by Adomnan of Iona
translated by Richard Sharpe
Although related to one of the ruling families of Ireland, Columba (c. 521-97)
became a central figure in the “Age of Saints” by setting out from
his native land and founding his famous monastery on the island of Iona.
It was from here that priests and monks played a key role in converting the
Picts of Scotland, here that countless penitents came on pilgrimages and that
the King of Dalriada came to be consecrated. Adomnan's Life, writes Sharpe,
“is the fullest early account, offering a vivid depiction of the abbot
among his own monks, written on the spot by the saint's successor one hundred
years after Columba's death.”
Drawing on extensive written and oral traditions, Adomnan presents Columba
as a man distinguished for his prophetic and miraculous powers, whose life was
filled with angelic apparitions and whose dying days were spent preparing for
his departure. An excellent and reverent Introduction sketches in the
background, the archaeological evidence from Iona and the legends that grew
up around, Columba in medieval and more recent times.
Softbound. 406 pp.