Adomnán m. Rónáin of Iona

Other names

Adomnan of Iona

Introduction

Adomnán, abbot of Iona, is best known as author of Vita Columbae. He also wrote De Locis Sanctis (Meehan 1983) and Cáin Adomnáin (Meyer 1905, Ni Dhonnchadha 1982, Markus 1997). Various prayers and poems are attributed to him, most later than the 8th century (Kenney no 225). One, about a bag of relics, has been both accepted (Carney 1983) and rejected (Clancy and Markus 1995 p 166) as possibly his, and it may be he who wrote the verses which appear in the Betha Adamnáin (Clancy and Markus 1995 p 166). He may be the author of some cannons (Kenney no 80, Clancy and Markus p 29-30) and of a Commentary on Vergil (Kenney no 113). Two much later works describe visions seen by Adomnán: Fis Adamnáin of the 10th or 11th century (Carey 2000 p 261-274, 280) and a second vision, possibly of the late 11th (Kenney no 627). The Irish Life of Adomnán (Herbert and Ó Riain 1988) was probably composed in the mid 10th century (Herbert 1988 p 169). There are parallels between this Life and material in the Ab. Brev which Herbert argues as suggesting that 'a now lost Iona hagiographical commemoration of Adomnán survived long enough in Scotland to be included in the Breviary of Aberdeen, while a version also reached Kells from Iona in the ninth or early tenth century.' Herbert 1988 p 170-174. He was important in his lifetime as statesman as well as scholar and ecclesiastic; he visited King Aldfrith of Northumbria (VC ii.46), was admired by Bede (HE, v.15), and was involved in rescuing Irish captives (AU 686 Adomnanus captiuos reduxit ad Hiberniam). The Cáin Adomnáin, his law protecting non-combatants in times of war, was endorsed by bishops and kings, and his relics remained potent in its enforcement (AU 727 Adomnani reliquie transferuntur in Hiberniam & Lex renouatur. See also AU 730). His feast day is usually September 23rd but some late Scottish Calendars commemorate a bishop Adomnan on Sept 25th (K. Camerarius, Scottish Kal), an apostle of the Northumbrians on September 22nd (K. Dempster) and an associate of the Pictish king Brude on January 23rd (K. Camerarius). The relics of the latter are said to be in Moray.

Gender

Male

Associated places

Iona

Obituary

AU 704.2 Adomnanus .lxx.uii. anno etatis sue abbas Iae, pausat.

Genealogies

Cenél Conaill of the N. Uí Néill (Mart. G gloss, Mart. Do, CGSH 340). Mother is also of N. Uí Néill, but of Cenél Enda, a minor branch (Mart. Do, Mothers of the ss, 722.21). An argument for an alternative genealogy has been put forward by Brian Lacey (Lacey 2010).

Territory or Ethnicity (broad)

Gaelic

Territory or Ethnicity (refined)

N. Uí Néill

Related Saints

Belongs to the group Adomnán (ns) (certain)

Related Personal Names

Name

Adomnán (certain)

Feast days

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee

Source code

Mart. O

Source title

Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee

Editors

Stokes, Whitley

Year

1905

Notes

Full title is Félire Óengusso Céli Dé, The Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee, critically edited from Ten Manuscripts, with a Preface, Translation, Notes and Indices.

Quote from source

Do Admamnán Íae / assa tóidlech tóiden, / ro ír Ísu úasal / sóerad mbúan mban nGóidel. 'To Adamnán of Iona, whose troop is radiant, noble Jesus has granted the lasting liberation of the women of the Gaels.'

Notes

LL notes he is abbot of Iona. RB505 says Adamnan is a diminutive of Adam: Adomnan macc Ronan meicc Tinne & Ronnat aimn a mathar. There is a long entry in La 610 about Adomnán's mother commanding him to free woman from battle. LL has this: 'Admirable was Adamnán. Great was his love of God and his neighbour. 'Tis by him that the great holy relics (mórmartra nóeb) were collected in one shrine, and that is the shrine that Cilline Pontifex son of Dochloch brought to Ireland to make peace and compact between Tyrconnell and Tyrone. This is the number of the relics, as Adomnán sang.' [A maccucain follows – see Carney 1983]

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis

Source code

K. Brev. Ab.

Source title

Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis

Editors

Forbes, A. P.

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

111-124

Year

1872

Notes

Kal. Brev. Ab. Kalendarium Breviarii Aberdonensis, in Forbes 1872, 111-124

Quote from source

Adampnani ab.

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

Martyrology of Tallaght

Source code

Mart.T

Source title

Martyrology of Tallaght

Editors

Best, R. I. and Lawlor, H. J.

Year

1931

Notes

From the Book of Lesinter and MS 5100-4 in the Royal Library, Brussels.

Quote from source

Adomnani abbatis Iae

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

Calendar of Adam King

Source code

Adam King

Author

Adam King

Source title

Calendar of Adam King

Editors

A.P.Forbes

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

141-171

Year

1872

Quote from source

S. Thewnan abbot and cofess. in scotland maister to king eugenius ye 6. 684

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

Martyrology of Gorman

Source code

Mart. G

Source title

Martyrology of Gorman

Editors

Stokes, Whitley

Year

1895

Notes

Full title is Félire Húi Gormáin, The Martyrology of Gorman edited from a manuscript in the Royal library, Brussels, with a preface, translation, notes and indices. It is published by the Henry Bradshaw Society.

Quote from source

Adamnan Ia ardabb, cia crabad nar caemfuill, i nAlbain, i nHerind? 'The lofty abbot Adamnán of Iona, what devout practice did he not lovingly increase in Alba, in Erin?' gloss: Adamnán abb Íae Choluim cille. do Chenél Conaill Gulban meic Neill dó iar mbundadhus.

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

The Martyrology of Donegal

Source code

Mart. Do.

Source title

The Martyrology of Donegal

Editors

Todd, J. H.

Year

1864

Notes

Other author to be specified.

Quote from source

Adamnan mac Ronáin do ceinel Conaill Gulban mic Néill… [Long entry. Mother is Ronat of cenél Enda mic Neill. Story of Adomnán being seen through a keyhole holding the little boy Jesus. His churches are named as Rathbhoth, Druim-Thuama in Cinel-Conaill and the Scrin in Tir Fhiachrach Muaidhe, 'and others besides'. Body was buried in Iona, but removed to Ireland later.]

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen

Source code

Mart. Ab.

Source title

Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen

Editors

Forbes, A. P.

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

125-137

Year

1872

Notes

Mart. Ab. Scottish Entries in the Martyrology of Aberdeen, in Forbes 1872, 125-137

Quote from source

In Scocia Sancti Adampnani abbatis cuius reliquie in sancta Yensi insula mirandis clarent signorum prodigiis quem Sanctus Columba antequam nasceretur precinebat et doctorem catholicum futurum predicabat.

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

Glenorchy Psalter, BL Egerton 2899

Source code

Glenorchy psalter

Source title

Glenorchy Psalter, BL Egerton 2899

Notes

Glenorchy psalter The Glenorchy Psalter (British Library, Egerton 2899)

Day of Year

Sept 23

Calendar

Kalendarium de Arbuthnott

Source code

K. Arbuthnott

Source title

Kalendarium de Arbuthnott

Editors

Forbes, A. P.

Secondary Title

Kalendar of Scottish Saints

Pages

95-108

Year

1872

Quote from source

S. Adamnani abbatis