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- PublicationPope Gregory and the British: mission as a canonical problem(Université de Bretagne occidentale, 2015-11)The Gregorian mission to Kent continues to be regarded as the crowning event in the history of the conversion of Anglo-Saxon England and as a spur for the subsequent formation of Anglo-Saxon Christian kingdoms. It also marks an important turning point in the history of Christainity in Europe because i t was the first large-scale recorded mission aimed at non-Christians to have been dispatched from Rome. From a historiographical perspective t he Gregorian mission offers a unique focus owing to the extent to which it wa s documented in both contemporary and near-contemporary sources, from pope Gregory’s letters to Bede’s Ecclesiastical History. Nevertheless, the existing accounts leave much to be desired, especially in regard to the state of the British church on the eve of the arrival of the missionaries.
- PublicationResponse to Cassidy et al., 'A dynastic elite in monumental Neolithic society'(2020-06-26)As a historian I am unable to comment on the science behind this article, so I will take it as given that the scientific analysis is sound and that it supports the Research Team's interesting conclusions, for which congratulations are due. However, insofar as the historical and social-scientific interpretations are concerned, the article leaves much to be desired.
- PublicationAspects of the Breton transmission of the Hibernensis(Pecia, 2008)Brittany played a major role in the early transmission of the Collectio canonum hibernensis. In total, seven copies of the Hibernensis (and a fragment) were written in Brittany or copied from Breton exemplars, and all complete copies of the Hibernensis but two have Breton connexions. The present paper examines how the Hibernensis figured in ninth-century Breton ecclesiastical politics, and introduces new evidence pertaining to individual Breton copies of the Hibernensis and their relationship.
- PublicationIdentifying monks in early medieval Britain and Ireland: a reflection on legal and economic aspects(CISAM, 2016-04-06)The mundane existence of those labouring for the monastic commu- nity or provisioning it from their own plots of land is usually glossed over in narrative sources whose interests lie rather in the more edifying stories of monks praying, learning, instructing the laity and preaching the word of God. At best, narrative texts would mention peasant dependants incidentally, although we may also catch occasional glimpses of them in charters or normative sources, such as royal legislation, synodal acta, or works of ecclesiastical jurisprudence. But whichever sources we use, it is not always possible to tell apart peasant dependants from monks in the strict sense because the terminology is often ambiguous.