CeLts an Christianity

Orkney Isles

Centers of the Celtic Church, and the Roman, Irish, and Anglo-Saxon missions between 560 and 750.

* Irish Celtic Church foundation

When in 617. the pagan King Aethelfrith of Northumbria is slain in battle by the East Anglian king. Aethelfrith's young son Oswald Is sent to lona for refuge, and brought up there as a Christian. In 634. Oswald returns as king to Northumbria and brings monks with him to begin converting Northumbrians to Christianity.

Celtic territories after 600

□ t a time when the world was being its ow n idiosyncratic style based on monasteries plunged into chaos by the barbarian rather than around episcopal churches, invasions, the sub-Roman Celts of Europe These monastic centers provided a cultural retained their newly found Christian beliefs, refuge from the upheavals that bedevilled the and even brought Christianity to their Celtic rest of the continent, and Celtic craftsmen and neighbors in Ireland through the efforts of scribes created devotional works in metal and

St. Patrick, now the patron saint of Ireland. parchment which rank among the most

These first missionaries fought against the spectacular pieces of art of the early medieval druidie order to establish a religious system that world. Of all these, the illuminated manuscripts was uniquely suited to the Celtic people it served. such as the Book of Kelts have come to epitomize Cut off from the developments of the rest of the cultural achievements of Celtic civilization.

Christian Europe, the Celtic Church developed The missionaries who converted the Irish were revered as saints, and their sense of purpose brought them to the Scots colony of Dal Riada, and then to the Pictish heartland of what is now Scotland. By 600 only the Anglo-Saxons of England remained pagan, surrounded by a Celtic fringe unified by | religion. At a time when the English were regarded by most as barbarians, the <« Scots and Irish were producing some

> of the finest examples of artistic

- endeav or in the world. However, the

^ Celtic church lacked the size and unity of its Roman rival, and when f s Roman Catholic missionaries

"^Bremen (788) converted the Anglo-Saxons,

S A X 0 n y the assimilation of the

^ Celtic church became inevitable.

Missions, with missionary name and date, where known: _St. Columb« (863) w

Irish missions

St Augustine 16001

Roman missions

Anglo-Saxon missions

« Lindisfarne



Left, above: This "pound headed" Celtic cross near Perranporth, Cornwall, England, which dates from about ap 900. has a distinct shape that is very different from the contemporary high crosses of northern England and Ireland.

K *Wh.thorn




Armagh Kells • iND

Clonard *

Clonmacnoise i Clonfert i


• Chester i Bangoris-y-coed

• Lincoln iArdagh


Hampton i Lismore


ANGLIA (653)1


Columba ( 590;




• Gloucester furzburg (742)

Dinas Powys

London (604)






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