Anyone working on Britain and Ireland in the fifth century should pay close attention. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY A fascinating work, which sheds light on a number of dark corners. EARLY MEDIEVAL EUROPE
St Patrick's place in Irish history is celebrated, but is also the subject of intense controversy - even as to his death. Although the 1500th anniversary of that event was originally celebrated in 1961, there is every reason to think the death date of 461 unsustainable. This collection of essays commemorates a different date, 17 March 493, and takes stock of other difficult issues which require reassesment. These include Patrick's own account of his career, his impassioned apologia pro uita sua, and the later Irish sources which may not reveal much about Patrick but possibly contain material about Palladius, sent from Rome in AD 431 as first bishop for Irish Christians: the invention of two Patricks seems to belong, at the latest, to the 8th century, and may be a reflex of a 7th-century conflation of the careers of Palladius and Patrick. The continuing mediaeval development of the legend and cult of St Patrick and a wide variety of other associated historical and literary-historical issues are also explored.
DAVID DUMVILLE is Professor of Palaeography and Cultural History, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Girton College.
Palladius, Prosper, and Leo the Great - mission and primatial authority, T.M. Charles-Edwards; the floruit of St Patrick - common and less common ground; St Patrick's "uillula" and the 5th-century occupation of Romano-British villas, K.R. Dark; St Patrick's missing years; the death-date of Patrick; the second obit of St Patrick in the "Annals of Boyle", K.L. Maund; the date 432; St Patrick and 5th-century Irish chronology - the kings, the saints; St Patrick senior and junior; "Acta Palladii" preserved in 7th-century Patrician hagiography?; Bishop Palladius's computus?; Auxilius, Iserninus, Secundinus and Benignus; Coroticus; verba militibus mittenda Corotici - an analysis of St Patrick's tract on the crimes of Coroticus; Picti apostatae(que); British missionary activity in Ireland; Emain Macha, Ard Macha;"Audite omnes amantes" - a hymn in Patrick's praise, Andy Orchard; St Patrick at his "First Synod"?; church-government and the spread of christianity in Ireland; St Patrick and the christianization of Dal Riata; the form of St Patrick's "Confessio" in the "Book of Armagh"; Muirchu's life of St Patrick from the "Book of Armagh"; St Patrick in the "Historia Brittonum" - three texts; St Patrick and Glastonbury Abbey "- nihil ex nihilo fit?", Lesley Abrams; St Patrick in an Anglo-Saxon sacramentary, Alicia Correa; the afterlife of "Liber angeli"; the dating of the tripartite life of St Patrick; St Patrick and the Scandinavians of Dublin; William of Malmesbury's "Vita S. Patricii" and his source - two lost lives of St Patrick?; the Armagh list of "coarbs of St Patrick"; St Patrick, the "Annales Cambriae", and St David.