Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe from the Archaeology in Europe web site

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


The work of the medieval saint often began even before birth; the earliest text telling the life story of 6th-century Gildas has him making important pronouncements from the safety of his mother’s womb.  Even after death, patron saints were portrayed in the exercise of astonishing powers. The author of the vernacular Irish text which recounts the life of Saint Bairre of Cork sees the saint resurrect a king’s dead wife by bathing her. The Welsh saint, Beino, is recorded as reducing a recalcitrant king to a pool of water, by force of words alone, a feat worthy of Game of Thrones.
A conference which took place in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge saw the launch of a project to categorise and chart the thousands of miracle stories recorded about saints of the British Isles between 500 and 1300.  The meeting, Mapping the Miraculous: Hagiographical Motifs and the Medieval World, had been organised by three graduate students at Cambridge – Robert Gallagher, Julianne Pigott and Sarah Waidler – in collaboration with a colleague from St Andrews, Jennifer Key.

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