Defining Late Antiquity

I've been thinking lately about the coincidence that consensus seems to be developing around c. 750 as the end of "Late Antiquity" is the same time frame for the end of the Plague of Justinian. Do I think this is more than a coincidence? Yes, but not really causal. By that I mean that the... Continue Reading →

Being ‘in communion’

In the last post I referred to King Aldfrith and Adomnan of Iona not being "in communion" and it occurred to me that not everyone may know that this short for a specific ecclesiastical meaning. I think at this point in the early medieval period, churches were either in communion or out of communion. Today... Continue Reading →

Kingship in Early Northern Britain

When we write about 5-7th century kings we have this misplaced need to assign them a kingdom. We forget that when their contemporaries in neighboring kingdoms referred to them, they were usually referred to as King of Britons, King of Picts, King of Saxons. Within their people, they do refer to kings of tribes, or... Continue Reading →

Random thoughts on St Oswald at Prayer

From Bede's History III.12 (McClure and Collins, p. 129) "It is related, for example, that every often he [King Oswald] would continue in prayer from matins to daybreak; and because of his frequent habit of prayer and thanksgiving, he was always accustomed, whenever he sat, to place his hands on his knees with the palms... Continue Reading →

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