Vita I sancti Samsonis

  • Latin
  • prose
  • Breton texts, Hagiography

First extant Latin Life of St Samson, bishop of Dol. BHL 7478-7479.

ff. 137–158
Chartres, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 507
ff. 226v–230v
Ch. 1–21 only.
  • Latin
The date of the text has occasioned much discussion. Flobert dates the text to the middle of the 8th century.
prose (primary)


Breton textsBreton texts



origins of Brittany (narrative world), c. 4th-6th centuuries
origins of Brittany (narrative world), c. 4th-6th centuuries
id. 63849

The time of migration and settlememt in Brittany, c. 4th-6th century, typically associated with the founding rulers (Conan Meriadoc, Gradlon/Grallon, Guiomar/Guigemar, etc.) and early founding saints (e.g. Paul Aurelian, Samson of Dol, Tudwal/Tugdual of Tréguier, Winwaloe of Landevenneg, Brioc, Malo, Corentin of Quimper, Paternus/Padarn, Goueznou).

Samson of Dol
Samson of Dol
No short description available

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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Flobert, Pierre, La vie ancienne de saint Samson de Dol, Sources d'histoire médiévale, 17, Paris: CNRS, 1997. 296 pp.  
Edition of the Latin text of Vita I S. Samsonis, with a French translation on facing pages; introduction
[tr.] Taylor, Thomas, The Life of St. Samson of Dol, London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1925.
English translation

Secondary sources (select)

Olson, Lynette, “The date of the First Life of St Samson of Dol”, in: Pamela OʼNeill (ed.), The land beneath the sea: essays in honour of Anders Ahlqvist’s contribution to Celtic studies in Australia, 14, Sydney: Celtic Studies Foundation, University of Sydney, 2013. 171–182.
Olson, Lynette, “The early hagiography of Saint Samson of Dol”, in: Geraint Evans, Bernard Martin, and Jonathan M. Wooding (eds), Origins and revivals: proceedings of the First Australian Conference of Celtic Studies, 3, Sydney: Centre for Celtic Studies, University of Sydney, 2000. 123–133.
Loth, J., “La vie la plus ancienne de saint Samson de Dol”, Revue Celtique 35 (1914): 269–300.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
[id. 950.]
Lapidge, Michael, and Richard Sharpe, A bibliography of Celtic-Latin literature, 400-1200, Royal Irish Academy Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources, Ancillary Publications, 1, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1985.
Société des Bollandistes, Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 vols, Subsidia Hagiographica, 6, Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1898–1901.
Gallica – vol. 1 (A-I): <link> Gallica – vol. 2 (K-Z): <link> Internet Archive – vol. 2 (K-Z): <link>
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
June 2013, last updated: January 2024