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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 December 2023

University of Edinburgh


It is usually thought that during the seventh century, a formal split in the Irish Church had resulted in the creation of two rival factions: a “Roman party” of reform-minded ecclesiastics, and an “Irish party” intent instead on maintaining current practices. A partial record of their decades-long schism has been thought to be preserved in the Irish canonical compilation, the Collectio canonum Hibernensis, which attributes a substantial number of canons either to “Roman synods” or to “Irish synods,” and we have understood this to reflect a period in which the two groups had sought to advance their cause by holding separate synods from which their opponents were excluded. The foundations for this interpretation of the “Roman” and “Irish” canons of the Hibernensis were laid more than a century ago, but more recent scholarship provides reasons for rethinking the hypothesis. The article focuses especially on one of the texts which the compilers of the Hibernensis understood to be the work of the “Romans” — a short text which has come to be known as the “Second Synod of St. Patrick” — and argues that certain details within the text suggest an association with documents produced on the Continent, in the network of monasteries founded by the Irish peregrinus Columbanus. I suggest a new context for the creation of the “Second Synod of St. Patrick,” and argue that this in turn offers a new way of thinking about the meaning of the “Roman synods” and “Irish synods” attested in the Hibernensis.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Fordham University

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This article is indebted to the generosity of Albrecht Diem and Roy Flechner, who enabled me to consult some of their work ahead of publication during the initial stages of my research; and to the encouragement of the readers who later assessed it anonymously for Traditio. I owe additional thanks to Zubin Mistry and Alex Woolf, who have endured long conversations over several years about the texts discussed in this article, and who kindly agreed to read it in draft even so.

The following abbreviations are employed in the notes below:

Hib, Hib.A, Hib.B = Collectio canonum Hibernensis, ed. and trans. Roy Flechner, The Hibernensis, 2 vols. (Washington, DC, 2019). Following Flechner's usage, I cite canons which are common to both recensions (Hib) by their book and chapter number from the A-recension; canons which are exclusive to the A-recension (Hib.A) by their book and chapter number in that recension; and canons which are exclusive to the B-recension (Hib.B) by their page and line reference in Flechner's edition.

RcP = Regula cuiusdam patris, ed. Fernando Villegas, “La Regula cuiusdam patris ad monachos: Ses sources littéraires et ses rapports avec la Regula monachorum de Colomban,” Revue d'Histoire de la Spiritualité 49 (1973): 3–36. Villegas's edition should now be read alongside Albrecht Diem's recent translation of the Regula cuiusdam patris, which provides valuable additional commentary on the text in its apparatus: “Disputing Columbanus's Heritage: The Regula cuiusdam patris,” in Columbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe, ed. Alexander O'Hara (Oxford, 2018), 259–306, at 290–301.

Syn II = Synodus II S. Patricii (for the two recensions and their editions, see n. 11).

ZRG Kan. Abt. = Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung.


1 For the date, see Richter, Michael, “Dating the Irish Synods in the Collectio canonum Hibernensis,” Peritia 14 (2000): 7084CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 See variously: Hughes, Kathleen, The Church in Early Irish Society (London, 1966), 103–33Google Scholar; Néill, Pádraig Ó, “Romani Influences on Seventh-Century Hiberno-Latin Literature,” in Irland und Europa: Die Kirche im Frühmittelalter / Ireland and Europe: The Early Church, ed. Chatháin, Próinséas Ní and Richter, Michael (Stuttgart, 1984), 280–90Google Scholar; Martin McNamara, “Tradition and Creativity in Early Irish Psalter Study,” in Irland und Europa: Die Kirche, ed. Ní Chatháin and Richter, 338–89, at 377–82; and Herren, Michael W. and Brown, Shirley Ann, Christ in Celtic Christianity: Britain and Ireland from the Fifth to the Tenth Century (Woodbridge, 2002)Google Scholar, esp. 16–17 and 104–34.

3 The possibility that Iona's acceptance of the “Roman” Easter might not have marked the end of the factions, as usually assumed, is mooted by Richter, Michael, Ireland and her Neighbours in the Seventh Century (Dublin, 1999), 213CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 Hib, preface (ed. Flechner, 1:1): “breuem planamque ac consonam de ingenti silua scriptorum in unius uoluminis textum expossitionem degessi.” A colophon in one manuscript of the Hibernensis identifies the compilers as Ruben of Dairinis (d. 725) and Cú Chuimne of Iona (d. 747), but there are complexities in determining the nature of their involvement and their relationship to the extant recensions. See Jaski, Bart, “Cú Chuimne, Ruben and the Compilation of the Collectio canonum Hibernensis,” Peritia 14 (2000): 5169CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:53*–59*.

5 Flechner's edition of the Hibernensis presents two tables which indicate the general extent of these attributions (Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:151*–155*: tables 1 and 2). The tables are unfortunately incomplete, and occasionally inaccurate; their contents have been supplemented or corrected here where possible. For other issues which arise from the edition, see Paul Russell's review in North American Journal of Celtic Studies 5 (2021): 116–27.

6 See Hughes, The Church in Early Irish Society, 125–32; and, on the connections with Irish secular law, see further T. M. Charles-Edwards, “The Construction of the Hibernensis,” Peritia 12 (1998): 209–37, at 224–28.

7 Thomas Charles-Edwards, review of Maura Walsh and Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (ed. and trans.), Cummian's Letter “De controversia paschali”, in Peritia 8 (1994): 216–20, at 219.

8 J. B. Bury, The Life of St. Patrick and his Place in History (London, 1905), 237–39.

9 Sven Meeder, “Text and Identities in the Synodus II S. Patricii,” ZRG Kan. Abt. 98 (2012): 19–45, at 23. See also Hughes, The Church in Early Irish Society (n. 2 above), 108–109; and Thomas Charles-Edwards, “Early Irish Law, St Patrick, and the Date of the Senchas Már,” Ériu 71 (2021): 19–59, at 51.

10 Caitlin Corning, The Celtic and Roman Traditions: Conflict and Consensus in the Early Medieval Church (Houndmills, 2006), 107.

11 There are two recensions of Syn II, one of which survives in several manuscripts alongside the Vetus Gallica, ed. and trans. Ludwig Bieler, The Irish Penitentials (Dublin, 1963), 184–97; and another (the so-called “BV-version”), which survives in two ninth-century manuscripts independent from the Vetus Gallica, ed. and trans. Aidan Breen, “The Date, Provenance and Authorship of the Pseudo-Patrician Canonical Materials,” ZRG Kan. Abt. 81 (1995): 83–129. The superiority of the BV-version was argued strongly by Breen (“Date, Provenance and Authorship,” 98–102), and given renewed consideration by Meeder (“Text and Identities,” 26–33), who qualifies some of Breen's claims, but ultimately reaffirms that it is the BV-version which transmits more faithfully the original text. In what follows, citations from Syn II are from Breen's edition of the BV-version unless otherwise stated.

12 An unspecified seventh-century date was originally proposed by Bury, Life of St. Patrick, 237–39, and accepted by Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 9–10; Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship,” 98–111; and Meeder, “Text and Identities,” 22–23. An earlier date, in the latter part of the sixth century, was suggested by Kathleen Hughes, “Synodus II S. Patricii,” in Latin Script and Letters A.D. 400–900, ed. John J. O'Meara and Bernd Naumann (Leiden, 1976), 141–47; repr. in Kathleen Hughes, Church and Society in Ireland A.D. 400–1200, ed. David Dumville (London, 1987), no. X.

13 Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship,” 101–102; and Meeder, “Text and Identities,” 33–36.

14 Syn II, cc. 11, 14, 29 (ed. Breen, 113–14). The later recension edited by Bieler has an additional reference (c. 30) to the necessity of supplying documents with signatures “in the manner of the Romans” (more Romanorum), which was seen as particularly significant for determining the text's context by Hughes, “Synodus II S. Patricii,” 141. The phrase is, however, absent from the earlier BV-version and appears to be a later insertion. See Meeder, “Text and Identities,” 29–30.

15 First-person references appear in Syn II, cc. 8, 14, 17, 18, 20 and 22 (ed. Breen, 113–15), and are discussed by Meeder, “Text and Identities,” 33–38.

16 Syn II, c. 14 (ed. Breen, 113): “De abstinentia insolubili a cybis statuunt Romani ut Christi aduentus sponsi nullas nostri leges ieiunii inueniat. Quid enim inter Nouatianum et Christianum nisi quia Nouatianus indesinenter abstinent, Christianus uero pro tempore ieiunat ut locus et tempus et persona per omnia obseruentur?”

17 Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship,” 102.

18 Indeed, Breen also interprets the opening words of Syn II, which address some unspecified party in the second person — “De eo quod mandastis. . .” (“Concerning what you have commanded. . .”) — as directed towards “probably the leaders of the Romani.” His reading of the text therefore requires us to believe that the compiler addressed the Romani in the first, second, and third person in different places in this same short text. See Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship,” 101–102.

19 This appears to have been Richter's view as well, whose rather ambivalent discussion of the text argued strongly that the canons which the Hibernensis ascribed to sinodus Romana represented “the rulings of the Romani,” but that it was nevertheless “mistaken” to consider Syn II to be the work of the Romani themselves: Richter, Ireland and Her Neighbours (n. 3 above), 222–23 and n. 339. Although Richter does not fully resolve the tension between these two positions, his discussion suggests that he too found that the internal evidence of Syn II and the external evidence of its later use in the Hibernensis pulled in different directions.

20 Syn II, c. 29 (ed. Breen, 116): “Quod autem obseruatur apud uos, ut IIIIor genera diuitantur neque audisse neque legisse Romanis sedantur.”

21 Syn II, c. 11 (ed. Breen, 113): “De separatione sexuum post lapsum sic dicunt Romani . . .” I take it that this is also the intended effect of the canon “concerning unremitting abstinence from foods” (Syn II, c. 14, quoted in full above), which is less an “attack on a too rigorous asceticism” (Hughes, “Synodus II S. Patricii” [n. 12 above], 144) as a defence of “our laws of fasting” against criticism from others, which the appeal to Romani is meant to settle. According to the Romani, the canon suggests, fasting is only a temporary expedient which, by the time of “the coming of Christ the bridegroom” (that is, the Second Coming of Christ; see Mark 2:18–20), shall eventually become unnecessary. To uphold abstinence as a good in itself would, in contrast, be to repeat the errors for which the Novatianists had been condemned in earlier centuries.

22 Syn II, cc. 1, 4–7, 10, 12, and 26 (ed. Breen, 112–13 and 115).

23 Meeder, “Text and Identities” (n. 9 above), 22.

24 Bury, Life of St. Patrick (n. 8 above), 239.

25 Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:73*–76*; see also Luned Mair Davies, “Statuta ecclesiae antiqua and the Gallic Councils in the Hibernensis,” Peritia 14 (2000): 85–110.

26 Bury, Life of St. Patrick (n. 8 above), 237–39.

27 Breen saw similarities with two seventh-century Hiberno-Latin texts in the “Second Synod”: De duodecim abusiuis saeculi, and the Paenitentiale Cummeani. See Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship” (n. 11 above), 102–103 and 105–107. In neither case do the similarities seem to me sufficient to bear the weight he placed upon them. For De duodecim abusiuis, Breen asserted that both “have drawn extensively upon Cyprian's treatises and letters,” and even posited common authorship on that basis, but the passages from Cyprian which Breen suggests as sources for Syn II are chiefly those which are themselves quotations from the Bible, upon which Syn II may surely have drawn independently. Aside from shared biblical passages, Syn II, c. 8 does share with Cyprian a conviction that sinners are reconciled through the laying on of hands, conducted by a bishop, but Cyprian was not alone in that opinion (see, for example, Augustine, Sermo 232) and an exclusive connection with Cyprian is therefore hard to maintain. With regard to the Paenitentiale Cummeani, the similarities extend no further than that both refer to the ordeal of fire (in circumstances which are not identical: compare P. Cummeani, 8.11 and Syn II, c. 24); both cite Luke 6:30 (in slightly different forms, with Syn II, c. 6: “Qui aufert a te quae tua sunt ne repetas” being closer to the biblical verse than to P. Cummeani, 3.4: “Qui repetit auferentem quae sua sunt contra interdictum Domini apostolique”); and both advise that the Eucharist be taken by penitents (again under different circumstances, since it marks the end of a yearlong process in Syn II, c. 22, apparently undertaken by any sinner, while in P. Cummeani, 2.2 it is undertaken eighteen months into a seven-year penance and reserved for ordained monks who were guilty of fornication).

28 See Donnchadh Ó Corráin, “Synodus II Patricii and Vernacular Law,” Peritia 16 (2002): 335–43. Quotations from Syn II are not confined to Irish works. See p. 000, below.

29 Syn II, c. 22 (ed. Breen, 115): “De sumenda eucharistia post lapsum. Post examinationem anni carceris sumenda eucharistia maxime in nocte paschae, in qua qui non communicat non est dicendus fidelis. Ideo breuia sunt apud nos stricta ieiunia poenitentiae, ne anima fidelis intereat tanto tempore ieiuna coelestis medicinae, Domino dicente: ‘Nisi manducaueritis carnem filii hominis et biberitis eius sanguinem, non habebitis uitam in uobis’.”

30 John T. MacNeill and Helena M. Gamer, Medieval Handbooks of Penance: The Principal Libri Poenitentiales and Selections from Related Documents (New York, 1938), 84; Bieler, Irish Penitentials (n. 11 above), 193; and Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship” (n. 11 above), 119.

31 The presence of the shared phrase in these two texts has been noted for some time: Fernando Villegas, “La Regula cuiusdam patris ad monachos: Ses sources littéraires et ses rapports avec la Regula monachorum de Colomban,” Revue d'Histoire de la Spiritualité 49 (1973): 3–36, at 13n and 17n; Albrecht Diem, “Columbanian Monastic Rules: Dissent and Experiment,” in The Irish in Early Medieval Europe: Identity, Culture and Religion, ed. Roy Flechner and Sven Meeder (London, 2016), 68–85, at 77; and Albrecht Diem, “Disputing Columbanus's Heritage: The Regula cuiusdam patris,” in Columbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe, ed. Alexander O'Hara (Oxford, 2018), 259–306, at 291, n. 159.

32 RcP, c. 4 (ed. Villegas, 13): “Si quis frater inuentus fuerit inoboediens abbati siue equonomo siue alicui ex fratribus, mittendus est in carcerem et paeniteat quantum iudicauerit senior.” Further use of the carcer is advised also in cc. 6, 7, 8 and 10 (ed. Villegas, 14–18).

33 RcP, cc. 4 and 8 (ed. Villegas, 13–14 and 17).

34 Diem, “Columbanian Monastic Rules,” 71–77; and Diem, “Disputing Columbanus's Heritage,” esp. 267–78.

35 Jonas, Vita Columbani 2.9, ed. Bruno Krusch, MGH, Scriptores rerum Germanicarum 37 (Hanover, 1905), 1–294, at 249–50: “se suae regulae habere, cocleam, quam lamberent, crebro crucis signo signari et ingressum cuiuslibet domus intra coenubiam tam introiens quam egrediens benedictionem postulare . . . et ipsam missarum sollemnia multiplicatione orationum uel collectarum celebrare et multa alia superflua.”

36 Compare RcP, c. 30 (ed. Villegas, 34) with Columbanus, Regula monachorum, c. 7, ed. G. S. M. Walker, Sancti Columbani opera (Dublin, 1957), 128–32; and see also Diem, “Disputing Columbanus's Heritage,” 277–78.

37 Regula monachorum, cc. 1–4 (ed. Walker, 124–26).

38 On Agrestius's allies, see esp. Bruno Dumézil, “L'affaire Agrestius de Luxeuil: Hérésie et régionalisme dans la Burgondie du VIIe siècle,” Médiévales 52 (2007): 135–52; Yaniv Fox, Power and Religion in Merovingian Gaul: Columbanian Monasticism and the Frankish Elites (Cambridge, 2014), 94–97; and Helmut Reimitz, History, Frankish Identity and the Framing of Western Ethnicity, 550–850 (Cambridge, 2015), 191–93.

39 Jonas, Vita Columbani, 2.9–10 (ed. Krusch, 246–52).

40 RcP, c. 7 (ed. Villegas, 15): “. . . mittendus est in carcerem et paeniteat secundum quod iudicauerit senior usquequo corrigatur” (see also cc. 4, 8 and 10); and Syn II, c. 22 (ed. Breen, 115): “breuia sunt apud nos stricta ieiunia poenitentiae.”

41 Julia Hillner, Prison, Punishment and Penance in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, 2015).

42 For other examples, see Hillner, Prison, 189–90.

43 On other disciplinary methods, see Valerie I. J. Flint, “Space and Discipline in Early Medieval Europe,” in Medieval Practices of Space, ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt and Michal Kobialka (Minneapolis, 2000), 149–66. For the slow and piecemeal reconceptualization of spaces of monastic confinement as “prisons,” see Hillner, Prison, 185–93 and 271–74.

44 Constantius, Vita Germani, c. 36, ed. René Borius, Constance de Lyon, Vie de saint Germain d'Auxerre, SC 112 (Paris, 1965), 190: “Relinquitur carcer innocens aliquando quia uacuus.” The assessment is offered in the context of a miraculous prison-break, and the widespread popularity of this topos in hagiography must indicate that this was not an isolated view. The classic survey of this material remains František Graus, “Die Gewalt bei den Anfängen des Feudalismus und die ‘Gefangenenbefreiungen’ der merowingischen Hagiographie,” Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte 2 (1961): 61–156.

45 See Villegas, “La Regula cuiusdam patris” (n. 31 above), 4–6. Diem suggests that it was Benedict who supplied the title: “Disputing Columbanus's Heritage” (n. 31 above), 261.

46 Syn II, c. 25 (ed. Breen, 115): “De thoro fratris defuncti audi decreta synodi: superstes frater thorum defuncti [fratris] non ascendat.” Orléans I (511), c. 18, ed. Charles de Clercq, CCSL 148A (Turnhout, 1963), 9: “Ne superstis frater torum defuncti fratris ascendat”; likewise Tours II (567), c. 22, ed. de Clercq, CCSL 148A, 189. Compare Deut. 25:5–10.

47 Syn II, c. 29 (ed. Breen, 116); and Epaone (517), c. 30, ed. de Clercq, CCSL 148A, 31–32.

48 Hughes, “Synodus II S. Patricii” (n. 12 above), 146. On Epaone and its influence, see Ian Wood, “Incest, Law and the Bible in Sixth-Century Gaul,” Early Medieval Europe 7 (1998): 291–304; and Karl Ubl, Investverbot und Gesetzgebung: Die Konstruktion eines Verbrechens (300–1100) (Berlin, 2008), 115–216.

49 Hughes, “Synodus II S. Patricii” (n. 12 above), 146–47.

50 Syn II, esp. cc. 1–2, 4, 6 and 11 (ed. Breen, 112–13); and RcP, c. 4 (ed. Villegas, 13–14).

51 Diem, “Disputing Columbanus's Heritage” (n. 31 above), 275–76, with additional remarks in Albrecht Diem, The Pursuit of Salvation: Community, Space, and Discipline in Early Medieval Monasticism (Turnhout, 2021), 196, n. 27, and 236. For the Eucharist in RcP as “the remedy for sins,” see c. 32 (ed. Villegas, 35); and compare also c. 1 (ed. Villegas, 10). It is notable that RcP carries over none of Columbanus's instructions concerning the continual wearing of Eucharistic chrismals. See Alexander O'Hara, Jonas of Bobbio and the Legacy of Columbanus: Sanctity and Community in the Seventh Century (Oxford, 2018), 233–34. One wonders to what extent the RcP's views had been shaped by or in response to such practices.

52 Syn II, c. 22 (ed. Breen, 115); see also c. 13 (ed. Breen, 113). Neil Xavier O'Donoghue observes that Syn II goes further in this regard than comparable insular texts. See O'Donoghue, The Eucharist in Pre-Norman Ireland (Notre Dame, 2011), 93.

53 Syn II, c. 21, in reference to Phil. 2:21 (ed. Breen, 114–15): “Unusquisque in ecclesia in qua inbutus est fructum suum proferat, nisi causa maioris fructus ad altarem cogatur ferri per iussum abbatis. Si uero exierit causa utilior cum benedictione concedatur; non ‘quae sua sunt’ singuli ‘querentes sed quae Iesu Christi’.” For Agrestius's missionary desires, see Jonas, Vita Columbani, 2.9, ed. Krusch (n. 35 above), 123; and Dumézil, “L'affaire Agrestius” (n. 38 above), 138–39.

54 Syn II, c. 17 (ed. Breen, 114): “Non sumus monachi, sed, ut aiunt, batroperitae, hoc est contemptores [saeculi].” The terminology draws upon Jerome, who spoke of “the philosophers who are commonly called bactroperitae [who consider themselves] despisers of the world” (Commentarii in euangelium Matthaei 1.10.9–10: “philosophos qui uulgo appellantur bactroperitae . . . contemptores saeculi”). Jerome meant the itinerant philosophers of antiquity, and uses the term disparagingly to refer to their wandering from place to place; the sense here has either been reversed or deployed ironically. See Syn II, c. 20 (ed. Breen, 114): “Parrochia cum monachis non est dicendum, quod est malum inauditum. Unitatem uero plebis non incongrue percipimus.”

55 Jonas, Vita Columbani, 2.9–10, ed. Krusch (n. 35 above), 248–52; the comment about the “other Gallic bishops” besides Abelenus is found in 2.10 (ed. Krusch, 255).

56 Andreas Fischer, “Orthodoxy and Authority: Jonas, Eustasius, and the Agrestius Affair,” in Columbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe, ed. O'Hara (n. 31 above), 143–64, esp. at 150–53.

57 On the other issues which may have animated Agrestius and his allies, and been minimized in Jonas's account of the events, see Clare Stancliffe, “Jonas's Life of Columbanus and his Disciples,” in Studies in Irish Hagiography: Saints and Scholars, ed. John Carey, Máire Herbert, and Pádraig Ó Riain (Dublin, 2001), 189–220, at 209–17; Dumézil, “L'affaire Agrestius” (n. 38 above), 145–51; and O'Hara, Jonas of Bobbio, 70–72.

58 Syn II, cc. 1 and 29 (ed. Breen, 112 and 116).

59 Jonas, Vita Columbani, 2.9, ed. Krusch (n. 35 above), 247 and 250: “Itaque ueniens Aquilegiam, socius statim scismatis effectus, Romanae sedis a communionem seiunctus ac diuisus est totius orbis communionem . . . prorumpit se scire Columbanus a ceterorum mores disciscere . . . . Audito Eusthasius hereseo nomine se uel suos magistro uocatos, ait . . .”

60 Ralph W. Mathisen, “‘Roman’ Identity in Late Antiquity, with Special Attention to Gaul,” in Transformations of Romanness: Early Medieval Regions and Identities, ed. Walter Pohl et al. (Berlin, 2018), 255–73, at 271–72.

61 W. Ullmann, “On the Use of the Term Romani in the Sources of the Earlier Middle Ages,” Studia Patristica 2 (1957): 155–63.

62 Syn II, c. 29 (ed. Breen, 116): “. . . neque audisse neque legisse Romanis sedantur.”

63 Syn II, c. 14 (ed. Breen, 113). See n. 21, above.

64 See Vita Boniti, c. 17, ed. Bruno Krusch, MGH, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 6 (Hanover, 1913), 110–39, at 129; with the discussion in Ian Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, 450–751 (London, 1994), 243. This in turn bears comparison with the way in which other heresiological labels from late antiquity were put to renewed use in this period. See Yaniv Fox, “‘Sent from the Confines of Hell’: Bonosiacs in Early Medieval Gaul,” Studies in Late Antiquity 2 (2018): 316–41.

65 Fischer, “Orthodoxy and Authority” (n. 56 above), 161.

66 The canons drawn from Syn II are usually quoted only once in the Hibernensis: Syn II, c. 2 = Hib 2.23 (ed. Flechner, 1:29); Syn II, c. 3 = Hib 46.8 (ed. Flechner, 1:385); Syn II, c. 9 = Hib 27.14 (ed. Flechner, 1:190); Syn II, c. 11 = Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:392, lines 1–2; Syn II, c. 14 = Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:66, lines 6–10; and Syn II, c. 25 = Hib 45.36 (ed. Flechner, 1:376). Syn II, c. 30 is quoted directly in Hib 35.8 (ed. Flechner, 1:252), and may also have informed Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:252, line 7. Syn II, c. 24 appears in three separate places: Hib 16.14 (ed. Flechner, 1:92); Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:248, lines 6–8; and Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:464, lines 10–12. One additional “Roman” canon, Hib 39.1, may also draw upon Syn II (c. 4), although the shortness of the passage prevents absolute certainty. Three more canons from Syn II are ascribed either to an unspecified “sinodus” (Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:50, line 12 = Syn II, c. 10), or to Jerome (see n. 69, below). On the nature and relationship of the recensions of the Hibernensis, see further Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:88*–124*. For a discussion of the version of Syn II available to the compilers of the Hibernensis (which sometimes agrees with the earlier BV-version of Syn II, but elsewhere shares readings from the later Vetus Gallica version), see Meeder, “Text and Identities” (n. 9 above), 30–32.

67 The presence of canons from Syn II in the Collectio 400 capitulorum was first observed by Paul Fournier, “Le liber ex lege Moysi et les tendances bibliques du droit canonique irlandais,” Revue Celtique 30 (1909): 221–34, at 229–30, n. 2. The Collectio 400 is presently unedited. The relevant material in the three extant manuscripts is Paris, BnF, lat. 2316, fols. 111r–111v and 114v (cc. 260–64 and 326–27); Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, lat. 522, fols. 179v–180v and 186r–186v (cc. 260–64 and 326–27); and (incomplete due to a lost leaf) Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 4592, fols. 198r and 202r (cc. 263 and 292–93). These entries draw upon Syn II, cc. 1, 3–5, 10, 18 and 23–24, in a form closest to the Vetus Gallica version. The independence of the Collectio 400 from the Hibernensis is observed by Sven Meeder, “Biblical Past and Canonical Present: The Case of the Collectio 400 capitulorum,” in The Resources of the Past in Early Medieval Europe, ed. Clemens Gantner, Rosamond McKitterick, and Sven Meeder (Cambridge, 2015), 103–17, at 106.

68 Paenitentiale Martenianum, c. 53.3, ed. Walther von Hörmann, “Bussbücherstudien IV,” ZRG Kan. Abt. 4 (1914): 358–483, at 404–405 (= Syn II, c. 23); further canons from Syn II are quoted in cc. 8, 33 and 54.2, but without attribution. The connection with Canones Adomnani was proposed by Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship” (n. 11 above), 103–105. His case is strongest for the canon on remarriage (c. 16, ed. Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 178; compare Syn II, c. 26), and can stand independently from his less persuasive claim that a number of additional references to an unspecified “idem” should also be understood to refer to Syn II. Here, Bieler's suggestion that these refer to Adomnán himself is probably still to be preferred. See Bieler, Irish Penitentials (n. 11 above), 253–54, n. 4.

69 The unambiguous instance is Hib 34.3 (ed. Flechner, 1:242–43) = Syn II, c. 23. Although this is not indicated in Flechner's apparatus, it was noted by Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 192n; Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship” (n. 11 above), 103, n. 57; and Meeder, “Text and Identities” (n. 9 above), 44. Breen suggests that the compilers probably saw a connection with Jerome, Commentarii in euangelium Matthaei, 5.34, which makes a comparable declaration: Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship” (n. 11 above), 103, n. 57. One manuscript of the B-recension ascribes another canon from Syn II to Jerome, but perhaps only through scribal confusion. See Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:81, line 19 and apparatus.

70 Although the manuscripts which transmit the Vetus Gallica version of Syn II share an explicit attribution to Patrick, the earlier BV-version does not. Breen suggested that Hib 11.1 (which is attributed to “Patricius episcopus”) may draw upon Syn II, c. 10, but the short clause which the two canons have in common (“qui sub gradu peccat”) is generic, and the two canons offer different ruminations on the implications of the shared circumstance. Meeder expresses similar reservations. See Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship” (n. 11 above), 103, n. 57; and Meeder, “Text and Identities” (n. 9 above), 22, n. 9. Other canons attributed to Patrick in Hib are tabulated by Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:156* (table 3).

71 Hib 32.6: “sinodus” (A-recension), “sin. Romanorum uel Hibernentium” (B-recension); Hib 32.9: “sin. Hibernensis” (A-recension), “sin. Romana uel Hibernensis” (B-recension, MS V), “sin. uel Hibernensis” (B-recension, MS H). See also Hib 32.4: “disputatio Romana” (A-recension), “in disputatione Hibernentium uel Romana” (B-recension).

72 Bury, Life of St. Patrick (n. 8 above), 237–39.

73 Hib 5.2 (ed. Flechner, 1:36) = Statuta ecclesiae antiqua, c. 96, ed. Charles Munier, CCSL 148 (Turnhout, 1963), 183; Hib.A 6.2 (ed. Flechner, 1:38) = Stat. eccl. ant., c. 95 (ed. Munier, 182–83); Hib.A 7.3 (ed. Flechner, 1:39) = Stat. eccl. ant., c. 97 (ed. Munier, 183); Hib.A 9.1 (ed. Flechner, 1:40) = Stat. eccl. ant., c. 94 (ed. Munier, 182); Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:68, lines 7–8 and Hib.A 65.18 (ed. Flechner, 1:466) = Stat. eccl. ant., c. 77 (ed. Munier, 178); Hib 39.12 (ed. Flechner, 1:303) = Stat. eccl. ant., c. 80 (ed. Munier, 179); and Hib 46.19 (ed. Flechner, 1:394) = Stat. eccl. ant., cc. 65–67 (ed. Munier, 176–77).

74 Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:92, lines 1–2 = Arles I (314), c. 15, ed. Munier, 12. Hib.A 27.11 (ed. Flechner, 1:188–89) = Orléans I (511), c. 1, ed. de Clercq (n. 46 above), 4–5. Hib.A 46.12 may also draw upon Agde (506), c. 15, ed. Munier, 201; but if so then the quotation is not exact.

75 Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:297, lines 9–11 = Siricius, Epistolae, 1.7, ed. Pierre Coustant, Epistolae Romanorum Pontificum et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a S. Clement I usque ad Innocentum III (Paris, 1721), col. 629; Hib.A 45.39 (ed. Flechner, 1:379) = Innocent I, Epistolae, 6.10 (ed. Coustant, col. 794); and Hib 46.12 (ed. Flechner, 1:388) = Innocent, Ep. 6.6 (ed. Coustant, col. 793).

76 Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:5, lines 4–6 = Canones apostolorum, c. 17, ed. Adolf Strewe, Die Canonessammlung des Dionysius Exiguus in der ersten Redaktion (Berlin, 1931), 6. Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:310, lines 1–10 = Canones apostolorum, c. 39 (ed. Strewe, 9).

77 Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:65, lines 11–14 = Cassian, De institutis coenobiorum, 5.23.3 and 5.35, ed. Michael Petschenig, CSEL 17 (Vienna, 1888), 101 and 108.

78 Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:360, lines 17–19; compare Excerpta de libris Romanorum et Francorum, c. 47, ed. Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 144. Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:426, lines 6–7; compare Excerpta, c. 26 (ed. Bieler, 140). The uncertainty here is the result of the debated date of the Excerpta. See the discussion in Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:100* and the works cited therein.

79 Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:113, lines 13–15 and 1:114, lines 7–8. Compare Innocent, Ep. 2.6, ed. Coustant, Epistolae Romanorum Pontificum, cols. 749–50; and Cummian, Epistola, lines 276–77, ed. Maura Walsh and Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Cummian's Letter “De controversia paschali” (Toronto, 1988), 92.

80 Hib. 32.1 (ed. Flechner, 1:231) = Synodus I S. Patricii, c. 20, ed. Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 56.

81 Innocent, Epistolae, 2.6 (ed. Coustant, cols. 749–50): “Si maiores causae in medium fuerint deuolutae, ad sedem apostolicam, sicut synodus statuit, et beata consuetudo exigit, post iudicium episcopale referantur.”

82 Cummian, Epistola, lines 276–77 (ed. Walsh and Ó Cróinín, 92): “‘si causae fuerint maiores,’ iuxta decretum sinodicum, ‘ad capud urbium sint referendae’.” Hib.B, ed. Flechner 1:113, lines 13–15: “Canones Romanorum dicunt: Causa uniuscuiusque prouinciae non referenda ad alteram. Si autem maiores causae fuerint exortae, ad caput urbium sunt refferendae”; and Hib.B, ed. Flechner 1:114, lines 7–8: “Canones Romani: Si autem maiores cause fuerint exorte, ad caput urbium sunt referende.”

83 Walsh and Ó Cróinín, Cummian's Letter, 48–49 and 92–93n.

84 Hib. 32.1 (ed. Flechner, 1:231) = Synodus I S. Patricii, c. 20 (ed. Bieler, 56). The date and authenticity of the Patrician text has been variously understood. See the summary in T. M. Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland (Cambridge, 2000), 245–50, and the works cited therein.

85 On the uses of Romanitas in Patrick's letter to Coroticus, see Roy Flechner, Saint Patrick Retold: The Legend and History of Ireland's Patron Saint (Princeton, 2019), 44–45; and Patrick Wadden, “British Identity in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: Some Aspects of Continuity and Change,” Early Medieval Europe 30 (2022): 45–72. Whatever the authenticity of the Synodus I Patricii, the compilers clearly took it to be Patrick's work, and regularly attributed its canons to him. For these and others ascribed to Patrick, see Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:156* (table 3).

86 Canons attributed to Hibernenses in one or both of the recensions of Hib and which can be firmly sourced in Irish texts are Hib.A 47.5 (ed. Flechner, 1:397) = Synodus Hibernensis, c. 9 (ed. Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 170); Hib 52.5 (ed. Flechner, 1:413–14) = De canibus sinodus sapientium, c. 1 (ed. Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 174); and Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:460, lines 3–10 = Muirchú, Vita Patricii, 2.5–6, ed. Ludwig Bieler, The Patrician Texts in the Book of Armagh (Dublin, 1979), 116.

87 See n. 6, above.

88 Hib 58.2 (ed. Flechner, 1:435), ascribed to sinodus Hibernensis in Hib.A; compare Synodus Luci Victorie, c. 4, ed. Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 68. Hib 36.37 (ed. Flechner, 1:276), ascribed to sinodus Hibernensis in Hib.B; compare Fragmenta Gildae, no. 7, ed. Michael Winterbottom, Gildas: The Ruin of Britain and Other Works (London, 1978), 88. Flechner also discusses one additional canon (Hib 28.5) which resembles a passage from the Breton Excerpta de libris Romanorum et Francorum concerning the killing of thieves at night. See Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:99*–100*. Here, however, there are difficulties since the two passages are not identical and may both have been independently influenced by Exod. 22:2–3, which expresses the same view about the night-time deaths of thieves. There are also complications in determining whether the Excerpta really does pre-date the compilation of Hib (see above, n. 78), and also in the fact that although the canon is common to both recensions of Hib, its association with a sinodus Hibernensis is only implied in one manuscript of the B-recension (see Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:195 and apparatus).

89 See Paenitentiale Cummeani, 9.13, ed. Bieler, Irish Penitentials, 126; with further discussion in Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:55*, n. 3; 1:100*; and 2:885, n. 561.

90 See Richard Sharpe, “Gildas as a Father of the Church,” in Gildas: New Approaches, ed. Michael Lapidge and David Dumville (Woodbridge, 1984), 193–205. The florilegium survives now in a ninth-century manuscript (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 279, pp. 11–105), and is transcribed, under the title of the Collectio canonum Turonensis, as an appendix to Michael D. Elliot, “Canon Law Collections in England ca 600–1066: The Manuscript Evidence” (Ph.D. diss., University of Toronto, 2013), 691–728 (appendix 8). Some of the extracts are also extant in the two manuscripts which transmit the oldest recension of the “Second Synod of St. Patrick,” and have been edited by Breen, “Date, Provenance and Authorship (n. 11 above), 121–22.

91 Elliot, “Canon Law Collections,” 692–93. Elliot rightly emphasizes that this assessment applies to the extant text in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 279, and suggests that the florilegium may have been more clearly organised when first compiled; but from the examples discussed here, one suspects that the manuscript which was available to the compilers of the Hibernensis was no less ambiguous than that which now survives.

92 Hib 36.31 (ed. Flechner, 1:271–72) = Fragmenta Gildae, no. 3 (ed. Winterbottom, 143). Flechner's apparatus does not identify the source as Gildas, but see Stephen Joyce, “Memories of Gildas: Gildas and the Collectio canonum Hibernensis,” in Prophecy, Fate and Memory in the Early and Medieval Celtic World, ed. Jonathan M. Wooding and Lynette Olson (Sydney, 2020), 148–69, at 156–57. Two manuscripts of the B-recension (S and V) do recognize the passage as a paraphrase of 2 Tim. 3:1–5, and attribute it accordingly to Paul.

93 The preceding extract in the florilegium is Fragmenta Gildae, no. 2 (ed. Winterbottom, 143), which ends with a statement taken from Jer. 9:21 (“. . . quibus mors intrauit per fenestras eleuationis”). In the extant manuscript, a marginal gloss (which reads “Hieremias dicit”) seeks to indicate the source of Gildas's words here, but it is placed so close to the rubric introducing the next item that the gloss and the rubric are easily conflated, as the compilers of the Hibernensis must have done from the manuscript available to them. See Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 279, p. 50.

94 Hib 36.37 (ed. Flechner, 1:276) = Fragmenta Gildae, no. 7 (ed. Winterbottom, 145). In the A-recension, the passage is attributed instead to Ezekiel. Other passages from Gildas which appear in one or both recensions either without attribution altogether or with attributions which are erroneous are Hib 1.16, 36.32 and 38.9 (ed. Flechner, 1:15, 1:272, and 1:295). In MS V, Gildasian passages are consistently reattributed to Gelasius, but that is simply a feature of that manuscript's general handling of insular details. See Maurice P. Sheehy, “The Collectio Canonum Hibernensis — a Celtic Phenomenon,” in Die Iren und Europa im früheren Mittelalter, ed. Heinz Löwe, 2 vols. (Stuttgart, 1982), 1:525–35, at 527.

95 Bury, Life of St. Patrick (n. 8 above), 238.

96 Gregory I. Halfond, The Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, AD 511–768 (Leiden, 2010), 24 and 169–70; see also 223–45 (appendix A) for an immediate sense of the very variable survival of sources for the attested councils of the period.

97 The quotation is from Richard Sharpe's review of Walsh and Ó Cróinín, Cummian's Letter, in Journal of Theological Studies, n.s. 41 (1990): 271–74, at 273; expanding on the argument of his “Armagh and Rome in the Seventh Century,” in Irland und Europa: Die Kirche, ed. Ní Chatháin and Richter (n. 2 above), 58–72. See also Hughes, The Church in Early Irish Society (n. 2 above), 111–20; Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland (n. 84 above), 416–40; and Carole Neuman de Vegvar, “Romanitas and Realpolitik in Cogitosus’ Description of the Church of St. Brigit, Kildare,” in The Cross Goes North: Processes of Conversion in Northern Europe, AD 300–1300, ed. Martin Carver (York, 2003), 153–70.

98 “Multa quidem ad nos a Romanis scripta librorum exemplaria peruenerunt in quibus nonnulla quae in nostris ante codicibus librariorum neglegentia deprauata sunt emendatiora repperimus.” The letter is edited by Richard Sharpe, “An Irish Textual Critic and the Carmen paschale of Sedulius: Colmán's Letter to Feradach,” Journal of Medieval Latin 2 (1992): 44–54, with discussion of this passage at 44–45.

99 “Mo-Chuoróc maccu Neth Sémon, quem Romani doctorem totius mundi nominabant.” The note is edited with discussion in Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, “Mo-Sinnu moccu Min and the Computus of Bangor,” Peritia 1 (1982): 281–95.

100 There are two further texts whose passing references to “Romans” have been interpreted in this way. One is the Hiberno-Latin commentary on the Psalms preserved in Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 68, which on three occasions (fols. 4r–5r, in headings to Psalms 49, 52 and 59) attributes a particular exegetical interpretation to Romani, understood in connection with a “Roman party” by Martin McNamara, Glossa in Psalmos: The Hiberno-Latin Gloss on the Psalms of Codex Palatinus Latinus 68, Studi e testi 310 (Vatican, 1986), 40–43 and 75. The other is the text printed by Bradshaw as the “Litany of Irish Saints II” (HBS 62, 59–75 [no. 8]), which invokes a number of “Romans” — clearly understood as being resident in Ireland, it must be said, but present also alongside numerous others including “Saxons,” “Egyptians,” and “dogheads”: a connection with a “Roman party” is posited by Sarah Sanderlin, “The Date and Provenance of the ‘Litany of Irish Saints II’ (the Irish Litany of Pilgrim Saints),” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 75C (1975): 251–62, at 255–56; but interpreted differently by Kathleen Hughes, “On an Irish Litany of Pilgrim Saints Compiled c. 800,” Analecta Bollandiana 77 (1959): 305–331, at 311–13; repr. in Hughes, Church and Society (n. 12 above), no. XIII.

101 Corning, Celtic and Roman Traditions (n. 10 above), 105–107.

102 Ullmann, “Use of the Term Romani” (n. 61 above), 157.

103 Hib, 20.6 (ed. Flechner, 1:115): “Romano more et . . . unitate aeclesie.” Compare also Hib 51.6, and Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:113, lines 13–15.

104 Compare Hib, 21.27, 27.11, 38.16, 41.8, 45.36 (ed. Flechner, 1:136, 188, 298, 318, and 376), and Hib.B, ed. Flechner, 1:337, lines 9–10.

105 Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:70*; see also Roy Flechner, “The Problem of Originality in Early Medieval Canon Law: Legislating by Means of Contradictions in the Collectio Hibernensis,” Viator 43 (2012): 29–48.

106 Charles-Edwards, T. M., The Early Mediaeval Gaelic Lawyer (Cambridge, 1999), 6Google Scholar; Corning, Celtic and Roman Traditions, 104–105; Stacey, Robin Chapman, Dark Speech: The Performance of Law in Early Ireland (Philadelphia, 2007), 179CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Flechner, Roy, “An Insular Tradition of Ecclesiastical Law: Fifth to Eighth Century,” in Anglo-Saxon/Irish Relations before the Vikings, ed. Graham-Campbell, James and Ryan, Michael (Oxford, 2009), 2246Google Scholar, at 39–42; Meeder, “Text and Identities” (n. 9 above), 24–25; Meeder, Sven, The Irish Scholarly Presence at St. Gall: Networks of Knowledge in the Early Middle Ages (London, 2018), 88CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:70*; and Flechner, Roy, Making Laws for a Christian Society: The “Hibernensis” and the Beginnings of Church Law in Ireland and Britain (London, 2021), 6465CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

107 For the date and the probable connection with the Easter controversy, see Flechner, Hibernensis, 1:59*–61*.

108 Hib, 51.6 (ed. Flechner, 1:409–10): “Britones toto mundi contrarii, moribus Romanis inimici.” Compare also Hib 20.6 (ed. Flechner, 1:115). Flechner contrasts the near absence of Easter in Hib with the norms of other late antique and early medieval canonical collections: Hibernensis, 2:882, n. 534. Immo Warntjes also comments on the significance that the issue is attached only to the Britons. See “Victorius vs Dionysius: The Irish Easter Controversy of AD 689,” in Early Medieval Ireland and Europe: Chronology, Contacts, Scholarship. A Festschrift for Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, ed. Pádraic Moran and Immo Warntjes (Turnhout, 2015), 33–97, at 37–38, n. 16.

109 Columbanus, Epistulae, 5.11, ed. Walker, Columbani opera (n. 36 above), 48: “Nos enim, ut ante dixi, deuincti sumus cathedrae sancti Petri; licet enim Roma magna est et uulgata, per istam cathedram tantum apud nos est magna et clara.” See Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland (n. 84 above), 374–75; Bracken, Damian, “Authority and Duty: Columbanus and the Primacy of Rome,” Peritia 16 (2002): 168213Google Scholar; and Damian Bracken, “Rome and the Isles: Ireland, England and the Rhetoric of Orthodoxy,” in Anglo-Saxon/Irish Relations, ed. Graham-Campbell and Ryan, 75–98.