Jonas of Bobbio : Life of Columbanus, Life of John of Reome, Life of Vedast  -

Jonas of Bobbio : Life of Columbanus, Life of John of Reome, Life of Vedast

Yayınevi: Liverpool University Press

Yayın tarihi: 12/2015

ISBN: 9781781381779

İngilizce | 400 Sayfa |

Tür: Tarih Çalışmaları

  • Temin Süresi 28 - 42 iş günü


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The Life of Columbanus is a, perhaps the, central text for the history of seventh-century monasticism. The first book of the work describes the career of the Irish monk Columbanus, while the second describes his disciples - Eustasius, Athala and Burgundofara. It is a well-known text and has been translated into several languages, including French and Italian. An English version of Book I is in print, as is a translation by Professor Ian Wood of part of Book II. There are, however, good reasons for a new translation and commentary, and not just because the text is a central one. First, Columbanus died in 615: 2015 will therefore be a centenary year. Second, the current translation of Book I does not use the latest (1965) edition. Third, recent archaeological discoveries at Luxeuil, Columbanus' most important foundation in Francia, have revolutionised our understanding of the saint's actual impact. Whilst Jonas describes the site as an unoccupied desert, in reality it was a thriving cult site surrounded by major cemeteries which were already in use before Columbanus' arrival - as has only become apparent in the last five years. This means that the text now has to be seen as a programmatic work, advocating a particular monastic style, rather than as a record of fact (a point that is not new, but which has been disregarded by many scholars). Moreover, while it is a programmatic work advocating a particular style of monasticism, since the 1970s it has become a good deal more apparent to what extent that style was novel, and to what extent it was merely the refinement of monastic practices already present before Columbanus' arrival. Equally, it is becoming clear that some of the practices ascribed to Columbanus by Jonas reflect developments following the saint's death, which the hagiographer wished to associate with the founding saint. As a result, the commentary on the text will in many ways be as important for students as the translation. The Life of John of Reome, also written by Jonas, is a short work which promotes the same values as are present in the Life of Columbanus, but which are here ascribed to an earlier Gallo-Roman saint. It is an important text, because it adds to our knowledge of the monastic movement to which the Life of Columbanus belongs. The Life of Vedast is also included in the volume for the completeness. It was identified in 1905, as being by Jonas and although this has been questioned in recent years, the objections are not decisive. The text unquestionably belongs to Jonas' circle, even if he himself did not write it.

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