St Samson of Dol and the Earliest History of Brittany, Cornwall and Wales

June 2017
230 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Celtic History
ISBN: 9781783272181
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, LIT011000, REL033000

St Samson of Dol and the Earliest History of Brittany, Cornwall and Wales

Edited by Lynette Olson

New essays shed light on the mysterious St Samson of Dol and his Vita.
The First Life of St Samson of Dol (Vita Prima Samsonis) is a key text for the study of early Welsh, Cornish, Breton and indeed west Frankish history. In the twentieth century it was the subject of unresolved scholarly controversy that tended to limit its usefulness. However, more recent research has firmly re-established its significance as a historical source.
This volume presents the results of new, multi-disciplinary, assessment of the text and its context. What emerges from the studies collected here is a context of greater plausibility for the First Life of St Samson of Dol as an early and essentially historical text, potentially at the centre of early British Christianity and its influence on the Continent. The landscape of that Christianity is gradually emerging from the shadows and it is a landscape in which the career of St Samson, the first Insular peregrinus, is shown to be of considerable importance.

Lynette Olson is an Honorary Associate of the Department of History, University of Sydney.

Contributors: Caroline Brett, Karen Jankulak, Constant J. Mews, Lynette Olson, Joseph-Claude Poulin, Richard Sowerby, Ian N. Wood, Jonathan M. Wooding.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: 'Getting Somewhere' with the First Life of St Samson of Dol - Lynette Olson
A Family and its Saint in the Vita prima Samsonis - Richard Sowerby
La circulation de l'information dans la Vie ancienne de s. Samson de Dol et la question de sa datation - Joseph-Claude Poulin
The Hare and the Tortoise? Vita Prima Sancti Samsonis, Vita Paterni and Merovingian Hagiography - Caroline Brett
Columbanus, the Britons and the Merovingian Church - Ian Nicholas Wood
Apostolic Authority and Celtic Liturgies: from the Vita Samsonis to the Ratio de cursus - Constant J Mews
The Representation of Early British Monasticism and Peregrinatio in Vita Prima S. Samsonis - Jonathan M Wooding
Present and yet Absent: the Cult of St Samson of Dol in Wales - Karen Jankulak


[A] very interesting collection. HEREDITAS NEXUS

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