Image: Internet Archive Book Images / “The archaeology and prehistoric annals of Scotland” (1851) / Flickr (Public Domain)
Christmas has come early here at Vox Hib HQ with the very welcome and long awaited launch of the Database of Scottish Hagiotoponyms, aka Saints in Scottish Place-Names…
This website is the result of a project, ‘Commemorations of Saints in Scottish Place-Names’, funded by a Research Project Grant from The Leverhulme Trust (2010-13), and undertaken by staff in the University of Glasgow’s School of Humanities (Celtic & Gaelic, and HATII).Professor Thomas Owen Clancy (Principal Investigator) Dr Rachel Butter and Gilbert Márkus (Researchers) & Matthew Barr (Systems Developer)The database that has been assembled presents the fruits of our research. It contains over 5000 places, 13,000 place-names, and some 750 saints potentially commemorated in these names.
Brian Lacey, Saint Columba: His Life & Legacy. Dublin: The Columba Press. June, 2013. ISBN: 9781-85607-879-5. 7 + 224 pp.
There is hardly need to stress the historical importance of the figure & cult of St. Columba, long renowned as one of the three patron saints of Ireland who, alongside Brigid and Patrick, was elevated to such a position in the late seventh century AD. Like his co-patrons, his religious and cultural legacy continues to the present day. Brian Lacey, author of the latest book on the subject notes that of the three however, Columba offers us something almost unique. Patrick, whilst also a historical person nevertheless hailed from outside Ireland and the historical figure of Brigid, if there ever was a real person behind the myths and motifs remains out of reach in hazy obscurity. Columba (aka Colm Cille), the later of all three, offers us one of the earliest detectable insular Irish historical personages.
Image: Jose M Vazquez (Flickr Commons) Used under a CC Licence
If you are a scholar of Early Medieval Ireland, you are also a scholar of Early Medieval Scotland. We can’t begin to understand one, without viewing it in conjunction with the other. It’s that simple.
Ok, there’s also Early Medieval Britain, Wales, Norse Scandinavia, Merovingian & Carolingian Europe; but Early Medieval Scotland is really, really important. It occupied a central position between Ireland, Northumbria, Saxon & Norse Britain and onwards to Scandinavia. If the Irish and North Sea can be considered major medieval ‘highways’; then Scotland was possibly one of the biggest and most complicated medieval ‘cultural roundabouts’ of its day. Continue reading →