A dove song : the "miraculous" foundation and growth of Bobbio Abbey

Ward, Elena (2018) A dove song : the "miraculous" foundation and growth of Bobbio Abbey. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

Legend has it that an ancient Irish monk known by the name of Columbanus, literally meaning ‘little dove’, morphed into a swan when he achieved his final ambition by founding Bobbio Abbey just a year before he died. The Abbey prospered in an exceptionally short period of time and outlasted him by twelve centuries. This dissertation will analyse the propitious circumstances leading to its foundation in a secluded, but hospitable environment on the border of the fledgling Lombard Kingdom. 1 Neither the Lombard King nor his Queen were bona fide Catholics. 2 Columbanus had a controversial reputation. Yet, they welcomed him with open arms and bestowed the Abbey with gifts from day one. In his letter to Pope Boniface, Columbanus defines his encounter with the royal couple as a miraculous event.3 His journey from Ireland to continental Europe was dictated by God’s will; an angel had inspired him to leave Switzerland for Italy.4 In order to unravel the historical events underpinning Bobbio’s birth a two-fold approach has been employed. Firstly, information from a range of primary sources on Columbanus, the Abbey and the Lombards was gathered. The ensuing data was then contextualized with the help of recent historical, philological and archaeological research in English and Italian. The settlement of new ethnic groups in former Roman territories represented a precarious time of transition. It was a synergy between the Columban hard line brand of Catholicism and the centralisation of religious and political authority that created Bobbio Abbey and kick-started the shift of power from former Roman civitas to Lombard monastic institutions. Although the reasons for Bobbio’s success have turned out to be ‘strategic’, it is doubtful that Columbanus and his fellow monks could have faced so many hardships and persevered in their undertakings if they had not been sustained by an unrelenting faith

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Columbanus Bobbio Abbey Monasticism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Sandra Stedman
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 13:23
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 10:05
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1702

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