What's a hun in Ireland



(shorthand excerpt from a presentation by Dr. Magdalen Bless)

  • England was under Roman influence until AD 400 and was Christianized
  • Ireland and Scotland are not influenced by the Romans as they are of no interest to the empire
  • The continent west of the Rhine is also under Roman influence and has been Christianized. The Pope resides in Trier. Pagan Germanic tribes live east of the Rhine
  • End of the 4th century Migration: the Huns invade the east, the Germanic tribes to the west. They probably influence Christianity, that is, the inhabitants fall back into pagan customs.
  • During the period of the Great Migration (penetration of “barbaric”, pagan Germanic peoples into the much more highly developed Roman Empire), continental Europe is at a cultural low point. Ireland stands out from this, with its scholars. Not only Irish, but also British and continental Europeans who are hungry for education study in Irish monasteries.
  • Ireland retains its great Celtic culture (after the Greek and Latin the most important written culture in Europe)
  • Ireland and India have something in common: Ireland is the western border area, India the eastern border area of ​​the Indo-European or Indo-European cultural area. Form in India Brahmins the socially respected scholarly class, in Ireland the poets and Druids (the highest druid is equal to the king). Kings are closely related to the druids and listen to their advice.
  • Scholars have had many years of training with a great deal of memorization. You are the keeper of oral tradition.
  • Christianity arrives in Ireland later than on the continent, but more continuously. Ireland remains unaffected by the great migration. (5th century).
  • Christianity in Ireland has only been documented in writing since the 5th century (St. Patrick, from Britain, missionized around 432 in Ireland)
  • Patrick mentions monks in his writings. From the early 6th century onwards, the Irish Church was predominantly monastic (numerous monasteries, monks, abbots and individual abbesses set the tone in the church)
  • Thanks to their training (scholarship, science and books are important to Irish monks), monks are spiritual leaders and competitors, later successors of the Druids.
  • Irish monastic rules also emphasize asceticism, ie the control of desires directed towards the outside world (a long tradition in Indo-European culture, in India the yogins played an important role). The idea is that the ascetic, by denying physical needs and mortifying, can bundle his inner forces in such a way that he can come to special knowledge and break natural laws. Healing powers, visionary gifts and influence on nature are expected from the ascetic
  • Peculiarities of Irish Christianity:
    . Abbeys and monasteries instead of dioceses
    . other calculation of the Easter date (same as the Eastern Orthodox Churches)
    . Ear confession instead of public confession of sins in front of the whole congregation
    . Another baptism ritual - in addition to the head, the feet are also moistened with water
    . Druidic tonsure (from ear to ear, shaving of the forehead) instead of circular tonsure
  • Monasteries are connected to one another and sometimes grow into monastery towns with several thousand residents. There are no such big places in the profane area. In the monasteries, the important family structure in Ireland, which ensures the protection and rights of its members, is continued.
  • The monasteries develop into religious, cultural, educational, economic and pastoral centers on the island. In the monasteries there is eager teaching, learning and research, and books are copied and decorated with the greatest of art and care.
  • Peregrinatio: a peculiarity of the Irish monasticism is the peregrinatio pro Christo, ie leaving one's home for Christ. The idea behind this is that the Christian is a stranger in this world, because the real home, the goal of the journey through life, is the hereafter, the coming home to Christ in heaven.
    In ancient Ireland someone is defenseless and has no rights if they leave the territory of their own clan. There are now monks who undertake precisely this kind of asceticism, voluntary exile, and found hermitages in remote wastelands. This is called “green martyrdom”. However, since in Ireland these voluntarily exiled people enjoy the same protection as a king or bishop, it is no longer an actual banishment, no self-renunciation. For this reason, other groups of monks leave Ireland and move abroad as outlaws. You are looking for the so-called "white martyrdom". For the homesick Irish, this voluntary exile is considered a heroic act.
  • The first Irish abbot to leave Ireland forever for the continent with a group of monks in the sense of the Peregrinatio pro ChristoColumban the Younger (543-615). He lived in the monastery for years Bangor (founded around 558, one of the most important spiritual centers in Ireland). With 12 companions, including Gallus, the 50-year-old is leaving Ireland.
  • At the request of the Frankish King Childebert II, Columban settles in the former Burgundy and founds three monasteries in the Vosges: Annegray, Luxeuil, Fontaine.
  • There are already monasteries in Gaul in the late 4th century, but like the episcopal seats of Gaul they are primarily a domain of the native, Romanized Gaulish upper class, who are initially closed to the poorly educated new Franconian overlords. The Irish model of Columban's monastery, which is outside the power of bishops, breaks through this Romanesque ecclesiastical structure. Immediately the sons of Franconian nobles poured into Columban's monasteries and became monks or were trained here. With the new monasteries, the Franconian nobility emancipated themselves from the traditional Romanesque structures, which is why they sustainably supported them.
  • Thanks to those started by Columban Irish Scottish In the 7th century, almost 330 monasteries were founded, especially in the north of the Franconian Empire.
  • The merits of the book-enthusiastic, learned Irish monks lie in the preservation of the written form and the tradition of ancient literature in early medieval Europe.
  • Monastery rule of Columban (at times more common than the Rule of Benedict):
    . at the top is the humility, which are, for example, in obedience of the monk to the superior
    . by the monks willmental concentration expected
    . they are supposed to humble lifestyle care for
    . Renunciation of personal possessions
    . chaste Life
    . meager meals
    . remain silent in favor of inner concentration and meditation
    . prayer and mental activities (Studying, reading and writing)
    . job in agriculture, construction, nursing, guest care, education
  • People come to the monasteries looking for spiritual instruction, advice, healing, food, and buying and selling goods
  • The message of the monks consists less in words than in the example of the Christian message and with their agricultural knowledge, the education of the nobility and the practical and spiritual services they cover the concrete needs of the people. The example leads the population to Christianity.
  • After almost 20 years of service, Columban and his monks are expelled because he does not want to bless the illegitimate sons and grandsons of King Theuderic II (and probably at the urging of the bishops).
  • Return to Nantes, stranding of the ship, return to Metz via Soissons and Paris. King Theudebert II welcomes him and sends him with a missionary order and a letter of protection to the mostly pagan Alemanni and Celto-Romans on the eastern edge of his empire. Goal: better integration into the Franconian Empire.
  • This transforms the originally purely spiritual pilgrimage into a missionary mandate. The Mönchsgruppe therefore moves up the Rhine to what is now Switzerland.
  • Via Zurich (old Roman settlement Turicum) you get along the lake Tuggen.
  • To prove the impotence of the pagan gods, they set the temples on fire and destroy the pagan sanctuaries, which is why their lives are sought, which causes them to flee.
  • You can get there via Ricken and Toggenburg Arbon (also Roman settlement Arbor Felix). There they meet a Christian community and the priest Willimar. This advises them to stay in the former Roman, now disintegrated place Bregenzto settle down.
  • Here, too, they spoil it with the population with their solid evidence of the impotence of the pagan gods and are also driven out (2 monks are killed).
  • 612 Columban fled Bregenz and wandered up the Rhine over the Alps to Italy into the Longobard Empire. The local King Agilulf is so taken with Columban that he converted to Catholicism and accepted it Bobbio assigns a site for the construction of a monastery in an Apennine valley in the province of Piacenza. The San Colombano Abbey becomes famous for its scriptorium and rich library, which also includes important Irish manuscripts.
  • Columban died in Bobbio in 615 at the age of 75.
  • Gallus stayed in Bregenz with fever / rebelliously in 612, drove back to Arbon and met with Willimar. Together they look for a place for Gallus to retreat and find it on the Steinach, in today's St. Gallen. In 640 Gallus dies at the age of 95.