> Date sent: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 22:03:38 -0500
> Send reply to: "CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List." <[log in to unmask]>
> From: "Maeve B. Callan" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Culdees (was Ancient Celts ...)
> To: [log in to unmask]
> At 10:02 PM 4/21/97 PST, JimC wrote:
> >there were the remains of "settlements" that the Vikings found when they
> >arrived at Greenland, probably left by the Culdees who had fled Ireland
> >when the Vikings began their incursions.
I was under the impression the ones on Iceland were still inhabited
when the Vikings arrived, - and the the "Vikings" involved were
Norse/Gaels from the Hebrides so the Irish may well have shown them
to way. I wasn't aware there were any on Greenland, but I do know
the Gaelic-speaking Christian on board thanked God for their safe
arrival and the rest of the Vikings found this quite ammusing!
The Culdees were a sect who,
> >had Ireland had a desert, would have been desert hermits. Not having a
> >desert they took to the sea. Where they went from Greenland is a
> >mystery...maybe West...maybe back to Ireland...and maybe they died out,
> >but I don't recall that the Vikings found any human remains, just
> >shelters and such.
> Hi Jim,
> Sorry, I've no more news about sweat houses, but your reference to the Ceili
> De leapt out at me. They are a minor yet significant part of my paper (if I
> actually ever write the bloody thing, that is), primarily in connection with
> Samthann and the monastery of Tallaght. Do you think you could let me know
> your sources for the Culdees? Btw, many holy people were 'desert ascetics'
> in Ireland. It's a metaphor for isolation, or relative isolation at any
> rate. Many Culdees were anchorites (although in a looser form than was
> demanded later - to be 'dead to the world and alive unto God', walled up
> inside a cell, never to leave it except in the most dire of circumstances
> and sometimes not even then), part of other monastic communities, for
> example Clonmacnoise, some Culdees surviving even into the 13th century, I
This whole ethos was an important part of Celtic Christianity - the
Culdees weren't too unusual or extreme. And the Celtic Church had a
great deal in common with the "Desert Fathers". But the wanderlust
wasn't purely to get away from the world - it was also to take the
gospel to new places. The Irish missionary zeal spread all over
europe, so why not westward as well??
> I've seen the boat that Severin used, and I am impressed, whether Brendan
> did it first or not. Also, the Vita Prima Sancti Brendani records what has
> got to be one of the greatest martyrdoms of all time - volunteering to be
> chow for rodents of unusual size 'qui carnes hominum devorare cupiebant.'
> Even the way it's told is straight out of a Monty Python skit or something.
> - Maeve