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Founding father of the famous monastery on the island of Iona, a site of pilgrimage ever since his death in 597, St Columba was born into one of the ruling families in Ireland at a time of immense expansion for the Irish Church. This account of his life, written by Adomnán - the ninth abbot of Iona, and a distant relative of St Columba - describes his travels from Ireland to Scotland and his mission in the cause of Celtic Christianity there. Written 100 years after St Columba's death, it draws on written and oral traditions to depict a wise abbot among his monks, who like Christ was capable of turning water into wine, controlling sea-storms and raising the dead. An engaging account of one of the central figures in the 'Age of Saints', this is a major work of early Irish and Scottish history.
The abbot of Iona in the late 7th century, Adomnan, a kinsman of the founder St. Columba, was one of the most remarkable thinkers of his era. The author of the magnificent Life of Columba, as well as a widely-influential guide to the Holy Places of the Near East, he was also responsible for the celebrated Cain Adomnain - a ground-breaking law tract on the protection of non-combatants. Adomnan was also a major figure in the Easter Controversy and his scholarship directly influenced that of Bede. The studies in this volume, arising from a conference held on Iona on the 13th centenary of Adomnan's death, celebrate his achievements.
Tells the story of the Adomnan of Iona, author of the early medieval classic Life of Columba and revered composer and promulgator of the seventh century 'Law of the Innocents' ensuring the protection of non-combatants in times of war.
Adomnan, ninth abbot of Iona, wrote his book, On Holy Places (De Locis Sanctis), in the closing years of the seventh century. It is a detailed account of the sites mentioned in the Christian scriptures, the overall topography, and the shrines that are in Palestine and Egypt at that time. It is neatly broken into three parts: Jerusalem, the surrounding areas, and then a few other places. The whole has a contemporary and lively feel; and the reader is then not surprised when Adomnan says he got his information from a 'Gallic bishop name Arculf'. Things then get interesting for the more one probes, the book the amount of information that could have been obtained from Arculf keeps diminishing, while the amount that can be shown to be a reworking of written sources increases. We then see that Adomnan's book is an attempt to compile a biblical studies manual according to the demands of Augustine (354-430) - one of which was that there had to be an empirical witness. Thus, Adomnan wrote the work and employed Arculf as a literary device. However, he produced the desired manual which remained in use until the Reformation. As a manual we can use it to study the nature of scriptural studies in the Latin world of the time, and perceptions of space, relics, pilgrimage, and Islam. While a study of how the work was used by others, transmitted, reworked (for example by the Venerable Bede) brings unique light onto the theological world of the Carolingians.
Anglo-Saxon England embraces all the main aspects of study of Anglo-Saxon history and culture.
The Book of Iona shows how novelists, poets, saints and sinners over the centuries have written about one of the world's most famous and best loved islands. Including many new, specially commissioned Iona stories and poems from writers including Meg Bateman, Jennie Erdal, Meaghan Delahunt, Candia McWilliam, Ruth Thomas and Alice Thompson, this anthology also contains a treasure trove of earlier material, from poems attributed to St Columba in modern translations by Edwin Morgan and Robert Crawford to amusing accounts of their visits to the island by Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and John Keats. In The Book of Iona, as on Iona itself, the sacred and the secular rub shoulders. Here is where a medieval Gaelic-speaking monk encounters Seamus Heaney, and where Robert Louis Stevenson sails past Queen Victoria. Full of surprises, this is an anthology that will delight every lover of Iona and all lovers of literature.

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