Adamnan of Iona, St.

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Also known as Adamnan McRonan, Adam, Aunan, and Eunan; abbot; b. Drumhome, County Donegal, Ireland, c. 625; d. Iona, 704. Adamnan embraced the monastic life and later went to Scotland to the abbey of Iona, becoming its ninth abbot in 679. When required to go to England in 685 on behalf of some Irish held captive there, he was converted to the Roman system in the Easter controversy and to the Roman tonsure. He went back to Iona and later to Ireland pleading for this latter change, and it was adopted in many places, though not in Iona. At the Synod of Tara (697) he insisted that women should not take part in warfare, and the Old Irish Cáin Adamnáin (Canon of Adamnan) is attributed to him. He wrote also the life of his predecessor, columba of iona, as well as the treatise De locis sanctis, an account of Arculfus's trip to the Holy Land. The ascription of a Vergil commentary to him is uncertain, and the Old Irish Fís Adamnáin is certainly not his. An Old Irish life, the Betha Adamnáin, is still extant.

Feast: Sept. 23.

Bibliography: adamnan, The Life of Columba, ed. w. reeves (Dublin 1857), ed. and tr. a. o. and m. o. anderson (New York 1961); De locis sanctis, ed. d. meehan (Scriptores latini hiberniae 3; Dublin 1958); Cáin Adamnáin, ed. and tr. k. meyer (Oxford 1905); "Betha Adamnáin," ed. r. i. best, in Anecdota from Irish Manuscripts, ed. o. j. bergin et al., 5 v. (Halle 190713) 2:1020, tr. m. joynt Celtic Review 5 (19089) 97107. Betha Adamnáin=The Irish life of Adamnán, ed. m. herbert and p. Ó riain (London 1988). j. hirschman, Adamnan (Santa Barbara, Ca. 1972). Acta Sanctorum Sept. 6:642649. m. manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters (Munich 191131) 1:236239. j. f. kenney, The Sources for the Early History of Ireland: v. 1, Ecclesiastical (New York 1929) 283287.

[r. t. meyer]