The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland

The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland

Edited by Steve Boardman, Eila Williamson


Boydell Press



A new investigation of the saints' cults which flourished in medieval Scotland, fruitfully combining archaeological, historical, and literary perspectives.
Of all the Celtic countries, Scotland has lacked the kind of scholarly attention that has been lavished fruitfully on Wales, Ireland, Cornwall and Brittany. And yet of all of them, Scotland offers the widest range of interfaces with broader work on the cult of saints. The papers presented here cover this territory very effectively.... (the book) brings together excellent studies that successfully explore the wide ramifications of the topic. Anyone with an interest in saints' cults will want this book. DAUVIT BROUN, Professor of Scottish History, University of Glasgow.

This volume examines the phenomena of the cult of saints and Marian devotion as they were manifested in Scotland, ranging from the early medieval period to the sixteenth century. It combines general surveys of the development of the study of saints in the early and later middle ages with more focused articles on particular subjects, including St Waltheof of Melrose, the obscure early medieval origins of the cult of St Munnu, the short-lived martyr cult of David, duke of Rothsay, and the Scottish saints included in the greatest liturgical compendium produced in late medieval Scotland, the Aberdeen breviary. The way in which Marian devotion permeated late medieval Scottish society is discussed in terms of the church dedications of the twelfth and thirteenth-century aristocracy, the ecclesiastical landscape of Perth, the depiction of Mary in Gaelic poetry, and the pervasive influence of the familial bond between holy mother and son in representations of the Scottish royal family.

Dr Steve Boardman is Reader in History, University of Edinburgh; Eila Williamson gained her PhD from the University of Glasgow. Contributors: Helen Birkett, Steve Boardman, Rachel Butter, Thomas Owen Clancy, David Ditchburn, Audrey-Beth Fitch, Mark A. Hall, Matthew H. Hammond, Sim Innes, Alan Macquarrie


August 2010
6 black and white, 4 line illustrations
226 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Celtic History
ISBN: 9781843835622
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

The Big Man, the Footsteps, and the Fissile Saint: paradigms and problems in studies of insular saints' cults - Thomas O Clancy
St Munnu in Ireland and Scotland: an exploration of his cult - Rachel Butter
The struggle for sanctity: St Waltheof of Melrose, Cistercian in-house cults and canonisation procedure at the turn of the thirteenth century - Helen Birkett
Royal and aristocratic attitudes to saints in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Scotland - Matthew Hammond
A saintly sinner? The 'martyrdom' of David, duke of Rothesay - Steven Boardman
Wo/men only? Marian devotion in medieval Perth - Mark A. Hall
Is eagal liom lá na hagra: Devotion to the Virgin in the later medieval Gàidhealtachd - Sim Innes
Scottish Saints' Legends in the Aberdeen Breviary - Alan MacQuarrie
Mothers and their sons: Mary and Jesus in Scotland, 1450-1560 - Audrey-Beth Fitch
The 'McRoberts Thesis' and patterns of sanctity in late medieval Scotland - David Ditchburn


Contains very detailed and very specialized studies, and tells us a great deal about its topic. SPECULUM

A stimulating collection. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

Offers a multi-faceted picture of devotion in medieval Scotland. NORTHERN SCOTLAND

Lay(s) invaluable groundwork for future scholarship on the spread of insular and universal cults, within and beyond Scotland. (It) has much to offer scholars of northern religion as well as those interested in canonization procedures, early printing practices, patterns of lay and elite devotion, Marian cults, and political saints. (...) This is a collection that, especially in conjunction with Saints' Cults in the Celtic World will be a continuing resource for scholars of Scottish religion. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

A remarkable collection. INNES REVIEW

(A) stimulating volume. NORTHERN HISTORY

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