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This is the first in a series of facsimiles of major Irish manuscripts. Each will be published with an accompanying volume of commentary. This first book reproduces the earliest surviving version of Adomnan's Vita Columbae, the Life of St Columba, dating from the late seventh or early eighth century. Columba established one of the greatest Irish monastic and cultural foundations of the Middle Ages on the Island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland, in the 560s. The monastery of Iona had close associations with the kings of the northern part of Ireland, Scotland, and northern England. It was the spiritual centre responsible for the conversion of Scotland and northern England to Christianity, and was the mother house of a great monastic federation that stretched from Lindisfarne, in the east of England, to Durrow, in the heart of Ireland. The life was written by Adomnan, the ninth abbot of Iona, before 697, to mark the centenary of his patron's death. Like Columba, he was a member of the powerful Ui Neill (O'Neill) dynasty. Adomnan's Life of St Columba has been described as perhaps the most sophisticated saint's life to be written in western Europe in the course of the seventh century. It bears witness to the scholarly and spiritual attainments of early Irish Christian culture. The manuscript chosen for this facsimile has been preserved in the Stadtbibliothek, Schaffhausen, Switzerland since the fifteenth century and is one of the oldest such MSS.
Publisher: Cork University Press
Number of pages: 282
Weight: 2858 g
Dimensions: 340 x 239 x 46 mm
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