World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hiberno-Scottish mission

Article Id: WHEBN0003753513
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hiberno-Scottish mission  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of Christianity in Scotland, Celtic Christianity, Papar, Marianus Scotus of Mainz, Christianity in Medieval Scotland
Collection: Anglo-Saxon Christianity, Celtic Christianity, Christian Missions, Christianity in Belgium, Christianity in England, Christianity in France, Christianity in Ireland, Christianity in Scotland, Christianity in the Netherlands, Early Middle Ages, History of Christianity in England, History of Christianity in France, History of Christianity in Germany, History of Christianity in Scotland, History of Christianity in the Netherlands, History of Ireland, History of Scotland, History of the Germanic Peoples, Medieval Germany, Medieval Scotland, Roman Catholic Missionary Work
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hiberno-Scottish mission

Fresco of Saint Columbanus in Brugnato Cathedral

The Hiberno-Scottish mission was a


  • Crawford, Barbara (ed.), Scotland In Dark Age Britain (St Andrews, 1996)
  • Original Catholic Encyclopedia text of this article

External links

  1. ^ a b c Ott, Michael (1912). "Schottenklöster". The Catholic Encyclopedia 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 


See also

  • Bowen, E. G. (1977). Saints, Seaways and Settlements in the Celtic Lands. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.  
  • Shaw, Frank, ed. (1981). Karl der Große und die Schottischen Heiligen. Nach der Handschrift Harley 3971 der Britischen Bibliothek London [Karl the Great and the Scottish Saints. After the manuscript Harley 3971 in the British Library (London)]. Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters [German Texts of the Middle Ages] (in Deutsch) LXXI. Berlin (DDR): Akademie-Verlag. 


In 1692 Abbot Placidus Flemming of Ratisbon reorganized the Scottish congregation which now comprised the monasteries of Ratisbon Regensburg, Erfurt, and Würzburg, the only remaining Schottenklöster in Germany. He also erected a seminary in connection with the monastery at Ratisbon. But the forced secularization of monasteries in 1803 put an end to the Scottish abbeys of Erfurt and Würzburg, leaving St. James's at Ratisbon as the only surviving Schottenkloster in Germany. Though since 1827 this monastery was again permitted to accept novices, the number of its monks dwindled down to two capitulars in 1862. There being no hope of any increase, Pope Pius IX suppressed this last Schottenkloster in his brief of 2 September 1862. Its revenues were distributed between the diocesan seminary of Ratisbon and the Scots College at Rome.

In the 14th and 15th centuries most of these monasteries were on the decline, partly for want of Scottish or Irish monks, and partly on account of great laxity of discipline and financial difficulties. In consequence, the abbeys of Nuremberg and Vienna were withdrawn from the Scottish congregation and repeopled by German monks in 1418. St. James's Abbey, Würzburg was left without any monks after the death of Abbot Philip in 1497. It was then re-peopled by German monks and in 1506 joined the congregation of Bursfeld. In 1595, however, it was restored to the Scottish congregation and continued to be occupied by Scottish monks until its suppression in 1803. The abbey of Constance began to decline in the first half of the 15th century and was suppressed in 1530. That of Memmingen also disappeared during the early period of the Protestant Reformation. The Abbey of Holy Cross at Eichstatt seems to have ceased early in the 14th century. In consequence of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland many Scottish Benedictines left their country and took refuge in the Schottenklöster of Germany during the 16th century. The Scottish monasteries in Ratisbon, Erfurt, and Würzburg again began to flourish temporarily, but all endeavours to regain the monasteries of Nuremberg, Vienna, and Constance for monks of Scottish nationality were useless.

14th century onwards

Towards the end of the 11th and in the 12th century a number of Schottenklöster, intended for Scottish and Irish monks exclusively, sprang up in Germany. About 1072, three Scottish monks, Marianus, Iohannus, and Candidus, took up their abode at the little Church of Weih-St-Peter at Regensburg (called Ratisbon in older literature). Their number soon increased and a larger monastery was built for them (about 1090) by Burgrave Otto of Regensburg and his brother Henry. This became the famous Scots Monastery of St. James in Regensburg, the mother-house of a series of other Schottenklöster. It founded the Abbeys of St. James at Würzburg (about 1134), St. Aegidius at Nuremberg (1140), St. James at Constance (1142), Our Blessed Lady at Vienna (1158), St. Nicolas at Memmingen (1168), Holy Cross at Eichstätt (1194), and the Priory of Kelheim (1231). These, together with the Abbey of St. James at Erfurt (1036), and the Priory of Weih-St-Peter at Ratisbon formed the famous congregation of the German Schottenklöster which was erected by Innocent III in 1215, with the Abbot of St. James at Ratisbon as abbot-general.

The rule of St. Columbanus, which was originally followed in most of these monasteries, was soon superseded by that of St. Benedict. Later Gaelic missionaries founded Honau in Baden (about 721), Murbach in Upper Alsace (about 727), Altomünster in Upper Bavaria (about 749), while other Gaelic monks restored St. Michel in Thiérache (940), Walsort near Namur (945), and, at Cologne, the Monasteries of St. Clement (about 953), St. Martin (about 980), St. Symphorian (about 990), and St. Pantaléon (1042).

Among the Irish monks who were active in Central Europe were two particularly important theologians, Marianus Scotus and Johannes Scotus Eriugena. Legends surrounding Hiberno-Scottish foundations are recorded in a Middle High German text known as Charlemagne and the Scottish Saints (BL Harley 3971).

Irish monks known as Papar are said to have been present in Iceland before its settlement from 874 AD onwards by the Norse. The oldest source mentioning the Papar is the Íslendingabók ("Book of the Icelanders"), between 1122 and 1133. Such figures are also mentioned in the Icelandic Landnámabók ("Book of Settlements", possibly going back to the early 12th century) which states that the Norse found Irish priests, with bells and crosiers, at Iceland at the time of their arrival.

Hiberno-Scottish activity in Europe gradually declined after the death of Columbanus. There were monastic foundations in Anglo-Saxon Britain, the first in about 630 at "Cnobheresburgh", an unknown place in East Anglia but possibly Burgh Castle mentioned by Bede. Others such as Malmesbury Abbey, perhaps Bosham, and Glastonbury Abbey had strong Irish links, even if they already existed before the arrival of the Hiberno-Scots. The profile of Iona declined, and from 698 until the reign of Charlemagne in the 770s, the Hiberno-Scottish efforts in the Frankish Empire were continued by the Anglo-Saxon mission—see Germanic Christianity.

Schottenportal at the Scottish Monastery, Regensburg

After Columbanus (8th to 13th centuries)

Columbanus was active in the Frankish Empire from 590, establishing monasteries until his death at Bobbio in 615. He arrived on the continent with twelve companions and founded Annegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines in France and Bobbio in Italy. During the 7th century the disciples of Columbanus and other Scottish and Irish missionaries founded several monasteries in what are now France, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. The best known are: St. Gall in Switzerland, Disibodenberg in the Rhine Palatinate, St. Paul's at Besançon, Lure and Cusance in the Diocese of Besançon, Beze in the Diocese of Langres, Remiremont Abbey and Moyenmoutier Abbey in the Diocese of Toul, Fosses-la-Ville in the Diocese of Liège, Mont Saint-Quentin at Péronne, Ebersmunster in Lower Alsace, St. Martin's at Cologne, the Scots Monastery, Regensburg, Vienna, Erfurt and Würzburg. In Italy, Fiesole produced Saint Donatus of Fiesole and Andrew the Scot of Fiesole. Another early Schottenkloster was Säckingen in Baden, founded by the Irish missionary Fridolin of Säckingen who is said to have founded another at Konstanz. Other Hiberno-Scottish missionaries active at the time, predominantly in Swabia, were Wendelin of Trier, Kilian, Arbogast, Landelin, Trudpert, Pirmin (founded Reichenau abbey), Saint Gall (Abbey of St. Gall), Corbinian, Emmeram and Rupert of Salzburg.

Irish abbot and missionary Columba founded the abbey of Iona off the western coast of modern-day Scotland in 563. Following that was the foundation of Lindisfarne in 635 by the Irish monk Saint Aidan. The missions continued throughout most Anglo-Saxon kingdoms during the following decades; the last pagan Anglo-Saxon king, Arwald of the Isle of Wight, was killed in battle in 686.

Columba to Columbanus (563-615)


  • Columba to Columbanus (563-615) 1
  • After Columbanus (8th to 13th centuries) 2
  • 14th century onwards 3
  • Literature 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Schottenklöster (meaning "Gaelic monasteries" in German, singular: Schottenkloster) is the name applied to the monastic foundations of Scottish and Irish missionaries in Continental Europe, particularly to the Scottish Benedictine monasteries in Germany, which in the beginning of the 13th century were combined into one congregation whose abbot-general was the Abbot of the Scots monastery at Regensburg. Ireland's sobriquet "Island of Saints and Scholars" derives from this period, when scholars and missionaries from Ireland exerted great influence on Continental Europe.[1]

The Latin term Scotti refers to the Gaelic-speaking people of Ireland and the Irish who settled in western Scotland. In early medieval times Ireland was known not only as Éire but also as Scotia, a name that the Romans used at times to refer to Ireland as well as Scotland. By the end of the 11th century it generally referred to Scotland, which had become Gaelicised by settlers from Ireland, and from where the name Scotland derives. The Romans also gave Ireland the name "Hibernia". Thus, the "Scots" missionaries who were so influential in the early Church history of Germany included men from both modern countries Ireland and Scotland.[1]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.