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Adomnán
Adomnán
or Adamnán of Iona
Iona
(/æðɒvˈnɔːn/, Latin: Adamnanus, Adomnanus; c. 624  – 704), also known as Eunan (from Irish Naomh Ádhamhnán), was an abbot of Iona
Iona
Abbey (r. 679–704), hagiographer, statesman, canon jurist, and saint. He was the author of the most important book on the life of his cousin St  Columba
Columba
and the promulgator of the Law of Adomnán
Adomnán
or "Law of Innocents" (Latin: Lex Innocentium).

Contents

1 Life 2 Cain Adomnain 3 Works 4 Death 5 Legacy 6 See also 7 References 8 Sources 9 Further reading

9.1 Primary sources 9.2 Secondary sources

10 Further reading 11 External links

Life[edit] Adomnán
Adomnán
was born about 624, a relative on his father's side of Columba.[2] He was the son of Rónán mac Tinne by Ronat, a woman from the Northern Uí Néill
Northern Uí Néill
lineage known as the Cenél nÉnda. Adomnán's birthplace was Raphoe, a town in County Donegal
County Donegal
in Ulster. Some of Adomnán's childhood anecdotes seem to confirm at least an upbringing in this area. It is thought that Adomnán
Adomnán
may have begun his monastic career at a Columban monastery called Druim Tuamma, but any Columban foundation in northern Ireland
Ireland
or Dál Riata
Dál Riata
is a possibility, although Durrow is a stronger possibility than most. He probably joined the Columban familia (i.e. the federation of monasteries under the leadership of Iona
Iona
Abbey) around the year 640. Some modern commentators believe that he could not have come to Iona
Iona
until sometime after the year 669, the year of the accession of Fáilbe mac Pípáin, the first abbot of whom Adomnán
Adomnán
gives any information. However, Richard Sharpe argues that he probably came to Iona
Iona
during the abbacy of Ségéne (d. 652). Whenever or wherever Adomnán
Adomnán
received his education, Adomnán
Adomnán
attained a level of learning rare in Early Medieval Northern Europe. It has been suggested by Alfred Smyth that Adomnán
Adomnán
spent some years teaching and studying at Durrow,[3] and while this is not accepted by all scholars, it remains a strong possibility.

Iona
Iona
Abbey

In 679, Adomnán
Adomnán
became the ninth abbot of Iona
Iona
after Columba.[4] Abbot
Abbot
Adomnán
Adomnán
enjoyed a friendship with King Aldfrith
Aldfrith
of Northumbria. In 684, Aldfrith
Aldfrith
had been staying with Adomnán
Adomnán
in Iona. In 686, after the death of Aldfrith's brother King Ecgfrith of Northumbria
Ecgfrith of Northumbria
and Aldfrith's succession to the kingship, Adomnán
Adomnán
was in the Kingdom of Northumbria
Northumbria
on the request of King Fínsnechta Fledach of Brega in order to gain the freedom of sixty Gaels
Gaels
who had been captured in a Northumbrian raid two years before.[3] Adomnán, in keeping with Ionan tradition, made several more trips to the lands of the English during his abbacy, including one the following year. It is sometimes thought, after the account given by Bede, that it was during his visits to Northumbria, under the influence of Abbot
Abbot
Ceolfrith, that Adomnán
Adomnán
decided to adopt the Roman dating of Easter
Easter
that had been agreed some years before at the Synod of Whitby. Bede
Bede
implies that this led to a schism at Iona, whereby Adomnán
Adomnán
became alienated from the Iona
Iona
brethren and went to Ireland to convince the Irish of the Roman dating. Jeffrey Wetherill sees Adomnan's long absences from Iona
Iona
as having led to something of an undermining of his authority; he was thus unable to persuade the monks to adopt the Roman dating of Easter, let alone the tonsure.[2] It is clear that Adomnán
Adomnán
did adopt that Roman dating, and moreover, probably did argue the case for it in Ireland.[4] Cain Adomnain[edit] Main article: Cáin Adomnáin In 697, it is generally believed that Adomnán
Adomnán
promulgated the Cáin Adomnáin, meaning literally the "Canons" or "Law of Adomnán". The Cáin Adomnáin was promulgated amongst a gathering of Irish, Dal Ríatan and Pictish notables at the Synod of Birr. It is a set of laws designed, among other things, to guarantee the safety and immunity of various types of non-combatants in warfare. For this reason it is also known as the "Law of Innocents". Works[edit] Adomnán's most important work, and the one for which he is best known, is the Vita Columbae
Vita Columbae
(i.e. "Life of Columba"), a hagiography of Iona's founder, Saint Columba,[5] probably written between 697 and 700. The format borrows to some extent from Sulpicius Severus' Life of Saint Martin of Tours.[6] Adamnan adapted traditional forms of Christian biography to group stories about Columba
Columba
thematically rather than chronologically,[7] and present Columba
Columba
as comparable to a hero in Celtic mythology.[8] Wetherill suggests that one of the motivations for writing the Vita was to offer Columba
Columba
as a model for the monks, and thereby improve Adomnan's standing as abbot.[2] The biography is by far the most important surviving work written in early medieval Scotland, and is a vital source for our knowledge of the Picts, as well as a great insight into the life of Iona
Iona
and the early medieval Gaelic monk. However, the Vita was not his only work. Adomnán
Adomnán
also wrote the treatise De Locis Sanctis (i.e. "On Holy Places"), an account of the great Christian holy places and centres of pilgrimage. Adomnán
Adomnán
got much of his information from a Frankish bishop called Arculf, who had personally visited the Egypt, Rome, Constantinople
Constantinople
and the Holy Land, and visited Iona
Iona
afterwards. Adomnán
Adomnán
gave a copy to the scholar-king Aldfrith of Northumbria
Aldfrith of Northumbria
(685-704).[3] Also attributed to him is a good deal of Gaelic poetry, including a celebration of the Pictish King Bridei's (671-93) victory over the Northumbrians at the Battle of Dun Nechtain (685). Death[edit] Adomnán
Adomnán
died in 704, and became a saint in Scottish and Irish tradition, as well as one of the most important figures in either Scottish or Irish history. His death and feast day are commemorated on 23 September. Along with St. Columba, he is joint patron of the Diocese of Raphoe, which encompasses the bulk of County Donegal
County Donegal
in the north west of Ireland. The Cathedral
Cathedral
of St. Eunan and St. Columba (popularly known as St. Eunan's Cathedral), the Catholic cathedral in that diocese, is in Letterkenny. Legacy[edit] In his native Donegal, the saint has given his name to several institutions and buildings including:

The Cathedral
Cathedral
of St. Eunan and St Columba
Columba
in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal; the current seat of the Bishop of Raphoe, The Anglican Cathedral
Cathedral
Church of St. Eunan in Raphoe, Donegal, St Eunan's NS, a national school in the town of Raphoe, Donegal, St Eunan's College, a secondary school in Letterkenny, St Eunan's NS, a national school in the small village of Laghey, just south of Donegal Town, St Eunan's GAA, a GAA club in Letterkenny, County Donegal

In Co. Sligo, just to the south, he is venerated as the founder of Skreen Abbey, now the site of the C. of I. church of Skreen Parish. See also[edit]

Saints portal

Hagiography

References[edit]

^ "St. Adamnan, Kilmaveonaig", The Scottish Episcopal Church ^ a b c Wetherill, Jeffrey. "Adomnán, Iona, and the Life of St. Columba: Their Place Among Continental Saints", The Heroic Age, No. 6, Spring 2003 ^ a b c Smyth, Alfred. Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland
Scotland
AD 80-1000, Edinburgh University Press, 1984 ISBN 9780748601004 ^ a b Grattan-Flood, William. "St. Adamnan." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 11 Mar. 2014 ^ Butler, Alban. The Lives of the Saints, Vol.IX, 1866 ^ Nilsson, Sara E. Ellis. "Miracle Stories and the Primary Purpose of Adomnán's Vita Columbae", The Heroic Age, No. 10, May 2007 ^ Bullough, Donald A., "Columba, Adomnán
Adomnán
and the achievement of Iona: Part I", The Scottish Historical Review,43, pp.111-130, 1964 ^ Picard, Jean-Michel. "The purpose of Adomnán's Vita Columbae", Peritia, 1, pp.160-177, 1982.

Sources[edit]

Reeves, William, and James Henthorn Todd
James Henthorn Todd
(eds.). Vita Sancta Columbae: The life of St Columba
Columba
founder of Hy, written by Adamnan, ninth Abbot of Iona. Dublin: Dublin University Press for the Irish Archaeological and Celtic Association, 1857. Available from CELT Sharpe, Richard (tr.). Adomnán
Adomnán
of Iona: Life of St. Columba. London, 1995. (43-65) Smyth, Alfred P. (1984). Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland
Scotland
AD 80–1000. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-0100-7. 

Further reading[edit] Primary sources[edit]

Adomnán, Vita Columbae:

Anderson, A.O. and M.O. Anderson (eds. and trs.). Adomnán's Life of Columba. 2nd ed. Oxford, 1991. First edition: Edinburgh, 1961. Sharpe, Richard (tr.). Adomnán
Adomnán
of Iona: Life of St. Columba. London, 1995. (43-65) Reeves, William, and James Henthorn Todd
James Henthorn Todd
(eds.). Vita Sancta Columbae: The life of St Columba
Columba
founder of Hy, written by Adamnan, ninth Abbot of Iona. Dublin: Dublin University Press for the Irish Archaeological and Celtic Association, 1857. Available from CELT

Cáin Adamnáin ("The Law of Adomnán") or Lex Innocentium ("Law of the Innocents")

Márkus, Gilbert (tr.), Adomnán's Law of the Innocents - Cáin Adomnáin: A seventh-century law for the protection of non-combatants. Kilmartin, Argyll: Kilmartin House Museum, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9533674-3-6 Meyer, Kuno (ed.). Cain Adamnain: An Old Irish Treatise on the Law of Adamnan. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905. Ní Dhonnchadha, Máirín (tr.). "The Law of Adomnán: A Translation." Adomnan at Birr, AD 697: Essays in Commemoration of the Law of the Innocents, ed. Thomas O’Louglin. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001. 53-68. Translation of §§ 28-53.

Adomnán, De Locis Sanctis

Meehan, D. (ed.). Adomnan's 'De Locis Sanctis'. Scriptores Latini Hiberniae 3. Dublin, 1958. 1–34.

Anonymous, Betha Adamnáin ("The Life of Adomnán")

Herbert, Maire and Padraig Ó Riain (eds. and trs.). Betha Adamnáin: The Irish Life of Adamnán. Irish Texts Society 54. 1988. 1-44.

Anonymous, Fís Adomnáin ("The Vision of Adomnán"), 10-11th century.

Windisch, Ernst (ed.). "Fís Adamnáin." Irische Texte 1 (1880). 165-96. Stokes, W. (ed. and tr.). Fis Adomnáin. Simla, 1870. Carey, John (tr.). King of Mysteries: Early Irish Religious Writings. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1998. 263-74.

Secondary sources[edit]

Herbert, M. Iona, Kells, and Derry: the history and hagiography of the monastic familia of Columba. 1988. O'Loughlin, T. "The Exegetical Purpose of Adomnán’s De Locis Sanctis", Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 24(1992)37-53. O'Loughlin, T. "The Library of Iona
Iona
in the Late Seventh Century: The Evidence from Adomnán’s De locis sanctis", Ériu 45(1994)33-52 O'Loughlin, T."The View from Iona: Adomnán’s mental maps", Peritia 10(1996)98-122 O'Loughlin, T. "Res, tempus, locus, persona: Adomnán’s Exegetical Method", Innes Review 48(1997)95-111; re-printed in: D. Broun and T.O. Clancy eds, Spes Scotorum Hope of the Scots: Saint Columba, Iona
Iona
and Scotland
Scotland
(T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh 1999), pp. 139–158. O'Loughlin, T. " Adomnán
Adomnán
and Arculf: The Case of an Expert Witness", Journal of Medieval Latin 7(1997)127-146 O'Loughlin, T. "Adomnán: A Man of Many Parts" in T. O’Loughlin ed., Adomnán
Adomnán
at Birr, AD 697: Essays in Commemoration of the Law of the Innocents (Four Courts Press, Dublin 2001), pp. 41–51. O'Loughlin, T. "The Tombs of the Saints: their significance for Adomnán", in J. Carey, M. Herbert and P. Ó Riain eds, Studies in Irish Hagiography: Saints and Scholars (Four Courts Press, Dublin 2001), pp. 1–14.

Further reading[edit]

Adomnán
Adomnán
at Birr, AD 697: Essays in Commemoration of the Law of the Innocents. Edited by Thomas O'Loughlin. (Dublin: Four Courts Press. 2001)

External links[edit]

Webb, Alfred (1878). " Adamnan, Saint". A Compendium of Irish Biography. Dublin: M. H. Gill & son. Wikisource  Adamnan (c. 700), Reeves, William, ed., The Life of Saint Columba, Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas (published 1874), retrieved 2008-08-09  St. Adamnan (c. 700), Fowler, Joseph Thomas, ed., Prophecies Miracles and Visions of St. Columba, London: Henry Frowde (published 1895), retrieved 2008-08-09  Resources for Adomnán Bibliography for Adomnán http://bill.celt.dias.ie/vol4/browseatsources.php?letter=A#ATS7714 Texts on Wikisource:

Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Adamnan". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Adamnan". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  "Adamnan, Saint". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920. 

http://foundationsirishculture.ie/record/?id=52

Preceded by Failbe Abbot
Abbot
of Iona 679–704 Succeeded by Conamail

v t e

Saints of Ireland

Abbán Abel of Reims Abran Adalgis Adomnán Adomnán
Adomnán
of Coldingham Aidan of Lindisfarne Ailbe of Emly Ailerán Andrew the Scot Assicus Athracht Autbod Baithéne Balin Balther Barrfoin Bean Bécán Bega Benignus of Armagh Beoadh Beoc Berach Blaithmaic Boadin Boethian Brandan Breage Brendan Brendan
Brendan
of Birr Briarch Brigit of Kildare Brogan Bron Brónach Budoc Buriana Óengus of Tallaght Máedóc of Ferns Scuithin Gobhan

Saints Portal Ireland
Ireland
Portal

v t e

Hiberno-Latin culture to 1169

Authors

Adomnán Ailerán Augustinus Hibernicus Cenn Fáelad mac Aillila Cogitosus Cú Chuimne Cumméne Fota Diarmaid the Just Finnian of Moville Fintán of Taghmon Gilla Críst Ua Máel Eóin Gilla Pátraic Laidcenn mac Buith Bannaig Laurentius of Echternach Máel Dub Manchán of Min Droichit Mo Sinu moccu Min Muirchu moccu Machtheni Palladius Saint Patrick Ruben of Dairinis Tírechán

On the continent

Cadac-Andreas Cellanus Clement of Ireland Coelius Sedulius Colman nepos Cracavist Columbanus Dicuil Donatus of Fiesole Dungal Hibernicus exul John Scotus Eriugena Joseph Scottus Blessed Marianus Scotus Marianus Scotus Martianus Hiberniensis Sedulius Scottus Tuotilo Vergilius of Salzburg Virgilius Maro Grammaticus

Texts

Altus Prosator Cambrai Homily Collectio canonum Hibernensis Hisperica Famina De mirabilibus sacrae scripturae

Manuscripts

Antiphonary of Bangor Gospels of Mael Brigte Reichenau Primer Stowe Missal

See also Celtic Christianity Hiberno-Scottish mission Hiberno-Latin after 1169

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 79068112 LCCN: n89618622 ISNI: 0000 0001 2140 9989 GND: 119394030 SUDOC: 030078326 BNF: cb121567361 (data) BIBSYS: 90528690 NLA: 35737

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