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New Medieval Books: The Life of Saint Enda, Abbot of Aran

The Life of Saint Enda, Abbot of Aran: A Translation of Vita Endei with an Essay on Landscape and Labour in the Life

By Matthias Egeler and Susanne Ruhland

Cork Studies in Celtic Literature
ISBN: 978-0-9955469-4-3

This book offers an English translation of a medieval account of Saint Enda of Aran, a significant figure in early Irish Christianity. Besides the translations, the authors also include a long introduction that looks at Enda’s miracles and the importance of this text in understanding the landscape of the Aran Islands.


A central part of the foundation myth of the Aran Islands is the life of their patron saint Éanna (or Éinne), commonly anglisiced as Enda and Latinised as Endeus. Saint Enda, who would have live during the early years of Christianity in Ireland in the fifth and early sixth century, is a founding hero… A scion of a noble lineage whose arrival constituted a complete break with everything that went before (or so at least his Life claims), he was the first of a new age of Christian settlers on the islands who established their political and religious order, their agriculture, and their harbours. Since tradition thus places him at the recorded beginning of one of Ireland’s most iconic places, it is almost ironic that no translation of his medieval Life has been published to date. The present little book aims to close this gap.


Who is this book for?

While this book will be a must-have for those interested in Celtic hagiography, it will also be useful in the study of early medieval Ireland and the local history of the Aran Islands, which are located off the country’s west coast.

The authors:

Matthias Egeler is a member of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Click here to view his page. Susanne Ruhland, who jointly worked on the translation, is Matthias’ sibling.


You can learn more about the book from Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures

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