Chair: Emmet Taylor
My paper explores the rich heritage of Irish medieval writing related to devotion and liturgical practice as exemplified in the seventh century Aipgitir Chrabaid. Written in Irish, the manuscript serves as a significant indicator of the Insular exegetical experience of Christianity. Informed by Christian teachings brought in by missionaries and the import of texts from the Mediterranean world, Irish writers were keen to apply philosophical and theological principles from the rest of Christendom into their own language. This practice facilitated large-scale education of Irish monks and likewise influenced artist-scribes of the period. Creators of early Irish illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Durrow and the Book of Kells took particular care to visually reference the exegetical teachings of the Church while simultaneously contributing to the innovative Insular style of decoration. The unification of text and image as exegetical literary device in Durrow and Kells reflected mnemonic and allegoric proliferated in Ireland via the Columban monastic network. Far from being mere textual decorations, elaborately interlaced carpet pages, stylized initial lettering, and zoo-anthropomorphic motifs echoed emerging theological understanding of spiritual consciousness and demonstrated Irish monastic facility in adapting cross-cultural artistic influences. Through a detailed comparative study of the evolution of meditatio in Ireland in the Aipgitir Chrabaid and related folios in both Durrow and Kells, I construct a framework for understanding the function of devotional texts and decorated bibles in the early Christian period in Ireland.
This is the first of two papers presenting the main research questions and preliminary findings of the project Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission (IRCABRITT), started in September 2018 and funded by the Laureate Scheme of the Irish Research Council.
This joint paper will focus on a newly discovered group of highly distinctive early medieval texts on computus (the science of time reckoning). While showing clear links with both Ireland and Brittany (including the presence of words in Old Breton and Old Irish), these works are mostly preserved in manuscripts written in prominent Carolingian scriptoria such as Fleury, Corbie and Cologne (the core witnesses are Paris, BNF, Lat. 6400B; Laon, Bibliothèque Municipale, 422; Cologne, Dombibliothek, 83-II): for this reason, the texts in question open interesting new perspectives in relation to the role played by Brittany in the Continental transmission of Hiberno-Latin works.
Hitherto, research on Irish computus has focussed mostly on its earliest phase: i.e., prior to the composition of Bede’s influential De temporum ratione in AD 725. The texts discussed in this paper significantly improve our understanding of the development of the Irish computistical thought after the age of Bede, demonstrating the formative contribution of medieval Irish learning to the development of science in Brittany and Francia between the eighth and the ninth century.
This is the second of two papers presenting the main research questions and preliminary findings of the project Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission (IRCABRITT), started in September 2018 and funded by the Laureate Scheme of the Irish Research Council.
This paper will focus on an as-yet unpublished compilation of Latin commentary and glosses on the Old and the New Testament in Orléans Médiathèque (formerly Bibliothèque Municipale), MS 182. The codicological unit in which the compilation appears was copied in the tenth century, perhaps at Fleury, from a lost Breton exemplar and contains vernacular glosses in both Old English and Old Breton. An initial investigation of the text has established that it is the product of a long and complex process of composition and transmission that evidences the influence of the work of Frankish, Breton, and Insular scholars. The heterogenous nature of this material is invaluable in its potential to disclose information about the intertextual networks extending around the work. Its diverse sources and analogues, identifiable through a detailed philological analysis of its structure and content, will inform our understanding of the provenance and transmission of scholarly knowledge generally, and biblical exegesis more specifically, in Brittany, Ireland, Britain and Continental Europe during the Carolingian era.