This book explores the development of the cult of the saints in western Europe between c.400 and 1000. The main emphasis is upon Anglo-Saxon England, post-Roman Britain, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, but there are important contributions on Francia and on western Europe as a whole. No other volume combines such a broad geographical spread with such a wide range of disciplines and approaches - textual, archaeological, genealogical, onomastic, as well as historical. Veneration of innumerable local saints and martyrs is one of the defining characteristics of early medieval society. This book looks at how such saints came to be recognized and how they were enshrined, the circumstances in which they proliferated, and the factors leading to the development of their often extremely localized cults. Throughout, the aim is to emphasize the pan-European context, to place insular developments in a wider continuum extending from Ireland through to Rome and Byzantium. The volume combines wide-ranging surveys, providing fundamental orientation on a variety of core subjects, with crucial reference material (including a handlist of all known Anglo-Saxon saints).
It will be indispensable to all interested in early Britain and Ireland, Anglo-Saxon England and to the culture of early medieval Europe as a whole.