ABSTRACT

Vinnian heralded a movement of devotion. The second half of the sixth century 1 saw the foundation of the great monastic paruchiae. Before the century was out, Columcille had founded Derry, Durrow and Iona, Comgall had established Bangor, and Columbanus had left the schools of Bangor for the Continent, where, before his death in 615, he had set up monastic houses at Annegray, Luxeuil, and Bobbio. These are only a few among the many monasteries founded during the later sixth and early seventh centuries. 2 The first missionaries had aimed to preach the gospel to the heathen laity: the monastic founders were primarily concerned to build up the individual Christian into the perfect man.