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Saints' Cults in the Celtic World

Saints' Cults in the Celtic World

STEVE BOARDMAN
JOHN REUBEN DAVIES
EILA WILLIAMSON
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 234
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt9qdj61
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  • Book Info
    Saints' Cults in the Celtic World
    Book Description:

    The way in which saints' cults operated across and beyond political, ethnic and linguistic boundaries in the medieval British Isles and Ireland, from the sixth to the sixteenth centuries, is the subject of this book. In a series of case studies, the contributions highlight the factors that allowed particular cults to prosper in, or that made them relevant to, a variety of cultural contexts. The collection has a particular emphasis on northern Britain, and the role of devotional interests in connecting or shaping a number of polities and cultural identities (Pictish, Scottish, Northumbrian, Irish, Welsh and English) in a world of fluid political and territorial boundaries. Although the bulk of the studies are concerned with the significance of cults in the insular context, many of the articles also touch on the development of pan-European devotions (such as the cults of St Brendan, The Three Kings or St George). Contributors: James E. Fraser, Thomas Owen Clancy, Fiona Edmonds, John Reuben Davies, Karen Jankulak, Sally Crumplin, Joanna Huntington, Steve Boardman, Eila Williamson, Jonathan Wooding

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-759-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. EDITORS’ PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. 1 ROCHESTER, HEXHAM AND CENNRÍGMONAID: THE MOVEMENTS OF ST ANDREW IN BRITAIN, 604–747
    (pp. 1-17)
    James E. Fraser

    It is well known that two twelfth-century versions of a foundation legend with common elements claim that the establishment of the cult of the apostle Andrew at Cennrígmonaid, now St Andrews,² took place during the reign of arex PictorumcalledUngus filius Urguistin the shorter, so-called A version of the legend, andHungus filius Ferlon(recte Forgus) in the longer Version B.³ The pseudohistorical tendencies of Scottish ecclesiastical foundation legends of this epoch are increasingly widely appreciated. The question of the Andrean dedication at Cennrígmonaid, then, cannot be answered without the help of historians of twelfth-century Scotland. The...

  8. 2 THE CULTS OF SAINTS PATRICK AND PALLADIUS IN EARLY MEDIEVAL SCOTLAND
    (pp. 18-40)
    Thomas Owen Clancy

    The two churchmen who stand ‘at the door of Irish history’ have received much scholarly attention over the years, amounting to a sizeable sub-discipline with in Irish history and Celtic studies.¹ The two are mirror images one of the other: for Patrick we possess his own impressive and moving words, from the twin documents called the Confession and the Letter to Coroticus.² He is the earliest insular churchman for whom we can frame any real biographical and personal detail. Alas, this is unmatched by any chronological security, or contemporary documents external to his own writings, and the historical and autobiographical...

  9. 3 PERSONAL NAMES AND THE CULT OF PATRICK IN ELEVENTH-CENTURY STRATHCLYDE AND NORTHUMBRIA
    (pp. 42-65)
    Fiona Edmonds

    It has long been known that personal names shed light on aspects of medieval society that might otherwise be obscure, including cultural identity, familial connections and religious affinities. The personal names that I shall discuss here, which describe the bearer as the devotee of a saint, can be placed in all three of these contexts.¹ The Gaelic versions of such names feature a saint’s name in the genitive after the elementsmáel-, ‘tonsured one’, orgille-, ‘servant’ or ‘devotee’.² A Brittonic equivalent of thegille- names existed too: names ingwas-, ‘servant’.³ The focus of this chapter, then, will be...

  10. 4 BISHOP KENTIGERN AMONG THE BRITONS
    (pp. 66-90)
    John Reuben Davies

    Saint Kentigern, Bishop and Confessor, also known as Mungo, is patron of Glasgow.¹ He is co-patron too, with Saint Asaph, of Llanelwy in North Wales. And in common with so many of Britain’s earliest saints we have no sure knowledge of him from his own time.

    Weariness may set in as one repeats a commonplace topos, reminding the reader of the meagre sources for this period. But a stock theme though it may be, the near absence of written evidence, and the troublesome nature of what survives, conditions the task in hand. For where there is a gap there is...

  11. 5 ADJACENT SAINTS’ DEDICATIONS AND EARLY CELTIC HISTORY
    (pp. 91-118)
    Karen Jankulak

    In 1986, Oliver Padel coined the phrase ‘recurrent adjacency’ to describe

    a feature of Brittonic church dedications which has often been noted but never fully explained ... Two saints with adjacent dedications in one country may often turn up, again adjacent, in another part of the Brittonic world ... it is ... a geographical dimension to the dedications of Brittonic saints, and one which has struck antiquarian writers from the Middle Ages to the twelfth century.¹

    This ‘geographical dimension to the dedications of Brittonic saints’ was of particular interest to Gilbert Hunter Doble (1880–1945) and Emrys George Bowen (1900–1983),...

  12. 6 CUTHBERT THE CROSS-BORDER SAINT IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY
    (pp. 119-129)
    Sally Crumplin

    In the mid-twelfth century, a Durham monk named Alan was sent by Bishop Hugh du Puiset on a tour of southern Scotland. He travelled throughout East Lothian, across the Forth to St Andrews and Dunfermline, and ventured as far as Perth, carrying with him a small bag of St Cuthbert’s relics, which were used in ceremonial processions and to perform a number of miracles during his perambulations.¹ St Cuthbert is often seen as an Anglo-Saxon saint, and certainly his life and cult were integral to the great Anglo-Saxon golden age of the seventh century,² but he sits far more comfortably...

  13. 7 DAVID OF SCOTLAND: ‘VIR TAM NECESSARIUS MUNDO’
    (pp. 130-145)
    Joanna Huntington

    Famously, James I of Scotland allegedly said that David I’s extreme generosity towards the church had rendered him ‘ane sair sanct for the Croune’.² David was also explicitly a saint for Walter Bower,³ who was reliant for material on John of Fordun,⁴ who in turn borrowed heavily from a eulogy written shortly after David’s death by Aelred of Rievaulx. David’s sanctity in these later sources does not, however, simply reproduce the twelfth-century depiction; it is instead adapted to suit themoresand requirements of the later authors.⁵ Aelred’s David is virtuous and explicitly to be emulated, but he is not...

  14. 8 The Cult of Saint George in Scotland
    (pp. 146-159)
    Steve Boardman

    On 17 July 1385 the English king Richard II was in Durham, overseeing the assembly of an army to counter a Franco-Scottish force that threatened England’s northern counties. King Richard ordered the production of a series of ordinances to govern the conduct of the host that was about to head north towards the Anglo-Scottish border.¹ Among a number of detailed points, the ordinances declared that the English king’s troops were to display the arms of St George and that if any of the enemy were found bearing the insignia of the saint they were to be put to death, even...

  15. 9 THE CULT OF THE THREE KINGS OF COLOGNE IN SCOTLAND
    (pp. 160-179)
    Eila Williamson

    In Cullen Bay, Banffshire, in the north-east of Scotland there can be seen the rocks known as the Three Kings of Cullen. In an article in 1897, W. Cramond related an older belief that these rocks commemorated a conflict or burial place of three kings from Scotland, Denmark and Norway respectively – a legend of such a conflict had also been mentioned in theNew Statistical Accountof the parish in the middle of the same century.¹ Nevertheless, both Cramond and Francis Groome, editor of theOrdnance Gazetteer of Scotland, recognised that the rocks were likely to have been named after...

  16. 10 THE MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN CULT OF ST BRENDAN
    (pp. 180-204)
    Jonathan M. Wooding

    In early Irish tradition St Brendan (feast day 16 May) is ranked among the ‘twelve apostles of Ireland’ (dá apstol decc na hÉrenn), the generation of sixth-century Irish monastic founders who followed St Finnian of Clonard.¹ St Brendan is also immortalised as the most famous voyager to the legendary ‘Promised Land of the Saints’.² Dedications to St Brendan, as we will see, are found throughout the medieval Celtic world, including Brittany, and on a more limited basis in England, while outliers of his cult in the middle ages are found as far away as the Faroe Islands and possibly north-east...

  17. General Index
    (pp. 205-218)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 219-221)