The calculation of Columba's arrival in Britain in Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Pictish king-lists

Evans, N. (2008) The calculation of Columba's arrival in Britain in Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Pictish king-lists. Scottish Historical Review, 87(2), pp. 183-205. (doi: 10.3366/E0036924108000127)

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Publisher's URL: http://www.eupjournals.com/doi/abs/10.3366/E0036924108000127

Abstract

Bede in his 'Ecclesiastical History' dated the arrival of St Columba in Britain and the foundation of the monastery of Iona to 565, two years after the 563 date derived from sources associated with Iona. This article analyses the different possibilities for how Bede obtained his date, arguing that he used a Pictish source, and places the claim in the 'Ecclesiastical History' that Iona was given to Columba by the Picts in the context of other evidence that Pictish over-kings in the decades before 730 were beginning to attempt to dominate Dal Riata. It also proposes that notes added to the Series longior Pictish king-list at Abernethy in the mid-ninth century display a strong Gaelic influence ultimately derived from a similar chronological source to that used by Bede. As a result Bede's calculation and the king-list notes provide evidence for Pictish scholarship and its cultural connections.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Evans, Dr Nicholas
Authors: Evans, N.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Scottish Historical Review
ISSN:0036-9241
ISSN (Online):1750-0222
Published Online:01 October 2008

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