Vita sancti Ethbini
Short, anonymous vita of St Ethbin, al. Idiunet/Idunet (in the Quimper MS), a fellow monk of Winwaloe. BHL 2621.
The life suggests that Ethbin was of noble British origin. After his father died, his mother entrusted him to Samson, bishop of Dol, and he soon left to enter the monastery of Tauracus, which was presided over by one Similianus. There he met Winwaloe (here identified as sacerdos et monachus), with whom he shared a miraculous experience: they welcomed a leper, who ultimately revealed himself to be an appearance of Christ. Finally, after the Franks had come and destroyed the monastery, Ethbin moved to Ireland, where he performed a miracle at St Brigit’s tomb and spent the remainder of his life as a hermit in silva que Nectensis dicitur.
Ethbin’s connection to Winwaloe is commonly explained as an innovation on the part of the monks of Landévennec. In Quimper MS 16, Ethbin is identified by a second name, Idunet or Idiunet, although after three pages, it is not mentioned again. The intention may have been to reinforce the connection because one of the charters in the same MS uses the same name for a brother of St Winwaloe.
E. Vallerie has suggested that the use of Ethbin’s links to Samson and the former monastery of Tauracus had political aims: that it was designed to affirm the rights and claims of Landévennec over the territory around of Tauracus, which he identifies as Saint-Taulé (Carantec, Finistère).
- Beati Idiuneti confessoris vitam scripturus, peto habere suffragatorem quem ipse in se habuit habitatorem
The text is usually dated to the 10th or 11th century.
By 914 the monks of Landévennec had fled the Normans and found refuge in the abbey of Montreuil-sur-Mer (Normandy), where they appear to have introduced the cult of Winwaloe/Gwenolé (Walloi). Two decades later, c.935, the monks returned to Landévennec.
Amy Varin has suggested that Ethbin may have been of local importance to Montreuil-sur-Mer and that it was during this time of contact between both abbeys (914 x c.935 or later) that a life was written for him, one that was closely modelled after that of Winwaloe; and that Ethbin’s vita was taken to Landévennec, where he was not previously known.
No description availableSee more Ghent, Blandijnberg abbeyGhent, Blandijnberg abbey
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It appears that with the help of Arnulf, count of Flanders, the cults of both Winwaloe and Ethbin were later introduced at the monastery of Blandinberg in Ghent, which may help explain the route of transmission to the abbeys of Marchiennes and Anchin, which produced the legendaries now in Douai.
Shorter version of the Latin Life of Winwaloeus (Gwenolé), abridged from the longer version written by Wrdisten. BHL suppl. 8956d. In addition to being generally shorter, it also adds to it by borrowing an episode from the vita of St Ethbin, in which Christ appears to Gwenolé and Ethbin as a leper.Vita sancti Ethbini/EgbiniVita sancti Ethbini/Egbini
A short redaction of the vita of St Ethbin, here called Egbinus, from the hagiographic collection of John of Tynemouth.
Edition headed Acta sancti Ethbini, ex Ms. Aquicintino, coll. cum. Ms. Marchianensi a., and Vita sancti Ethbini, levitae et confessoris, discipuli S. Winwaloei.
Secondary sources (select)
Contents: Introduction (1-2) -- La vie de saint Guénolé (3-39) -- La vie de saint Idunet (41-46) -- Le cartulaire de Landevenec (47-77) -- Conclusion (79-82) -- Appendice I: les possessions territoriales de l'abbaye d Landevenec aux XIe siècle (83-90) -- Appendice II: la vie de saint Ronan (91-95) -- Appendice III: la plus ancienne vie de saint Guénolé (97-112) -- [plate].
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