Mc Carthy, Daniel P., “The chronology of S. Brigit of Kildare”, Peritia 14 (2000): 255–281.
- journal article
This is a critical chronological and textual analysis of all annalistic entries on the life of St Brigit of Kildare. It emerges that AT and CS have best preserved the chronology originally given Brigit in the Iona chronicle which placed her death at ad 524, aged 86 years. AU and AI transmit a later tradition, subsequently interpolated into the Iona chronicle, that she died aged 70. It is argued that the author of the original Iona chronicle entries was St Columba, a competent computist and near-contemporary of Brigit. Hence his chronology is trustworthy. To check this, a chronological evaluation of the earliest surviving Vitae S. Brigitae reveals that the chronology of all the individuals found jointly in the Vita I and the annals is consistent, implying that both sources have transmitted a chronology which is essentially correct, a result which supports the historical priority of Vita I over Vita II. Finally, examination of the context of Cogitosus’s date for Brigit’s death shows that he aligned it to correspond with existing non-christian celebrations already held in Kildare.
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