Johnston (Elva)

  • s. xx–xxi
  • (agents)
Ó Cróinín, Dáibhí, Máirín MacCarron, and Elva Johnston (eds), Peritia 31 (2020), Brepols.
Ó Cróinín, Dáibhí, and Elva Johnston (eds), Peritia 30 (2019), Brepols.
Johnston, Elva, “Religious change and frontier management: reassessing conversion in fourth- and fifth-century Ireland [2017 Farrell Lecture]”, Eolas: The Journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies 11 (2018): 104–119.  

The significant role of the frontier between Ireland and the Roman Empire for conversion to Christianity is underappreciated. Centuries of interaction brought the Irish into contact with their neighbors in a multitude of ways, peaceful and violent. The frontier’s importance is attested through material culture and religious change. The mission of Palladius, the first bishop to Irish Christian communities whose career can be dated securely, should be situated in these contexts. Arguably, his activities can be illuminated through examining models of diplomacy and frontier management. These rescue him from St. Patrick’s long shadow; they suggest that Palladius was as much a political envoy as a Christian bishop.

Johnston, Elva B., “Movers and shakers?: how women shaped the career of Columbanus”, in: Alexander OʼHara (ed.), Columbanus and the peoples of post-Roman Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. 69–89.
Johnston, Elva, “Mapping literate networks in early medieval Ireland”, in: Ralph Kenna, Máirín MacCarron, and Pádraig MacCarron (eds), Maths meets myths: quantitative approaches to ancient narratives, Springer, 2017. 195–211.
Johnston, Elva, When worlds collide? Pagans and Christians in fifth- and sixth-century Ireland, Kathleen Hughes Memorial Lectures, 16, Cambridge: ASNC, 2017.
Johnston, Elva, “Exiles from the edge? The Irish contexts of peregrinatio”, in: Sven Meeder, and Roy Flechner (eds), The Irish in early medieval Europe: identity, culture and religion, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 38–52.
Johnston, Elva, “Immacallam Choluim Chille 7 ind óclaig: language and authority in an early medieval Irish tale”, in: Emer Purcell, Paul MacCotter, Julianne Nyhan, and John Sheehan (eds), Clerics, kings and vikings: essays on medieval Ireland in honour of Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015. 418–428.
Johnston, Elva, Literacy and identity in early medieval Ireland, Studies in Celtic History, 33, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2013.
Johnston, Elva, “Kingship made real? Power and the public world in Longes mac nUislenn”, in: Fiona Edmonds, and Paul Russell (eds), Tome: studies in medieval Celtic history and law in honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards, 31, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2011. 193–206.
Johnston, Elva, “Munster, saints of (act. c.450–c.700)”, Oxford dictionary of national biography, Online: Oxford University Press, 2008–. URL: <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/51008>.
Johnston, Elva, “Urard mac Coise (d. 983 x 1023)”, Oxford dictionary of national biography, Online: Oxford University Press, 2004–. URL: <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17392>.
Johnston, Elva, “Senchán Torpéist (fl. 6th–7th cent.)”, Oxford dictionary of national biography, Online: Oxford University Press, 2004–. URL: <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/25084>.
Johnston, Elva, “(Various contributions)”, Oxford dictionary of national biography, Online: Oxford University Press, 2004–2008. URL: <http://www.oxforddnb.com>.
Johnston, Elva B., “The ‘pagan’ and ‘Christian’ identities of the Irish female saint”, in: Mark Atherton (ed.), Celts and Christians: new approaches to the religious traditions of Britain and Ireland, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2002. 60–78.
Johnston, Elva, “Powerful women or patriarchal weapons? Two medieval Irish saints”, Peritia 15 (2001): 302–310.  
The history of medieval Irish women is elusive, despite a rich variety of textual sources. These are often normative rather than descriptive and are a predominantly male clerical product. This paper will examine the dossiers of two female saints, both from Co Cork. It will ask whether we can identify female aspirations and female voices in the literary celebration of their careers. Are they models of female empowerment or do their representations ultimately support male power structures.
Johnston, Elva, “The salvation of the individual and the salvation of society in Siaburcharpat Con Culaind”, in: Joseph Falaky Nagy (ed.), The individual in Celtic literatures, 1, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001. 109–125.
Johnston, Elva, “Íte: patron of her people?”, Peritia 14 (2000): 421–428.  
St Íte, who flourished in the sixth century, founded the medieval Irish monastery of Killeedy, situated in Co Limerick. She was celebrated as a nurturer and protector of her people. This paper traces these representations and relate them to complex developments in the saint’s cult and to the gendered language used to describe her. This language had its origins in early medieval Ireland as well as in the controversies of christian communities in the later Roman empire.
Johnston, Elva, “Timahoe and the Loígse: monasticism”, in: Pádraig G. Lane, and William Nolan (eds), Laois, history & society: interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county, 13, Dublin: Geography Publications, 1999. 63–88.
Johnston, Elva, “Transforming women in Irish hagiography”, Peritia 9 (1995): 197–220.


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C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
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March 2018, last updated: July 2020