This interdisciplinary collection, which brings together new research on a range of patristic and medieval texts and visual materials, sets the cultural transformation of early medieval Ireland and Britain in the context of these islands’ inheritance from late antiquity and their engagement with the wider medieval world. It testifies to the imaginative ways in which scholars and artists assimilated and creatively re-interpreted the Christian and Mediterranean culture they encountered through the coming of Christianity, a central theme in the work of Dr Jennifer O’Reilly, whose contribution to scholarship the volume honours.
The book is divided into three sections.
The first section, ‘Inheritance and Transmission’ sets the scene with contributions examining the interplay of classical and Christian ideas in late antique texts; early medieval Irish, English and continental responses to patristic themes in text and manuscript; cultural and political links between Ireland, Britain, and the continent.
The second section, ‘Monasticism in the Age of Bede’ focuses initially on Bede as heresiologist, exegete, martyrologist, and historian, addressing issues that include orthodoxy, the cult of saints, church reform, and the representation of women. The section’s later papers continue these themes: Anglo-Saxon views of conception and birth, the Irish and English cult of St Gregory the Great, and the understanding of scripture in Adomnán’s Life of Columba.
The third section, ‘Exegesis and the language of Pictures’, explores the visual representation of scriptural exegesis in Insular sculpture and illuminated manuscripts. Papers investigate representations of secular and sacred figures in art, ideals of beauty, and the meaning and symbolism of artworks including the Ruthwell cross and the Book of Kells.
List of Illustrations x
Introduction by Elizabeth Mullins and Diarmuid Scully xv List of Abbreviations xxii List of Contributors xxiii
INHERITANCE AND TRANSMISSION
‘Proud Ocean Has Become a Servant’: A Classical Topos in the Literature of Britain’s Conquest and Conversion 3 DIARMUID SCULLY Proserpina and the Martyrs: Pagan and Christian in Claudian’s De Raptu Proserpinae 16 CATHERINE WARE Martianus Capella and the Carolingians: Some ObservationsBased on the Glosses on Books I–II from the Oldest Gloss Tradition on De nuptiis 28 SINÉAD O’SULLIVAN ‘In the Nets or on the Line’: ADatable Merovingian Manuscript and Its Importance 39 DAVID GANZ A Gemmarium for the Recognition of Precious Stones in the Cracow Chapter Library, MS 140: A Study on the Unity of Exegetical Themes 47 MALGORZATA KRASNODÊBSKA-D’AUGHTON ‘Wide-Reaching Connections’: The List of Abbots from Iona in the Liber confraternitatum ecclesiae S. Petri in Salzburg 60 DAGMARÓ RIAIN-RAEDEL ‘Whence the Splendour of such Light Came to Us’: The Account of Ireland in Ermenrich’s Life of St Gall 73 DAMIAN BRACKEN Thomas Becket and Ireland 87 COLMÁNÓ CLABAIGHOSB and MICHAEL STAUNTON
MONASTICISM IN THE AGE OF BEDE
Hunting Snakes in the Grass: Bede as Heresiologist 105 ARTHUR HOLDER The Figure of Ezra in the Writings of Bede and the Codex Amiatinus 115 SCOTT DE GREGORIO Bede and His Martyrology 126 ALAN THACKER The Adornment of Virgins: Æthelthryth and Her Necklaces 142 MÁIRÍN MACCARRON From Conception to Birth in Anglo-Saxon England 156 ELISABETH OKASHA Doctor of Souls, Doctor of the Body: Whitby Vita Gregorii 23 and Its Exegetical Context 168 BRIAN BUTLER The Representation of Gregory the Great in Irish Sources of the Pre-Viking Era 181 MÁIRE HERBERT Seeking the Desert in Adomnán’s Vita Columbae 191 AIDAN MACDONALD Singing in the Rain on Hinba? Archaeology and Liturgical Fictions, Ancient and Modern (Adomnán, Vita Columbae3.17) 204 ÉAMONN Ó CARRAGÁIN and TOMÁS Ó CARRAGÁIN
EXEGESIS AND THE LANGUAGE OF PICTURES
Markers of Prestige, Emblems of Amicitia: Attributes of Secular ‘Portrait’ Figures in Insular Sculpture 219 CAROLNE UMAN DE VEGVAR The Road to Hell: The Art of Damnation in Anglo-Saxon Sculpture 230 JANE HAWKES In Medio Duorum Animalium: Habakkuk, the Ruthwell Cross and Bede’s Life of St Cuthbert 243 RICHARD N. BAILEY ‘The Eyes of the Handmaid’: The Corbie Psalter and the Ruthwell Cross 253 HEATHER PULLIAM Cherubim and Seraphim in Insular Literature and Art 263 GEORGE HENDERSON Bearded Sages and Beautiful Boys: Insular and Anglo-Saxon Attitudes to the Iconography of the Beard 278 MICHELLE P. BROWN Cosmological and Eschatological Images in the Book of Kells:Folios 32v and 114r 291 CAROL FARR The Canon Tables in Boulogne, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 10 302 ELIZABETH MULLINS
Notes and References 313
Dr Elizabeth Mullins is a College Lecturer in the School of History and Archives, University College Dublin. Her research and teaching interests include archival theory and practice, medieval and early modern palaeography and the exegesis and iconography of Insular gospel books.
Dr Diarmuid Scully is a College Lecturer in the School of History, University College Cork. His research and teaching interests include Bede, medieval ethnography and geography, and the contribution of classical ideas to medieval representations of Ireland and Britain in texts and maps.