunday, but all agreed that Easter could not occur before luna 14. To allow Easter to take place before Passover would be to violate the precepts ordained by God and undermine the idea of Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of humanity.47 The Old Testament also mandates the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is celebrated for seven days following Passover. The lunar range, the days after the full moon on which Easter can be celebrated, was limited to seven days in imitation of this Feast. As Christ is the “bread of life,” this also appeared to be a symbolic Gospel fulfillment of earlier Old Testament law.48 Unfortunately, the Scriptures give conflicting dates regarding this Feast.49 Exodus and Leviticus state that it should be celebrated for seven days after Passover (luna 15–21).50 However, Deuteronomy implies that this Feast begins on Passover (luna 14–20).51 Therefore both those who used the Celtic-84 and the Dionysian table could claim that their lunar range agreed with biblical precepts. For all those attempting to find the date of Easter, the relationship between the positions of the sun, moon, and earth also needed symbolically to reflect correct theology. It was argued that Easter must occur after the equinox when there are more hours of light than darkness, just as Christ, the Light of the World, overcame the darkness of sin and death for our salvation.52 Easter celebrations occur after luna 14 when, from earth, the full moon is past, but the moon’s light is more fully visible from the sun. This reminds believers of Christ’s life on earth and also his resurrection. Just as the moon spins to become more fully illuminated by the sun, Christ sits at the right hand of the Father and reflects the glory of God.53 Another



interpretation is that the first phase of the moon to luna 14 symbolizes “the grace of the virtues by which our Lord, appearing in the flesh, illumined the world.”54 As the moon moves past luna 14, this reflects Christ’s resurrection and ascension.55 The moon’s position in relation to the earth and sun also shows the need to move from external things to internal—from the things of the world to matters contemplative. Before luna 14, the moon represents Adam who, as a sinner, is focused on earth. After luna 14, the moon becomes more illuminated by the sun, just as the soul should move toward God. As Augustine states, “all that light of the soul which was inclining to things that are beneath is turned to the things that are above, and is thus withdrawn from the things of the earth; so that it dies more and more to this world, and its life is hid with Christ in God.”56 In addition, Easter needed to happen in the first month of the Jewish year, since that was the month God created the world.57 Christ’s resurrection healed the brokenness caused by the Fall and Christians now have new life in Christ.58 The resurrection happened on the third day because we now live in the third epoch, that of grace.59 This is why Easter occurs in the third week of the first month in the lunar calendar. For those following the Celtic-84 table, any calculation that used a March 21 equinox placed Easter too early and thus symbolically denied that Christ, the Light of the World, needed to conquer death for our salvation. However, the Celtic-84 also had a problem when it allowed Easter to be celebrated on luna 14. Due to the fact that Easter celebrations began the evening before the date listed, some believed this table allowed Easter to begin on luna 13 and thus before the arrival of the full moon.60 As with celebrating before the equinox, this also symbolically denied the need for Christ’s death and resurrection. The supporters of the Dionysian table saw a major problem with the Victorian and Celtic-84 when they placed the Easter or Paschal full moon before the equinox.61 This also symbolically denied the need for Christ’s grace. In addition, the first full moon after the equinox signals the start of the new year. By placing the Easter moon so early, it was possible that Easter might be celebrated in the last month of the year, rather than the first. The Victorian table also allowed Easter to fall on luna 22, the first day of the fourth week of the month, violating the symbolic nature of the third week.

Council of Nicaea
The first ecumenical council was held in Nicaea in 325. It ruled that Easter could not be celebrated “with the Jews” on Passover. It also was decided that


The Celtic and Roman Traditions

Christians should not rely on the Jewish calculations for Passover since they sometimes allowed this feast to be observed twice in the same year. When this happened, Christians would celebrate Easter in the last month of the year rather than the first. While separating Easter from the Jewish observances, the council left many questions unanswered since it did not specifically define the date of the equinox or the lunar dates upon which Easter could occur.62 In the early fourth century, the Alexandrian Church advocated lunar limits of 15–21 and a March 21 equinox. They also argued that the Paschal full moon had to occur after the equinox in order to ensure that Easter fell in the first month. Dionysius adopted the Alexandrian principles and claimed, along with others, that Nicaea had actually mandated these criteria.63 Though untrue, those who believed this could accuse the Victorian table of violating Nicaea since it allowed the full moon to fall before the equinox. Furthermore, the Celtic-84 could be seen as contradicting this council because it allowed Easter to take place on luna 14.64 What is clear from the letter sent by the Emperor Constantine with regard to the decisions made at Nicaea was that all agreed the Church should celebrate Easter on the same date. He called it “scandalous” that some would be celebrating Easter while others were still in the Lenten fast. The Church needed to reach a unanimous decision on this issue. Constantine states:
we must consider, too, that a discordant judgment in a case of such importance, and respecting [Easter] is wrong. For our Savior has left us one feast in commemoration of the day of our deliverance . . . and he has willed that his Catholic Church should be one, the members of which, however scattered in many and diverse places, are yet cherished by one pervading spirit, that is, by the will of God.65

Therefore, under the authority of an ecumenical council, there could only be one correct day for Easter.

Although constructing an Easter table is complex, there were only three major areas of concern in the seventh and eighth century: the date of the equinox, the range of luna dates on which Easter could be observed, and whether the Paschal full moon could occur before the equinox. These factors, combined with miscalculations in the Celtic-84 and Victorian tables, meant that the three tables did not always list the same date for Easter.



It is important to understand that the Church believed it was critical that all Christians celebrate Easter on the same day. Part of the reason for this was practical. If the date for Easter did not agree, the Christian calendar would be at variance for up to eighteen weeks. This would affect the readings at Mass, the daily prayers at use in monastic houses, and fasting/feasting. For all the difficulty of having a community trying to use two different calendars, the more significant issues rested on matters of theology. Augustine wrote that the date of Easter had to agree with the Old Testament, New Testament and the rulings of the church councils.66 The true date of Easter would align with all these sources, uphold God’s sovereignty over nature and history, and reinforce humanity’s need for salvation and grace.

The primary sources demonstrate that there was some controversy over the Celtic tonsure, or in other words, the style of a cleric’s haircut from approximately the late 620s through the early eighth century. In today’s culture it may seem surprising that there were arguments over how people cut their hair, but it is clear that this issue was a serious one.67 Throughout the cultures of the medieval West, hairstyles were a sign of social status. Kings and warriors had different haircuts than peasants or craftsmen.68 Specific haircuts could also be a part of rituals “that might signify a vow, a sacrifice, mourning, respect, submission.”69 A cleric therefore wore his hair in a specified way that set him apart from the other men in his society. The Roman tonsure is the hairstyle we are all familiar with thanks to Hollywood. Churchmen shaved the top of their head, leaving a bald spot and then shaved their neck creating a symbolic crown of thorns in imitation of Christ’s suffering before his crucifixion. According to tradition, this tonsure was worn by the apostle Peter. One description of the Celtic tonsure comes from a letter by Abbot Ceolfrid (688–716) of Jarrow to Nechtan (706–24/25), king of the Picts, written in c.712.70 He says that “in the front of the forehead it does seem to bear the resemblance to a crown, but when you come to look at the neck, you find that the crown which you expected to see is cut short . . .”71 It has been argued that the top of the Celtic tonsure may have been shaped somewhat like a triangle with the base of the triangle toward the back and the point toward the front.72 The Roman tradition associated the Celtic tonsure with Simon Magus, who is featured in the New Testament book of Acts when he tries to purchase the Holy Spirit.73 Simon also appears in the apocryphal Acts of Peter and the Pseudo-Clement Homilies, among others.74 In patristic and early medieval


The Celtic and Roman Traditions

writings, Simon is portrayed as the father of heretics and the spiritual founder of a heretical pseudo-apostolic succession.75 It is also clear that Peter is established as the archetype in opposition to Simon. In the Ten Books of History, written in the late sixth century by Gregory of Tours, there is a story that Simon Magus helped Nero persecute Peter and Paul. Gregory describes Simon Magus as “a man of immense malice and a master of every form of necromancy.”76 It is thus very interesting that the two competing tonsures would be identified by some medieval writers as those of Peter and Simon Magus. To medieval readers, the larger background of confrontation between Peter and Simon would come to mind instantly. This is not to imply that the tonsure was a heretical concern per se. In the letter just mentioned, Ceolfrid remarks that wearing an alternative tonsure is not an act that would jeopardize a person’s salvation. However, after recommending Peter’s tonsure as the best, he then adds “. . . nor do I consider any tonsure to be rightly judged more abominable and detestable than that worn by [Simon Magus].”77 In other words, while there could be some divergence on tonsures—the East for example used one associated with Paul—the Celtic tonsure was not just at variation with Rome and much of Western Europe, but associated with the arch-heretic. Ceolfrid says that all who follow Christ should wear Peter’s tonsure and abandon that of his enemy. Those who wear the Celtic tonsure are thus tainted by association, even if theologically orthodox. The use of Simon Magus’ tonsure, from the Roman point of view, raised questions concerning a person’s true allegiance to Christ and apostolic tradition. Usually when people abandoned the alternative Celtic dating for Easter, they also adopted the Roman tonsure. This meant that, as the Easter controversy continued through the seventh century and into the eighth, the tonsure became a very visible sign of allegiance to either the Celtic or Roman party.78

Penance and Penitentials
In the early Church, all agreed that the act of baptism washed away sin, but there were questions about how to remove the taint of sins committed after this sacrament.79 For minor lapses, the stain of sin was cleansed through prayer and repentance, but this was considered inadequate for major sins such as murder, fornication, or apostasy.80 While some extremists argued that there was no forgiveness possible for such sins, a majority of the Church reached the conclusion that forgiveness could be granted, but only through rigorous repentance. A liturgy developed where the sinner confessed his sins before the congregation and entered the order of penitents.

He perceived sin as hindering spiritual growth just as illness undermines physical well-being.and fifth-century monastic circles. In many ways. fasting would be an appropriate response. the status of a penitent was similar to the separation undertaken by monastics in renouncing the world.Introduction 15 As a penitent. Assigning specific penances to counter sin would help to “cure” the sinner and lead to long-term behavioral changes. 615): If any cleric has committed theft . For instance. for theft. . argued that sin was like a disease. . . If he has made a practice of this. this is a passage from one written by the Irish abbot Columbanus (d. and cannot make restitution. . an assigned penance should be designed to counteract an identified sin. the sinner should give alms. But if he has made a practice of stealing often.84 In the sixth century. the penitent was readmitted into the community of the faithful by the laying on of hands by the bishop. let him do penance for a year and a hundred and twenty days. From this merger came the idea of private or public confession with repeatable penances that could be performed as often as was needed for the Christian to reach true spiritual health. a person was not allowed to participate in the Mass and was required to give up all civil and familial responsibilities. meant that there was the temptation to delay this ceremony as long as possible. let him first restore to his neighbour the loss which he has caused.82 Another model of penance developed in fourth. an additional development occurred when the earliest surviving penitentials were composed by two ascetics. the penitent might not be able to hold public responsibilities. . . and cannot make restitution. except that monks were not denied access to the Eucharist. However. if he has done it once or twice. if he has done it once or twice. Gildas in Britain and Finnian in Ireland. let him do penance three years on bread and water. and let him do penance for a hundred and twenty days on bread and water. with some delaying this ritual until they were on their deathbeds and the possibility of committing major post–baptismal sins became highly unlikely. John Cassian (360–435). for gluttony.85 Penitentials contain lists of sins and the appropriate penance for each. let him first make restitution to his neighbour. even after being reconciled to the community. a monk from the East who settled in southern Gaul in the early fifth century. Just as certain medicines cure specific disorders.81 The severity of public penance and the fact that it was available only once. After a set period of time. The same also became true for baptism. .83 This idea of using penance to “heal” the sinner was combined with the monastic practice of daily confession of major and minor sins to a superior or the monastic community. and further undertake not to repeat it. If any layman has committed theft . and do penance for a whole year on bread and water.86 .

and whether it was a repeat offence. Penalties would also vary depending on age and gender.16 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Notice that the penalties for clerics and laymen differ as well as those for single versus repeat offenders. Most churches used a variety of penitential practices depending upon the situation. Basil (c.” A major question for historians is why penitentials appeared in the Celtic tradition. it appears that while private forms of penance were utilized. and rank was a distinctly “Celtic” practice that spread to the rest of the Church.95 It is important then not to picture the early medieval Church clearly divided between those supporting “tariff penance” and those advocating continued use of public penance. the rank of the victim.94 In other churches. One influence on the Irish may have been Irish secular law.87 When a Christian confessed his/her sins. the nature of the act. . the priest/abbot would reference a penitential to determine the appropriate penance. The example of Irish secular law may well have played a major factor in the creation of penitentials in the British and Irish Churches.330–79) of Caesarea had written letters advising specific penances for different sins. Our modern notion that all are equal in the eyes of the law would be considered quite odd to the early medieval world. in which the penalty for crimes was determined by four things: the status of the person who committed the crime. the perpetrator would need to pay an assessed fine to the victim or his/her kin. To murder a priest was considered worse than killing a peasant.96 As far as can be determined from the primary sources. age.90 However. more public aspects of penance continued to be used even in Ireland and other areas that had adopted penitentials. For instance.88 The use of penitentials in private confession is referred to as “tariff penance. additional factors may come to light. The above passage from Columbanus’ Penitential demonstrates this same type of system. they brought their penitential practices with them.92 It used to be argued that the Irish introduced private penance to the Continent after which public penance quickly disappeared. the creation of highly structured penitentials with penances listed by the frequency of the sin. penitentials were not. at least as far as the penalties assessed.93 In addition. the Celtic penitentials are much more elaborate and help to codify the advice of earlier writers. Thus a noble who stole from a bishop would pay a heavier fine than one who committed this same crime against someone of lower rank. but as historians continue to reassess the complexity of penance in late-Roman and early-medieval Europe. gender. This is no longer supported by scholars who point out that before the arrival of Irish practices the Continental Church had a variety of public and private penance ceremonies.89 There were some precedents in the East. As Irish monks settled on the Continent and in Anglo-Saxon England. the priest who committed theft had a longer penance than the layman.91 On the basis of these criteria.

someone without family or kinship ties.100 This may be a reflection of secular law where exile was a punishment for severe crimes. In the Celtic tradition. peregrinatio pro Christo. In this sense.98 Augustine.102 This type of ascetic exile or permanent pilgrimage may have been inspired in part by Biblical injunctions. Later in life. there were two major types of peregrinatio: the “lesser exile. As a young man.101 More uniquely in the Celtic lands it meant those who voluntarily chose to permanently exile themselves from family and kin in order to be fully dependent upon God. and the “superior exile. a peregrinatio could simply refer to a pilgrimage undertaken to a specific holy site or shrine.Introduction 17 The popularization of penitentials to assist the confessor in promoting lasting spiritual growth is one of the most important legacies of the Celtic tradition. but not Ireland itself. In addition.108 As will be discussed. he left Leinster and eventually joined the monastery at Bangor in northern Ireland (see map 5. both Columbanus and Fursey had significant influence on the Christian communities in a number of geographic areas during their travels. While the “exile for God” was normally undertaken for personal spiritual devotion. Samson left Wales.106 St.109 . first for Cornwall and then Brittany. many peregrini did become involved with missions and pastoral care.” which involved traveling overseas. finally becoming bishop of Dol in northern France.107 Columba traveled to what is today southwestern Scotland to establish the monastery of Iona.103 For the Irish. argued that Christians should be exiles or peregrini in this world.” which meant simply leaving one’s local area. peregrinatio had at least two additional meanings. for instance.99 The general theme of a life of exile or peregrinatio as popularized by Augustine was incorporated throughout the Church in many different ways. strangers in a strange land who long for the time when they can enter the heavenly kingdom. Peregrinatio pro Christo or Exile for Christ The term peregrinus is found in Roman law where it means an exile or resident alien. this word can refer to someone from abroad or a person undertaking a journey.97 In patristic writings.104 Columbanus is an excellent example of an Irishman who undertook both types of peregrinatio.1). the peregrinus or pilgrim was on a temporary journey with a specific destination in mind. Patrick described his life in Ireland as a peregrinatio. he left Ireland and traveled to Merovingian Gaul and then Lombard Italy. First. one of the penances assessed in the penitentials was temporary or permanent exile.105 St.

the Celtic contribution of penitentials added an element in the Church’s emerging practices of confession and penance. irrational. disagreements over the correct form of tonsure arose as well.18 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Conclusion In recent decades. For all this. As many in the British and Irish Churches undertook peregrinatio for Christ. many historians’ contributions have radically transformed what we know about the churches in the Celtic-speaking areas from the late sixth to the mid-eighth centuries. As different churches developed a variety of public and private penances.” By far. and unchanging. As the Easter controversy continued through the seventh century. However. These were the table used for determining the date of Easter. The supporters of the Celtic-84. The correct date for Easter would fulfill God’s precepts for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as outlined in the Old Testament. In addition. they came into contact with those who followed the Roman Easter tables and tonsure. It was not the tonsure per se that was wrong. triggering the Easter controversy in this period. mystical. the use of penitentials. However. there were at least four practices used in the Celtic tradition in the late sixth century that diverged from those followed at Rome. the Celts helped to create and popularize penitentials. It would also align with what was known about Christ’s death and resurrection from the New Testament and Church fathers. and Dionysian tables each believed their table was correct and that the others were guilty of violating key principles. historians reject the arguments found in many of the popular books on Celtic Christianity that the Celts are by nature inherently spiritual. but what it represented. Scholars. the positions of the sun and the moon should symbolically demonstrate the need for Christ’s saving grace. Victorian.110 In addition. have abandoned older theories that the Celts created a “pure” Church in opposition to the more authoritarian Rome. Due to the fact that those using the Celtic-84 tended to wear the Celtic tonsure. this haircut became symbolically linked with opposition to the Roman Easter dating from the 620s until the last of the British Churches adopted the Dionysian table in c. in the midst of this. the form of tonsure. on Easter. there were theological considerations as well. who point to the many similarities between the churches in the Celtic-speaking lands and their continental counterparts. the Church was in a dynamic period of experimentation and creativity with regard to the most effective ways to deal with sin and repentance. and the popularity of the “exile for Christ. Easter caused the most controversy in part because this date was critical in determining fourteen weeks of feasts and fasts in the liturgical calendar. From the fifth century. .770.

As will be discussed. These documents demonstrate that the Easter controversy was a critical issue to both the Frankish Church and to Columbanus and his supporters. and as the Church in Gaul had decided to follow the Victorian table. like most churchmen of his day. . During this period an Irish monk named Columbanus and his followers left Ireland and settled for a time in the Merovingian kingdom of Burgundy. As they believed that the Celtic-84 was the correct table. However. secular and ecclesiastical politics played an important role in the Easter controversy since Columbanus established close ties with the Burgundian court that in turn significantly influenced his interactions with the Merovingian episcopacy.Chapter 2 Columbanus and the Merovingian Church Although controversies surrounding the date of Easter had occurred from the late second century. conflict soon broke out. the struggle between those who used the Celtic-84 and those supporting the Victorian table first enters the historical sources in late–sixth-century Merovingian Gaul. By examining these episodes in detail. it is possible to lay a foundation with which to compare and contrast not only the Roman and Celtic traditions but also the attitudes of the various Celtic churchmen active throughout the period of the Easter controversy. Columbanus’ actions during this dispute also prove that he respected the pope and the right of the papacy to judge controversial matters. he felt he had the right to criticize and disagree with the papacy if it were in error. The sources written by and about Columbanus in the seventh century are essential to any study of the interactions between the Celtic and Roman traditions.

one of Columbanus’ monastic foundations. but saintly. In the end. facts that might undermine the sanctity of the person in question are only included when the author needs to ensure that his specific interpretation is the one remembered. monastic rules. Therefore it is apologetical in nature. but these four are the most crucial. The Life both reflects the attitudes present among Columbanus’ supporters and perpetuates those ideas. while it was still possible for the author to interview those who actually knew him. Jonas of Bobbio wrote the Life of Columbanus and his Disciples.636 by the abbots of Bobbio and Luxeuil to write a Life of their founding saint. it is a boon for historians to have a Life composed so soon after Columbanus’ death. council records. This is not to imply that the other primary documents of this period are of no assistance. the person appears much more human than the media or other sources may have depicted him. However. to make sure it was the stance of the Columbanian communities that people remembered. Jonas’ second main objective was to reinforce the belief of the Columbanian communities that Columbanus was a saint. and the Chronicle of Fredegar. and was asked in c. In one sense. Gregory of Tours’ Ten Books of History. warts and all. and so on. . there are times when Jonas omitted details or put a certain “spin” on events to ensure that he always portrayed Columbanus in a positive light. As will be discussed below. glossing over conflicts when possible. In this way.1 Jonas was a monk at Bobbio. Jonas’ job was to provide the “official” version of the controversial events in Columbanus’ life. and if he could not do this. the historical context of the relationship between Columbanus and the ecclesiastical and secular leadership on the Continent is found predominately in four major sources: Jonas’ Life of Columbanus. the poetry of Venantius Fortunatus (530–609). A good biography portrays the person as realistically as possible. with any Life. hagiography is different from biography. penitentials. Thus. The purpose of a piece of hagiography is not to have the person appear human.2 Therefore.20 The Celtic and Roman Traditions The Sources There are a number of surviving primary documents from the late sixth and early seventh centuries that concern Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy including saints’ Lives. However. Columbanus’ letters. Jonas’ Life of Columbanus Approximately twenty-five years after Columbanus’ death. papal letters. Jonas’ Life is not an “objective” piece of history.

Recent analysis has emphasized the complex nature of these documents. and thankfully these do not always align with those of the Columbanian communities. 604/07. but his writings are critical for reconstructing this period.3 Five of Columbanus’ letters provide information on his interactions with the larger Church.603.9 Historians are uncertain about the author and date of composition . These include his two monastic rules. written by Gregory of Tours. more popularly known as the History of the Franks.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 21 Columbanus’ Letters Thankfully.6 Due to this. historians have to carefully scrutinize his letters in order to discover all the implications of each passage.7 Admittedly this is not much material.8 While Gregory never mentions Columbanus and his History ends in 590— the year Columbanus arrived in Gaul—his work can help the historian reconstruct the political situation in the Merovingian kingdoms. and after his exile from Luxeuil in 610. multifaceted arguments. Gregory had his own underlying agendas and biases that influenced the material he included in the History. Gregory of Tours’ Ten Books of History Another applicable primary document is the Ten Books of History. they can be used in combination with the Life to gain a better understanding of the events in question.5 His choice of word order often enhances his overall point and he was able to use allusions to Scripture and the Church fathers to create intricate. and perhaps a handful of poems. though their authorship is disputed. He wrote to the papacy in 600. Chronicle of Fredegar The last available document is the fourth book of the Chronicle of Fredegar. This enables the historian to form a more three-dimensional portrayal of some of the important historical figures from this period.4 Columbanus’ letters demonstrate a firm understanding of Latin grammar and the techniques of classical rhetoric. though they do not provide the same type of historical evidence as his letters. some of Columbanus’ own writings have survived and. he composed a letter to the monks he left behind. and 613 respectively. while only presenting his point of view. There are a few additional writings by Columbanus that survive. In c. The History provides additional background on some of those mentioned in Jonas’ Life of Columbanus. he sent a letter to the Merovingian bishops at the Council of Chalon. his penitential. some sermons.

He remained there until c. Columbanus traveled to Italy and to the court of the Lombard King Agilulf (590–616).17 When Brunhild and Theuderic heard of Columbanus’ return. they sent him into exile once again. Columbanus was able to escape and later returned to Luxeuil. While there. the Chronicle of Fredegar gives the historian additional information on people and events found in the writings from the Columbanian tradition. he remained in Milan and attempted to convert the Lombards who followed Arian beliefs.1). the king sent troops to escort Columbanus to a ship that would take him back to Ireland. Theuderic II (596–613).10 Some of the material in this text came from the Life of Columbanus by Jonas. king of Neustria (table 2. though he did not remain there for long. he undertook the “lesser” peregrinatio or exile and eventually entered the monastery at Bangor. one at Luxeuil and another at Fontaines. As with Gregory’s History. Upon his arrival.12 When he was in his twenties. Columbanus founded two more monasteries. however.16 He criticized Theuderic for keeping concubines and accordingly refused to bless his illegitimate children.11 Short Overview of Columbanus’ Life according to the Life of Columbanus Columbanus was born in c.15 He apparently remained abbot of all three monasteries during this period and also composed his own monastic rule.14 It was most likely Childebert who requested that Columbanus remain in his kingdom and granted land to establish a monastery at Annegray (map 2.18 In 613. As the Life relates.13 Columbanus traveled via Brittany to Gaul. There Columbanus obtained escorts and provisions from Chlothar to travel to the Kingdom of Austrasia. When the dispute escalated. Instead of going to Ireland.1). However. he was warmly received by King Theudebert (596–612) and given permission to establish a monastery at Bregenz. but it is apparent the author also used independent sources. when he chose to undertake the superior “exile for God” and journeyed with twelve companions to the Continent.590. and his grandmother Brunhild in 609–10. Brunhild and Theuderic persecuted Columbanus’ monasteries in retribution. Columbanus eventually came into conflict with the king of Burgundy.550 in Leinster.1).22 The Celtic and Roman Traditions for the Chronicle. where he eventually came to the court of King Guntram (561–92) or King Childebert II (592–96) of Austrasia and Burgundy (table 2. he traveled to the court of Chlothar II (584–629). Ireland. According to the Life. he composed a work . As he gained an increasing number of followers. though most favor a mid–seventh-century date.

1 Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy . Rome 23 Map 2. Gallen Bregenz AQUITAINE Milan Cahors LOMBARDY Tortona Bobbio PY RE Arles PROVENCE Ravenna NE ES MT S. Amand St. Germain Jouarre Orléans Faremoutiers Metz Tours Poitiers Bourges Troyes Remiremont Fontaines Annegray Auxerre Langres Fleury Luxeuil Besançon Augsburg Basel BURGUNDY Solignac Clermont Chalon Mâcon Lyons Vienne Geneva St. Cambrai Laon Reims Verdun Toul Noyon Soissons Chelles AUSTRASIA Trier N E U S T R I A Lagny BRITTANY Nantes Paris Rebais St. Not all Columbanian houses indicated on the map. Bertin St. Wandrille Amiens Jumièges Rouen Corbie Péronne Cologne Nivelles StabloMalmedy = Communities associated with the Columbanian tradition.Tournai St.

was failing to teach correct doctrine and needed to better promote a Christ-like character in the Body of Christ. This can be explained by two factors.19 Columbanus on Easter Dating One of the major issues throughout Columbanus’ letters is the unity of the Church.1 Simplified Merovingian family tree Chlothar I (511–61) SOISSONS Sigibert m. Columbanus died a year later in November 615. Columbanus was also insistent that the Church. particularly the papacy. The dispute over Easter fits within these concerns. Brunhild (561–75) AUSTRASIA Charibert (561–67) PARIS Guntram (561–92) BURGUNDY Chiperic I (561–84) SOISSONS Childebert II (575–95) AUSTRASIA Chlothar II (584 –629) NEUSTRIA (592–96) BURGUNDY (613–29) AUSTRASIA BURGUNDY Theudebert (596–612) AUSTRASIA Theuderic (596–613) BURGUNDY Dagobert (623–32) AUSTRASIA Charibert II (629–32) AQUITAINE (612–13) AUSTRASIA (629–39) NEUSTRIA BURGUNDY Sigibert II (613) AUSTRASIA BURGUNDY against this heresy. it can be assumed that Columbanus was less well known during the early years of his career on . At least as far as the surviving evidence demonstrates there was little controversy over the divergent Easter dates for the first period that Columbanus was in Gaul. which was duly granted. He founded one last monastic community at Bobbio in northern Italy. he wrote a letter to Chlothar requesting royal protection for Luxeuil. First.24 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Table 2. In 614.

the Merovingian Church adopted Victorius’ table. Therefore. the Continent. pp.” p. In addition. Due to these discrepancies.2 Comparative Easter dates. At the Synod of Orleans in 541.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church Table 2. * Due to problems with how the Celtic-84 table calculated the date of the moon. Corning. Gregory of Tours reports that in 590. Source: Celtic-84 Easter and luna dates from McCarthy. modernized and cycled by C. 821–22 with modifications as indicated by Jones. all of Merovingian Gaul was using this table and needing to decide which of the Easter dates was correct. Corning. The Oxford Companion. “Easter Principles.” pp. alternative luna dates and all other adjustments for Victorian dating by C. many tables in this book will list the luna date of the Easter table in question and then the date according to the competing table. the Victorian table listed two Easter dates in 590 and 594 (table 2. Victorian Easter and luna dates calculated using Blackburn and Holford-Strevens. While he appears to have gained some support from the Burgundian court soon after his arrival. 590–608 Year Easter 590 591 592 593 594 595 596 597 598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 March 26 April 15 March 30 April 19 April 11 March 27 April 15 April 7 March 30 April 12 April 3 March 26 April 15 March 31 April 19 April 11 March 27 April 16 April 7 Celtic-84 luna 17 18 14 16 18 14 14 17 20 14 16 19 20 16 17 19 16 17 19 luna Easter (Victorian)* 15 16 11 13 15 12 12 15 18 12 14 17 18 14 15 17 13 14 16 March 26 or April 2 April 15 April 6 March 29 April 11 or 18 April 3 April 22 April 7 or 14 March 30 April 19 April 10 March 26 April 15 April 7 March 22 April 11 April 3 April 23 April 7 Victorian luna 15/22 16 18 21 15/22 19 19 15/22 18 19 21 17 18 21 16 17 20 21 16 25 luna (Celtic)* 17/24 18 21 24 18/25 21 21 17/24 20 21 23 19 20 23 18 19 23 24 19 Notes: Bold tables in agreement. its luna dates advanced one day ahead of the actual moon every sixty-three years. The Victorian luna dates also disagreed with the Dionysian from the seventh through the nineteenth year of the nineteen-year cycle. the Merovingian episcopacy likely took little notice of him until he became popular and amassed a number of followers. Tours followed the April 2 Latin date. “The Victorian and Dionysiac.2). 18–19. 411. while .

the moon rises seventeen minutes before the sun sets.20 Given the controversy surrounding the Victorian table in the early 590s. First Letter of Columbanus The first evidence of a developing dispute between Columbanus and the Merovingian episcopacy is contained in a letter that Columbanus wrote to Pope Gregory the Great. the Victorian table recognized a dark Easter. Data from the U. For Columbanus. the Victorian table had a dark Easter not only because it allowed luna 21–22. Easter could never be observed on a day in which darkness ruled light. c. it is understandable that the Easter controversy between Columbanus and the Merovingian Church did not become a major issue until the latter part of the 590s. Naval Observatory. He argues that luna 21–22 should not be used because these dates are so late in the moon’s cycle that moonrise occurs well past midnight (table 2. coupled with Columbanus’ limited popularity. Paris.S. For Columbanus.3 Sunset and moonrise.22 Therefore.3). March/April 2005 Date March 25 March 26 March 27 March 28 March 29 March 30 March 31 April 1 April 2 April 3 Luna 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Sunset 19:11 19:13 19:14 19:16 19:17 19:19 19:20 19:22 19:23 19:25 Moon Rise 18:54 20:07 21:24 22:43 no rise 00:05 01:27 02:40 03:40 04:25 Time between Sunset and Moonrise 0h 17m 0h 54m 2h 10m 3h 27m n/a 5h 46m 7h 07m 8h 18m 9h 17m 10h 00m Notes: Times do not reflect daylight savings time. by late March on luna 14. who believed that the equinox fell on March 25. Table 2. Columbanus outlines the problems with the Victorian table. it allowed Easter to fall as early as March 22. . For instance. Therefore by allowing Easter to occur on luna 21–22. the moon does not appear until nine hours and seventeen minutes after sunset. because the Victorian table used the March 21 equinox. France. However.21 In addition. by luna 22. In this letter. one on which there were more hours of darkness than moonlight.600. asking for his support in the Easter controversy.26 The Celtic and Roman Traditions other areas in Gaul celebrated the March 26 Greek date. this was too early.

there is nothing wrong with having Easter occur on luna 14 if it is a Sunday because God. Since Easter at its heart is a celebration of humanity’s deliverance from sin.”24 It is no wonder that when Irish scholars examined Victorius’ table. Not . Columbanus also accuses Victorius of violating Old Testament Law. the issue was whether Easter should always be celebrated on luna 14. added two days that are outside the law of God. He quotes Deuteronomy 4. Thus.26 He argues that the Jews do not celebrate Easter and it does not belong to them. Therefore. Victorius is telling God that there should be nine days for the Feast of Unleavened Bread so that Easter would always fall at least two days after Passover. not the Jews.23 In addition. bishop of Laodicea (c. a dark Easter symbolically denied the need for Jesus. Columbanus is taking this somewhat out of context. but it upheld Easter limits of luna 14–20 as well. as an expert who supported the Celtic-84 lunar limits. the bishops in the East did not agree with Pope Victor’s (189–98) condemnation of celebrating Easter with the Jews. he is stretching his argument a bit by implying that not only did the East allow Passover and Easter to occur on the same day.” to have died for mankind’s salvation— an idea no Christian should ever support. the main criticism of the Celtic-84 since it allowed Easter to fall on luna 14. but one that recognizes the Lord’s grace and mercy in saving his people. He next reminds the pope that during the Easter dispute of the late second century. Columbanus points out that by doing this Victorius has changed the word of God.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 27 but also because it placed Easter before the equinox. by using luna 21–22. While Victorius succeeds in ensuring that the dates for Easter and Passover never overlap by calculating from luna 16. Easter celebrates this same idea.2. Christ died to save sinners from damnation. Victorius. “the Light of the World.”25 Columbanus then moves the discussion to the problem of keeping Easter on Passover with the Jews. it “earned ridicule or indulgence rather than authority. “You shall not add to the word that I speak to you: neither shall you take away from it. instituted Passover. however. This holiday observes God’s miracle of saving the exiles in Egypt and thus Passover is not a day to elevate or honor Jews.28 In addition. To say that luna 14 is a “Jewish day” gives Jews the authority that they have forfeited by rejecting Christ and ignores God’s power over all creation. when there were more hours of darkness than light.27 Columbanus was not advocating a return to this practice since he thought Easter could only be observed on Sunday. He states that Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread should only be celebrated between luna 14 and 20 as stated in Deuteronomy. by moving the dates of Easter from luna 14–20 to luna 16–22. Columbanus cites Anatolius. regardless of the day of the week.268/69–283). In the second century.

Later. in the eyes of the churches of the West. when Columbanus was asked by the Burgundian bishops to appear before a church council. which rules over all darkness. Columbanus quotes directly from Anatolius’ discussion of Paschal tables which states that luna 21–22 are not acceptable for Easter.28 The Celtic and Roman Traditions much is known about Anatolius except the information provided by Eusebius in the Ecclesiastical History.392). and physics and that the people of Alexandria asked Anatolius to establish a school of Aristotelian philosophy.603. . St. Jerome have all condemned the Victorian table and/or its lunar limits.29 Eusebius even incorporates passages from Anatolius’ On the Pasch in his History. Therefore. Who ultimately should be trusted—Scripture and the Church fathers or a cleric who could not figure out how to correctly calculate an Easter table? Columbanus cautions the pope that “he who goes against the authority of St. Irish scholars. Jerome will be a heretic or reprobate. Jerome included a paraphrase of this information about Anatolius’ learning and skill in his On Illustrious Men (c. anyone arguing for the Victorian Easter limits is in error and aligning themselves with heretics. He relates that the bishop was very learned in maths. but between the authorities of the Church and Victorius. according to Columbanus. The first of these was written in c. Anatolius and by extension.32 In case the reader is unsure whether Anatolius correctly understood the complexities of Easter dating. but most scholars agree that this letter was in response to a council held at Chalon in c. astronomy. He pleads with the pope not to see this as an argument between a lowly monk and Victorius. Columbanus reiterates the information that Jerome admired Anatolius’ knowledge and spoke well of his On the Pasch.34 He chose not to attend and instead sent a written reply.603. Jonas makes absolutely no mention of the council in his Life of Columbanus. can be offered while darkness has any dominion. the bishops of the East. whoever he may be. as long as they affirm that the true light. and the peril of their souls.31 Based on this passage.30 In his letter.”33 Other Letters by Columbanus about Easter Three additional letters by Columbanus survive that discuss Easter. for these repose an undoubted faith in divine scripture in all things. The Anatolian passage continues: For those who assert that it is possible for Easter to be celebrated at this period of the moon not only cannot affirm it by authority of divine scripture but incur the charge of both sacrilege and contumacy.

If each tradition is found to be worthy. it is interesting to note that in 606. it should be obvious that the Celtic-84 and Anatolius are correct in their support of luna 14–20 lunar limits.36 Due to the fact that he names no specific pope. Further undermining the authority of this table is the fact that it was composed “recently. and it can be assumed the Celtic-84 was condemned at the Council of Chalon. as advocated by the Celtic-84. Columbanus again argues that the Victorian table violates both the Old and New Testaments and that it celebrates a dark Easter thereby rejecting the need for humanity to be saved. After Chalon. he suggests that both sides prayerfully examine the two Easter tables. this letter is usually dated to 604 or 607.” after the age of Martin of Tours (c. he repeats the fact that scholars have condemned Victorius’ table and its Easter limits. the Celtic-84 would begin another 84-year cycle and its lunar dates would shift one more day out of alignment with the actual moon. then both should be followed. What is new in these letters is Columbanus’ argument for a compromise solution. The Easter dates in that year were also a full four weeks apart since the Celtic-84 listed April 19 as the correct date.37 He addresses his monastic community at Luxeuil and specifically Athala.38 In addition.40 . However.39 In light of all this. Columbanus again wrote to the papacy. According to the Victorian table. As far as is known. before the March 25 equinox for the Celtic table. By the time of the composition of this letter. Columbanus’ last letter in which Easter is mentioned was written after he had been exiled from Burgundy in 610. a totally unacceptable date (table 2. would fall on luna 14. These three letters contain many of the points found within the letter to Pope Gregory. Columbanus argues. March 31.603. just after pointing out that the Victorian table violates Scripture. Jerome (c. when there was a short papal vacancy.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 29 A comparison of the Easter tables helps to show why controversy might have arisen at this time. he declares that only those tables that agree with the Old and New Testaments should be accepted. he believed that his tradition would triumph. he received no response from Pope Gregory. In addition. Obviously. Matters were even worse in 604 when the Victorian date was March 22.342–420).2). who he assumes will take his place as abbot. In the letter to the Council of Chalon. and Pope Damasus (304–84).316–97). For supporters of the Celtic-84. the April 7 date listed on the Victorian table in 603 fell on luna 23. specifically in terms of observing the correct date of Easter. This letter contains advice on maintaining peace and unity within the community. Columbanus was facing more pressure from the Burgundian bishops to abandon the Celtic-84. it is not too surprising that the controversy came to a head in c.35 Keeping all this in mind.

it appears that Columbanus was less hopeful that the Frankish Church would unify behind the correct Easter table. even if the rest of the Frankish bishops chose to remain in error by sanctioning the Victorian table.41 He also cites the First Council of Constantinople (381) to argue that “churches of God planted in pagan nations should live by their own laws. He took great pains to present his arguments as not coming from himself alone but as representing a large and illustrious group of people. Jerome.43 Therefore. the Old and New Testaments. it is clear that he believed this solution would be allowing the Frankish Church to remain in error while his followers used the “correct” table.”42 He stated earlier that one of the reasons the Victorian table had less authority than the Celtic-84 was that it was created after the period of the Church fathers. since Columbanus’ letters are witness to as many as fifteen years of conflict and the calling of a major kingdom-wide council. including St. even if the Merovingian Church would not. He requested that the pope allow him and his followers to use the Celtic-84.166) who agreed to disagree over Easter. his letters can also be used as evidence for his attitude toward the papacy and the authority it . To support this petition. He did propose in his third letter that both tables could be followed in Merovingian Gaul. Obviously. by referencing this council. Columbanus reinforces his right to use the Celtic-84. He could not understand why the Frankish bishops continued to support this table and why the papacy did not issue a clear condemnation of it. and the teachings of the Church fathers. Summary For Columbanus. This is a theme found within the writings on Easter since before the Council of Nicaea.30 The Celtic and Roman Traditions By the time that he wrote his second letter to the papacy. as they had been instructed by their fathers. The Papacy and the Church in the West Along with Columbanus’ arguments for the Celtic-84. and one that continued throughout the seventh and eighth centuries. however. Columbanus saw the Victorian table as violating the symbolism evident in nature. but taken in context with the rest of the letter and his other writings. he reminds the pope of the situation between Polycarp and Pope Anicetus (c.155–c. unity on Easter was bound up with the unity of the Church as a whole. the Burgundian bishops considered Easter calculation an important issue as well.

southern Gaul. local churches were still very independent. In practical reality. some churches had resolved the conflict with Rome.44 Christian tradition held that Peter had been the first bishop at Rome and that Christ had granted him special authority over the Christian community.48 Problems arose in the Church in 553 when the Second Council of Constantinople. as bishop of Rome. and northern Italy. Therefore. Rome was seen as a center of orthodoxy and a court of appeals when disputes could not be solved by regional councils. Ibas of Edessa. also known as the Fifth Ecumenical.47 By the early 600s. Furthermore. not the papacy. the fact that parts of the Lombard kingdom were following Arian teachings and the See of Ravenna remained at times independent of Roman power only complicated the situation for the papacy in northern Italy.52 At times. and Theodoret. Since ecumenical councils were the highest authority in the Church.50 These included the churches in North Africa. This is important because in ancient Roman inheritance law. both Sts. a number of churches in the West broke off communion with Rome. Most would have considered an ecumenical council the highest authority in the Church. Peter and Paul had established churches in Rome and been martyred there. Peter and Paul with the bishop of Rome. Ibas.45 In addition. This would open the door to questioning virtually every doctrine held by the Church.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 31 should wield within the Church as a whole. the pope was Peter’s heir and deserved the same honor and respect that had been given to the Apostle. the pope held a special position in the Western Church due to the association of Sts. while remaining in communion with Rome. it is important to understand the wider historical context. the assumption being that the pope would not interfere unless asked to do so. some churches in Gaul.51 By 600.53 Gregory the Great wrote . but the orthodox churches of northern Italy remained in schism.46 However. they could not be wrong. Therefore. In the early Middle Ages. the authority of the papacy had been severely undermined by the Three Chapters controversy. In response to papal condemnation of the three writings (chapters) of Theodore.49 This was controversial because the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon had cleared these men of heresy charges and had not denounced their writings. this was certainly limited when viewed from a high medieval context. it appeared that the Fifth Ecumenical Council was declaring that the Fourth had been in error. chose to ignore papal dictates and advice. ruled that the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia. rights and authority were passed intact to the appointed heir. while the pope deserved special honor and authority. Before examining Columbanus’ writings in depth. Therefore. and Theodoret of Cyrrhus should be condemned for supporting Nestorian ideas. then ecumenical councils might have made other mistakes in doctrine and practice as well. thus giving it a strong connection to both men. If the Fourth had ruled incorrectly.

but the Catholic Faith. Columbanus writes that he wants to see the pope “so that I may drink from the spiritual channel of the living fountain and the living flood of knowledge flowing from heaven. for though Rome be great and famous.56 It has been argued that the statement “as it was delivered by you first” is an allusion to Pope Celestine sending Palladius to be a bishop in Ireland. Rome was associated with St.57 Just as Rome had once been the center of an earthly kingdom so now it was the head of a spiritual kingdom stretching throughout the earth. who are the successors of the holy apostles. which is Rome. but it never happened.32 The Celtic and Roman Traditions to the Frankish Church concerned about problems with simony and asked that the Church call a council to discuss this issue. is maintained unbroken.61 Thus Columbanus alludes to three major arguments that had been used by Rome to support the idea of papal primacy. In his letter to Gregory. Peter and this gave it special authority as his heir. and we accept nothing outside the evangelical and apostolic teachings. Peter’s chair. none a schismatic.”60 He continues this theme in his fifth letter when he argues that the Church. Second. like a river.54 It is interesting to note that Gregory of Tours in his writings rarely discusses papal involvement in Gaul and seems to downplay the idea that Rome held any special power or authority. This phrase may also connect to Pope Leo’s assertion that Christian Rome had surpassed pagan Rome.”59 Columbanus also acknowledges Rome’s place as a protector of orthodoxy. He states in his letter to Pope Boniface that the Irish are disciples of Saints Peter and Paul and of all the disciples who wrote the sacred canon by the Holy Ghost. Columbanus asserts his respect for the pope and desire to visit Rome. Rome now influenced lands that (originally) had not been part of the Roman . Rome had authority in territories never controlled by the Empire. Instead. only reflects the purity that pours forth from its source. the city is important to him because “we are bound to St.55 Columbanus and Rome Columbanus’ letters emphasize that the Irish acknowledged their debt and obligation to Rome for the Christianization of Ireland. as it was delivered by you first. among us it is only on that chair that her greatness and her fame depend. none has been a Judaizer.62 First. since through the message of Christ.58 He makes it very clear that his wish to see Rome has nothing to do with the fact that it had been the capital of the Empire.

have the right to judge him.69 If he does not do these things.67 As heir to Peter.68 As head of the body of Christ. his letter is a remarkable acknowledgment of the possibilities for papal leadership in the Church. to call a council. Columbanus cautions. Notice that. it is the pope’s responsibility as watchman and shepherd to warn and admonish the Church. Third. the pope holds authority only as long as he is true to apostolic teaching. As the source from which the streams of true doctrine flow through all the traditions in the West. Jonas had to meet the needs of the Columbanian . However. that pure doctrine and practice flowed from Rome and as long as the streams of tradition poured forth from this common source.65 He pleads with the pope to remove all suspicion that Rome supports heretics. He refers to the pope as the shepherd who leads the flock to safety.63 Columbanus’ view of the papacy is best seen in his letter to Pope Boniface in c. his “subordinates. and to lead the Church back to unity. he must repent and promote correct teaching for fear that all churches be sullied. especially those to the papacy.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 33 Empire in the West.70 The amount of controversy that followed him throughout his career on the Continent indicates that he often had problems with this.71 Columbanus’ hope was that the papacy would provide leadership for the Church and once again unite the body of Christ.613 regarding the Three Chapters controversy.66 However. Columbanus uses the claims of papal primacy to buttress his arguments for why the papacy must better respond to the Three Chapters controversy. the watchman who guards against the enemies of Christ. Columbanus was not always as diplomatic as he might have been in his letters.” those who have kept the orthodox faith. in part. he is failing in his main obligations as a leader. It is not hard to imagine Columbanus’ disappointment when he believed the papacy would not choose the correct Easter table or make the necessary decisions to end the schism caused by the Three Chapters controversy. if the pope is in error and refuses to repent. Kings and Bishops Interpreting Columbanus’ relationship with the bishops and kings of Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy is complicated by the fact that the historian must rely more on Jonas’ Life of Columbanus and less on Columbanus’ own writings. the Church should not fall into error. and the commander of the troops in the battle between good and evil.64 Keeping in mind the schism occurring within the Church at that time. he did recognize the role of the pope as leader of the Church and took the papacy to task for not effectively exercising this authority.

”75 As he said this. Next Jonas recounts that Columbanus traveled to where the king was staying to demand that the court stop harassing his communities. While people may have vaguely remembered the conflict among Columbanus. However. Brunhild asked Columbanus to bless her great-grandchildren. enough time had passed to ensure that as long as Jonas mentioned Columbanus’ exile.77 It is clear that the three decades between Columbanus’ death and the composition of his Life served as a boon to Jonas. so the reader is unaware of the episcopal hostility that existed before 609/10. Suitably chastened by this miracle. all opposition to Columbanus occurred because Brunhild feared her own loss of power and convinced the court and bishops to attack him. This was a major threat to Theuderic’s grandmother. Thus. who thought that a queen would undermine her own power. and the bishops. after Columbanus settled in Burgundy he established a number of monasteries and gained many followers. Merovingian Kings Understanding Columbanus’ relationships with the Merovingian kings is critical because this influenced his ability to respond to the Merovingian bishops. To emphasize this point. Jonas is either silent or manipulates data concerning Columbanus’ interactions with the Merovingian kings and bishops. but the abbot refused to accept gifts “from the wicked. In retaliation. he could alter . Brunhild. Brunhild began to “persecute” Columbanus’ monasteries and also issued orders forbidding any to aid his monks. they soon forsook their promises.73 Columbanus then convinced Theuderic to abandon the practice of concubinage and take a lawful wife. Not only did Brunhild turn the king against Columbanus. Jonas refers to Brunhild as a second Jezebel. the royal family. but the court and the bishops were soon standing in opposition as well. Due to this. She also was upset because Theuderic listened to Columbanus’ advice rather than her own. enabling him to manipulate facts. whose mother was a concubine.76 Jonas never mentions the controversy over Easter or any other issues of discord between Columbanus and the bishops.34 The Celtic and Roman Traditions communities in the 640s by ensuring that those in power were not offended by his work. all of the serving plates and cups broke apart. Theuderic sent Columbanus food.74 He refused and prophesized that her grandchildren would not live to inherit the throne. Soon after this.72 According to Jonas. Theuderic and Brunhild begged for forgiveness and promised never again to attack Columbanus’ monasteries. in Jonas’ version of events as just outlined. including King Theuderic.

It was Chlothar who killed Sigibert II (613).603. it is understandable that Jonas would downplay any positive involvement by Brunhild and her descendants in the foundation and support of Annegray. Clovis II (639–57). Clearly Columbanus had arrived in Burgundy and founded his monasteries before Chlothar ruled this area. Luxeuil. his son Dagobert (623–39). Chlothar II (585–629). one of Brunhild’s great-grandsons. whom he identifies as Sigibert. when he first arrived in Gaul. Chlothar repeatedly referred to laws and privileges granted under King Sigibert without mentioning the kings who ruled after him. It seems that only Brunhild and her descendants were the focus of Chlothar’s revisionist history. In addition. they portrayed him as one of her first victims.82 Another sign of royal patronage and protection is the fact that although Columbanus refused to appear at the Council of Chalon in c.590. even though he was Brunhild’s husband. became the major benefactors of Columbanian monasticism (table 2. as well as Brunhild herself. Besides trying to explain the episcopal antagonism toward Columbanus. Chlothar and his court had not condemned Sigibert. Luxeuil and Jonas likely decided that it was better to place the saint’s arrival under Sigibert and then be silent about any interaction with Brunhild and her relatives until the events leading up to Columbanus’ exile in 610.610. Either way.79 Jonas states that Sigibert (561–75) was king when Columbanus arrived in Gaul. approximately fifteen years after Sigibert’s death. Jonas admits that Columbanus visited the king. First. Since Chlothar mentioned Sigibert in a positive light. the land for his monasteries most likely came from royal grants.81 However much Jonas tried to minimize the involvement of Brunhild and her family in Columbanus’ monasteries before c. why did Jonas present Brunhild in such a negative light? A look at the political situation of the 640s offers a few possible reasons. it is difficult to believe that this was the case.1). nothing . Keeping this in mind. information provided by Columbanus in his letters shows that he arrived in c. The fact that Brunhild expected Columbanus to bless her great-grandchildren and Theuderic threatened to cut off all aid when Columbanus refused him entry to the inner precincts of Luxeuil also supports a theory of a close relationship between Columbanus and the Burgundian royal family. Brunhild’s line had died out in 613. His court also appears to have begun a smear campaign to justify his takeover of Burgundy and the unification of all three Merovingian kingdoms under one ruler.80 However. After this.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 35 the events leading up to it. and his grandson. and Fontaines. In fact.78 It is also possible that a good “spin” on the incident had already occurred within the Columbanian tradition so that Jonas was simply recording the collective memory of the past. historians know that the Life is a very slanted record of Columbanus’ life.

On the whole. Jonas did his best to negate the positive relationship between Columbanus and Brunhild’s family. Despite what Jonas reports. this is not the case when it comes to King Chlothar of Neustria.84 While Jonas appears to have glossed over the involvement of Brunhild and her family. “Chlothar promised to correct everything according to Columbanus’ command. then. Columbanus prophesized that Chlothar would rule all three Merovingian kingdoms within three years. it is not surprising that Jonas would portray the relationship between Chlothar and Columbanus in such a positive light. In regional church councils throughout the sixth century. According to Jonas. who also may have criticized concubinage and who was exiled at Chalon after angering Brunhild. but given the political situation in the 640s. Following the lead of the Burgundian court of his own day. Merovingian Bishops Theoretically. Jonas portrayed Brunhild as the second Jezebel and Columbanus as an innocent victim in her evil schemes. this relationship was a beneficial one from which Columbanus and his monasteries received protection and support.87 It is impossible to know whether Columbanus actually made such a prediction.609. an abbot could not rule more than one monastery and had to report annually to his bishop. bishops had tremendous power.83 The main difference between Columbanus and Desiderius in c. when Columbanus arrived in Neustria.88 In addition.36 The Celtic and Roman Traditions happened to him until after Brunhild and Theuderic withdrew their support in c. it is clear that Columbanus interacted with the Burgundian royal family from the time he first arrived in the kingdom. but he was eventually killed. a monastery could not make important decisions without episcopal confirmation.603 is the fact that Columbanus had royal backing while Desiderius did not. Chlothar “received Columbanus as a veritable gift from heaven and begged that he would remain. and fasts and worship were under diocesan control. It was only after the dispute in c. and rejoiced in the blessing which he had secured. Due to the political realities of the 630s and 640s.”86 Before leaving the court.”85 Even when Columbanus chastised him for abuses at the court. supposedly at Brunhild’s orders. the Frankish episcopacy outlined their jurisdiction. According to the canons no monasteries could be founded without episcopal support.609. for he zealously loved wisdom. the writings of the sixth-century poet Venantius Fortunatus describe the power and patronage of the Merovingian . Desiderius would later return from exile. that Columbanus lost royal support and had to leave the kingdom. This can be contrasted to the experience of Bishop Desiderius of Vienne.

Columbanus’ writings do not support this theory. First. in imitation of Christ. and Arnulf of Metz. Gregory emphasized the need for leaders to preach through both word and deed.95 In another case.92 Once in power. Kings were routinely involved in episcopal elections. not the reality.96 As mentioned above. Sulpicius of Bourges. either by actually appointing the new bishop or giving final approval to an episcopal candidate. and eventually murdered under Brunhild’s orders. However. Once a bishop lost royal patronage. was deposed. His attitude toward the Frankish episcopacy is seen most clearly in his letter to the bishops at Chalon. Columbanus briefly highlights the problems with the Victorian table and chastises the bishops for the corruption. Audoin of Rouen. Praetextatus. bishop of Rheims.97 He argues that the Church. True unity will only occur when all focus on humbly following Christ. Various primary sources demonstrate the consequences for a bishop who defied the king or chose the wrong political faction. some argue that the Irish believed abbots had more authority than bishops.91 Some bishops were former members of the royal court.100 Those blinded by arrogance and sin should never lead the Church. and avarice he saw in the Church. all of whom had been a part of Chlothar II’s court before being elevated to the episcopacy. Columbanus is echoing the sentiments found in Pope Gregory’s Pastoral Care.101 In order to avoid these problems. it appears to have been very difficult to withstand either secular or ecclesiastical opposition.93 For example. historians have realized that both the canons and the poems of Venantius Fortunatus celebrating the bishops of Gaul portray the ideal of episcopal power. Desiderius. the pastor should withdraw and focus on God through . the pope also demanded that those who rule avoid prideful thinking at all costs. Columbanus and the Merovingian Bishops In the popular literature on the Celtic Church. bishop of Vienne. Paul of Verdun. was deposed and exiled for acting against King Chilperic (561–84). This was the case for Eligius of Noyon.98 This stress on humility and good works is important for at least three reasons.94 He was eventually murdered by the order of Queen Fredegund. exiled.89 However.90 While there were powerful bishops. their influence could be limited by important kings and aristocratic families. bishop of Rouen. simony.99 In this work. should promote humility and good works. when it was discovered that he was involved in a number of plots against the crown. bishops also needed royal support. He states that these have arisen because of pride and arrogance. Childebert (575–96) exiled Egidius.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 37 bishops. Those who lead must practice what they preach or the message of truth will be undermined.

as one who was poor and weak in Christ. If he had been corrupted by malice or pride then he would have forfeited his rights as a servant of Christ. In addition to Columbanus’ refusal to attend the Council of Chalon.102 Besides demonstrating an affinity with Gregorian thought. Since Bobbio was one of Columbanus’ foundations. The bishops were the shepherds who led the flock. simple-hearted and guileless in evil.” In light of this. As with his letter to Pope Boniface. how great a sin it would be to see those who led the Church fall into error and not care enough to defend the truth. By doing this.”104 These are difficult aims for those with worldly distractions and hearts still set on sin. Columbanus felt that he had a responsibility to speak out against what he saw as a failure of leadership by the bishops. It was because of this that he was able to see the problems in the Church.38 The Celtic and Roman Traditions contemplation. members of the Merovingian Church had been obtaining immunities and protections for . the exemption supposedly demonstrates that he left a legacy that was determined to limit episcopal power and reinforce the authority of abbots. the emphasis on humility is crucial to Columbanus’ claim that the Celtic-84 is the correct Easter table. If both sides humbly submitted. they had to imitate Christ and teach correct doctrine and practices. To do this. what Columbanus desired was that the bishops fulfill their God-appointed duties as heirs to the apostles. he would be better able to see both his own faults and the dangers facing his followers.106 Columbanus states that he decided to write rather than attend the synod for fear of the quarrel that would arise if he were there in person.105 They also needed to stop persecuting Columbanus and his followers. As with the pope. yet wise in goodness. He specifically states that he is a “junior” speaking to his “fathers. Columbanus’ authority to chastise and teach the clergy of Burgundy had little to do with the fact that he was an abbot per se. Columbanus’ authority to reprimand the bishops rests in his humble imitation of Christ. However. far from being a major break in tradition. However. then they would be able to see more clearly and to judge which tradition was correct. the inner life needed to be balanced by service as well. easy to be entreated and not retaining anger.107 This exemption was granted in 628 by Pope Honorius and removed the monastery from episcopal jurisdiction.103 Columbanus had no doubt that the Celtic-84 would be chosen since it did not advocate dark Easters and had the support of the Church fathers. Christian leaders should strive to be “humble and chaste. However. Columbanus believed that he had the right to criticize the leadership of the Church when they erred. the existence of a papal exemption for the monastery of Bobbio has been used to demonstrate that Columbanus did not respect episcopal power.

the monastery of the Holy Cross did not acknowledge the authority of its local bishop. and Controversy In c. Jonas would have us believe that Theuderic and Brunhild were the sole reason for episcopal opposition to Columbanus. Once he had lost royal backing. he faced the formidable challenge that.108 In 599. Keeping this in mind. the bishops were probably upset with the way Columbanus had been able to ignore both a summons to attend a synod and then its ruling.111 Columbanus. one of the most important factors in terms of Columbanus’ ability to withstand antagonism. The conflict between Columbanus and the bishops was not a direct result of Theuderic and Brunhild turning against him.113 Jonas needed to create a reason for the conflict between the bishops and Columbanus . However.602. Pope Gregory the Great upheld an earlier privilege granted by King Childebert to a monastery in Arles.” it is important to view them as a logical development from the earlier sixth-century immunities granted by the popes. Brunhild wrote to Gregory the Great asking him to grant protection to three of her foundations in Autun. When Jonas was writing the Life of Columbanus. it should not be argued that the idea of obtaining special privileges to limit episcopal power or control came from Ireland to the Continent via Columbanus. Royal support was. it is not surprising that the bishops supported the royal court when it turned against Columbanus.110 Thus. Columbanus’ close ties with the royal family as evidenced by the endowments he received for his monasteries would have worried any bishop attempting to gain the support and backing of the king and his court. but rather than seeing the exemptions from the late 620s on as a new influence from the “Celtic Church. the Columbanian monasteries had abandoned the Celtic-84 and had adopted the Victorian table. he was not able to defend himself against their accusations. controversy surrounding Easter dating most likely flared in 609/10 with the removal of royal protection. however. in the late sixth century.109 Furthermore.112 In addition. which protected the monastery’s property and allowed it to choose its own abbots without episcopal interference. It is true that the second generation of Columbanian monks would obtain more sweeping protections than before. but instead looked to the bishop of Tours. These requests also focused on property and the right of the king and religious foundation to elect the abbot without episcopal interference. the Merovingian Episcopacy. by the late 620s. Merovingian kings.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 39 various monastic communities since the late sixth century.610. and bishops. In c.

640 may have added yet another reason for Jonas’ silence about the Council of Chalon.116 Finally.1).115 Therefore. motivated. he was in Lombardy for less than three years. their complaints focused on his monastic rule. Jonas needed to be careful not to condemn the episcopacy as a whole. Furthermore. while some of the Merovingian episcopacy did turn against Columbanus.114 By the 640s.613 and stayed there until his death in 615 (map 2. it was due to Brunhild’s guile and treachery. Jonas had an additional problem that by the 640s. but instead presented the conflict as stemming from Brunhild’s influence. rather than religiously. Jonas reinforced the myth that the charges against Columbanus were insubstantial and politically. Therefore. Jonas states that once Brunhild convinced the bishops to attack Columbanus. as opposed to the approximately twenty years he spent in Burgundy. In addition.40 The Celtic and Roman Traditions without portraying the saint in error. no mention is made of Easter tables. . by centering opposition around this. while the queen and her court were Chalcedon Christians. The episcopal support the Columbanian tradition enjoyed in c. as discussed above.603. a number of monasteries in Merovingian Gaul had adopted either Columbanus’ Rule or a mixed rule that included portions of his text. This is another reason for placing the blame for any controversy so heavily on Brunhild. Lombard Kings and Bishops Columbanus arrived in the Lombard kingdom in c. First. Since many of Jonas’ readers would have seen nothing wrong with the Columbanian Rule. many bishops throughout the Merovingian kingdoms were patrons of the Columbanian tradition. Disagreements over Easter dating were probably not high on the list of problems for the Lombard Church at this time. Jonas countered any memories of conflict between Columbanus and the Merovingian ecclesiastical leadership by providing an explanation for these events which fit within the model of sanctity he was creating for the Columbanian tradition. In this way. he did not discuss the letters to the papacy or the Council of Chalon in c. the king and many others in northern Italy were Arian. The bishops would not have wanted Christians to think it was acceptable to refuse a summons from the episcopacy. there would have been little discussion over Easter because the Celtic-84 and Victorian tables were in agreement in 614 and 615. According to the Life. the Church in northern Italy. was in the midst of a major schism concerning the Three Chapters controversy and had broken off communion with Rome. There is no evidence of the episcopal opposition that existed in Merovingian Gaul for a number of reasons.

who requested that Columbanus write to the papacy and open negotiations to heal the breach in the Orthodox Church. he was able to stay in Burgundy until he lost royal support. It was King Agilulf.119 Part “A” is further subdivided into major and minor sins: murder. Summary Clearly Columbanus had royal patronage wherever he went. At the end of his life. Despite episcopal opposition to the Celtic-84 in Merovingian Gaul. Therefore. . Most. while the second is focused on those who . . if not all. While he felt fully justified in chastising the ecclesiastical leadership. This did not mean that a humble follower of Christ should unquestioningly obey the bishops if they fell into error as they did when they supported the Victorian table and its dark Easter. It was only then that a “unity of minds and peace and charity [could] . He then traveled to Neustria where he was well received by Chlothar. It was the duty of all Christians to ensure that the Church remained true to the faith and its mission. theft. he makes it clear that theologically he was in agreement with the queen and others who were in schism with Rome. When it came to his relationship with the bishops. and to Austrasia where for a short time he received the support of King Theudebert.”118 Penance and Penitentials Columbanus’ penitential is commonly divided into two sections: one concerned with monks (A) and one primarily focused on clerics and the laity (B). Columbanus had the favor of the Lombard court and also Chlothar. Columbanus treated the episcopacy with respect even when he thought they followed the wrong table. and pride he saw within some members of the Burgundian hierarchy. It was the bishops who shepherded the Church and encouraged and protected the flock. it can be assumed that he retained royal backing throughout his few years in the Lombard kingdom. He was worried by the simony. he also acknowledged their critical role within the Church. an Arian Christian.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 41 Columbanus also had the backing of the royal court. greed. and sodomy in the first part. For Columbanus.117 In Columbanus’ fifth letter. be assured. of his monastic foundations were established on royal land grants. the problems within the Merovingian Church would be solved when the bishops decided to turn away from earthly temptations and humbly submit to Christ.

separated from full communion until restored by the bishop. separated from other Christians. it has been argued that “A” may be a penitential text brought to the Continent by Columbanus rather than actually written by the saint.121 Columbanus incorporated components of earlier penitentials into his document as well. The first penitentials tended to focus either on monks. “he must rank among the catechumens. that is.123 In turn.”126 This passage implies that Columbanus assumed that in any congregation. in his penitential. The Penitential of Columbanus. Columbanus depended heavily upon the Penitential of Finnian (c. such as the eighth-century Burgundian. In a number of different ways. The situation was much more complex than this. Examining the council records for the Merovingian Church revealed that six discussed penance. Analysis of his penitential reveals that “A” was composed before “B. that is among the penitents. fifteen can be traced to the influence of Finnian’s instructions. then.127 On the other hand. he did address all three groups. later penitentials. or laity. but not all three. It is incorrect to imagine a dichotomy where the Celts used only private penance and the rest of the Church only public. he penned the “B” section to account for his altered pastoral circumstances. there is evidence of the use of private penance on the Continent from the sixth century. clergy. Whether Columbanus wrote “A” or simply brought this text to the Continent. Columbanus is not known to have given spiritual guidance to priests or the laity while he was in Ireland.42 The Celtic and Roman Traditions have contradicted a superior or refused to obey the rule.”120 There is nothing specific to argue against this theory. Columbanus states that if a layman has Holy Communion with a heretic. In fact. once he began to interact with the clerics and laity in Merovingian Gaul.124 In recent years. there would be penitents undergoing the more traditional form of public penance where they progressed through stages.122 Of the thirty topics concerning clerics and the laity. though admittedly information on this period is sketchy at best.125 For instance. This is because the Latin differs between the two texts and “A” is not as developed in penances and penalties as “B.” In fact. used Columbanus’ penitential for inspiration.550) for the “B” section of his work. Columbanus’ work forms a bridge between earlier and later penitentials. Though portions were written at different times. while later ones routinely feature all three groups. historians have been emphasizing the variety of the types of penance used on the Continent and within the Celtic tradition as well. shows one step in the process of this development. but none of these were held during Columbanus’ . for forty days and for two other forty-day periods in the lowest rank of Christians.128 The introduction of penitentials does not seem to have created controversy in the Merovingian or Lombard Churches in the early seventh century.

129 Also. they expected his blessings and cooperation. Jonas provides no defense for the use of penitentials in the Life of Columbanus where he casually mentions that bishops and others in the Frankish Church sought spiritual guidance from the saint.131 Therefore. In line with contemporary ideas on the episcopacy and the papacy. not an opportunity to defend practices that were under attack. the Victorian table advocated dark Easters thereby denying the need for Christ’s . The royal families provided him with land on which to build his monasteries and they protected him from episcopal opposition.Columbanus and the Merovingian Church 43 lifetime. taking into account age. it is important to separate. Controversy followed him throughout his life on the Continent and his letters demonstrate that diplomacy was not always his forte. He was not a disinterested outsider. Thus. gender. Columbanus’ personality from his beliefs. Columbanus maintained close connections with the royal court and aristocracy wherever he went. In fact. Celtic penitentials added another dimension to the practice of penance. Columbanus felt he had the right to criticize them if they were departing from the truth. When he did not fulfill his end of the bargain. In his opinion. it is clear that he respected the hierarchy of the Church. and especially the pope. and rank. To do this. This was not just an issue of diversity in traditional practices. This should not be interpreted as proof that Columbanus thought abbots were the highest authority in the Church or that he represented a young. He believed that the Celtic-84 was the correct table and saw numerous problems with the Victorian. as much as possible. he was very dependent upon royal support and protection. and building on the wisdom of those who were regarded as experts in diagnosing and treating the “illness” of sin. Easter was a critical issue for Columbanus. it is important to regard Columbanus’ introduction of penitentials as an act that fit within the popular concepts of penance already gaining favor on the Continent. In addition. In return. due to the lack of family ties in Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy. What Irish authors like Columbanus added was the idea of listing and codifying known penances. Looking closely at Columbanus’ letters.130 For Jonas. vital tradition condemning an older. this was simply another chance to highlight Columbanus’ holiness. Conclusion Understanding Columbanus’ interactions with the churches in Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy is a critical piece in accurately reconstructing the Celtic tradition. corrupt one. but did not totally replace the variety of customs in use by the seventh-century Church. support was withdrawn and he faced condemnation and exile.

frequent confession to a priest coupled with the use of penitentials does seem to be a Celtic import. Victorius ignored the teachings of Scripture and the Church fathers. In addition. and no support from the papacy was forthcoming. .610 point to the seriousness of the issues for the Frankish Church. but his letters to the papacy. It is true that Columbanus seems to have had positive relationships with some of the bishops. The theology and the practice of confession would continue to develop throughout the Middle Ages. While private penance was not new to the Continent. Only when the Burgundian bishops refused to abandon the Victorian. One area where Celtic traditions had the most lasting influence was in the use of tariff penance and the penitentials. but the Celtic “handbooks of penance” are a crucial step in this process. Columbanus appealed to the pope to rule against the Victorian table. It is important to remember that the Frankish episcopacy also was concerned with the Easter controversy. In order to solve the controversy.44 The Celtic and Roman Traditions death and resurrection. did Columbanus propose a compromise where his followers could continue to use the Celtic-84 and the Franks would remain in error by following the Victorian. the calling of the Council of Chalon. On top of this. It was not until the Columbanian communities decided to abandon the Celtic-84 after the Synod of Mâcon in 626/27 that the conflict was finally resolved. first developed in the British Church and transported to Ireland. diversity in Easter dating undermined the unity of Church. and the episcopal support for his exile in c.

and Eustasius (613–28) abbot of Luxeuil. because Jonas took great pains to create the image of a continuous progression of ideas and traditions from Columbanus to his successors. there were a number of major changes in the Columbanian tradition. Second. Jonas often ignored controversial issues in Columbanus’ career.Chapter 3 Columbanian Monasticism after 615 AD The monasteries Columbanus founded continued to grow after his death. sometime in the mid-620s. Sources Jonas’ Life of Columbanus and his Disciples Book 2 contains narratives focused on Columbanus’ successors. This created increasingly closer ties between the monasteries and powerful families. First. This is especially true for his support of the Celtic-84 .2 The previous chapter examined how in book 1 of the Life of Columbanus. the Columbanian foundations slowly abandoned some of the distinctive “Celtic” traits. abbots of Bobbio. However.1 It also has a series of narratives about Faremoutiers. none of these transitions are mentioned in the Life. the next generation of Columbanian abbots were not Irish. However. Athala (615–26) and Bertulf (626–39). but Frankish aristocrats. another Columbanian foundation. Daughter houses were established and royal and aristocratic support remained unbroken. most importantly the Celtic-84.

primarily the royal courts.4 As mentioned in chapter 2. By using these letters. he was forced to confront other issues that potentially could have undermined the authority and influence of the Columbanian tradition. the Chronicle provides little information. The most important . this work can be used to provide some political background on a few of the secular officials mentioned in the Life of Columbanus. When Jonas wrote book 2 of the Life. he again faced complex problems. One of these is the fourth book of the Chronicle of Fredegar. though historians disagree about whether the Chronicle was composed nearer to 650 or 660. scholars are able to see where Jonas skewed information to better fit the goals of the Columbanian communities.46 The Celtic and Roman Traditions table.5 The fact that the Chronicle shows the influence of the Life of Columbanus means that it must be dated after the early 640s. While this source is quite contemporary to the events contained in the second book of the Life. there are no personal letters from the Columbanian abbots in the period after 615. It can also be assumed that the Luxeuil and Bobbio communities had specific versions of these incidents that they wanted people to remember. the historian is forced to rely on the Life of Columbanus. Jonas has produced such an excellent piece of propaganda that it is often very difficult to reconstruct a more objective version of the events of this time. Many people who participated in these events were still alive in the early 640s when Jonas completed the Life. this work ends in 642. Complete silence regarding these issues would have undermined Jonas’ authority as an honest. Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar There are a few additional sources that can help historians gain a fuller understanding of the 620s and 630s. Therefore. Unfortunately. Diplomatic Documents Historians can also use some of the surviving diplomatic documents and council records to reconstruct the events of this period.3 For the period before 615. Therefore. even more than in book 1. While Jonas was silent about the Celtic-84. historians are fortunate to have Columbanus’ letters to use in conjunction with the Life. accurate author. but not much else is of use on this subject. for the historian analyzing the Columbanian tradition after 615. the author focused on secular politics. In the period between 615 and 642. The abbots of Bobbio and Luxeuil were involved in a number of controversies in the 620s and 630s.

he healed the duke’s daughter. count of Meaux. However. Jonas relates Columbanus’ interactions with a number of aristocrats. these works add pieces to our knowledge of this complex period. founded a monastery at Laon under the Columbanian Rule and became its first abbess.11 For example. he stopped at Chagneric’s villa and assisted Burgundofara in entering the religious life. became bishop of Meaux and was a patron of the monastery of Rebais.8 Athala. her brother Chagnoald and Waldebert. Sadalberga. Ties between the Aristocracy and the Columbanian Foundations In the seventh century. By the 620s. Chagnoald.6 A papal privilege granted to the Bobbio community in 628 by Pope Honorius is extant along with other royal grants and privileges. personal ties with the aristocracy that no doubt influenced their political decisions. Columbanus’ successor at Luxeuil. was tied to a high-ranking family and was the nephew of the bishop of Langres. of blindness. While there. This was also true of the second and third generation of abbots at the Columbanian foundations.17 On another occasion.18 Sadalberga later. was also instrumental in establishing ties with aristocratic families. abbot of Bobbio. was associated with Bishop Arigius of Lyons before entering Luxeuil. Burgundofara. future abbot of Luxeuil.14 For a time. but unfortunately the only record of this council is found in the Life of Columbanus. became first abbess of the monastery of Faremoutiers. with the help of then Abbot Waldebert of Luxeuil. the children of these men were gaining power in both ecclesiastical and secular positions.16 Eustasius.9 Eustasius. after his exile from Burgundy. and supporting the Columbanian tradition. abbot of Luxeuil. also of Bobbio. became bishop of Laon.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 47 council for the Columbanian tradition was one held at Mâcon in 626/27. when Eustasius was returning from Bavaria.15 Burgundofaro. the Merovingian and Lombard bishops were from aristocratic families. On a journey to the court of King Chlothar. Bertulf. supervised this foundation. Chagneric’s son. who was probably Burgundofara’s brother. In book 1 of the Life of Columbanus. Columbanus met Chagneric.7 While not always helpful.12 In the post–615 period.13 His daughter.19 . he visited the villa of Duke Gundoin. the records of other Merovingian councils can be used to help reconstruct which bishops might have attended the Synod of Mâcon. was of noble birth and related to the bishop of Metz.10 Thus Columbanian abbots had close.

foundations had been associated with large basilicas.21 Especially from the 630s onward.48 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Part of the attraction of Columbanian monasticism for the aristocracy may have been Columbanus’ preference for rural monasteries. and the Synod of Mâcon (626/27) There are a number of conflicts discussed in book 2 of the Life of Columbanus. and some of those trained at Luxeuil and her associated monasteries were becoming leaders in the church.23 Queen Balthild (d. In turn. For instance Dagobert (623–38) founded communities with the Columbanian or mixed rule at Solignac. abbot of Luxeuil. these changes were under way. and Jouarre. By the late 620s. Agrestius. This included a number who had spent time at a Columbanian monastery and those who had not. one of his monks. and the Synod of Mâcon held in c.20 This was especially true for women’s communities where land that might have passed to another through marriage stayed in the family’s control as long as female descendants headed the foundation. The number of monasteries associated with Columbanian tradition had grown dramatically since 615.22 Relations with the Merovingian and Lombard royal courts continued in the post–615 period as well. there were numerous monastic houses using a mixed rule influenced at least in part by Columbanus’. 680) founded Chelles and Corbie and was a patron of Luxeuil. Instead what the post–615 period witnessed was the integration of some aspects of the Columbanian tradition into the wider Frankish Church. By appointing family members to lead these new foundations.24 She also established monastic communities at the “senior basilicas. Luxeuil and other Columbanian houses were transformed through the adoption of new practices and ideas. Eustasius. However. on the other hand. Traditionally in Gaul. but one of the most interesting concerns Eustasius.626/27. and Rebais. By the 660s.” which may have used a mixed rule of Columbanian influence.25 This portion of the Life is critical in reconstructing a very . it is important not to view “Columbanian monasticism” as a monolithic movement under the jurisdiction of Luxeuil. often with royal patronage. Columbanian houses. the Columbanian tradition had the support of many of the Merovingian bishops. tended to be located on rural estates or on land given by the king to a lord specifically for the establishment of a new community. Faremoutiers. aristocrats could expand their own power and authority since this land remained under their jurisdiction. Agrestius. Saint-Amand.

but then entered Luxeuil while Eustasius was abbot. there are places where it is clear that more had to be going on than . Warnachar died. Eustasius was eventually forced to expel Agrestius from the monastery. along with other bishops and aristocrats. but also was unable to persuade Eustasius to turn against Rome. such as spoons.626/27. Bishop Abelenus of Geneva and Warnachar.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 49 important period in the history of the Columbanian tradition. trying to convince him to join the schismatic Church. Although the narrative is well constructed. When he was unsuccessful as a missionary. However. Agrestius’ Role The above is Jonas’ version of events. In retaliation. Agrestius added that the tonsure worn by the Columbanian monks also differed from that used throughout the Church.28 Eustasius was easily able to explain these practices.27 In c. Having been refuted. In addition. His evidence was that the Columbanian Rule advocated making the sign of the cross over inanimate objects. Jonas explains. was persuaded to call a synod at Mâcon to discuss the matter. even with one of his major supporters dead. When this was unsuccessful. he went to northern Italy and became a supporter of the schismatic Church that had broken communion with Rome over the Three Chapters controversy. Just before the synod began. maior of the Burgundian court. the rebel monk devised a plan to discredit Eustasius and Luxeuil. Agrestius still appeared before the bishops and accused Luxeuil of heresy. that the king did not doubt the sanctity of Eustasius and knew that the abbot could easily refute his critics.29 In so far as Jonas has presented the synod. Against Eustasius’ advice. the bishops came together to hear the case against the Columbanian tradition. however. abbot of Bobbio. he returned to Luxeuil. Agrestius was a notary who had served under King Theuderic. he traveled to convert the Bavarians. that it required the brothers to ask for a blessing when coming in and out of rooms. this did not worry the bishops and they dismissed all charges against Eustasius. Jonas’ Version of Events According to Jonas.26 Agrestius wrote a letter to Athala. He accused the monastery of following heretical practices and he obtained the support of his relative. and that it used too many prayers and collects in the Mass. Even King Chlothar II. presented in book 1 of the Life as one of the major supporters of Columbanus. it highlights the problems historians face when they must rely on only one primary source to analyze events.

Agrestius next accused the Columbanian monks of using a tonsure that differed from the rest of the Church. all conflict was due to Brunhild’s jealousy and Theuderic’s pride. Asking for a blessing when entering or leaving a brother’s cell or saying extra prayers only fulfilled biblical injunctions. disobedient. Abelenus. In book 1. In book 2.32 Thus. and the Columbanian monasteries were exonerated. In Jonas’ narrative of the events surrounding the Synod of Mâcon.30 If the historian were to blindly accept Jonas’ narrative. Agrestius and Warnachar play the same roles as Brunhild and Theuderic in explaining issues of controversy. By constructing the narrative in such a way that the focus remains on a specific enemy of the Columbanian tradition. Jonas helps the reader to conclude that most of the opposition Eustasius’ faced came from an immature. the problems Eustasius faced were because of Agrestius’ resentment and Warnachar’s political maneuvering.33 The only hint that the bishops were concerned about these practices is the fact that they asked Eustasius to respond to Agrestius. The Accusations against the Columbanian Tradition Agrestius’ allegations.35 As Jonas would never have included any information that would have compromised the reputation of the Columbanian tradition. Luxeuil. it would appear that the ecclesiastical and secular leadership in Gaul had no real concerns about the Columbanian tradition. It was only . Jonas also gives the impression that the bishops were frustrated that a synod had been called for such minor issues. Since the bishops were able to see through their lies. By using Agrestius as the focus for the Synod of Mâcon. seem insignificant. Jonas can “explain” the conflict that surrounded Columbanus and his successors without raising questions as to whether there was any substantive support for these accusations. Eustasius. Eustasius argued that there was nothing wrong with making the sign of the cross over a spoon or any other object. three lone people—Agrestius. Jonas magnified Brunhild’s role in the controversy that led to Columbanus’ exile by implying that all episcopal opposition was actually a result of her political pressure. schismatic monk and his political supporters. at least as Jonas presents them. and Warnachar—stirred up dissention for their own selfish reasons.31 Using book 1 for comparison.34 It can be assumed that this was the Celtic tonsure. Instead. he may well have exaggerated Agrestius’ importance.50 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Jonas implies. due to jealousy and pride. it can be reasoned that the Celtic tonsure was not yet controversial.

This would have eased the transition to a new Easter calculation. If the synod met to discuss the heretical or schismatic aspects of the Columbanian tradition. Jonas still does what he can in the narrative to disparage Agrestius’ accusation. Jonas includes no reply by Eustasius. If by any chance the tonsure was beginning to be of concern in c. a date that clearly had problems. but on the Celtic-84. The Celtic-84 table stated that Easter should occur on April 5 or luna 17. the Celtic-84 and Victorian tables listed the same dates. If the Columbanian communities abandoned the Celtic-84 in 627.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 51 as the Easter controversy continued past the 640s that the style of tonsure became symbolic of the supporters of the Celtic or Roman tables. it was probably discussed at Mâcon. The Victorian table listed April 12 as luna 21. in 625. it is unlikely that there was no mention of the Celtic Easter table. 628. Given the increasingly divergent lunar dates.640.37 It seems likely that as . Though Jonas provides no information about Easter. Jonas took great pains to suppress the information that the saint and his monastic foundations had followed a table then regarded by some as heretical. the 628–29 period would have provided a two-year span to ensure that all communities had copies of the Victorian table. this was luna 24. Take for example the Easter dates in 627. the Columbanian houses had abandoned the Celtic-84. it would be easy to assume that Easter was not an issue of dispute during his lifetime either. the 5th was luna 14. He portrays Agrestius as stuttering and clearly nervous. as if he was desperate to find something about the Columbanian tradition that the bishops would condemn. Jonas’ presentation gives the reader no indication that this was the case. and 629. a date far past the acceptable lunar limits. leading the reader to believe that the allegation was so ridiculous the bishops did not bother asking the abbot to respond.36 In the period leading up to 625. Easter One matter possibly discussed at Mâcon was the Celtic-84.627 or c. each table listed Easter dates that supporters of the rival table would have considered especially troublesome (table 3. We do know that by the early 640s when Jonas was writing the Life. It is interesting that the Synod of Mâcon was held in the midst of this period when the tables were in general agreement. Furthermore. Although the tonsure does not appear to have been a major issue in c.1). Though the Easter tables had generally not agreed.640. it can be assumed that the Easter controversy continued to be an important issue in the Merovingian Church. If historians did not have Columbanus’ letters to supplement book 1 of the Life of Columbanus. but for those using the Victorian table.

Corning. Corning.” pp. pp. That Easter was discussed at Mâcon is supported by the fact that the monastery of Bobbio received a papal exemption from episcopal interference in 628. at the Council of Chalon in c. on the other hand. 821–22 with modifications as indicated by Jones. Easter was a concern and there was enough interest in this topic for some bishops to want a church council to discuss the matter.603. alternative luna dates and all other adjustments for Victorian dating by C. It is hard to believe that the papacy would have granted an exemption to Bobbio had it been following the alternative Easter. If. and if both . “Easter Principles.1 Comparative Easter dates. Victorian Easter and luna dates calculated using Blackburn and Holford-Strevens. 18–19.52 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Table 3. Luxeuil and Bobbio had abandoned the Celtic Easter in 627. The Oxford Companion. 620–41 Celtic-84 Easter 620 621 622 623 624 625 626 627 628 629 630 631 632 633 634 635 636 637 638 639 640 641 Note: Bold Victorian Luna (Victorian) 13 15 11 14 14 17 11 14 16 17 13 15 16 13 14 17 11 13 16 11 12 15 Easter March 30 April 19 April 4 March 27 April 15 March 31 April 20 April 12 March 27 April 16 April 8 March 24 April 12 April 4 April 24 April 9 March 31 April 20 April 5 March 28 April 16 April 1 or 8 Luna 21 22 18 21 21 17 18 21 16 17 20 16 16 20 21 17 19 20 16 19 19 15/22 Luna (Celtic-84) 24 25 21 23 24 20 21 24 19 20 23 19 19 22 24 20 22 23 19 22 22 18/25 Luna 16 18 14 16 17 20 14 17 19 20 16 18 19 15 17 20 14 16 19 14 15 18 April 20 April 12 March 28 April 17 April 8 March 31 April 13 April 5 March 27 April 16 April 1 April 21 April 12 March 28 April 17 April 9 April 21 April 13 April 5 April 18 April 9 April 1 tables in agreement Source: Celtic-84 Easter and luna dates from McCarthy. 411. Jonas is clear that Bobbio and Luxeuil followed the same practices.” p. modernized and cycled by C. “The Victorian and Dionysiac.

Possibly because of his loyal service. Among other things. as Jonas indicates. In addition. The Role of Secular Officials Another indication that the Synod of Mâcon was more important than Jonas implies is the participation of Warnachar and Chlothar in the events leading up to the council. after discovering a letter in which Brunhild ordered his death. in theory. It is possible. The person who occupied this office was usually the highest ranking noble after the king. Warnachar was the Burgundian maior. its maior became very powerful under his rule.41 As Chlothar was rarely in Burgundy. Since Jonas did not want to point out that Columbanus had once advocated an heretical table. Chlothar. However.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 53 supported a position of loyalty to Rome rather than schism. an earlier Merovingian Church council was called by Chlothar in 626/27 at Clichy. it is not surprising that Agrestius and Abelenus approached Warnachar with the idea of a synod to condemn the Columbanian tradition. According to Fredegar. had been a major supporter of Columbanus and his monasteries since 613. This would explain both Agrestius’ accusations of heresy and the fact that the papacy was supporting Bobbio by 628. It seems likely that the Columbanian communities continued to use the Celtic-84 table until just after the Synod of Mâcon. at least according to the Life of Columbanus. It is hard to explain why Chlothar allowed the council to be held since. He was one of the highest ranking nobles in the kingdom and his support would be needed to convince the king to call a synod. that he . he could have refused to call the bishops together.42 Jonas makes it clear that the Synod of Mâcon involved only the Burgundian bishops. Warnachar helped to arrest Brunhild and handed her over to Chlothar to be executed. Warnachar switched his support to Chlothar. he simply avoided all mention of this subject.39 The records of Clichy make no mention of the Columbanian tradition or Easter. Chlothar appointed Warnachar maior in Burgundy.40 After Theuderic died.38 Unlike Mâcon. the council resolved that bishops and priests should track down heretics in order to ensure the triumph of the Catholic faith. this council had representatives from Neustria as well as Burgundy. but it is intriguing that the Synod of Mâcon met so soon after Clichy since it demonstrates that heresy was a current topic of conversation in 626. Warnachar had been an important noble at Theuderic’s court and had originally supported Brunhild. Chlothar conquered Burgundy and disposed of Theuderic’s heirs. Therefore. it would be understandable why papal protection was given in 628.

but for only five can their political leanings be determined. historians know that Jonas is not giving . The relationship between the Burgundian maior and his king is difficult to reconstruct. Two things are known with certainty. In the wake of Mâcon. most likely.54 The Celtic and Roman Traditions assumed the case would be decided in Luxeuil’s favor. Warnachar was the most important secular official there. However. leaving the day-to-day matters of the kingdom in Warnachar’s hands. but the situation was more complex than this. Unfortunately. He also may have believed that this was an issue that dealt primarily with the Burgundian kingdom and thus decided not to interfere. but not many. Of these. not to mention the relationship with Chlothar and the Burgundian court. In this way the synod would actually strengthen the Columbanian tradition rather than weaken it. Since Jonas is the only source who mentions the synod. Looking closely at the evidence. the bishops had true concerns about the Columbanian tradition. The maximum possible attendance at Mâcon was six metropolitans and thirty-six bishops. then the Synod of Mâcon could represent one piece in a larger political struggle between the king and his maior. many questions are left unanswerable. He did not attend the council himself.44 If it is true that Chlothar supported Eustasius while Warnachar was against him. It would be helpful to know which bishops attended the synod and their affiliations for or against Luxeuil. First. politics were involved at some level.43 Chlothar visited Burgundy only once while he was king. the use of extra blessings and prayers was seen as part of the liturgical variations of the day and nothing of major concern. to lead the council. Jonas states that it was Warnachar who appointed Bishop Treticus of Lyons. the Celtic tonsure. Therefore.45 Knowledge of the familial and secular connections of the bishops as well as the relationship between Chlothar and Warnachar would help to determine the role of politics at Mâcon. Luxeuil and her associated monasteries were forced to abandon the Celtic-84 Easter table and. Jonas gives the names of only two bishops: Abelenus of Geneva and Treticus of Lyons. In the Life. it is possible to identify twenty-three of them. Second. Summary Jonas presents the synod as a sweeping victory for Eustasius and Luxeuil. it appears to have been more of a compromise than a unanimous statement of approval for the Columbanian tradition. Agrestius is presented as the main scapegoat for all the conflict that led to Mâcon. It is the relationship between the two that cannot be identified. a known enemy of Eustasius. The increasing power of Luxeuil and the nobles and bishops associated with this tradition could well have influenced those attending Mâcon. The council records from Clichy add a few more names. however.

46 Thus. Peter approved of the Columbanian tradition. He refused to become involved and instead told them to look to canon law. Peter and Paul (June 28). attempted to exert firmer control over Bobbio. Honorius was impressed by Bertulf ’s humility and way of life. On the feast day of Sts. Bobbio faced its own challenges. bishop of Tortona.48 Once in Rome. and the Church favored Columbanus and his successors. though it did place the monastery directly under papal supervision. the papacy responded with unrestricted approval. Jonas explains that Probus was motivated by pride and that the only way he gained support from other bishops and aristocrats was through bribery. not to provide an objective record of this council. His goal in writing the Life was to prove that God. including Jonas. it would appear to the reader that the first time anyone from a Columbanian foundation approached Rome. St. One reason Jonas included this narrative was because of his desire to discuss the background of Honorius’ papal privilege. contacted the king as well and received support for a journey to Rome to petition the pope for assistance. Bertulf. Probus and his supporters attempted to obtain the backing of the Lombard King Arioald (626–36). This was an important event in the history of Bobbio.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 55 us the whole story. Jonas states that c. Jonas relates that Bertulf became deathly ill traveling back to Bobbio.50 This was obviously a very appropriate vision for an abbot who was an “ally” of the papacy and a clear sign that St.51 Looking at the wider political situation. Jonas. there were a number of reasons for . then traveled to the court of Pope Honorius (625–38). According to Jonas.628. abbot of Bobbio.49 Next. He encouraged him to continue to fight the spread of Arianism and granted Bobbio a papal privilege removing the monastery from episcopal control. Bobbio and External Conflict Soon after the Synod of Mâcon. Bertulf was able to present his case to the pope.47 Bertulf and a number of monks. discounts the notion that the bishop and his supporters had any real grievances: rather all the opposition Bobbio faced was due to pride and greed. Without the knowledge of Columbanus’ letters. Probus. Peter appeared in a vision and healed him. the State. as usual. The granting of the papal exemption removing the monastery from episcopal control was proof that the papacy endorsed the Columbanian tradition. The privilege granted by Honorius provided Bobbio with more independence from episcopal authority than any previous papal privilege had allowed.

61 An interesting aspect of the coup is that at least some of the bishops in northern Italy supported Arioald. much of the northern Italian Church was still in schism with Rome over the Three Chapters controversy.613.53 The Archbishop of Milan had transferred his support to the papacy. the Pope encouraged Bertulf to continue to fight Arianism. However. Eustasius also would not break from Rome. it is understandable that Honorius would extend protection to this monastery. the Three Chapters remained a major issue in the Lombard kingdom.56 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Honorius to grant such a petition. who supported the schismatic position. Involvement in a dispute with the episcopal hierarchy would have only distracted Bertulf from this mission. Summary Unlike the situation surrounding the Synod of Mâcon. but many of his suffragans had not.58 Thus.57 According to Jonas. if Jonas is correct.59 Things were complicated in Lombardy by the presence of a king who was Arian. Athala refused. First.55 Columbanus had questioned the papal position on the Three Chapters in his letter to Pope Boniface in c. it is clear that Athala and Eustasius supported the papal condemnation of the Three Chapters. Adaloald. Honorius may have hoped that Bobbio’s ties to the Lombard court would provide Bertulf the opportunity to convince Arioald to abandon his heretical ways. in 626 he was deposed and Arioald became king. but he never advocated splitting from Rome. While the previous king.52 In 628. In addition. especially if he felt he could not trust the loyalty of the bishop of Tortona. thus placing Honorius and the Lombard episcopacy on opposite sides. In addition. With the schism in northern Italy and remembering that by 628 Bobbio had abandoned the alternative Celtic practices.56 Jonas includes the information that Agrestius.628 appears to have had nothing to . the conflict between Bobbio and the bishop of Tortona in c. had been a schismatic Christian. Bertulf had received royal support to go to Rome. Honorius may have felt that it was a wise political move to favor a monastery that traditionally had close ties with the Lombard court. there was a history of support from the Columbanian monasteries for the papacy.60 The situation was a blow for Honorius. not only because the king was Arian.54 Therefore. wrote a letter to Athala encouraging him to condemn the papacy. Remembering that Bobbio was a royal monastery and. the Archbishopric of Istria had two archbishops: the schismatic bishop located at Aquileia and the orthodox bishop at Grado. unlike Columbanus. but also because the pope had actively supported Adaloald.

” were punished by God. However. it was critically important that Honorius support those who were willing to ally with Rome. It is also possible that Probus saw the period c.63 Jonas reports that one monk died of fever.626–28 as an excellent opportunity to assert more control over Bobbio and its network of monasteries while the crown was busy attempting to solidify its own power. Though Honorius granted Bobbio the most extensive papal privilege to date. First. Pope Honorius saw a number of benefits in granting such independence to Bobbio. There are four stories of nuns who attempted to leave the monastery or who refused to follow the Rule because they were led away by the devil and/or due to their own arrogance and pride. When the other disobedient monks heard of these deaths. especially those with royal protection. In addition. Jonas’ narratives leave little doubt as to who was in the right. the reader is given the impression that these problems were much more limited in scope than the rebellion at .62 Many of the monks were upset with the Rule and rebelled against their abbot. as was mentioned in chapter 2. Internal Dissension in the Columbanian Tradition Book 2 of the Life of Columbanus opens with a rebellion at Bobbio while Athala (615–26) was abbot. individual bishops. since the late sixth century. As always. Bobbio had a group of associated monasteries whose abbots came from important families thereby increasing the monastery’s political power. this alliance may have been in doubt.64 Jonas states that all of these women were unable to handle the “unaccustomed discipline” of the convent.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 57 do with the alternative Celtic practices. the monastery had abandoned its alternative Celtic practices and was firmly in the pro-papal camp. this should not be viewed as a radical break. There also appears to have been problems at Faremoutiers where Burgundofara was abbess. and the popes had all been protecting monastic rights for decades. Like Luxeuil. It is possible that Bobbio had been granted royal protection from its founding. Church councils. but with the ascension of a new king. but a logical development. another was killed by an axe and two others drowned: one while crossing a small stream and another when his boat sank. Since the court supported Arianism. and much of the Lombard Church refused to acknowledge the papacy. they repented. “stained with the vice of arrogance. the papacy had been granting more limited papal protection to monastic houses. This conflict precipitated the events that would end in a papal privilege for Bobbio and cement its importance in the Italian Church. Those monks.

Jonas also includes the information that after the rebellion. both men knew Eustasius well and yet still decided to support Agrestius even after he was unsuccessful at Mâcon.68 According to Jonas. In addition. The violence ended with the murder of Agrestius by one of his servants. Therefore. Both seem to have remained loyal followers after this rebellion. Then a lightning bolt killed an additional twenty rebellious monks and nuns.58 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Bobbio. both Amatus and Romaric begged forgiveness and were reconciled with Eustasius. Jonas explains that Amatus and Romaric rebelled against Eustasius because of personal grievances. it was Eustasius who convinced Amatus to transfer from St.69 Having already established Agrestius as schismatic and disobedient. It appears that only seven or eight nuns participated in these attempts to escape or disobey the Rule. According to the Life of Amatus. After these deaths. Therefore. Lives for Amatus and Romaric survive but neither mentions any problems with Eustasius or the Rule. his participation in this event only reinforces the fact that this internal rebellion was all part of the greater plot by Agrestius to attack the Columbanian tradition.70 Another monk went insane and killed himself. after the Synod of Mâcon narrative. Jonas includes information on a rebellion at Remiremont. Problems with the Columbanian Rules It is difficult for historians to decide what caused the internal rebellions in this period. Amatus died soon after this in 628 and Romaric became the next abbot of Remiremont. Agrestius persuaded Amatus and Romaric to make alterations to the Columbanian Rule in use at Remiremont and to disobey Eustasius. Jonas implies there was dissatisfaction with the “harshness” or . Many of the monks at the monastery supported this decision.66 Romaric established the monastic community of Remiremont with Eustasius’ permission and Amatus became the first abbot of the new foundation.65 Both of these men had been monks at Luxeuil while Eustasius was abbot. rabid wolves broke into the monastery and killed two of Agrestius’ supporters. just as Jonas needed to construct the presentation of Columbanus and his successor abbots in a way that did not undermine their sanctity. the author of the Life of Amatus needed to counter the allegations of the Life of Columbanus without mentioning events better left forgotten from the viewpoint of Remiremont. a monastery associated with Luxeuil.67 Thus. According to Jonas. Agrestius convinced Amatus and Romaric to oppose Eustasius. not because there was anything wrong with the Columbanian monastic tradition.71 Clearly God was incensed with these men and women for questioning the Columbanian Rule. Maurice d’Agaune to Luxeuil. Jonas once again exonerated Luxeuil from any blame for these controversies.

This meant that the monks had little time to both sleep and participate in the night offices. discretion. During the summer months the night hours would be shorter than in the winter. with six blows. but provides no specifics. poverty. the Communal Rule. While there were twenty-four hours in a day. each with their corresponding punishment. Two monastic rules by Columbanus survive. when it is lighted by a younger brother and is not presented to a senior for his blessing. the Monks’ Rule is largely theoretical. The second rule.76 Apart from this section and one concerning meals.77 This rule is much more practical in application than the first because it lists different disobediences.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 59 “discipline” of the Rule. Through most of the medieval period. that is.74 One of the most detailed sections concerns the different times the community should gather together in corporate prayer. It is concerned with the attitudes and behavior that a monk should cultivate. Since it would be impossible to run a monastery solely on Columbanus’ Rules as they survive in written form. If he has called anything his own. time was reckoned somewhat differently than it is today. but not by his successors. Whoever of the brethren. may have been upset with elements which were never written down. with six blows. Columbanus was particularly concerned that the monks not become too tired praying numerous psalms at the night offices during the summer.72 It is possible that some of the monks were willing to tolerate the extreme discipline and alternative practices when administered by Columbanus himself. organization of the choir office. Columbanus’ monks chanted an unusually large number of psalms in the night offices.78 It is not well organized or arranged in any system. closely resembles a penitential. Let him who has cut the table with a knife be corrected with ten blows. but this is complicated by the fact that his Rules include little guidance on daily operations. it must be assumed that much of the Columbanian “way of life” was orally transmitted. chastity. and those whom Columbanus warns about in his letter to Athala. Therefore. humility. silence. it should be noted that even with this sliding scale.73 The first is the Monks’ Rule which consists of ten sections: obedience. The monks who rebelled at Bobbio and Remiremont. to whom the . Section two of the Rule should help to illustrate the point: If he has not blessed the lamp. Columbanus mandated that the greatest number of Psalms would be chanted during the winter months and then they would gradually decrease until the middle of summer. food and drink. overcoming vanity. However.75 Recognizing this problem. the hour was not set at a uniform sixty minutes. It is possible to compare Columbanus’ surviving Rules with the later mixed rules to see what has been changed. and perfection. This was especially true when on some Saturdays and Sundays a total of seventy-five psalms were recited at Matins. there were always twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness.

this is the instruction for every day. Donatus adopted Columbanus’ instructions and punishments without much alteration.” The Rule for Nuns by Donatus of Besançon is one such rule that combined the Benedictine and Columbanian Rules. . There are language differences between the two parts of the Rule. Let him who has forgotten the prostration . has spilt any drop.83 From the Columbanian Rules. some of the Benedictine Rule was adopted. From Benedict. so that the brethren pray for him.60 The Celtic and Roman Traditions care of cooking or serving has been entrusted. When a mixed rule was introduced at Luxeuil and Bobbio. He seems to have chosen portions of Benedictine Rule more to provide information where Columbanus was vague than to mitigate any harsh aspects of his Rule. those who disturb meals or services. he included sections on gossip. Luxeuil. Soon after Columbanus’ death. and Faremoutiers were upset because the Rule was too severe. During the early medieval period. Analyzing the Rule is complicated by the fact that it was likely revised after Columbanus’ death. and the specifics on excommunication.79 There is some tie between spilling things while serving and cutting the table.85 On the whole. his Rule began to appear in combination with other rules such as Benedict’s or Cassian’s. If Jonas were correct that the monks and nuns at Bobbio. then it does not appear that this new Rule was intrinsically less “harsh” or “strict” than the older one. .80 It is unclear whether Columbanus changed his mind between the composition of the two rules or whether this reflects later additions by his successors. though in moderated form.82 He also included Benedict’s discussion on good works. For instance. do penance likewise. it is ordained to correct him by prayer in church after the end of the office. In the Monks’ Rule. at the office . humility. . section thirteen of the Communal Rule states that monks should not eat before the ninth hour on Wednesdays and Fridays. and cellaress.81 This type of rule is called a “mixed rule. each abbot created a monastic rule that fit his monastery’s specific circumstances.84 Donatus also seems to have used Columbanus’ instructions for meals. and the punishments for spilling or wasting food and drink. . and later sections disagree with the instructions outlined in the Monks’ Rule. then the Rule for Nuns would support the idea that they rebelled against parts of the Rule which were only transmitted orally and thus are impossible to reconstruct. but it is harder to see how claiming ownership of objects or not having a lamp blessed fits with this topic. Donatus used chapters on the election of an abbess and her character. . porter. as well as the responsibilities and character of the prioress. forgetting to bless objects and receiving blessings. If the Rule by Donatus is indicative of the mixed rule used at Luxeuil and Bobbio. In the same manner let him who has lost the crumbs be corrected by prayer in church.

88 The abandonment of these practices by c. he simply explains the rebellion as focused on the “harshness” of the rule. the rebellions in the late 620s were probably linked to frustration with portions of the Rule left by Columbanus that were seen as overly harsh. Information about the God-given punishments of those who rebelled would have been an important message from the point of view of the abbots who asked Jonas to write the Life in the first place. but not from the abbots who followed. The monks may have been willing to submit to such discipline under their charismatic founder. his disciplinary practices have been replaced with the more moderate Benedictine.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 61 On the other hand. the fact that Jonas included narratives detailing dissension within the Columbanian houses suggests that there must have been some remembrance of these events. The 620s and early 630s were a time of compromise and adjustment for the Columbanian houses. Since Jonas does not want the reader to know that Columbanus followed schismatic practices. it has been theorized that the Rule of the Master. Thus. it supports a theory that the monks and nuns were frustrated with discipline outlined in the Columbanian Rules. It is possible that one part of the rebellion at Remiremont and Bobbio was due to the alternative Celtic Easter and tonsure. Bobbio and Luxeuil had new abbots: Bertulf (626–39) at Bobbio and Waldebert (629–70) at Luxeuil.87 If the Rule of the Master was used at Bobbio. though not in the Life. and the other Columbanian monasteries were using mixed rules of Benedictine and Columbanian influence by the 630s.628 would have quelled opposition on this point. There is some hint of dissension at Luxeuil over the Celtic-84 in Columbanus’ letter to Athala. Bobbio. often attributed to the sixth century. Summary Therefore. the differences between Donatus’ Rule and the Rule of the Master complicate identifying the specific issues that led the monks and nuns to rebel. should instead be identified as the mixed rule used at Bobbio by 643. Both houses . Given the fact that Luxeuil. While the Rule of the Master includes some of Columbanus’ advice on the night office and the blessing of inanimate objects. rather than focusing on the need to abandon incorrect traditions. and that Bobbio and Luxeuil wanted to provide an official explanation for the Columbanian communities and their wide circle of supporters. then it can also provide information on the problems with the Columbanian Rules.86 If this Rule does post-date Columbanus. thus making the rebellious monks out as too weak to uphold correct monastic discipline.

Fursey and his brothers brought relics of St. For example. Fursey and his brothers were also important peregrini. mother of the Austrasian maior Grimoald. 686).89 Non-Columbanian.93 Subsequently. In response to internal rebellions some changes were made to the Rule and even at Luxeuil a new mixed rule was introduced replacing the older one instituted by Columbanus. Patrick to the Continent. For instance. On the other hand. Fursey’s Life relates that he had a series . another brother. 658).641. Ultán (d. Therefore it is understandable that Columbanus was not the only Irish “exile” to establish a series of monasteries on the continent. no evidence exists indicating that the alternative Celtic practices had anything to do with this. These monasteries would be identified as “Irish” in literature for the next few generations and as late as c. Irish Monasticism on the Continent Columbanus had come to Merovingian Gaul as a peregrinus or an “exile for God. Fursey spent some time in Anglo-Saxon England involved in ministry and missions before heading to the Continent in c. Péronne had an abbot of Irish heritage.94 They also became cult centers for Irish saints. Erchinoald founded a new monastery at Péronne to house the saint’s body. the idea of undertaking a voluntary exile in order to be dependent upon God was particularly emphasized in the Irish tradition. and thus were involved in political controversies. Fursey’s brother. Certainly by 641. Foillán also was influential at the double monastery of Nivelles. While Fursey and his brothers were important in the Merovingian Church. when Fursey arrived on the continent.779. there is no indication as to whether they used the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure.62 The Celtic and Roman Traditions adopted the Victorian table and Roman tonsure and firmly supported the papacy in the midst of controversy.90 Leaving Ireland. it is probable that these men helped to popularize penitentials and repeatable penance.96 While all three brothers were associated with important families in Neustria and Austrasia.95 This is quite different from Luxeuil and Bobbio where men from more local families quickly came to power after the founder’s death. There a new monastery was set up at Fosses with the help of Itta. became abbot of both Fosses and Péronne.92 After Fursey’s death in 649.640–58) helped him establish monasteries at Lagny and Fontenelle. areas of Ireland had switched to the Victorian table and the Roman tonsure. Foillán (d. then became abbot of Péronne until he was forced to flee to Austrasia.91 The Neustrian maior Erchinoald (c.” As mentioned.

For modern historians studying Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy. as public penance became reserved for major. by the 640s changes had also occurred in the Merovingian Church as Irish peregrini settled on the continent. In addition. Until that time. alterations were made to the Columbanian Rule.Columbanian Monasticism after 615 63 of visions in which he saw both heaven and hell. These visions and the need for repentance became the focus of his preaching. the Life of Fursey may also be evidence of developing doctrines about purgatory and the need for penance to continue after death. However. The number of monasteries associated with the Columbanian tradition had expanded dramatically. In addition. The use of tariff penance and penitentials were becoming more popular. This meant that the political and ecclesiastical influence of the Columbanian tradition was assured. In the face of these.” or “Frankish” but not easily as a member of a wider “Celtic” circle after the 640s.97 Conclusion By the time Jonas sat down to compose the Life of Columbanus in the early 640s. Even with the increasing use of the Rule of St. it is probable that he also would have provided the “cure” of repeatable penance. In addition.” “British. Most likely in the late 620s. it would not be until the ninth century under the Carolingian reforms that it would be used more exclusively. However. Benedict. things had changed since Columbanus’ death in 615. Given this emphasis and his Irish background. mitigating the controversial elements. Both Bobbio and Luxeuil faced major internal and external challenges. much of this had been hard won. public sins. it is possible to identify someone as “Irish. In addition. This is important since this rule would eventually dominate monasticism throughout Europe. The . these monasteries adopted the Victorian Easter table and the Roman tonsure bringing them in line with the general practices in Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy. these monasteries were supported by royal courts and a number of bishops. Columbanus’ Rules continued to influence monastic leaders throughout the Merovingian and Lombard Church. It is probable that the spread of the mixed rule helped to popularize the Benedictine Rule throughout Gaul and beyond. the mixed rule with portions of the Columbanian Rule was used at many of the monastic foundations in the Merovingian kingdoms. the Columbanian houses had abandoned some of the Celtic distinctives first introduced by Columbanus. In fact. he was permanently burned from a confrontation with demons.

Diversity was the norm in the early medieval Church and was accepted as long as practices did not deviate into heresy or schism. These traditions had become entangled to such an extent that it is difficult to distinguish their separate strands. Instead. Thus. using the Columbanian Rule. This is not to argue that the liturgy at Luxeuil was identical to that of Tours or that the monastic rule at Bobbio was indistinguishable from all the earlier non–Columbanian rules.64 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Columbanian communities had adopted the Roman Easter dating and tonsure and the Merovingian Church was incorporating new ideas about penance. on the Continent. both traditions transformed and influenced the other. there is no evidence of an inherent conflict between the Celtic and Roman “Churches” as portrayed in popular literature. founding rural monasteries and sending out their own peregrini. .

In 596. Augustine also wanted the British bishops to submit to his authority and to assist in converting the Anglo-Saxons. However. have stressed the continued flourishing of this tradition during the post–Roman period. Pope Gregory the Great began planning a mission to convert the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms located in present-day England. the British churchmen refused to acknowledge Augustine’s jurisdiction or change their practices.620 At the same time that Columbanus was establishing his monasteries in Merovingian Gaul. Patrick.1 In the first years of the seventh century. Along with St. The pope wrote to leading Merovingians such as Brunhild asking for their support in this endeavor and to provide whatever aid was necessary for the missionaries. future bishop of Canterbury. Augustine (597–604/10).Chapter 4 The British Church and the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms to c. in fact. and his party departed Italy for the north.2 Recent studies.1). specifically baptism and the Celtic-84. The Post-Roman British Church It is important to remember that the British Church did not disappear with the withdrawal of Roman troops in the early part of the fifth century. especially in areas not under Anglo-Saxon domination. traveling through the Merovingian kingdoms to Kent where the papal mission established their headquarters at the old Roman town of Canterbury (map 4. Augustine came into conflict with the British Church over their alternative practices. scholars point to the .

Andrews N D A DunaddDunbarton L R IA D STR A ATH Whithorn ISLE OF MAN BA CLY Edinburgh E Melrose B ER NI C Coldingham Lindisfarne Bamburgh IA N Ruthwell RH EG ED Carlisle Hexham Jarrow Wearmouth M BR ELMET ANGLESEY GW YN E DD Chester MERCIA POWYS Wroxeter EAST ANGLES M I D D LE AN G L E S E MAGONSAETE IC C O R TH U Whitby D EI R A IA Ripon York Lincoln Sutton Hoo EAST SAXONS DY FED HW St.1 Britain .66 ORKNEY ISLANDS SKYE PICTL AND DR UI M AL IONA St. Albans London KENT SOUTH SA XONS Dinas Powys Malmesbury WE S T SAXONS Canterbury D U M N O N IA Map 4.

is a condemnation of the worldliness and sins of British secular and ecclesiastical leadership. functioning British Christian communities for some time after the AngloSaxon domination of these areas.13 Although only preserved in later manuscripts.620 67 possibility of other British clergy traveling to Ireland to assist with conversion and provide pastoral care. In c.4 Even after this.12 Finnian. the Christian Scriptures.11 As discussed previously. and rhetoric. the invention of penitentials most likely occurred within the British Church in the sixth century. but is considered British by some scholars. the Synod of North Britain and the Synod of the Grove of Victory may be examples of British sixth-century penitential documents as well.10 Place-name evidence and topography also can lend clues regarding the survival of British communities in territories that would eventually come under AngloSaxon control in the seventh century. Constantius of Lyons wrote the Life of St. loan words and other linguistic evidence demonstrate continued British influence on the Irish Church at least until the seventh century.British Church to c. grammar. a possible third-century martyr.475.3 In fact. For Britons in the southeast. who wrote a penitential that Columbanus later used in composing his own. Even within the Anglo-Saxon heartlands of the East where Anglo-Saxon settlement was the heaviest in the sixth century. parts of the Irish Church may have remained under some level of British authority through the late fifth century. Germanus of Auxerre in which he discusses a controversy over the Pelagian heresy in Britain in c.9 Archaeological evidence as well upholds the theory that Christian communities remained in some areas of sub-Roman Britain.17 The cult of Alban. composed before the middle of the sixth century. The earliest penitential appears to have been written in the sixth century by Gildas or at least it is attributed to him.14 However. not pagans.429.7 Gildas’ On the Ruin of Britain. points to a Christian community whose elite were educated in Latin. the above evidence primarily applies to the western and northern parts of Britain. like Patrick’s.8 His work. the situation was quite different.6 Constantius portrays the saint interacting with Romano-British Christians. Evidence for Christian survival in these areas rests primarily on place-name evidence and the survival of martyr cults.”16 These may demonstrate local. There also are spotty reports of the continuation of martyr cults. appears to have functioned .15 This area saw the earliest Anglo-Saxon settlement and the replacement of Romano-British culture with a Germanic overlay. which seems to have been derived from the Latin. may have resided in Ireland. ecclesia or “church. Cemeteries and inscribed stones help to document a Christian presence. a few place names retained the Eccles element.5 Documentary evidence from the fifth and sixth centuries also depicts a functioning Christian community.

Therefore. namely in the southeast. Obviously. Bede—Some Background Most of what we know about Bede comes from his own works. he provides a short autobiographical note and a list of the works he had written to that date. In areas where the Anglo-Saxons first gained dominance.601. Sources for the Augustinian Mission There are a small number of applicable primary sources that help historians reconstruct the interaction between the British Church and the papal mission. written by Pope Gregory the Great to Augustine in c.731. It is also clear that the British Church was not isolated. a Northumbrian monk.23 A few surviving papal letters provide context. and was influential in the development of penitentials. Scholars disagree with regard to how defuse and numerous the Christian community was in Britain c. it is important to envision differences in the continuation of Romano-British Christianity. founded religious communities.22 In these kingdoms. but were cut off from Christians further west.18 Gildas also mentions the names of a few Christian martyrs in Britain and the fact that it was no longer possible to access their shrines due to AngloSaxon occupation.21 Isolated communities possibly focused on cult centers continued.20 It is unknown how many other cult centers or memorials may have continued to function for which there is no surviving documentation. they did not greatly influence the surrounding Anglo-Saxon society.19 The Libellus Responsionum. in c. At the end of his History. With the establishment of . mentions the existence of a cult center for a martyr named Sixtus.400.68 The Celtic and Roman Traditions continuously until taken over by Anglo-Saxons in the early seventh century.24 Bede was born in the early 670s on lands controlled by the monastery of Wearmouth and at age seven was given to the care of Abbot Benedict Biscop (674–89). but remained in contact with Merovingian Gaul. but the main source is the Ecclesiastical History written by Bede. as the British population was comprised of peasants or possibly slaves. Bede composed his History over a hundred years after the events. offered an impressive education for some. though the community had no details of his martyrdom. pastoral care was greatly impoverished. but it is still crucial for analyzing this period. but between 400 and 600 the Church in areas outside Anglo-Saxon control not only continued to function but provided missionaries for Ireland.

to encourage the Christians of his day and to motivate the Church to reform.26 Due to this vision for his work. hymns. As an adult. at least in part.27 Since Bede viewed it as his responsibility to produce a work of history that would edify his readers. he wanted to tell the story of the trials and eventual triumph of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. the bad bishop. poetry. without the eventuality of divine punishment. it is probable that Bede’s account of the mission reflects. the historian’s job was to teach through example and to show God working through history. Bede states his belief that history is written for a moral purpose. However. the good king. In the Middle Ages. Peter and Paul. delivered the documents from Albinus to Jarrow and traveled to Rome to copy letters from the papal archives. Nothelm. His narrative emphasizes the role of the pope in sponsoring the mission. Thus. He died at Jarrow in 735 (map 4. Bede mentions that Albinus. Bede constructed his material to emphasize certain viewpoints. Wearmouth’s sister foundation in 681. abbot of Sts. the bad king. It is only by using other sources that it is possible to reconstruct the high level of Frankish assistance. the good monk. he transferred to this monastery under the leadership of Abbot Ceolfrid (688–716).620 69 Jarrow. Bede’s History is a secondary text.29 The complexities between the interaction of Bede’s agenda and his source material can be seen in Bede’s presentation of the papal mission. This is not to imply that all the information in the History should be viewed as false. Bede would have seen the hand of God. composing biblical commentaries. . In the introduction to the History. future archbishop of Canterbury (735–39). martyrologies. and so on. and literary studies. something that was important in Bede’s own time. historians have recognized that throughout the History. books on computistics. he taught and wrote about the Scriptures and Church fathers. the bad priest.30 Bede may have decided not to focus on the Merovingians in order to highlight the relationship between the papacy and the English Church.25 He had to rely on the sources available and construct a narrative that fit his didactic purposes. he would not present someone as evil and yet prospering throughout his/her life. In addition. but is basically silent about the aid received from the Merovingian courts.1). Canterbury’s view of events. saints’ Lives.British Church to c. The History—General Analysis It is important to remember that for the early events in the history of the Anglo-Saxon Church. the reader is presented with models to imitate or to avoid: the good bishop. In the History. Canterbury provided both written documents and oral testimony about the Gregorian mission and the conversion of Kent.28 Where a modern historian might look to social or economic causes.

It is impossible to know how much Bede was creating a story to fit his goals and where he was limited by his sources. For instance. with the help of King Æthelberht of Kent.32 The overall narrative can be divided into four major scenes.70 The Celtic and Roman Traditions On the other hand.1). he had already finished his work The Reckoning of Time. Bede had only disdain for the British Church and its inability to admit it was wrong in the face of the unified body of Christ.” This was probably on the border between the kingdoms of Hwicce and the West Saxons (see map 4. Bede was also concerned about the influence of the Easter controversy on Church unity.31 This book examined all aspects of the calendar including how to calculate the date of Easter.33 After much debate. when Nothelm traveled to Rome to obtain documents for Bede. Augustine requested that the British keep the “Catholic peace. While all those involved in the Easter controversy would have comprehended the basic issues. all of the Insular Church except parts of the British had adopted the Roman tonsure and Dionysian table. One of the major themes of the History is the progress toward unity in Easter calculation among the churches of the British Isles. Bede understood the more complex calculations and arguments. Augustine and the British Ecclesiastics according to Bede In the History. In the first.” help to convert the Anglo-Saxons. he did not tolerate those who refused to see the errors of the Celtic-84 and Victorian tables. As with Columbanus and others before him. the two sides could not reach agreement. As an expert in the field. His frustration colored and influenced the narratives that discuss this tradition in his History. and abandon their alternative Easter dating. . Besides his professional interest in the topic. Bede well understood the harm that division could bring to the Church and its mission if it divided into competing groups. Bede provides information about two meetings between Augustine and members of the British Church. this silence could reflect the lack of information in his sources. Bede and the Easter Controversy By the time Bede began writing the History. summoned British churchmen from the neighboring kingdom to meet at a place Bede identifies as “Augustine’s Oak. By the time Bede finished the History in 731. Once there. Augustine. he may have decided not to copy most of the letters from Pope Gregory to the secular and ecclesiastical hierarchy in the Merovingian kingdoms.

Bede paints the British in a cycle of sin. The British would once again turn away from God and in response they experienced plague and new defeats. Using Gildas’ On the Ruin of Britain. they should follow his advice. At the battle.620 71 Augustine then suggested that they could determine which tradition God preferred by trying to heal a sick man. but Augustine succeeded. Both sides agreed to meet again. the pagan king of Northumbria. Augustine therefore condemned them saying that they would face death at the hands of the Anglo-Saxons. Germanus. Unfortunately.British Church to c. attacked the British. The British ecclesiastics were unable to heal the man. Augustine remained seated.35 In c. and that they help to convert the Anglo-Saxons. Æthelfrith and his men killed 1. The hermit replied that if Augustine was a true man of God and humbly stood when they arrived. God still raised up pagan kings to punish his disobedient people. bishop of Auxerre.”34 Augustine eventually made three demands: that they abandon their alternative method for calculating the date of Easter. Before discussing the arrival of Augustine. thus proving his prideful nature.38 Therefore. Bede’s linking of the meeting with Augustine and the later battle demonstrates to his readers that. just as in the Old Testament. Æthelfrith (592–616). Bede presents the Anglo-Saxon invasion as a punishment from God for British sins.37 However. ask a hermit what they should do. the two sides again met. the History does not portray the British in an entirely negative light. but stated that they could not adopt new practices without their people’s consent. In the last scene. he also relates that when they repented and trusted in God. victory led to luxury and internal strife. Next. The group that was successful would be the one God favored. Germanus to discuss the Pelagian heresy in Britain. Bede also includes information from Life of St.36 The British Church—A Heretical Tradition This series of stories is the turning point in Bede’s presentation of the British. The British refused and also rejected Augustine’s claim that the papacy had given him authority over the British Church. in . that they “complete” the baptism ritual according to the Roman rite. With the arrival of the British delegation.615. the British “strove to contradict everything he said. and repentance. chiefly from the monastery of Bangor-is-Coed. In the face of such a miracle. the British asked for help from the Gallic Church who sent St.200 priests from the monastery of Bangor who had come to pray for a British victory. in scene two. seven British bishops and a number of scholars. Angered at this.39 According to Bede. punishment. the British agreed that Augustine must be right. Bede reports the fulfillment of Augustine’s prophecy. Later. just as with the ancient Israelites. they were able to defeat their enemies.

for the early narratives.42 For Bede. the meeting between Augustine and the British plays a crucial role in Bede’s construction of the British as a heretical branch of the Church. Bede’s depiction of this tradition is entirely negative.731. Bede’s readers surely would have seen the parallel to the Augustinian narrative. The set narratives discussing the British response to Germanus healing a blind girl and Augustine healing a blind man form an interesting indictment. in the History. it must be used carefully when analyzing Celtic–Roman interactions. Once the British ecclesiastical leaders rejected Augustine’s call to unity in Church practices and a joint mission to convert the Anglo-Saxons. Therefore. Interestingly.40 Through preaching and teaching. the people fully abandoned false teachings. he portrays the invasion of Britain by the Saxons as a punishment from God for a multitude of sins. On the other. Bede believed that they refused to assist in the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. . in the first part of the History. in this case they rejected Augustine’s admonitions to adopt the Roman rite of baptism and the Victorian table. In many ways. over a hundred and thirty years after the arrival of Augustine’s mission. the History is more a secondary than primary source.43 While in the past the British had been able to see the errors of their ways.429. was successful thereby convincing all that he truly represented God. Germanus. while Bede’s History is an invaluable resource for the early medieval Church. after meeting with Augustine and even. Bede uses the British loss of territory and influence as examples of what happens to a tradition that rejects the truth. Bede includes the story of the failure of the Pelagians to heal a blind girl. Since the British knowingly discarded the truth and rejected Christ’s command to spread the Gospel.41 St. this was no longer the case. and wanting to remain true to the orthodox faith. they had repented. presents the British as defeating the AngloSaxons when they relied on God. On the one hand. While in the past. Bede’s presentation of the Britons is mixed. In addition. it was possible that before the arrival of Augustine the British were unaware of their error. This meant that he had to rely on surviving documents and oral traditions. admitting he was right. he was able to turn the people back to the truth. on the other hand. In addition.72 The Celtic and Roman Traditions c. However. Summary Therefore. at least according to the History. Bede finished his book in c. he includes stories of early martyrs. Bede had no sympathy for them. The British Church is only mentioned in passing from this point in the History always with the reminder that it used heretical practices. In the presence of such a miracle. humbly asking for assistance to combat the Pelagian heresy.

Thus even with his limited sources. both tables were listing “dark” Easters and symbolically denying the need for Christ’s grace. the Victorian table advocated Easter dates as late as luna 24. when the Victorian table listed March 22 as the correct Easter.2. According to the Victorian table. Along with the theological problems. there were practical ones as well. From the point of view of those using the Celtic-84 table. An additional problem occurred in 604. For those referencing the Celtic-84.620 73 they were punished by God and marginalized within the History. all evidence points to the fact that he would have advocated the Victorian table since Rome did not adopt the Dionysian until sometime in the 630s.44 If Columbanus’ comments condemning the Victorian table can be used as evidence for the general attitude in the Irish and British Churches. Unity in Easter dating and fourteen weeks of the liturgical calendar would have been important to ensure that the newly established Anglo-Saxon Churches were not immersed in controversy. each table was listing dates that were controversial to the supporters of the other table. it is not too surprising that the British ecclesiastics were unwilling to adopt a table they saw as poorly calculated. Bede may have omitted any positive information he had on this branch and minimized its role within Anglo-Saxon England in order to ensure that his model of the disobedient people was not damaged. three days before the Celtic-84 equinox of March 25. the Celtic-84 was listing dates as early as luna 12. adopting the Victorian table that had listed two Easter dates in the past and would do so again was not a good solution to the problem. Therefore. As can be seen in table 2.British Church to c. The Issues of Controversy Easter Although Bede is careful not to identify which table Augustine used. Augustine wanted the British Church to assist with the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. Baptism One of the more perplexing aspects of Bede’s presentation of the confrontation between Augustine and the British bishops is the report that Augustine . For Augustine and his supporters. abandoning the table used at Rome for one followed by only a handful of regions was clearly out of the question.

For instance. it should be assumed .45 Unfortunately. Therefore.47 If the British Church did not include the second anointing.74 The Celtic and Roman Traditions wanted the British to “complete” the baptism rite according to Roman and apostolic practice. his silence is telling. in the rite used at Rome the initiate was anointed twice. One possible explanation for the absence of controversy is that the liturgy in question was used by only a small portion of the British Church and then abandoned soon after the meeting with Augustine. Pope Gregory encouraged Augustine to adopt a combination of practices from Rome and Gaul that would fit the new Anglo-Saxon Church. but the second unction and laying on of hands through which the candidate received the Holy Spirit could only be administered by a bishop. Some historians point to the possibility that episcopal confirmation of the baptismal candidate may not have been included in the British version of the ceremony.46 As far as can be reconstructed. he approved of the Visigothic Church immersing the candidate once during baptism. All this is complicated by the fact that there are no other reported instances of conflict over the British rite. Augustine may have been concerned that it would confuse the newly founded Anglo-Saxon Christian communities to practice two different forms of baptism. Bede seems not to have known what was wrong with the British liturgy because he provides no details in the History. the Welsh were not in favor of the adoption of Roman practices. Certainly if it was missing a crucial element such as the bestowal of the Holy Spirit.49 However. leaving the ceremony incomplete. The problem with this theory is that. The first could be performed by a priest. It is easy to imagine questions arising over whether the initiate had received the Holy Spirit if some were anointed only once and others underwent a second anointing with laying on of hands by a bishop.48 Historians have highlighted the fact that Gregory was very open to liturgical diversity. This is especially true if the British and Irish used the same liturgy since the Irish were instrumental in the conversion of parts of Anglo-Saxon England. it can be assumed that additional disputes would have arisen. Since such information would have strengthened his case against the British. it appears somewhat out of character for them to have quickly adopted a new liturgy. Augustine might have argued that those baptized within this tradition had not received the Holy Spirit. Any analysis of Bede’s story is complicated by the fact that there are no surviving descriptions of the British rite of baptism in this period. In the Libellus Responsionum. at least when it came to Easter. even though in Rome it was done three times. Another possibility is that there was nothing seriously wrong with the British rite and it was simply the circumstances of the Gregorian mission that caused Augustine to demand that the British use the Roman liturgy.

the presence of Irish. If the use of a single baptismal liturgy was considered crucial in mission areas.620 75 that neither the pope nor Augustine would have advocated a variation of central practices. the absence of continuing conflict leads to the conclusion that the British rite of baptism cannot be viewed as a Celtic distinctive that differed in some significant way from the liturgies in use on the Continent.54 In addition. The major critique to this hypothesis is that it does not account for the lack of a similar debate elsewhere in the Anglo-Saxon Church. that the bishop was required to complete the ceremony. parts of the Merovingian Church may have used a rite that omitted this. but the only recorded disagreements centered on Easter dating and the tonsure. but it should use a rite which was similar to all the other churches founded by the Roman missionaries. However. If Bede’s report of the meetings between Augustine and the British is correct. It was only after the Carolingian reforms of the late eighth century. Reconstructions of the Gallican liturgy suggest that the officiant. For instance. Roman.53 If these reconstructions are correct and if Augustine’s disapproval with the British liturgy stemmed from the absence of any episcopal element in the ceremony. Gallic.50 The theory that there was nothing inherently wrong with the British rite is strengthened by the possibility that many areas of the Western Church did not include the episcopal anointing and laying on of hands in the baptismal liturgy. anointed the candidate once who thus received the Holy Spirit.51 For instance. There is not enough proof to state that the Irish and British used the same ceremony or even that all of . diversity in Easter dating and the baptism ceremony were not acceptable.52 It has also been suggested that the oldest surviving Irish and Visigothic liturgies did not mandate episcopal participation. and British ecclesiastics in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms should have triggered additional discussion. The church at Canterbury could have a liturgy that differed from that at Rome. he was willing to allow them some leeway in following their own practices. be he priest or bishop.55 This somewhat undermines the idea that the Gallic and Irish rites did not have an episcopal element. within the English Church itself. However. with the adoption of the Roman rite. it can be assumed that Augustine would have requested that the Frankish clergy participating in the mission as well as the British use the Roman rite. Anglo-Saxon sources from the mid-seventh to early eighth centuries which discuss baptism usually include the need for episcopal confirmation. It is impossible to make many definitive statements about the British baptismal liturgy because of the lack of evidence. such as the rite of baptism. Northumbria was converted by Roman and Irish missionaries. All evidence demonstrates that Canterbury’s liturgy was profoundly influenced by the Roman one.British Church to c.

59 This information is incorrect because it is known that Paulinus.” confusion could have arisen regarding Rhun’s participation in the baptism. First. In this dichotomy between civilized and uncivilized. In addition. even without being able to identify the specific problem with the British liturgy. compiled c. as the Anglo-Saxons began their takeover of Britain.60 However. his godfather.56 Certainly it appears that at least portions of these kingdoms were converted in the sixth century.62 Therefore. it is probable that the conflict between the British churchmen and Augustine was influenced to some extent by the specific circumstances of the Gregorian mission. However.1). being a civilized Roman meant being a Christian. bishop of Northumbria. set them apart from their invaders. Bede’s condemnation of the British Church came from his belief that they did nothing to bring Christianity to the pagan Anglo-Saxons. However. archaeology and topography suggest that British Christian communities may have been responsible for converting Anglo-Saxons in the kingdoms of Hwicce and Magonsæte (map 4. Rhun may have acted as Edwin’s baptism sponsor. some historians would argue that the possible reconstructions of the British liturgy are very similar to the Gallican and Irish rites. in the West Midlands. even though the tradition has become distorted. baptized Edwin. it points to links between Rheged and Northumbria in this early period.63 It must also be . usually identified as the king of Rheged. Christianity became a defining characteristic of the British that. historians point to elusive evidence that the British may have been more involved than Bede believed. in other words. states that the Northumbrian king Edwin (617–33) was baptized by Rhun. First. part of the cultural identity of the British may have been their Christianity. it was limited for a number of reasons.57 Another interesting piece of evidence comes from the ninth-century Historia Brittonum or the History of the Britons.58 This document.1). a northern British kingdom (map 4.76 The Celtic and Roman Traditions the British churches were united in their practice.830. If this statement in the History reflects any historical truth. like language and history. Conversion Issues Along with using the Celtic-84 Easter table. Roman and barbarian. even before the arrival of the Gregorian mission in Kent.61 While there is some evidence for the participation of the British Church in the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. thereby including the British practice within a much wider tradition than simply the Celtic. son of Urien. by the late Roman Empire. As the same Latin word was used for both “baptizer” and “sponsor.

It seems highly unlikely that the Anglo-Saxon kings would have welcomed any religious overtures from the defeated Britons who were peasants or slaves in their kingdoms. His protection and support of Augustine would have certainly worried the British ecclesiastics. This association could be found through Christianity. it does not appear that Christianity would be a very attractive religion.69 From their point of view. Looking at the status of the Britons under Anglo-Saxon control. That as well may have influenced their decision not to convert the pagan tribes. Anglo-Saxon kings respected religions that could provide success. The new Anglo-Saxon Church appears to have made every effort to separate from its defeated neighbors and present itself as securely tied into the heritage of Rome. one at London and the other at York. to persuade the Anglo-Saxon rulers to convert. Bede remarks that Augustine was able to arrange the first meeting with the British clergy through the help of King Æthelberht of Kent. Ironically.66 In the oldest of the AngloSaxon kingdoms. therefore.65 Pope Gregory’s letter to King Æthelberht praises him as a new Constantine. the British bishops did fall under his jurisdiction. were being asked to acknowledge Augustine’s authority and help establish a Church whose administrative focus would be in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. The British. In addition. they were being asked to . but only the Christianity of successful rulers like those in Merovingian Gaul or the old Roman heartlands. just as the British may have found some level of cultural unity by emphasizing their Roman past. Thus both of the metropolitan sees in the Church would be located in Anglo-Saxon areas. especially military victories. the Anglo-Saxons also sought to identify with Rome. The pope replied that although Augustine had no authority in Gaul.67 Jurisdiction and Authority Augustine wrote to Pope Gregory questioning Canterbury’s relationship to the Frankish and British Churches.68 Pope Gregory envisioned that the English Church would be divided between two metropolitan bishops. Even had the Britons attempted to convert the Anglo-Saxons rulers before the arrival of missionaries from Rome or Iona. representing the memories of imperial power. one of the most powerful Anglo-Saxon monarchs at that time. it is easy to see why they would have been unsuccessful in areas where the Anglo-Saxons were dominant. Each of these bishops would have twelve bishops under their authority.British Church to c. it would take outsiders.620 77 remembered that the Anglo-Saxons were the enemies of the Britons.64 It may have been different between those in the independent British kingdoms and their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. but the legacy of conflict would have complicated this as well.

how long does a woman need to wait until she can enter a church?77 Meens has argued that these questions arise not from contact with pagan Anglo-Saxons.73 Columbanus believed that if both the supporters of the Victorian table and the Celtic-84 were to humbly submit to God.72 Because Augustine remained seated as the British arrived. argues that a woman can enter a church immediately after giving .”80 Gregory. Augustine had been given the power to perform miracles by God for the salvation of the Anglo-Saxons.76 Purity Issues In his Libellus Responsionum. This story of authority resting in the humble leader evidences possible parallels between Columbanus and the British churchmen. The message of this letter fits within Gregory’s emphasis on the need for all Church leaders to be humble and avoid the sin of conceit.71 Bede’s explanation of why the British rejected Augustine rests partially on the story of the holy man and his advice to follow only a humble leader. while Gregory clearly used symbolic meanings.75 The pope cautions the bishop to be very mindful of the temptation of pride. in Leviticus it states that a woman is unclean after giving birth and must wait thirty-three days if the child is a boy. after giving birth. but from British churchmen. Gregory answered Augustine’s questions about ritual purity: can a woman enter a church and receive communion while she is menstruating. on the other hand.74 Thus it was the humble contemplative who would be able to clearly discern the truth. and sixty-six days if a girl before she can undergo the ritual of purification and once again be “clean. but his pride meant that the British could not be sure he truly spoke God’s will. The ability to heal a sick man was a good sign.79 For instance.78 He believes that the British and Irish literally interpreted the Old Testament on these issues. Augustine needed to prove his legitimacy. can a man who has had intercourse and not washed himself receive communion.78 The Celtic and Roman Traditions submit not so much to Augustine or to Rome. but to the Anglo-Saxons. All this is interesting in light of a letter from Pope Gregory to Augustine preserved in Bede’s History. but remember that all his accomplishments were due to God’s grace and support. Since the British were faced with the decision of whether or not to acknowledge Augustine’s authority and to adopt a table they saw as celebrating a dark Easter. Therefore he should not boast in himself.70 The British bishops may well have feared that acknowledging Augustine’s religious authority would come with secular political ties to the people who had been slowly conquering their land for over a hundred and fifty years. they would be able to determine which tradition was correct. they knew that his demands could not truly reflect the will of God.

It was because of this that Laurence and his fellow bishops decided to write a letter to the Irish to warn them to adopt Catholic customs.84 Remembering that Æthelberht’s wife was Frankish.British Church to c. and Justus (604–24) of Rochester to the Irish Church. this would help shed light on other areas of disagreement between Augustine and the British ecclesiastics. even after Augustine’s condemnation. Bede next adds that Laurence sent a similar letter to the Britons but was unsuccessful in convincing them to abandon their alternative practices. demonstrate that Canterbury was still attempting to exercise pastoral care over the British. Conclusion In the early seventh century.81 If Augustine raised these issues due to contact with British churchmen or those converted by the British. others point to the Frankish influence on the Kentish Church as a better source for these questions. however.620 79 birth. The letter does. Stancliffe has argued that Caesarius of Arles used a literal interpretation of the Old Testament when he discussed many of these same issues in his sermons. Neither the British churchmen nor Columbanus were willing to abandon the Celtic-84 due to the problems with . Without the actual text of the letter. Letter of Bishop Laurence of Canterbury to the British In the History. Mellitus of London (604–19). it seems just as likely that these questions could have arisen in response to interaction with Franks rather than Britons. they learned that the Irish did as well. it is impossible to assess Laurence’s arguments or the issues that concerned him.85 Laurence writes that it was not until after he and his colleagues had arrived in Britain that they realized the British followed alternative practices. and that Augustine himself had Frankish priests assisting him.83 For instance. Bede adds that Laurence believed that the British and Irish differed from the Church in many ways and that the Celtic-84 was a major problem. Somewhat later. that she had Frankish churchmen accompany her to Kent. controversy over Easter dating arose in both Britain and on the Continent. Although not included in the verbatim portion of the recorded letter. Bede preserved part of a letter from Bishops Laurence (604/10–19) of Canterbury.82 While this theory has been supported by some historians.

Canterbury’s leadership came with too many strings attached. Unlike Merovingian Gaul. First. this cannot be defined as a practice of the Celtic tradition or micro-Christendom as a whole. if the latter. it is not too surprising that the British once again refused to abandon the Celtic table. in the oldest areas of Anglo-Saxon settlement. Second. Second. needed to die for humanity’s salvation. First. For the British. Contrary to Bede’s claims. That this issue does not arise again implies that either only a small group of the British used this rite and it was quickly abandoned or it was simply circumstances that created the controversy during this period. It is within this framework that the differences between the Roman and British rites of baptism may have been critical. Examining Gildas’ writings. the Anglo-Saxons were still primarily pagan and the Anglo-Saxon Church was in its infancy. especially those to the west and north. As such it could not afford to be divided by disputes and doubts over varying practices. the British were concerned that Augustine’s pride might harm his ability to correctly lead the Church. if Bede’s information is correct. the kings and their courts would not be open to a God presented by those they had defeated. Bede only mentions Easter. it does not appear to have been a matter of significant dispute. It is also important to keep in mind the reasons that the British ecclesiastics would not acknowledge Augustine’s authority. Third. the British regarded themselves as a chosen people fighting against God’s enemies. Augustine advocated an Easter table the British saw as incorrect and harmful to the Church. Since Canterbury would still have been advocating the Victorian table at this point. Laurence’s letter demonstrates that Canterbury’s overtures to the British continued even after Augustine’s death. If the former. the Light of the World. . Those following the Celtic-84 believed that the Victorian table listed a “dark” Easter by placing the equinox too early and allowing Easter to fall late in the moon’s cycle. Christianity may have been used as one element identifying the British in opposition to the Anglo-Saxons. It is impossible to tell whether there was something theologically questionable about the British liturgy. On the other hand. Both of these issues symbolically denied that Christ. but the unspecified alternative practices might have included baptism as well. the British Church may well have participated in the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons in some areas. missions may have been limited for a number of reasons. his support of an Easter table that listed dark Easters might have been the best evidence of this. the British feared political and ecclesiastical Anglo-Saxon control.80 The Celtic and Roman Traditions the Victorian table.

Ireland was soon embroiled as well. he and the others held the British and Irish in high regard.Chapter 5 The Irish Church to 640 While Columbanus and his successors were interacting with the Merovingian and Lombard Churches. Laurence continues that only later did they learn from Bishop Dagán and Columbanus that the Irish also used divergent practices. . Laurence’s Letter to Ireland The earliest primary document concerned with the Easter controversy in Ireland is a letter from Laurence (604/610–19). and Justus (604–24). The Irish Church never lost touch with trends on the Continent and as the controversy over Easter increased in Merovingian Gaul. However. bishop of London. Mellitus (604–19). Laurence states that before he left Rome. Iona did not abandon the Celtic-84 until the early eighth century. The process of change in Ireland was slow and far from monolithic. transformation was occurring in Ireland.1 Laurence and his fellow bishops were part of the mission sent to Anglo-Saxon England by Pope Gregory. and the Roman mission was facing problems in Anglo-Saxon England. bishop of Rochester to the bishops and abbots in Ireland. Unfortunately when Bede decided to include this document in his History. they discovered that the British did not follow the customs of the universal Church. he quoted only the first part of the letter and did not include Canterbury’s argument against the Celtic-84. however. once they arrived in England. While most of the southern Irish Churches switched to the Victorian table in the early 630s. bishop of Canterbury.

some historians argued that Sillán learned the . may demonstrate that Columbanus was not the only Irish ecclesiastic who disagreed with the use of the Victorian table. as reported by Laurence. scholar and abbot of Bangor. Bede makes no mention of baptism or the tonsure and provides no information on why Canterbury chose to write to the Irish or who specifically received the letter. it demonstrates that by the early seventh century at least some of the Irish considered use of the Victorian table a heretical issue.2 The fact that Dagán refused to even eat in the same room with his counterparts implies that he may have believed that Laurence and his associates were heretics. when Dagán visited them. underscoring the importance of correct Easter dating to the Irish Church. was the first of the Irish who learned the computus by heart from a certain learned Greek. In the past. Lawrence and his companions may have crossed paths with Columbanus while traveling back and forth between Rome and the AngloSaxon kingdoms. Computus of Bangor Another document usually associated with the Easter controversy in Ireland is a fragment of text bound into an eighth-century copy of the Gospel of Matthew. These are important omissions that complicate understanding the full ramifications of the letter. For instance in 601.3 If this is why Dagán refused the hospitality of the Anglo-Saxon bishops. it is logical that Laurence was aware of the Irish use of the Celtic-84 and the problems with this table. As mentioned earlier. it must be emphasized that there is no way to know exactly why Dagán refused to eat with the other bishops. abbot of Bangor.4 This demonstrates that Laurence would have been in Gaul at a time when Columbanus and the Burgundian bishops were arguing over the correct Easter dating. However. Gregory sent letters to a number of Merovingian bishops and King Theuderic and Brunhild asking them to provide Laurence and his party with any needed assistance. It states that “Mo-Sinu maccu Min. Bede states that though the Irish varied from the universal Church in many ways.”5 Mo-Sinu maccu Min is Sillán (sinlanus). Dagán’s behavior. he refused to eat in the same house with the Anglo-Saxon bishops.82 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Furthermore. Church legislation forbid contact between the orthodox and those holding heretical opinions. Laurence emphasized Easter dating. Laurence’s letter demonstrates that even after the meeting with Augustine and the British bishops in c. who died in 610. Therefore.600. However. Canterbury remained involved in the controversy over the alternative Celtic practices.

This practice had been condemned at the Council of Nicaea in 325. which had appeared amongst the Irish. As well.”10 The Quartodecimans were those who believed that Easter should always be celebrated on Passover (luna 14) no matter the day of the week. Columbanus was also from this same monastery and he clearly supported the Celtic-84. It has recently been argued that this fragment does not refer to a specific Easter table. Bede was always at pains to explain that the Irish were not technically Quartodecimans because they only celebrated on luna 14 if it was a Sunday. but with Honorius’. this document does not report that Bangor accepted the Dionysian table before the rest of Ireland.7 Comparing the whole passage to information contained in Bede’s The Reckoning of Time suggests that this fragment describes a method of finger calculation using Greek letters and symbols to represent numbers. this papal letter was the first time Rome linked the Celtic-84 and heretical practices. but a more general method of calculation. . or gamma is three and so on until “I” when the numbers increase by tens or hundreds. while “T” is three hundred.8 For instance “A” or alpha is one.The Irish Church to 640 83 Dionysian table making Bangor the first of the Irish churches to adopt this Easter calculation. Pope Honorius’ Letter to the Irish Church The only mention of this letter is found in Bede’s History. the papacy had long since switched to the Dionysian. in the Greater Chronicle. It should also be emphasized that as far as the surviving sources demonstrate.9 When discussing papal letters. . Bede would not have wanted to include a letter from the papacy advocating an Easter table considered incorrect by his eighth-century audience.731.6 However. Bede states that “. “B” or beta is two. He may have done this to keep the reader ignorant of the pope’s support of the Victorian table. he simply summarized the arguments. there is no evidence of Bangor using the Dionysian table until much later. In addition. rather it suggests that this community used one of a number of finger calculation methods. It is thus very interesting that Bede decided to just paraphrase Honorius’ letter and did not include this accusation in the History. Bede usually quotes at least a portion of the text. Just as Jonas had to mask the fact that Columbanus had supported the Celtic-84 in his Life of Columbanus. so “K” is twenty. composed about six years before the History. . By the time that Bede was writing in c. Therefore. In the History. Pope Honorius condemned in a letter the Quartodeciman error concerning the observance of Easter.

Cummian’s Letter on the Paschal Controversy One of the most important sources for the adoption of the Victorian table by Irish Churches is a letter by Cummian. It is also known that the Irish were in contact with their brethren on the Continent. and Béccán. but interaction between Rome and Bobbio may provide the context for its composition. First. a hermit. it seems likely that his letter should be dated to c. He may have reasoned that since the Columbanian houses had adopted the Victorian table. an Irish abbot or possibly bishop. Cummian gives details about the start of the Easter controversy in the late 620s and the decision by some of the churches in southern Ireland to adopt the Victorian table.84 The Celtic and Roman Traditions According to Bede. Dating Cummian’s letter does not include any mention of the year in which it was written. Therefore. abbot of Iona.12 The Columbanian tradition abandoned the Celtic-84 in 627. the Irish churchmen might be open to change as well. and their associated monasteries celebrated Easter using the Victorian table. The Irish should not assume that they were “wiser than the ancient and modern Churches of Christ scattered throughout the earth. Also in that year. Bobbio. It is only by using internal clues and some outside events that historians can narrow its composition to an approximate date.628. Bede did not include a date for Honorius’ letter. Most historians agree that the arrival of Honorius’ letter in 628 triggered this change.”11 Instead they should adopt a Paschal table sanctioned by the rest of the Church. Honorius advised the Irish that they were observing Easter at the wrong time. some churches in Ireland abandoned the Celtic-84. Cummian reports that three years before composing his letter. He then warned against the sin of pride.14 In this letter. making 628 the first year Luxeuil. The adoption of the .13 This proves that Honorius was aware and interested in what was happening in the British Isles. He also provides arguments on why the Celtic-84 should be abandoned. The pope also wrote a series of letters in the late 620s to the royal court in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. It is possible that this is when Honorius learned that the Irish Church used the Celtic-84. representatives from Bobbio were at the papal court to receive a papal privilege releasing them from local episcopal control. to Ségéne (623–58).

abbot of Iona. synodical rulings. not his resurrection should be associated with this day. Thus.19 . the Celtic-84 and Victorian tables were in agreement in 629. Cummian responded to these accusations by composing a letter to Ségéne and the hermit Béccán. However. the evidence leads to the conclusion that some of the Irish Churches used the Victorian table in 629. the Church fathers. he demonstrates the errors of the Celtic-84 and argues that this table is the one with heretical overtones.16 In 632. Cummian states that he did not accept the Victorian table the first year it was kept in Ireland (629).15 Cummian relates in his letter that Ségéne (623–52). As the two tables agreed in 632 there would have been extra time to ensure all the communities had copies of the new table.1). In this. While they were in Rome. This would have eased the transition to the new table. and Origen all of which affirm that Passover should be celebrated on luna 14 and the Feast of Unleavened Bread from luna 15 to 21. If Christ is the Passover lamb then his death. He encourages Ségéne to adopt the Victorian table in order to celebrate Easter at the same time as the rest of the Church.632.18 From the Book of Questions he adds the information that Easter cannot fall on luna 14 or 15 because if Christ died on luna 14. he studied ten different Easter tables for a full year and then called a synod at Mag Léne to discuss the fact that they followed a table different from that used at Rome (630).The Irish Church to 640 85 Victorian table by the Columbanian tradition in c. was accusing those who used the Victorian table of heresy. He then includes passages from Jerome. the Easter dates listed in the Victorian and Celtic-84 differed by almost a month. Instead. “a short time after this” some began to question this decision and representatives were sent to Rome to ensure that the Victorian table was truly used (631). “In the third year” the representatives returned and some of the southern Irish upheld their decision to follow the Victorian Easter. then his resurrection did not occur until luna 16. Ambrosiaster. and ten different Easter tables during a year of studying the controversy.627 likely caused debate in Ireland as well. In addition. Arguments in the Letter Cummian writes that he consulted Scripture. The Celtic-84 and Victorian dates for Easter were one month apart in 631 so this fits with Cummian’s narrative (table 3. All agreed that they should bow to the wisdom of the Apostolic See and adopt the Victorian table.17 He begins his arguments by quoting Old Testament verses about Passover emphasizing that luna 14 is a day of sacrifice. Other clues help to confirm this date. This would mean that Cummian’s letter should be dated to approximately c.

and Gregory the Great on this subject. the whole world errs. assigned luna 14–20 to the Passion. and luna 16–22 to the Resurrection. and Alexandria—should be excommunicated.23 He refers to the Council of Nicaea and the Synod of Arles. He protests Ségéne’s heresy accusation adding that he supports the heir of Peter. “He who curses his father or mother shall be put to death” and then adds “what. both of which confirmed that all churches must celebrate Easter on the same day. Cyprian.25 As with Columbanus. Jerusalem. Jerusalem errs.”27 In another section of his letter. Cummian next turns to the New Testament and uses the Gospels to demonstrate that Passover and Christ’s death occurred on luna 14. Cummian reinforces the issue of Church unity by including passages from Augustine. Antioch.29 It can be assumed that Ségéne used a similar argument since Cummian states that the abbot praised Anatolius. The same cannot be said for Ségéne and others like him who refuse to adopt the Victorian table.28 A detailed analysis of each table is unnecessary for this study. He quotes from the Council of Antioch (341) where it was decreed that those who disobeyed the rulings of the Apostolic Sees—namely Rome.86 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Cummian incorrectly thought that Jerome wrote the Book of Questions and Irish evidence shows that he was not alone in this misunderstanding.22 Cummian also included information from Church councils. including that in the East. Anatolius . Antioch errs. Cummian claims the entire Church.26 To deviate from the Easter table endorsed by the rest of the Church is heretical and places one outside of the body of Christ. and that he was resurrected on luna 16. Jerome.24 Therefore. the supporters of the Celtic-84 need to be leery lest they fall outside the faith of the universal Church. more evil can be thought about Mother Church than if we say Rome errs.21 Therefore the supporters of both tables claimed to have the support of Jerome. By allowing Easter to fall on luna 14 the Celtic-84 implies that Christ’s death happened on luna 12. Cummian claims that Anatolius never supported an 84-year Easter table. luna 15–21 to the Sepulchre. First. He adds that those who used the Celtic-84 in the past did not know they were in error. Cummian analyzes ten Easter tables.30 Both Cummian and Columbanus are partially right. but two important points need to be addressed. whom Jerome held in high regard. that he lay in the tomb on luna 15. the Irish and British alone know what is right. Cummian quotes Leviticus 20:9.20 Columbanus had argued that Jerome advocated a lunar range of 14–20. Alexandria errs. One of Columbanus’ main arguments in favor of luna 14–20 was his belief that it had been sanctioned by Anatolius. This is before Passover and denies not only the historical accuracy of the New Testament but the idea that Christ came to fulfill the Law and establish the new covenant. then.

the Victorian table. he also believed that his calculations could fit within a nineteen-year cycle. the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. scholars were studying different Easter tables. But Easter. and Nicene tables.The Irish Church to 640 87 did sanction lunar limits of 14–20 and argued that the Easter full moon could not fall before the equinox. Victorian. historians have no solid explanation for why Cummian believed he followed the Nicene table. While Columbanus’ letters outlined the major complaints against Victorious’ table by the Celtic-84 supporters.32 It is possible that his “Nicene” table listed the Victorian dates. neither the Celtic-84 nor the Victorian table aligned with the criteria Anatolius established for Easter dating. Cummian believed he was using the Nicene. the Church fathers. This denied Christ’s identification as the Passover lamb who died for the sins of the world and casts into doubt his claim that he came not to overthrow the Law but to fulfill it. The Victorian and Dionysian were in agreement during the 620s and 630s so it is understandable that some kind of merger of the Dionysian materials with the Victorian could have occurred. or the exact materials he was referencing. Cummian’s argument allows for luna 14 to remain important as it is the day of Christ’s passion. rather than the Resurrection. something the Victorian table allowed.31 Therefore. Dionysian. . and Rome was being consulted when a unanimous decision could not be reached. he provides support from Scriptures. however this council never advocated a specific table. Summary Cummian’s letter is crucial evidence of the Easter controversy in Ireland. By celebrating the Resurrection on luna 14. Cummian believed the supporters of the Celtic-84 were heretical because they celebrated Easter on the date of Christ’s death. Another interesting point about this list is that Cummian mentions the Dionysian. However. they placed the Passion on luna 12 before Passover. luna 14. On the other hand. It shows that regional synods were held. but the specifics he provides are clearly from the Victorian table. luna 16. He tells Ségéne that Nicaea should be obeyed. What can be said with certainty is that Cummian advocated a nineteen-year cycle with a lunar range of 16–20. and synodical decrees to demonstrate why his table is correct. but was accompanied by some of the documentation that normally circulated with the Dionysian leading Cummian to conclude that there were three tables: the Victorian. Like Columbanus. and some combination of the two that he thought was the Nicene. Cummian provides the opposite perspective. should only occur between luna 16 and 22. in other words.

Synod of Mag nAilbe Another document that may apply to the Easter controversy of this period is the Life of Fintán. Unfortunately for historians. Cummian’s letter attests to the fact that part of the justification for using the Victorian table was that it was followed in Rome. clearly implying that the saint would prevail in each challenge. emphasized the need for unity. Therefore no specific . they could throw a copy of the Celtic Easter table and a copy of the Roman one into the fire and see which one did not burn.”36 His statement may be alluding to the papal letter by Honorius or simply the adoption of the Victorian table by some of the Irish Church. The Life records that Fintán offered Laisrén. Some historians also have suggested that Fintán may have attended the earlier synod at Mag Léne because his monastery was located in the same general location and his Life attests that he had ties to the monastery at Iona. Having said this. The Life states that at the Synod of Mag nAilbe.37 First. including Rome. however. the narrative about the Synod at Mag nAilbe was included in the Life not to discuss the merits of the Celtic-84 table. they could each choose one monk. In the Life. Laisrén responds that Fintán was so loved by God that his prayers would be immediately answered. abbot of Leighlin and supporter of the Victorian table. the synod must have occurred no later than this. Whichever monk survived would determine the table God wanted them to use. but as a set piece to show how other Church leaders honored Fintán.88 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Cummian.800. Those who used a table different from Rome were outside of Mother Church and were endangering their very salvation. the synod dismissed. For Cummian. Fintán argued against the “new order which had recently come from Rome. Second. much like Columbanus. probably composed in c. those who used the Celtic-84 also violated the authority given to the Apostolic Sees. place the two in a house and set it on fire.34 As Fintán was abbot of Taghmon in Co. The last option was to raise a holy monk from the dead and see which table he supported. a choice of three tests to determine God’s judgment regarding the correct tradition.33 This text states that Fintán attended a synod at Mag nAilbe where the Easter tables were debated. Wexford until his death in c.636.35 All this fits well with Cummian’s evidence of an increasing debate over the correct Easter table in the 630s. Diversity with regard to Easter was unacceptable because the Church needed to be united in the celebration of its most important festival.

As those associated with this first synod began to adopt the Victorian table. First.40 There are a few possible reasons that a synod might have been called to discuss Easter dating in the late 630s. Díma. abbot of Iona and Saran who may have been a scholar. Crónán. bishop of Bangor. In fact. In his History. all of these communities are located in the north of Ireland (see map 5. Since this is the only record of the synod. Ernene. easing the switch to a new “order. It would make sense to place it just after the events Cummian relates in his letter. bishop of Nendrum. bishop of Devenish. abbot of Leighlin. John states that his predecessor. had received “writings” brought by Irish envoys regarding the dispute over Easter. and Iona. because John refers to himself as pope-elect and therefore must have written his letter between August and December 640. bishop of Clonard. it seems logical that the synod at Mag nAilbe occurred in 633 or 634. Clonard. Ségéne. Keeping this in mind. Given that Laisrén appears in the Life of Fintán as a supporter of the Victorian table. He was not constructing this narrative to provide convincing arguments for the Celtic-84.The Irish Church to 640 89 arguments for or against the Victorian table are included. Laisrén. Baetán. the actual decision of the synod is unclear from the narrative. but rather a regional one.38 Although Bede did not include a date. it is difficult to determine when it occurred. It is not impossible that Laisrén was asked to attend Mag nAilbe to clarify what arguments had convinced those at Mag Léne to sanction the Victorian table.” Letter from Pope John to the Irish Church There is evidence of one additional Irish synod convened in c. His letter is specifically addressed to a number of churchmen who have been tentatively identified as Tómíne. this letter can be firmly dated to 640. bishop of Armagh. Crónán.1). Severinus. Also in 635 the Easter tables would be in agreement. Bede included two excerpts of a letter from Pope John to the Irish Church. it may have triggered other regional synods. The author of the Life was attempting to prove that Fintán was a saint and that his opinion was well respected. The Synod of Mag Léne was not an Irelandwide council. The fact that Cummian addressed his letter to Ségéne shows that the abbot of Iona had been involved in the dispute since the early 630s.39 Excluding Leighlin. abbot of Tory Island. the combination of both the . this southern abbot may have been at the council to present arguments against the Celtic-84.640 to discuss the Easter problem. abbot of Moville. Sillán. Columban. bishop of Connor.

the tables were listing dates that were particularly controversial between 636 and 640 (table 3.1). . In addition. the Victorian Easters occurred after luna 20 in four out of five years. For those looking at their Celtic tables. This was only compounded by the fact that the Easter dates were three to four weeks apart in 636 and 639.1 Ireland Columbanian communities and some of the Irish Churches adopting the Victorian table would have raised the level of controversy within Ireland.90 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Tory Island Connor Bangor Moville Nendrum Armagh Devenish Kells Tara Clonmacnois Clonfert Birr Durrow Leighlin Emly Kildare Clonfertmulloe Clonard Taghmon Cork Map 5. The Celtic-84 dates were often before luna 14 from the Victorian point of view.

Since Iona did not abandon the Celtic-84 until c. The fact that envoys were sent to Rome implies that there must have been supporters of both tables at the meeting and that a decision could not be reached. It should not be too surprising.640 because of the problems with the Victorian table. There may also have been some confusion about which Victorian date to use. Bede has included only two portions of John’s letter. Content of the Letter from Pope John Unfortunately. the Irish had already adopted the Victorian table in 640 and wrote to inform Rome that they planned to celebrate on April 1. Therefore. the Celtic-84 created a new variation of this heresy. It seems likely that John’s accusation that the Irish were “making a new heresy out of an old one” is a condemnation of the Celtic-84 and its 14–20 lunar range. A major problem with this theory is that one of the recipients of John’s letter was Ségéne. Since the papacy had just recently abandoned . Thus this is evidence that the papacy had switched to the Dionysian table.The Irish Church to 640 91 In addition to these issues.716. he calculated it as luna 15. saw that this was luna 14 and therefore believed they were Quartodecimans. it was actually luna 14. By allowing Easter to occasionally occur on luna 14. As mentioned. in 641 and 645 the Victorian table would once again list two dates. It has also been suggested that John may have been accusing the Victorian table of adhering to the same heresy. This would have added to the confusion. that a council was called. As mentioned. John says that he read the documents brought by the Irish delegation and found that parts of the Irish Church “were attempting to revive a new heresy out of an old one” by celebrating Easter on luna 14 with the Jews. A date of c. While the Victorian and Dionysian tables had been in agreement for the past few decades.43 When Victorius listed April 1 as a possible Easter date in 641.41 Bede adds that John explained they should celebrate between luna 15 and 21. the theory goes. then. However.639 could work for this council since in 641 the Celtic-84 and the “Greek” date on the Victorian table would agree. it seems more likely the Irish ecclesiastics had written about both the Victorian and Celtic-84 tables. The pope looked at his Dionysian tables. in 641 the Victorian table listed two dates. In the first. churches tended to switch the tables just before they were in agreement in order to ease the transition and minimize confusion.42 It is not surprising that the papacy would have switched to the Dionysian table c. the Church had condemned the Quartodecimans who celebrated Easter only on luna 14 regardless of the day of the week. Thus John is simply refining Honorius’ accusation that the Irish were Quartodecimans.

but before the one recognized as correct by the table itself.92 The Celtic and Roman Traditions the Victorian table. they would have known that its lunar range was 16–22 and occasionally 15–21. In addition. not the creation of a new heresy out of an old one. it is also possible that this heresy accusation was tied to the use of the Celtic-84 as well. Once alerted to the fact that their table was heretical. and 14—all dates that belonged to the darkness and symbolically implied that salvation could occur through human effort. on the true equinox. while the Victorian table is more often linked with Pelagianism.45 Writings by Bede and Ceolfrid of Jarrow demonstrate that the Victorian table was associated with Pelagianism because it allowed the full Paschal moon or luna 14 to fall before the equinox. The listing of April 1 as the correct Easter was simply a miscalculation. Therefore. In this case. Easter could fall no earlier than March 26. as Pelagius did. the Victorian table is not linked with the Quartodeciman heresy in any other document.47 . Both Cummian and Bede argued that before c. they had no excuse for continuing to use it. the Victorian table was flawed because it allowed Easter to be celebrated in the wrong month. It is interesting that the pope would refer to this as a new heresy. the “new heresy” would be only a decade old. More importantly.44 He reminds the Irish that to deny Christ’s grace. but luna 14 could occur as early as March 21. the Pelagian heresy had seen a recent resurgence in Ireland. The Celtic-84 also had problems on this issue. Pope John was linking the Pelagian heresy with the Easter controversy. and to argue that man can be saved by his own works is to reject the teachings of the universal Church and the witness of Scripture. the Celtic-84 was frequently listing Easter dates that the Dionysian table identified as luna 12.46 This is a problem because the full moon after the equinox signals that the new year has begun. According to the pope. If John was of the same opinion. he might have been referring to the papal letter from Honorius. Clearly. In this table. 13. since the Celtic-84 had been used for generations.630. the Irish could not be blamed for following the wrong table as they were unaware of their error. For those who followed the Dionysian table. To celebrate Easter in the last month of the year rather than the first would be to symbolically deny the need for Christ’s death and resurrection. Pelagianism and Easter The second passage of John’s letter is focused on Pelagianism. by the late 630s.

In c. Cummian. to celebrate two different Easters. Pope Honorius wrote to the Irish accusing them of being Quartodeciman heretics and due to this some immediately adopted the new table. the northern ecclesiastics sent envoys to the papacy for a ruling. Pope John responded with his advocacy of the Dionysian table. John condemned the Celtic-84 for creating a new heresy out of Quartodecimanism. In c. The Synod of Mag nAilbe may have occurred in 634 allowing for the change in 635. the Victorian and Celtic-84 tables listed the same date in 605 and 611. Ségéne.634. Soon after this. On the other hand. Conclusion Irish evidence points to the fact that the Easter controversy was in full swing within a few decades of its start on the Continent and in Britain.628. Finally. John supported neither the Celtic-84 nor the Victorian table but rather the Dionysian. Churchmen on all sides would not accept the use of two tables because matters of orthodoxy and unity were at stake. to diverge on up to eighteen weeks of Church feasts and fasts. The Irish envoys spent Easter 631 in Rome and Cummian’s letter followed soon after. some of . some northern Irish met in synod and requested a ruling from Rome on the correct table. the Synod of Mag Léne met to dispute the Victorian and Celtic Easters.630 while the tables listed identical Easters in 632. would rip apart the Church. Whether Laurence wrote his letter in 604 or 610.The Irish Church to 640 93 Summary The letter from Pope John to the Irish churchmen is evidence of the continuing Easter controversy in Ireland. The Columbanian houses probably switched to the Victorian table in 627 and the tables agreed in 628 and 629. Probably to the shock of those attending the synod. he dismissed the Victorian and possibly the Celtic table for reviving Pelagian concepts that undermined the need for Christ’s grace. it is possible that the Synod of Mag nAilbe as mentioned in the Life of Fintán occurred. Unable to reach a decision on which table to follow. The Synod of Mag Léne met in c. and Popes Honorius and John IV all included heresy accusations in their letters. While there could be diversity within monastic rules and aspects of the liturgy. The story of the Easter controversy to 640 in the Irish Church demonstrates that by the late 620s deviation in Easter dating had become a heretical issue. The various documents analyzed in this chapter also illustrate the fact that Church leaders often decided to solve the Easter dispute just before the tables were in agreement. In 639. In 630.

While some continued to follow the Celtic-84 even after the letters from Popes Honorius and John. this should not be interpreted as a sign that the “Celtic Church” did not recognize Rome’s authority. there was no overarching secular leader who could call a church council and enforce its decrees.94 The Celtic and Roman Traditions the leaders of the northern Irish Churches gathered in c. Unlike the individual Merovingian and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Another important aspect is the way in which the Church attempted to solve the dispute over Easter.48 Clearly in Ireland. it was possible to both disagree with Rome and honor its role as an Apostolic See. Thus the Irish Church recognized the papacy’s role as court of appeals. delegations were sent to Rome to consult with the papacy. However. When this was not possible. it is also true that one of those dates concurred with the Celtic-84 as well.639 probably due in part because the Victorian table listed two dates in 641. Like the rest of the Church of its day. provincial church councils were called to discuss each table’s merits and reach a unanimous decision. .

a Church administered by bishops would never accept one run by abbots. There were very important abbots. into sixty-seven books. However. It survives in ten continental manuscripts from the eighth to the eleventh century. a proper understanding of this period is important because it shatters the traditionally held beliefs about the Celtic Church. Much older scholarly and current popular literature argues that by the mid-seventh century. More recent studies have shown that abbots alone did not control the Irish Church. though it is clearly of Irish provenance.1 This shift remains one of the main pillars in the argument that the monastic Celtic Church was inherently at odds with the episcopally led Roman one. there are no documents originating from the Irish Church that focus directly on the Easter controversy.2 It is a practical summary of received wisdom. or so the theory goes. arranged by topic. Sources Collectio Canonum Hibernensis The Collectio Canonum Hibernensis (Hibernensis) or Irish Collection of Canons is a compilation of statements from the Scriptures. and other sources. the Church fathers.Chapter 6 The Irish Church after 640 After 640. there are clear indications that this continued to be a major issue.3 One of these manuscripts attributes . Ireland had transferred from a Church administered by bishops to one dominated by important abbots. ecclesiastical councils. In addition. but there were powerful bishops as well.

Patrick that purportedly were held during Patrick’s lifetime.6 All of these documents include Armagh’s arguments for why Patrick.5 The Hibernensis is important in that it allows the historian a glimpse into the biblical. written by Cogitosus. The Traditional Theory In popular books. Brigit of Kildare. this text must date to the early eighth century. two saint’s Lives survive.” come from conjectures that were originally proposed only for the Church in Ireland. many of the ideas associated with the “Celtic Church. archbishop of Canterbury and Adomnán (d. Late seventhcentury texts from Armagh include the Book of the Angel.10 Cogitosus used the Life to support his claim that Kildare should be an archbishopric with authority over all of Ireland. patristic. . is more firmly dated to the 670s or 680s. abbot of Iona. this was impossible in Ireland. There is tremendous disagreement about the date of the so-called First Life of St. Patrick by Muirchú.7 In addition. implying a split in the Irish Church. Therefore. Armagh and Kildare. While episcopal sees were usually located in urban centers. There are also records of the First and Second Synods of St. the Life of St. and synodical sources available in the early-eighth-century Irish Church. this document is a key source in the continuing Easter controversy during this period. and the Collectanea of Tírechán.4 If correct.9 The second Life. 690). The traditional theories argued that the Irish Church was radically different from the rest of Europe in part because Ireland had never been a part of the Roman Empire and thus did not have cities. 725) and Cú Chuimne of Iona (d. Brigit. respectively. and by extension his successors. 705).96 The Celtic and Roman Traditions the Hibernensis to Rubin of Dairinis (d. Material Associated with Patrick and Brigit A number of documents survive concerning Patrick. the eighth-century Old Irish Ríagail Phátraic or Rule of Patrick contains a very interesting description of the responsibilities of a bishop in the Irish Church. the Irish Church focused on rural monasteries rather than urban bishops. 747).8 From the circle of St. should have authority over the churches of Ireland. It also identifies some information as coming from either “Irish” or “Roman” synods. and their associated foundations. Therefore. but more likely reflect decisions of the sixth and seventh centuries. Brigit. The probability of this date is strengthened by the fact that the latest sources in the Hibernensis are from Theodore (d.

16 Therefore.The Irish Church after 640 97 The theory runs that although Patrick and his immediate successors established a Church headed by bishops. . For instance. princeps is used to describe someone who is the head of a church. the system failed by the late sixth or seventh century. Unfortunately for the bishops. Rather. the bishops could not compete with the dominant abbots.14 In this document.12 Thus. a princeps could be an abbot. it was the abbots of the major monastic networks who held the power and authority in the Irish Church. The Easter controversy was a part of this movement. Since the “Roman Church” was episcopally based. historians have been redefining what these words mean and this has led to new ideas. but they were under the jurisdiction of abbots.15 This variety holds true for many other Irish works from the seventh and eighth century. this was the model they wanted to bring back into Ireland. The bishops were not sidelined quietly. or groups of associated monasteries. This group attempted to regain power by advocating Roman authority and traditions. in the Hibernensis.” However. including saints’ Lives and biblical exegesis. the theory continued. Bishops still existed because of their specific pastoral duties. In the seventh century. while Ireland did eventually adopt the Dionysian table. however.”13 If they could convince their colleagues to acknowledge the authority of the papacy in Easter dating. In its place was an organization where abbots dominated the Church and monastic paruchiae. they banded together as the Romani or Roman party. princeps was usually interpreted to mean “abbot. No longer associated with a specific geographical area and without the resources and funds from their churches. It was not that these bishops saw differing Easter dates as a problem in and of itself. in the seventh century. reigned supreme. someone who was married with children.11 This development occurred because the bishops were limited to a specific geographic territory while the abbots were free to found daughter houses throughout Ireland establishing control and influence over much larger areas than any one bishop ruled. Over the past few decades. this was one step in imposing Roman practices on the monastic “Celtic Church. in the past. then they might be able to return the Irish Church to an episcopal structure. Some Terminology Confusion This older theory of Irish Church organization rested in part on some specific definitions of terms found in the Irish sources. or a bishop. the abbots were unwilling to give up their power and the unique organization of the Irish Church remained until the twelfth-century Norman reform.

an “abbas” was a title given to bishops. important monasteries established these networks of churches thereby controlling extensive territory throughout Ireland. monks who supervised monastic tenant farmers. Thus. disappeared. a paruchia was an area of ecclesiastical jurisdiction that usually was administered by a bishop. Therefore. its head or princeps might be an ordinary priest. abbots. but occasionally by an abbot or a nonclerical leader. “a small church might have only a very few monastic tenants and no monks proper. A familia “.21 Only once in the Hibernensis is a paruchiae mentioned in connection with an abbas. As these monastic paruchiae grew. seventh. although the name of the leading church to which the familia as a whole owed allegiance might also serve the purpose.or eighth-century documents was regarded as anachronistic. . such usage does not necessarily imply a monastic overtone to this canon.and eighth-century documents like the Second Synod of St. Instead it seems more likely that familia refers both to the members of an individual community. and the laity who oversaw management of a church. monastic or not. and subservient communities. Basically. was frequently identified by the presiding saint’s name. and monks who were supervisors or overseers. Today.17 The term abbas or abbot is used for secular clergy. It also is used more generally for anyone who owed dues or tithes to a particular church. Traditionally this has been defined as a monastic federation with a head church. bishops were marginalized and episcopal paruchiae or territories ruled by a bishop. In Ireland this has traditionally been seen as referring to a monastic federation.98 The Celtic and Roman Traditions historians are careful to examine the context in which princeps is used in order to determine the type of Church leader the writer had in mind.20 In fact. monastic or not. any mention of bishops heading churches in seventh. and in a wider sense to a series of churches that were associated with a particular saint. Scholars argued that as abbots became the dominant force in the Irish Church.). Paruchia is another word that has caused confusion. its daughter houses. monachus. scholars realize that there is no reason to dismiss the primary evidence of the continuation of episcopal paruchiae.”23 A familia has no specific monastic connotations . Patrick and the Hibernensis usually associate paruchiae with units of episcopal jurisdiction. as far as can be determined.”18 Therefore. remembering that in Irish texts abbas can refer simply to a church administrator. or even abbas are frequently used in nonmonastic contexts.” refers both to those under monastic vows and the peasants who farmed a monastery’s lands. usually translated as “monk. the terms princeps. However.22 Another term that has seen a redefinition is that of familia or household. yet in relation to the monastic tenants he would apparently be an abbot. . throughout the early medieval Irish Church. The term monachus or manach (Old Ir.19 In this model. priests.

the bishops and abbots who led the Irish Church were normally from important aristocratic families and thus tied to the power inherent in these relationships. and confirmation.28 In the Hibernensis.29 The first argues that when a case cannot be settled in a lesser diocese. especially the more powerful. there were at least three levels of bishops: those of a single túath or minor kingdom. there are two different models for solving church disputes. In the alternative scheme. The churches. disputes pass from the lesser diocese to a lesser province and then to a greater province and possibly a synod. Neither kings of lesser provinces nor their bishops probably appreciated the more powerful . it should be appealed to a lesser province. They consecrated churches and acted as confessors for secular lords. According to the canons. a bishop’s rank was equal to that of a king.24 This is in contrast to some of the popular literature where the Irish leadership is portrayed as untouched by worldly wealth and ambition. the bishop of a lesser province.The Irish Church after 640 99 because it was not necessarily headed by an abbot in the traditional sense and its associated churches could reflect a number of different types of communities.25 In the Old Irish legal material. Bishops also acted as judges in ecclesiastical cases. Often they oversaw the physical upkeep of church buildings and the community’s interactions with the poor and needy. There may have been some controversy then over what would be the highest level of authority within Ireland itself: bishops of lesser or greater provinces. baptisms. the matter should be transferred to Rome. the highest penalties were assessed for injuries to bishops and the heads of the major churches. Church Organization and the Role of Bishops As on the Continent. before being sent to Rome.27 Thus while abbots and nonclerical leaders were often very powerful in the Church. This may have been a development that paralleled secular politics as kingdoms jockeyed for power and influence in Ireland. had close connections with the local kings and often were controlled by a local kin group. Episcopal Structure In the seventh century. If a decision cannot be made at this level. Bishops always remained important and powerful throughout the sixth to eighth centuries. and the bishop of a greater province.26 Bishops had important pastoral duties in the Church. They were responsible for ordinations. they did not replace or marginalize the authority of the bishops.

In 697. Some Unusual Irish Characteristics All this is not to argue that the organization of the Irish Church was identical to the Continental one. features.34 Technically. called secular and ecclesiastical leaders together to promulgate the Law of Innocents. it was the abbot who had the right to select the head of a subordinate foundation in some cases.31 The fact that these men were from different geographical regions demonstrates that bishops continued to hold authority in provinces throughout the island. if not unique. starting in the 670s. while a bishop’s rank rested upon the fact that he was a bishop. Some of the seventh-century synods also provide historic evidence that bishops remained politically important in the Irish Church. Therefore. bishops signed in support of this law protecting the innocent from violent attack. However. First of all. also is proof of continuing episcopal influence in the Irish Church. At least seven. churches were not always controlled by clerics. and possibly as many as thirteen. It did have some unusual.30 The fact that in the eighth century. the head of a great church was equal to the bishop of a túath or a king. for instance. but by abbots and even those who were not in church orders. Iona had superior authority over these communities. At Iona. At the synod that precipitated the 640 papal letter there were bishops. abbot of Iona.33 Thus. Armagh and Kildare began to argue for archiepiscopal authority. an abbot’s rank was dependent upon his church. some monasteries did become quite powerful by heading an extended paruchia or familia.32 In the hierarchies of Irish society. This would have created an additional level of episcopal control had they been successful. If only abbots held the highest level of authority in Ireland. the compilers of the Hibernensis felt the need to include these two canons. Adomnán. It is also important to point out that similar types of struggles for jurisdiction and authority occurred in Merovingian Gaul and Anglo-Saxon England in the same period. and a number of others that discuss episcopal rights and responsibilities. an abbot or supervior obtained his high position by virtue of the church he controlled. In addition. while a bishop enhanced the importance of his church. . why include canons that specifically undermined their power? Just as elsewhere in Europe. the bishops retained their judicial power in the Church. In addition. Day-to-day control of the monetary resources of a church could be outside the hands of a priest or bishop.100 The Celtic and Roman Traditions kings and bishops attempting to establish authority over them.

they normally did not participate in church councils. Saran who was probably a scholar. However. Cummian addresses his letter to the hermit Béccán and Pope John’s letter lists bishops. while there were powerful abbots and abbesses. not its abbot or lay official. they were awarded the highest levels of honor. in the last few decades scholars have reassessed the evidence from this period. acted as judges.37 This high ranking accorded to scholars probably explains their participation in church councils. bishops remained important and respected. While this same system of greater churches and dependent foundations existed in the high Middle Ages. The priests and lay members of these churches would be identified as “monks” in the primary material because they were subject to a princeps. whom it can be assumed. In the past. In the law codes. Summary Thus.The Irish Church after 640 101 a greater monastery controlled subordinate churches that owed dues. the abbots who headed major churches and thus were equal in rank to the bishops. rents. On the Continent. The 640 papal letter from Pope John was addressed to a series of Irish bishops and abbots. and the prestige of a church was based on the rank of its priest or bishop. and services. were the participants in a synod in northern Ireland. and oversaw the pastoral mission of the Church. an abbot. not because they had taken monastic vows. The presence of abbots at the Irish synods indicates that they normally exercised more political power than their counterparts on the Continent. participated in regional synods. It should also be noted that not only bishops and abbots attended synods in Ireland but so too did scholars and anchorites/hermits. when historians encountered primary evidence pointing to powerful bishops in the seventh century. the Irish Church appears to be unique in having monasteries take over control of churches as early as the seventh century. it became increasingly . abbots.36 In Irish law. Throughout the Irish Church in the early Middle Ages. a scholar or scribe (someone trained in ecclesiastical law and possibly acting as a judge) had a rank equivalent to a bishop or the head of a church/princeps. organized a synod at Mag Léne. they regarded the information as anachronistic. In addition. not only did the episcopacy remain an influential force in Ireland.” Other Church councils in Ireland also note the presence of these four groups. when controversies arose with regard to which Easter table was correct. the organization of the Church in Ireland was more varied and complex than the older theories allowed. and “other Irish teachers. The bishops ordained clergy. participated in baptisms and confirmation. In addition.35 As discussed in chapter 5. Cummian.

Monasticism is another area where Ireland was in line with Continental developments. Even in the extensive network of Columbanian houses. the fact that in Ireland.102 The Celtic and Roman Traditions complex during the seventh century. Therefore. historians have needed to redefine these words as theories have changed. both Armagh and Kildare attempted to establish another level of episcopal authority by claiming to be the archbishopric of Ireland. if not bishops. Honorius. This included not only the Roman Easter table and tonsure. kings. the “Irish” were the monastic party that believed abbots were the highest authority and wanted . On the other hand. None of this maneuvering makes any sense if bishops had truly been sidelined from power. However. neither the abbots of Luxeuil nor Bobbio exercised authority over their sister foundations. The late sixth and seventh centuries were a time when monastic ideals were beginning to affect the secular clergy. Into this. but unique in its implementation. Under the old paradigm. bishops. can be compared to the Continent where monks were elevated to the episcopacy and the papacy. As was seen in Merovingian Gaul. Romani and Hibernenses were the names of radically different factions in the Irish Church.38 There were also discussions about the correct relationship between the episcopacy and the monasteries. Ireland was unusual when it came to the power and influence of the abbots of the major ecclesiastical networks.39 The “Romans” were the priests and bishops who were attempting to reassert their diminishing power by emphasizing all things Roman. Just as some kings were attempting to dominate lesser ones. as mentioned above. A similar development is not found on the Continent in the seventh century. the bishops of greater provinces were attempting to establish authority over lesser bishops and clergy. These developments may well be part of the same process of the blurring of divisions between the secular clergy and monastics. This struggle between bishops for jurisdiction and authority also mirrors confrontations in the Anglo-Saxon and Continental Churches. and even popes were granting privileges to exempt certain monasteries from episcopal oversight. As with much else on the Irish Church. but also respect for the papacy and a church organized around an episcopal hierarchy. Gregory the Great. some of the abbots were also priests. Romani and Hibernenses All of the above information is needed to discuss correctly the terms Romani (Roman) and Hibernenses (Irish) that appear in primary sources from the late seventh and eighth centuries. and others admonished bishops to adopt the monastic values of humility and celibacy.

41 For instance here is a small section discussing excommunication: Book 40. marriage. you have won over your brother. opinions by the Church fathers.47 .The Irish Church after 640 103 to continue the independent nature of the Irish Church. and then statements from the Scriptures. from the kiss of peace. Collectio Canonum Hibernensis The document that mentions these two terms most often is the Hibernensis. chapter 1: The evangelist: If your brother sins against you. with an additional thirty identified as Irish in at least one manuscript but no more than three. but they entered into the debate because of the issues of episcopal and Roman domination that surrounded the controversy. two from Scripture. and synodical rulings about the subject at hand. from celebrating together. It is probable that these “Roman” canons come from synods held in Ireland from 640 to 690 during the Easter controversy. the [kiss of ] peace. and so on. if he does not hear the church.40 Since historians no longer believe that the Irish Church was locked into a defining struggle between abbots and bishops. however. from cohabitation. and one from an Irish one. Irish synod: All evil men are excommunicated from these things. from free passage.45 “Irish synod” is mentioned approximately sixty times. tell the church. By far the most quoted source is the Bible with over 1. if he will not hear them. if he hears you. if. from gifts/alms. from partaking at the table. go and correct him only between you and him by yourselves. he does not hear you. invite one or two with you so that every word may stand on the testimony of two or three witnesses.42 Paul says: You are to be companions neither at the table nor in prayer. This document lists topics such as bishops.44 Thus the compiler has provided four statements on this topic. theft. A number of the canons identified as “Roman” can be traced to continental or ecumenical councils. these definitions of the Irish and Roman parties no longer apply. one from a Roman synod. but thirty are unidentifiable. let him be to you as a tax collector or pagan. The “Irish” party was not particularly concerned about Easter. for what fellowship can light have with darkness and Belial with justice?43 Roman synod: The excommunicated are excluded from three things.000 references followed by the Church fathers and ancient Church councils. the eighth-century canon collection mentioned above. from blessings. from the table and from mass.46 There are approximately fifty passages associated with “Roman synods” with an additional twenty depending upon the manuscript.

From a Roman synod. different penitentials often listed conflicting penalties and therefore it is not particularly surprising that there were at least two ideas found in the canons with regard to the penance that should be assessed for murder.51 An Irish synod instead says that the penalty for murder is seven years penance under the rule of a monastery. The tonsure of Simon Magus is condemned and then specifically linked with the British. One variant manuscript reading adds that they also “celebrated Easter on the fourteenth moon with the Jews.50 In instances where canons from both “Roman” and “Irish” sources are present for the same topic. In spite of this. often they either do not contradict or do so only slightly. the different types and ranks of judges and issues surrounding marriage. Two of these discuss debts and sureties. there are canons discussing who can be buried in a church. There are some canons in the Hibernensis that clearly condemn the alternative Celtic practices. and one outlines the penalties associated with excommunication. looking at the Roman canons that cannot be traced to a known continental synod. It has been argued that the Irish synods better reflected Irish society and that the Roman ones were focused on episcopal power and Roman practices. but customs varied throughout Europe. procedures for paying debts and fines. a sixth-century British cleric. For instance. First.”55 . a printed version of the Hibernensis is available only in an 1885 edition by Wasserschleben. but new methods and sources exist that are not reflected in this work. A few sections dealing with inheritance law and property rights reflect Irish culture.53 The confusion over whether these should be “Roman” or “Irish” by later scribes brings into question the older theories about the disparity between these two groups.48 It was an excellent achievement for its time. penances for murder.54 A statement attributed incorrectly to Gildas. four concern wagelaborers. Attempting to determine what was implied by the terms Romani and Hibernenses is complicated as well by the fact that there are a handful of canons that are listed as both Roman and Irish depending on the manuscript in question.52 In the seventh and eighth centuries.49 However. the information from the Irish synods does not demonstrate a radically different tradition at odds with the practices of the Church throughout Europe.104 The Celtic and Roman Traditions At the moment. Presently. the penalty for murder is either seven years exile or a life sentence at the defendant’s church. the “Romans” mandate the Petrine tonsure. says that the British tonsure is different from that used in the rest of the church and that the British are like the Jews who are in great darkness. In a chapter on tonsures. it is hard to make many definitive statements with regard to this document because a new edition of the Hibernensis is desperately needed. it is clear that the Romani were also concerned with cultural issues and placing the Church within the larger social structure as well. a few things can be said.

59 Due to the Easter controversy. Once all the churches in Ireland had adopted the Roman table.57 Once each side regarded the other as heretical. If it is from the seventh century. this epistle is not dated. it would have been difficult to convene a church council that included those who supported the Celtic-84 and those who advocated switching to the Roman table. In addition.The Irish Church after 640 105 Another passage states that ecclesiastical disputes cannot be referred to the British who do not follow Roman customs and depart from the unity of the Church. Both the canons from the “Irish” and “Roman” synods in the Hibernensis. who at the time of the composition of the Hibernensis would have been the only sector of the Church still using the Celtic-84. they could draw upon rulings from both the “Irish” and “Roman” synods. a surviving Hiberno-Latin commentary on the Psalms has three alternative interpretations “according to the Romans.”58 Unfortunately.56 It is interesting that the condemnation clearly falls on the British Church. it is interesting to note that one of the manuscripts that Colmán reports he received from the “Romans” is preserved in a seventh-century copy from Bobbio. Irish delegations were traveling to Italy. the Easter controversy became so divisive that Irish ecclesiastical leaders met in separate synods depending upon whether they supported the Dionysian table or the Celtic84. Scholarship There are a few additional documents that mention the Romani.” However. plus the evidence from other sources demonstrates that Christians were not to associate with heretics. but the compilers chose not to include any of these canons. in the eighth century when Cú Chuimne of Iona and Ruben of Dairinis compiled the Hibernensis. It can be assumed that earlier “Irish” synods condemned the Roman Easter dating. It would have been possible to secure more accurate texts either from Rome itself or any number of monastic houses on the Continent.”60 Starting with . There would have been no reason to include canons condemning the British for departing from Roman practices if Iona did the same. The fact that Cú Chuimne of Iona was one of the authors of the Hibernensis is further evidence that this document must date from after 716 when Iona adopted the Dionysian table. it may be referring to the Irish “Romans. there is a letter from a certain Colmán to Feradach stating that he had been able to obtain better editions of some texts “from the Romans. these divisions ended. The Hibernensis supports the theory that after 640. First. Therefore. including a clear condemnation of the British and their adherence to the Celtic Easter and tonsure.

in fact it was a system of calculation using Greek letters. 52. though they are not identified as “Roman. the seventh-century Cathach of St. many of the Psalms would be interpreted as prophecies about the life of Christ. Irish biblical exegesis as a whole seems to have been very influenced by the Antiocene approach that favored historical rather than allegorical interpretations of the Scriptures.106 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Psalm 39. but the “Roman” psalm heading lists events in David’s life instead. These interpretations would have been controversial. While it was long argued that this “computus” was the Dionysian table. . There are other documents that scholars have associated with the “Roman” party. Psalms 52 and 54 were usually associated with later Jewish history. proves that the “Romans” were an identifiable group in Ireland. The three alternative headings for Psalms 49.”64 Therefore. for each psalm there is a biblical. For example. In addition. In this case. then.65 There is one surviving psalter. the more historical approach would see the Psalms as reflecting events in King David’s life or Jewish history. An alternative method was associated with Alexandria. some of whom used this method of calculation.68 This document. which promoted a more allegorical interpretation. in this text Psalms 44 and 109 were associated with David even though these two psalms were seen as messianic by the Antiocene School. It appears that both groups adopted historical analysis to be used in association with other methods. For most of the Western Church in the seventh and eighth centuries. Columba. while three psalm headings are identified as “Roman. this document provides inconclusive evidence for what might have been distinctive in “Roman” biblical exegesis. which has only allegorical psalm headings.61 For instance. whom the Romans styled doctor of the whole world. abbot of Bangor (d. historical. These historic interpretations seem in line with the larger scholarly trends in the Irish Church. but that do not specifically mention this group. A fragment bound in an eighth-century Gospel of Matthew includes the reference to “Mo-Chuoróc maccu Neth Sémon. and 54 attributed to the “Romans” are historical.63 The one for 49 fits well within traditional exegesis. it appears the Romans were not the only Irish scholars using a very historical approach to interpretation. Thus this seems more an Irish tendency than a characterization of a subset of the Irish Church. and allegorical or spiritual heading.” two of which were unusual.”67 This document adds that he wrote down a computus taught to him by Mo-Sinu maccu Min. this document provides a set of psalm headings describing the context for each Psalm. it was the allegorical style that was preferred.610). Therefore.66 With this slight evidence. it does not seem possible to assign the “Irish” party to the allegorical interpretation and the “Roman” to the historical. c.62 In this document.

who would have identified with the “Irish” faction. They do support the theory that there was a recognizable faction within the Irish Church. It is clear from the evidence that the Romani and Hibernenses did not represent two radically different factions of bishops versus abbots. also an abbot. who upheld the power of the papacy to determine which Easter table was correct. an emphasis on the importance of unity in the Church. The bishops and the abbots at the synod in the north in c.71 This is in direct contradiction to the statements assigned to the “Romans” in the commentary on the Psalms just discussed. specifies in his letter that he has read Gregory’s Pastoral Care and requested additional works from the pope.72 Summary In the past. Columbanus. and promotes the authority of the papacy within the Church. No Irish canons advocating the Celtic-84 were included in this document. However. the Romani were associated with a number of different characteristics beyond the use of the Roman Easter table. Examining the canons from these different groups. may have disagreed with Rome about which Easter table was canonical.70 Columbanus’ letters to the papacy and the Irish delegations to Rome demonstrate a recognition of papal authority. Beyond this. the author of this commentary rejects a historical interpretation of the Psalms. Columbanus. there are problems with identifying a distinctive style of exegesis. these four documents do not appear to demonstrate a distinct form of exegesis by the “Romans” in Ireland. Therefore.640 also sent representatives to Rome to inquire about Easter. many of these descriptors are incorrect or uncertain. However. uses the writings of Gregory the Great. this does not prove that ecclesiastics .640 to 690. an abbot. the only major point of contention seems to be the alternative Celtic practices.73 However. These included special loyalty to Rome. it appears that many of the traits identified as “Roman” can be found within the wider body of Irish scholarship.69 While the Easter issue does designate this as a “Roman” document. and the use of a distinct tradition of biblical scholarship and exegesis. As was seen in previous chapters. It is Cummian. The Hibernensis demonstrates that separate synods identified as “Roman” or “Irish” were meeting in the seventh century. but he still believed that the pope had special authority in the Church. this may indicate no more than the fact that the Easter controversy split the Irish Church in two from c. In addition. support for the rights and authority of the episcopacy.The Irish Church after 640 107 the pseudo-Jerome Commentary on Mark has been identified as “Roman” because it condemns celebrating on luna 14.

but Armagh had not. Other statements in the Hibernensis from both Roman and Irish synods demonstrate interest in many aspects of Irish society and do not run counter to important theological issues in the Church. Instead. Armagh and Easter In the late 660s with the ascension of Theodore (669–90). helped to compile this document.108 The Celtic and Roman Traditions who attended the “Irish synods” were uncaring about Easter.77 Armagh may have been able to claim primacy of honor due to its association with St.74 The Hibernensis was created to be a practical guide and thus it can be assumed that it accurately reflected the Irish Church of its period. Once Armagh and much of the north accepted the Dionysian table in the 680s and then Iona in 716. In scholarship as well the divide between the “Romans” and the “Irish” appears to have been overstated. some of the “Irish” canons were so in line with Church thought that they were incorporated into canon law collections on the Continent in the tenth and eleventh centuries. it can be assumed that the compilers of the Hibernensis saw no reason to preserve the information that some in Ireland had once advocated an Easter table considered heretical by the early eighth century. considering the fact that the Irish Church was so divided over . Thus it seems that the definitions of these two terms need to be narrowed to reflect only the dispute over the alternative Celtic practices and not larger issues of church organization and scholarship. it is hard to understand why statements upholding episcopal honor and authority and clearly condemning practices that differed from Rome would have been included unless this reflected the monastery’s opinion. the Easter controversy was over and unified synods could again be held. There was a period of about thirty-five to forty years when Kildare had abandoned the Celtic-84.” and in fact seem to support the general trends in Irish scholarship in this period. However. In the 670s. The documents that specifically mention the “Romans” do not demonstrate an approach to biblical scholarship distinctively different from the “Irish. Canterbury became an archbishopric.76 It is possible that the Easter controversy played one part in this struggle. This very well could have influenced Ireland because soon after this both Armagh and Kildare were claiming archiepiscopal status as well.75 Most statements are somewhat obscure and can prove little more than the existence of a “Roman” party. clearly a group that would advocate for the power of abbots if anyone would. In fact. Kildare may have decided to use its orthodox status as one justification for its claim to be archbishopric over all Ireland. Since a member of the Iona community. Patrick.

685) states that disputes should be forwarded “to the see of the archbishop of the Irish. 685.The Irish Church after 640 109 Easter that the ecclesiastical leadership had to meet in separate synods. the tables then listed conflicting dates until 709.78 Therefore the adoption of the Dionysian table may have been part of a larger program by Armagh to counter the claims of Kildare not only on the grounds that it was the see established by Patrick but also that it followed orthodox practices. Evidence points to the fact that by the late 680s Armagh was both claiming archiepiscopal status and trying to associate more closely with Rome. that is. Another issue was the increasing problems with the lunar dates in the Celtic-84. First the Celtic-84 and Dionysian tables did not agree from 666 to 681. Conclusion Iona is often held up as the norm for the Irish as well as the Celtic Church. and Lawrence to support its claim to be an archbishopric. By just looking at the moon there is an obvious distinction between luna 14 and luna 10 (figure 1. Specific canons in the Hibernensis state that no dispute should be referred to the heretical British. Paul. In addition. the Roman party would have applied this to Armagh as well. The congruent Easter dates in the 680s cannot alone explain Armagh’s abandonment of the Celtic-84.1). the its dates were four days ahead of the actual moon. Patrician documents also use the presence of the relics of Peter. (the see) of Patrick.80 It has been argued that Armagh could not have obtained these relics if it had not adopted Roman practices. this would have been a perfect time for Armagh to make the switch.”79 Only if a decision could not be rendered at Armagh was the matter to be directed to the papacy. but it does help to narrow down and affirm the suggestion by other historians that this switch most likely occurred in the 680s. Stephen. Headed by an abbot-priest who had more authority than its bishop and .1). it would have been that much harder to argue for the accuracy of the Celtic-84 when it was so visibly incorrect. and 689 (table 6.81 The evidence from the Dionysian and Celtic-84 also helps to confirm Armagh’s abandonment of the Celtic-84 in the 680s. The Book of the Angel (c. When this canon was included only the British still used the Celtic-84. By the 680s. the tables listed the same date in 682. However. but it can be assumed that before the 680s. it is difficult to see how it could claim authority over those it saw as heretical. Remembering that churches often abandoned the Celtic-84 just before the tables were in agreement in order to ease the adoption of a new table. It would be logical to switch tables not only while they were in agreement but also near 690 when the Celtic-84 finished its cycle. 686. Then in the 680s.

On the other hand. Instead. bishops always remained powerful and important. 680–89 Year Easter 680 681 682 683 684 685 686 687 688 689 April 15 April 7 March 30 April 12 April 3 March 26 April 15 March 31 April 19 April 11 Celtic-84 Luna 14 17 20 14 16 19 20 16 17 19 Luna Easter (Dionysian) 10 12 15 9 12 15 16 12 13 15 March 25 April 14 March 30 April 19 April 10 March 26 April 15 April 7 March 29 April 11 Dionysian Luna 18 19 15 16 19 15 16 19 21 15 Luna (Celtic-84) 22 24 20 21 23 19 20 23 25 19 Note: Bold tables in agreement. there was controversy between the bishops over whether authority should rest at the minor province. Yet. with daughter houses and dependent churches throughout Ireland.1 Comparative Easter dates. 821–22. the situation had become divisive enough that those who supported the Celtic-84 and those who advocated transferring to the Dionysian table could not meet together. Local and regional synods were called and representatives sent to Rome. were issues of controversy. modernized and cycled by C. As long as such an important concern as Easter dating remained in dispute. the Irish Church was divided over Easter. The alternative Celtic practices. the Irish Church was much more complex than this simple model attests. Pictland. From the late 620s until 716. major province. It is easy to imagine that this was the only way other issues could be decided. it supposedly demonstrates the antiepiscopal sentiment of the Celts. Corning.110 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Table 6. alternative luna dates and all adjustments by C. or archiepiscopal level. There were powerful abbots. Source: Celtic-84 Easter and luna dates from McCarthy. pp. particularly the Celtic-84. . 18–19. By the 640s. In the late seventh century. Corning. “Easter Principles. churchmen of each party gathered in separate synods. controlled large networks of churches and regularly attended church synods. arguments about which table to follow would undermine reaching unity on other problems. The Oxford Companion. who unlike their contemporaries on the Continent. but there was never an expectation that their honor and responsibility to help lead the Church was obsolete. and Dál Ríata. Dionysian Easter and luna dates calculated using Blackburn and Holford-Strevens.” pp.

and certainly not because they were attempting to assert the power of the episcopacy. but because they became convinced that the Celtic-84 had major flaws and the Church needed to unify behind the correct Easter table. the existence of the Roman and Irish parties did not reflect conflict between groups with two radically different worldviews. The temporary split in the Irish Church between the “Roman” and “Irish” proves once again that unity in Easter practice was a critical issue in the early Middle Ages. and both recognized the power of the papacy to act as a court of appeals. Both acknowledged that the Irish Church should have important bishops and abbots. Churches adopted the Victorian and then Dionysian tables not because they believed Rome was always right or that it had absolute power in the Church. .The Irish Church after 640 111 Thus.

1). Edwin’s cousin Osric (633–34) taking the Deiran crown.3 Such were the circumstances that confronted Oswald (634–42) when he inherited the kingdom of Bernicia in 634. and at times controlling portions of Pictland. and Lindsey (map 4. the two were united under a single ruler. invaded Northumbria and killed Edwin. king of Gwynedd.2 The kingdom dissolved into its two parts. Edwin gained control of Northumbria with the defeat of King Æthelfrith (604–16). then were forced into exile (table 7. both these men apostatized from Christianity and soon died at the hands of Cadwallon’s conquering forces. Oswald. Bede included the story in his History that Oswald erected a cross at the battlefield later known as Heavenfield and instructed all of his men to pray to God for forgiveness and victory. Mercia. According to Bede. in the seventh century. In 616. and Eanfrith (633–34). and Penda (c. the Bernician.4 Upon becoming king. one of Oswald’s first duties was to stop Cadwallon who continued to ravage Northumbria. Though occasionally ruled by two different kings.7 .1). Eanfrith. 634–65 The northern-most Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the seventh century was Northumbria.6 The triumphant king was able to reunite Bernicia and Deira and ruled over a unified Northumbria until his death in 642. king of Mercia. whose sons.5 God granted Oswald’s humble request and Cadwallon was finally defeated. 634). Northumbria was divided into two major subkingdoms—Deira in the south with its focus around York and Bernicia in the north centered at Bamburgh.Chapter 7 Iona and Northumbria. and Oswiu. stretching from the Humber River in the south to the River Tweed in the north.1 In 633. Cadwallon (d.626–55). Æthelfrith’s son. more often than not.

113 Table 7. daughter Edwin Alhfrith (655–65) Sub-king Deira Ecgfrith (670–85) Ælfwine (d. m. RHIAINFELLT OF RHEGED 3.1 Northumbrian family tree DEIRA Uffi BERNICIA Ida Ælfric Osric (633–34) Ælle Edwin (616–33) Acha = Æthelric Æthelfrith (592–616) Oswine (644-51) Eadfrith Eanflæd Eanfrith (633–34) Oswald Oswiu (634–42) (642–670) Œthelwald (651–55) Sub-king Deira Talorgan (653–57) King of Picts Oswiu* (642–70) 1. ** Claimed descent from Ida. Ceolwulf (729–37) . 679) Sub-king Deira Aldfrith (685–705) Osred (705–16) Osric (718–29) Cuthwine** Cœnred (716–18) Note: * Same as above. Irish Princess 2 . Eanflæd.

greedy bishops who focused on their own power. It is important to understand the major objectives and underlying biases of each of these works in order to analyze correctly the connections between the Celtic and Roman traditions from the reign of Oswald until the immediate aftermath of the Synod of Whitby. bishop of York in which he listed what he saw as the major problems with the Church. from 634 until 664. king of Northumbria called a synod at Whitby to determine whether his kingdom would continue to use the Celtic table and tonsure advocated by Iona or would switch to the Dionysian table and Roman tonsure. Iona sent a member of their community named Aidan (634–51) to be bishop of Northumbria.12 . returned first to Iona and then to Ireland proper. along with a number of monks to reside in a new monastery at Lindisfarne. Oswiu. As requested. Bede’s Presentation of Iona in the History It is necessary to take into account Bede’s hopes for the Church in the 730s in order to understand his presentation of Iona.8 As Oswald had spent time exiled in Dál Ríata. and others who were unwilling to abide by this decision.9 Persuaded by the arguments of the Roman party. However.10 Bede’s History and Stephanus’ Life of Wilfrid For the period between 634 and 670 there are two major primary sources that provide details on the relationship between Iona. and the Northumbrian Church: Bede’s History and Stephanus’ Life of Wilfrid.11 These included a general lack of pastoral care. and lax and corrupt monastic communities. Bishop Colmán (661–64) of Northumbria. Oswald wanted to continue the mission to convert Northumbria. Bede wrote a letter to Egbert (732–66). Oswiu ruled that the older Celtic traditions were to be abandoned. a kingdom tied to the monastery of Iona. begun under King Edwin and Paulinus—a member of the mission sent by Gregory. the bishops of Northumbria were from Iona and all indications point to a close relationship between mother and daughter house. At the end of the letter. he reminds Egbert that as bishop he needs to monitor the monasteries. Lindisfarne.114 The Celtic and Roman Traditions As a Christian. it is not surprising that the king turned to this monastery rather than the papacy for assistance. ensure that all receive the Eucharist frequently. In 734. in 664. For thirty years. provide enough teachers. and reform a Church too focused on riches.

After Whitby. First. he knew that Iona abandoned the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure in 716. From his viewpoint in the early 730s. 634–65 115 The themes of reform and the need for the Church to dedicate itself to pastoral care are found throughout Bede’s works. However. Bede included a significant amount of information on Iona since it was involved in the conversion of Northumbria as well as events in Pictland and Dál Ríata.13 Whether he was composing hagiography.18 Bede’s second concern was how his portrayal of Iona would influence his presentation of Lindisfarne. but not to be as highly regarded as those who switched to the Dionysian table in the 640s or 660s. Bede’s portrayal of Iona is in many ways one of his most complex models. Iona was crucial to the conversion of Northumbria and to have totally condemned this tradition would have implied that the Northumbrian Church had a heretical or at least schismatic foundation. something he could not condone. he faced the problem that those from Iona used the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure. those from Iona were not as disobedient and arrogant as the members of the British Church who continued in 731 to use the Celtic-84. this monastery continued to follow the alternative practices for over seventy years after the letter from Pope John (640) condemning them. biblical commentaries.16 However. In light of this.17 Therefore. he switched to the Dionysian table and thus was fully orthodox when he became bishop. who had used the Celtic table but then abandoned it. It has been argued that Bede ultimately viewed his responsibilities as a priest and as a teacher of priests as his most important calling. Bede was grateful to those who had brought Christianity to Northumbria and he wanted to establish a generally orthodox history for the Church. This means that he had followed the alternative Celtic practices during this period. To have done so would have undermined Cuthbert’s sanctity.Iona and Northumbria. Bede greatly admired Cuthbert (685–87) bishop of Lindisfarne and presented him as an episcopal model par excellence. devoted shepherds whose focus was on the needs of their people rather than their own power and aggrandizement. .14 In writing the history of the spread of Christianity in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Therefore. Bede faced two additional issues when it came to his depiction of those from Iona. computistical works. or history. Bede had to be careful not to condemn those. Cuthbert had first entered a monastery associated with Lindisfarne in the period before the Synod of Whitby. his goal was always to encourage the Church to better follow Christ and the model established by the apostles.15 He wanted to use these bishops and monks as models with which to chastise the churchmen of his own day. like Cuthbert. Bede much admired many of those sent from Iona to Northumbria and saw them as humble.

when recording the arrival of Aidan as bishop of Northumbria in 634. but almost always with the reminder that they used schismatic practices. Bede often adds that those from Iona did not know their Easter table was incorrect. Churchmen from this monastery had helped in the conversion of Northumbria. . he praises those from Iona.21 For instance. . Rather than outright condemnation. and others used the Celtic-84 “since they were so far away at the ends of the earth that there was none to bring them the synodical decrees of the synods concerning the observance of Easter. he mentions that Columba. The Quartodeciman Heretics: Stephanus’ Life of Wilfrid Not much is known about Stephanus. devotion and moderation. but they needed to admit their error. who had a zeal for God but not according to knowledge . For instance. As with the Life . tried to serve God. like the Israelites. he never portrays it as negatively as he does the British. Wilfrid’s reign as bishop of Northumbria was extremely controversial. much like the meeting with Augustine transforms his portrayal of the British. but Bede continued to support this possibility until the condemnation of the Celtic-84 at the Synod of Whitby. The opportunity for forgiveness and grace still existed.” before adding that Aidan. like most of the northern Irish.23 He identifies himself as “Stephen the priest” in the introduction of the Life and states that it was at the request of Bishop Acca (709–31) of Hexham and Abbot Tatberht of Ripon that he undertook the task of recording the events of Wilfrid’s life. There was no possibility that Stephanus could gloss over these events.”22 This excuse is not very accurate after 630.116 The Celtic and Roman Traditions The Synod of Whitby narrative is the turning point in Bede’s presentation of Iona. However. Iona should have abandoned the Celtic-84 much earlier. He also knew that they adopted the Dionysian table.20 Bede’s audience would have caught the allusion: some of the Irish. though Bede no longer excuses Iona for heretical practices. Even after the Whitby narrative. Before this narrative.”19 The phrase “who had zeal for God but not according to knowledge” is from the New Testament book of Romans where the Apostle Paul writes that he hoped the Israelites would find the truth of God in Christ. from his viewpoint. but failed due to their ignorance and unwillingness to submit fully to God’s will. He was expelled from his see and condemned at synods and by kings and archbishops. unlike the British who in 730 still used the Celtic-84. Iona’s founder. while he believed the British had not. was “accustomed to celebrate Easter Sunday between the fourteenth and twentieth day of the moon. Bede states that he was “a man of outstanding gentleness.

The two traveled as far as Lyons together. does provide some logical possibilities. However. one of King Oswiu’s sons and sub-king of Deira. At fourteen.28 Date of the Composition of the Life of Wilfrid It is impossible to determine exactly what Acca and Tatberht hoped to accomplish with the Life of Wilfrid. he learned the Roman version of the Psalter and met Benedict Biscop. Wilfrid is always exonerated for all the conflicts that occurred during his forty-five year episcopate. he became friends with Alhfrith (655–64).” Alhfrith gave Wilfrid the monastery at Ripon and appointed him abbot. a Frank who was tied to the Columbanian tradition and who would eventually become bishop of Paris.653. In 664. Stephanus and Wilfrid’s supporters clearly felt the need to present an “official” version of events. however. Throughout the Life.Iona and Northumbria. Wilfrid adopted the Dionysian table and received a papal blessing before returning to Lyons where he stayed with the bishop for three years and received a Roman tonsure. the Life of Wilfrid needed to justify conflict and defend the saint as a dedicated servant of God. From the time of Wilfrid’s death in 709/10 to 716 it is probable that . chose to return to Iona rather than abandon the Celtic practices. and left home traveling to the Northumbrian court where he was presented to Queen Eanflæd. Oswiu called a church council at Whitby to decide whether the Northumbrian Church would follow the Celtic or Roman traditions and it was Wilfrid who presented the case for the Roman side. Wilfrid was ordained a priest by Agilbert. Arriving in Canterbury c. Examining the political climate of the period between 710 and 720. Soon after. he became frustrated with his step-mother. who would become abbot of Wearmouth and founder of Jarrow.26 While there. a nobleman joining the monastery at Lindisfarne.24 When she discovered that Wilfrid wanted to enter the religious life. Wilfrid became bishop in his place and traveled to the Continent to be ordained by twelve orthodox bishops. Stephanus states that the two became “like David and Jonathan.27 When Wilfrid finally returned to Northumbria in c. within a few years. she arranged for him to serve Cudda. When Colmán. Short overview of the major events in Wilfrid’s life until 664. Wilfrid decided to travel to Rome. bishop of the West Saxons.658. according to Stephanus Wilfrid was born in the early 630s in Northumbria. 634–65 117 of Columbanus. Bishop of Northumbria.25 Wilfrid then befriended Bishop Aunemundus of Lyons before continuing his journey to Rome.


The Celtic and Roman Traditions

the Wilfridian circle had the patronage of both the Northumbrian and Mercian kings. Wilfrid had helped Osred (705–16) gain the throne in Northumbria and was known as his foster-father.29 Ceolred, king of Mercia (709–16), is mentioned near the end of the Life as a supporter of Wilfrid.30 Therefore, the Life might have been written while Osred and Ceolred were in power to reinforce the ties between Wilfrid’s supporters and these kings after Wilfrid’s death.31 The Life also could have been composed after 716. In this year, the political situation in both Mercia and Northumbria changed. Æthelbald (716–57) succeeded to the throne in Mercia. The fact that the new king had been in exile during Ceolred’s reign demonstrates that he probably belonged to a different collateral branch of the royal family.32 Due to the close ties between the previous four Mercian kings and Wilfrid, it would be understandable if Æthelbald chose not to be as supportive. Thus, the Wilfridian communities were in a precarious position. In Northumbria, power also transferred to a collateral branch in 716 when Osred was murdered and Cœnred came to power.33 Again taking into account the close ties between Wilfrid and Osred, the Wilfridian group may have faced negative political repercussions during Cœnred’s short reign. The political climate in Northumbria, however, soon became more favorable when Osric (718–29), Osred’s brother, became king. It is during this period, soon after Osric came to power, that Acca and Tatberht may have felt the need to propagate Wilfridian interests by commissioning the Life. These men may have wanted to remind the new king of the close ties that had existed between Wilfrid and his brother. This information might not have helped their cause while Cœnred was in power. Therefore, it is possible that the Life was written in c.718 in response to the changing political climate in Northumbria.

Celtic Material in the Life
Stephanus presents Wilfrid as the upholder of Roman practices and orthodoxy against the Quartodeciman heretics, in other words the supporters of the Celtic-84.34 In the past, some historians have pointed to Stephanus’ charge of Quartodecimanism as a sign that he was confused regarding the Celtic table. However, Stephanus includes the information that the Irish celebrated on luna 14 only if this were a Sunday.35 Consequently, he had to have known that the Irish were not Quartodecimans in the true meaning of the term. On the other hand, the papacy had linked use of luna 14–20 with Quartodecimanism in two letters, one from Pope Honorius in c.628 and another from Pope-elect John in 640.36 Therefore, it appears that this link was clearly established long before Stephanus wrote the Life.

Iona and Northumbria, 634–65


Unlike Bede, Stephanus condemns both the Irish and the British in the Life.37 This may be due to the fact that the Life was composed around the time or only a few years after Iona finally abandoned the Celtic-84 and thus this monastery still would have been closely associated with a heretical table. Although Stephanus admits that Wilfrid’s early training was at Lindisfarne, he specifically points out that Wilfrid left before he received a Celtic tonsure and that, in fact, he wanted a Roman one.38 In addition, the Life credits Wilfrid with bringing the correct method of Easter calculation, the Benedictine Rule and the Roman liturgy to England. In light of this, it would have made no sense to excuse or explain Iona’s use of the Celtic practices because this in turn would have minimized Wilfrid’s accomplishments in introducing Roman traditions and defeating his Quartodeciman opponents.

Bede was very anxious about the Northumbrian Church of his day. He perceived a distinct lack of pastoral concern, simplicity and discipline among the leaders of the Church. Many of his writings addressed the issue of reform and the History is no exception.39 By providing models of good, humble, caring abbots and bishops, Bede was able to offer examples for his readers to emulate. This goal of creating useful models to imitate or reject needs to be kept in mind when using this text. When it came to Iona, Bede faced the problem that men from this monastery had provided the early Northumbrian Church with excellent ecclesiastical leadership, but they had used the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure. For bishops like Aidan, who lived before the Synod of Whitby in 664, Bede provided an excuse that they were unaware of the schismatic nature of the Celtic-84. These were flawed saints who had tried to serve God to the best of their abilities but had ultimately fallen into error. In the History, Bede clarifies that those who used the Celtic-84 were not Quartodecimans. Those from Iona may have been ignorant or unwillingly schismatic, but they were not heretics. After 664, when the monastery at Lindisfarne was divided between those willing to accept the Dionysian table and those who returned to Ireland rather than abandon the Celtic-84, the close relationship between Iona and Lindisfarne was severed. It is post–664 Lindisfarne and not Iona that contained the men Bede would highlight as his fully orthodox models of ecclesiastical leadership in the latter part of his History. Stephanus’ portrayal of the Irish and the British is much less complex than Bede’s. The disparaging descriptions that accompany Stephanus’ comments regarding the “Quartodeciman party” are used to reinforce the


The Celtic and Roman Traditions

negative portrayal of the Celtic tradition in contrast to Wilfrid’s innocence. Wilfrid was the Roman champion who restored the Anglo-Saxon Church to orthodoxy. For Stephanus, it was exactly the heretical nature of the Irish and British that highlighted and magnified Wilfrid’s sacrifice and dedication in bringing the Church back into the Catholic fold. Both Bede’s complex model of flawed saints and Stephanus’ emphasis on the Quartodeciman heretics need to be kept in mind when using the History and the Life of Wilfrid to reconstruct the events surrounding the Synod of Whitby.

Before the Synod of Whitby
When Oswald was killed in 642 by the Mercian King Penda, Northumbria dissolved back into two separate kingdoms.40 Oswiu (642–70), Oswald’s brother, became king of Bernicia, while Oswine, a member of Edwin’s family, became king of Deira (table 7.1). Oswiu first reunited the two halves of the kingdom by killing Oswine in 651 and then spent the rest of his reign attempting to expand his authority to neighboring kingdoms. Oswiu’s support of the conversion of some of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms was a key feature of this policy to acquire additional power and influence.41 In 651, Fínán (651–61) became bishop of Northumbria. He, like Aidan, had once been a monk at Iona before transferring to Lindisfarne. It is Fínán who oversaw the conversion of the Middle Angles (map 4.1). One of the men he appointed to participate in this mission, Diuma (c.655–58), eventually became bishop of Mercia and the Middle Angles.42 Priests were sent by Oswiu to convert the East Saxons and Fínán baptized their king, Sigeberht (c.653). Cedd (d. 664), a disciple of Aidan, was bishop of the East Saxons and baptized Swithhelm (653–64), Sigeberht’s successor.43 While Oswiu’s control and influence in these territories waxed and waned, many of the bishops and priests in Mercia, Essex, and, of course, Northumbria were from Lindisfarne or houses under her influence.44 It can be assumed that before 664, these men would have been using the alternative Celtic practices. As these began to be used outside of Northumbria, it likely led to increasing controversy over Easter dating. In his History, Bede states that the Easter controversy had been brewing since the time of Fínán.45 While he was bishop, Rónán, who was probably from a Columbanian community on the Continent, tried to convince him to adopt the Roman table.46 Rónán was unsuccessful, though Bede implies that he might have had some victories with others. In addition, Bede adds the information that at the Northumbrian court, Easter was sometimes

Iona and Northumbria, 634–65


celebrated twice in the same year. This was due to the fact that Oswiu followed the Celtic dating while his wife, who was Edwin’s daughter, used the Roman table.47 Oswiu and his wife were married in c.644, but it was not until the early 660s that the Easter controversy reached a crisis. This indicates that there was more to the Synod of Whitby than simply a dispute over the correct Easter table. Also, although Whitby took place in Northumbria, the fact that many tied to Lindisfarne were in power throughout the AngloSaxon Church means that the decision of this council had wide-ranging effects.

Synod of Whitby (664)
As mentioned above, in c.653, Wilfrid left Lindisfarne to travel to Rome, stopping first at Canterbury and Lyons. While he was away, he adopted the Dionysian Easter table and Roman tonsure, convinced that these practices—rather than those he learned at Lindisfarne—were correct. In c.658, he returned to Northumbria and befriended Oswiu’s son Alhfrith (655–c.665), who had recently been appointed sub-king of Deira. Under Wilfrid’s influence, Alhfrith also decided that the Celtic Easter was heretical.48 This soon led to controversy. In c.658, apparently before meeting Wilfrid, Alhfrith had given land to monks from Melrose, a monastery associated with Lindisfarne, to establish a community at Ripon.49 When Alhfrith demanded that these monks abandon the Celtic table and tonsure, they refused. In response, he removed them from the monastery and gave the community to Wilfrid, who became the new abbot.50 Wilfrid quickly instituted Roman practices. Soon after this, Alhfrith arranged for Wilfrid to be ordained a priest by Agilbert (c.650–60), bishop of the West Saxons.51 The connections between Wilfrid, Alhfrith, and Agilbert are important in the political maneuvering before the Synod of Whitby. Throughout much of Oswiu’s reign, Deira was a sore point. It was first controlled by Oswine whom the king had killed and then ruled by Oswiu’s nephew Œthelwald. He rebelled against his uncle, allied with Penda of Mercia and fought against Oswiu at the battle of Winwæd (655/56) where he was killed.52 It was after this that Alhfrith became sub-king. While Alhfrith fought on his father’s side at Winwæd, he later rebelled and disappeared from the historical record after 664.53


The Celtic and Roman Traditions

It is possible that after 658, Alhfrith was trying to gain the upper hand against his father. Stephanus states that Alhfrith was a good friend of Cenwealh (643–72), the West Saxon king, and in fact it was due to Cenwealh’s recommendation that Alhfrith invited Wilfrid to Deira.54 Oswald of Northumbria, Alhfrith’s uncle, had married Cenwealh’s sister but there is no evidence of a close relationship between Alhfrith’s father, Oswiu and Cenwealh. It is possible that Alhfrith’s friendship with the West Saxon king may have been part of his plan to gain political allies against his father.55 It is interesting then that Alhfrith arranged for Agilbert, bishop of the West Saxons, to ordain Wilfrid as priest. It is possible that Bishop Colmán of Northumbria was unwilling to ordain Wilfrid, since Wilfrid and Alhfrith had just expelled the monks at Ripon for refusing to adopt Roman practices. It is also probable that Wilfrid would have refused to have Colmán participate in this ceremony, as he would have seen the bishop as following heretical practices. In fact, at Whitby, it would be Colmán and Wilfrid who would represent the opposing traditions. Agilbert, on the other hand, was from Gaul. His sister was abbess of Jouarre, a Columbanian foundation. Some of his cousins, notably Audoin, bishop of Rouen, also were associated with the Columbanian tradition.56 Therefore, he was firmly in the Roman camp. King Oswiu, on the other hand, followed the Celtic practices. He had been baptized in Ireland and during his reign, Aidan, Fínán, and Colmán, all men from Iona, were respectively bishops of Northumbria. Alhfrith’s support of the Roman practices as the correct and orthodox tradition, therefore, had political implications. His actions would have been a challenge to his father; at the very least calling into question the orthodoxy of the king.57 In light of this, Stephanus’ accusations of heresy against those who used the Celtic-84 in the Life of Wilfrid may well reflect Wilfrid’s propaganda before the Synod of Whitby. Alhfrith may have been using the claim that he held to correct practices as part of a plan to strengthen his own power and influence.58 It is also possible that Alhfrith felt he had something to gain by aligning with the Roman portion of the Northumbrian court.59

Heavenly Signs
In early May 664, the Irish annals record a solar eclipse.60 Bede also mentions this in his History. Analysis of the eclipse has shown that York, an old center of Roman practices, would have only seen a partial eclipse; in the north where more people adhered to the Celtic-84, the darkness would have been total and for a greater length of time.61 It is easy to see how some connection may have been drawn between this event and the controversy over Easter dating. In addition, in the summer of 664, Anglo-Saxon England

Though they agreed in 662 and 665. As mentioned. 663. though they do record some of the deaths in July and in October. it is certainly understandable that questions may have arisen with regard to these signs. an Irishman named Rónán tried unsuccessfully to convince the bishop to abandon the Celtic table. Therefore. that Whitby was held in 664 since the tables would agree in 665 and not again until 682. combined with some political maneuvering on the part of Alhfrith. this would help to explain why the controversy was becoming more serious. The situation appears to have escalated after this because by the time Colmán became bishop of Northumbria in 661. While it is unlikely that the eclipse in and of itself would have triggered the Synod of Whitby had the Easter controversy not already been brewing. The sources do not record the specific months that this occurred. 634–65 123 was struck by plague. their opponents were celebrating Easter on heretical dates. To make things even more confusing.62 Assuming that the plague struck soon after the eclipse. the Roman tables listed dark Easters. these same years. This allowed more time for new tables to be copied and all to be notified of the upcoming change.2). During.Iona and Northumbria. Whitby . and 666. It has been mentioned that decisions regarding the correct Easter table were often made the year before the tables were in agreement.63 This is in line with Wilfrid’s accusations of heresy for those who did not follow the correct table and also with the arguments from both sides of the controversy in Ireland. Notice that the tables are three weeks apart in 661 and 666. The different Easter tables also were advocating controversial dates (table 7. Bede states that many Christians were afraid they would loose their salvation by celebrating the wrong Easter. for both the Celtic and Roman party. the tables were listing divergent dates more often. with the increasing tension between the supporters of the Celtic-84 and Dionysian tables. According to the Victorian and Dionysian tables. It is interesting. the Celtic-84 listed Easter on luna 14 or before in 661. after this they did not list identical dates again until 682. In addition to the theological seriousness of the Easter controversy. Therefore. 664. therefore. Theological and Practical Issues According to Bede. these heavenly signs could have contributed to the urgency of needing to determine the correct Easter table. according to the Celtic-84. the Easter controversy in Northumbria arose while Fínán (651–61) was bishop. For a court that followed both tables. if any were still using the Victorian table it had two Easter dates in 665.

Anatolius. In addition since Columba was definitely a saint.” p. Anatolius. pp. Alhfrith. modernized and cycled by C. The holiness and authority of John. and Columba and the other holy men of Iona. Hild (657–80) abbess of Whitby. the advocate for the Celtic-84. 661–66 Year 661 662 663 664 665 666 Celtic-84 Easter April 18 April 10 March 26 April 14 April 6 April 19 Victorian Easter March 28 April 10 April 2 April 21 April 6 or 13 March 29 Dionysian Easter March 28 April 10 April 2 April 21 April 6 March 29 Note: Bold tables in agreement. Agilbert (former) bishop of the West Saxons. at Whitby. Victorian and Dionysian Easter dates calculated using Blackburn and Holford-Strevens.” pp. the priest Agatho. and the Queen’s confessor Romanus were present to support the switch to the Roman table and tonsure. claimed three main sources of authority for this table: the Apostle John. James the deacon. bishop of the East Saxons supported the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure. Bishop Colmán and his clergy. he would never have supported a table that violated the precepts laid out in the Scriptures. Corning. 664). Oswiu opened the meeting by stating that the Church should be united and that the correct tradition should be followed.124 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Table 7. “The Victorian and Dionysiac. 821–22 with modifications to the Victorian table as indicated by Jones.2 Comparative Easter dates. and Cedd (d. Source: Celtic-84 Easter dates from McCarthy. Arguments at the Synod—Bede Bede’s History and Stephanus’ Life of Wilfrid have different versions of the Synod of Whitby. The Oxford Companion. He argued that Anatolius clearly advocated celebrating Easter between luna 14 and 20. Wilfrid. “Easter Principles. Bishop Colmán. 18–19.64 According to Bede. 411. and Columba clearly demonstrated that the Celtic-84 . fits the pattern of a synod being held the year before the tables would agree in order to ease the change to a new tradition.

Colmán followed the traditions of neither John nor Peter. therefore. but it was important to put John’s decision to celebrate Easter on Passover into context. Even Paul followed some precepts so as to honor the Jewish heritage of many early Christians. he was referring to when the evening celebration began. Wilfrid argued. This calculation was then deemed correct by the Council of Nicaea. Gaul. used a luna 15 dating. but used a luna 15 date according to the Western understanding of luna dates. However. John. According to Bede’s version of the synod. As for Anatolius. Oswiu then called on Agilbert to present the arguments for the Roman side. but the bishop deferred to Wilfrid who was fluent in English and thus could better communicate with those present. Also. he did so in populations that were primarily Jewish and therefore incorporated those parts of the Law that were needed to help the Jews convert. When the Apostle established churches. Wilfrid added. the celebration actually began the Saturday evening before on luna 13 and continued into the morning of luna 14. Therefore. Wilfrid pointed out that all of the Churches in the East that were originally founded by John now celebrated using luna 15–21. In the West. and throughout the rest of the Church. when Anatolius listed luna 14–20. Wilfrid argued that it was the Dionysian table that was kept in Italy. 634–65 125 was the correct table. The Celtic-84 only used luna 14 if it was a Sunday.Iona and Northumbria. and Britons who lived on “the two remotest islands of the Ocean. but Peter established the Sunday dating for Easter and a luna range of 15–21. Colmán provided no specifics on any problems with the Dionysian table. never celebrated during the day of luna 14. Picts. it was unlawful to follow these traditions. but rather a nineteen-year one. he meant luna 15–21. Wilfrid correctly pointed out that this scholar never supported an 84-year table. According to Bede. the supporters of the Celtic table did not truly imitate John since he celebrated on luna 14 no matter the day of the week. when John said Easter fell on luna 14. Prince of the Apostles. So both John and Peter. he celebrated Easter on the evening of luna 14 and continued it into luna 15. More damning was the fact that Colmán and his supporters misunderstood how dates were listed in the East. since the Church was now dominated by the Gentiles. since he would have reckoned the days from sundown rather than sunrise. Therefore. if Easter fell on luna 14.”65 Not only did all of the modern Church support the Dionysian table. violated Old and New Testament Scriptures and disregarded the rulings of an ecumenical council by celebrating Easter during the day of luna 14 and ignoring luna 21. Wilfrid pointed out that Jesus held Passover on the evening of luna 14 and was crucified during the day of luna 15. Therefore. However. a luna 14 date meant that the Easter celebration should begin . In addition. The only ones who did not were some of the Irish.

67 He adds however that he does not think this is the case with Columba. Stephanus says that the British and Irish celebrate between luna 14 and 22. All agreed that it was Peter. confirmed as they are by the Holy Scriptures.”68 Those who used the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure were a small minority on the edge of nowhere. however. Wilfrid countered that the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea had ruled that . Therefore.69 Arguments at the Synod—Stephanus Stephanus did not include as much detail when it came to the arguments presented at the Synod. the Celtic-84 did not imitate the rules suggested by Anatolius. Whitby is a chance for Stephanus to display his hero’s eloquence and prove that Wilfrid was well respected by all in the Northumbria Church. the basic issue was that the supporters of the Celtic-84 misunderstood what a “day” meant in the documents they were using for support. who used the narrative about Whitby to help his reader understand the problems with the Celtic-84. In the end the decision rested on the issue of whom God had given supreme authority— Columba or Peter? Bede’s story of the synod finishes with King Oswiu asking the above question. Again. it is possible that he is condemning both the Celtic-84 (luna 14–20) and the Victorian (luna 16–22) with this statement and assuming that his readers are not too interested in the specifics of Easter calculations. in the Life of Wilfrid. He asserts that Columba would have abandoned the Celtic-84 had he known it was incorrect. for “once having heard the decrees of the apostolic see or rather of the universal Church. It was different for Colmán and his supporters. Wilfrid first argues that the Scriptures state Jesus will not know many who claimed to prophesy in His name.126 The Celtic and Roman Traditions that evening and continue onto the next day or luna 15. In this version of the Synod of Whitby. Instead Columba and others “in their rude simplicity” did their best to serve God and the Church and were not aware that they were in error. However. Unlike Bede.66 As for Columba. resting on the authority of the Apostle John. Colmán argued that Columba had supported luna 14. if you refuse to follow them. “Out of respect to our fathers” he was not willing to use the Dionysian table.70 This could not be true since no known table used these luna dates. Colmán refused to accept this decision and he and his followers left Lindisfarne and returned to Iona rather than abandon the Celtic-84. then without doubt you are committing sin. Oswiu responded that he did not want to offend the man who held the keys to the gates of heaven and thus the Northumbrian Church would use the Dionysian table.

This is a slightly different list than was used in the disputes in Merovingian Gaul and in Ireland. Peter. and others linked the Celtic-84 to the Quartodeciman heresy. both the Dionysian and Celtic-84 tables were in agreement and would not be so again until 682. According to Bede. This can be explained by the fact that Stephanus. Stephanus presents this differently. may have convinced some that God’s judgment was upon them. Added to these was the growing problem in the Northumbrian court of a king and queen who rarely celebrated Easter and fourteen weeks of feasts and fasts at the same time. Stephanus presents Wilfrid as silent regarding the issue of John’s authority. it could not have helped to have the Church divided over such an important issue. easing the transfer to the new table. 634–65 127 Easter should be calculated on a nineteen-year table and that it could never fall on luna 14. the king decided in favor of the Dionysian table. Hearing that Christ said he would found his Church upon Peter. This coupled with the fact that the tables would diverge by almost a month in 666 would have only escalated the controversy. In addition. In Stephanus’ narrative. the Dionysian table was used by Rome and most of the Church. In addition. As the Celtic-84 and Dionysian tables diverged more often and listed heretical dates. the papacy. as in Bede’s. which tended to use Anatolius. the issue of finding the correct table and using “Roman” traditions may have become a part of the political maneuvering between Oswiu and his son Alhfrith in the period after 658. Wilfrid calls on the authority of Nicaea and Rome. As has been seen in Ireland and in Merovingian Gaul. Though Bede’s and Stephanus’ portrayals of the Synod itself differ in depth of detail. a solar eclipse. things came to a head. coupled with an outbreak of plague. King Oswiu inquires regarding the authority of St. but focus on the fact that Jerome endorsed the bishop’s skill in computistics in addition to more scriptural arguments. John for the Celtic-84 and Peter for the Dionysian. First. In 665.71 Summary The Synod of Whitby occurred in 664 due to a number of factors. . In the Life of Wilfrid. making no arguments regarding Peter or John’s Easter dating.Iona and Northumbria. both report that Colmán relied on the authority of John and Columba. councils that were called to reach a decision on the correct Easter table tended to meet the year before the tables agreed. As Oswiu was attempting to hold together the two halves of Northumbria and expand his authority into other kingdoms as well. by Whitby both sides were claiming apostolic authority.

it is not surprising that Northumbria became involved in the Easter controversy that was raging in these areas. he confronted the challenge of establishing Aidan and his compatriots as humble servants of God.128 The Celtic and Roman Traditions thus not undermining the Quartodeciman accusation. Wanting neither to call into question the foundation of the Church in his kingdom nor to condone the Celtic-84. while reminding the reader that they were in error with regard to Easter and the tonsure. The Church’s inability to reach an agreement on such an important issue could not have helped its legitimacy in the eyes of its pagan audience. As with the Continent and Ireland. According to Stephanus. as the Church was trying to convert the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. but until 716. and Wilfrid alone. Bede also did not want to undermine the reputation of those who after the Synod of Whitby adopted Roman practices and stayed at Lindisfarne. Easter was an issue that rested both on the need to support correct practices and on the Church’s desire for unity. Bede faced the problem that Iona had founded Lindisfarne and was instrumental in the conversion of Northumbria. Bede includes the information that the supporters of the Celtic-84 were not following John’s teaching because they confused the definition of a “day” and always celebrated Easter on a Sunday. who introduced the Benedictine Rule and Roman customs to Northumbria and it was the saint’s skill as an orator that won the day at Whitby. In the History. In addition. He seems to have been very convinced of the need for the Northumbrian Church to be in communion with Rome and as a bishop and missionary he would have been aware of the problems that the Easter . As will be discussed in more detail in chapter 8. In his discussion of the post–Whitby period in the History. many of these people would become key figures and outstanding models to imitate. For Stephanus. Disputes over Easter dating and the tonsure led to division within the body of Christ. infighting would only distract it from its mission. they were mistaken flawed followers of Christ. This is not to argue that Easter was a nonissue to Wilfrid. In this way. it was Wilfrid. the Easter controversy was less an issue of the need for Church unity than one which helped to frame and reinforce the important work of Wilfrid within the Anglo-Saxon Church. He wanted the readers of the History to understand that those from Iona should be commended. Conclusion With its connections to both Gaul and Ireland. Bede undermines any apostolic argument for the Celtic-84 and clarifies that the followers of this table were not Quartodecimans.

In 664. Iona. Between 634 and 664. Given the fact that divergent Easter dates were a heresy issue. After Whitby. it is difficult to see how Iona could have remained closely involved in the Northumbrian Church in the years immediately following 664. Therefore. The Synod of Whitby was not the end of the controversy concerning the alternative Celtic practices. . and the British kingdoms all continued to use the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure. While the Benedictine Rule does not seem to have been popular in Rome in the midseventh century. As well. it certainly was in the Columbanian circle. Colmán and those who could not accept Roman practices returned to Iona and then to Ireland proper. many churchmen outside of Northumbria were associated with Lindisfarne and most likely continued to use the Celtic table until this council. Lindisfarne’s Ionan heritage would continue to be an issue even after it had fully adopted Roman practices.Iona and Northumbria. Dál Ríata. it was Wilfrid as Roman champion that became the key issue rather than the specific arguments regarding Easter dating. all the bishops of Northumbria were from Iona and it appears that the monastery remained in close contact with Lindisfarne and her daughter houses. Many of the Frankish churchmen with whom he interacted were associated with this tradition. 634–65 129 controversy was causing within the Church. Due to Northumbrian dominance in the late 650s. Whitby seriously diminished Iona’s power within the Northumbrian Church. The Synod of Whitby was an important event in the Easter controversy of this period. In addition. It was still over a hundred years before the switch to the Dionysian table was complete. In these political controversies. due to Stephanus’ goals for the Life. Pictland. It should also be noted that Wilfrid demonstrates the spreading influence of the Columbanian communities. it can be assumed that it was through contact with communities using a mixed rule of Benedictine and Columbanian influence that Wilfrid became familiar with this Rule and introduced it to Anglo-Saxon England. political concerns in Northumbria between Wilfrid and Lindisfarne continued throughout the seventh century. However. It needs to be assumed that Oswiu’s condemnation of Celtic practices led to their abandonment in these other kingdoms as well.

The first was comprised of Wilfrid and his followers and the second centered at Lindisfarne and focused on its promotion of the cult of St. he departed for Rome before receiving a Celtic tonsure and quickly abandoned the Celtic-84 upon learning Roman Easter dating. Although Wilfrid had entered Lindisfarne in c. and the chapters concerning Wilfrid and Cuthbert in Bede’s History. Cuthbert ruled for just two from 685–87. In the face of possible accusations by the Wilfridians. The competition between these two groups would fuel the creation of a number of Lives by 731: the anonymous Life of St. Cuthbert. that Lindisfarne pinned its hopes as a major cult center and as an important bishopric on the reputation of Cuthbert. It is clear however. but the fact that Wilfrid’s reputation was based in part on his claim as the upholder of Roman orthodoxy created problems with the promotion of Cuthbert since he had been trained in daughter houses under Lindisfarne’s control before Whitby. The controversy over the alternative Celtic practices had been solved for the Northumbrian Church at the Synod of Whitby in 664.1 While Wilfrid was bishop for almost forty-five years. two internal parties influenced the Church in Northumbria.2 . Cuthbert (699–704). Lindisfarne needed to deal very carefully with the reputation of its saint.648. Cuthbert by Bede (704–16). Cuthbert (before 721). Bede’s prose Life of St. a metrical Life of St. the Life of Wilfrid by Stephanus (716–20).Chapter 8 Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. 665–735 By 700. Cuthbert followed the Celtic practices until ordered to change after Whitby.

” The pope adds that he is pleased to hear that the king labors for “the conversion of all your subjects to the catholic and apostolic faith . King of Northumbria Soon after the Synod of Whitby. As the controversy continued and as each side became even more frustrated with the other. Oswiu sent Wigheard to Rome in order to be consecrated by the pope as bishop of Canterbury.5 If this interpretation is correct. if not before. Vitalian would have been well aware that Oswiu had accepted Christianity decades before Whitby. it demonstrates that the papacy continued to link the Celtic-84 with heresy. Therefore it appears that the letter is congratulating Oswiu on adopting Roman practices. Thus the king has converted from false teachings to the true faith. From the late 620s. .3 All the bishops before him had been consecrated in Anglo-Saxon England or Merovingian Gaul. In this letter.” and admonishes the king to follow Roman practices.4 Since there were representatives of the Northumbrian court at Rome. the Roman tables advocated dark Easters and symbolically supported Pelagian teachings as well. Those who followed the Victorian and the Dionysian tables saw a link between the Celtic-84 and the Quartodeciman and possibly Pelagian heresies. at all times.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. Oswiu may have wanted the pope to participate in Wigheard’s consecration in order to demonstrate that he was firmly in the Roman camp and to ensure that there were no questions concerning the legitimacy of his choice for bishop. it is critical to examine the attitudes of the wider Anglo-Saxon Church on this issue. 665–735 131 Sources Demonstrating the Heretical Nature of the Easter Controversy In order to understand the continuing controversy over the alternative Celtic practices in Northumbria after Whitby. these attitudes became more entrenched. For the supporters of the Celtic-84. After the arrival of the Anglo-Saxon delegation. Vitalian states that “by God’s protecting hand. you [Oswiu] have been converted to the true and apostolic faith. Pope Vitalian wrote to Oswiu. thereby converting to the catholic and apostolic faith. Letter from Pope Vitalian (657–72) to Oswiu (642–70). especially with regard to Easter. . . there were accusations of heresy on both sides of the Easter controversy.

and probably studied at both Antioch and Constantinople. Archbishop of Canterbury Theodore was originally from Tarsus in present-day Turkey.6 Sometime in the 660s. He consecrated a number of new bishops to replace those who had died in the recent plague and also created newer. If .13 A second clause states that if a person has the relics of a heretic and “he does not know the difference between the Catholic faith and that of the Quartodecimans. In its current arrangement. Mercia. it can be assumed that the bishops had the Dionysian table in mind. and he shall do penance for a year. While the rulings are not preserved in any document written during Theodore’s lifetime.132 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Writings from the Circle of Theodore (668–90). he shall be driven out of every church unless he does penance before his death. the Council of Hertford established the Dionysian table as the only correct one for the whole Anglo-Saxon Church. Therefore.11 In the penitential section. In 673. and [if he] afterward understands and performs penance. historians argue that most of them appear to be authentic and.”9 While Bede does not identify a specific Easter table.716. he ought to burn the relics with fire.7 Pope Vitalian chose him to be archbishop of Canterbury in 668 and he arrived in England in the summer of 669. this document has two parts: the first is a penitential and the second is a series of canonical rulings. some are only applicable to the period between Theodore’s arrival in Britain and Iona’s adoption of the Roman Easter in c. in fact. there is a chapter dealing with heretics and those who interact with them. The first canon states that “we all keep Easter Day at the same time. and Northumbria and therefore its decisions were applicable to the whole of the Anglo-Saxon Church. was known in Ireland by 725. the West Saxons. Kent. smaller bishoprics in order to better administer the Church. Theodore called a church council at Hertford according to the record preserved in Bede’s History. namely on the Sunday after the fourteenth day of the moon of the first month. One clause states that “if one flouts the Council of Nicaea and keeps Easter with the Jews on the fourteenth of the moon. he came to Rome and resided there as a monk.”12 This statement is followed by injunctions that if someone prays “with such a person” he shall do penance. The Penitential of Theodore also serves as evidence that Easter dating continued to be a controversial issue.8 This synod had representatives from East Anglia. He established a school at Canterbury that became a center of Latin and Greek learning. the Iudicia Theodori.10 An earlier alternative version of the Theodore’s rulings. Theodore immediately set out to reform the Anglo-Saxon Church.

16 The second part of the penitential has three canons that are applicable to the Easter controversy. bishop of Sherborne. unless he is penitent.1). King of Dumnonia Additional evidence of the continuing controversy comes from the letters of Aldhelm (706–709/10).”19 This latter statement may tie to an earlier passage in the penitential regarding the need for rebaptism for those baptized by heretics who did not believe in the Trinity. Letter of Aldhelm. The situation had become serious enough that those who belonged to the “Catholic” side were not to associate with those who rejected the correct practices. He studied under Theodore at Canterbury and became abbot of Malmesbury in 674. For some. he shall be cast out of the Church as a heretic. and the need to be reordained if the original ceremony was performed by a heretic. As discussed in chapter 1. In the letter. he shall do penance for ten years”15 Additional statements list the penances for giving communion to a heretic. the first heretic from whom all other heresies descended. persuading others to adopt heresy.18 Third.”14 A third advises that if a person has allowed a heretic to celebrate Mass in a Catholic church and “if he does this in condemnation of the Catholic Church and the customs of the Romans. any church consecrated by someone who supports the alternative Easter and tonsure will need to be reconsecrated. he will need to be reconfirmed. First. reciting the names of heretics in church. if a person has been ordained by those supporting the Celtic Easter or tonsure. and is indifferent. king of Dumnonia (map 4. however.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. if he is. The tonsure also was becoming more important as it became linked with the Celtic Easter and thus condemned by association. when he is moved to penance he shall do penance for ten years. those who follow the Celtic Easter and tonsure should not receive the Eucharist and “a person from among the nations. Abbot of Malmesbury to Geraint. some of those supporting the Dionysian table argued that the Celtic tonsure was that of Simon Magus.20 The Penitential of Theodore makes it clear that the Easter controversy was a major concern in the Anglo-Saxon Church at this time. it must have seemed appropriate that those who were heretics due to their insistence on following an incorrect Easter table should wear a tonsure that symbolically proclaimed their association with the arch-heretic. 665–735 133 one knows. He founded monasteries and wrote a number of works including an important letter to Geraint.17 Second. shall be baptized. or anyone who doubts his baptism. celebrating Mass for a dead heretic. Aldhelm states that he was asked by a council of bishops from throughout Britain to write to Geraint about the need for Church .

23 Aldhelm discusses the fact that Geraint’s bishops use the Celtic-84 table. Upholding biblical injunctions and the canons of numerous Church councils. Aldhelm alleges that the bishops refuse the kiss of peace and require that all vessels used by the Romans be purified. Continuing the trend set by the papacy in c. However. Aldhelm’s letter demonstrates that the exasperation was felt not only on the Roman side. but associated with the followers of the Celtic-84 were guilty of interaction with heretics and thus penance was assessed. He then adds that a person who follows the Roman practices is not allowed to join a British community until he completes a forty-day penance.29 Summary After seventy years of controversy over the alternative Celtic practices.630.21 Aldhelm writes that the bishops in Geraint’s kingdom are outside the unity of the Catholic faith. the bishops of Dyfed refused to interact with . and that you in no wise haughtily spurn the tradition of the Roman Church. For some. many of the British residing in the West Saxon kingdom abandoned their alternative practices.24 By doing so they violate the rulings of Nicaea that he states decreed a nineteen-year cycle and Easter limits of luna 15–21.134 The Celtic and Roman Traditions unity. Those who advocated the Celtic-84 had sinned and needed to do penance for their transgression. He also relates that the bishops of Dyfed refuse to associate with those following Roman customs by neither attending the same services nor eating at the same table.26 In addition. each side was becoming more frustrated with the other. Aldhelm pleads with the bishops to “no longer detest with swollen pride of heart and with scornful breast the doctrine and decrees of blessed Peter. Instead.22 He chastises them for wearing the tonsure of Simon Magus and contrasts this with the symbolic witness of the tonsure of Peter and the apostles. the Celtic practices were continually linked with heresy.”27 He warns that those who reject the Roman Easter and Petrine tonsure should not expect to be counted among the community of believers. It is possible that he is referring to the Council of Hertford in 673. employing tyrannous obstinacy. by using their alternative table they are like the Quartodecimans who celebrate on luna 14 with the Jews.28 Bede mentions in the History that due to a “book” Aldhelm wrote.25 This is similar to the information about Bishop Dagán contained in the letter of Bishop Laurence (604/10–19) of Canterbury. He has heard “a rumor hostile to the faith of the Church” that the bishops refuse to wear the Petrine tonsure. even those who used the Dionysian table. for the sake of the ancient statutes of your predecessors.

and the events in Wilfrid’s life after 665 According to Stephanus. Just as with the supporters of the Dionysian table. Wilfrid traveled to Rome where Pope Agatho (678–81) ruled that he had committed no wrong and should be restored to his see.31 By 678. he traveled to the continent to be ordained by orthodox rather than Quartodeciman bishops. King Oswiu appointed Chad. the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Life of Wilfrid. the bishop’s enemies accused him of attaining papal favor through bribes and the king.33 Upon returning to Anglo-Saxon England.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. As mentioned previously. to be bishop in his stead. confession and penance were required of those who refused to follow the “correct” Easter table. Wilfrid returned to Ripon and later acted as bishop of Mercia where he introduced the Benedictine Rule. not evil for evil. First. In 669. Unable to convince the king or archbishop to reverse their decisions. Bishop Wilfrid (665–709) In order to fully understand Lindisfarne’s difficulties after the Synod of Whitby and the development of the cult of Cuthbert. Thus Wilfrid’s claims of authority and his emphasis on Roman practices would haunt Lindisfarne long after 664. it is first necessary to discuss Wilfrid’s career as bishop. 665–735 135 those they deemed heretics. a priest trained at a Lindisfarne foundation. and the bishops refused to restore Wilfrid. after Wilfrid was chosen as bishop of Northumbria. Wilfrid became bishop of Northumbria and would serve in one and another capacity until his death in 709. just like the Philistines who took the Ark of the Covenant from Israel. Theodore. Stephanus. Ecgfrith (672–85) to turn against the bishop. Queen Iurmenburgh of Northumbria. convinced her husband.” and arranged for Chad to become bishop of Mercia. controversy arose. like “a second Jezebel” according to Stephanus.32 The pair then bribed Archbishop Theodore to divide Wilfrid’s diocese into three parts and appoint new bishops to these.30 Wilfrid “returned good for evil. his counselors. He was soon thrown in prison. While Wilfrid was gone. arrived and quickly restored Wilfrid to his see. soon after the Synod of Whitby. In . Rather than creating a large controversy. Stephanus accuses the queen of compounding these sins by taking the relics Wilfrid had brought back from Rome and making them into a necklace.

In the Scriptures. While there was peace for a time. He died three years after this in 709. a council was called at Austerfield to resolve the controversy.39 Wilfrid’s building of the church at Ripon is compared with Moses constructing the tabernacle and Solomon the Temple. Stephanus also looked to the episcopal martyr cults in Gaul when constructing his model of episcopal sanctity. as soon as Queen Iurmenburgh recovered.38 Stephanus also compares Wilfrid to King David on numerous occasions.42 In addition. the queen was possessed by a demon.36 Finally at the Synod of Nidd.” Wilfrid appealed to Rome. Aldfrith (685–705) to restore Wilfrid to his lands. in 691 Wilfrid was once again banished. these parallels to the events in Peter and Paul’s lives are especially interesting. The controversies that led to Wilfrid’s multiple exiles needed to be explained.and eighth-century Lives from Gaul that described bishops who . just as they did with Peter. he equates Wilfrid to prophets and kings who inaugurated new. “when falsely condemned by the Jews. From the Old Testament. Wilfrid traveled to Rome for a papal ruling and once again was completely exonerated.44 There were numerous seventh. To do this.34 The saint finally found refuge for a time in Sussex where he converted the people before being reconciled with Archbishop Theodore who then convinced the new Northumbrian king. reformed regimes.35 In 702. Wilfrid’s chains were always too large and fell off. The bishop was deposed and his followers soon excommunicated. Wilfrid’s persecution is placed within this context. Stephanus employed biblical models. he sang psalms and a great light filled his cell. King Ecgfrith released Wilfrid from jail.43 Given Wilfrid’s association with Roman practices. the New Testament is clear that those who truly follow Christ will be falsely accused and persecuted. Wilfrid spent about twenty-six years of his episcopate in exile from Northumbria. Naturally. but due to the “avarice” of the bishops. the royal pair used their power and influence to make Wilfrid flee from court to court in search of sanctuary.136 The Celtic and Roman Traditions punishment for acting against Wilfrid.41 When Wilfrid was imprisoned by Ecgfrith. just as happened when Peter was imprisoned. Like Paul. the council ordered that Wilfrid should be restored as bishop at Hexham and given the monastery at Ripon.40 Stephanus alludes to the New Testament as well. Subsequently. To protest these developments. Recognizing his error. in 706. some of them testified falsely against Wilfrid. the Apostles suffered at the hands of local secular and religious authorities.37 Stephanus’ portrayal of Wilfrid Unfortunately for Stephanus. However.

bishop of Clermont.660). the “Quartodecimans” continue to play a role in Northumbrian politics even after Whitby. Stephanus usually . and his commitment to Christ-like ideals that ensured his career would be full of controversy. Stephanus constructs Wilfrid as an outstanding servant of the Church. identified as a “second Jezebel” is incorrectly accused of persecuting and murdering nine bishops including Wilfrid’s patron Aunemundus. the Columbanian tradition had become so Romanized that it was through this group that Wilfrid became familiar with the Benedictine Rule. 676). by the mid-seventh century. Brunhild. or corrupt nature of their fellow bishops and secular lords for their downfalls. Jonas blames Queen Brunhild’s jealousy for the conflict in Columbanus’ life.49 This provides clear evidence of how well Jonas had succeeded in portraying Columbanus as a fully orthodox saint and the possible ties between the Columbanian and Wilfridian circles. However. envy. Stephanus used similar arguments to explain why the archbishops of Canterbury and the kings of Northumbria turned against Wilfrid. which Stephanus probably knew.47 As previously discussed. Wilfrid is presented as innocently performing his duties as bishop of Northumbria when King Ecgfrith and Queen Iurmenburgh inexplicitly turned against him.45 Other bishops who were persecuted include Desiderius. Stephanus and the Quartodeciman Party In the Life of Wilfrid. his own godson. bishop of Autun and Praejectus (d. Aunemundus (d. Due to the fact that Wilfrid refused to deviate from the truth and was blessed richly by God.46 The Lives of all these men blame the jealousy. was assassinated after being accused of treason against King Chlothar III. For instance. As discussed. 665–735 137 were martyred or at least persecuted by secular and ecclesiastical leaders. Therefore. In much the same way. Even Jonas’ Life of Columbanus. In fact in one of the two surviving manuscripts of the Life of Wilfrid.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. It was his apostolic nature that led his fellow Northumbrians to react with envy and jealousy. for Columbanus was attacked by the episcopal leadership in part because he upheld the alternative Celtic practices. There is irony here of course. c. he faced persecution by the secular and ecclesiastical leadership of his day. bishop of Lyons.48 It is notable then that Brunhild. bishop of Lyons and friend of Wilfrid. provided excellent examples of a saint at conflict with the secular and ecclesiastical authorities. Leudegar (662–76). Columbanus’ arch enemy. would be inserted in a copy of the Life of Wilfrid even though she had died long before this incident. bishop of Vienne.

53 Since all those who followed the Celtic-84 had left Northumbria. Stephanus was able to argue that those who truly followed a Christian path would be persecuted. approximately . Oswiu. Stephanus called upon a number of models.”50 This is a bold statement that questions the ordination of most of the priests and bishops in Anglo-Saxon England at the time and argues that those who associate with the Quartodecimans are also to be shunned. He was also able to turn to the existence of the Quartodeciman party to explain some of the difficulties Wilfrid experienced after the Synod of Whitby. Not all of Stephanus’ models were defensive. during Wilfrid’s absence from Northumbria for his consecration.702. built and endowed churches. Stephanus’ “Quartodeciman party” most likely refers to those who adopted Roman practices but refused to condemn Aidan and Lindisfarne’s heritage.138 The Celtic and Roman Traditions refers to those who follow the Celtic-84 as Quartodecimans. However. he blamed the conflict on the jealousy of Wilfrid’s secular and ecclesiastical peers.52 In the next chapter. Chad. his definition appears much broader than this in the post-Whitby narratives. “was instructed by those who adhered to the Quartodeciman party in opposition to the rule of the Apostolic See” to appoint Chad as bishop in Wilfrid’s place. and converted many in Sussex and Frisia.54 Summary Writing the Life of Wilfrid proved challenging for Stephanus in numerous ways. Perhaps the best summary of Wilfrid’s accomplishments comes from a speech Stephanus attributes to him at the Synod of Austerfield in c. In the Life. Looking at biblical models. . brought skilled artisans from the Continent. Stephanus also includes other references to the Quartodeciman party post-Whitby. by them were ordained men whom the Apostolic See does not receive into communion. He was at pains in the Life to stress Wilfrid’s contributions to the Anglo-Saxon Church. In order to do this. however. Using the form of episcopal martyr cults from the Continent. . According to the Life. are Quartodecimans like the Britons and Scots. Wilfrid travels to Merovingian Gaul for ordination as a bishop because “in Britain many bishops . nor does she even receive those who have fellowship with the schismatics.51 These are similar to the attitudes found in Theodore’s Penitential.” stepped down as bishop and performed the necessary penance for his sin. This was the bishop who introduced Roman practices. He had to justify why Wilfrid seemed to be involved in controversy throughout most of his career. popularized the Benedictine Rule. “fully understanding then the wrongdoing implied in his ordination to another’s see by the Quartrodecimans.

Eata transferred to Lindisfarne and remained there until he returned to Hexham in 685 so that Cuthbert could become bishop at Lindisfarne. Also. Lindisfarne after Whitby Just after Whitby. . After being asked to retire quietly to Ripon. It would be in the atmosphere of these claims that Lindisfarne would need to construct its arguments for episcopal power and sanctity. This is because when Wilfrid was exiled in 678. With Wilfrid as bishop of Northumbria and Oswiu having ruled in favor of Roman practices. abbot of Lindisfarne. the Lindisfarne community was sundered as members abandoned the monastery rather than accept the Roman practices. a Whitby monk. . . ? And did I not instruct them in accordance with the rite of the primitive Church to make use of a double choir signing in harmony. Even then however.56 Men from daughter houses associated with Lindisfarne did continue to be elected and hold important ecclesiastical positions.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. 665–735 139 thirty-eight years after the Synod of Whitby. even if Iona had wished to remain in support of a daughter house that rejected its traditions. . . Wilfrid and his supporters believed his right to continue to exercise episcopal authority was based in part on his crucial role in introducing Roman customs and practices. became bishop of Deira with his see at York and Eata. with reciprocal responses and antiphons? And did I not arrange the life of the monks in accordance with the rule of the holy father Benedict which none had previously introduced there?55 Thus. the see was moved from Lindisfarne to York. diminishing the community’s political and religious influence. It would be seventeen years after Whitby until its episcopal see was finally restored. Lindisfarne could no longer afford to maintain its close ties with Iona. Archbishop Theodore divided the Northumbrian diocese: Bosa. It is not hard to imagine that this was a very difficult and upsetting time for the community. to root out the poisonous weeds planted by the Scots? Did I not change and convert the whole of the Northumbrian race to the true Easter and to the tonsure in the form of a crown.57 In 681. in accordance with the practice of the Apostolic See . However. became bishop of Bernicia with his see at Hexham. Wilfrid responds: Was I not the first . the bishop of Lindisfarne controlled only a portion of Northumbria rather than the whole kingdom as in the past. Lindisfarne was no longer a center of ecclesiastical authority in Northumbria.

Cuthbert led for less than two. Aidan was the first to lead the community at Lindisfarne and most monasteries are associated with their founding saints. This group used the Roman practices but would not condemn the sanctity of those who had followed the Celtic-84 in the past. but counter the Wilfridian party as well. On top of this. While Aidan was bishop for seventeen years. If Wilfrid and his followers had not remained a political consideration or if the Wilfridian circle had not promoted their part in bringing Roman orthodoxy to Northumbria. Therefore. It probably would have quietly faded away. However. Thus it would be possible to present him as an orthodox saint. Cuthbert is telling.58 In order for Cuthbert to be presented as a viable alternative to Wilfrid.59 Thus while Wilfrid would have argued that Aidan was a heretic. his orthodoxy had to be beyond question. This is at least what occurred on the Continent in association with Luxeuil and the Columbanian monasteries. Cuthbert’s Celtic past had to be minimized and any possible Roman connections highlighted or invented. . Aidan ruled as bishop of all of Northumbria. Wilfrid’s influence meant that a saint’s legitimacy was partially defined by his/her adherence to Roman practices.140 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Cuthbert (685–87). In the ecclesiastical climate of the late seventh to early eighth century. It is crucial to keep in mind that the works being produced by and for the Lindisfarne community about Cuthbert were composed not just to glorify and champion the saint. it is important to emphasize that Lindisfarne and her supporters represented the moderate party in the Northumbrian Church. Cuthbert had abandoned the alternative Celtic practices and was elected bishop twenty-one years after the Synod of Whitby. On the surface. the apparent friction between Wilfrid and the moderate party meant that the alternative Celtic practices continued to be a relevant issue long after there was any portion of the Northumbrian Church that actually supported them. In addition. Aidan appears the more likely candidate as the focus of a saint-cult.60 Ironically. Bishop of Lindisfarne and Saint Lindisfarne’s promotion of the cult of St. the community at Lindisfarne continued to honor its founding saint and in fact interred his remains in a place of honor near the altar. but Cuthbert controlled only the diocese of Lindisfarne. What made Cuthbert the better focus of a cult was the fact that while Aidan had always used the Celtic-84. it is doubtful whether the Celtic heritage of Lindisfarne would have remained much of an issue after 664.

which was used “even to this day along with the rule of St. 687. was chosen as bishop of Hexham. By only once linking Cuthbert with Roman practices and then never discussing the subject again. place or practice as being Irish. gave Ripon to Wilfrid and mandated Roman customs.61 When Alhfrith. it appears that Cuthbert decided to adopt the Dionysian table and Roman tonsure. a Lindisfarne daughter house.63 In 685.65 The author provided only a loose chronology and few extraneous details regarding the people and places that are mentioned in the text. so Bishop Eata was transferred to Hexham while Cuthbert assumed the duties at Lindisfarne. Instead he adopted the Petrine tonsure when he came to Lindisfarne as prior following the Synod of Whitby. he stepped down as bishop. No copy of Cuthbert’s rule survives so it is difficult to assess in what ways if any it was influenced or altered by contact with the Benedictine Rule.62 After the Synod of Whitby.68 The anonymous Life also states that Cuthbert instituted a monastic rule at Lindisfarne. sub-king of Deira. Anonymous Life of Cuthbert and Celtic Practices The anonymous Life was written in c. Around 676. 665–735 141 Short Summary of the life of Cuthbert Cuthbert entered the monastery of Melrose. wanting a more anchoritic lifestyle. In fact the Life “refrains from referring to any person. What can be said was that in the late seventh and early . in 651 and sometime before 658 transferred to the monastery at Ripon. Cuthbert was a monk at Ripon in c. As this document was produced at Lindisfarne.”66 The author does state however that Cuthbert received a Petrine tonsure while he was a monk at Ripon. Benedict. He refused to leave Lindisfarne. By using this style.67 This is incorrect. off the coast of Northumbria.700 by a monk in the Lindisfarne community. it also indicates that the community wanted to disassociate one of its greatest saints from his Celtic heritage. somewhat against his will. he moved to a solitary existence on Farne Island. He died on February 20.”69 This brings to mind the mixed rules of the Columbanian communities. the author allows the reader to conclude that Cuthbert had always been trained in Roman traditions.64 Within two years. He also soon thereafter became prior of Lindisfarne.660 when it was under Lindisfarne’s influence and thus there is little chance that he would have received a Roman tonsure there. returning to his hermitage on Farne. Cuthbert was one of the monks who returned to Melrose rather than abandon the Celtic practices.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. Cuthbert. the anonymous Life is able to gloss over Cuthbert’s early training at Melrose.

The Lindisfarne author wanted the reader to understand that Cuthbert was a monk-bishop in the tradition of St. The metrical Life of Cuthbert was written before 716. part of the prologue of the Life comes from the preface to Athanasius’ Life of Antony.71 For instance. Though Lindisfarne would have been using the Dionysian table. In the preface to the prose Life of Cuthbert. Martin of Tours. However. Bede states that the Lindisfarne community had commissioned him to write a Life of St. With this obvious proof that he was a saint. even though he had died thirteen years previously. it was Wilfrid and his party who claimed to have brought correct Roman teaching to Northumbria in the form of the Benedictine Rule. The importance of associating Cuthbert with Roman practices can also be seen on the coffin created for him in 698. The wooden coffin is surrounded by pictures of the Apostles. a passage from the material that accompanied the Victorian Easter tables is found in the first portion of the Life’s prologue. This event probably occasioned the writing of the anonymous Life and the creation of the Lindisfarne Gospels. Book three also includes another passage from Sulpicius Severus. Martin.70 The Lindisfarne author also associates Cuthbert with continental saints.75 In it. Just before this date. one in metrical verse and one in prose. Bede does not include the information that Cuthbert had a Roman tonsure nor does he attempt to create any link between the saint and the Benedictine Rule.73 This image of Peter may well have been a way for the community to visibly reinforce the orthodoxy of Cuthbert and his loyalty to Roman traditions. the monks at Lindisfarne discovered that Cuthbert’s body had not corrupted.72 An additional passage from this work can be found in the first chapter of book two. including one of Peter who is portrayed with a Roman tonsure. he includes no information in his poem that would connect Cuthbert with the Celtic practices. Antony is considered one of the founders of monasticism and so it is understandable that the author of the Life of Cuthbert wished to link these two men. Therefore the author of the Life may have been trying to demonstrate that Cuthbert’s way of life was fully compatible with Roman practices. The preface of the anonymous Life is taken from chapter one of Sulpicius Severus’ Life of St. Cuthbert and that he had interviewed members of the community for . the community decided to translate his body. Interestingly.74 Bede’s Lives of Cuthbert Bede composed two Lives of Cuthbert. like the author of the anonymous Life.142 The Celtic and Roman Traditions eighth centuries. this may still have been a subtle way of reinforcing the fact that both Cuthbert and Lindisfarne followed Roman Easter traditions.

He adds that the monks at Lindisfarne read both a preliminary and final draft of the text. in the narrative concerning the establishment of the monastery at Ripon in c. Whatever his varied goals for the work. Stephanus completed the Life of Wilfrid.76 First.81 Keeping this in mind.84 For example. There are many theories about why Bede chose to write a new prose Life for Cuthbert when an adequate one had been composed about twenty years previously. written about ten years later. he needed to remain silent about Cuthbert’s earlier adherence to Celtic practices.”85 Since he has not discussed the fact that Melrose was a daughter house of Lindisfarne and therefore following Ionan traditions. but those of Lindisfarne as well. after the composition of the anonymous Life of Cuthbert. it is interesting that Bede’s construct of Cuthbert incorporates the theme of suffering. Stephanus.86 It is only by correlating this event with the History. Cuthbert did not feel worthy to be a bishop. While Wilfrid fought to be reestablished as bishop after his exile in 678. This. in turn.77 It is possible that Stephanus was responding to the anonymous Life. Cuthbert is primarily a miracle worker. there can be no doubt that the ideas expressed in the prose Life reflect the attitudes and opinions not only of the author. Bede states that Abbot Eata instigated “therein the same rules of discipline as were observed at Melrose.658. 665–735 143 this project. Bede subtly implies that Wilfrid is the persecutor. in the prose Life and the History. when composing the Life of Wilfrid. Bede wrote the prose Life for a number of complex reasons. Other historians point to the fact that Bede portrays Cuthbert as a model monk-bishop. Bede may have felt the need to produce a new Life that clearly emphasized the saint’s condemnation of Celtic practices.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. In addition.78 It is possible that this was a direct attack upon Wilfrid’s controversial career. the one who causes problems for Cuthbert and Lindisfarne. Cuthbert has been transformed into a master of pastoral care both for the Lindisfarne community and the wider lay society. Also. and had to be persuaded to accept the office. he provides no explanation for why Cuthbert and the monks at Ripon were forced to return to Melrose soon after its foundation. both in terms of persecution and from physical illness. In the anonymous Life. forced the Lindisfarne community to commission a new Life of Cuthbert. that the reader is aware . incorporated much of the prologue of the anonymous Life of Cuthbert into his own prologue along with additional parallels and borrowings. the reader is ignorant of Ripon’s Celtic ties.83 In all probability.82 However.80 The Life of Wilfrid includes significant information on Wilfrid’s “persecution” by the archbishop of Canterbury and different Northumbrian monarchs.79 Humility is another theme that runs through the prose Life. In Bede’s prose Life. Taking these facts into consideration.

87 The story serves to reinforce the belief of the moderate party that Aidan was not a heretic.92 Cuthbert is also associated with Sts. Aidan is referred to twice in the prose Life. though not any with a Celtic background.720 demonstrates the continuing controversy surrounding the alternative Celtic practices. later identified as Aidan. Interestingly. However.91 Therefore. Bede compares Cuthbert to other saints.89 Bede tells the reader that this situation exists because Aidan was a monk and continued to live a monastic life even while a bishop.96 However. he called a number of the Lindisfarne community together.93 In addition. just before Cuthbert’s death. while he is described as holy and virtuous. Bede presents Cuthbert as condemning the Celtic Easter dating. For instance. given the fact that this is a supposed eye-witness account by Herefrith. which still adhered to the Celtic-84. and that the Lindisfarne community approved Bede’s final draft of the prose Life this must represent what Lindisfarne wanted people to believe. It seems somewhat out of character given Cuthbert’s travels in Pictland. As with the anonymous Life. Antony and Augustine. but instead uses Pope Gregory to support this practice. abbot of Lindisfarne. either in not celebrating Easter at the proper time or in evil living. to heaven. Bede first relates that Cuthbert had a vision of angels carrying a soul. he should live a communal life with his clergy. but to “have no communion with those who depart from the unity of catholic peace. but Lindisfarne’s early organization is tied to the papacy. The second mention of Aidan is found within Bede’s explanation of why Lindisfarne was both an episcopal see and a monastery. The fact that this death speech is included in a Life written in c. He advised them to offer hospitality to those who seek it.144 The Celtic and Roman Traditions that Cuthbert was kicked out of Ripon for refusing to adopt Roman practices. Bede does not link this with Iona.88 However. none of these accounts provide any information linking the bishop to Iona. Bede is able to discuss Cuthbert’s early training without ever mentioning that it was Celtic.”95 This speech is not included in either the anonymous or metrical Life and whether or not Cuthbert actually said this cannot be verified. Therefore.90 He quotes portions of the Libellus Responsionum where the pope instructs Augustine that since he is bishop as well as a monk. This same narrative is found in the anonymous and metrical Lives. there is no mention of Iona. in the Life. he associates Cuthbert with St. Why else would the Lindisfarne community have wanted Bede to present Cuthbert condemning those who violated the unity of the Church by using the Celtic-84? .94 According to the prose Life. Benedict numerous times in the Life either by directly mentioning him by name or including miracles that mirror those found in Pope Gregory’s writings about Benedict.

As it attempted to reestablish itself as a bishopric. while founder of Lindisfarne and bishop of the whole of Northumbria for many years. As Wilfrid continued to be a major force in the Northumbrian Church for decades after Whitby and as he based his authority partially on his reputation for bringing Roman practices to Northumbria. In many ways it is this work. While Wilfrid seemed to spend much of his career as bishop in the center of controversy and in exile. and providing a death speech that clearly and forcibly condemned those who continued to use the Celtic-84. Lindisfarne’s Celtic heritage remained a hindrance. Aidan. then Cuthbert could assist Lindisfarne in justifying its elevation as a cult center. Lindisfarne clearly lost political power after the Synod of Whitby with the removal of the see to York. Cuthbert was a viable option for a cult to rival Wilfrid. The fact that Cuthbert occupied one of the bishoprics created when Wilfrid was exiled and Theodore divided the diocese did not help matters. and political player in Northumbria. connecting Lindisfarne’s organizational structure to the advice given by Pope Gregory the Great. that provided the “final word” on . Antony and Benedict. The writer of the anonymous Life gave Cuthbert a Roman tonsure and compared him with Roman saints. rather than the various Lives produced in early eighth-century Northumbria. including verbatim passages from other Lives. all establish him as a thoroughly orthodox saint in the heritage of Sts. 665–735 145 Summary The various Lives of Cuthbert provide crucial information on the ongoing ramifications of the Easter controversy in the Northumbrian Church. and Lindisfarne It seems appropriate to finish this chapter by discussing the ways in which Bede decided to portray both Wilfrid and the Lindisfarne community in his History. He had upheld the Celtic practices before 664. but managed to discuss Cuthbert’s background without ever hinting at the Celtic ties. Wilfrid. the community needed to find a saint. Bede’s metrical Life dropped the information regarding the Roman tonsure. Though the three Lives differ in their portrayal of Cuthbert. Cuthbert’s was one of relative peace. cult-center. When Bede composed the prose Life he established Cuthbert’s Roman heritage through the linkage to orthodox saints. If the writers of his Lives could establish his “Roman” credentials. but he abandoned them after Whitby. was compromised by his support of the Celtic Easter table.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. Bede’s History.

100 One reason for Bede’s silence about Wilfrid’s episcopacy is that the bishop was continually at odds with the Northumbrian secular and ecclesiastical hierarchy. his many retainers. his political and ecclesiastical involvement in Northumbria is often unclear or simply not mentioned in the History. In addition. Bede tends to underplay Wilfrid’s influence in Northumbria. Bede believed that bishops should live simple lives. it can be assumed that the exile of the bishop of Northumbria would merit some detail. In the History. Bede usually portrays the Northumbrian secular and ecclesiastical leadership working together to promote the good of the Church. and thus Bede’s vision and presentation continues to be the most influential. Bede’s Portrayal of Wilfrid Except for the Synod of Whitby narrative.99 All of this can be contrasted with Bede’s focus on Cuthbert even within the History. his desire to keep Northumbria as a single diocese—something Bede saw as incompatible with good pastoral care—were all at odds with Bede’s models of a good bishop. Although Cuthbert was bishop for only two years.103 No explanation is given.146 The Celtic and Roman Traditions both the bishop and Lindisfarne. and only bishop of Lindisfarne.102 Another issue is that some of those portrayed as excellent role models in the History could have been tarnished by revealing too much about Wilfrid’s career.97 Many chapters of the History refer to Wilfrid. Neither King Ecgfrith nor Archbishop Theodore abided by . but he does not mention that Wilfrid obtained a ruling from the papacy that either he should be restored to the whole of the diocese of Northumbria or. if it did remain divided. His career highlights the factions within the Northumbrian Church and the political maneuvering behind many events. Wilfrid traveled to many places.104 Bede had a problem at this point in the narrative. dedicated above all to pastoral care. that he should be able to choose his episcopal colleagues. and the last is a general overview of his life. but Bede simply states that conflict arose between King Ecgfrith and Wilfrid. In the next chapter. including Rome. one is focused on his efforts to convert the south Saxons. While Wilfrid was an important bishop for over forty-five years. For instance. The History remains the most widely read of the writings discussed in this chapter. something that Bede minimizes. Bede adds that while in exile. but this is usually in passing.101 Wilfrid’s building large stone churches.98 Only four chapters actually discuss events of his life in any depth: two discuss events surrounding Whitby and Wilfrid’s appointment to the episcopacy. Bede includes six chapters that focus on his career and miracles.

By 731. Bede portrays Cuthbert as Lindisfarne’s greatest saint and an excellent ecclesiastical role model. Bede did not have to discuss controversial details and no harm was done to Cuthbert’s or Theodore’s reputation. the issue of the alternative Celtic traditions was in flux. The Lindisfarne community had been following the Dionysian table and Roman tonsure for almost seventy years. Fínán. Here is a fully orthodox saint who embodies both the monastic and priestly ideals. In addition. Lindisfarne was one of the dioceses that should have been returned to Wilfrid. The fact that. Bede’s model of episcopal sanctity technically held his see against papal ruling. 665–735 147 the pope’s decision. who was so interested in computistics that he wrote the standard text on the subject and who clearly saw deviation in Easter dating as a . the reader is never informed that the saint was one of the monks thrown out of Ripon for refusing to convert to Roman practices. Iona and its associated monasteries had finally adopted the “Catholic way” in 716. Cuthbert is shown not only practicing the best qualities of those like Bishop Aidan. and Colmán were from Iona most likely reflects the changing ecclesiastical climate within Northumbria where information about these early bishops would not seriously harm the community’s reputation as long as the Celtic practices were condemned. nor is his Celtic heritage mentioned at all. By simply presenting Wilfrid’s exile as a purely secular conflict. In addition. Thus.105 Bede is careful to ensure that Cuthbert’s earlier support of Celtic practices is hidden so as to not taint the episcopal model he had created for the Northumbrian Church. in the History.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. It seems that Bede’s History is the first work to incorporate these stories since there is no surviving Life for Aidan. Bede is very open that Aidan. Summary Thus Bede. approximately fifteen years before the completion of the History. although three Lives had been written about Cuthbert. but following the Roman practices as well. none of these included any information on the foundation of Lindisfarne. throughout the chapters on Cuthbert in the History. Lindisfarne appears to have been at pains to separate itself from its Ionan past and to condemn the Celtic-84 in the writings that emerged from this community in the early eighth century. As with Bede’s prose Life of Cuthbert. the influence of the Wilfridian party seems to have been fading allowing Bede more freedom to discuss Lindisfarne’s past. While the British still stubbornly clung to their heretical practices. Bede’s History and Lindisfarne By the time that Bede decided to compose the History.

no community in Northumbria still used the Celtic-84. While Bede always explained that those from Iona were simply ignorant. Bede could add a significant amount of . Theodore’s Penitential. By the time of the completion of the History the situation was somewhat different. Therefore. the influence of the Wilfridian communities was on the wane. the critical issue was his belief that those who had used the Celtic table before the Synod of Whitby were mistaken and flawed. if Cuthbert were to be a saint who could compete with Wilfrid. presents a much more complex picture of the Easter controversy than that found in the papal letters. The Penitential of Theodore includes penances both for actually using this table and for just associating with those who did. it also could become an element in ecclesiastical politics well beyond the specific issues of Easter calculation. Rather for Bede. the Cuthbert Lives or the Life of Wilfrid. However. who used this label against the Celtic tradition would have known it was technically incorrect. Conclusion By 670. In fact. Iona had abandoned the Celtic-84 bringing it back into the orthodox fold. The papacy continued to encourage those using the Celtic-84 to come back to the Catholic and apostolic faith. In part this was because he realized that the followers of the Celtic-84 were not Quartodecimans. Wilfrid’s claim to authority based on his introduction of Roman practices and his branding of the Celtic-84 as Quartodeciman meant that in many ways the Easter controversy continued long after Whitby. After 664. However. his Celtic past needed to be explained. Aldhelm’s letter demonstrates that at least some of the British bishops refused to associate with those who adopted the Dionysian table. Divergent Easter dating was clearly a matter of concern to many in the early medieval Church. however.148 The Celtic and Roman Traditions critical problem. not only were the Irish accusing each other of heresy in regard to Easter. the controversy surrounding this table continued well into the eighth century. even with the existence of these more moderate voices. But Bede’s refusal to use the Quartodeciman accusation rests not just on its inaccuracy. but not heretical. since most. this would not have reflected the opinion of many in the Church. Such a claim was inaccurate as Bede is at pains to point out in the History. In addition. In Northumbria. either by deliberately creating “facts” or by simply being silent with regard to his heritage. it appears that the Church was divided between the extreme views of Wilfrid and those of the moderate party who refused to condemn Lindisfarne’s early bishops. but many other authorities were as well. if not all.

Wilfrid plays only a supporting role in Bede’s construct of the early Northumbrian Church. or simply an attempt to minimize any conflict in the Church. Bede never portrays him as the sole savior of the Northumbrian. he practically disappears from the narrative at many points. 665–735 149 information about Aidan to his History. but flawed through the ignorance of using the wrong table. Whether due to personal animosity.Northumbria and Anglo-Saxon England. portraying him as saintly. a dislike for Wilfrid’s pastoral style. Though bishop from 664/65 to his death in 709. and by extension. . While highlighting Wilfrid’s role at Whitby. the Anglo-Saxon Church. It is Wilfrid who may have suffered most from Bede’s History.

son of Doirbéne. 4. but most scholars argue that at least portions of the entries up until the year 740 were derived from a set of annals kept at Iona.1 It was compiled sometime in the eleventh century. Iona was faced with internal divisions as some adopted the Roman table while others refused.Chapter 9 Iona. Osred. no commentary or explanation is usually provided. The killing of the king of the Saxons. as in Northumbria. events are simply listed year by year. Primary Sources One primary source that has not yet been introduced but is vital for understanding this period is the Annals of Ulster. only two major groups continued to use the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure. among the events for the year 716 (715) are noted: 1. son of Aldfrid. and parts of the British Church. Fogartach grandson of Cernach reigns again. the Picts. In Pictland. 2. in the 74th year of his age assumed the see of Columba on Saturday the fourth of the Kalends of September. 3.2 In the Annals of Ulster. For the British. grandson of Oswy. [The date of ] Easter is changed at the monastery of Í 5. it is probable that a combination of increased isolation and politics influenced their decision to switch to the Dionysian table in 768. the crown played a leading role in unifying the Church behind one Easter practice. Faelchú.3 . For instance. and the British By 700. Garnat son of Deile Roith dies. These were Iona and its associated communities including those in Dál Ríata and Pictland.

4 As with the Annals of Ulster. historians can reference the ninth-century Historia Brittonum or History of the Britons.9 He was good friends with King Aldfrith of Northumbria who himself had spent time at Iona. both Cummian’s Letter and the one from Pope John in 640 were specifically addressed to Ségéne. it is understandable that they were unwilling to abandon their traditional table. It appears that Iona justified using the Celtic-84 in part because Columba had done so. and thirteenth-century Brut y Tywysogyon or Chronicle of the Princes. the entry quoted above for 716 is actually listed as 715 in the manuscripts. Iona The abbots of Iona were involved from the beginning of the Easter controversy in Ireland. Historians have spent tremendous time attempting to understand these often cryptic statements and even today there is disagreement over the interpretation of some entries. The fact that each was compiled significantly after the dates in question also causes difficulties with using these sources. Also complicating matters for the historian is the fact that the entries in the Annals of Ulster are incorrect by one year in this period and thus entries are adjusted one year forward. these sources provide little explanation or commentary on the events they list within each year. abbot of Iona. including the Annals of Tigernach and the Annals of Inisfallen. As discussed previously. Other important annals survive from the eleventh and twelfth century. abbot of Iona. Iona became increasingly entrenched in its support for this table. some of these appear to have incorporated information from annals compiled at Iona before 740. Since Iona’s authority rested on Columba’s sanctity and as most of the abbots in the seventh century were related to Columba. the Picts. approximately five to eight events are recorded. For instance. Recent work on the chronological apparatus of some of the major Irish annals is assisting historians in comparing the dates and events among these various documents. was the next major figure from Iona to be involved in the Easter controversy.Iona.6 As with the Irish annals. tenth-century Annales Cambriae or Welsh Annals. and the British 151 For most years in the late seventh and early eighth century.10 Adomnán .8 Adomnán and the Easter Controversy Adomnán (679–704).5 From the British side.7 It has been suggested that as additional Irish churches abandoned the Celtic-84.

our only account of Adomnán adopting the Dionysian Easter comes from Bede and other sources which used his History. Given that Iona had been involved in the Easter controversy in Ireland since the 630s and that the issue had so split the Church that separate synods had to be held. he was unable to convince his fellow monks of the need to adopt Roman practices. the lack of any record in Irish sources about the adoption of Roman dating by Adomnán can be explained. the previous king of Northumbria.15 One way to solve the contradictions between the Irish annals and Bede is to assume that Adomnán made a third trip to Northumbria sometime near 703. but he was aware of the issues long before this. Although he was unable to convince the monks at Iona to use the Roman table. this would fit the pattern of switching Easter tables near the time that the two tables were in agreement (table 6.11 He made a second trip to Northumbria two years later. It is understandable that Iona would not have wanted to record a major division in the community. As mentioned. It was at this time that he realized Iona supported an Easter table different from most of the Church and decided to adopt the Dionysian table. it is highly unlikely that Adomnán would have been unfamiliar with the conflict and the arguments on each side.13 The History also implies that when Adomnán was unable to convince the Iona community to abandon the Celtic-84. Upon his return to Iona.152 The Celtic and Roman Traditions visited Northumbria in c.14 However. Adomnán traveled to Ireland where he may have been instrumental in the adoption of the Dionysian table by some of the northern Irish churches. invaded Ireland in 684. he traveled to Ireland and did not return until around 703.18 Critics argue that there is no record of this decision in the Irish annals or the Life of Columba. Unfortunately. and died soon thereafter.12 If he did accept the Dionysian Easter in 686 or 688.685/86 where he was able to secure the release of Irish prisoners taken when Ecgfrith. The other problem with this theory is that there is no record of Adomnán making a third trip to Northumbria late in his life.16 The major flaw with this theory is the idea that Adomnán was unaware of the problems with the Celtic-84 until a third visit to Northumbria. In fact. just before his death. it is difficult to reconstruct the exact chronology of these events. one major source for the annals until 740 was a chronicle kept at Iona.1). the Irish annals state that Adomnán visited Ireland in 692 and 697 and there is no reason to believe he was away from Iona between these trips. During one of these visits he may have made the decision to abandon the Celtic-84. Although it is dangerous to argue from silence. Another alternative theory is that Bede was wrong and Adomnán never accepted the Roman Easter dating.17 It may well be that on a visit to Northumbria he was convinced of the correctness of the Dionysian table. Bede reports only one visit to Northumbria and this is clearly countered by Adomnán’s own testimony in the Life of Columba. .

Thus.690. he condenses approximately sixteen years of Adomnán’s life into a few paragraphs and that he seems to have either not known all the details of the abbot’s career or felt it was not necessary to include many specifics.19 In Ceolfrid’s letter. However. Nechtan. it still would not have been politically expedient to record that while Adomnán and possibly a portion of the community had accepted the Roman tables by c. Besides not mentioning Adomnán’s second visit to Northumbria and his return to Iona before 703. this would have undermined his credibility. In the Life of Columba. Adomnán would not have wanted to remind the reader how the saint used an Easter table many saw as heretical. After Iona’s adoption of Roman practices. Jonas faced the same problem when writing the Life of Columbanus.Iona. other congregations were still using the Celtic-84 and it is these communities to which Bede referred. and the British 153 especially the abbot practicing what some would have viewed as a heretical Easter. Nechtan was in a position to know which table Adomnán supported. One other piece of evidence regarding Adomnán’s adoption of Roman dating also comes from the History. This confusion regarding Adomnán’s life between 686 and 704 only complicates attempts to understand how Iona operated when part of the community followed the Celtic-84 but the abbot had accepted the Dionysian table. abbot of Jarrow for information about the Easter controversy. Bede himself would have been approximately fifteen years old when Adomnán visited his monastery. In 711.20 As discussed earlier. there were still a number of people who would have been alive during Adomnán’s career. Although Bede argues that none of the Iona familia . another area where Bede may be incorrect is in the claim that Adomnán convinced the northern Irish churches outside of the control of Iona to abandon the Celtic-84. The other problem with this theory focuses on Bede. Given that Adomnán had died about six years before this letter was written and the close ties between Iona and the Picts. wrote to Ceolfrid.21 It is possible that Bede knew approximately when Adomnán switched to the Dionysian table and assumed that the change at Armagh was somehow associated with this event. he presents Adomnán following the Roman Easter. it seems likely that Adomnán did accept the Dionysian Easter sometime in the 680s. it took the rest of the community another twenty-five years to make the switch. If he had deliberately created a claim that his contemporaries knew to be false. Armagh had probably adopted the Dionysian table before 687. the Picts. It is true that in the History. king of the Picts. there would have been no reason for Ceolfrid to claim Adomnán’s allegiance to the Roman table if it were untrue. at the time Bede finished the History.22 Another possible interpretation to Bede’s statement is that while Armagh and its associated churches had made the change to the Roman table.

It does not seem possible that the Iona community itself or any individual community within the familia could have functioned using both tables.23 Thus. Germanus of Auxerre by Constantius . it seems impossible that any individual community could have survived intact for long with this type of internal strife. and celebrations for between fifteen and eighteen weeks depending on how badly the Easter dates diverged.27 In the Life. Adomnán presents Columba as a saint equal to those such as Martin of Tours and Antony. if part of a community had chosen to use a dating method others saw as wrong. Given that there were theological arguments attached to each table and accusations of heresy abounding in the wider Church.24 In light of this. many are set at the community. the tables did not agree until 709 and 713 and diverged after this until 743. His composition of the Life of Columba around the hundredth anniversary of the saint’s death may have been a way of proving to the community that it was possible to support Columba and the Roman method of calculating Easter. and all of the other abundant complexities.28 As with the Lives of Cuthbert. after c. prayers.25 Sharpe has argued that the Life has a primarily domestic focus. Adomnán’s loyalty to Columba may have been in doubt with his switch to the Roman Easter. chanting divergent passages of the Scriptures. it is possible that some communities followed him.716. Iona and its dependent monasteries split into two groups—one using the Celtic-84 and the other the Dionysian. This may demonstrate that monks of Iona were one of the main audiences for his work. a monastery using both tables would need to follow different fasts. After 689. allegiance to Columba was a major claim in the continuing support of the Celtic-84. Life of Columba and the Cáin Adomnáin (Law of Adomnán) If Bede and Stephanus have correctly reflected Colmán’s arguments at the Synod of Whitby. there are also connections to Pope Gregory’s narratives about Benedict. this would have only heightened tensions.154 The Celtic and Roman Traditions accepted the Roman dating while Adomnán was abbot. It is difficult to imagine any community functioning when it had to adapt to providing different meals. Since fourteen weeks of the ecclesiastical calendar is contingent upon the date of Easter. This dual usage continued until all of the Iona community accepted the Dionysian dating in c. In addition. He quotes passages form Sulpicius Severus’ Life of Martin and Evagrius’ translation of Anathanasius’ Life of Antony.26 While there are some narratives that take place outside Iona.29 Another passage in the Life of Columba directly compares a miracle with one found in the Life of St.690.

and most especially women.30 All of this may have been an attempt to prove to the community that he truly believed in Columba’s holiness and status as a saint and that his rejection of traditional practices did not undermine this certainty. Columba himself and to the Columban familia.34 For murder. For . it was actually double the fine normally paid for killing a man. this document specifically states that Iona would choose the judges to oversee cases involving this law and.Iona. the composition of the Life of Columba and the propagation of the Law of Adomnán may have calmed some of these fears. except for cases of murder. Of course. The ability to bring so many important secular and ecclesiastical leaders together demonstrates a high level of respect for Adomnán and the authority he could call upon as head of the Columban familia.35 If Adomnán’s adoption of the Dionysian table had raised doubts as to his loyalty to St. the Picts. along with the special fine. a special fine was assessed that was paid directly to the community.33 Iona played a vital role in both the propagation and the administration of this law. its founder was a saint. In addition. It has also been suggested that Wilfrid’s championing of the Rule of St. While normally within Irish society crimes against women resulted in fines approximately half the size of those assessed when a similar crime was committed against a man of the same class. Dál Ríata. His use of other Lives demonstrates that no matter which Easter table Iona followed. he also had expanded the community’s moral authority as the guardians of a law that protected the innocent. Adomnán was instrumental in bringing together a large number of secular and ecclesiastical leaders at the Synod of Birr where ninety-one guarantors agreed to support and uphold the Law of Adomnán or the Law of Innocents. and the Picts supported this law. the annals list conflicting information about who was heading Iona and the Columban familia. comparing him with popular continental saints. In this way the Life was a counter to the accusations of heresy by Wilfrid and his party.32 This law or regulation set extraordinary punishments for violence committed against clerics. Adomnán would have also written the Life with Iona’s critics in mind. It was only due to Adomnán’s links through the Columban communities and his personal family ties that kings from Ireland. an additional penalty was paid to Iona. children. Benedict may be one of the reasons Adomnán specifically compared Columba to Benedict. and the British 155 of Lyons.31 In 697. After Adomnán’s Death In the period after Adomnán’s death in 704. In the case of murder. in Adomnán’s law additional fines were added for crimes against women. He had not only upheld the saintly nature of Iona’s founder.

Dorbéne ruled for five months in 713 while Fáelchú took power in 716 until his death in 724. Letter from Abbot Ceolfrid to Nechtan. Nechtan (706–24/25. After Adomnán’s death. It is possible that these instances reflect conflict over the Easter controversy with the two groups recognizing different abbots. but Dúnchad was abbot from 707 to 717. there appear to have been two abbots of Iona in 707–10. At best all that can be said. However. this cannot be proven. Sharpe has correctly cautioned us to “admit that it is impossible to interpret how the abbacy was occupied during this period. while it is certainly possible that the community split over the Easter controversy. requesting arguments for adopting the Roman Easter and late 680s. is that tension and polarization within the Columban familia seems inevitable. 713. given the practical and theological aspects of the Easter controversy. 728/29) wrote to Ceolfrid. abbot of Jarrow.37 However.”38 Summary While the exact chronology of Adomnán’s career is difficult to construct. King of the Picts Around 711. . In the end. and 716–17. The annals do not provide additional information and there is no other evidence to help historians interpret these statements.36 It has been suggested that this might reflect Iona’s division into two camps: one following the Dionysian table and the other the Celtic-84. others have argued that this may simply reflect the appointment of a co-abbots and therefore there was no internal controversy within the community. it could be simply that Iona decided to have co-abbots or that the information presented in the annals is incorrect. At this time the Columban familia divided between those communities that followed Adomnán’s lead and those which supported the traditions set in place by Columba.156 The Celtic and Roman Traditions instance. Therefore. it is likely that he adopted the Dionysian table sometime in the mid. While this would have caused tremendous stress within the Columban community. Both the Life of Columba and the Law of Adomnán uphold the jurisdiction and authority of Iona and her associated communities. it appears that Adomnán worked to prove that it was possible to honor Columba and to support the Dionysian table. taking information from the various annals it appears that Conamail was abbot from 704 to 710.

It is certainly possible that Nechtan understood some of the practical and theological issues in the Easter controversy. including the increasing computistical problems in the Celtic-84. many historians assume that he assisted his abbot in the composition of the letter. Nechtan succeeded his brother Bruide as king in c. but needed additional arguments “in order to make the change more easily and with greater authority. Nechtan had wanted to abandon the Celtic-84.45 Contact with Adomnán and his successors raises the question as to whether the Picts adopted the Dionysian table and Roman tonsure under the influence of Northumbria. most of the Pictish Church had already adopted Roman practices. king of the Picts.672–c. In his theory. a bishop associated with the Columban community. Bede says that before writing the letter. but to Adomnán and other late-seventh and early-eighth-century abbots as well. and Nechtan’s “adoption” of Roman practices throughout his kingdom implied very little actual change.43 In the Life of Columba. or with the encouragement of the Roman party within the Columban familia. As Bede was already an expert in computistics by this time.42 Nechtan’s brother. but the tonsure and building churches in the Roman style.Iona. but this does not adequately explain his overtures to Jarrow.706. Some historians have agued that Adomnán himself began the process of converting the Pictish Churches to the Roman Easter. and the British 157 Ceolfrid responded with a long letter condemning the Celtic and Victorian tables and the Celtic tonsure.44 Additional support for the continuing involvement of Iona in Pictland comes from place-name evidence. King Bruide (697–706) was one of the signatories to the Law of Adomnán. a battle was fought against the Northumbrian lord Berhtfrith and the . claiming that at the time Nechtan wrote to Ceolfrid. two of Nechtan’s sons were killed while fighting the Cenél Comgaill. as Bede indicates.39 It is difficult to assess why Nechtan chose to write to Ceolfrid when he did.49 In 711.41 Adomnán interacted with Bruide son of Bili (c. Adomnán relates how the churches in Dál Ríata and Pictland had been spared twice during recent plagues because they revered Columba. Not only are there many dedications to Columba.46 Veitch goes further than this.48 In 710. Nechtan was interested not only in Easter. the south through the work of Adomnán and the north due to Curetán.”40 According to Bede.692).47 An analysis of the limited evidence available supports a theory that Nechtan faced a number of challenges in the period when Ceolfrid’s wrote his letter. the Picts. the letter was simply part of a plan to secure better relations with Northumbria during a period of internal strife. Iona had been influential in Pictland since the time of Columba and all indications point to its continuing importance in the Pictish Church when Nechtan became king.

Nechtan may have seen the need for both a political alliance and a unified Church.54 Given the Northumbrian attack in 711 and the internal political situation within Pictland between 710 and 715. it is possible that Nechtan’s interest in the Easter question was part of a larger plan to establish better relations with Northumbria. so choosing to write to Ceolfrid makes sense if Nechtan was hoping that aligning with the Northumbrian Church could assist political relations as well. so these sectors would have been following the Dionysian table during this time.52 On the other hand. Wilfrid was both Osred’s foster-father and. this could be another reason Nechtan wrote to Jarrow. More importantly. the court still supported the Wilfridian communities. The Celtic-84 and Dionysian tables during this period were in agreement in 713 and would not be so again until 743.55 Though Wilfrid had died in 709. . In addition. there are a number of church foundations in this period that may point to new Columban communities in Pictland that used Roman practices from the start. it is possible that the events of 713 reflect the attempt by Talorg and his family to seize power from Nechtan. Talorg was only a half-brother by the same mother.”51 It has been postulated that while Ciniod may have been Nechtan’s full brother. Just as Oswiu called the Synod of Whitby for political reasons and to secure ecclesiastical unity. the Iona familia had split into two camps: those who supported Adomnán and the Dionysian table and those who believed that the Celtic-84 was the correct table. It appears likely that Nechtan wrote to Jarrow after his defeat in 711 by a Northumbrian lord.158 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Picts were defeated. Nechtan did not need a Church separated between Roman and Celtic factions.50 In 713. Along with Bede’s reputation in computistics.53 If these reconstructions are correct. according to Stephanus. to whom Nechtan’s letter is addressed. Osred (705–16). had inherited the throne as a child. it is also probable that he was faced with a Church divided over the Easter question. king of Northumbria. had been at Ripon while Wilfrid was abbot and later this bishop had been a patron and supporter of Jarrow. During a period of internal political strife. instrumental in having the young boy chosen as king. Ceolfrid. rather than say Lindisfarne. the annals report that Ciniod son of Derili had been killed and that “[Talorg] son of Drostan is held captive by his brother king Nechtan. Talorg and his family’s power base may have centered on Atholl as he is later identified as its king in the annals. While better relations with Northumbria were important to Nechtan. Both Nechtan and Bruide were from a line of the royal family connected to the Cenél Comgaill of Dál Ríata some of whom had settled in the region of Culross after 685. Parts of southern Pictland had been under Northumbrian control until 685.

the Picts. the king had already made the decision to follow the Dionysian table.1 Ceolfrid’s description of Biblical dates Age of moon at sundown Day 14 13 15 Passover 14 16 15 17 16 18 17 19 18 20 19 21 20 22 21 . that Passover occurs in the first month. Confirmation that the Celtic-84 was still used by portions of the Pictish Church comes from Bede. Exodus states that the Passover lamb is to be killed during the day on the fourteenth. second.Iona. Bede would be right in asserting that Nechtan needed additional arguments to win over the Celtic-84 supporters. the week in which Easter must occur. and third. He states that before Nechtan wrote to Ceolfrid. and the British 159 Adopting the Roman practices in 712 would have allowed extra time to ensure that all communities had copies of the new table by 714. that the Feast of Unleavened Bread should happen in the third week (luna 15–21). Content of the Letter The letter opens by stating that there are three rules found in the Scriptures for determining the date of Easter: first.1). that the Resurrection occurred on a Sunday. Of course. Ceolfrid admits that the Old Testament refers to the fourteenth. The problem was that he was having trouble convincing some of the correctness of this decision.56 The solution to the mystery is that the Feast should be celebrated from sundown on the fourteenth to sundown on the twenty-first—only seven. Canterbury or any number of places for this information.58 Thus Ceolfrid argued that those who follow a luna 14–20 dating as used in the Celtic-84 are in error because they celebrate Easter during the day of luna 14 if it falls on a Sunday. The Bible also states that the Feast of Unleavened Bread should occur from the fourteenth to twenty-first days of the month and then refers to this as seven. twenty-fourhour periods. not eight days. Nechtan could have written to Ireland. but then eaten that evening when the fifteenth moon has risen (table 9.57 Thus the third week. When they break the Lenten fast on Saturday Table 9. begins with the rise of the fifteenth moon and continues to the evening of the twenty-first day. If this is true. but argues that those who believe Easter should be celebrated on luna 14 misunderstand God’s instructions. The fact that he wrote to Ceolfrid supports the theory that he needed a better relationship with Northumbria and to heal the breach within his Church.

for in this present life those whom they deceived thought they were worthy of the glory of the everlasting crown.”65 Thus Ceolfrid leaves the reader with the . By using a lunar range of 16–22. from its Easter cycle. those who imitate Peter’s tonsure “show upon their crowns that they are ready to endure all kinds of ridicule and disgrace. Peter’s hairstyle reminds believers that they are saved through Christ’s death on the cross. they move Easter into the fourth week and celebrate on a date never mentioned in the Scriptures. Ceolfrid chastises Adomnán that he should wear Peter’s tonsure as “a sign that you agree in your inmost heart with all that Peter stands for.63 On the other hand. In addition. . the last day of the third week. In addition. the age of Grace. Just in case the reader is unsure about who would wear Simon Magus’ tonsure. Ceolfrid argues that those who put the Paschal full moon before the equinox “agree with those who trust that they can be saved without the grace of Christ” in other words. where the Ionan abbot admitted that he wore Simon Magus’ tonsure. but in the life to come they are not only deprived of any hope of a crown but moreover are condemned to eternal punishment. He states that this is not a salvation issue for “those whose faith in God is untainted and their love for neighbor sincere. Ceolfrid moves the discussion to the tonsure. This date is clearly mentioned in the Law and thus should not be ignored. . but he was not a simoniac. the one worn by Peter is the best and that by Simon Magus is the worst.160 The Celtic and Roman Traditions evening. Ceolfrid states that Simon Magus’ tonsure is “fitting for simoniacs . Thus. In addition. is the last day of the second week.”62 Though there are different tonsures used in the Church. Having outlined the problems with the Celtic-84 and Victorian table. The Celtic-84 is also in error because it excludes luna 21. Christ rose from the dead on the third day. Ceolfrid relates a conversation between himself and Adomnán. the Pelagians. symbolizing the beginning of a new era. This day is never mentioned in the Scriptures and. this table symbolically denied the need for Christ’s death and resurrection.59 Those who use the Victorian table have the opposite problem.”64 True believers will utterly reject such a tonsure. they ignore luna 15—a date clearly honored in the Law.60 The letter next discusses the equinox and the fact that it occurs on March 21. Ceolfrid reminds the king that Easter must fall within the third week because they are living in the third age. By saying that Easter can fall as late as luna 22. gladly and readily” and are eagerly awaiting their heavenly crown. the Paschal full moon must always occur on or after the equinox or Easter will fall in the wrong month. in fact.61 The Victorian table allowed luna 14 to occur as early as March 18 when there are more hours of darkness than light. they are beginning their Easter celebration on the thirteenth day of the month.

At the end of the letter. like Oswiu and the Synod of Whitby. According to Bede. Thus. He does state that Adomnán was holy. Ceolfrid presents Adomnán as a holy man of God. As a result of Ceolfrid’s letter. Due to the fact that Adomnán was so well respected in Pictland. . and a devoted servant of God. and a divided Church. facing external political pressure from Northumbria. However.712. This was provided in a letter written by Ceolfrid in c. Thus. Nechtan ordered abandonment of the Celtic practices in his kingdom in c. may well have decided that it was time for the crown to intervene in the Easter controversy. due to these changes “the reformed nation rejoiced to submit to the newly-found guidance of Peter. and to be placed under his protection. By c. Those who truly follow the universal Church should not wear the tonsure of the arch-heretic. The letter discussed the fact that the Celtic-84 misinterpreted the Old Testament and therefore listed dates that were too early. Bede adds that upon hearing Ceolfrid’s words. He also had all clerics and monks wear the Roman tonsure. and the British 161 question of why an abbot as holy and well respected as Adomnán would knowingly wear the symbol of the arch-heretic and Peter’s enemy.710. Nechtan. there may have been some communities that continued to use the Celtic-84 even after 713. Ceolfrid had to be somewhat diplomatic in condemning the Celtic tonsure. Therefore. political issues may have triggered the need for ecclesiastical unity. who was not harmed by his tonsure because he had chosen to uphold the unity of the Church. the most blessed chief of the apostles. Roman practices began to infiltrate the Pictish Church in the late seventh century. as with Whitby. and simply needed additional information against the Celtic-84. prudent.”67 Summary Due to the Northumbrians and to Adomnán’s influence. it appears that the Church had divided into Roman and Celtic sides.Iona. Bede indicates that Nechtan had already sided with the Roman party before writing to Ceolfrid. as will be discussed below. the Picts. Nechtan ordered his kingdom to adopt the Dionysian table and destroy all copies of the Celtic-84. humble.712 since the tables were in agreement in 713. it explained that the Celtic tonsure was that of Simon Magus.66 He also adds that those who use Simon Magus’ tonsure are not guilty if they uphold the unity of the Church. it appears that the Pictish Church fully adopted the Roman practices upon royal order. internal rivals to the throne. In addition. things seem much less certain. For those who wore Simon Magus’ tonsure and used the heretical Celtic-84.

Iona’s Adoption of the Dionysian Table According to Bede. However. Kirby has argued that Iona may have adopted the Roman table not in 716. the year Iona first used the Dionysian table. In addition.162 The Celtic and Roman Traditions The letter to Nechtan is one of the more complex chapters in Bede’s History. It had been about twenty years since Adomnán decided to switch tables. It is possible that a new generation of monks who did support the Roman traditions had come to power and so the changes were possible. it provides a detailed summary of the arguments against the Celtic and Victorian tables. As the Celtic-84 departed farther from reality. According to Bede. Bede credits Egbert with finally convincing Iona to adopt the Dionysian table.68 A few years before this. the Celtic-84 luna dates were five days off from the more accurate Dionysian table. as a plague swept the British Isles. this may also have undermined arguments that this table was correct. the abandonment of the Celtic-84 by Pictland in c. Egbert. . A five-day difference in the cycle of the moon would be very visible. who was a priest and possibly a bishop. As such. In fact. In 664. For instance in 716. Egbert was an Anglo-Saxon who had decided to study in Ireland and joined the monastery of Rathmelsigi. By 690. It also continued Bede’s story of the move toward unity of practices within the churches of the British Isles. and Irish Churches had all stopped using the Celtic-84. but 717 when Nechtan expelled the Columban monks from Pictland. he would have been about seventy-seven when he arrived at Iona.712 may have increased the controversy at Iona itself. Iona did not abandon the Celtic-84 until 716 and Irish annals record the adoption of the Roman tonsure in 718. In addition. It hints at changes and controversies within the Pictish Church but provides little explanation of these events. the Celtic-84 identified April 12 as luna 19. The Anglo-Saxon.70 Other issues surround the Easter tables. Bede decided to include the full text of Ceolfrid’s long letter rather than simply paraphrasing it. In particular. Iona may have felt increasingly isolated. to become an exile for Christ or peregrinus. Pictish. this date was actually luna 14.69 If Bede is correct that he died in 729 at the age of ninety. arrived at Iona. and the Celtic tonsure near the very end of the History. though he provides no details about why this decision was made. he made a vow never to return to his homeland.

in the years just before and after Iona decided to adopt the Dionysian table. coupled with the Pictish decision and the increasingly visible errors in the Celtic-84.Iona. might have brought matters to a head.”71 As usual. For instance in the 680s when Adomnán and Armagh changed to the Roman dating. and 720. and the British 163 The Celtic-84 and Dionysian tables were also contradicting more often. The Annals of Ulster report in 717 on the “expulsion of the community of [Iona] beyond the Dorsum Brittaniae by king Nechtan. Corning. 710–23 Year Easter 710 711 712 713 714 715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722 723 April 13 April 5 March 27 April 16 April 1 April 21 April 12 March 28 April 17 April 9 April 21 April 13 April 5 April 18 Celtic-84 Luna 14 17 19 20 16 18 19 15 17 20 14 16 19 14 Luna (Dionysian) 9 12 14 15 11 13 14 10 12 14 8 11 14 9 Easter April 20 April 12 April 3 April 16 April 8 March 31 April 19 April 4 March 27 April 16 March 31 April 20 April 12 March 28 Dionysian Luna 16 19 21 15 18 21 21 17 20 21 16 18 21 17 Luna (Celtic-84) 21 24 26 20 23 26 26 22 25 27 22 23 26 22 Note: Bold tables in agreement. no additional commentary or explanation is included. 821–22. The Oxford Companion. “Easter Principles. Source: Celtic-84 Easter and luna dates from McCarthy. modernized and cycled by C.” pp. the Picts. If Iona was divided between pro-Roman and pro-Celtic parties. .2 Comparative Easter dates.2. On the other hand. this. between 714 and 743 the tables never agreed. Dionysian Easter and luna dates calculated using Blackburn and Holford-Strevens. the tables were in agreement four times. No historical documents outside of the annals mention this event leaving historians unable to determine with certainty why Nechtan chose to exile some of the Columban communities. alternative luna dates and all adjustments by C. 18–19. Some things can be said however. A few historians have pointed out that it is highly unlikely that Nechtan expelled everyone associated with the Table 9. Corning. There is one annalistic entry possibly indicating that controversy continued within the Columban family even after 716. 718. As can be seen in table 9. pp. the two tables listed Easter dates three weeks apart in 715.

there is no evidence that the Pictish Church suddenly needed to replace most of its clergy. it seems possible that the Easter controversy may have contributed to this event. Bede makes no mention of this event that would certainly have been of interest. thus extending royal authority. It is highly likely that some communities in Pictland may have resisted changing tables. For instance.74 Those associated with Iona had been active in Pictland since the late sixth or early seventh century and many of the monks in these communities would have been Pictish. It is interesting to speculate on the fact that place-name evidence may demonstrate that a number of Pictish communities were founded in Adomnán’s honor. Most of the British kingdoms in the north were under Northumbrian domination and thus presumably were using the Dionysian table. As the controversy dragged on into 717. though Eadberht of . Nechtan may have given up all hope and simply expelled those who would not come into conformity with the rest of the Pictish Church and Iona. hoping to convince them to abandon the Celtic practices. so the problem would not have been truly evident until 714.164 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Columban houses. the Columban familia may have chosen to support one of his rivals to the throne.72 First. he could have remained in negotiation with these communities. Also. There is no evidence to help historians elucidate the political and ecclesiastical maneuvering of this period.77 Strathclyde alone remained independent. In addition. he could replace them with more loyal followers. The tables were in agreement in 713. While there were battles between Dál Ríata and Pictland especially in the 740s. By expelling the churchmen who opposed him. However. this event should not be seen as involving Pictish nationalism since it is doubtful that Nechtan would have viewed the Columban monks as representatives of Dál Ríata or a foreign element in his Church. It is even possible that pro-Roman factions within Pictland encouraged the exile of those who would not use the “correct” Easter table. The British Church By the 730s.73 It can be imagined that those who supported the Dionysian table would have wanted to remember the abbot who first brought about this change.75 While secular politics were probably involved. Iona’s ties to both kingdoms appear to have continued. Other historians have argued that Nechtan’s decision rested on secular political considerations.76 Given that Nechtan was trying to unify the Church in a time of political uncertainty. all of this must remain in the realm of speculation. there were only a few regions still using the Celtic-84 and Celtic tonsure.

there are some clues as to why the Easter controversy might have reached a crisis in the late 760s.79 After 731. the Picts. this would resemble what occurred in Merovingian Gaul.680 after Aldhelm wrote to their king. the West Saxons expanded into British territory and by the early eighth century controlled Devon. First. Looking at the Celtic-84 table. In the south. Mercia. the primary material for this period is so fragmentary that historians cannot determine why change occurred at this time. the sources are silent with regard to the British Church and the Easter controversy until 768 when the Welsh Annals records that Elfoddw converted the churches under his authority to the Roman Easter. Bede.80 This document lists an Elfoddw as Archbishop of Gwynedd in 809 and it is possible that this is the same man. there must have been an event or series of events that forced the issue in 768.750. the table was to begin a new cycle in 774.86 If this is correct. if any.84 If so. “the Easter of the Britons was changed by command of Elfodd. if Elfoddw was even bishop there. First. it is also possible that the mid. However. Second. Also unknown is whether this statement is referring to all of the Welsh kingdoms or strictly late eighth century was one of political and ecclesiastical centralization in Wales. and the British 165 Northumbria attacked Kyle in c. a man of God. Ireland. Whether or not secular political leaders were involved in this as with Oswiu at the Synod of Whitby is unknown. and Northumbria. In addition.Iona. Some British areas had switched tables even before being incorporated into Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in attempting to solve the Easter controversy.”82 These entries raise a number of questions.85 Certainly as more kingdoms adopted Roman practices. Thus very little. territory outside of modern-day Wales and Cornwall remained under British control by the early part of the eighth century. Elfoddw may have overseen a council called to determine the correct date of Easter.83 There is no evidence about which table Strathclyde or Cornwall used in this period. for instance.78 Mercia also conquered land at the expense of the neighboring British kingdoms in this period. then there may have been pressure to conform to the Roman table.768. alongside an integration of continental practices into the Church. It is also impossible to determine if this council would have included churchmen from throughout the Welsh kingdoms. the Celtic table . reports that some of those in Devon abandoned the Celtic-84 in c. the Celtic-84’s luna dates were six days ahead of the dates listed in the Dionysian table. In 767. Unfortunately. combined with the expansion of the West Saxons. it is not possible to determine which Britons made the switch to the Dionysian table in 768. Davies has theorized that in c.81 The Brut Y Tywysogyon or the Chronicle of the Princes reports that in 770. the Church in Wales may have become increasingly isolated.

18–19. the Celtic-84 was clearly in error. modernized and cycled by C.166 The Celtic and Roman Traditions identified April 12 as luna 14. 821–22. the tables placed Easter on the same date only in 709. This luna date should have worked for the Celtic-84.3). the Celtic-84 listed Easter as occurring on April 3 and identified this as luna 16. The Dionysian table should have had no problems with this date. . This deviation in luna dates meant that each table listed dates that were unacceptable to the other side (table 9. alternative luna dates and all adjustments by C. except that the Celtic table would have listed April 10 as luna 23 and therefore outside the bounds of all Easter tables.1). the increasing problems with the Celtic-84 and the limited number of those still using this table easily could have contributed to whatever controversy or political maneuvering may have been occurring within the Welsh Church of the mid-eighth century. Thus by 768. As the Celtic table moved further out of sequence with reality. the tables rarely if ever agreed. pp. 713.3 Comparative Easter dates. the two tables listed identical dates every few years. and 743. Dionysian Easter and luna dates calculated using Blackburn and Holford-Strevens. For instance in 768. 765–70 Year Easter 765 766 767 768 769 770 April 7 March 30 April 12 April 3 March 26 April 15 Celtic-84 Luna 17 20 14 16 19 20 Luna (Dionysian) 11 14 8 10 13 14 Dionysian Table Easter April 14 April 6 April 19 April 10 April 2 April 22 Luna 18 21 15 17 20 21 Luna (Celtic) 24 27 21 23 26 27 Source: Celtic-84 Easter and luna dates from McCarthy.” pp. While in the early seventh century. Table 9. The fact that the Celtic-84 and Dionysian table listed luna dates that varied by six days meant that the tables never agreed again. but the more accurate Dionysian would have calculated this as luna 8. Visually all could see that the luna dates listed in the Dionysian table were significantly more accurate than those in the Celtic-84. While it is impossible to know what secular or political circumstances might have led some of the British to adopt the Dionysian table in 768. “Easter Principles. Corning. The same problem happened in reverse. Looking at the moon. except that according to this table. The Dionysian table identified April 10 as Easter in 768 calculating it as luna 17. The Oxford Companion. Corning. but there is a significant difference between luna 8 and luna 14 (table 1. April 3 was luna 10 and therefore not appropriate at all. an error of one or two days is not that visually noticeable. between 700 and 770.

. However. For instance a “monk” could be someone under vows. As the abbots became more powerful. David’s had authority over six lesser bishops. scholars. bishops were designated as important political figures who ruled geographically defined dioceses. but this evidence is inconclusive.87 However.90 Asser’s Life of Alfred mentions an Archbishop Nobis. they displaced the bishops who eventually exercised only nominal authority within the Church structure. and the British 167 Welsh Church Organization As a branch of the Celtic Church. scholars had a rank equal to that of bishops so they were entitled to attend church councils. but there is no indication of who actually attended these meetings. historians now believe they may well reflect reality. and anchorites were regarded as equal in status to the bishop of a small kingdom. historians once assumed that by the seventh century the Welsh Church transformed from an episcopal model to one dominated by abbots who controlled large. just as with Ireland. but the existence of nonclerical church managers as well since two of these men were not required to be in clerical orders.Iona.91 A recent article has pointed out that the text known as the “Seven Bishop Houses of Dyfed” may indicate not only that St.94 One decision from the Synod of North Britain assigns the same penance for an abbot as for a bishop and also indicates that a doctores or a teacher/scholar might assign penances. deacons. historians have reassessed the idea that the Welsh Church was primarily monastic in the early Middle Ages. the Picts. as in Ireland. rather than disappearing from the records. geographically dispersed territories. the Synod of North Britain and the Synod of the Grove of Victory survive. David’s. none of whom fit the classical definition of a monk. unlike the more popular notions of a church headed by holy abbots.89 In addition. but also a tenant who farmed ecclesiastical land.96 This may indicate that. The Welsh Annals refer to Elfoddw as Archbishop of Gwynedd. This theory was supported by the monastic terminology that was prominent in the surviving documents.93 Decisions from two possible sixth-century councils. possibly of St. the organization of the Welsh Church appears to have been quite similar to the rest of Western Europe.92 While these references to episcopal authority once would have been dismissed as anachronistic. It is difficult to determine if the Welsh had a system of ecclesiastical ranks similar to that in Ireland where the heads of the major churches. Therefore. A monasterium could refer to an ecclesiastical community headed by a bishop and comprised of clerics.95 There is also the information provided by Bede that Augustine met with British bishops and scholars.88 Historians highlight that in the primary sources monastic language is often applied in nonmonastic situations. and others.

The British as well may have used the Celtic-84 as an identifiable distinctive that set them apart from their Anglo-Saxon. For Iona. by the mid-eighth century. Irish. the “Easter controversy” was basically resolved for the churches in the British Isles. This is especially true for the British Church in the eighth century. As the controversy of Easter continued throughout the seventh and into the eighth century. The Picts had adopted the Dionysian table. The period from 718 to 770 would have seen the British Church increasingly isolated and adhering to a table that was clearly in error. Conclusion While it is not possible to know the exact dates that all the British kingdoms abandoned the Celtic-84. and Pictish neighbors. it is possible that some groups saw the use of the Celtic-84 as a vital part of their identity. If it is correct that the churches in Wales were looking increasingly at continental models and thus entering a period of innovation rather than conservatism. As discussed.97 Therefore. it does seem that by 768. Thus Adomnán and those advocating the Dionysian table had to prove that it was possible to honor Columba and promote Iona while discarding the Celtic-84. followed shortly thereafter by Iona and its associated churches. as the problems with the Celtic-84 became even more obvious. many British churchmen must have come to the conclusion that it was time to abandon this table and come into conformity with most of the rest of the Church in Western Europe.98 However. then continued support of the Celtic-84 would have made little sense in this environment. support for the Celtic-84 became equated with support for Columba. the sources for the abandonment of the Celtic-84 by these three groups are extremely difficult and vague.168 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Bede also mentions that scholars attended the Anglo-Saxon Council of Hertford. the Augustine narrative does not demonstrate conclusively the status of scholars in the British or more specifically Welsh Church. . Much of the information needed to truly understand all of the political and ecclesiastical motives of those involved in the controversy are simply not available to historians.

1 This meant that Western Europe was united in following the principles of the Dionysian table.2 . and Anglo-Saxon peregrini were transforming Europe. Frankish. Easter This study has argued throughout that the Easter controversy was a very important issue in the medieval Church. and the British. as they did in 612. then the ecclesiastical calendars would disagree for eighteen weeks. If the dates for Easter varied by one month. before the new year. However. it was the theological issues involved in the Easter controversy that were most worrisome. To celebrate Easter before the equinox. the practice of tariff penance was gaining in popularity. Irish. As the controversy continued through the seventh century and into the eighth. Also by this time. even more than the practical difficulties. During this same period. too early or too late in the moon’s cycle all violated the symbolic importance of Easter. Any aspect that created a “dark” Easter was to be rejected. the Carolingian kingdom also abandoned the Victorian table. deviation in Easter practices became a heretical issue. the Easter controversy between the Celtic and Roman traditions had been resolved. This would have been especially difficult when some were still observing the Lenten fast and others had already celebrated Easter.Chapter 10 Conclusion By the end of the eighth century. before or after the third week. In so many ways the tables could symbolically violate the core of the Easter message: Christ’s death and resurrection and the resultant salvation.

While other documents also contain arguments for or against the different tables. these four are the most critical in summarizing their problems. heretical. but he does imply it. . Bishop Laurence of Canterbury reports that Dagán. It is somewhat difficult to determine when those involved in the seventhcentury controversy began associating the different tables with heresy. In his letter to Pope Gregory. but also justifies the use of the Celtic-84.628. Cummian’s letter condemns the use of the Celtic-84. Laurence appears to associate Dagán’s actions and the Easter controversy in his letter. however. Columbanus’ letter to Pope Gregory discusses the problems with the Victorian table. refused to associate with Laurence and his compatriots. Since the Irish Church and the members of the Gregorian mission would have agreed on all major theological tenets. Near the end of his letter.7 Cummian includes the information in his letter that Ségéne. In general. “beliefs and practices that had been acceptable at an earlier time . He includes a quote from Anatolius stating those who celebrate Easter on luna 21 or 22 do so at the peril of their souls. The letter by Ceolfrid to Nechtan. Columbanus appears to have been careful not to explicitly state that those who used the Victorian table were heretics. Christians came to equate schismatic practices with heresy. Abbot of Iona. that there is simply not enough evidence to prove conclusively that the date of Easter had become a heretical matter before the 620s. in many instances. Pope Honorius denounced the “Quartodeciman error” in the Irish Church.”4 The controversies over Easter dating from the late second century reflect this development. an Irish bishop. Certainly. finally. he warns Gregory to think carefully before disregarding Jerome’s opinion of Anatolius because those who undermine the “authority of Jerome will be heretic or reprobate. by the late 620s. It must be cautioned. but lays out a series of arguments for adopting the Victorian table. king of the Picts. Easter dating appears to be the only possible heretical issue between them. .170 The Celtic and Roman Traditions It is fortunate that surviving documents present the arguments used to support each of the three main Easter tables. In c.”5 Within a decade of the composition of Columbanus’ letter to Gregory. Columbanus’ letters are especially valuable because so little was preserved that supported the Celtic-84. On the other hand. had accused him of being a heretic for using Roman Easter . the supporters of the Celtic-84 and the Victorian table perceived divergent Easter dates as a matter of heresy. from the fourth century. became outdated and were then reckoned inadmissible and.3 Therefore. and the description of the Synod of Whitby contained in Bede’s History clearly demonstrate why these men believed the Dionysian table was correct and detail the problems with both the Victorian and Celtic-84.6 It is possible that Dagán saw the Anglo-Saxon bishops as heretics and was following synodical guidelines to withhold fellowship.

Bede reports that by the 650s.13 Each of these plays the vital role of explaining the problems with the Celtic-84 and Victorian tables and why the Dionysian alone should be used. For decades after the Synod of Whitby.9 The Penitential of Theodore outlines numerous penances that were to be assigned to those who celebrated Easter at the incorrect time and those who interacted with these heretics. He associates either the Celtic or the Victorian Easter table with the Pelagian teachings in this same letter. it also played a part in the ecclesiastical politics of this period. Although the history of the Easter controversy was important to Bede.Conclusion 171 dating.8 In addition. The History was written as . It is due in part to this that some of them have fallen under Anglo-Saxon control. John’s letter in 640 accused the Irish of creating a new variation of the Quartodeciman heresy by allowing Easter to be celebrated on luna 14. However. Bede saw the contemporary Northumbrian churchmen as wealthy. had refused to convert the Anglo-Saxons. He responds with a counter charge against Iona. Lindisfarne’s Celtic past may have been controversial due to Wilfrid and his association with Roman practices.12 Two of the longest chapters in this work are that of the Synod of Whitby and the letter from Abbot Ceolfrid to Nechtan. Irish churchmen had to meet in “Roman” and “Irish” synods. some in Northumbria feared that they might lose their salvation using the wrong table. After 640.10 Aldhelm’s letter proves that some of the Welsh clergy refused to associate with their Anglo-Saxon brethren due to differences over Easter.600 to Iona’s adoption of the Dionysian table in 716. the two sides polarized even more. Bede and the History The Easter controversy is a major theme in Bede’s History. He chronicles the conflict from the meetings between Augustine and the British in c. obtaining the papal privilege from Honorius was probably contingent in part on their adoption of the Roman Easter table. Armagh may have decided to abandon the Celtic-84 because it undermined its claim to be the archbishopric of Ireland.11 Stephanus in the Life of Wilfrid followed the papal lead by identifying those who used the Celtic-84 as Quartodecimans. he believed. and neglectful of their pastoral duties. it is a topic that both helped and hindered his narrative goals. it was another matter when it came to those from Iona. He could easily condemn the British who stubbornly refused to adopt Roman practices and who. While the Easter controversy was a serious issue in and of itself. For Bobbio. The History ends with the information that the British stubbornly still refuse to adopt Catholic practices. powerful.

The problem was that these early bishops and monks from Iona all used the Celtic-84. The very fact that Jonas did mention the tonsure in the Life of Columbanus and provided no explanation for this practice is probably the clearest proof that it was not yet a divisive issue.18 Bede hints that the tonsure may have been an issue of dispute by the 660s as he states that it was one of the reasons the Synod of Whitby was called. where the controversy continued throughout the seventh and into the eighth century. he could create idealized monk-bishops who were humble and true to their pastoral calling. In the History. he does not include those against the tonsure. something he could not support. It is only in the British Isles. For Aidan. This same theme is found in Ceolfrid’s letter to Nechtan in c.16 Therefore the reader is aware from the very beginning that although for a time Iona was in error.172 The Celtic and Roman Traditions a warning to and condemnation of the churchmen of his own day. those who supported the Celtic-84 had abandoned this table by 630 and therefore.20 The Collectio .17 On the continent. when he presents the arguments at Whitby. As part of this. However. he also altered Pope Honorius’ letter eliminating the pope’s specific accusation of this heresy. that the tonsure came to symbolize adherence to a specific method of calculating Easter.19 The earliest reference to the Celtic tonsure as that of Simon Magus comes from Aldhelm writing in the 670s. Bede did this in part by telling the reader that Iona was so isolated—on the world’s edge—these holy men were unaware of the correct table. it had since rejoined the Catholic fold. the tonsure came to be seen as a very visible sign of allegiance to either the Celtic or Roman party. The papal letters from Honorius and John are also silent on the matter. Using these different approaches Bede could condemn the use of the Celtic-84 and still present men like Aidan as wonderful pastoral models. he states that either the bishop was unaware of the problem or could not change due to “public opinion.712.”14 He also clarifies that those who used the Celtic-84 were not Quartodecimans.15 While discussing the foundation of Iona in 565. Both Columbanus and Bishop Laurence do not mention it in their letters. Bede interrupts the chronological flow to relate that Iona did accept the Roman Easter in 716. Tonsure As the Easter controversy continued. no seventh-century documents originating from the continental Churches mention the tonsure. He needed to both promote their virtues and explain their failings. There appears to have been no conflict over the tonsure during the first half of the seventh century.

Ceolfrid states in his letter that Adomnán admitted to knowing that he wore the tonsure of Simon Magus.21 Since much of the information in the Hibernensis cannot be specifically dated. As far as can be reconstructed. a Hebrew. a Scythian and an Egyptian” who each testified that all the churches of the world used the same dating for Easter. Cummian chides Ségéne for using “the elders” as an excuse not to adopt the Roman table and adds that their saintly predecessors used the eighty-four .26 Colmán claimed that Columba and his successors were too godly to have ever used a table that was incorrect. and assured Ceolfrid of his condemnation of simony. it is impossible to know when these accusations arose in Ireland. each side had to appeal to a number of different authorities to justify their table. Cummian claimed that the whole Church followed the rules established at Nicaea. Concepts of Authority Throughout the Easter controversy. This was proven by the fact that when the Irish delegation was in Rome. For those supporting the adoption of the Roman table. It is difficult to construct the Celtic side of this argument. Africa.27 On the other hand. and synodical decrees. Asia.23 In addition. Apostolic tradition. Columbanus argued that the Victorian table had been rejected by Irish scholars. Gaul. the example of Rome could also be cited. at the Synod of Whitby. and Greece. explained that this was the traditional style in Ireland.Conclusion 173 Canonum Hibernensis also equates the British tonsure with this heretic. both sides appealed to the Scriptures.24 Even Popes Honorius and John emphasized that those who supported celebrating Easter on luna 14 did so in violation of the traditions of the whole Church and the rulings of Nicaea. it is impossible to believe that those who used the Celtic tonsure truly thought it was that of Simon Magus. the Church fathers. For instance. though this was usually done within an appeal to the wider church. These statements are attributed to the “Romans” so it can be assumed that it was during the midst of the Easter controversy in the seventh century. They also recognized the symbolic need for the moon cycle to correlate to correct teaching. Due to this he pledged that he would always use the Celtic-84. It can be assumed that they would have defended their tonsure as a well-established tradition and denied any link to the arch-heretic.22 However. but also in Italy. Wilfrid claimed that the Dionysian calculations were observed not only in Rome.25 Irishmen on both sides of the controversy also appealed to Irish authorities for support. they had talked to a “Greek. Egypt.

Anglo-Saxon England. that we should adopt humbly without doubt better and more valid proofs proffered by the font of our baptism and wisdom and by the successors of the Lord’s Apostles. in the case of Whitby. like Oswiu before him.174 The Celtic and Roman Traditions year cycle only because it was the best available at the time. used a church council as the medium through which to adopt Roman traditions in Pictland. if any the priests. Wilfrid. It has been suggested that Elfoddw. Bede relates that it was only through the auspices of King Æthelfrith that Augustine was able to meet with the British bishops. the scholars do not appear to have signed the synodical documents. teachers and. abbess and deacon might have played. but there is no sense in which he directed the meeting. and other priests. Hild. . abbess of Whitby.29 Though there is no specific evidence.32 It was not until the Carolingian Church that abbots regularly participated at church councils.31 In addition. King Oswiu played a prominent role. Therefore the Victorian table should be adopted because “our predecessors enjoined . this can be explained by the fact that Churchmen from throughout Anglo-Saxon England attended Hertford and thus it involved multiple kingdoms. While still a priest. In Anglo-Saxon England. possibly calling the synod and being the one who made the decision that his kingdom would use the Dionysian table. in 626/27. He also reports that at the Council of Hertford there were “teachers. there appears to have been no royal involvement in the Council of Hertford called by Theodore in 673. Bede claims that at Whitby along with Bishops Agilbert and Colmán.”28 Synods When the Easter controversy arose. At Whitby. However. there were James the deacon.30 It appears that there were some differences in the composition and authority of councils in each region. but this was only because Bishop Agilbert requested that he do so. At the Synod of Mâcon. In Merovingian Gaul. . and Ireland met in regional councils to debate the issue. synods were usually comprised of bishops. It is difficult to know what role. the crown was to have been represented by the Burgundian maior though he died before the . although others were at times present. those in Merovingian Gaul.” Though the names of the bishops who attended Hertford were preserved. who may have been bishop of Gwynedd. it is possible that Nechtan. might have called a church council in 768 to discuss Easter as well. In contrast. bishops were the main participants in ecclesiastical synods. Wilfrid did present the Roman arguments at Whitby.

39 . Theuderic and Brunhild had arranged for the bishops to meet in order to exile Desiderius of Vienne. In Welsh sources. While Columbanus gives no hint of royal interest in the Council of Chalon. it appears that the Church began meeting in synods comprised only of those who supported the Roman table (Romani) or those who continued to employ the Celtic-84 (Hibernenses). all evidence points to the fact that the synods of both these groups would have been comprised of bishops. It is also interesting to note that while the British churchmen consulted a hermit. and scholars.Conclusion 175 proceedings began. when discussing the meetings between Augustine and the British bishops. it is impossible to determine whether abbots attended ecclesiastical synods in Britain. abbots. church councils were comprised of those holding the highest ecclesiastical status.33 There are also records of many church councils throughout the seventh and early eighth centuries that testify that royal involvement was the norm. This seems to have been especially true when matters of ecclesiastical discipline were the focus. kings appear to have participated at ecclesiastical synods only when a cáin or law was to be issued. As for the British Church. Outside of the History there are no surviving records of any synods from the early seventh to mid-eighth century and saints’ Lives do not provide information on the composition of synods in British kingdoms.35 Since abbots were often the leaders of important churches and familiae. and the heads of the major churches.36 When the Easter controversy was not resolved in the 630s. However. kings did not claim the same type of authority as did Oswiu at Whitby. Bede mentions the presence of scholars from the monastery of Bangor-is-Coed.37 Therefore it is difficult to determine if their standing mirrored that in the Irish Church or whether it was closer to the Anglo-Saxon model where scholars attended councils but did not sign the decrees. anchorites. This included not only bishops. There also is no indication that abbots were present at these meetings. In Ireland. but scholars. they attended councils as representatives of these ecclesiastical networks. but provides no information on their role at the meeting. Bede implies that this man did not actually attend the meetings with Augustine. Also unclear is whether or not abbots headed parochiae equivalent to the paruchiae in Ireland. While the canons discuss synods at the provincial level that may equate with the greater kingdoms. though initial evidence would seem to point in the negative. such at that at Birr in 697. where the recognition of secular authority was needed for implementation.34 In Ireland. these areas of jurisdiction usually are associated with bishops. This would seem to differ from the Irish Church where anchorites did attend church councils.38 Therefore. It is not known if kings called or attended church councils.

this is complicated by Stephanus’ information that the king accused Wilfrid of obtaining the decree through bribery and thus it was invalid. The Irish honored the position of the pope as heir to Peter and recognized the role of the papacy as a court of appeals when agreement could not be reached at the local level. Though supporters of the Celtic-84 and Victorian/Dionysian tables attended local synods. It is important to remember that in response to the Three Chapters controversy. Columbanus wrote to the papacy for support in the Easter controversy and advice for dealing with the Gallic bishops. but this was not done.41 Similar to other parts of the Western Church.176 The Celtic and Roman Traditions Papal Authority The conflict over Easter also evidences attitudes toward papal authority.43 Summary Throughout the Easter controversy. In addition. Each side warned the other not to be so prideful as to dismiss these authorities and to humbly submit to the truth.42 Due to this. Columbanus believed that Rome was the font of true doctrine. and synodical decrees. Pope Gregory continually wrote to the Merovingian secular and ecclesiastical leadership to call a council to deal with the problem of simony. it would infect the whole of the Church. delegations . the Church fathers. if an agreement could not be reached or if a king was not present to enforce the decision. some of the churches in northern Italy and North Africa had broken communion with the papacy. For instance. rejection of the Roman table should not be seen as a denial of papal authority.40 In Anglo-Saxon England. It was not unheard of in the seventh century for papal advice and decrees to be ignored. The arguments presented at synods and through the surviving letters prove that both sides upheld the symbolism inherent with Easter calculation and the idea that by violating these precepts. they did travel to Rome to confirm which Easter table was in use. their opponents had become heretics and placed their very salvation in doubt. ignored a papal ruling to restore Wilfrid to his see. If the pope was supporting heretics it was the obligation of his subordinates to call him to task. King Ecgfrith and by implication Archbishop Theodore. The letter from Pope John in 640 indicates that a regional council had consulted the papacy on the Easter question and while Cummian’s letter does not specify that the southern Irish delegation actually spoke with the papacy. he was concerned that if the pope had fallen into error over the Three Chapters. all sides were appealing to a number of different authorities: the Scriptures. However.

and Jerome had spoken. upheld the reports of those who had visited Rome or the papal letters as one more piece of evidence that their opponents should acknowledge. the “exile for God” seems to have been uniquely emphasized in the Celtic tradition. penitentials were also being produced in Anglo-Saxon England and on the Continent. The only major difference may have been the presence or lack thereof of kings or abbots at the proceedings. the survival of eighth through eleventh-century copies of Irish penitentials attests to their continuing use alongside newer examples. it appears that the Irish and British Churches used much the same approach to dissent as did their compatriots in Anglo-Saxon England and the Continent: discussion followed by synods and then if needed delegations to Rome. It can be assumed that those who remained undecided would have been most influenced by the reports from Rome. By the eighth century.45 The surviving evidence demonstrates that the British and then Irish churchmen began creating penitentials in the mid-sixth century that by the seventh were becoming increasingly complex. Those. the Celtic penitentials began to influence the Anglo-Saxon and Frankish Churches. Scholars currently point out that the concept of private penance was already present in much of the Church by the sixth century and that throughout the early Middle Ages a combination of different types of penance remained the norm. British peregrini may .44 While scholars debate if and in what ways the Celtic tradition may have popularized private penance. For many who had not been persuaded by the arguments to abandon the Celtic-84. Thus all sides in the Easter controversy appealed to similar authorities while trying to persuade their opponents of the value of their ideas. some argued that the Celts were the first to conceive of private penance and that they introduced this idea to the Continent. like Cummian. and the laity. However. In addition. who already had decided that the Roman Easter table was correct. includes sections for monks. Anatolius.Conclusion 177 were sent to Rome for judgment. clerics. Rome’s judgment in this matter was not enough to change their minds: the Scriptures. In the past. Columbanus’ Penitential. the Irish and the British penitentials were a critical piece in the developing doctrines of repentance and purgatory. Penitentials and Peregrinatio During the midst of the Easter controversy.46 Although the concept of life as a pilgrimage toward God was present throughout Christian literature in this period. for instance.

and present-day southern Scotland and Ireland. Columba. Irish ecclesiastics like Columbanus. to Frisia in 690. along with others such as Dícuill.” Soon after this he adds that “all the churches of the entire West .690) and Corbinian (d. 729). he also inspired a number of followers to undertake missionary journeys to the Continent. but lack of a specific term should not alone rule out this possibility. In addition. “let us see which be the more true tradition—yours. 739). but probably were active in a combination of missions and pastoral care.49 For instance. technically peregrini or not. and Virgil. who was from Aquitaine. Certainly there is no mention of the “Celtic tradition” by this name in the early medieval documents. he sent Willibrord (d. journeyed to Britain and the Continent from the sixth century onwards. 730).55 The Celtic Tradition It is appropriate to end this study with a short discussion of whether the Irish and British would have recognized themselves as belonging to a separate micro-Christendom within the totality of the Church. However. he became Archbishop of the Frisians with his see at Utrecht. Eventually. The fact that there were some monastic communities identified as British in seventh-century Ireland points to continuing links.48 The Franks and Anglo-Saxons appear to have been inspired by the Irish peregrini. Killian. Brittany. a Northumbrian living in Ireland.52 However. was involved in missions in Ghent and the area around Maastricht from the late 620s until his death in c.53 Willibrord gained the support of the Austrasian maior Pippin II and traveled to Rome for permission to preach. it is probable that the Irish focus on peregrinatio pro Christo was one element in the mixture which inspired the missionary efforts of the seventh and eighth centuries. Columbanus states. For example.54 It should be mentioned that it is difficult to determine whether all those who undertook missions or traveled for study in the seventh or eighth century should be identified as peregrini. missionary impulses from other sectors might also have influenced the churchmen of the day. was identified by Bede as the person who convinced Iona to abandon the Celtic-84. c. also both Franks. As mentioned. or that of your brethren in the West.51 These men settled in areas that were officially Christian.675.47 In addition.178 The Celtic and Roman Traditions have traveled to Cornwall. In his letter to the bishops at Chalon. an Anglo-Saxon peregrinus. Egbert (d. His Life clearly portrays him as a peregrinus pro Christo. Amandus.50 Emmeran (d. traveled to Bavaria where they became bishops. and Fursey.

this does not necessarily demonstrate that the Welsh and Irish believed they belonged to a separate and identifiable Christian tradition in this later period. if I may say so. . but pimples on the face of the earth.Conclusion 179 do not consider that the resurrection should take place before the passion. While there is some recognition of a shared tradition in c. Britons or Irish or whatever our race may be. . In addition.64 Whatever sense of unity existed between the Irish and British Churches in the early seventh century was probably fractured by the Easter controversy. Patrick ministered to some of the Irish and it has been argued that at least portions of the late-fifth. it seems that this was less the case by the early eighth century. “. St.”56 He also asks the bishops at Chalon to pray for him for “we are all joint members of one body.62 There were undoubtedly British clerics and monks in Ireland. and.”57 In his letter. A handful of these communities were still identified as British into the seventh. whether Franks. you insignificant group of Britains and Irish who are almost at the end of the earth. It has also been shown that there were very close ties between the British and Irish Churches in the fifth through the early seventh centuries. the fact that British churchmen are mentioned in the early Irish saints’ Lives may simply reflect the fact that there were Britons active in the Irish Church of the fifth through seventh centuries.63 However. rather than a sense of shared identity with the British Church of the early eighth. Some of the hagiography produced from the seventh through eleventh centuries does highlight supposed interactions between fifth. Samson.”58 In the same vein. Easter before the equinox. First. By the time that the later Lives were written the cults of many Irish and Welsh saints had become quite popular. the Irish were aware that the British used the Celtic-84 table as well. or David.”59 Cummian and Columbanus’ comments demonstrate that at least when it came to the Easter controversy from 590 to 630. though the existence of AngloSaxon communities should be noted as well. it is also important to remember that these later Lives often reflect the political maneuvering of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. he adds.and sixth-century Church were under the authority of British synods. and they do not wait beyond the twentieth moon lest they should hold a sacrament of the New Testament without authority of the Old. He also specifically mentions both of these men by name in his letter to Pope Gregory. that is.60 There were also many British peregrini who traveled to Ireland and established monastic foundations before the end of the sixth century.and sixth-century British and Irish saints.65 .600. Cummian cautions Ségéne against arguing that only “the Irish and British alone know what is right. An author could only bolster the claims of sanctity for his subject by demonstrating ties to Patrick.61 Columbanus’ Penitential clearly shows the influence of both Gildas and Finnian.

What can be said with certainty is that the popular notions of the Celtic Church bear little resemblance with the reality of the early medieval Irish and British Churches. the Celts were not inherently more spiritual than the rest of Europe. respected Rome. all penitential writers emphasized the constant need for repentance and diligence in guarding against further sin. In Ireland. This makes it much more difficult to identify practices shared in common by the Irish and Welsh but not the rest of the Church. the Celtic tonsure. locked away in dream-like visions separated from . Instead. When it comes to historians identifying a Celtic micro-Christendom in terms of practices. episcopal and monastic. Anglo-Saxon sources provide the information that some of the British were not willing to associate with those who used the Roman table. this appears to be incorrect. links between the two traditions may have been very badly damaged. the use of penitentials. By the time that the Welsh finally abandoned the Celtic-84 table. They had tiers of episcopal grades.66 It also states that the British tonsure was that of Simon Magus. where bishops and abbots controlled large ecclesiastical territories and federations of churches. these specific distinctives either had been abandoned or adopted in some sense by the wider Church.600. Additional research is needed to determine whether Irish and British have any shared characteristics that set them apart in this area. was closely tied to the kings and aristocracy. heretics. things are also somewhat uncertain. In addition. they were intrinsically bound into the power structure. while historians used to argue that the Churches in the Celtic-speaking lands shared a unique ecclesiastical organization dominated by abbots and monastic paruchiae. A reassessment of both the Irish and Welsh Churches has shown that the monastic language is often misleading and in fact both were probably closer to their Continental counterparts than was previously believed. and upheld and affirmed the major decisions of the ecumenical councils. In c.69 In fact.68 It is hard to have a shared identity when each side refuses to associate with the other. the Celtic tradition was identifiably different in its use of the Celtic-84. or the British.67 Therefore to the compilers of the Hibernensis the British were the “other” on a par with Jews and heretics. By 768. Penitential documents show that the Irish and British did not consider humanity as inherently good. The secular and ecclesiastical law codes demonstrate that the Celts did not reject Church hierarchy. and its emphasis on undertaking an exile for Christ. The Easter controversy also reveals that the Irish and British recognized the importance of correct doctrines and that Easter was not “simply” a matter of practices where diversity was not only tolerated but also celebrated. the ecclesiastical leadership. Added to this. Churches were led not by simple abbots untouched by politics or power.180 The Celtic and Roman Traditions The Collectio Canonum Hibernensis is clear that cases were not to be forwarded to Jews.

In the end. .Conclusion 181 time and cold reality. scholars may determine that even after the mid-eighth century. there were identifiable practices and concepts that set the churches in the Celtic-speaking regions apart from the wider early medieval Church. but it is clear that these will bear little similarity to the popular portrayal of the Celtic Church.

Appendix 1: Easter Dates .

AD year Table year 590 591 592 593 594 595 596 597 598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 609 610 611 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 1 2 3 4 5 6 Celtic-84 Easter luna luna 14 Table year 26M 15A 30M 19A 11A 27M 15A 7A 30M 12A 3A 26M 15A 31M 19A 11A 27M 16A 7A 20A 12A 4A 17 18 14 16 18 14 14 17 20 14 16 19 20 16 17 19 16 17 19 14 16 19 23M 11A 30M 17A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 16A 6A 25M 13A 2A 20A 10A 30M 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 Victorian Table Easter luna Dionysian Table luna 14 Table year Easter luna luna 14 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 29M 17A 6A 26M 14A 3A 23M 11A 31M 20M 8A 28M 16A 5A 25M 13A 2A 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 26M 15A 6A 29M 11A 3A 22A 14A 30M 19A 10A 26M 15A 7A 22M 11A 3A 23A 7A 30M 19A 4A 15 16 18 21 15 18 18 21 17 18 20 16 17 20 15 16 19 20 16 19 20 16 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 17A 5A 25M 13A 2A Continued 26M or 2A 15 or 22 15A 16 6A 18 29M 21 11 or 18A 15 or 22 3A 19 22A 19 7 or 14A 15 or 22 30M 18 19A 19 10A 21 26M 17 15A 18 7A 21 22M 16 11A 17 3A 20 23A 21 7A 16 30M 19 19A 20 4A 16 Appendix 183 .

184 AD year Table year 612 613 614 615 616 617 618 619 620 621 622 623 624 625 626 627 628 629 630 631 632 633 634 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Celtic-84 Easter luna luna 14 Table year 23A 8A 31M 20A 4A 27M 16A 1A 20A 12A 28M 17A 8A 31M 13A 5A 27M 16A 1A 21A 12A 28M 17A 20 15 18 19 14 17 18 14 16 18 14 16 17 20 14 17 19 20 16 18 19 15 17 17A 7A 27A 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 18A 8A 28M 15A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 17A 7A 27M 14A 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Victorian Table Easter luna Dionysian Table luna 14 Table year Easter luna luna 14 22M 10A 29M 17A 6A 26M 14A 3A 23A 11A 31M 20M 8A 28M 16A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 29M 17A 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 26M 15A 31M 20A 11A 3A 16A 8A 30M 19A 4A 27M 15A 31M 20A 12A 27M 16A 8A 24M 12A 4A 24A 18 19 15 16 18 21 15 18 20 21 17 20 20 16 17 21 16 17 20 16 16 19 20 22M 10A 30M 18A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 17A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A 26M 18 15A 19 31M 16 20A 17 11A 19 27M or 3A 15 or 22 16A 16 8A 19 30M 21 12 or 19A 15 or 22 4A 18 27M 21 15A 21 31M 17 20A 18 12A 21 27M 16 16A 17 8A 20 24M 16 12A 16 4A 20 24A 21 The Celtic and Roman Traditions .

635 636 637 638 639 640 641 642 643 644 645 646 647 648 649 650 651 652 653 654 655 656 657 658 659 660 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 9A 21A 13A 5A 18A 9A 1A 21A 6A 28M 17A 2A 22A 13A 29M 18A 10A 1A 14A 6A 29M 17A 2A 22A 14A 29M 20 14 16 19 14 15 18 20 15 17 18 14 16 18 14 16 18 20 14 17 20 20 16 18 20 15 3A 21A 11A 31M 18A 8A 28M 15A 5A 25M 13A 2A 20A 9A 29M 16A 6A 26M 14A 3A 23M 11A 31M 18A 8A 28M 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 9A 17 31M 19 20A 20 5A 16 28M 19 16A 19 1 or 8A 15 or 22 24M 18 13A 20 4A 21 17 or 24A 15 or 22 9A 18 1A 21 20A 21 5A 17 28M 20 17A 21 1A 17 21A 18 13A 21 29M 17 17A 17 9A 20 25M 14 14A 17 5A 19 6A 26M 14A 3A 23M 11A 31M 20M 7A 28M 16A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 29M 17A 6A 26M 14A 3A 23M 11A 31M 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 9A 31M 20A 5A 28M 16A 8A 24M 13A 4A 24A 9A 1A 20A 5A 28M 17A 1A 21A 13A 29M 17A 9A 25M 14A 5A 16 18 19 15 18 18 21 17 18 20 21 18 21 21 17 20 21 16 17 20 16 16 19 15 16 18 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 17A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A Continued Appendix 185 .

186 AD year Table year 661 662 663 664 665 666 667 668 669 670 671 672 673 674 675 676 677 678 679 680 681 682 683 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 Celtic-84 Easter luna luna 14 Table year 18A 10A 26M 14A 6A 19A 11A 2A 22A 7A 30M 18A 3A 26M 15A 30M 19A 11A 27M 15A 7A 30M 12A 17 20 16 16 19 14 16 18 20 15 18 18 14 17 18 14 16 18 14 14 17 20 14 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 19A 9A 29M 16A 6A 26M 14A 3A 23M 11A 30M 17A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 102 103 104 105 106 Victorian Table Easter luna Dionysian Table luna 14 Table year Easter luna luna 14 20M 8A 28M 16A 5A 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 28M 10A 2A 21A 6A 29M 18A 9A 25M 14A 6A 25A 10A 2A 22A 6A 29M 18A 3A 25M 14A 30M 19A 21 15 18 18 15 18 19 21 17 18 21 21 17 20 21 16 19 20 16 18 19 15 16 21M 9A 29M 17A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 17A 28M 22 10A 14 2A 19 21A 19 6 or 13A 15 or 22 The Celtic and Roman Traditions .

684 685 686 687 688 689 690 691 692 693 694 695 696 697 698 699 700 701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 79 80 81 82 83 84 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 3A 26M 15A 31M 19A 11A 27M 16A 7A 20A 12A 4A 23A 8A 31M 20A 4A 27M 16A 1A 20A 12A 28M 17A 8A 31M 13A 16 19 20 16 17 19 16 17 19 14 16 19 20 15 18 19 14 17 18 14 16 18 14 16 17 20 14 1A 21M 9A 29M 16A 6A 25M 13A 2A 20A 10A 30M 17A 7A 27A 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 18A 8A 28M 15A 5A 25M 13A 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 10A 26M 15A 7A 29M 11A 3A 23A 14A 30M 19A 11A 26M 15A 7A 23M 11A 3A 23A 8A 30M 19A 4A 27M 15A 31M 20A 19 15 16 19 21 15 18 19 21 17 18 21 16 17 20 16 16 19 20 17 19 20 16 19 19 15 16 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 17A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A Continued Appendix 187 .

188 AD year Table year 711 712 713 714 715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722 723 724 725 726 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 Celtic-84 Easter luna luna 14 Table year 5A 27M 16A 1A 21A 12A 28M 17A 9A 21A 13A 5A 18A 9A 1A 21A 6A 28M 17A 2A 22A 13A 29M 17 19 20 16 18 19 15 17 20 14 16 19 14 15 18 20 15 17 18 14 16 18 14 2A 22M 10A 30M 17A 7A 27M 14A 3A 21A 11A 31M 18A 8A 28M 15A 5A 25M 13A 2A 20A 9A 29M Victorian Table Easter luna Dionysian Table luna 14 Table year Easter luna luna 14 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 12A 3A 16A 8A 31M 19A 4A 27M 16A 31M 20A 12A 28M 16A 8A 24M 13A 4A 24A 9A 1A 20A 5A 19 21 15 18 21 21 17 20 21 16 17 21 17 17 20 16 17 19 20 16 19 19 15 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 17A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A 7A 27M 15A 4A The Celtic and Roman Traditions .

734 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744 745 746 747 748 749 750 751 752 753 754 755 756 757 758 759 760 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 18A 10A 1A 14A 6A 29M 17A 2A 22A 14A 29M 18A 10A 26M 14A 6A 19A 11A 2A 22A 7A 30M 18A 3A 26M 15A 30M 16 18 20 14 17 20 20 16 18 20 15 17 20 16 16 19 14 16 18 20 15 18 18 14 17 18 14 16A 6A 26M 14A 3A 23M 11A 31M 8A 8A 28M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 19A 9A 29M 16A 6A 26M 14A 3A 23M 11A 30M 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 28M 17A 8A 24M 13A 5A 24A 9A 1A 14A 5A 28M 17A 2A 21A 13A 29M 18A 9A 25M 14A 6A 28M 10A 2A 22A 6A 18 19 21 17 18 21 21 18 21 15 17 20 21 17 17 20 16 17 19 15 16 19 21 15 18 19 15 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 17A 5A 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 17A 5A Continued Appendix 189 .

821.” pp. p. Victorian luna dates on Easter calculated by C. 821.190 AD year Table year 761 762 763 764 765 766 767 768 769 770 771 772 773 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Celtic-84 Easter luna luna 14 Table year 19A 11A 27M 15A 7A 30M 12A 3A 26M 15A 31M 19A 11A 16 18 14 14 17 20 14 16 19 20 16 17 19 17A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A 1A 21M 9A 29M 16A 6A Victorian Table Easter luna Dionysian Table luna 14 Table year Easter luna luna 14 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 29M 18A 3A 25M 14A 6A 19A 10A 2A 22A 7A 29M 18A 18 19 15 17 18 21 15 17 20 21 17 19 20 25M 13A 2A 22M 10A 30M 18A 7A 27M 15A 4A 24M 12A The Celtic and Roman Traditions Sources: Celtic-84 dates from McCarthy. The Oxford Companion to the Year. The Oxford Companion to the Year. . Corning. Dionysian luna dates on Easter calculated by C. The Oxford Companion to the Year. CE dating and luna 14 dates by C. “The Victorian and Dionysiac Paschal Tables. Dionysian Easter dates calculated from Blackburn and Holford-Strevens. p. p. 822 and modified according to Jones. Corning. 18–19. modified by C. Victorian Easter dates calculated from Blackburn and Holford-Strevens. 411. “Easter Principles. Corning. p. Victorian luna 14 dates calculated from Blackburn and Holford-Strevens. Dates modernized. The Oxford Companion to the Year. 822. Corning. Dionysian luna 14 dates calculated from Blackburn and Holford-Strevens.” p.

115–38. 2000).” edited by Joseph Falaky Nagy (Dublin: Four Courts Press. Colmán Etchingham. Roman Jesus (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International. Celtic Christianity: Making Myths and Chasing Dreams (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 1993). 5. 2000). For a discussion of micro-Christendoms. edited by Dauvit Broun and Thomas Clancy (Edinburgh: T & T Clark. Graydon Snyder.” Breifne 9 (2001): 285–312. Colmán Etchingham and Catherine Swift. pp. Women in a Celtic Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Irish Jesus. 2002). 2002).” in Spes Scotorum: Hope of the Scots. See also chapter 6. pp. 1–2 Preface 1. Gilbert Márkus. see Ian Bradley. pp. UK: Cambridge University Press. 2000). For a survey of the development of the idea of “Celtic Christianity” from the Middle Ages to present. 1999). O’Loughlin identifies three versions of the “distinction equals opposition” theory and its influence on Celtic studies in O’Loughlin.” CMCS 1 (1981). . 2. 1–20. See. A shorter summary can be found in Thomas O’Loughlin. (Oxford: Blackwell. 3. Holy Ground: Celtic Christian Spirituality (Nashville. Pastors and Missionaries. for example. The Rise of Western Christendom. Chapter 1 1. Deborah Cronin. “The Celtic Church: Is This a Valid Concept. Thomas Charles-Edwards. IN: Ave Maria Press. 1999). 1999). 2003).Notes NOTES TO PAGES: xv. An excellent history of the modern “Celtic Church” phenomena is Donald Meek. see Peter Brown. TN: Upper Room Books. pp. 355–79. 2nd ed. Early Christian Ireland (Cambridge. 1–23. pp. The Quest for Celtic Christianity (Millfield: Handsel Press. Celtic Theology (London: Continuum. 59–65. “Early Irish Church Organisation. Edward Sellner. 2000). 55–58. 1999). Kathleen Hughes. The Wisdom of the Celtic Saints (Notre Dame.” in Identifying the “Celtic. “ ‘A Celtic Theology’: Some Awkward Questions and Observations.’ ” pp. 1–19. pp. 6. esp. The idea of local theologies is explored in Thomas O’Loughlin. 241–48. Church Organisation in Ireland (Maynooth: Laigin Publications. Christina Harrington. “Iona: Monks. 4. “ ‘A Celtic Theology.

1995). 307–19. 15. 168–69. 2000). 9. 27–51. xxxiv–lxiii. Harrington. Bede: Reckoning of Time (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Kenneth Harrison. Spes Scotorum. 238–41. 2000). pp. 11. 1995). .” p. Marking Time. Steel. 106–07. pp. The “Laterculus Malalianus” and the School of Archbishop Theodore (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 391–415. For an analysis of modern interpretations of Columba.” in The Early Church in Wales and the West. (Cambridge. 38–43. “The Myth of the Celtic Church. 16. The Julian calendar is associated with the calendar reforms of Julius Caesar. edited by Wesley Stevens. 18. 72. 8. 14. See also Faith Wallis. pp. pp. see Snyder. 28. 22. 50–57. 29. pp. Anno Domini: The Origins of the Christian Era (Turnhout: Brepols. see Donald Meek. 159. at 311–13. See Luke 1:26–38. Georges Declercq. For instance. p. One of the first to clearly argue for this was Wendy Davies. Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar (New York: John Wiley & Sons.” in Cycles of Time and Scientific Learning in Medieval Europe. Ibid. Irish Jesus. Celtic Theology. 25. 9–16. 1982). For issues on determining the date of the equinox. “Episodes in the History of Easter Cycles in Ireland. pp. pp.. Sims-Williams. Notes to Pages 2–7 O’Loughlin. The Quest. Marking Time. 19. The Oxford Companion to the Year (Oxford: Oxford University Press.” ASE 7 (1978): 1–8. 23. Dionysius is also known for inventing the AD dating system. Roman Jesus. 13. “Easter Cycles and the Equinox in the British Isles. Hampshire: Variorum. Steel. 30. 2002). 253–70. Early Christian Ireland. see Kenneth Harrison. pp. pp. See chapter 2. pp. 2000). UK: Cambridge University Press. Meek. Oliver Davies. I (Aldershot. 27. pp. 110–15. 17. In 1582. pp. edited by Nancy Edwards and Alan Lane (Oxford: Oxbow Press. pp. 791–97. “Between Faith and Folklore: Twentieth-Century Interpretations and Images of Columba. 20. vol. edited by Dorothy Whitelock et al. “Celtic Christianity: Texts and Representations. edited by Mark Atherton (Cardiff: University of Wales Press. Wesley Stevens. A more detailed summary of the issues involved is in Charles-Edwards.192 7.” CMCS 11 (1986): 1–35. 1999).” in Broun and Clancy. pp. Meek. For a short summary.” in Ireland in Early Mediaeval Europe. 23–38. “Celtomania and Celtoscepticism. 10. 12–21. 1992). “The Visionary Celt: The Construction of an Ethnic Preconception. Women. 24. p. 12.” CMCS 36 (1998): 1–35. The Quest. Duncan Steel. 21. The Quest. 50. Patrick Sims-Williams. 5–6. Meek. Patrick Sims-Williams. see Bonnie Blackburn and Leofranc Holford-Stevens. “Cycles of Time: Calendrical and Astronomical Reckonings in Early Science. “The Visionary Celt. Jane Stevenson. pp. Pope Gregory XIII ordered calendar reform initiating what is known as the Gregorian calendar. at 39. 26.” in Celts and Christians.

followed by Maudy Thursday and Good Friday. 48. 4 (1934): 408–21. 44. Exod. It should also be noted that the date for Pentecost needs to reflect Old Testament events. 2 (1994): 25–49. 3 (1985): 505–16. no. 1995). Daniel McCarthy. 12:1–20. Like Dionysius. trans. Bede. pp.html. 23:5–6. 1956). no. 47. Exod. Blackburn and Holford-Strevens. John 19:16–20:18. Holy Week begins the Sunday before Easter when Palm Sunday is observed. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín. Corrections to the table can be found in Daniel McCarthy. at 508–11. Matt. Daniel McCarthy and Dáibhí Ó Cróinín. 38. MI: Eerdmans. 5:7.Notes to Pages 7–10 193 31. 10. 481–751 (Leiden: E. pp. the Victorian table listed luna dates one day in advance of those in the Dionysian. For an unexplained reason. 40. in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers. 1974). 35. pp. 43. Fifty days after Passover. Matt. 34.23. 45. 1 Cor. 39. to advance the age of the moon by one. 46. 32. 36. “The Origin of the Latercus Paschal Cycle of the Insular Celtic Churches.J.” Journal of the History of Astronomy 24. every nineteen years it is necessary to insert a saltus lunae or moon’s leap. no. Early Christian Ireland.” CMCS 28. 41.” p. McCarthy. 33. For liturgical fasts and feasts by the seventh century. Charles-Edwards. History of the Franks. “The Victorian and Dionysiac Paschal Tables in the West. 40. Charles Jones. the technical name used by some authors in the early Middle Ages. Victorius used the Alexandrian nineteen-year cycle as the basis of his table. Lev. This table is also referred to as the Latercus. Fifty days after Easter. p. “Cycles of Time. “The ‘Lost’ Irish 84-Year Easter Table Rediscovered. 49. Wallis. 396–405. 5:17. .” Speculum 60. Bede. available from http://www. Mark 15:21–16:8. no. 61–81. like a leap year. 16:2–3. Lewis Thorpe (London: Penguin.” 37. 1994).wcc-coe.25. First Series (Grand Rapids. edited by Philip Schaff. A. 3 (1993): 204–24. see Yitzhak Hen. Brill. Culture and Religion in Merovingian Gaul. The Oxford Companion. “Easter Principles and a Fifth-Century Lunar Cycle Used in the British Isles. Victorius placed this after the sixth year rather than the nineteenth. However.” Speculum 9. “Easter Principles. Epistle to Januarius (55). Aleppo Statement (1997). 50. 870.” Peritia 6–7 (1987/88): 227–42. This meant that for years seven to nineteen out of every nineteenyear cycle. Augustine. Gregory of Tours. 27:32–28:10. 209.” p. The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (HE). l–liii.D. the Law was given to the Hebrews. Stevens. However this book will simply use the term “Celtic-84. 42. 303–16. World Council of Churches. Deut. pp. the Holy Spirit was given to the Christians. 3. edited by Judith McClure and Roger Colins (Oxford: Oxford University Press. “ ‘New Heresy for Old’: Pelagianism in Ireland and the Papal Letter of 640. 51.

62. “Bede. 66.18–20. Ibid. “Simon Magus: The Patristic Medieval Traditions and Historiography. 1993). 67. 3. 64.194 Notes to Pages 10–14 52. Sayers. 3. 65. MI: Eerdmans. Throughout this book. 58. Ibid.” pp.19. 525. Wallis.” Celtica 24 (2003): 140–67. Acts 8:9–24. Augustine. 73. 27. For comparison. 64. Baldness and Tonsure. a discussion of the tonsure question in Spain can be found in Alberto Ferreiro. no. pp. 284. “Early Irish Attitudes towards Hair and Beards. 53. Ep. 74. 5. Ep. pp. 153. Life of Constantine. reprint. Life of Constantine. 57. see Simon Coates. Bede. 59. 371–74. James. Ibid. xxxvii–xxxix. For a general discussion on hair and tonsures. 390–426. See J. 3. 68. pp. For a brief overview of symbolism of haircuts in the early medieval period.” pp.” Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum 23 (1991): 1–10. Ibid. This can occur either in March or April depending on the dating of the full moon after the equinox. “On the Shape. even though modern astronomers would disagree with this description. Bede. See also Alberto Ferreiro.” 4. “Sexual . edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Bede. Daniel McCarthy. 60. The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press. 152. 89. p. 1952. 72. Augustine. Second Series (Grand Rapids. p. Steel. Elliott. 55. HE.” History Today 49. 5. 5 (1999): 7–13. HE. All Reckoning of Time quotes from the Faith Willis edition.25. Bede. Sayers. 6. 56.. to Januarius. K. Bede. but there is evidence that other cultures also used long hair as a sign of high social status. in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers. McCarthy. 152–61. The best known might be the “long-haired” Merovingian kings. Reckoning. Bede. 70. 61. the traditional definition of the equinox as a day on which there are equal amounts of daylight and darkness will be used. “On the Shape of the Insular Tonsure. Wallis. Reckoning. “Early Irish Attitudes. 3.” Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 44 (1991): 154–89. p. 4–5. Eusebius. 1961).21. 71.” Apocrypha 7 (1996): 29–38. pp. 69. Augustine.. Ep. to Januarius. Harrison. 54. “Scissors or Sword: The Symbolism of a Medieval Haircut. xxxviii–xxxix.18–19. 63.” Peritia 3 (1984): 85–98. Alberto Ferreiro. “A Reconsideration of the Celtic Tonsure and the Ecclesia Britoniensis in the Hispano RomanVisigothic Councils. to Januarius.” p. Eusebius. “Easter Cycles. 431–38. see Edward James. 164–73. “Bede and the Tonsure Question. Marking Time. 75. This letter is discussed in chapter 9.

Bede. 78. Gregory. John McNeill and Helena Gamer. 168–81. eds. 283.. 88. 14–26. at 175. “Penitentials and Pastoral Care. 1998).” in Ildánach Ildírech. Gael. would have brought the sinner to public notice. edited by L.. 84. pp. 85. edited by Frans Theuws and Janet Nelson (Leiden: Brill. 87. 2000). 1995). at 41–42. edited by Caroline Walker Bynum and Paul Freedman (Philadelphia. For a short summary of the surviving early penitentials. Ghost?” in Down: History and Society. pp. 82.” pp.Notes to Pages 14–16 195 76.” in Rituals of Power from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. pp. “Penitentials.550–800. and Pierre-Yves Lambert (Andover: Celtic Studies Publications.” in Sancti Columbani Opera. Evans (London: Cassell. Pádraig Ó Riain. de Jong.” Although a public ritual was no longer performed. James 5:15–16 and 1 Cor. Penance. see Hugh Connolly.” in Carey et al. . Finnian of Movilla: Briton.” though it seems as though this could also lead to unintended assumptions by modern readers.” in Handling Sin: Confession in the Middle Ages.24. at 17–19.. 1990). 89. 86. The Irish Penitentials (Dublin: Four Courts Press. For a collection of early medieval penitentials. 188–201. edited by Peter Biller and Alastair Minnis (Woodbridge. 174–78. History. Dumville. M. 83.” in A History of Pastoral Care. 6:4–6. the very nature of some of the assigned penances. reprint. 203–05. pp. John Koch. edited by G. HE. fasting. S. 79. “Paenitentiale. 41–59. Meens has argued that the term implies there was no communal aspect to the act of penance. “Frequency and Nature of Early Medieval Penance. pp. Peter Brown. R. 96–98. “Transformations. 86–97. 5 for example. p. There is a debate among scholars as to whether Finnian was Irish or a British monk who immigrated to Ireland. “St. 71–84.” pp. The arguments can be found in Thomas Charles-Edwards. 1997). O’Loughlin. 5. p. 177. 2000). etc. 1. Medieval Handbooks of Penance (New York: Columbia University Press. see McNeill and Gamer. Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer. 77. Ildánach Ildírech. There is some disagreement over the term “private penance. Depravity. Proudfoot (Dublin: Geography Publications. edited by John Carey. Doctrinal Error. “Britons in Ireland. 47–52. Medieval Handbooks of Penance. c. “Bede. pp. 53–54. See Heb. 81. edited by G. reprint. Mayke de Jong. O’Loughlin. 1938.” pp.” Studia Patristica 28 (1993): 29–38. 1970). pp. 80. 94–95. pp. “Finnio and Winniau: A Return to the Subject. 2000). giving alms. He instead favors the term “secret penance. Rob Meens.21. and the Afterlife from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages. pp. pp. Celtic Theology. All HE quotes from the McClure and Collins edition. 1999). James. 84.” in Last Things: Death and the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. and Character Assassination in the Fourth Century: Jerome against the Priscillianists. David N. Columbanus. Walker (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 1957. “The Decline of the Empire of God: Amnesty. “Transformations of Penance. pp. 97–104. 30–36. PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Thomas O’Loughlin. 207–08.

Price. See. Marilyn Dunn.196 Notes to Pages 16–18 90. “Public Penance in Anglo-Saxon England. 92.. de Jong. “The Social Background. 93. “Peregrinatio pro Christo: Pilgrimage in the Irish Tradition. 30–32. 98. 41–47. 106–07. and Reconciliation.” pp. Patrick’s experience is a little different since his exile was the result of his mission to Ireland rather than his main focus.” pp. edited by Linda Ellis and Frank Kidner (Burlington. Manuela Brito-Martins. Ireland and Her Neighbours in the Seventh Century (New York: St Martin’s Press. “The Social Background. Charles-Edwards. 101. “Pilgrims and Foreigners: Augustine on Traveling Home. second preface. VC. tijdschrift voor filosofie en theologie 43 (1982): 390–411. to Januarius. 106. translated by Thomas Tayler (Llanerch: Llanerch Press. pp. . 1999). Ibid. Richter. I am grateful to Thomas Charles-Edwards for this point. pp. Augustine and Its Influences.” in The Otherworld Voyage in Early Irish Literature. 103. 30–31. pp. 44. 110. The Rise. VT: Ashgate Publishing. Reckoning. for example. 149–58. 97. Kate Dooley. Cummean. VC. 99. at 96–102. Ireland. at 26–32.” pp. 2004). pp. “Ep. Brown.. 94. Adomnán. “Transformations. 2002). 104. 226–29. Gen 12:1. “The Frequency.” pp. 105. 2004). “From Penance to Confession: The Celtic Contribution. The Barbarian Conversion (Berkeley.22. 185–224 and Meens.44. pp. p. 1997). Michael Maher. Richard Price. 140–42. Ibid. For the continuing practice of both public and private penance in Anglo-Saxon England. Life of St.. 47–55.” in Exile in the Middle Ages. CA: University of California Press. 243–46. 2000). 102. Penitential. “The Social Background to Irish Peregrinatio. 100.” pp. edited by Kate Cooper and Jeremy Gregory (Woodbridge: Boydell Press. Thomas Charles-Edwards. at 83–86. pp. 104–05. 29–38. The Emergence of Monasticism (Oxford: Blackwell.” pp. 1. Communication and Geography in Late Antiquity.” in Travel. Adomnán. edited by Jonathan Wooding (Dublin: Four Courts Press. Richard Fletcher. 109. 94–108.7. 107. See chapters 2 and 3. 96. Samson of Dol. at 32–33. pp. Celtic Theology. 10:37. 1–6.” ASE 31 (2002): 223–55. Repentance.” pp. “Public Penance. pp. 94–98. see Brad Bedingfield. Charles-Edwards. p. 91. pp. 64. 55–56. edited by Laura Napran and Elisabeth Van Houts (Turnhout: Brepols. 1991). 9–11. 95. pp. The second preface of the Life also describes a British follower of Patrick as a peregrinus. Michael Richter. Gillian Clark. Bede.” Bijdragen. 2004).” pp. Maher. Ibid. “Peregrinatio. O’Loughlin.” in Retribution. “The Concept of Peregrinatio in St. Matt. 108. 83–94. “Informal Penance. pp. Augustine. 2. “Informal Penance in Early Medieval Christendom. Bedingfield. 43. 104.” Milltown Studies 43 (1999): 5–39.

2002). at 111–16. See also chapters 3.” in Studies in Irish Hagiography. Wood. all quotations to Epistle 1 will be from Stanton and quotations from Epistles 2 to 5 are from Walker. from The Life of St. 1960).. Unless otherwise noted. pp. M.” in Historiographie im frühen Mittelalter.Notes to Pages 20–22 197 Chapter 2 1. (Dublin: Four Courts Press. 10. “Jonas’ Life of Columbanus and His Disciples. pp. see Michael Lapidge.). pp. the Abbots of Bobbio. see Clare Stancliffe. Columbanus: Studies on the Latin Writings (Woodbridge. Oldenbourg Verlag. ed. “Authority and Duty: Columbanus and the Primacy of Rome. “Jonas of Bobbio. “Columbanus. edited by Bruno Krusch. 1905) pp. edited by John Carey et al. translated by J. For more information. UK: Cambridge University Press. see Robert Stanton. Wood. at 177–92. pp.” JML 3 (1993): 149–68. For general information on Jonas’ Life of Columbanus.” Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch 28 (1993): 27–46.” Peritia 16 (2002): 168–213. The World of Gregory of Tours (Leiden: Brill. 500–700. 1994). Jonas. Wright. Epistles (henceforth Ep.” in Medieval Hagiography: An Anthology. 189–220 and Ian N. 2000). 9. 4. Kathleen Mitchell and Ian Wood. at 359–60. 6. Wright. edited by Michael Lapidge (Woodbridge: Boydell Press. vol. “Columbanus’s Epistulae. Suffolk: Boydell Press. Ian N. Damian Bracken. 111–35. Sancti Columbani Opera. xiii–xxv.600). 2. 75–113. The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with Its Continuations.. For additional information on Gregory. “Two Works of Saint Columban. in Walker. “Columbanus’s Epistulae. see Thomas Head. There is no translation in English of the entirety of Jonas’ Life of Columbanus. 11. edited by Edward Peters (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 8. 1975). Columbanus. see Jonas. 29–92. edited by Anton Scharer and George Scheibelreiter (München: R. edited by Thomas Head (New York: Routledge. 2000). Vitae Columbani abbatis discipulorumque eius.” pp. Life of St. .” in Columbanus: Studies on the Latin Writings. Columbanus. 3. in Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum. David Howlett. 4. “Columbanus’s Epistulae. 1997). in Monks. eds. 37 abbatis discipulorumque (Hannover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani. see Martin Heinzelmann. Neil Wright. 1997). Wallace-Hadrill (London: Thomas Nelson and Sons. Fredegar. pp. 2001). pp. “Fredegar’s Fables. 50–58. Gregory of Tours: History and Society in the Sixth Century (Cambridge. 359–66. 1–294. 2–59. 60–87. Columbanus. Bishops and Pagans: Christian Culture in Gaul and Italy.” pp. Letter 1: Translation and Commentary. For an alternative version of Columbanus’ letter to Pope Gregory the Great (c. For an English translation of book 1. 7. 5. pp. For an excellent summary of the goals and types of hagiographical writing. 2001). Medieval Hagiography: An Anthology (New York: Routledge.

Williamson (New York: Penguin.. Due to a computistical problem. 2. 23.23–25.. DC: Catholic University of America Press. Gregory... 1–28. Bullough. p.10. for example. Eusebius. Ibid. Jonas. Ep. Passover always occurs on luna 14 in the first month of the Jewish calendar.5. The Celtic-84 did not list the correct lunar date after the first 84-year cycle. The Missionary Life: Saints and the Evangelisation of Europe. translated by G. 61. 2001). 16.32. translated by Thomas Halton (Washington. A more detailed summary can be found in Donald A. The beginning of the third cycle meant that the Celtic-84 would list luna 16. An Introduction to Arithmetic. 38. 10. 1. Ibid..3–4. 19. English translation 17. 154. A. 31.23. Jonas. 12–23. 3. Columbanus. History. 2003). p. 25.. Vita Columbani. 3.7. 3. pp. 28. p. 27. 1. Vita Columbani. Ep. Columbanus. Columbanus.3. Vita Columbani. 54. 26. 22. 18. 400–1050 (Essex: Pearson Education. 14. Columbanus. 42. Columbanus. 51.” Jerome.. For a translation of Anatolius’ work. and from ten books. 1. English translation pp. Ibid.” in Lapidge.. 154. Ecclesiastical History. Vita Columbani.... Ecclesiastical History.30. 24.5. 41. Columbanus. 4. Jonas. pp. which were one day off from reality for every sixty-three years. 5. Theuderic also ruled Austrasia from 612 to 613. pp. On the Pasch. geometry. English translation 12 15. The Anti-Nicene Christian Pasch: De ratione paschali (Dublin: Four Courts Press. Ibid. Ibid. On Illustrious Men. 1. .. Jonas. Ibid. when it was actually luna 14. Ibid. Ibid. 1. English translation 59. 32–35. Ep.. 24–37. 1. 34.18–20. Ibid. see Daniel McCarthy and Aidan Breen. Ep. 105. 40.2. 2. 152. astronomy. English translation 9–11. 1.4. 1..3. 35. 37. 21. Ibid. “The Career of Columbanus. 32.6. 1999). 13. 1. Columbanus pp. Ep. Ibid. the table listed dates. 7. We can understand the greatness of his talent from a volume which he composed. Ibid. Wood. and dialectic. 30. 36. 20. pp. “[Anatolius] was a man of prodigious learning in arithmetic.198 Notes to Pages 22–30 12. 17. 29.3.24. The second century disagreement focused on whether Easter had to be celebrated on a Sunday. Ian N. 39. 25. 2. grammar. p. 26–27. Ep. 22–25. p. 1989). rhetoric. 33. 1.. English translation 31–37. Eusebius.4. 1.

52. p. rather than the Chalcedon definition of unconfused union. 5. 125–42. Forgery. M.2. 45. 164–70. 1950).” in L’Église et la mission au VIe siècle.9. UK: Cambridge University Press. 228–39.Notes to Pages 30–33 43. “Columbanus. 48.. 5. 1983). Simply stated. and Local Authority at the End of the Sixth Century. 44. Summaries of this controversy can be found in Ibid. 60. at 278–80. A. Ibid. at 234–35.” in Mitchell and Wood. R. Bracken. 5. Markus. 3. Columbanus. The World of Gregory of Tours. pp. and Gregory of Rome: Factionalism.” p. Ibid. 554–604. J.10.” Studia Patristica 19 (1989): 52–56. 1 (1994): 160–70. 46. 67.. 162–68. 181–82. 145–61.2. 110–11. Bracken. Bracken. 5. 5. Columbanus’ three letters to the papacy all mention his longing to go to Rome.. Ibid. Thomas F. pp. 68. Ibid. Mackey.3. 62. pp. 54. 63.. Columbanus. “Authority. 49. See also Robert Eno. Gregory. Wallace-Hadrill. Ibid. Ibid. The Formation of Christendom (London: Fontana Press. “Gregory of Tours and the Roman Church. 1. 2. translated by Henry Davis (New York: Newman Press. 55.5. R. 39. “Authority. 1987).11. Patrick Gray and Michael Herren. pp. 128–39.11–13. A. 64.” pp.. pp. Ep. 69.. Virgilius of Arles. 179–87. pp.” pp. 1983).. Gregory the Great.. 5. Noble. Early Christian Ireland.” in Irland und Europa im früheren Mittelalter.” in From Augustine to Gregory the Great. 119–27.8. 5. XIV. 566–78. 199 49. Ep. Gray and Herren.5.2. James P. Ep.. . “The Theology of Columbanus. Gregory. 56. 175–76. 53. pp. 147–56. 173–74. 1997). “Papal Damage Control in the Aftermath of the Three Chapters Controversy. 3. 2000). 5. 5. Markus. 261–90.. 57. 1996). pp. “Authority. “Syagrius of Autun. Judith Herrin. Gregory the Great and His World (Cambridge. “Authority. pp. Bracken.” pp. at 160–64. Markus. pp. “Ravenna and Rome.” pp.. The Frankish Church (Oxford: Clarendon Press.. pp.” JTS ns 45. p. A. Ibid. no.8–9.. Ep. 50. edited by Christophe de Dreuille (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf. 59. edited by Próinséas Ní Chatháin and Michael Richter (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta. 1.11. 170–73. and Charles-Edwards. Ralph Mathisen. Nestorius emphasized the distinction of the two natures of Christ. edited by R. 174–75. 58. Columbanus. Columbanus. 61. 66.4. 51.7. Markus. 1. X. pp. 47. Markus (London: Variorum Reprints. 169. “Columbanus and the Three Chapters Controversy—A New Approach. Ibid. 374–75. 65. Pastoral Care.

“The Letter of Columbanus to Gregory the Great. Jonas. 198–209. There is some disagreement as to the subtlety of Columbanus’ arguments. English translation 31. English translation 48. 73.” p. “Authority. 83. Bracken. 201–19. 84. English translation 33. 1991).18.200 Notes to Pages 33–36 70. Ibid. Wright. pp. 78. Wood. Episcopal control of monastic property—Épaon (517). She persecuted the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19). “The Vita Columbani and Merovingian Hagiography. 268–70. 1. Bishops. 19. English translation 32. Wood. edited by Alexander Murray (Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. edited by Janet Nelson (London: Hambledon Press. and is blamed for urging her husband to commit many evil acts (1 Kings 21:35). 1. at 266–67. 71. Wood. at 79–80. and Pope Honorius: Diplomata and the Vita Columbani. 352–68. “Authority. 1. edited by Dorothea Siegmund-Schultze (Halle: Martin-Luther-Universität HalleWittenberg.. For an analysis of the ways in which Jonas dealt with conflict in the Life. 212. Vita Columbani. pp. Orléans (533) c. see Ian N. 1–48. 213–23.. pp. 88.” p. See also Charles-Edwards. On the issues of rejecting food. edited by Janet Nelson (London: Hambledon Press. 72.6. 10. English translation 12. in Peters. abbots ruling one monastery—Épaon (517) c. the Merovingians. “The Irish. pp. 86. Jonas. See Janet Nelson. pp. Vita Columbani. See. For general surveys about the Merovingian kingdoms. 106–15.” in After Rome’s Fall: Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History. 450–751 (New York: Longman.” pp.18. Jezebel is the wife of King Ahab of Israel. see Stancliffe. The Franks (Oxford: Blackwell. 1991). 9. Wood. Bracken discusses the parallels between the ideas of Gregory and Columbanus on papal leadership. Jonas. Bracken. “Queens as Jezebels: Brunhild and Balthild in Merovingian History. Early Christian Ireland.” in Politics and Ritual in Early Medieval Europe. 75. 263–70. “Jonas’ Life. Vita Columbani.19–20. In the Old Testament.” in Politics and Ritual in Early Medieval Europe. submission of abbots to bishops—Orléans (511) c. see Edward James. “Queens as Jezebels: Brunhild and Balthild in Merovingian History.18. Arles (544) c. 76. 1986). 1. 87.” in Gregorio Magno e il suo tempo (Rome: Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum. Vita Columbani. Ian N. the Merovingians. for instance. Joseph Kelly.” Peritia 1 (1982): 63–80. English translation 31. Ian N. Life. “The Irish and Social Subversion in the Early Middle Ages. Wood. 1994). 1998). Vita Columbani. 1–48. 1. 1986) pp. See Janet Nelson. 105–10. at 28–31. 2. Jonas. 80. Foundations—Épaon (517) c. Jonas. 74. and Pagans. 79. Ibid. “Jonas. Monks. 105. 1. “Columbanus’s Epistulae. Jonas. at 28–31. English translation 32–33. Ibid. 87.” pp.” in Irland. The Merovingian Kingdoms. Wood. 85. 1989). 1988. “Jonas. 81. 2 and 5. 82. arranged the death of an innocent man named Naboth so Ahab could take his vineyard (1 Kings 21). reprint.” pp. . 77.24. Gesellschaft und Kultur.” pp. Ian N.

8.2–3. 5. edited by Giles Constable and Michel Rouche (Paris: Press de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne.” JMH 18 (1992): 115–39.2. 117–20. edited by Rosemond McKitterick (Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University Press. 1993). “Venantius Fortunatus and the Image of Episcopal Authority in Late Antique and Early Merovingian Gaul.4. 1. 2. 71–79. 97. Sources Chrétiennes (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf. 19. For a French translation of the canons of the early Merovingian Church councils. 103. 1986). 8. 2.19. Bracken. 5. 1. George. See also Simon Coates. 353–54. see Odette Pontal. 80. 107. Pastoral Care. this was published after the manuscript was submitted. History. History. 2 vols. 1989).7. 4. Negotiating Space: Power. 2. Gregory the Great. pp.” pp. 202–07. See also Brennan.5.” pp.2. Rosenwein. 2. The use of this theory in the past is discussed in Barbara H.. Die Synoden im Merowingerreich (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. 2. Venantius Fortunatus: Personal and Political Poems (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. and Privileges of Immunity in Early . 24. Ian N. Ibid. 100.38.” pp. Wright analyzes Columbanus’ use of scriptural allusions to further enforce his innocence and his enemy’s error in persecuting those who humbly followed Christ. 95. 2.23. 106. Nelson. Saints and Their Miracles in Late Antique Gaul (Princeton. pp. 101.18. see now also Clare Stancliffe. Ibid.. Les canons des conciles mérovingiens.. 1. “Administration. 6. Pastoral Care. at 75–77. 23–27. 2... 91. 96.17. George. Ibid. Fredegar. 10. Unfortunately. Brian Brennan. 113–35. 9. Wood. Ibid. 6. 63–81. Raymond Van Dam. Eps. Chronicle. “The Image of the Merovingian Bishops in the Poetry of Venantius Fortunatus. 1995). 124–27. Columbanus. NJ: Princeton University Press.” in The Uses of Literacy in Early Medieval Europe. “Columbanus’s Epistulae.26. Ep. “Queens. Gregory the Great. “Columbanus and the Gallic Bishops. Gregory. 1992). 98.Notes to Pages 37–38 201 89.6.. VI-VII siècles.” in Auctoritas: Mélanges offerts à Olivier Guillot.” pp. Ibid. 90. The Merovingian Kingdoms. Law and Culture in Merovingian Gaul. Gregory. pp. 92. c.7. 17–31. I am grateful to Clare Stancliffe for providing me with a copy of this article. trans. Wood. Markus. Restraint.46. Translations can be found in Judith W. 8.. “Authority.11.. pp.9. 1990). p..39. 2006). 1989).. Columbanus. Ibid. For additional information on Merovingian Church councils. pp. Venantius Fortunatus: A Latin Poet in Merovingian Gaul (Oxford: Clarendon Press. This work is also available in French: Odette Pontal..8. 105. 93.31. 60–70. 21. 104. 7. 99. “The Image. Wright. 102. see Jean Gaudemet and Brigitte Basdevant. Ep. Histoire des conciles mérovingiens (Paris: Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes [CNRS]. Gregory.” EHR 65 (2000): 1109–37. 205–15. For example. Judith W. Columbanus. 94.

pp. 21–23. 25. 2. 126. Orléans (538) c. Jonas. Charles-Edwards. 120. Les Libri paenitentiales.. 11–12. “Inaccessible Cloisters: Gregory of Tours and Episcopal Exemption. at 162–70. Barbara H. Negotiating Space. Chalon (647/53) c. The World of Gregory of Tours. 3. “Penance in Transition: Popular Piety and Practice. 1–2. see Cyrille Vogel. see Finnian. 81. 218–20. 237–39. “The Penitential of Theodore. Wood. 16. 181–97. See chapter 3. “La politica religiosa della corte Longobarda di fronte allo scisma dei Tre Capitoli. 74–78. 113... 115. Rosenwein. 59–73. Rosenwein.” in Medieval Liturgy. 125. 46–47. 1997). Épaon (517) c. Early Christian Ireland. there was a more complex set of public penance required. 5. 114. Thomas Charles-Edwards. Vita Columbani. “The Penitential of Theodore and the Iudicia Theodori. Columbanus. 1999). 128. Charles-Edwards. pp. Michael Driscoll. 127. pp. For a translation. see Columbanus.202 Notes to Pages 39–43 Medieval Europe (Manchester: Manchester University Press. 164–65. pp. Arles (524) c. pp. 118. 23. at 189–93. B. Columbanus. For an English translation. 112. fasc. 86–97. Penitential. 121.” pp. 108. 1995). 215–16. 8. 123. the Merovingians. Ibid. 1. Negotiating Space. For heretics themselves. 3. 131. 373–81. 109. 23. 121–63. 122. 113–20. 130.” in Lapidge. Columbanus. 19 and 28. Eauze (511) c.” in Mitchell and Wood. pp. 368–72. 235–37. pp. 4–9. pp. 1978).” in Archbishop Theodore: Commemorative Studies on His Life and Influence. . Medieval Handbooks. UK: Cambridge University Press. “The Penitential of Columbanus. pp. See chapter 3. 168–81. in McNeill and Gamer. Columbanus. Orléans (511) c. edited by Michael Lapidge (Cambridge.” pp.” in Atti del 6 Congresso Internazionale di Studi sull’alto Medioevo (Spoleto: Presso la Sede del Centro Studi. 11. and 36. Charles-Edwards points out that Columbanus seems to be envisioning a system of only two steps rather than the more traditional four. 27 (Turnhout: Brepols. Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental. 116. 110. See chapter 1. Ibid. Rosenwein. For a discussion of these different penitentials. 13–14. pp. Penitential. “Jonas. 119. 129.” pp. 111.8. edited by Lizette Larson-Miller (New York: Garland Publishing.” in Lapidge. 124. p. B. Penitential. Ep. Mayke de Jong. 117. Thomas Charles-Edwards. “Transformations of Penance. 1. pp. Columbanus. pp. pp. Charles-Edwards. pp. “The Penitential of Columbanus. See also Guiseppe Cuscito. 64–66.19 English translation 33. Penitential. 141–74. 1980).

NC: Duke University Press. p.” pp. Jonas. pp. Vita Columbani. Codice Diplomatico del Monastero di S. .. Vita Columbani. The Emergence.7. Eustasius’ career comprises 2. 7. The Emergence. English translation 50. 1992).1–6. 11. The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar. “Fredegar’s Fables. Wood. 14. Life of Sadalberga. Ibid. B. Wood. See Ian N. For a translation of these chapters. Corpus Christanorum Series Latina 148 A (Turnhout. Ibid. For the need of hagiographers to discuss controversial episodes when a Life is written soon after the saint’s death. For a discussion of the structure of the Life. edited and translated by Jo Ann McNamara and John Halborg (Durham. 1960).. Wallace-Hadrill. Belgium.8. For more information... Vita Columbani. Dunn. Abbess of Laon. 20.” Speculum 38. J. The Long-Haired Kings (Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Columbano di Bobbio. 6.Notes to Pages 45–48 203 Chapter 3 1.” pp.A. 71–94. pp. Vita Columbani. vol.24. pp. Wallace-Hadrill. Bertulf is the focus of 2. “Columbanus. edited by C. 176–94. 160–69. 1994). 2. 2. Life of Burgundofara. Vita Columbani. edited by Anton Scharer and George Scheibelreiter (München: R. 21. 164–66. 18. pp. 192–201.” in Historiographie im frühen Mittelalter. The Frankish Church. Merovingian Kingdoms. The Franks. see Walter Goffart. J. “Jonas of Bobbio. Jonas. 16. International Series (Oxford: B.11–22.” Past and Present 127 (1990): 3–38. “Jonas’ Life. Jonas. M. 9. pp. 1. 1. Abbess of Faremoutiers. “The Fredegar Problem Reconsidered. de Clercq. 2. 2. 73–87. 155–75. 13. 359–66. 15. 67. J.20. 5. M.. 73–87. Dunn. in Sainted Women of the Dark Ages. Athala is discussed in Jonas. pp. 17. Fouracre. Wood. with Its Continuations (London. 2. James. no. 1981). see Wood. edited by Carlo Cipolla (Roma: Institutuo Storico Italiano. Friedrich Prinz. “Columbanus. Ibid. the Frankish Nobility and the Territories East of the Rhine. 2.511–695. The Merovingian Kingdoms. “Merovingian History and Merovingian Hagiography. pp. Oldenbourg.” pp. see Clare Stancliffe.” in Columbanus and Merovingian Monasticism.R.7–10. edited by H. 184–89. Jonas.1 10. 12. 2. 8. Clarke and Mary Brennan. 2. Ibid. Sainted Women.7. Wallace-Hadrill. Canons of the Merovingian Church councils in Latin are contained in Concilia Galliae A. 1982). 2 (1963): 206–41. 1. 4.23. 185–86. New York: Nelson. pp. 3. 1963). pp. Jonas.23–25. in McNamara and Halborg. English translation 37. 19. 89. see P. 1918). 111–35. 128–37. Prinz.

Vita Columbani. bishop of Besançon. 37–39. Donatus. 47. see Wood. p. 364–68. bishop of Bourges for Luxeuil. 41. Jeffrey Richards.23. 53. Jeffrey Richards. 50. 4.9. Stancliffe. For the text of the papal privilege. 2. 1965). Columbano di Bobbio. “Papal Damage Control. Collects are prayers said just before the daily Scripture readings that usually summarize the main themes of the readings that follow. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages (London: Routledge. Vita Columbani.9. J. Jonas. pp. Early Christian Ireland. For a short summary. 37. By 640. 38. 29. “Jonas’ Life. 56. 1 Thes.” pp. 52–56. pp. 39. 36. 79–80. 117–20. 52. pp.” pp. 2. 1988). Charles-Edwards. Council of Clichy (626/27) c. 35. Vita Columbani. 2. 4. 1. “Jonas of Bobbio. Fredegar. Ps. Wood. 7.” pp. Frühes Mönchtum. 2.. Jonas. See chapter 1.40–41. Prinz. 30. 1 (1984): 1–14. pp. Jonas.204 Notes to Pages 48–56 22. Jonas. 368. 1979). Vita Columbani. 57. 212–15. 55. 205–19. 25. Stancliffe.42.23. see Pontal. “Columbanus. 154–56. Chronicle.” pp. Columbanus. see Codice Diplomatico del Monastero di S. . 46. 212–13. P.8. 45. no. Communal Rule. 44. bishop of Auxerre and Sulpitius. “Jonas. Treticus and Abelenus against Eustasius. Ibid. 123–41. See chapter 2. 1980).. 26. 2. Oldenbourg Verlag. Histoire des conciles Mérovingiens. 54. pp. See chapter 2. Wood.9. 192–94. 48. Patrick J. Jonas. “Jonas’ Life. 32. See Eno.10. Jonas.” pp. and 8. Jonas. Ibid. Wood. 49. For a translation. Consul of God: The Life and Times of Gregory the Great (London: Routledge. Frühes Mönchtum im Frankenreich (München: R. an increasing number of churchmen were identifying use of the Celtic-84 with heresy. Friedrich Prinz. 33. 24. 163–67. Jonas. pp. Columbanus. Vita Columbani. 34. the Merovingians. Stancliffe.. Vita Columbani. 23. “Merovingians. 2. 102–03. Geary.9. pp. Vita Columbani. Fouracre. 216–17. the Merovingians. pp. 27. 43. 28.” pp.23. 40. 5.” pp. “Jonas. Vita Columbani. This is discussed in chapters 5. 5. 31. 2. Prinz. Jonas. 2.” p. 119.9. 197–202. 121:7–8. 2. 125–26. pp.. Mayors of the Palace and the Notion of a ‘Low-Born’ Ebroin. Vita Columbani. 42. at 6–11. 3. Before France and Germany (New York: Oxford University Press.” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 57. “Jonas’ Life. 2. Palladius. 51. Ep. The Merovingian Kingdoms. Ibid. 5:17.

Notes to Pages 56–60


58. Ibid., 2.9; Wood, Merovingian Kingdoms, p. 196. 59. By 649, the Bishop of Tortona did support the papacy. However there is no evidence as to when this occurred. 60. Paul the Deacon, History of the Lombards, translated by William Dudley, edited by Edward Peters (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), 4.41; Fredegar, Chronicle, 49. 61. Ibid.; Chris Wickham, Early Medieval Italy (London: Macmillan Press, 1981), pp. 34–36. 62. Jonas, Vita Columbani, 2.1. 63. Ibid., in Wood, Jonas of Bobbio, p. 120. 64. Ibid., 2.19, 22. 65. Ibid., 2.10. 66. Life of Amatus (Vita Amati), in MGH: SRM, vol. 4, edited by Bruno Krusch (Hannover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1902), pp. 215–21. 67. Ibid., 7. 68. For information, see Nancy Gauthier, L’Évangélisation des pays de la Moselle (Paris: E. de Boccard, 1980), pp. 274–86. 69. Jonas, Vita Columbani, 2.10. 70. This is an interesting contrast to an earlier narrative discussing Columbanus and his encounter with a pack of wolves. In that instance, he prayed and the wolves did not attack. Jonas, Vita Columbani, 1.9; English translation 15. 71. Jonas, Vita Columbani, 2.10. 72. Columbanus, Ep., 4.4. 73. Stevenson, Jane, “The Monastic Rules of Columbanus,” in Lapidge, Columbanus, pp. 203–16. 74. Columbanus, Monks’ Rule, in Walker, Sancti Columbani Opera, pp. 122–43. 75. Stevenson, “The Monastic Rules,” p. 210. 76. Ibid. 77. Columbanus, Communal Rule, in Walker, Sancti Columbani Opera, pp. 142–69. 78. For a comparison of the Communal Rule and the Penitential of Columbanus, see Charles-Edwards, “The Penitential of Columbanus,” pp. 224–37. 79. Columbanus, Communal Rule, p. 147. 80. Ibid., 13; Columbanus, Monks’ Rule, 3; Walker, Sancti Columbani Opera, p. 161 n. 3. 81. These include among others the Rule of Donatus founded on the rules of Benedict, Caesarius and Columbanus and the anonymous Rule of a Certain Father to the Virgins based on Benedict and Columbanus. Marilyn Dunn, “Mastering Benedict: Monastic Rules and Their Authors in the Early Medieval West,” EHR 105 (1990): 567–94, at 569–70. For a translation of these rules, see The Ordeal of Community, the Rule of Donatus of Besançon, and the Rule of a Certain Father to the Virgins, translated by Jo Ann McNamara and John Halborg (Toronto: Peregrina Publishing, 1993). 82. Donatus, Rule, 1, Benedict, Rule, 2; Donatus, Rule, 4, Benedict, Rule, 2; Donatus, Rule, 5, Benedict, Rule, 5; Donatus, Rule, 60, Benedict, Rule, 66; Donatus, Rule, 61, Benedict, Rule, 31.


Notes to Pages 60–67

83. Donatus, Rule, 3, Benedict, Rule, 4; Donatus, Rule, 37–48, Benedict, Rule, 7; Donatus, Rule, 69–73, Benedict, Rule, 24–28. 84. Donatus, Rule, 28, Columbanus, Communal Rule, 4; Donatus, Rule, 25–27, Columbanus, Communal Rule, 1–3; Donatus, Rule, 75, Columbanus, Communal Rule, 7. 85. Donatus, Rule, 76; Columbanus, Monks’ Rule, 3. 86. There is currently disagreement among scholars as to whether the Rule of the Master should be regarded as a sixth- or seventh-century rule. The arguments are discussed in Dunn, “Mastering Benedict,” pp. 567–94; Aldabert de Vogüé, “The Master and St Benedict: A Reply to Marilyn Dunn,” EHR 107 (1992): 95–103; Marilyn Dunn, “The Master and St Benedict: A Rejoinder,” EHR 107 (1992): 104–11. 87. Dunn, The Emergence, pp. 182–84. For a more detailed argument, see Dunn, “Mastering Benedict,” pp. 567–94. 88. Columbanus, Ep., 4. See chapter 2. 89. Stancliffe, “Jonas’ Life,” pp. 210–15. 90. Dunn, The Emergence, p. 167. 91. Bede, HE, 3.19. 92. Life and Miracles of Fursey, in Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae, edited by W. W. Heist (Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1965), p. 38. Geary, Before France, pp. 183–84. 93. Additamentum Nivialense de Fuilano, in Fouracre and Gerberding, Late Merovingian France, pp. 327–29. 94. Fosses: Monasterium Scottorum; Péronne: Peronna Scottorum; Abbot Moinan is listed in All 779.2. 95. Wood, “The Vita Columbani,” p. 69. 96. See chapter 4. 97. Marilyn Dunn, “Gregory the Great, the Vision of Fursey and the Origins of Purgatory,” Peritia 14 (2000): 238–54, at 248–54.

Chapter 4
1. Richard Gameson, “Augustine of Canterbury: Context and Achievement,” in St. Augustine and the Conversion of England, edited by Richard Gameson (Stroud: Sutton, 1999), pp. 1–49, at 10–14; Stéphane Lebecq, “England and the Continent in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries: The Question of Logistics,” in Gameson, St Augustine, pp. 50–67; Ian N. Wood, “Augustine’s Journey,” Canterbury Cathedral Chronicle 92 (1998): 28–44. 2. For post-Roman Britain, see N. J. Higham, Rome, Britain and the Anglo-Saxons (London: Seaby, 1992); Christopher Snyder, An Age of Tyrants (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University, 1998). 3. David Dumville, “British Missionary Activity in Ireland,” in Saint Patrick, 493–1993, edited by David Dumville (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press,

Notes to Pages 67–67


4. 5. 6.

7. 8.








1993), pp. 133–45; Christopher Snyder, The Britons (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2003), pp. 116–17. Charles-Edwards, “Britons in Ireland,” pp. 15–17. Dumville, “British Missionary Activity,” pp. 140–45. Constantius of Lyon, “The Life of Saint Germanus of Auxerre,” in Soldiers of Christ, translated by F. R. Hoare, edited by Thomas F. X. Noble and Thomas Head (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995), pp. 75–106. E. A. Thompson, Saint Germanus of Auxerre and the End of Roman Britain (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1984), pp. 15–19. Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, in Gildas: The Ruin of Britain and Other Works, translated by Michael Winterbottom (Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978), pp. 13–79, 87–142. For theories regarding the date of composition, see Snyder, The Britons, pp. 122–24. D. R. Howlett, Cambro-Latin Compositions (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1998), pp. 33–43; Michael Lapidge, “Gildas’s Education and the Latin Culture of SubRoman Britain,” in Gildas: New Approaches, edited by Michael Lapidge and David Dumville (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1984), pp. 27–50. Neil Wright, “Gildas’s Prose Style and Its Origins,” in Lapidge and Dumville, Gildas, pp. 107–28. For recent translations of Patrick’s Confession and Letter, see D. R. Howlett, The Book of Letters of Saint Patrick the Bishop (Portland, OR: Four Courts Press, 1994); Thomas O’Loughlin, Discovering Saint Patrick (New York: Paulist Press, 2005), pp. 141–83. John Blair, The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 14–19; Mark Handley, “The Origins of Christian Commemoration in Late Antique Britain,” EME 10, no. 2 (2001): 177–99; Lucas Quensel-von Kablen, “The British Church and the Emergence of AngloSaxon Kingdoms,” in The Making of Kingdoms, edited by Tania Dickinson and David Griffiths (Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology, 1999), pp. 89–97, at 90–94. See Steven Bassett, “Medieval Ecclesiastical Organisation in the Vicinity of Wroxeter and Its British Antecedents,” Journal of the British Archaeological Association 146 (1992): 1–28; Margaret Gelling, The West Midlands in the Early Middle Ages (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1992), pp. 53–71. Gildas, Preface on Penance, in Gildas: The Ruin of Britain and Other Works, edited and translated by Michael Winterbottom (Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978), pp. 84–86. Finnian, Penitential, in McNeill and Gamer, Medieval Handbooks, pp. 86–97; David Dumville, “Gildas and Uinniau,” in Lapidge and Dumville, Gildas, pp. 207–14. See also chapter 1. The Synod of North Britain, in McNeill and Gamer, Medieval Handbooks, pp. 170–71; The Synod of the Grove of Victory, in McNeill and Gamer, Medieval Handbooks, pp. 171–72. Snyder, The Britons, pp. 127–28. For the need to differentiate the different zones of the British Church, see, for example, Blair, The Church, pp. 10–34; Clare Stancliffe, “The British Church


Notes to Pages 67–70
and the Mission of Augustine,” in Gameson, St Augustine, pp. 107–51, at 115–23. Blair, The Church, pp. 14, 24, 27–28. Clare Stancliffe, “Christianity amongst the Britons, Dalriadan Irish and Picts,” in The New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 1, edited by Paul Fouracre (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 426–61, at 432–33. For a summary of evidence, see Richard Sharpe, “Martyrs and Local Saints in Late Antique Britain,” in Local Saints and Local Churches in the Early Medieval West, edited by Alan Thacker and Richard Sharpe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 75–154. Ibid., pp. 112–18. Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, 10.2. Sharpe, “Martyrs,” pp. 118–22. M. Deansesly and P. Grosjean, “The Canterbury Edition of the Answers of Pope Gregory I to St Augustine,” JEH 10 (1959): 1–49, at 28–29. Stancliffe, “The British Church,” pp. 121–22. Stancliffe, “The British Church,” pp. 119–21. Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, 10.2. For a summary of the available sources, see Nicholas Brooks, “The Legacy of Saints Gregory and Augustine in England,” Canterbury Cathedral Chronicle 92 (1998): 45–59, at 45–47. Bede, HE, 5.24. Ian N. Wood, “Augustine and Aidan: Bureaucrat and Charismatic?” in L’Église et la Mission au VIe Siècle, edited by Christophe de Dreuille (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 2000), pp. 148–79, at 178–79. Bede, HE, preface, p. 3. For example, see Walter Goffart, “The Historia Ecclesiastica: Bede’s Agenda and Ours,” Haskins Society Journal 2 (1990): 29–45; D. P. Kirby, Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum: Its Contemporary Setting, Jarrow Lecture (Jarrow: St Pauls Church, 1992); Alan Thacker, “Bede’s Ideal of Reform,” in Ideal and Reality in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Society, edited by Patrick Wormald (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983), pp. 130–53. Jan Davidse, “On Bede as Christian Historian,” in Beda Venerabilis: Historian, Monk and Northumbrian, edited by L. A. J. R. Houwen and A. A. MacDonald (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1996), pp. 1–15. Alan Thacker, “Bede and the Irish,” in Houwen and MacDonald, Beda Venerabilis, pp. 31–59, at 35–38. See, for example, Gregory the Great, The Letters of Gregory the Great, 3 vols., translated by John Martyn (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2004), 6.51, 6.60, 11.34, 11.41. Wood, “Augustine’s Journey,” 28–44. Wallis, Bede, pp. xxxi–xxxiv, lxiii–lxxi. Bede, HE, 2.2. For information on Bede’s sources, see Stancliffe, “The British Church,” pp. 125–29. N. J. Higham, The Convert Kings (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997), pp. 103–07; J. M. Wallace-Hadrill, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People: A Historical Commentary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 219–20. Bede, HE, 2.2, p. 72.



18. 19. 20.

21. 22. 23.

24. 25.

26. 27.


29. 30.

31. 32.


Notes to Pages 71–75


34. Ibid., p. 73. 35. For some additional background, see N. J. Higham, “King Cearl, The Battle of Chester and the Origins of the Mercian ‘Overkingship,’ ” Midland History 17 (1992): 1–15, at 6–8. 36. In the Old Testament, God often used “pagan” nations to punish Israel when it disobeyed or departed from the Law. Bede’s audience would have understood the biblical allusions. 37. Molly Miller, “Bede’s Use of Gildas,” EHR 90, no. 2 (1975): 241–61. 38. Bede, HE, 1.12–16, 22. 39. Ibid., 1.17–21. 40. Pelagius had argued that humans have the free will to choose the salvation God offered. Augustine of Hippo, on the other hand, argued that after Adam and Eve had sinned in the Garden of Eden, the human soul was so corrupt that it would never voluntarily turn to God. Therefore, God has chosen the souls he would save, giving them the grace to accept salvation. The more extreme followers of Pelagian ideas appeared to be denying the need for God’s grace in salvation and thus these doctrines were condemned. 41. Bede, HE, 1.18. 42. Ibid., 2.4, 3.38, 4.2, 5.18, 5.21–23. 43. Ibid., 1.21, 2.2. 44. Bede did not want to alert his readers that Rome had used the Victorian table, which he considered heretical. By not mentioning the table by name, he allows the reader to conclude that Rome had always supported the Dionysian. 45. Bede, HE, 2.2. For a survey of baptism, see Peter Cramer, Baptism and Change in the Early Middle Ages, c. 200–c. 1150 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 46. Sarah Foot, “ ‘By Water in the Spirit’: The Administration of Baptism in Early Anglo-Saxon England,” in Blair and Sharpe, Pastoral Care, pp. 171–92, at 172–74; Sybil McKillop, “A Romano-British Baptismal Liturgy?” in The Early Church in Western Britain and Ireland, edited by Susan Pearce (Oxford: Oxford Publishing Press, 1982), pp. 42–43; Jane Stevenson, “Introduction,” in The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church, 2nd ed. edited by F. E. Warren, (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1987), pp. ix–cxxviii, at liii–liv. 47. G.G. Willis, A History of Early Roman Liturgy to the Death of Pope Gregory the Great (London: Henry Bradshaw Society, 1994), pp. 130–34. For the Gelasian Rite, see E. C. Whitaker, Documents of the Baptismal Liturgy, revised by Maxwell Johnson (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2003), pp. 212–43. 48. Bede, HE, 1.27. 49. See, for example, Paul Meyvaert, “Diversity within Unity, A Gregorian Theme,” in Benedict, Gregory, Bede and Others, edited by Paul Meyvaert (London: Variorum Reprints, 1977), VI; pp. 141–62, esp. at 160–61. 50. Nicholas Brooks, “Canterbury, Rome and the Construction of English Identity,” in Early Medieval Rome and the Christian West, edited by Julia M. H. Smith (Leiden: Brill, 2000), pp. 222–46, at 227–28. 51. Maxwell Johnson, The Rites of Christian Initiation (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1999), pp. 194–200. However, other historians argue that the British

63. at 828. Religion and Literature in Western England.’ ” p. pp. 1995). Oldenbourg Verlag. 59. Pastoral Care. 55.” pp. “Introduction. p. HB. MN: Liturgical Press.27. edited by Maxwell Johnson (Collegeville. J. Foot. “Medieval Ecclesiastical. 61. see Whitaker. 58. 2000). 2. edited by David Griffiths (Oxford: Oxford University School of Archaeology. 9–43. see David Dumville. “Canterbury and Rome: The Limits and Myth of Romanitas. Steven Bassett. pp. pp. 66. Nicholas Brooks. 68. “How the West Was Won: The Anglo-Saxon Takeover of the West Midlands. “Imperium in Early Britain: Rhetoric and Reality in the Writings of Gildas and Bede. Foot. 64. For a more in-depth analysis of the possible interpretations of this passage.” NH 35. 244–46. HE. Gabriele Winkler. pp. Christian Initiation: Baptism in the Medieval West (London: SPCK. edited by Tania Dickinson and David Griffiths. 67. 75–86. Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History. respectively. “Church and Diocese in the West Midlands: The Transition from British to Anglo-Saxon Control. 406–34. Patrick Sims-Williams. pp. 47–57. 31–36. 11. Bede. 178. 107–18 at 112–15. 139–40. 226–29.210 Notes to Pages 75–77 would have been unusual in not requiring the episcopal anointing. “ ‘By Water.’ ” p. UK: Cambridge University Press. King of Northumbria: A New Analysis of the British Tradition. p. 10 (Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology. Fisher. Documents of the Baptismal Liturgy.” in Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History. pp.” in Historiographie im frühen Mittelalter. For information on this text. 2002). HE. “The Baptism of Edwin.” in Roma fra Oriente e Occidente. pp. Higham. 1. 178. Historia Brittonum (henceforth HB). . The Convert Kings. 209. “ ‘By Water. pp. Bassett. 57. Stancliffe. 1980). liii.” in Blair and Sharpe. 109. at 32–33. Higham. Ibid. Christianity. 265–74. 56. 52. For the baptismal liturgies from the Missale Gothicum and Bobbio Missal. 600–800 (Cambridge.14. 1–28. 243–46.. 213.” in The Making of the Kingdoms. 65. “Canterbury and Rome. See chapter 7. Sealing Spirit. no. Thomas. 1994). 63. pp. Steven Bassett. 50–84.” in Living Water. “Historia Brittonum: An Insular History from the Carolingian Age. pp. 53. no editor (Spoleto: Presso le Sede del Centro. 258–63.32. Bede. See Stevenson. 1990). but see p. 1999). 202–18. C. in Nennius: British History and the Welsh Annals. D. 1 (2000): 5–15. N. 54.” pp. 1.” pp. 62. Brooks. “The British Church.” pp. edited by Anton Scharer and Georg Scheibelreiter (München: R. see Caitlin Corning. 1965). pp. “Confirmation or Chrismation?: A Study in Comparative Liturgy. J. 13–40. 79. edited by John Morris (London: Phillimore. xxiv. Bede. 60. HE. 797–832.

Lyons. 81. 307–40. 120–21. 2. 15–17. Lev. see Ian N. p. pp. Rob Meens. Stancliffe. 818–20.4.19. 131.” pp.” ASE 23 (1994): 5–17.” pp. Paris. Bede. 78. Meens. “Canterbury and Rome. 73. 6.2. Ibid.” pp.11. pp. HE. Bede. “The Background. 77. Ó Cróinín. “The British Church. 2. St. 107–12. See also Ian N. “The British Church. 9. The Convert Kings. The Convert Kings. Gregory the Great. 12:1–8. 2. 27–35. Stancliffe. This letter is discussed in connection with the Irish Church in chapter 5. Michael Richter. “Some Historical Re-identifications and the Christianization of Kent. pp. Bede. 70. “The Victorian and Dionysiac. “Augustine and Gaul.34. pp. Augustine. 2. Marseilles. Year 4591. Charles Jones. edited by Guyda Armstrong and Ian N. 1. Wood.27. 84. 74. 82. “A Background to Augustine’s Mission to Anglo-Saxon England. at 31–35. For a supportive view of this theory.19. See chapter 3 for details. HE. 208. 68–82. 2. Higham. “Mo-Sinnu. Bede. 2. 5. Chapter 5 1. HE. “Canterbury and Rome. 8. Metz. 72.” in Gameson. HE.” p. HE. . 289–95. Bede.” pp. 419. 1. 75. 1. 76.” pp. 83. 133. 6–9. Wood. 110–12. 85. p. 7. Bede. Bede. 2000). Pastoral Care.Notes to Pages 77–84 211 69. 3. pp. HE. The Ecclesiastical History. 11.” in Christianizing Peoples and Converting Individuals. Ep. HE.4. “Mo-Sinnu moccu Min and the Computus of Bangor. 38. 11. 1. Another instance of British churchmen refusing to associate with those who used the Roman table is discussed in chapter 8.31. Wood (Turnhout: Brepols. Brooks. The Letters. 10. in McClure and Collins. Chalon.32. Columbanus. The full translation of this fragment can be found in Dáibhí Ó Cróinín.” Peritia 1 (1982): 285. 40–42. Angers and Gap. Higham. pp. Gregory the Great. The bishops included Vienne. Brooks. Bede. 12. 4.” pp. 1. 71. Bede.. 332. 819–20.. The Greater Chronicle. 79. Arles. 2. HE. 80. Bede. Ireland. Reckoning.

Cummian. pp. 2003). The Anti-Nicene Christian Pasch: De ratione paschali. in Celtic and Early Christian Wexford. 69–71.17. See Walsh and Ó Cróinín. Cummian. p. Cummian’s Letter. Letter. 27. pp. See also chapter 2. Ibid. De ratione paschali. Cummian’s Letter De controversia paschali. 25. pp. Cummian’s Letter. . Cummian’s Letter pp. 4–6. 19. Cummian. Eps. Letter. 22. 1 (1993): 378–83.. translated by John Hunt. A translation of Cummian’s letter can be found in Cummian. Cummian’s Letter.” pp. 31. 1999). Cummian. pp. Walsh and Ó Cróinín. however. 23–25. 2. 630. Ibid. 26. see The Life of Munnu. Letter. pp. 30. 9. Anatolius. 75–83. 15. 22–29. see Walsh and Ó Cróinín. Letter. Charles-Edwards. 85–87. Thomas Charles-Edwards. 36. pp.” JTS n. 33. HE. 114–25. 18. Letter. 7–15. 81. Anatolius. 216–20. It has been argued that no authentic work by Anatolius survived. 20. Medieval Irish Saints’ Lives (Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1991). p. The identifications of Cummian and Béccán are uncertain. pp. see Richard Sharpe. This work is actually the Liber Quaestionum Veteris et Novi Testamenti by Ambrosiaster. 32. 59–65. 29. Cummian. 2003).s. translated by Daniel McCarthy and Aidan Breen (Dublin: Four Courts Press. For specifics.. 44. Thomas Charles-Edwards. 87–91. Cummian. Cummian.. For a discussion of Cummian’s separation of Passover/Pasch from Easter see Walsh and Ó Cróinín. this has recently been refuted. For the dating of this text. Clare Stancliffe. 29–47. see Walsh and Ó Cróinín. 21. 60 n. “Review of Maura Walsh and Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (ed). All quotations are from the Walsh and Ó Cróinín edition. pp. 1–3. no.. 3–7. 23. Letter.212 Notes to Pages 84–88 13. “The Northern Lectionary: A Source for the Codex Salmanticensis?” in Celtic Hagiography and Saints’ Cults. 28. pp. See chapter 2. This probably took place in c. pp. p. 334–37. “Review of Maura Walsh.” Peritia 8 (1994): 216–20. pp. For the possible mixture of the Dionysian and Victorian materials. “Review of Richard Sharpe’s Medieval Irish Saints’ Lives. edited by Jane Cartwright (Cardiff: University of Wales Press. AD 400–1066. Letter de Controversia Paschali. 17. pp. 24. Bede. It is not possible to identify all the details of these tables as many have not survived. 148–60. Ibid. For a translation of the Life. 1988). at 148–50. 16. This is very similar to the warnings against pride found within Honorius’ letter. 65–69. pp. 45–47. 34. It should be noted that Cummian does not specify that this is a canon from the Council of Antioch. 75. Columbanus. translated by Maura Walsh and Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. Cummian’s Letter. edited by Edward Culleton (Dublin: Four Courts Press. 14. pp. 61. Letter.

” Speculum 79. 2. 50–51. Celia Chazelle. 26. 515–16. Ibid.’ ” pp. at p.Notes to Pages 88–95 35. most historians have rejected its central idea that Pelagian theology was influential in the Irish and British Churches of this period. (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz. 36. 45. reprint.0509. 27. HE. See chapter 10. General information on the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis (CCH) can be found in Richter. Thomas Charles-Edwards.. Judith McClure and Roger Collins. no. Gerald Bonner. 4 (2005): 428–31. 213 40. no. 48.umdl. See. “ ‘New Heresy for Old. Herren and Shirley Ann Brown’s Christ in Celtic Christianity. 41. Bede. HE. While there is much of value in this study. Ireland.” The Medieval Review (2005): http://name. Michael Herrin and Shirley Ann Brown. Ó Cróinín. 1966). There is possibly another phrase from this letter contained within a set of Irish computistical documents. Walsh and Ó Cróinín. p. 39. “The Victorian and Dionysiac.21. 1994. 6. NY: Cornell University Press. 46.” 413. 42. Life of Fintán. Herrmann Wasserschleben.” EME 13. 215–25.. pp. 2nd ed. Life of Fintán. Wooding. Bede. Christ in Celtic Christianity (Woodbridge: Boydell Press. no. 38.19. 5. “Review of Michael Herren and Shirley Ann Brown’s Christ in Celtic Christianity. “Review of Michael Herren and Shirley Ann Brown’s Christ in Celtic Christianity. They believe that the main distinctive of this tradition was the significant influence of Pelagian theology upon its teaching and practices. 44. pp. 1885).19. for instance.” Dáibhí Ó Cróinín. “Review of Michael Herren and Shirley Ann Brown’s Christ in Celtic Christianity. 11 (1982): 405–30. 37. 1 (2004): 201–03. 2. pp.” PRIA 82C. Herrin and Brown have argued that from c. Gerald Bonner. Jonathan M.’ ” pp. “ ‘New Heresy for Old. eds. 2. 27. 43. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 6 1.450 to 630 there was a “common Celtic Church” in Ireland and Britain. 409. HE. . 510–16. Bede. “Review of Michael W.19. Ó Cróinín. Jones.” Peritia 16 (2002): 510–13. Die irische Kanonensammlung. The classical account of this transformation is found in Kathleen Hughes. which states that John said “the fourteenth day of the moon belongs to the darkness. 2. 2002).” Peritia 16 (2002): 144–55. “A Seventh-Century Irish Computus from the Circle of Cummianus. 47. HE. “The Pelagian Controversy in Britain and Ireland.007. 104. 1999). 383–84.umich. Reckoning. Bede. The Church in Early Irish Society (Ithaca. Cummian’s Letter.

Jean-Michal Picard. “Cogitosus’s Life of St. Pastoral Care. 203–19.” pp. 54–59. 141–47. 14. “The Construction of the Hibernensis. pp. Hughes. pp. 5. 7. “The Miracle Stories in Seventh-Century Irish Saints’ Lives.” in Irland und Europa: Die Kirche im Frühmittelalter. 12. see David Dumville. “The Church in the Early Irish Laws. 175–78. Maíre Herbert. pp. see Sean Connolly. “Cú Chuimne. 280–90. 1979). pp. 2001).” Peritia 14 (2000): 1–19. pp. Saint Patrick. 332–33. For a translation. “The Rule of Patrick. Early Christian Ireland. pp. 74–82.” Studia Hibernica 28 (1994): 35–62.” in Ireland and Europe in the Early Middle Ages: Text and Transmission. at 329–31.” in Blair and Sharpe. “The ‘mouth of gold’: Gregorian Texts in the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis. The applicable section is also available in Colmán Etchingham.” Peritia 14 (2000): 53–60. The Patrician Texts in the Book of Armagh (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 63–80. edited by Jacques Fontaine and J. Ludwig Bieler. 248–49. For information on these men. edited by John O’Meara and Bernd Naumann (Leiden: Brill. 13.” in Hagiographics. “Vitae S Brigidae: The Oldest Texts. Ibid. Richard Sharpe. Saint Patrick. 1976). 62–64.” Peritia 12 (1998): 209–37. Maurice Sheehy. “St. respectively. 1992). Ruben and the Compilation of the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis. “Synodus II s.” in Le Septième siècle: changements et continuités. 8. at 46–47. Charles-Edwards.” in Proceedings of the Third International Congress on Medieval Canon Law. Patrick at His First Synod?” in Dumville. The Irish Penitentials. David Dumville. Patrick from the Book of Armagh. . Ludwig Bieler. “Princeps and Principatus in the Early Irish Church: A Reassessment. J. Sean Connolly and Jean-Michel Picard.” in Seanchas: Studies in Early and Medieval Irish Archaeology. “Latin and Vernacular Hagiography. Thomas Charles-Edwards. pp. 1984). 335–36.” Peritia 1 (1982): 81–106. edited by Próinséas Ní Chatháin and Michael Richter (Dublin: Four Courts Press. G. at 67. and 123–67. at 280–81. 87–115. 16. pp. 1971). The Church. Brigit.” JRSAI 117 (1987): 5–27. pp. N. 62–123. 9. “Latin and Vernacular Hagiography of Ireland from the Origins to the Sixteenth Century. Luned Mair Davies. Pádraig Ó Néill. 11.214 Notes to Pages 95–97 3. “Vita Prima Sanctae Brigitae. 10. see Bart Jaski. 31.” Eriu 1 (1904): 216–24. Clare Stancliffe. pp. 184–97. 15. Kathleen Hughes. p. “Romani Influences on Seventh-Century Hiberno-Latin Literature. edited by Guy Philippart (Turnhout: Brepols. at 249–50. pp. Rob Meens. Herbert. “Influence of Ancient Irish Law on the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis. “Muirchu’s Life of St. 328–43. 2002). edited by Stephan Kuttner (Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.” JRSAI 119 (1989) 5–49. O’Keeffe. 6.. Hillgarth (London: The Warburg Institute. 4.” in Dumville.” in Latin Script and Letters. edited by Próinséas Ní Chatháin and Michael Richter (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta. For information on these texts. “Bishops in the Early Irish Church: A Reassessment. 341–42. “The Oldest Manuscript Witness of the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis. Patricii. See also Thomas Charles-Edwards. 184–91. 249–67. pp. pp.

Richter. “The Law of Adomnán: A Translation. 32. Etchingham. . pp. at 102. 39.” pp. edited by Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ibid. 29. pp. “Introduction. 397–425. 25. Ibid. pp.. Herrin. pp. 21. 172–73.” Peritia 1 (1982): 184–96. Local Saints. Charles-Edwards. UK: Cambridge University Press. 264–69. 2005). Smyth (Dublin: Four Courts Press. For analysis of the sources of the Hibernensis. 276–77. lxxiv–lxxv. 44. “Religion and Society in Ireland. 24. 271–72.” pp. Church Organisation in Ireland. pp. History. For an overview of the organizational structures in the Church. see Clare Stancliffe. 423–26. 19. 67. “The Church. 40. Early Christian Ireland.” Peritia 14 (2000): 85–110. Charles-Edwards. 31. 106–25. Charles-Edwards. Colmán Etchingham. 34.” p. “Churches and Communities in Early Medieval Ireland: Towards a Pastoral Model. pp. 53–68. 1999). Thomas Charles-Edwards. Richard Sharpe. pp.Notes to Pages 98–103 215 17. Ibid.” in A New History of Ireland. In the older theory it was believed that members of the “Celtic Church” saw no problem with diversity in Easter dating. pp.. Charles-Edwards. 30. pp. “The Implications of Paruchia. “Érlam: The Patron–Saint of an Irish Church. pp. Byrne. Pastoral Care.” in Blair and Sharpe. Ireland. “Bishops. Davies. at 139–40. Church Organisation. 249–67. pp. Charles-Edwards. “The Church. “The ‘Mouth of Gold. Thomas Charles-Edwards. 2000). vol. “Bishops. Early Christian Ireland. 139–44.” pp. 421–29.” Eriu 44 (1993): 139–62. at lxxi–lxxii. lxxii–lxxiii. 2005). “Statuta Ecclesiae Antiqua and the Gallic Councils in the Hibernensis.” in The New Cambridge Medieval History. pp. The Rise. 1. pp. Charles-Edwards. 146–60. 1. 81–109. Ibid. “Introduction. Church Organization in Ireland. 280–90. 38. 37. at 57–59. Brown. 126–30. 697. 22. pp. 28.” in Adomnán at Birr. “Introduction. AD 697. 363–454. see Luned Mair Davies. vol. lxxiv. Ibid. pp. Etchingham. pp. “The Guarantor List of the Cain Adomnáin.” in Thacker and Sharpe. The Formation. Early Christian Ireland. 42–45. Ibid. Charles-Edwards. 27. pp. 41. and Literature in Honour of Francis J.” pp. Ibid. 267–90.. pp. pp. Church Organisation in Ireland (Maynooth: Laigin Publications. 2001). 223–33. Ó Néill. 206–14. 33. 35. edited by Thomas O’Loughlin (Dublin: Four Courts Press. lvii–lxxxii. Etchingham. 20. at 417–25.. edited by Paul Fouracre (Cambridge. Etchingham.’ ” pp.. Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha. 26. 39–41. pp. 36. Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha.” pp. 44–46. Etchingham.” p. “Romani Influences. pp. 250–57. 67–73.. Colmán Etchingham. edited by Alfred P. 23. 139–62.. pp. 18.

Translation mine.b. Carlos 42.2. 2 Cor. 54.4. Richter.29. 64. p. “The Irish Tradition of Biblical Exegesis. 4.16.” Milltown Studies 39 (1997): 112–29. Richard Sharpe. 37. The numbers quoted in this section are only approximate since a new edition of the Hibernensis is needed for accurate statistics. UK: Cambridge University Press. p. Richter argues that the historical focus was already present in Irish circles before Theodore’s arrival in England. 40–43. 50. Biblical Commentaries from the Canterbury School of Theodore and Hadrian (Cambridge.2–3. 63. Wasserschleben. who supported the Antiocene approach to biblical exegesis. p. 391. pp. 70–84. 68–77.1. Martin McNamara. “Dating the Synods. 60. 52. p. CCH 28. Charles-Edwards. 59. pp. 33. “Dating the Irish Synods in the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis. 33. archbishop of Canterbury.4. 62. Michael Richter. 55. CCH 20. Pádraig Ó Néill.10.” in Iohannes Scottus Eriugena: The Bible and Hermeneutics.6.” JML 2 (1992): 44–54. Hughes. The Roman canon is from the Second Synod of St Patrick. My thanks to Thomas Charles-Edwards for this information. Though Theodore had Irish students.b. 54. Richter.9. Roy Fletcher is preparing a new edition of the Hibernensis as an Oxford D. CCH 52. 40. Richter. pp.a. “Irish Transmission of Late Antique Learning: The Case of Theodore of Mopsuestia’s Commentary on the Psalms.” Peritia 14 (2000): 70–84. 198. translation mine. Matt. 61. Ireland. 35. Die irische Kanonensammlung.a–d. 310. 53. esp.5. Ireland and Europe in the Early Middle Ages. CCH. Ireland. 48. 6:14–15. 46. Glossa in Psalmos. I am grateful to Thomas Charles-Edwards for his suggestions on the translation of this and other passages of the Hibernensis. Ireland. 2006.6. 46. p. 56. and 54.5. CCH 52. 1994). Martin McNamara. CCH 33.c. 28.. Richter. 49. McNamara. Early Christian Ireland. The Church. Richter has estimated that there are about 640 statements from patristic sources and about 250 from councils and synods. 18:15–17. 222. 51. 243–49.b. 57. Studie e Testi (Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. 1986). “An Irish Textual Critic and the Carmen Paschale of Sedulius: Colmán’s Letter to Feradach. 127–31. 52. An exception to this was Theodore. See Bernard Bischoff and Michael Lapidge. CCH 18. edited by Gerd Van Riel. . 21.” in Chatháin and Richter. 43. One manuscript variation discusses an Irish tonsure that was first worn by a shepherd of King Lóegaire. 45. CCH 28.4. Glossa in Psalmos: The Hiberno-Latin Gloss on the Psalms of Codex Palatinus Latinus 68. vol. Ps. 49. 66. 33.2. “The Bible in Academe and in Ecclesia: Antiochene and Early Irish Exegesis of Messianic Psalms. Martin McNamara.216 Notes to Pages 103–106 pp. 52. Ibid. pp.6.” pp. 44.a. 217–25. 47. 58. 218.6.38. Phil thesis.

Ó Néill.. at 103–16. “The Irish Tradition. 25–54. 198. Columbanus.” pp. at 59–60. 338–89. CCH 20.. 58–72.” Peritia 14 (2000): 20–50. see Hermann Moisl. Æthelfrith is the Northumbrian king whom Bede presents as fulfilling Augustine’s prophecy against the British. but his list of canons found in later collections can be compared with “Irish Synod” canons in the Hibernensis. “Romani. edited by John Sharpe and Kimberly Van Kampen (London: British Library. 76. 70. Richard Sharpe. 81. 428–29. “The Bernician Royal Dynasty and the Irish in the Seventh Century. at 33–34. pp. 48. pp. McNamara argues for Irish features and the diversity of Psalm exegesis in Ireland. Ep. pp. 416–40. Tírechán. 1984). Chapter 7 1.9. 66. Martin McNamara. See Michael Cahill.” in Ní: Chatháin and Richter. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín.” Peritia 8 (1994): 35–45. pp. “Romani. 72. 1996). Early Christian Ireland. 89–103. edited by Próinséas Ní Chatháin and Michael Richter (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta. For general surveys of Irish scholarship in this period. For arguments for an Irish provenance.. and James McEvoy (Leuven: Leuven University Press.” pp. pp.6. Charles-Edwards. 280–90.” Proceedings of the Irish Biblical Association 14. Ireland. for instance. p. Roger Reynolds. pp. 79.” Peritia 2 (1983): 103–26. at 377–81. Muirchú. 74. Michael Cahill. Ibid. “The Introductory Material to an Early (Irish?) Commentary on Mark. Cummian’s Letter. pp. 285. 78. The Church.” pp. Ibid. Ó Néill.” p. Life of Patrick. For additional information on the exile of Æthelfrith’s sons. “Tradition and Creativity in Early Irish Psalter Study. 73. Richter. Hughes. “The Transmission of the Hibernensis in Italy: Tenth to the Twelfth Century. 80. Book of the Angel. See chapter 5. Due to this Cahill is skeptical of an Irish provenance for the document. see McNamara.3. 130–31. Irland und Europa.Notes to Pages 106–112 217 65. 218–21. 28. 89–90. 75. 1991 (1991): 93–114. Collectanea. 19. 67. Martin McNamara. Reynolds discusses the Hibernensis in general. Walsh and Ó Cróinín. 32–34. “Is the First Commentary on Mark an Irish Work?: Some New Considerations. no. 184–216. 71. 203–21. 36–37. .” in The Bible as Book: The Manuscript Tradition. 183–95. See. Early Medieval Ireland. McNamara.” pp. “Armagh and Rome in the Seventh Century. pp. “The Irish Tradition. 69. 1998). pp. “The Psalms in the Irish Church. 2.. “Mo-Sinnu. 77. pp.” in Irland und Europa: Die Kirche im Frühmittelalter. see Ibid. 1. Ó Cróinín. Steel. 68.

see Rosemary Cramp. 13. For a summary of the issues surrounding Edwin. Bede reports that James. pp. N. 1985). 1999). 1989). see Rex Gardner.218 Notes to Pages 112–115 Michelle Ziegler. Bede. edited by Judith McClure and Roger Collins (Oxford: Oxford University Press. “The Formation of the Mercian Kingdom. UK: Cambridge University Press.” in The Origins of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms. J. 2000). Bede. P. pp. “Oswald. All Life of Wilfrid quotes are from the Colgrave edition. 3. 7. Alex Woolf. For an excellent survey of the historiographical issues. 4. 41–49. A slightly longer version of this article is available at Gerald Bonner.1. “Bede—Priest and Scholar.” in Early Deira. 17–33. near Hadrian’s Wall.2. 3. The English Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press. 1995).” Archaeologia Aeliana 5th series. Bede. 343–57. 2 (2002): 107–22. The Life of Bishop Wilfrid by Eddius Stephanus. 33–83. HE.’ ” in Oswald: Northumbrian King to European Saint. remained in Northumbria after Paulinus fled. edited by Clare Stancliffe and Eric Cambridge (Stamford: Paul Watkins. edited by Jane Hawkes and Susan Mills (Phoenix Mill. HE. Scott DeGregorio. 1 (2004): 5–24. Kirby. pp. see N. 2.” Milltown Studies 39 (1997): 66–77. Letter to Egbert. For Paulinus’ journey. translated by Bertram Colgrave (Cambridge. Bede. 10.20. “The Politics of Exile in Early Northumbria. “The Making of Oswald’s Northumbria. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing. 1995). 159–70. 3. “The Departure of Paulinus from Northumbria: A Reappraisal. . edited by Steven Bassett (Leicester: Leicester University Press. 2. pp. no. reprint. www. pp. 14. The Earliest English Kings (New York: Routledge. Higham. near Hexham.” EME 11. Higham. no.” NH 49. HE. “Bede: Scholar and Spiritual Teacher. “Caedualla Rex Brettonum and the Passing of the Old North. 365–70. 1927. see D. 353–55. but little is known about his activities between that time and the establishment of the bishopric at Lindisfarne. 1995). ‘Most Holy and Most Victorious King of the Northumbrians. edited by Helen Geake and Jonathan Kenny (Oxford: Oxbow Books. Stephanus. 133–43. J. 8. Heavenfield. 9.mun.” The Heroic Age 2 (1999). 12. 77–98. Oswald. 1992). pp. see among others Nicholas Brooks. Bede. 5.” in Northumbria’s Golden Age. 6. pp. HE. pp. 3. DeGregorio argues that issues of reform can especially be seen in Bede’s later exegetical works. a deacon.25. 24 (1996): 73–77.” in Stancliffe and Cambridge. “ ‘Nostorum socordiam temporum’: The Reforming Impulse of Bede’s Later Exegesis. see Clare Stancliffe. ha2pen. “King Edwin of the Deiri: Rhetoric and the Reality of Power in Early England. Gerald Bonner. at 164–70. For the broader cultural and political situation. p. 10. 11. in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People.htm For additional information on Cadwallon and Penda. For general information on Northumbrian history from 615 to 660. Ibid.

18. no.” Speculum 79. 1990. Wilfrid. HE.” Jarrow Lecture (2003): 2–8. 30. VW. Ibid. however. For additional theories on dating this work see D. 33–34. Thacker. 31. 27. Stephanus. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” Rom. 38. 3. Stephanus was identified as Eddius.” pp. Traditionally.17. 2 (2000): 163–82. 3. 33. Wilfrid and the Irish. a singing-master from Kent. Mark Laynesmith. 35. “St Wilfrid: Tribal Bishop. at 165–67. 5. Wilfrid and the Irish. VW. Bede. pp. p. 3. Ibid. my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 34. 115. P. This is the same man who was abbot when Bede was given to Wearmouth as a child. 2. 22. pp.. at 169–72.. 19. See also David Pelteret. “Bede and the Irish. 16. See Bede. pointing out the insufficient evidence for connecting Stephanus with Eddius favors using “Stepanus” or “Stephen of Ripon” for the author of the Life. “Bede’s In Ezram et Neemiam and the Reform of the Northumbrian Church. “Bede. 1998). no. Ibid.2. “Bede. “Bede. reprint 1997). 4. Scott DeGregorio. 64. Ibid. 24. 2. Kirby.21.. 7–12. 5–6. they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 31–59. HE. Bede. 20. Bede.19. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God.3. Ibid. 3. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own. Eddius Stephanus and the ‘Life of Wilfrid. 32.Notes to Pages 115–119 219 15. 2. 3. Thacker. HE. Stephanus. The Earliest. 17. for example. edited by Joyce Hill and Mary Swan (Turnhout: Brepols.” EME 9. “Bede and the Irish. HE. Stephanus. Bede.” pp. 146–48. Stephanus. 28. “Stephen of Ripon and the Bible: Allegorical and Typological Interpretations of the Life of St. 10: 1–4 (NIV).3–4. Bede. 26. Stephanus. More recent scholarship.19 for John’s letter. Civic Bishop or Germanic Lord?” in The Community. for the reference to Honorius. 21. but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 6. 36. Stancliffe. 10. 59.. See. 4. 37. 29. Ibid.. Kirby. 23. VW. 1 (2004): 1–25. 111–17. for instance. Clare Stancliffe. Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England (London: Seaby. 25. Barbara Yorke. 2. Year 4591.” pp. HE. The Greater Chronicle.’ ” EHR 98 (1983): 101–14.. VW. 5–13. The Family and the Saint. “Brothers. whom Bede reports was brought to Northumbria by Wilfrid.25. pp. . 159–80. Vita Wilfridi Life of Wilfrid (VW). See.

pp. see Stancliffe..25. Stancliffe. Richard Abels. 59. 57. 43. 47. Goffart. 1–15. For a more in depth analysis. Ibid.25.. p. reprint. pp. 42.22. Charles-Edwards. 56.220 Notes to Pages 119–123 39. Stephanus. The Earliest. no.25. see N. Bede. For a short summary of the major events in Oswald’s reign. 54. 53. 8. 7.25. Geary. 94–104.21.” pp. see Kirby. HE. 253–55. 66–77. Early Christian Ireland. 62.27. Higham. The Convert King. 25. NY: Cornell University Press. 3. Bonner. 3. Daniel McCarthy and Daniel Breen. HE. pp. 45. Bede. pp.17. pp.” Peritia 11 (1997): 1–43. . Kirby. “The Council of Whitby: A Study in Early Anglo-Saxon Politics. 209–12. 1 (1984): 1–25. 3. 52. they were running or had run in vain. The Historia Ecclesiastica. VW. pp. The Convert Kings. HE. Higham. J. 125. 8. 3. Stephanus. 46. 319. Jan Davidse. Ibid. “The Council. “Bede—Priest and Scholar. Wilfrid and the Irish. 9–10. 88–92. Before France. “Bede: Scholar and Spiritual Teacher. pp. 3. 1985). Ibid. P. “On Bede as Christian Historian. For issues on the exact dating. see Joseph Lynch. J. 55.24. UK: Cambridge University Press.” The Journal of British Studies 23. 153. in Two Lives of Saint Cuthbert.” pp. Early Christian Ireland. 7–8. 1–22. Among other articles. 43. 51. 60. “Astronomical Observations in the Irish Annals and Their Motivation. “This dispute naturally troubled the minds and hearts of many people who feared that.. Ibid. The Convert Kings. 58.. edited by Bertram Colgrave (Cambridge.” in Hawkes and Mills. PVC. Ecgfrith whom she would have championed as the next king. 3. Wallace-Hadrill. pp. 33–83. “Doubts about the Calendar: Bede and the Eclipse of 664. 365–70. 7. Beda Venerabilis. 49. pp. Ibid. 40. 1940. 172–74. see Jennifer Moreton. 3. N. p.” Bede. though they had received the name of Christian. Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica.” pp. pp. D. 3. “Dynasty and Cult: The Utility of Christian Mission to Northumbrian Kings between 642–654. p. esp. see Bonner. 316–17. Bede. 63.” pp. 41. p. Christianizing Kinship (Ithaca. pp. Charles-Edwards. HE. 223–48. On the use of conversion and godparentage to strengthen political influence. This would most likely exclude an attempt to gain Eanflæd’s support since she was Alhfrith’s step-mother and had her own son. Northumbria’s Golden Age. 242–50.25. VW. Bede. 50. at 24–30. 44. Higham. Bede. 10. 48. 3. HE. On Oswald’s religious policies. Bede. Abels. at 5–20. Bede. Higham.” Isis 89 (1998): 50–65.. 29–45. pp. 1998). HE. 61.” in Houwen and MacDonald. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History. “Oswald. 3. Prose Life of Cuthbert (PVC). Bede.

“Bede. p. Bede. 7.. pp.5.. 3. Kirby.. Matt. 181. “Bede.. 11.Notes to Pages 124–133 221 64.. 3 (1995): 383–97. 19–26.1–2. 2000). .. see Alan Thacker.29. H. Bede. 15. 165. “The Penitential of Theodore. Ibid.5. 5.” pp. 69. Medieval Handbooks. “The Career. 16. An excellent analysis of this issue can be found in Charles-Edwards. Ibid.3. For additional information on this penitential. 3. 10. 4. Ibid. 13. 14. 7:21–23. 9. Ibid. Ibid.25. Chapter 8 1. Penitential. Dates for the Cuthbert Lives are from D. “The Career of Archbishop Theodore. 247–77. HE. 3. 155–58. VW. For aspects of the manuscript tradition.” pp. see Michael Lapidge. HE. no.” JEH 46.” pp. in McNeill and Gamer.5. p. Biblical Commentaries. For a summary of this larger study. 3. p. 68. 398–405. 1. Stancliffe. Lapidge. at 1. pp. 10 71. p. HE. 158. 2. 179–215. 4. 70.” in Lapidge..13.” pp. “The Penitential of Theodore.5. 1. Archbishop Theodore. 10–12. emphasis mine. Early Christian Ireland. see Charles-Edwards. Theodore. see Bischoff and Lapidge. HE. 189. 65. “In Search of Saints: The English Church and the Cult of Roman Apostles and Martyrs in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries. edited by Julia M..5. Stephanus. All quotes are from this edition. For a discussion of the development of saints’ cults in England in this period.26. pp. VW. Ibid. at 385. see Charles-Edwards. p. 67. 2. 8. 141–47. Smith (Leiden: Brill. 17. Ibid. p.9. Wilfrid and the Irish. 66. Stancliffe. 6. Ibid. 1. Ibid. 1–29. 12. Ibid. 3.” in Early Medieval Rome and the Christian West.” Peritia 17–18 (2003–04): 121–43.8–9. p. Wilfrid and the Irish. For additional background on Theodore. 189. 10. 188. 29–32. “The Genesis of a Cult: Cuthbert of Farne and Ecclesiastical Politics in Northumbria in the Late Seventh and Early Eighth Centuries. 5–81.” pp. “The Making of the Canons of Theodore. Bede. 7.5..1. 1. P. 5–6.25. Bede. pp. 155.4–5. 141–74 and Roy Flechner. Stephanus. pp.

Ibid. p. Laynesmith. Mark Laynesmith. 185–87.. 33.” History 81 (1996): 177–96. Stephanus. Ibid. 157. . 2. Bede. 157–58. Aldhelm quotes scripture for support: James 2:19–20. 31. 36..9.5. 43. 39. Rejoice and be glad. Stephanus. 9. pp. they will persecute you also” (John 15:19–20a. Aldhelm. p. 40. p. Simon Coates. Ibid.. 41–44. 155–60. “Stephen of Ripon. pp. 5. For example: “Blessed are you when people insult you. Wilfrid had contacts with the Columbanian circle. 45.” EME 9. 24. get up!’ he said. 32. 158. 35. 29. Ibid. 26. pp.. Stephanus.2. Aldhelm: The Prose Works (Ipswich: D. and 15. Ibid. 21. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master. p. 23. but I have chosen you out of the world. Bede. p. Notes to Pages 133–137 Theodore.. 34. For a translation of The Deeds of Aunemund. pp. Ibid. 22. Aldhelm. it would love you as its own. Brewer. 46–59. 159. Coates. 24–32. 24. “The Role of Bishops in the Early Anglo-Saxon Church: A Reassessment. Ibid.4. NIV). 30. 37.. Ibid. ‘Quick.9. VW. 174–75. Penitential. “The Role. Stephanus. pp.3. Late Merovingian France. p. 15. 19. VW.18. 159–60. 7. Michael Lapidge and Michael Herren. VW.222 18. 38. 33. “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. see Fouracre and Gerberding.. HE. Ibid. S... 1 Cor. Ibid. 36. 39–40. for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt.” pp. 44. Aldhelm. Wilfrid. As it is. 141–43. p.” pp. 5:11–12) and “If you belonged to the world. VW.6. That is why the world hates you. persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. HE. 1.. 60–65. Ibid. 51. no. in Lapidge and Herren. at 188–89. 27. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. 2. “Stephen of Ripon and the Bible: Allegorical and Typological Interpretations of the Life of St. Letter. 12–15. 33–34. Ibid. Letter to Geraint. NIV). because great is your reward in heaven. 25. 2 (2000): 163–82.. It has been argued that Stephanus’ allusions to the Queen as a second Jezebel may have been influenced by Jonas’ Life of Columbanus. and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists” (Acts 12:7. 28. 1979). at 168–72. 166–92. 2. 13:23. 42.. 7. 41.’ If they persecuted me. you do not belong to the world. 207.. 20. Ibid.

Catherine Cubitt. Anonymous. Kirby. Alan Thacker. 320–43. “The Role. Stancliffe. St Cuthbert. 48. 1985). 6. 2. Bede.” pp.2. Bede. 60–64. Higgitt. edited by Gerald Bonner et al. 21–44. 4. Stephanus. pp. “The Role.. 110–17. Clare Stancliffe. “The Genesis. Two Lives of Saint Cuthbert (Cambridge. . Charles-Edwards. 27. 62. It should be noted that Cubitt argues that the author was only indicating that Cuthbert entered holy orders.25. Wilfrid and the Irish. 41–54.12. 50. 254–300. 51. Bede. at 46. 58.” in St Cuthbert. John Higgitt. All quotes are from this edition. 68. p. Bede does not specifically link this event to Cuthbert. Late Merovingian France. 67. Stancliffe. 1988).S. p. Coates.17. 12. 2001). Wilfrid and the Irish. Walter Goffart. HE. 3. 53. HE. in Colgrave. see Fouracre and Gerberding. St Cuthbert. 69. Brewer. “The Iconography. “The Iconography of St Peter in Anglo-Saxon England. 10–21. pp. Bede. 1940. 70.1. Stancliffe. edited by Paul Cavill (Cambridge: D. “Why did Eadfrith Write the Lindisfarne Gospels?” in Belief and Culture in the Middle Ages. 107–13. 34. 2. 63. 49. 15. 61. 52.” pp. reprint. at 237–75. 6–7. “Cuthbert and the Polarity between Pastor and Solitary. 72. pp. edited by Richard Gameson and Henrietta Leyser (Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. Richard Gameson. 59. p. 268–69. pp.Notes to Pages 137–142 223 46. 320–21. These passages are marked in Bertram Colgrave. pp. p. NJ: Princeton University Press. Wilfrid and the Irish. p. VW. The other manuscript identifies the queen as Balthild. 73. 97. 4. 99 56. 3. PVC. The Narrators of Barbarian History (Princeton. 57. For a discussion of the relationship between Wilfrid and the moderate party. 60. VW. 64. at 51–54..” p. 54. 336–37. Stephanus. p. 25.” pp. Stephanus. Bede. Early Christian Ireland. pp. 25. and St Cuthbert’s Coffin. 33. Two Lives. 71. pp.” in Bonner et al.” in Bonner et al. “Lindisfarne and the Origins of the Cult of St Cuthbert. Coates.” pp. Anonymous. 2004). Early Christian Ireland. 288–89. 31. 47. 45–58. (Woodbridge: Boydell. 47. Stephanus. 55. PVC. Bede.” p. Goffart. UK: Cambridge University Press. 193–253. at 23. 66. 267–85. HE. 14. pp. 1989). Thacker. pp. Bede. His Cult and His Community to AD1200. 187–90. but did not become a monk until he entered Melrose. 16–18. 267–85. VW. Bede. pp. “The Historia Ecclesiastica. The Life of Saint Cuthbert. 6. VC. “Images of St Peter: The Clergy and the Religious Life in Anglo-Saxon England.. For translations of the Suffering of Leudegar and the Suffering of Praejectus. HE. Bede. see Charles-Edwards.” in The Christian Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England. VW. Ibid. “Lindisfarne. 188. pp.28. 65.

29–66. UK: Cambridge University Press. 1 (1999): 102–16. Cuthbert. 95. PVC. “Opus deliberatum ac perfectum: Why Did the Venerable Bede Write a Second Prose Life of St. 78. 283–85. “Beda Hagiographicus: Meaning and Function of Miracle Stories in the Vita Cuthberti and the Historia Ecclesiastica. Prose Life of St. 20. The Narrators. 14. .” in Bonner et al. PVC. Bede.224 Notes to Pages 142–144 74. Bede composed the prose Life before 721. Kirby. 1. PVC. “Bede and the Irish. 76. 90. 24.” p. All quotes are from this edition.” pp. 82. “St Cuthbert. PVC. 273–75. “Bede and Images of Saint Cuthbert. 4. The Narrators. Two Lives.” in Houwen and MacDonald. “Suffering and Sanctity in Bede’s Prose Life of St. “The Genesis. Joel Rosenthal. 50.. 86. Ibid. 389–90. 385. 85. “Why Was St. 95–102. p. Ibid.. 41. For an analysis of the earliest surviving fragments of Bede’s metrical Life.. Bede. Trent Foley. 4. For a general discussion on this Life. in Colgrave. St Cuthbert.” ASE 32 (2003): 43–54. 142–307. 4 (1996): 601–19. Cuthberti. Edwards. 285. p. 77–93. 8. 77. 11.” pp. 338. 103–07. pp. Thacker.” pp. St Cuthbert. Simon Coates. at 113.. UK: Dean and Chapter of Durham. 256. 81–106. Ibid.s. “Bede’s Life of Cuthbert: Preparatory to the Ecclesiastical History. Ibid. 5. Catherine Cubitt. Higgitt. 88. 92. 19–20. 75. pp. see Michael Lapidge. 84. no. Along with the references below.” pp.” CHR 68 (1982): 599–617. edited by Yithak Hen and Matthew Innes (Cambridge. “The Genesis.. “The Bishop as Pastor and Solitary: Bede and the Spiritual Authority of the Monk-Bishop. 114. metrical VC. Cuthbert so Popular?” in Cuthbert: Saint and Patron. at 83–90. 93. “Bede’s Metrical Vita S. Early Christian Ireland. 117–22. PVC. Ibid. 94. Karl Lutterkort. Kirby. 41–45. 1987).” JEH 47. Cuthbert.” JTS n. pp. pp. 4. Anonymous. pp. 2000). Cuthbert. 85. For example. Bede. p. p. VC. 167.” pp. Goffart. 89. at 39–50. 87. 7. “Bringing the Vita to Life: Bede’s Symbolic Structure of the Life of St. 37–40. see Bede. HE. Thacker.. Bede. 83. 16. Bede. Goffart. 27–28. p.” Traditio 52 (1997): 73–109.. Carole Newlands. 79. Cuthbercti. “Memory and Narrative in the Cult of Early Anglo-Saxon Saints.” in Bonner et al. Bede. David Rollason. 81. no. Bede. 80. pp. edited by David Rollason (Durham.” ABR 48. “The Iconography. Charles. Cuthbert. Stancliffe.. John Eby.27. pp. see Walter Berschin. p. 39–40. 39. “Lindisfarne. Ibid. 91. Beda Venerabilis. 3 (1997): 316–38. “The Earliest Manuscript of Bede’s Metrical Vita S. see Helmut Gneuss and Michael Lapidge. no.” in The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages.

if there.32. 4. 5. All quotes are from this edition. 1 (1999): 19–33. 102. 104. Daniel McCarthy.15–16.” pp.24. Kirby. 1984). 1983).” pp. no. The Narrators. AD 431–1131. 2.2–3.” EME 10. “ ‘The Holy Spirit Within’: St Cuthbert as a Western Orthodox Saint. 5. see Kathryn Grabowski and David Dumville. Bede.18. D. 171. 1974). no.13. For comparative tables of the events in the major annals by year and presentation order. Irish Chronicles and Their Chronology 4 (2005). Bede. 600–800. yet manages to escape any suspicion of greatness until his obituary notice. Bede. 98. see Daniel McCarthy. translated by Sean Mac Airt and Gaeroid Mac Niocaill (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 100.12. “The Chronological Apparatus of the Annals of Ulster AD 82–1019.3. “Royal and Ecclesiastical Rivalries in Bede’s History. at 51. Catherine Cubitt.19.27–4. at 28–31. 5. Daniel McCarthy. 101. 3. P. 715. “The Chronology of the Irish Annals. “The Original Compilation of the Annals of Ulster. “Cuthbert. pp. p. Chapter 9 1. Gerald Bonner. See. translated by Whitley Stokes (Felinfach: Llanerch Publishers. Ogma. 307. 5.5.3.” Peritia 16 (2002): 256–83. 3. 5. 1988).” in Richter and JeanMichel Picard.” Goffart. 4. 4. 4. 601–19. Goffart states “Wilfrid appears time and time again in books III-V [of the History]. 9–26. pp. respectively.28.19.20. Coates. edited by John Bannerman (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. “The Bishop. 105.12. 711. “The Chronological Apparatus of the Annals of Ulster.25. no. 5. Suffolk: Boydell Press. The Annals of Inisfallen. 3 (2001): 323–41. For analysis. AU. HE. “Notes on the Scottish Entries in the Early Irish Annals.” Studia Celtica 38 (2004): 69–96. The Annals of Ulster (AU). 4. “Wilfrid’s ‘Usurping Bishops’: Episcopal Elections in Anglo-Saxon England. 4.11.” Peritia 8 (1994): 47–79. 179–82. HE.” in Studies in the History of Dalriada. 4.” Sobornost 1. The ground breaking article on this subject is John Bannerman. Chronicles and Annals of Mediaeval Ireland and Wales (Woodbridge. 103. c.” Renascence 52. 99.” NH 24 (1989): 18–38. Bede.13. Annals of Tigernach. 1993).Notes to Pages 144–151 225 96. 3. available from . Daniel McCarthy.29. Coates. 1 (1979): 9–22. “The Chronology and Sources of the Early Irish Annals. HE. 4. See also Daniel McCarthy. Daniel McCarthy. for example. 3. Boisil of Melrose and Ecgberht. 48–53.” PRIA 98 C. 4. translated by Sean MacAirt (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. “The Role. 2 vols. 97. 5. 6 (1998): 203–55. 4. no. 173. George Hardin Brown. pp. HE.

436–37. 5. pp. 8. translated by Richard Sharpe (London: Penguin Books. 1988).” in Historiographie im frühen Mittelalter. 142–46.” Peritia 1 (1982): 160–77. pp. translated by Thomas Jones (Cardiff: University of Wales Press. Ségéne was abbot of Iona when Aidan was sent to Lindisfarne as bishop. see David Dumville.” p. Iona. 687.” Celtica 22 (1991): 64–78. This entry is repeated in the ATig. Charles-Edwards. Bede. It appears that Aldfrith was born and raised in Ireland. pp. Alan Macquarrie. “Historia Brittonum: An Insular History from the Carolingian Age. Richard Sharpe.. Richter. 5. See Colin Ireland. 1994). 85–91. Bede.” in O’Loughlin. Kathleen Hughes. Adomnan of Iona: Life of St. Picard argues that Adomnán’s composition of the Vita Columba and his support of the saint illustrate that he did not adopt the Roman Easter dating. pp. Historia Brittonum. 1995). 20. . 1984.tcd. AU. Bede. See chapter 6. Annales Cambriae. pp. Iona. 15. O’Loughlin. 130–31. The prisoners return to Ireland is recorded in the ATig.15. 44–49. 25. 66–88.cs. 76. Adomnán. 166. 2. in Nennius: British History and the Welsh Annals. 1980). Warlords and Holymen: Scotland AD 80–1000 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 287–88. at 46–47. The Saints of Scotland (Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers.25. 22. 687. 1997). 6. 24. 14.46. reprint.1. 23. pp.. Charles-Edwards. 17.6 though the earlier entry appears more chronologically accurate. 5. 16. 163–64. HE. 697. Kells and Derry (Oxford: Clarendon Press. 11. ATig. pp.3. Celtic Britain in the Early Middle Ages. Life of St. 94–97. For translations of these texts. HE. 9. 9–43. For analysis of these texts. pp. 3. Adomnán at Birr. see Richter. edited by John Morris (London: Phillimore. 1980). “The Purpose. Ibid. 45–46. Ibid. 692.. Early Christian Ireland. 18. 13. Ireland. pp. Jean-Michel Picard. in Ibid. HE. Celtic Theology. 406–34. pp. Oldenbourg Verlag Wien. 10. 41–51. 5. see Brut Y Tywysogyon. p. edited by Anton Scharer and Georg Scheibelreiter (München: R. O’Loughlin. 1973).21. Ireland.htm.. 2nd ed. 50–84. HE. 1989). Alfred Smyth.15.226 Notes to Pages 151–154 https://www. Picard. edited by David Dumville (Woodbridge. Herbert.5. 50. Columba (New York: Penguin. “The Purpose of Adomnan’s Vita Columbae. “Aldfrith of Northumbria and the Irish Genealogies. Early Christian Ireland. 689.5 and the AU.15. 692. 12. pp. 5. 7.McCarthy/chronology/synchronisms/ annals-chron. 21. Suffolk: Boydell Press. See chapter 6. p. 1995). 697.1. Bede.15.3. “Adomnán: A Man of Many Parts. Máire Herbert. For a summary of the major issues surrounding Adomnán. 19. pp.

50. “The Guarantor List.3. 100–03. 710. 35–70. p.” pp. The Law of Adomnán.” in Religion and Belief in Medieval Europe. 93–110. Clancy. pp. Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica. 711. “Place-Names and the Early Church in Eastern Scotland. 57–60. 5. 64–65. 2.4. 21–22. Andrews. Ibid. 664–717: A Reassessment. 33. p. Taylor argues for Gaelic influence in the area around St.46. Clancy.7. pp. 44. “Place Names. 713. see Adomnán. see Simon Taylor.” PSAS 127 (1997): 636–40.” pp.” in Scotland in Dark Age Britain. Taylor. Charles-Edwards. Adomnán. at 233–35. Sally Foster. pp. Iona. Charles-Edwards. Sharpe. For a translation of the cáin. Simon Taylor.” in Broun and Owen. “The Strength of Belief: The Impact of Christianity on Early Historic Scotland. 135–36. 739. “Philosopher-King: Nechtan mac Der Ilei.” p. 31. Using place-name evidence. Taylor. 191–93. VC. 32. Ní Dhonnchadha. edited by Barbara Crawford (Aberdeen: Scottish Cultural Press. 276. 1996). see Charles-Edwards. Bede. 99–100. 2. 46.. 288–89. Herbert. For place-name evidence. pp. Adomnán.21. Warlords. VC. see Ní Dhonnchadha. 28. These two options are briefly examined in Herbert. “Place Names.” SHR 88. Warlords. Smyth. See. 47. 41. Ibid. HE. at 127–43.24. 30. 39. 51.” pp. 108–10. 2 (2004): 125–49. pp. 53–68. 38. 42. 34. pp. VC. HE. 27. Adomnán. 48. pp. pp. 3. p. 74–75. AU. pp. Sharpe. 138–39. Stancliffe. . “Place Names.. 49. Kirby.” pp.25. 195. 63. 52. Sharpe. Kenneth Veitch. pp. “Seventh-Century Iona Abbots in Scottish Place-Names. 229–240. Adomnán. Spes Scotorum. Adomnán. 65. 64–65. Sharpe. pp. Smyth. 137–42. 37.” pp. Early Christian Ireland. 53. 43.Notes to Pages 154–158 227 26. 5–6. See Taylor. “Philosopher-King. First and Second Prologue. 36.7. 57–59. pp. pp. “Philosopher-King. “The Law. Ní Dhonnchadha. Early Christian Ireland. 29. 214. 5.” pp. edited by Guy De Boe and Frans Verhaeghe (Zellik: Instituut voor het Archeologisch Patrimonium. Iona. for example. 325–26. Charles-Edwards. For a discussion of Nechtan’s family tree. pp. For a brief discussion of some of the cána in the early medieval period. Adomnán. For instance. “The Miracle Stories. 138–43. 567–68. Early Christian Ireland. AU. AU. Early Christian Ireland. 75. Ní Dhonnchadha. Charles-Edwards. “The Columban Church in Northern Britain. 40. pp. see Thomas Owen Clancy. 93–110. 45. 559–69.” pp.34. at 101–02. 35. 1997). Early Christian Ireland. no. pp. Bede. AU.” pp. “Birr and the Law of the Innocents. 131–33. pp. pp.

Clancy. 80. 86. Ibid. 139. 282. 24–29. 286. Smyth.. pp. K. 2 (1994): 145–70. 69. 77. 64. pp. 79. Wales in the Early Middle Ages (Leicester: Leicester University Press. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 60. “Cuthbert. Ibid. Davies.21. 59. Dark. 58. “The Uses of Writing in Early Medieval Wales. p. p. 75. 5. see Patrick Sims-Williams.. 55. 5. For a discussion on the lack of surviving documents. AU. Wendy Davies. 84. Ibid. 76–77. pp. 85–89. Ibid. 61. 82. “On the Little British Kingdom of Craven. P. HE.” Jarrow Lecture (1995): 6–14. For seven days no yeast is to be within your houses” (Ex. 284. 83.” pp. 217–18. Adomnán. R. 67. p.. Benjamin Hudson.” pp. “Philosopher-King. p. Ibid. Wood. p. 56. 66.228 Notes to Pages 158–167 54.21. 12:17–19. “Philosopher-King. 138–39.” p. no. 234–35. 68. 283. Civitas to Kingdom.” SHR 73... p. 74. 5. 15–38. 57. 63. at 151–53. 62. 160–61. . Foster. 133–35. p. HE. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. “The Legal Status of the Native Britons in Late SeventhCentury Wessex as Reflected by the Law Code of Ine. “Kings and Church in Early Scotland. Sharpe.” NH 32 (1996): 1–20. 51. 71. pp. P. Ibid.27. 141–43. 768. Wales. Warlords. 1994). Bede. p. “Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. 161. Ian N. NIV). 3. 65. 278. 234.. 81.22. 770. Ibid. 1982). 76.” in Pryce. 108.. BrT.” pp. Ibid. D. Wood. Civitas to Kingdom (Leicester: Leicester University Press.” Haskins Society Journal 7 (1995): 31–38. “The Strength of Belief. Northumbria.18.. 5. N. 285..” pp. “The Most Holy Abbot Ceolfrid. 70. Ibid. 73. Warlords. Dark. pp. Literacy in Medieval Celtic Societies. Smyth. pp. “The Strength of Belief. Louis Alexander. 78. 227.. 284. 235–38. pp. Rollason. Clancy. pp. Foster. AC. 5.4. 717. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. 85. 72. Kirby. p. Boisil of Melrose. 223–25. p. Bede. Ibid.

41–62. 155–60. Bede. 170–71. 12. 61. Bede. 3. 75. Theodore. Bede. Colmán Etchingham. Ep.Notes to Pages 167–172 229 87.” p.19. “Pastoral Care in Early Medieval Wales.1–5. Pryce. 3. Penitential. Synod of the Grove of Victory. 92. See. “Pastoral Care. 14. 3. HE. 94. at 22–25. G. 3. 91. 4. Pastoral Care. Synod of North Britain. at 222. 89. 1. MI: University of Michigan Press.. Bede.. 12–21. 5. 160–64. for instance. pp. 6. Davies.” p. AC.21.” pp.17. 1999). Ibid. 95. 3. Declercq. 7–25. 10. Bede. Ibid. Columbanus. Hughes.” in Blair and Sharpe.4. 11.25. HE. pp. see Gerald Bonner.5. Ibid. 97. 90. Year 4591. edited by John Guy and W.” in The Limits of Ancient Christianity. The Britons. Stancliffe. Synod of North Britain. “A Letter from Rome to the Irish Clergy. 1–20. “Dic Christi Veritas Ubi Nunc Habitas: Ideas of Schism and Heresy in the Post-Nicene Age. 809. 49–55. Bede. 438. 137–38. 171–72. HE. 9. AD 640. 96. p. 15. 8.23. pp. Snyder.2. 5.. Cummian. “Pastoral Care.. 16. pp. Year 4591. “Bishoprics in Ireland and Wales in the Early Middle Ages: Some Comparisons. Greater Chronicle. 4.” in Contrasts and Comparisons: Studies in Irish and Welsh Church History. 88. 1. 1999). For a discussion on the tendency to equate schismatic practices with heresy. pp. For a brief overview of this theory.5. Ibid. HE. “Christianity amongst the Britains. pp. 63–79. Letter to Geraint. 2.” Peritia 3 (1984): 222–29. pp. Letter. Aldhelm. Pryce. Contra Kenneth Harrison.” pp. 7. Anno Domini. 7–14. 2. 98. 5. Bede. HE. p. Chapter 10 1. 2.. edited by William Klingshirn and Mark Vessey (Ann Arbor. 5. Greater Chronicle. “The Myth. “The Celtic Church: Is This a Valid Concept?” pp. . pp. 13.25. 93. Neely (Powys and Armagh: Welsh Religious History Society and the Church of Ireland Historical Society. at 48–49. see Huw Pryce. 68.

17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44.

Notes to Pages 172–178
Jonas, Vita Columbani, 2.9. Aldhelm, Letter to Geraint, pp. 156–57. Bede, HE, 3.25. Bede, HE, 5.21. CCH, 52.6.b. Bede HE, 5.21. Cummian, Letter, p. 95. Bede, HE, 3.25. Ibid., 2.19. Columbanus, Ep., 1.4. Bede, HE, 3.25. Cummian, Letter, pp. 91, 93. The Frankish Church had decided to adopt the Victorian table at the Council of Orléans in 541. Orléans c. 1. Davies, Wales, p. 161. Bede, HE, 2.2, 3.25, 4.5. Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church, pp. 94–109. Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, pp. 105–07, 133. Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, pp. 278–81. Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland, pp. 276–77. Charles-Edwards, “Introduction,” pp. lxxiv–lxxvi; Etchingham, Church Organisation in Ireland, pp. 456–60. Bede, HE, 2.2. Pryce, “Pastoral Care,” pp. 41–62. Davies, “The Myth,” pp. 14–18; Snyder, The Britons, pp. 128–34. Herrin, The Formation, pp. 164–65; Mathisen, “Syagrius of Autun,” pp. 278–84. Stephanus, VW, 34. Columbanus, Eps., 5.10–12; Bracken, “Authority and Duty,” pp. 173–74, 178–79; Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church, pp. 110–11. Herrin, The Formation of Christendom, pp. 121–25. Charles-Edwards, “The Penitential of Theodore,” pp. 164–68; de Jong, “Transformations of Penance,” pp. 209–17; Meens, “Frequency and Nature,” pp. 47–55. Dunn, “Gregory the Great,” pp. 253–54. A number of these are discussed in Allen J. Frantzen, The Literature of Penance in Anglo-Saxon England (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1983). Charles-Edwards, “Britons in Ireland,” pp. 19–26. Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion, pp. 168–69; Ian N. Wood, The Missionary Life: Saints and the Evangelisation of Europe, 400–1050 (Essex: Pearson Education, 2001), pp. 145–56, 160–62; Richer, Ireland, pp. 124–34. Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church, pp. 144–49. Wood, The Missionary Life, pp. 39–42. Ibid., pp. 150–52. Bede, HE, 5.22. Kirby, “Cuthbert, Boisil of Melrose,” pp. 51–53.

45. 46. 47. 48.

49. 50. 51. 52.

Notes to Pages 178–180


53. Bede, HE, 5.9–11; Richter, Ireland; pp. 148–52. 54. Yitzhak Hen, “The Liturgy of St. Willibrord,” ASE 26 (1997): 41–63, at 41–43. 55. For more information on these men, see Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion, pp. 193–227. 56. Columbanus, Ep., 2.5, p. 17. 57. Ibid., 2.9, p. 23. 58. Cummian, Letter, p. 81. 59. Ibid., pp. 73–75. 60. Charles-Edwards, “Britons,” pp. 16–17. 61. Ibid., pp. 19–26. 62. Sharpe, “Gildas,” pp. 200–02. 63. Dumville, “British Missionary Activity,” pp. 141–44. 64. Bernadette Cunningham and Raymond Gillespie, “The Cult of St David in Ireland before 1700,” in Contrasts and Comparisons: Studies in Irish and Welsh Church History, edited by John Guy and W. G. Neely (Powys, Armagh: Welsh Religious History Society and the Church of Ireland Historical Society, 1999), pp. 27–42. 65. Dumville, “British Missionary Activity,” p. 144. 66. CCH, 20.6. 67. CCH, 52.6.b. 68. Bede, HE, 2.4, 5.15. 69. Meek, The Quest, pp. 95–100.


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47. 142. 174. 65. bishop of Canterbury. 171. 124. 145. 58 Aidan. 117–18 Adaloald. bishop of Sherborne. 102. 68. 154 Audoin. 127. abbot of Remiremont. 56. 175 Augustine. 149. see Three Chapters controversy Arians. 124. Canterbury. 80 . 37. 198n30 Annales Cambriae (Welsh Annals). 167 Annals of Inisfallen. 56 Armagh. 48–51. 212n29 On the Pasch. 49. 168. definition of. 112. 22. 73–6. monastery. 118 Æthelberht. bishop of the Northumbrians. king of the Lombards. 117. 155. 198n30. wife of Clovis. 171 Athala. 163. 59. 57 Arioald. bishop of Laodicea. 29. 85. 70. 40. 164. 122 Augustine. 49–50. 157 Æthelbald. 11. 22. 138. 56. 22. 148. 122. bishop of Geneva. 174. 165. 27–8. 150–1. 125–6. 175 Baptism. bishop of Lyons. 86–7. 13. 217n1 Agilbert. king of Northumbria. 119. 100. king of Lombards. 79 Æthelfrith. 124–5. king of Mercia. 41 Agrestius. 82–3 Balthild. abbot of Malmesbury. 116. bishop of Rouen. 135 Agilulf. 98 Abelenus. 96. 152. 153. 28. 58 Ambrosiaster. 157 Life of Columba. 163 Aquileian schism. Book of Questions. 144. pope. bishop of Hexham. 151–6. 96. 133–4. 48 Bangor-is-Coed. 53–4. 114. 53. 160–1. 137 Bangor. 57. 170. 151 Annals of Ulster. 121. 117. 71. 172 Alhfrith. 54. king of the Lombards. 67 Albinus. monastery. 17. 70–81. abbot of Sts. 69 Aldfrith. 89. Life of Anthony. 156. 153. abbot of Iona. 17. 71. king of Northumbria. 167–8. 31. 41. 125 Agatho. abbot of Bobbio. 113. 144. 61 Athanasius. 172 Alban. 123. Peter and Paul. bishop of the West Saxons and later of Paris. 173 Law of. king of Kent. 165. sub-king of Deira. monk of Luxeuil. 136. 177. 144. 204n45 Acca. 151. 144–5. 86. martyr. 140. 128. 151 Annals of Tigernach. 154–5. 121–2. 55. 117. 55. 56. 226n10 Aldhelm. 116. 124. 151–2. 29. 100. 56 Adomnán. 212n20 Anatolius. 147. 127. 209n40 Aunemundus. 156. 77–8. 108–9.Index abbas. bishop of Hippo. 141 Amatus.

9. 80 baptism. 19. 114–16. 53–4 Cadwallon. kingdom of. 39 Basil. 84. 129. synod of. 53. 60 Cathach of St. 173 Ceolred. king of Northumbria. 71–3. 37. 139 Brigit of Kildare. 156–62. abbot of Wearmouth-Jarrow Letter to Nechtan. 114–15. 66. bishop of the East Saxons. king of Gwynedd. 83 and Wilfrid. 91. 70–1. 24. 68. 74–5. 171. 57 Burgundofaro. 73. 24. 175. 120. 55–7. 138 Chagneric. 18 Cenél Comgaill. 137. 155 Rule of. see Easter tables Celtic tradition. 164–6. 80 organization. 79. 116. 145–8. 116 and Church reform. see councils Childebert II. 135. 170. 141–2 Bernicia. 205n81 Cáin Adomnáin. 157. 158 Cenwealh. 112 Caesarius. 180–1 Celtic-84 table. John. 155. 68–9 and the British Church. bishop of Arles. 34. 114. popular understanding of. 96. 99–102. 114–15 metrical Life of Cuthbert. 89. 13. 147 and the Easter controversy. 144 prose Life of Cuthbert. 55–6. 39. 22. king of Burgundy and Neustria. king of Mercia. 80. 91. 39–40. 96–7. 168 missions. 142. 70. 115. Merovingian queen. king of the Picts. 65–8 Bruide. 167–8 in the Frankish Church. 73–6. 38. 128. 167–8.252 Index Bede’s attitude toward. 154. 47 Burgundy. Council of. 171–2 Letter to Egbert. see Adomnán Cassian. 37. 61 Birr. 174–5 survival of. 83–4. hermit. kingdom of. 96–7. abbot of Wearmouth. 32. pope. 76–7. 151. abbot of Bobbio. 171–2 and the Easter controversy. 76. 112 Bertulf. 102. 11. 108–10 Bobbio. 83 and Iona. 35. 50. 64. 47. 15. 135. 106 Cedd. 47. 70–3. 148. 23. 81–2. 70. 152–3. 149 Benedict Biscop. king of the West Saxons. 1–4. 159–60. 14. 119 and Cuthbert. 133–4. 115. on penance. 146. 63. 122 Ceolfrid. 159–61. 45. 56 Book of the Angel. 146–7. 83. 78–9. 142–5. 92. 60–1. 95. count of Meaux. 117 Benedict of Nursia. 200n77 Brut y Tywysogyon (Chronicle of the Princes). 29. bishop of Caesarea. 4. 73. 171 Boniface. 175 see also Adomnán bishops in the British Church. 167. 124 Celtic Church. 118 Ceolwulf. 59. 148. 73–9. definition of. 96 British Church and Augustine. 34–6. 65–7. 157. 7. bishop of Meaux. 94. abbess of Faremoutiers. 38. 101 Bede. 79. 81–2. 69–70. 47 Chagnoald. 65. 138–9. 109 Bosa. 63. 37. bishop of York. 33. 153. 16 Béccán. bishop of York and later of Mercia. 172. 83–4. 80 . bishop of Laon. 171–2 Greater Chronicle. 130. monastery. 137. 22. 84. 89. 113 Chad. 52–3. 158 Brunhild. 60–1. 144. 79. 85. 36–9 in Ireland. 119. 145. 142–5 The Reckoning of Time. 165 Burgundofara. Columba. 70–3. 47 Chalon. 119. 38. 171–2 Ecclesiastical History.

126. 81–2. king Neustria. 170–1. 43–4. then Burgundy and Austrasia. 133–4. 170. abbot of Iona. 24. 176 penitential. abbot of Iona. see Easter tables Diuma. 148. 78–9. bishop of Vienne. 223n68 Lives of. 48 Dál Ríata. 22–4. 36. bishop of Mercia. 151. 24–30. 117. 63. 5. 7 Dionysian table. Life of Germanus. abbot. 53 Clovis II. 89. 91. 49. 105 Columba. kingdom of. 156 Dumnonia. 11. 34–6. 154 Dado see Audoin Dagán. kingdom of. 147. 17. 66. king of Neustria and Burgundy. 132. 126–7. 37–40. 174 Colmán. then Austrasia. 21. 114. king of Bernicia. 223n63 coffin. abbot of Iona. 46. king of Northumbria. 71–2. 53 First Council of Constantinople. 173–4. 174 of Nicaea. 67. 21. 170. 164–6. 132. 127. abbot of Iona. 168. 113. 204n45 rule of. 134. 175 Dionysius Exiguus. 164 Deira. 124–5. 51–2. 156. 73. 173 Life of. Life of Brigit. 129. rules. 177. 99. 122. 179 Cuthbert. 35 Cœnred. 157. 135. 174–5 of Antioch. 158. 107. 37 Chlothar II. see Adomnán Columbanus. bishop of Lindisfarne. 41–3. 154. 116. kingdom of. 32–3. 28–9. 154–5. 115. 101. 30 Second Council of Constantinople. 168. 79. 17. wife of Oswiu. 137 and bishops. 113 Easter controversy and Bede. 57–61. 37. 86 of Chalcedon.Index Chilperic I. 147. 112. 148. 40–1. 83. 36. 47. 78. kingdom of. abbot. 15–16. 120 doctores. 129. 37. 47. 171–2 and the British Church. 134. see Jonas and monarchs. 15 Dyfed. 66. 53–4 Chronicle of Fredegar. 173. 156 Constantius of Lyons. 83–4. see scholars Donatus. 146. 115. bishop of Besançon. 60. 172–73. 30. bishop of the Northumbrians. 81–2. 173 see also synods Cú Chuimne of Iona. 80. 70. 133 Dunchad. 155. 159–60. 21–2. 60. 73. 86. 121 Desiderius. 96 Collectio Canonum Hibernensis. 105 Cummian. Letter on the Easter controversy. 40. 93–4. 150. then Neustria and Burgundy. 167 Eanflæd. 107. 37–8. 95–6. 112. 141–45. 32–3. 98. 96. king of Soissons. 11–12. 180 Colmán. 175. 123. 35–6. 24. 130. 178–9 Life of. 26–30. 22. king of Austasia. 134. 7. 48 and the papacy. 103–5. 107–9. 114. 41. 130. 110. 124–7. 139–45. Irish cleric Letter to Feradach. 61. 86. 100. 170 Dagobert I. 84–8. Irish bishop. 154–5 councils. 35. 9. 48 and the Easter controversy. 92. 66. 97. 117 Eanfrith. 35. 172. 168 . 205n81 Dorbéne. 137. 178–9 of Clichy. 87. 64 Conamail. 81–2. 134. 147. 179. 66. 118 Cogitosus. 173 letters. 142. 43 and the nobility. 31 of Chalon. 148. 157. 31 253 of Hertford. 44. 125. 83.

bishop of the Northumbrians. 93–4. 123. abbot of Luxeuil. 73. 78. 83. 48. 43–4. 142. 85. bishop of Meaux. 160. 86. 47. 93. 13. 42. 17–18. 117. 84. 170. 122. 123–4. 18. 85. 45–6. 91–3. see Celtic-84 Nicene. 152–3. 18. 85–7. 86. 87 Victorian. 183–90. 108. bishop of Rheims. 89–93. 127. 195n85 Easter controversy––continued calculating the date of. 73. 134. 120. Northumbrian peregrinus. 11. 29. king of Northumbria. 127. 169. 126. 170–1 and the Irish Church New Testament. 67. 125. 131. 29. archbishop of Gwynedd. 161. 10. definition of. 125–6. 120. 89–93. 132. 18. 114. 45. priest. 165–6. 29. 116. 125. 18. 156–62. 108–10. 11. 155. king of the Northumbrians. 140. 159. 173. 105. bishop of York. 118. 5. 83. 51–3. 9. 162. 101. 79–80. 62 Eusebius. 121 Egbert. 92. Neustrian maior. 5. 165. 163–4 and the papacy. 148. 112. 131. 142. 85–6. 126. 43–4. 12 and the Church fathers. 209n44 Eata. 162–3. 44. 153–4. 82–3. 108. 161. 172 practical issues. 98–9 Faremoutiers. 7. 11–12 Eustasius. 83. 78. 30. 170–1. 58 exemptions. 141. 176 Eddius Stephanus. 169 theological issues. 83–4. 85–7. 147. 37 Erchinoald. 72. 139. 85. 57. 129. bishop of Caesarea. 73. 143 eccles (ecclesia). 137. 92. 156 familia. 123. 169 heresy. 12. 178 Egidius. 79–80. 24–30. 37 Elfoddw. 11. 173. 159–60. 153–4. 56. 109. 41. 136. 154. 8. abbot of Iona. see Egbert Ecgfrith. 28 Life of Constantine. 116. 174 Eligius. 119. 87. 131. 84–8. Ecclesiastical History. 12. 159 Old Testament. 162–3. 123–4. 144. 152. 10. bishop of Lindisfarne and Hexham. 27. 15. 25–30. 73. 105. 113. 11. 5–8. 170. 165–6. 76. 70. 160. 135. 13. 183–90 Latercus. 159. 113. 179. 12. 27. 131. 146–7. 122–3. 148. 127–8. 193n33. 114. 170–1. 10. 86. 7. 148. 123–6. 152. 114 Egbert. see Bugundofaro Finán. 30. 150. 71. 7–8. 87. 27–8. 131–5. 73. 86. 82. 73. 25. 140. 161 Easter tables Celtic-84. see privileges Fáelchú. bishop. 176 and Columbanus. 38. 170–1 dark Easter. 118. 127–8. 173 and Cummian. 38. 147 Finnian. 48–55. 18. 131. 116. 141. 27. 80. convent. 167. 121. 127. 109–10. 29–30. 131–5. 43. 120. 169 symbolism. 152. 67 Ecgberht. 119. bishop of Noyon. 60 Faro. 154. 183–6. 8. 45. 137–8. 193n36 Dionysian. 29. 91–3. see Stephanus Edwin. 107. 89–93. 80. 83. 179 and the Picts. 105. . 26–7. 9–13. place name. 23. 51. 115. 73.254 Index 156. 10–11. 71. 47. 125. 51–3. 10.

91. 162–4. pope. 107 Grimoald. 85. 66. 41. 88–91. 89–93. 141 255 Hibernenses. 56–7 Hwicce. 67. 14. 57–8.Index Fintán. bishop of Tours Ten Books of Histories (History of the Franks). see Irish Church Hibernensis. 155. 69–70. 171–2 and the Easter controversy. 62 Gundoin. 172. 218n5 Herefrith. 118. 43–4. abbot of Taghmon. 38. 137. 108. king of Dumnonia. 44. 77–9. 77–9. 55–7. 116. 47–55. 89–93. 37–8. 28–30. 32 Gregory the Great. 25. 151–6. 46. 129. 74–5. see Easter controversy Hexham. British ascetic penitential. battle of. see synods Foillán. 158. 170. 137 councils. kingdom of. 137 Jarrow. 175 synods. 118. 179 The Ruin of Britain. 148. 84–8. 36–9 Fredegar. 42–3. 175 organization. 151–6. 200n77. 30. 157. 68–9. 101. 32. 44. 70. 88. pope and Bobbio. 158 Jerome. 28–9. 124. abbess of Whitby. 162–4 see also individual abbots Irish Church and the Easter controversy. 105. 62 Iurmenburgh. 177 On Illustrious Men. 115. 119. 168. I. 178 mission to Northumbria. 70. 122. 17. monastery. 154 Gildas. 102–8. 81. 71. 176 . 174 Honorius. 151. 108–9. 83–4. 62–3. 94. 35–6. 31 Iona. church of. 178 Geraint. 144 mission to the Anglo-Saxons. 102 and Columbanus. 15. 172 and the Lombards. 28. 127. abbot of Péronne and Fosses. 171. 39. 21–2. 173. 139. 102 Libellus Responsionum. 109–10. 81–94. 78. 114–16. 24–30. 68. 48–55. 102–8. 133–4 Germanus. 135–6. abbot of Lindisfarne. 34–5. 100. 162–4 “Irish” party or Hibernenses. 66. queen of Northumbria. 174–5 and the Easter controversy. 144. 92. 170 Dialogues. 26–8. 105. 71–2. Chronicle of. 74. 100–1. 170. 28 Jezebel. bishop of Auxerre. 112. 62 Frankish Church and the Columbanian tradition. 147. pope. 170–1. 144 and the Picts. 22–6. 80 Gregory. 83. 47. 74–5. mother of the Austrasian maior Grumoald. Patrick. 37–40. 144 heresy. 68. 96–102 “Roman” party or Romani. 160–1. 40. duke. 222n32 John IV. 13 see also tonsures Heavenfield. 136. 40–1. 53 Fursey. 36. 67. 66. 171 letter to the Irish Church. 175 Itta. 82 episcopal authority. 93. see Collectio Canonum Hibernensis Hild. 65. 135. 88–9 First Synod of St. 93–4. 47 hairstyles. 37–8. 25. 21. Irish peregrinus. 76 Ibas of Edessa. 114 Pastoral Care. 21. 37–8. 34. 51–3. 128. 66. 139. 154 humility. 82. Austrasian maior. monastery. symbolism of. 67. 85–6.

120. 138. 118. History of the Britons. bishop of London. church. 48–55. 134. 158 Osric. 140 see also individual abbots Mâcon. 90. 76. definition of. 131. 96. 80. 31. 118. 60. 108. 132 Kildare. 23. 24. 81–82 Melrose. 27 Patrick. 158 papacy. 23. 53. 109. 131. see Adomnán Leudegar. 29. 112. 66. 137. Life of Patrick. 100. 76 maior. 23. 131–2. 175. 20. kingdom of. 120. abbot of Bangor. 22. 81 Kent. 118. 4. 55–7 Luxeuil. 85 Osred. 62. 23. 87. 30–3. 94. 108–9 Killian. 39–40. see councils Nivelles. 136. 73. 61. 128. see synods Magonsæte. Synod of. 24. king of Northumbria. 106 Muirchú. monastery. church. 88–9 Lagny. monastery. 150. monastery. 20 Life of Columbanus and his Disciples. 112. abbot of Leighlin. 81–2. 114. 113. 121. 76. 85. king of Northumbria. 164–5 Nothelm. 121 Oswiu. 82–3. 116. 126. 114. 43. 127. 112. 172 Jouarre. 5. 13. 31. 69. bishop of Rochester. 111. 112–14. 65. 199n49 Neustria. 23. definition of. 135–6. 143–4 Mercia. see rules Mo-Sinu maccu Min. 62 Northumbria. see synods Mag Léne. 120–2. 62 Latercus. 180 Paschal controversy. 130. 96. 65. see Easter controversy Passover. 141. see Easter tables Laurence. 178 Laisrén. 77. 154 Mellitus. 157–8. 62 Nicaea. 83–4. 113 Osric. 120. 115. king of Northumbria. 121. 113. 61–2. 107. 137. 45–6. 129. 165 . 156–61. kingdom of. 148. 153. 47–58. 66. king of Deira. 41. 119. 117. kingdom of. 46. 63. 53 Martin. 151–2. king of the Picts. 66. 79. 48. 151 Nestorius/Nestorian. 135. bishop of Canterbury. 22–4. 66. 163–4. 142. monastery. 147 Lombards. bishop of Tours. 35. 27. monastery. 137 Lindisfarne. 102. 118. 129. 55–7. 69. 9. 66. 172 Law of Adomnán (Innocents). 19. 140. 139–45. 43. 127. 97. 98 monastic rules. 122 Oswine. Council of. 120. 67. kingdom of. 66. 58. 121. 122 Justus. 102. 40–1. 98. 36. 33–6. 4. Lives of. 112–14. archbishop of Canterbury. 170. bishop of Autun. 79. 74. kingdom of. 4. 115. 80. 93. 70 Origen of Alexandria. 120–2. 79. 113. 97. 179.256 Index monachus. definition of. 113. 100. 75. 1. king of Northumbria. 91–3. 63. 174 Nennius. Synod of. 89. 132. 17. 118 Oswald. 22. 129. king of Deira. 10. 196n106 Jonas of Bobbio. 176 paruchia. 79. 134. 96 Nechtan.

60. 117. 71–2. 63. 37 princeps. 18. 55. 177. 106. 23. 40. 167–8. 123 Rubin of Dairinis. 22. 120. 67. 141. 170. 48. 122. 136. 101 privileges. bishop of Rouen. 42 Penda. church. 68. 101. 135. 171 peregrinatio. 15–17. 93. 23. 97–8. 44. 170–71. 85. 139. 76. 226n7 Sigibert I. 14–17. 148. 158 “Roman” party in the Irish Church. 118–20. 48 Stephanus. 17. 132–3. 91. 179. 76 Ríagail Phátraic (the Rule of Patrick). 91–2. 177 public. see Mo-Sinu maccu Min Sinodus Hibernensis. 96 rules. 84. 158. see synods Sinodus Romana. 135–9. 179 Penitential of Theodore. 64. 47. 104. 114. 67. 137. 122. 147. 28. 137–8. 134. 128. abbot of Iona. 222n32 Sulpicius. 89. 163–4. 17. 47–8 Remiremont. 15–16. 121 penitentials. 61 Sadalberga. 57. 151. 64. 58 Rónán. 116–20. 62–3. 63. 127–8. see Irish Church Roman tradition. 102. 135. 87. 35 Simon Magus. 148. 57–62. 132–3. 154 . 68 Solignac. 60. 129 Rule of the Master. 104. 180 Penitential of Columbanus. 213n45 penance. 27. 141–2. 119. 219n23 Life of Wilfrid. 63. abbess of Laon. 9. 84. 143. 173–4. 129 Donatus. 177 Quartodecimanism. 121. 55–6. 160. Rule for Nuns. 116–17. 138. monastery. 155 of Columbanus. 14–15. bishop of Bourges. 174. 41–3. abbot of Remiremont. 93. 133. 179 scholar. 135. 176. 61. see individual Lives Samson. 63. 171 private. 35 Sigibert. 83. 93. 66. 89. 37 Sulpicius Severus 84-year paschal cycle. 4 257 Romani. definition of. 160–1. 131. 63. 63. monastery. bishop of Tortona. 104. 173. 59. 143. bishop of Dol. 170–1. 134. heretic. II. see peregrinatio popes see papacy and individual popes Praetextatus. 142. 126–9. 172 Rebais. 14. king of Austria and Burgundy. 138. 62–3. see councils Ségéne. 177–8 see also individual peregrini Péronne. 138. 23. 47 saints’ Lives. 167. 96 Ripon. 134. 58. 173. 23. 156–62. 48. 24. 17. 40. 174 pilgrimage. 148. monastic of Benedict. see synods Sixtus. 71. 175 Second Council of Constantinople.Index Paulinus. 120. 171 Probus. 62 Picts. 49. monastery. 180 Sinilis. 18. king of Mercia. bishop of Northumbria. monastery. 171. Irishman active in Northumbria. martyr. 92. 61 Rhun. 43–2. 171. 47. 66. 86. 13. 44. 209n40. 205n81 mixed rules. king of Rheims. 129. ecclesiastical. definition of. 8 Life of Martin of Tours. 57 Purgatory. 172. 60–1. 18. 24. 112. see Irish Church Romaric. 47. 38–9. 132–3. possibly king of Rheged. 114 Pelagius/Pelagian heresy.

103. 49. 138–9. 174 and Lindisfarne. 142. 174. 82. 89 tonsure Celtic. 13–14. 107–8. 165 Whitby. abbot of Péronne and Fosses. 33. 158 Tatberht. 49. 48–55. 161. 139. 171. 13. bishop of Mopsuestia. 96 of the Grove of Victory. 145. 85. 63. 40. 88–9. 46. 102. 116. 146–7. 128–9. abbot and bishop. 61 Warnachar. 172. archbishop of Utrecht. bishop of Armagh. 193n33 Victorian table. 96. 136. 64. archbishop of Canterbury. 98 of Whitby. 62 Venantius Fortunatus. 133. 155. see Finnian Ultán. 171. pope. 176 Penitential of Theodore. 133. Synod of. Collectanea. 136 of North Britain. 104. 136–8. 172–3 Roman. 138–9 of Birr. 121–9. 146–7. 104–5. 100. 141. 134. 121–2. 66. 135. 111. 89. 86 of Austerfield. 7–8. Gallic poet. 20. 99. 158 Bede’s attitude toward. 175 Theudebert. 24. 143. monastery. 31 Theodoret. 91. 171. 121. 117–18 Theodore. 54 túath. 114. 25 “Roman” synod (Sinodus Romana). 22. 67. 173. abbot of Luxeuil.258 Index Tómíne. 67. 132–3. bishop of Lyons. 117 Welsh Annals (Annales Cambriae). 173. 149 and the Easter controversy. 172–3 Treticus. Patrick. 167 of Orleans. 101 of Mag nAilbe. 141. 178 Swithhelm. 117. 174 see also councils Talorg. 155. 68–9. Irish kingdom. 170. 50–1. 114. 175 First Synod of St. 142 symbolism of. 47. 36–7 Victorius of Aquitaine. 88. 149. 120 synods. 119–20. 31 Theuderic II. 154. 128–9. 171 see also Stephanus Willibrord. 176 Tírechán. 50. 108. 117. 160–1. 104–5. 100 Uinniau. 145. 143 and the Roman traditions. 75. son of Drostan. 35–6. 141–2. 175 of Mâcon. see synods Wilfrid. 50. 175 Second Synod of St. 96. Patrick. 18. 28. 34. 119. 118. 125–7. 53–4 Wearmouth. 49. bishop of Cyrrhus. 111. 103. king of Austrasia. 136. 53. 39. 139. 167 “Irish” synod (Sinodus Hibernensis). see Easter tables Vitalian. 130. 158. 115. 44. 107–8. 109. Burgundian maior. 41 Three Chapters controversy. 116. 56. see penitentials Theodore. 13–14. 174–5 of Arles. king of the East Saxons. 117. 22. 93 of Nidd. 114. 24. 130. 104. 96 . 139–40. king of Burgundy. abbot of Ripon. 151. 174 of Mag Léne. 93. 70. 61. 31. 131–2 Waldebert.

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