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Corona Monastica

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Louis Lemoine
, 
Bernard Merdrignac

Deuxième partie. « Parler en langues » : linguistique, philologie et littérature

The Colophon of ‘The Penitential of Uinniau’

David N. Dumville

Texte intégral

  • 1 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Ludwig Bieler & D.A. Binchy (Dublin 1963), p. 3-4, 17, 74-95 (...)
  • 2 Ibid, p. 5, 16-17, 96-107, 245.

1What may be one of the earliest surviving handbooks of penance is an Insular work with a troubled textual history1 It was used by Columbanus (of Bangor, Luxeuil, and Bobbio), †615, when he compiled his own penitential, and these borrowings provide some control over the shape of the text as it stood in the late sixth century or a little later2 Nor was this the only interaction between the two penitentialists : but, before turning to that master, we must first consider the direct evidence for the transmission of our text.

The Penitential of ‘Uinniaus’ and its Author

2There are four manuscript-witnesses, called BPSV by the most recent editor, Ludwig Bieler, in his immensely useful but bizarrely titled volume published in 1963, The Irish Penitentials, most of whose Latin texts are neither Irish nor penitentials.

  • 3 Ibid., p. 12-13, 20-24. A reproduction of part of p. 281 may be seen in Medieval Handbooks of Pena (...)
  • 4 Henry Bradshaw, Collected Papers (Cambridge 1889), p. 414-15, 473-4, 487 ; Kenneth Jackson, Langua (...)

3B Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, MS. Latin 3182
extracts only (§§5-9, 18-21 inc.) on p. 176-177
The palaeography of this manuscript shows it to be Breton and of the tenth century.3
It contains a colophon by a scribe with the Brittonic name Maeloc.
Old-Breton glosses attend some of its contents.4

  • 5 Bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 414-15, 473, 487 ; Jackson, Language…, p. 63 ; Fleuriot, Dictionnai (...)

4P Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, MS. latin 12021
extracts only (§§5-9, 18-21 inc., 23-24) on folios 134v-135r
The palaeography of this manuscript shows it to be Breton and probably written around 900.
It contains (on folio 139r) a colophon by a scribe Arbedoc who wrote for an
Abbot Haelhucar, both Brittonic names.
Old-Breton glosses attend some of its contents.5

  • 6 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 15, 92 (line 6, at inuicem). R. Meens, ‘ (...)
  • 7 L. Mahadevan, ‘Überlieferung und Verbreitung des Bussbuchs “Capitula Iudiciorum”’, Zeitschrift der (...)

5SSankt Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, MS. 150
This witness is incomplete at the end, finishing in the middle of §46 ;6 the text occupies p. 365-377. It is reported to bear a unique opening rubric,
Penitentialis Uinniani.
The several parts of this ninth-century codex were probably written at Sankt Gallen (Switzerland).7

  • 8 Die Bussordnungen der abendländischen Kirche, ed. F.W.H. Wasserschleben (Halle a. S. 1851), p. vii (...)
  • 9 For such analysis, see Die Bussordnung, ed. Wasserschleben, p. 108, n. 1 ; Meens, ‘The Penitential (...)
  • 10 E.A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores (11 vols & supplement, Oxford 1934-71), X, p. 21, no. 1509 ; (...)

6VWien, Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek, MS. lat. 2233 (Theol. lat. 725).
This (folios 1r-82r) is a unique copy of a penitential (known since 1851 as Poenitentiale Uindobonense B),8 in which are found series of excerpts from our text : §§20, 21, 25, 26 (in Book XII) ; §28 (in Book XIII) ; §§29, 32 (in Book XIV) ; §§1-9, 14-19, 33-38, 41, 46-53 and colophon (Books XV-XXIV) ; §27 (in Book XXIX) ; §§10-13 (in Book XXX) ; §22 (in Book XXXII) ; §§23, 24 (in Book XXIII). Only §§30, 31 (= Wasserschleben’s §32), 39-40, 42-45 are therefore not quoted directly thus.9 §§46 med.-53 and the colophon are transmitted uniquely in Uindobonense B.
The palaeography of this manuscript suggests that it was written at Salzburg in the late eighth century.10

  • 11 The excerpt of §21 in BP ends in mid-sentence : The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Bin (...)
  • 12 Ibid., p. 88, 90.
  • 13 ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 247-55.

7The two Breton witnesses are clearly related. Palaeographically speaking, the manuscript containing text P is somewhat earlier than that bearing B ; both probably derive from a common ancestor whose excerpts, themselves perhaps already mechanically truncated,11 were incompletely transmitted to B. The specific readings show (B)P to be more closely related to S than to V. As printed, S and V have differing versions of §§39, 40, 42-45, that of V being radically shorter ;12 we owe to Rob Meens an elegant demonstration that at these points the text of V is highly derivative.13 From the middle of §46 to the end, V is the only witness, it must again be stressed. Our text does not share its pattern of transmission with any other Insular works.

  • 14 It has been called the ‘epilogue’ by Wasserschleben (Die Bussordnungen…, p. 102, n. 1) and his fol (...)
  • 15 The starting point for these has of course been The lrish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Bin (...)

8The closing section, what I have called the colophon,14 of this text is an authorial statement in four sentences. The first is couched in the first person singular and addressed to the writer’s brethren, telling them that he has compiled this work out of love for them. The second and third sentences are in the first person plural. The last sentence is in the third person singular. I now provide a text and following translation.15

Haec, amantissimi fratres, secundum sententiam scripturarum uel opinionem quorundam doctissimorum pauca de penitentiae remediis uestro amore conpulsus supra possibilitatem meam potestatemque temptaui scribere.
Sunt praeterea alisque uel de remediis aut de uarietate curandorum testimonia, quae nunc breuitatis causa uel situs loci aut penuria ingenii non sinit nos ponere. Sed si qui diuine lectionis scrutatur ipse magis inueniat aut si proferet meliora uel scripseret, et nos consentimus et seque(re)mur.
Finit istud opusculum quod coaptauit Uinniaus suis uisceralibus filiis, dilectionis gratia uel religionis obtentu, de scripturarum uenis redundans, ut ab omnibus omnia deleantur hominibus facinora.

‘My dearly beloved brethren, compelled by love of you I have tried – beyond my ability and authority – to write these few things about the remedies of penance according to both the pronouncement of the Scriptures and the opinion of some very learned men.
There are, besides, other authoritative decisions about both the remedies and the variety of persons to be cured, which now concern for brevity and the situation of the place and poverty of talent does not allow us to set down. But if a searcher of divine reading may himself find more, and if he might bring forth better things and write them, we too shall agree and follow.
This little work ends, which Uinniaus adapted for the sons of his bowels, out of affection and in the interest of religion, overflowing with the waters of the Scriptures, so that all evil deeds may be destroyed by all men.’

  • 16 The first person singular is found in §41.

9This colophon was composed with the aid of a series of conventional expressions employed by many mediaeval writers, both anonymi and those who named themselves. Characteristic early mediaeval and Insular usages are to be found here too. The double shift in the number and person of pronouns and verbs may be taken either as authorial conceit and symmetry or as evidence for divided authorship. It is worth noting that the first person plural is found in the body of the Penitential (§§10, 21, 29, 32, 33, 34, 41, 42, 46, 47, 51)16 I proceed for the moment on a supposition of single authorship. The author tells us no more than that he was a member of a community : his rhetoric hides from us this precise standing within it. The Penitential seems to have been written principally for clerics but was also explicitly applicable to the laity in particular circumstances ; there are scattered references to an abbot (abbas), monks (monachi), and monasteria (§§23, 30, 50), but none implies that the author was himself a monk ; indeed, §50 seems to distance the author from monks.

  • 17 For the sources, see The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 76-94, apparatus, p (...)
  • 18 Sancti Columbani Opera, ed. & transl. G.S.M Walker (Dublin 1957), p. 2-13, at 8/9 (§7). (Columbanu (...)

10Who, then, was this sixth-century (or earlier) author ? That he wrote after Caesarius of Arles (†542), to whose work he was indebted,17 places him probably no earlier than the middle quarters of the sixth century. We learn from Letter I of Columbanus (written perhaps in 600) that Uennianus auctor (the spelling of a seventeenth-century witness to a lost early mediaeval manuscript) consulted Gildas († 570) about problems arising from the popularity of monasticism and was sent a reply of great elegance. For Columbanus he seems to have been a figure of a previous generation.18

Attestation of the name Uinniau(u)s

  • 19 Die Bussordnungen, ed. Wasserschleben, p. xi and 108, for example. James F. Kenney, The Sources fo (...)
  • 20 Sancti Columbani Opera, ed. & transl. Walker, p. 8 (§§6-7).
  • 21 Die irische Kanonensammlung, ed. Herrmann wasserschleben (2nd edn, Leipzig 1885). For the use of G (...)
  • 22 For a summary of the position, see first kenney, The Sources…, p. 247-50 (no. 82). For the first v (...)
  • 23 Die irische Kanonensammlung, ed. Wasserschleben, p. 101 : he remarked ibid., note o, that the attr (...)

11The name-form tells us much Uinniaus may be analysed as Uinniau + Latin -(u)s or (as has recently been suggested) as Uinnia + Latin -us. Herrmann Wasserschleben, who published an edition of this text in 1851, had already drawn the latter conclusion, referring to it as Poenitentiale Vinniai.19 If we were to seek our author elsewhere, it would be naturel to turn to the testimony of one who used his work, namely the aforementioned Columbanus who described both Gildas and Uennianus as auctores who were in communication with one another.20 The reply of Gildas survives now only in excerpts in Collectio canonum hibernensis,21 a major reference-work first compiled in the early eighth century, to judge by the sources used,22 and in one of its intermediate sources. In the Hibernensis, our Penitential is found laid under contribution at least once, at XXIX.8(b), where our §25 is summarised with an attribution to Uinnianus (the forms found in all the relevant witnesses have not yet been reported).23

12If we move beyond testimonies directly associable with the author of our Penitential looking first at those forms of the name found in manuscripts datable before about 800, we find rather consistent testimony.

  • 24 Adomnán’s Life of Columba, ed. & transl. Alan Orr Anderson & M.O. Anderson (2nd edn, Oxford 1991).

13A (1) Adomnán of Iona, Vita S. Columbae, written 697 x 704, surviving in a manuscript written 697x713 at Iona.24

  • 25 Ibid., p. 94/5 (where the difference in name-forms is suppressed in the translation). In a paralle (...)
  • 26 Ibid., p. 94(-5), note o, on the relevant part of the textual history, see ibid., p. Iv-Ix.

14In II.1 Columba as a youth (in Scotta) was studying apud sanctum Findbarrum episcopum ; later in this chapter the same man is referred to (in the dative) as sancto Uinniauo… episcopo.25 (In a group of late witnesses derivative of an early twelfth-century copy of a very early witness, perhaps contemporary with the author, this latter form has become Uinniano.)26

  • 27 M Schneiders, ‘The Irish calendar in the Karlsrhue Bede (Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Cod (...)

15(2) In an ecclesiastical calendar written by a mid-ninth-century Irish peregrinus (who was working in western Francia) – now preserved in Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, MS. Aug. perg 167 – we read at 12 December Uinniaui Cluano Irairdd, ‘[Feast] of Uinniauus of Clonard’ (Co. Meath).27

  • 28 L. Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau et le pénitentiel dit “de Finnian”’, Études celtiques 15 ( (...)

16(3) In some annals in a late ninth-century Breton manuscript – Angers, Bibliothèque municipale, MS. 477 (461), folio 36v, we read s.a. 549, Pestilentia in aqua : obiit Uinniaus, ‘Plague in water : Uinniaus died’. Although the statement probably embodies a simple scribal corruption, the latinised name-form Uinniaus is noteworthy as precisely that found in the colophon of our Penitential.28

  • 29 Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, p. 610 ; cf. Bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 471, 472. Fleur (...)

17(4) In ninth-century Breton manuscripts containing Collectio canonum hibernensis, we find : (a) Uinniaus (note this form again) in the longer margin of Orléans, Bibliothèque municipale, MS. 221 (193), p. 96, and (b) Uuinniauus in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Hatton 42 (S. C. 4117), folio 56r.29 The former is a representative of Recension A, the latter of Recension B, of the Hibernensis.

  • 30 The Stowe Missal, MS. D.II.3 in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, ed. George F. Warn (...)

18(5) In ‘The Stowe Missal’, written at Tallaght (Co. Dublin) not earlier than 792 and revised there in the first half of the ninth century, we meet Uinniaui (genitive) as the first name in a list of priests to be commemorated (folio 33r).30

19We can also adduce, from texts written before about 900 but surviving in mediaeval manuscripts of later dates, a range of further attestations of this name. We may begin in Ireland, turning thereafter to the Brittonic world.

  • 31 The Annals of Ulster (to A.D. 1131), ed. & transl. Seán Mac Airt & G. Mac Niocaill (Dublin 1983), (...)

20B (1) In The Annals of Ulster, surviving now in two quasi-authorial manuscripts (one derivative of the other) written on either side of 1500 in Fermanagh, we meet the name twice.31
[a] s.a 578.1 : Quies Uinniani episcopi, m. nepotis Fiatach,
‘The death of Bishop Uinnianus of Dál Fiatach’
[b] s.a 775.5b : … et comotatio martirum Uiniaui Cluana Iraird, ‘and a circuit of the relics of Uinianus of Cluain Iraird’.

  • 32 For a more extended consideration of this textual history, see D.N. Dumville, ‘Félire Óengusso : p (...)
  • 33 The Martyrology of Tallaght, ed. Richard Irvine Best & H.J. Lawlor (London 1931), p. 2.
  • 34 For an introduction to this subject, see David N. Dumville et al., Saint Patrick A.D. 493-1993 (Wo (...)
  • 35 The Martyrology of Tallaght, ed. Best & Lawlor, p. 20, 74. Also to be noted in this context is the (...)

21(2) In The Marlyrology of Tallaght, a text of long evolution but enjoying a decisive phase of development at Tallaght (cf. A.5, above) perhaps in the late eighth century, after which it was periodically updated into the early tenth century. It survives principally in a manuscript of the second half of the twelfth century
(The Book of Leinster) but in parts in early seventeenth-century transcript.32
[a] At 29 December we find Uinniauii senis, ‘[Feast] of Uinniauius senex’ ;33 in the Gaelic hagiographical tradition senex usually stands for Old and Middle Irish sen, ‘old’, and in such a context means ‘the elder of two’.34
[b] At 2 March and at 27 September we read Finniaui, a lightly gaelicised form of the preceding.35

  • 36 P. Grosjean, ‘Édition et commentaire du Catalogus sanctorum Hiberniae secundum diversa tempora ou (...)

22(3) In Catalogus sanctorum Hiberniae secundum diuersa tempora, a pseudohistorical text supposedly written around 900, we encounter Uinnianus in the A-text, at the beginning of the list of the ‘second order’ of saints.36 The text is found first in late mediaeval manuscripts.

  • 37 Ibid., p. 214 ; Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, p. 610-11, 612-13. For Vita I S. Samsonis, (...)
  • 38 The principal evidence is provided by the author’s knowledge of Bede’s commentaries on Acts, disco (...)

23(4) The first two Lives of St Samson of Dol contain references to a learned young ecclesiastic bearing the name in question.37 Vita Prima (BHL 7478-9) was written ca 730 x ca 840,38 while Vita Secunda (BHL 7480-4) is a work arising from the new conditions obtaining in the Breton Church from the 840s. In these we find the forms Uuinniaus (with the termination as in our Penitential), Uuinniauus, Uuinniauius, and also a latinised place-name portus Uuinniau.

  • 39 Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, p. 611. There is some reason to think that, owing to confus (...)

24(5) In the cartulary of the abbey of Redon (in southeastern Brittany) we have a late eleventh- or early twelffh-century copy of numerous earlier documents. Here we can find toponyms containing our narne-form : in charter 7 ran Uuiniau, and in charter 93 treb Uuiniau.39

  • 40 Cartularium Saxonicum : a Collection of Charters relating to Anglo-Saxon History, ed. Walter de Gr (...)

25Finally, it is worth noting a Cornish place-name attested in an English royal diploma dated 969.40

  • 41 In quoting the Old English, I have used italic W/ w to represent the special (runic) vernacular ch (...)

26C (1) King Edgar granted estates to his man Ælfheah Gerent and his wife Moruurei at Lannmoren/Lamorran and Trefneweth/Trenowth. The Old-English boundary of the estate at Lamorran reads as follows : ‘Ærest of penpoll Lannmoren up bi ∫ram broce o∂V hræt Winiau ; ∫ronne for∂V andlang broces to pen hal ; ∫ronne to maen wynn ; ∫ronne to o∂Vrum pen hal ; ∫ronne adune bi ∫ram broce to saæ’. There is little doubt that hrœt Winiau is ‘the ford (ret) of Uuiniau’.41

27This seems to be about the limit in date of forms begnaning U-/ Uu-. In general, subsequent Breton and Welsh attestations show initial Gu-as the orthographic preference for representing /w/. Of course, had the Cornish name in this diploma been written in mid-tenth-century native Old-Cornish orthography, it is possible that Gu- would have been employed.

The name Uinniau

28It is now clear, from both Brittonic and Gaelic sources, that behind the form Uinniaus preserved in the Salzburg manuscript of the Penitential (and the somewhat more remote genitive Uinniani found in the opening rubric of the Sankt Gallen manuscript) lies a vernacular Uinniau, a name attested already by the beginning of the eighth century in the earliest manuscript of Adomnán’s Vita S. Columbae.

  • 42 On Brittonic nd > nn, see Jackson, Language…, p. 509-13 (§112), 695-6 ; cf. Patrick Sims-Williams, (...)
  • 43 Rudolf Thurneysen, A Grammar of Old Irish (Dublin 1946), p. 175 (§275).

29This name can only be Brittonic. Its etymology is clear. The first element is represented by Modern Welsh gwyn. In Old Irish it would be find, becoming finn in the course of the ninth century. In Brittonic, the change -nd(-) to -nn(-) was completed in the second half of the sixth century.42 The second element, -iau, is a hypocoristic suffix (from British *-iawos) which had no independent existence in Gaelic.43

  • 44 Kenney, The Sources…, p. 240 ; he was misquoted by fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, p. 607 ( (...)

30We may therefore be confident that our author bore a Brittonic pet-name. The hypocoristic implies the existence of a radical dithematic name, but it offers no clue as to the original second element. In this regard, much turns on whether the author of our Penitential can reasonably be identified with any (or all) of the characters already identified as bearing the name Uinniau. In a characteristically balanced judgment published in 1929, James F. Kenney allowed that the author was the same as Gildas’s correspondent but wrote that ‘There is absolutely no evidence for identification’ of this person. He noted that, nonetheless, ‘almost all scholars have assumed’ identity with either St Finnian of Clonard or his namesake of Movilla. Kenney concluded that ‘this is such a document as we might expect him to have composed’.44

Gaelic forms of the brittonic name Uinniau

  • 45 K. Jackson, ‘Primitive lrish u and b’, Études celtiques 5 (1949-51) 105-15. Cf. W. Cowgill, ‘On th (...)

31The pet-name Uinniau seems to have been borrowed into Gaelic. A variety of derivative forms survives and may be placed in a relative sequence : Finniau > Finnio > Finnia, the last making its appearance not earlier than the ninth century. The sequence /w/>/v/>/f/ in Gaelic has been argued to be a process belonging to the late sixth and early seventh centuries.45

  • 46 Cf. A. Harvey, ‘Some observations on Celtic-Latin name formation’, in Ildánach ildirech. A Festsch (...)
  • 47 Cf. the comment of bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 483.
  • 48 For examples see the editorial master in Cummian’s Letter De controuersia paschali and the De rati (...)
  • 49 For use of ‘Cummian’ by an influential twentieth-century writer, see kenney, The Sources, p. 217, (...)

32Before proceeding, we must acknowledge the creation of Latin forms. U(u)inniaus and U(u)inniauus, with identical second-declension flexion in most of the oblique cases (U[u]inniaue, Uinniaum / Uinniauum, Uinniaui, Uinniauo), we have encountered in our Penitential and in the assembled comparanda.46 These were presumably first created in Brittonic-speaking lands. At an as yet undetermined date, forms like Uinnianus (and ultimately Finnianus) were created.47 The initial cause may have been scribal error (u > n). But there was a Hiberno-Latin parallel. The Latin personal-name termination -ianus came to be widely used by Gaelic writers in Latin. A familiar example is Cummianus (with assorted variants attested from the eighth century onwards).48 One might argue that in the case of the eventual Finnianus the final Gaelic development of Uinniau, namely Finnia, provided a convenient base for extension. The eventual result was the emergence of late Middle-Irish Finnian, from which modem English usage has been created. At least in this case there was such a form in Irish ; in the instance of the analogous name Cummianus, an English ‘Cumanan’ has been invented which bears no relationship to the underlying Irish Cumméne/Cummíne.49

  • 50 For a ninth-century ecclesiastic called Findán see Kenney, The Sources…, p. 602-3 (no. 422). For r (...)
  • 51 Not Finnián, much less Findián, in the ‘Index of Persons’ to Félire Húi Gormáin – The Martyrology (...)

33This leaves the question of Middle-Irish developments of the name Finnia. Two points are particularly to be noted. Archaising spellings of inherited -nn(-) are common in Middle Irish, giving Findia or even, drawing on the earlier termmation -io, Findio. Secondly, we meet variation in the hypocoristic suffix. In relation to the saints earlier called Uinniau > Finnia, the name Finnén (always possible in principle, as were Finnán and Finnín, earlier Findán 50 and Findín) now appears (with spelling variant Findén), and in time this orthographically indeclinable name is supplemented with a genitive Finnéin (and Findéin). Whether Finnian 51 arose from a Hiberno-Latin Finnianus or rather by diphthongisation of -é-in Finnén also requires consideration.

Historical implications of the linguistic evidence

  • 52 On hypocoristics, especially ecclesiastical, see P. Russell, ‘Patterns of hypocorism in early Iris (...)
  • 53 See, for example, Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, and J.-Y. Le Moing, ‘Saint Winniau et sai (...)

34Uinniau is a pet-name which could have been given by any speaker of a Brittonic dialect to a familiar who bore a name beginning Uinn- (earlier Uind-). That familiar could have been a Gael but would only have been so in the particular, specialist circumstances in which appropriate contact could have been achieved. Any number of Britons at any place among Brittonic-speakers over a considerable period of time – still, one suspects, in the twelfth century (albeit with different spelling) – could have received such an appellation from their familiars. It is clear that when a Brittonic ecclesiastic had achieved a saintly cult he could also be given a hypocoristic name, one option being *-iawos > -iau, as (for example) in the case of Eliud whose pet-form was T’El-ieu, Old Welsh Teliau, Middle Welsh Teiliaw, Modem Welsh Teilo, the saint of Llandeilo Fawr.52 In principle, therefore, there is no prima facie reason whatever to suppose that the name Uinniau, when found on home-territory, always referred to one and the same person. In as much as we find evidence from all Brittonic-speaking territories in the Middle Ages for the local cult of saints whose name was Uinniau or a subsequent development of that name,53 we shall need specific evidence before we may suppose that they represent the diffusion of a smaller number of such cults or indeed of only one.

  • 54 D.N. Dumville, ‘St Finnian of Movilla : Briton, Gael, ghost ?’, in Down – History and Society. Int (...)
  • 55 Dumville et al., Saint Patrick p. 133-45 ;T.M. Charles-Edwards, ‘Britons in Ireland, c. 55-800’, (...)
  • 56 The origin of the cults in a specific ecclesiastic has been argued in a series of papers by Pádrai (...)
  • 57 The date-range is provided by the earliest possible date for Adomnán’s Vita S. Columbae and the da (...)
  • 58 Cf. Jackson, ‘Primitive Irish’, p. 114.

35Will the same arguments apply if we are dealing with references in a non-Brittonic context ? We have seen the name Uinniau (in latinised form) employed in the early mediaeval Gaelic world in reference to : (1) a bishop who in Ireland (precise location unspecified) was a teacher of St Columba of Iona ; (2) a saint of Dál Fiatach (the dominant people of early mediaeval Ulster), who was patron of Mag mBile (Movilla, Co. Down) ;54 and (3) the principal saint of Cluain Iraird (Clonard, Co. Meath). Other, unspecific, occurrences may or may not refer to one of these three. If we allow for a context of intensive British missionary work in Ireland from the time of St Patrick’s mission (second half of the fifth century) for, say, another century,55 it is quite possible to envisage more than one person, whether a Briton or a Gael, being called Uinniau by his Brittonic-speaking contemporaries. If, however, those persons were Gaels, the challenge would be to explain why they were remembered for centuries in a Gaelicspeaking environment by their Brittonic pet-name (in addition to increasingly gaelicised derivatives of it). No doubt this would be less difficult to achieve if their cults had a single origin, if we were dealing with manifestations of a single ecclesiastic.56 On the evidence of the non-contemporary Gaelic sources (of the period 697x911)57 attesting the three persons named Uinniauus, listed above, we should suppose them (or him) to have lived in the sixth century, and probably not in its last two decades. Such a conclusion would suit the subsequent history of the name in Irish, as it began (about 600)58 its transformation from a borrowed Uinniau to an eventual Middle-Irish Finnia.

The authorship of ‘The Penitential of Uinniau’

  • 59 Bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 477(-8), n. 1.
  • 60 Kenney, The Sources, p. 240.
  • 61 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 60-5, 240-2 ; Gildas, ed. & transl. Will (...)
  • 62 However, one must note the implications for Gildas’s ethnicity, cultural milieu, and education in (...)
  • 63 Die irische Kanonensammlung, ed. Wasserschleben ; Sharpe, ‘Gildas as a Father’ ; H. Simpson, ‘Irel (...)

36‘When a British Winniau compiles a Penitential, why enquire which of the many Irish Finians is possibly the author of it ?’, asked Henry Bradshaw.59 Kenney was correct to state that ‘There is absolutely no evidence for identification’ of this Uinniau,60 although it might have been wiser to say ‘conclusive evidence’. The natural point of cross-reference is to Gildas, himself the author of a penitential,61 who was (as an expert on monasticism) consulted in the mid-sixth century, auctor to auctor, by one Uennianus, almost certainly an error for Uenniauus, itself a credible spelling in an early mediaeval Latin context for Uinniauus. The exchange was Insular and presumptively between Britons.62 The reply survives in part ; but in a context which is part Gaelic, part Brittonic.63 In the next generation our informant about it is Irish-Columbanus.

  • 64 In ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, p. 214, n. 55, I remarked, with reference to Félire Hui Gormáin, ed. & tr (...)

37On this latter evidence, Gildas’s correspondent has long been thought to have been living in an Irish location, a view encouraged by the appearance of the name Uinniau(u)s in Irish contexts. It is this chain of argumentation which has allowed a Brittonic clerical author (who, on the evidence of our Penitential, shows no overt sign of having been a monk) to have been identified with a Uinniau who played a role in the early history of Irish christianity.64 Different scholars will find the chain stronger or weaker or even fundamentally flawed.

Distractions : Vinnian, Finnian ; Clonard, Movilla ; nationalism and eurocorrectness

  • 65 Ó Riain, ‘St. Finnbarr’.
  • 66 Dumville, ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, p. 208-9.
  • 67 Cf. Máire Herbert, Iona, Kells, and Derry (Oxford 1988), p. 9-26, on sources of Adomnán’s Vita S. (...)
  • 68 Ó Riain, ‘Finnian or Winniau ?’, p. 52.
  • 69 On Kilwinning, see I Sperber, ‘Lives of St Finnian of Movilla : British evidence’, in Down, ed. Pr (...)

38It is clear that, if a single historical figure underlies the testimonies to a Uinniau in Ireland, a good deal of legend-building, cult-diffusion, and localisation had occurred already in the early Middle Ages.65 As I have observed elsewhere,66 Adomnán’s remarks about Columba’s tutor (in Columba’s years as a deacon) Uinniau (whom Adomnán also called Finnio and Findbarr, perhaps in part the usage of different sources)67 would suit a death-date for that Uinniau in the plague-years at the end ofthe 540s rather than a generation later. That need present no problem if we were to allow either that Columba’s tutor was Uinniau of Clonard or that stories of Columba’s youth were already by Adomnán’s time as coarb of Columba the subject of historicising legend-building. But, as Pádraig Ó Riain has remarked, to polarise the saints of Clonard and Movilla in this way is to privilege those whose names and obits were recorded in chronicles rather than to consider the mass of evidence which might be brought to bear on the whole question of the identity or identities of persons called Uinniau (and Gaelic derivatives and associates thereof).68 The same may be said of the Brittonic evidence, geographically distributed from Brittany in the south to Kilwinning (Ayrshire) in Strathclyde.69

  • 70 See, for example, Kenney, The Sources, p. 240-1, 249, who reserved it largely for the author of ou (...)
  • 71 It is still the favourite in Pádraig Ó Riain’s articles cited in n. 56, above.
  • 72 Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, especially p. 245-7. For a comparable case, cf. David N. dumv (...)
  • 73 Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 245. This may arise from a linguistic misunderstanding. In (...)
  • 74 David N. Dumville, Britons and Anglo-Saxons in the Early Middle Ages (Aldershot 1993), essay XIII, (...)
  • 75 See n. 73, above. It was rather Henry Bradshaw in 1877 who took this view (Collected Papers p. 482 (...)
  • 76 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 3.
  • 77 Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 245.
  • 78 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 5-6.
  • 79 Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 247. It would be better to leave Salzburg aside for anothe (...)

39Another distraction has been the name-forms used in modern discourse in English on this subject. From the derivative Hiberno-Latin form Uinnianus (attested in the later Middle Ages but imaginable at an earlier period) has been created an unnecessary English form ‘Vinnian’.70 Although we have seen little of ‘Vinnian’ since the 1960s, the name all too commonly used in English-language scholarship is ‘Finnian’,71 taken whether from a late Irish form spelt thus or from a Hiberno-Latin Finnianus : its use has some linguistic justification but is hardly appropriate in relation to a figure supposedly of the sixth century. To speak of ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, in view of all that has gone before in this article, is absurd. The use of that title has unfortunately been revived by a Continental scholar who has not understood the linguistic evidence and who has seemed to regard discussion of the identity of the Penitential’s author as a distasteful squabble among competing Celtic nationalisms.72 Léon Fleuriot has been accused of arguing that the Uinniaus of our Penitential was a Breton.73 While Fleuriot always displayed a ‘relentless determination to insist that Brittany be not overlooked by scholars’,74 I cannot see that in his article on the Penitential he advanced a case that its author was Breton rather than simply Brittonic.75 Ludwig Bieler held this text to be ‘the earliest Irish penitential now in existence’ ;76 such a view, endorsed by Rob Meens,77 presupposes identification of its author with one of the persons called Uinniau in early mediaeval Gaelic sources, something which (as I have shown above) is hardly a simple matter. The best which can be said is that this Penitential was known to Columbanus and to Cumméne in their role as penitentialists,78 to the compiler(s) of Collectio canonum hibernensis, and in the ninth century to a scribe at Sankt Gallen, a monastery with long if intermittent Irish connexions ;79 but none of that proves the text to have been written in Ireland. We still have a long way to go before we may hope to identify our author with any conviction or to understand his precise milieu(x).

Résumé

Une étude attentive du Pénitential of Vinniau utilisé par Colomban quand il rédigea un ouvrage du même genre montre qu’il fut écrit vers le vie siècle. Le nom de l’auteur, assez commun en brittonique, peut difficilement être distingué de celui d’autres personnages portant le même nom. Parmi eux un Irlandais qui fut en relation avec Gildas. En dépit de l’opinion de certains chercheurs, il n’y a aucune preuve que ce Pénitentiel fut écrit en Irlande.

Notes

1 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Ludwig Bieler & D.A. Binchy (Dublin 1963), p. 3-4, 17, 74-95, 242-245.

2 Ibid, p. 5, 16-17, 96-107, 245.

3 Ibid., p. 12-13, 20-24. A reproduction of part of p. 281 may be seen in Medieval Handbooks of Penance, transl. John T. Mcneill & H.M. Gamer (New York 1938), opposite p. 62.

4 Henry Bradshaw, Collected Papers (Cambridge 1889), p. 414-15, 473-4, 487 ; Kenneth Jackson, Language and History in Early Britain (Edinburgh 1953), p. 65-66 ; Léon Fleuriot, Dictionnaire des gloses en Vieux Breton (Paris 1964), p. 6 (no. 27).

5 Bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 414-15, 473, 487 ; Jackson, Language…, p. 63 ; Fleuriot, Dictionnaire…, p. 5 (no. 11).

6 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 15, 92 (line 6, at inuicem). R. Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian and the textual witness of the Paenitentiale Vindobonense “B”’, Mediaeval Studies (Toronto) 55 (1993) 24355, at p. 248, has deduced that ‘probably… the exemplar already was incomplete’.

7 L. Mahadevan, ‘Überlieferung und Verbreitung des Bussbuchs “Capitula Iudiciorum”’, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte (103), Kanonistische Abteilung 72 (1986) 17-75, at p. 34-37 ; Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian…’, p. 247.

8 Die Bussordnungen der abendländischen Kirche, ed. F.W.H. Wasserschleben (Halle a. S. 1851), p. vii, ii, 493-7, cf. Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 248-9.

9 For such analysis, see Die Bussordnung, ed. Wasserschleben, p. 108, n. 1 ; Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 251-5. It is clear that Bieler’s statement (The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 17) that ‘V is… the sole [witness] … that is complete’ is erroneous. It is worth noting that Wasserschleben’s §§31 and 32 are Bieler’s §§32 and 31 : ibid., p. 85, note ad p. 84, line 30 ; Wasserschleben mistakenly followed the order of V rather than S.

10 E.A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores (11 vols & supplement, Oxford 1934-71), X, p. 21, no. 1509 ; O. Mazal, ‘Die Salzburger Dom-und Klosterbibliothek in karolingischer Zeit’, Codices Manuscripti 3 (1977) 44-64, at p. 47 ; Bernhard Bischoff, Die südostdeutschen Schreibschulen und Bibliotheken in der Karolingerzeit, II (Wiesbaden 1980), p. 90-1. According to Lowe, the abbreviations used suggest that the manuscript was copied from an ‘Irish exemplar’.

11 The excerpt of §21 in BP ends in mid-sentence : The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 80, note ad 4.

12 Ibid., p. 88, 90.

13 ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 247-55.

14 It has been called the ‘epilogue’ by Wasserschleben (Die Bussordnungen…, p. 102, n. 1) and his followers.

15 The starting point for these has of course been The lrish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 92-95, but I have controlled Bieler’s text by reference to a microfilm of Wien, ÖNB, MS. lat. 2233, kindly supplied to me by that library in 1978. In the text, round brackets mark editorial deletion of manuscript-text. The colophon occupies folio 38r2-v7.

16 The first person singular is found in §41.

17 For the sources, see The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 76-94, apparatus, passim ;cf. T.P. Oakley, ‘Cultural affiliations of early Ireland in the penitentials’, Speculum 8 (1933) 489-500, at p. 492-6, and Kathleen Hughes, Early Christian Ireland : Introduction to the Sources (London 1972), p. 88.

18 Sancti Columbani Opera, ed. & transl. G.S.M Walker (Dublin 1957), p. 2-13, at 8/9 (§7). (Columbanus seems also to have read Gildas’s De excidio Britanniae : III.67 is referred to ibid., §6.) For discussion, see R. Sharpe, ‘Gildas as a Father of the Church’, in Gildas : New Approaches, ed. Michael Lapidge & D. Dumville (Woodbridge 1984), p. 193-205, and D.N. Dumville, ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, ibid, p. 207-14 ; see further D.N. Dumville, ‘The origins and early history of lnsular monasticism : aspects of literature, christianity, and society in Britain and Ireland, A.D. 400-600’, Bulletin of the Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies, Kansai University 30 (1997) 85-107, especially p. 94-107.

19 Die Bussordnungen, ed. Wasserschleben, p. xi and 108, for example. James F. Kenney, The Sources for the Early History of Ireland : Ecclesiastical. An Introduction and Guide (New York 1929 ; rev. imp., by L. Bieler, 1966), p. 200, 240, 812, referred to our author as ‘Vinniaus’.

20 Sancti Columbani Opera, ed. & transl. Walker, p. 8 (§§6-7).

21 Die irische Kanonensammlung, ed. Herrmann wasserschleben (2nd edn, Leipzig 1885). For the use of Gildas (thirteen citations), see I.16.b-c, XII.5, XXII.1, XXXVII.5.b and 31, XXXIX.5-7 and 9, XL.5.a, L11.6, LXVI.9 (ibid., p. 9-10, 35, 73, 133, 139, 150-1, 154, 212, 237-8). For reconstitution of a text from these and related citations, see Gildas, ed. & transl. Hugh Williams (London 1899-1901), p. 255-71, and Gildas, The ruin of Britain and Other Works, ed. & transl. Michael Winterbottom (Chichester 1978), p. 80-2, 143-5. Cf. Sharpe, ‘Gildas as a Father’.

22 For a summary of the position, see first kenney, The Sources…, p. 247-50 (no. 82). For the first visib1e use of this work, see R. Meens, ‘The oldest manuscript witness of the Collectio canonum hibernensis’, Peritia 14 (2000) 1-1 9.

23 Die irische Kanonensammlung, ed. Wasserschleben, p. 101 : he remarked ibid., note o, that the attribution was not given in the Vallicellian manuscript (his ‘MS. 6’). It is not, therefore, clear whether this canon is in both recensions and how often the attribution is present : for comments, see Bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 471, 472-3, 477(-8) n. 1, 482, 483. For a fuller statement of the latter’s views on the Hibernensis, see Henry Bradshaw, The Early Collection of Canons known as the Hibernensis : Two Unfinished Papers (Cambridge 1893).

24 Adomnán’s Life of Columba, ed. & transl. Alan Orr Anderson & M.O. Anderson (2nd edn, Oxford 1991).

25 Ibid., p. 94/5 (where the difference in name-forms is suppressed in the translation). In a parallel passage (I.1 : ibid, p. 12/13), the location is in Ebernia : probably, but not certainly, in Scotia meant the same.

26 Ibid., p. 94(-5), note o, on the relevant part of the textual history, see ibid., p. Iv-Ix.

27 M Schneiders, ‘The Irish calendar in the Karlsrhue Bede (Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Cod. Aug. CLXVII, ff. 16v-17v)’, Archiv fur Liturgiewissenschaft 31 (1989) 35-78. On the larger context of the group of manuscripts of which this forms a part see David N. Dumville, Three Men in a Boat. Scribe, Language, and Culture in the Church of Viking-Age Europe (Cambridge 1997), especially p. 48-51 and references given there.

28 L. Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau et le pénitentiel dit “de Finnian”’, Études celtiques 15 (1976-8) 607-14, at p. 610 ; cf. D. Ó Cróinín, ‘Early Irish annals from Easter-tables : a case restated’, Peritia 2 (1983) 74-86, at p. 779 (with a plate). As far as I can see, Fleuriot’s second transcription of the name (Uinniaus) is more accurate than his first (Dictionnaire, p. 326-7) and O Cróinín’s (Uuiniaus). Cf. Dumville, ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, p. 211.

29 Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, p. 610 ; cf. Bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 471, 472. Fleuriot did not write that MS. Hatton 42 had ‘this name added’, as I carelessly stated in ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, p. 210, n. 29.

30 The Stowe Missal, MS. D.II.3 in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, ed. George F. Warner (2 vols, London 1906/15), I, 33r, and II.16.

31 The Annals of Ulster (to A.D. 1131), ed. & transl. Seán Mac Airt & G. Mac Niocaill (Dublin 1983), p. 90 (as 579.1) and 228 (as 776.5b).

32 For a more extended consideration of this textual history, see D.N. Dumville, ‘Félire Óengusso : problems of dating a monument of Old Irish’, Éigse 33 (2002) 19-48.

33 The Martyrology of Tallaght, ed. Richard Irvine Best & H.J. Lawlor (London 1931), p. 2.

34 For an introduction to this subject, see David N. Dumville et al., Saint Patrick A.D. 493-1993 (Woodbridge 1993), p. 59-64 (cf. p. 29-30, 32-3, 35-6, 79, 83-4 86, 238-9, 243-4, 276-7, 280).

35 The Martyrology of Tallaght, ed. Best & Lawlor, p. 20, 74. Also to be noted in this context is the occurrence of the form Finniani at 12 December in a Spanish kalendar seemingly copied from an Irish book textually related to ‘The Martyrology of Tallaght’ : P. grosjean, ‘Notes d’hagiographie celtique, 23-27’, Analecta Bollandiana 72 (1954) 343-63, at p. 347-52 ; cf. Dumville, ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, p. 209, n. 23.

36 P. Grosjean, ‘Édition et commentaire du Catalogus sanctorum Hiberniae secundum diversa tempora ou De tribus ordinibus sanctorum Hiberniae’, Analecta Bollandiana 73 (1955) 197-213, 289-322, at p. 209, 210, 307 and n. 3 ; cf. Dumville, ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, p. 211, n. 36.

37 Ibid., p. 214 ; Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, p. 610-11, 612-13. For Vita I S. Samsonis, I.46-47, see La Vie ancienne de saint Samson de Dol, ed. & transl. Pierre flobert (Paris 1997), p. 212-17 ; The Life of St. Samson of Dol, transl. Thomas taylor (London 1925), p. 47-9. For Vita II S. Samsonis, I.15, see the edition by f. plaine, ‘Vita antiqua sancti Samsonis Dolensis episcopi’, Analecta Bollandiana 6 (1887) 77-150, at p. 107-8.

38 The principal evidence is provided by the author’s knowledge of Bede’s commentaries on Acts, discovered by Flobert, La Vie ancienne…, p. 186/7, n. 2, and 242/3, n. 2 (for another Bedan allusion, see p. 250/1, n 3), 272 ; cf. 92-9. This establishes a terminus post quem ; Flobert’s attempt (p. 108-11) to establish 770 as a terminus ante quem is, however, a failure.

39 Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, p. 611. There is some reason to think that, owing to confusion of minims, these names have been mistranscribed and should read Uinniau. See Cartulaire de l’abbaye Saint-Sauveur de Redon, facs. ed. Hubert Guillotel et al. (Rennes 1998) : at 4v1 and 71v5 uuiniau is clear, but at 4v3 and 17 the scribe had difficulty, messy erasure of minims being the result.

40 Cartularium Saxonicum : a Collection of Charters relating to Anglo-Saxon History, ed. Walter de Gray Birch (3 vols, London 1885-93), III.521-2 (no. 1231) ; P.H. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters. An Annotated List and Bibliography (London 1968), p. 245, no. 770. The extant copy was written in the third quarter of the eleventh century.

41 In quoting the Old English, I have used italic W/ w to represent the special (runic) vernacular character (known as wynn) found in the manuscript. The second boundary clause (not given here), that for Trefneweth (Trenowth), has reference to a ‘carn Winnioc’.

42 On Brittonic nd > nn, see Jackson, Language…, p. 509-13 (§112), 695-6 ; cf. Patrick Sims-Williams, The Celtic Inscriptions of Britain Phonology and Chronology, c. 400-1200 (Oxford 2003), p. 283.

43 Rudolf Thurneysen, A Grammar of Old Irish (Dublin 1946), p. 175 (§275).

44 Kenney, The Sources…, p. 240 ; he was misquoted by fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, p. 607 (whose pagereference is also erroneous).

45 K. Jackson, ‘Primitive lrish u and b’, Études celtiques 5 (1949-51) 105-15. Cf. W. Cowgill, ‘On the fate of *w in Old Irish’, Language 42 (1967) 129-38.

46 Cf. A. Harvey, ‘Some observations on Celtic-Latin name formation’, in Ildánach ildirech. A Festschrift for Proinsias Mac Cana, ed. John Carey et al. (Andover, MA 1999), p. 53-62, who has drawn attention (p. 58) to the Cambro-Latin Teliaus (from Old-Welsh Teliau) and its flexion.

47 Cf. the comment of bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 483.

48 For examples see the editorial master in Cummian’s Letter De controuersia paschali and the De ratione conputandi, ed. & transl. Maura walsh& D. Ó Cróinín (Toronto 1988) ; cf.D.N. Dumville, ‘Two troublesome abbots’, Celtica 21 (1990) 146-52, at p. 146-9. See also Acta Sanctoum Hiberniae, ed. Ioannes Colgan (Leuven 1645 ; reprinted Dublin 1948), p. 58-9, 408-11, 844 ; The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & binchy, p. 5, n. 3.

49 For use of ‘Cummian’ by an influential twentieth-century writer, see kenney, The Sources, p. 217, 220-1, 243, 325, 516 – but also ‘Cummean’ on p. 241-3, 249 ! I do not know how old this kind of usage is in English.

50 For a ninth-century ecclesiastic called Findán see Kenney, The Sources…, p. 602-3 (no. 422). For recent discussion and further references, see D.N. Dumville, ‘Images of the viking in eleventh-century Latin literature’, in Latin Culture in the Eleventh Century, ed. Michael W. Herren et al. (2 vols, Turnhout 2002), I.250-63, at p. 257-8.

51 Not Finnián, much less Findián, in the ‘Index of Persons’ to Félire Húi Gormáin – The Martyrology of Gorman, ed. & transl. Whitley Stokes (London 1895), p. 364. Cf also Paul Russell, Celtic Word-formation, the Velar Suffixes (Dublin l990), p. 110, n. 281 and 230.

52 On hypocoristics, especially ecclesiastical, see P. Russell, ‘Patterns of hypocorism in early Irish hagiography’, in Studies in Irish Hagiography. Saints and Scholars, ed. John Carey et al. (Dublin 2001), p. 237-49 ; cf Russell, Celtic Word-formation, p. 16-23. See also H. Lewis, ‘The honorific pre£ixes To- and Mo-’, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 20 (1933-6) 138-43, supplementing R. Thurneysen, ‘Zum Namentypus abret. To-woedoc, air. Do-dimoc’, ibid., 19 (1931-3) 354-67. See further R. Hemon, ‘Diminutive suffixes in Breton’, Celtica 11 (1976) 85-93.

53 See, for example, Fleuriot, ‘Le “saint” breton Winniau’, and J.-Y. Le Moing, ‘Saint Winniau et saint Uniac’, in Bretagne et pays celtiques : Langues, histoire, civilisation. Mélanges offerts à la mémoire de Léon Fleuriot, ed. Gwennolé Le Menn & J.-Y. Le Moing (Saint-Brieuc 1992), p. 237-48. See also P. Ó Riain, ‘The Irish element in Welsh hagiographical tradition’, in Irish Antiquity. Essays and Studies presented to Professor M.J. O’Kelly, ed. Donnchadh Ó Corráin (Cork 1981), p. 291-303.

54 D.N. Dumville, ‘St Finnian of Movilla : Briton, Gael, ghost ?’, in Down – History and Society. Interdisciplinary Essays on the History of an Irish County, ed. Lindsay Proudfoot (Dublin 1997), p. 71-84.

55 Dumville et al., Saint Patrick p. 133-45 ;T.M. Charles-Edwards, ‘Britons in Ireland, c. 55-800’, in Ildánach ildirech, ed. Carey et al., p. 15-26.

56 The origin of the cults in a specific ecclesiastic has been argued in a series of papers by Pádraig Ó Riain : ‘St. Finnbarr : a study in a cult’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 82 (1977) 63-82 ; ‘Finnian or Winiau ?’, in Ireland and Europe. The Early Church, ed. Proinseas Ní Chatháin & M. Richter (Stuttgart 1984), p. 52-7 ; ‘Finnio and Winniau : a question of priority’, in Indogermanica et Caucasica. Festschrift für Karl Horst Schmidt zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. Roland Bielmeier et al., (Berlin 1994), p. 407-14 ; ‘Finnio and Winniau : a return to the subject’, in Ildánach ildírech, ed. Carey et al., p. 188-202. While the initial thrust of Ó Riain’s argument commanded my assent, his increasingly specific accounrt of the career of ‘Finnian’ – in response to my (and others’) expressed doubts about the evidence for the Irishness of someone called in Latin Uinniau(u)s – makes me wonder whether the original proposition is in fact sustainable. That question will have to be addressed elsewhere. For the moment, it is merely necessary to observe that Ó Riain seems now (ibid., p. 193-6) to be arguing, with reference to A. Harvey, ‘Retrieving the pronunciation of early Insular Celtic scribes : the case of Dorbbéne’, Celtica 22 (1991) 48-63, that the Latin form Uinniau(u)s was based on a (presumptively fate sixth-century) form *Uinnia (presumably a borrowing of Brittonic Uinniau with a subsequent reduction of -iau > -ia), despite what Harvey himself showed in the same volume as Ó Riain’s paper (see n. 46, above) ; it would be interesting to have Ó Riain’s full history of this nameform in Irish. Crucial for him (p. 195) is the ‘early attestation’ of Hiberno-Latin Uinnianus : as my list, A (I)-(5) above, shows clearly, I at least have not been able to find examples of Uinnianus written by Insular Celtic scribes before 900, one may indeed have to go as far as the late Middle Ages to find them. Ó Riain’s wholly unnecessary attempts to avoid the evident implications of the reception of Brittonic Uinniau in sixth-century Gaeldom are doomed to failure.

57 The date-range is provided by the earliest possible date for Adomnán’s Vita S. Columbae and the date of ‘The Chronicle of Ireland’ as attested by its surviving derivatives.

58 Cf. Jackson, ‘Primitive Irish’, p. 114.

59 Bradshaw, Collected Papers, p. 477(-8), n. 1.

60 Kenney, The Sources, p. 240.

61 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 60-5, 240-2 ; Gildas, ed. & transl. Williams, p. 272-85, Gildas, ed. & transl. Winterbottom, p. 84-6, 146-7 (reprinting Bieler).

62 However, one must note the implications for Gildas’s ethnicity, cultural milieu, and education in the arguments advanced by P. Ó Riain, ‘Gildas : a solution to this enigmatic name ?’, in Irlande et Bretagne. Vingt siècles d’histoire, ed. Catherine Laurent & H. Davis (Rennes 1994), p. 32-9.

63 Die irische Kanonensammlung, ed. Wasserschleben ; Sharpe, ‘Gildas as a Father’ ; H. Simpson, ‘Ireland, Tours and Brittany : the case of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS. 279’, in Irlande et Bretagne, ed. Laurent & Davis, p. 108-23.

64 In ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, p. 214, n. 55, I remarked, with reference to Félire Hui Gormáin, ed. & transl. Stokes, p. xiv, where ‘Finnian (Vinniavus)’ (cf n. 51, above) was included among ‘British and Armorican Saints’, that ‘Long before anyone else seems to have observed the difficulty, the solution had been seen by Stokes’ : I had forgotten the close scholarly interaction of Stokes and Bradshaw from the 1860s to 1885 (Bradshaw, Colleted Papers, p. 381, 411, 453, 457, 471 n. 1) ; cf. G.W. Prothero, A Memoir of Henry Bradshaw (London 1888), p. 72, 178-9, 1879, 240-1, 306-9.

65 Ó Riain, ‘St. Finnbarr’.

66 Dumville, ‘Gildas and Uinniau’, p. 208-9.

67 Cf. Máire Herbert, Iona, Kells, and Derry (Oxford 1988), p. 9-26, on sources of Adomnán’s Vita S. Columbae.

68 Ó Riain, ‘Finnian or Winniau ?’, p. 52.

69 On Kilwinning, see I Sperber, ‘Lives of St Finnian of Movilla : British evidence’, in Down, ed. Proudfoot, p. 85-102.

70 See, for example, Kenney, The Sources, p. 240-1, 249, who reserved it largely for the author of our Penitential ; but I do not know how old this usage is in English. In The Irish Penitenitals, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 3-4, 5, 12, 14, 17, 22, 23, 24, 26, 34, 36, 37, 45, Bieler wrote ‘Vinniau’ ; but on p. 75 (at the head of his translation) he wrote ‘Finnian’, as he did in all the running heads, and on p. 95 he translated the colophon’s Uinniaus as ‘Finnian’ ; reference to ‘Vinnian’ is resumed in the notes, p. 242-5. Kathleen Hughes, The Church in Early Irish Society (London 1966), p. 44, 48, 51-8, 62, 67, 73-4, wrote of Vinnian the penitentialist (whom she seemed [p. 44] happy to identify with him of Clonard or him of Movilla) and not at all of Finnian, in spite of all her previous studies of ‘St Finnian of Clonard’ : Church and Society in Ireland, A.D. 400-1200 (London 1987), essaye II-VII (and see Index, p. 5), where ‘Vinnian’ was not used ; in 1972, in Early Christian Ireland, p. 85, 88, the penitentialist was now ‘Finnian’, now ‘Vinnian’, but, p. 237-8, the saint of Clonard was ‘Finnian’.

71 It is still the favourite in Pádraig Ó Riain’s articles cited in n. 56, above.

72 Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, especially p. 245-7. For a comparable case, cf. David N. dumville, A Palaeographer’s Review : The Insular System of Script, in the Early Middle Ages, I (Osaka 1999), p. 59 and n. 10.

73 Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 245. This may arise from a linguistic misunderstanding. In English, ‘Breton’ can only mean ‘pertaining to Brittany’ ; in French, it has a much wider range.

74 David N. Dumville, Britons and Anglo-Saxons in the Early Middle Ages (Aldershot 1993), essay XIII, p. 53.

75 See n. 73, above. It was rather Henry Bradshaw in 1877 who took this view (Collected Papers p. 482) : ‘the only Breton author quoted (Winniau)’ !

76 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 3.

77 Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 245.

78 The Irish Penitentials, ed. & transl. Bieler & Binchy, p. 5-6.

79 Meens, ‘The Penitential of Finnian’, p. 247. It would be better to leave Salzburg aside for another day, for its alleged eighth-century lrishness is open to serious question. The lrish cultural dimension at Sankt Gallen seems to have been discontinuous Cf. Dumville, A Palaeographer’s Review, I. 109-10.

Auteur

Girton College, Cambridge, England

© Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2004

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