A synchronism & bibliography

A synchronism

NOTE : A brief synchronism below indicates interrelationships between the Celtic Church and the Roman Catholic Church only.

Celtic Christianity Roman Catholic Christianity Major events in Japan
AD371 Monastacism brought from Alexandria through the Lerins Islands and Tours, now in France.

c.397 Saint Ninian established his monastery called 'Candida Casa', in Whithorn, Galloway, along the southwestern coast of Scotland, which turned out many of the Irish monks.

401 Patrick, sold as a slave to a clan in Ireland ; seven years later, he managed to flee from Ireland.

461( traditionally said 432 ) Patrick returned to Ireland, now as a bishop.

490 Enda ( Eanna, Einne or Endeus, ? - c. 530 )established his training centre for young monks in Inishmore, Aran Isles.

The Navigator Saint Brendan( 484? - 577 ) ; established a major monastery in Clonfert( 554 ).

530? Saint Finnian( d. c. 549 )established his monastery at Clonard.

545? Saint Ciaran( 512/516 - 545/549 )established his monastery at Clonmacnoise.

558 Saint Comgall( 517-603 )established his monastery at Bangor.

Saint Columba( Colm Cille )established his monastery at Derry( 546 ), then Durrow( 556 ).
563 Saint Columba established his community at Iona ( Hy )

565? Saint Brendan the Navigator, met Columba at Iona.

591 Saint Columbanus( Columbán, 543 ? - 615 )left for the Continent and started his mission there.

635 Saint Aidan(?-651), the Apostle of Northumbria, established a Celtic monastery at Lindisfarne, now Holy Island.
650 - 700 The Book of Durrow
650-750 High Crosses of stone flourished.
698? - The Lindisfarne Gospels ; its creation attributed to Eadfrith of Lindisfarne, and the binding to Billfrith.
750-800 Creation of The Book of Kells, in commemoration of Saint Columba.

before 780 Architypal Vita Sancti Brendani created ?
780-800 Architypal Navigatio Sancti Brendani created ?

eigth - ninth centuries So called Céli Dé ; creation of The Stowe Missal.

793-95 attacks by the Norsemen ; the Lindisfarne Community marauded. ( 793 )

837 Great fleets of Norsemen's longships, appeared on both River Liffey and Lough Bo Finne.
840 Armagh( Ard Mhacha )assaulted by Norsemen.

1169 Invasion of the Normans
1188 Giraldi Cambrensis, Topographia hibernica
AD313 Constantine I declared the Edict of Milan, agreed the Trinity doctorin by Athanasius of Alexandria as the Official Catholic Church.
325 First Council of Nicaea adopted the Original Nicene Creed, condemned the so-called Arianism.

375-410 The Great Barbarian Invasion, began as the Visigoth invasion to Rome.

Saint John Cassian( 360-435 )

476 The fall of the Western Roman Empire

Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator (490?-585?).

539 Rule of Saint Benedict ordered by Saint Benedict of Nursia (480-547) ; henceforce the Canon was universally adopted by the western monasteries.

597 Pope Gregory the Great, sent Augustine of Canterbury to Kingdom of Kent.

601 Augustine, consecrated as the first archbishop of Canterbury

605-664 The so-called Easter Controversy ; Synod of Whitby decided to observe the monastic tonsure and calculate Easter in the Roman custom.

610 Saint Columbanus expelled from Gaul.

612 Saint Columnbanus arraived in Kingdom of the Lombards ; established his monastery at Bobbio, where he died in 615.

The Venerable Bede( 672/3 - 735 ), and his The Ecclesiastical History of the English People completed in c.731.

697 The Church of Ireland officially accepted the Roman liturgical calendar at the Synod of Barr except for the Iona monastery, supporting the traditional Celtic calendar( - 712 ).

800 Charlemagne, crowned as the first emperor of the rivived Roman Empire, and his 'Carolingian Renaissance'.

A renowned Irish theologian / Neoplatonist philosopher / poet Johannes Scotus Eriugena( 810 - 877? ), his De divisione naturae ( 862-66 )

825 De mensura Orbis terrae by Dicuil, an Irish monk and geographer at the Frankish court.

c.890 Alfred the Great of the Kingdom of Wessex( r 871`899 ) ; compiled Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ( `1154 ).

911 Duchy of Normandy established.

962 Otto the Great, the founder of the Holy Roman Empire, coronated.

1054  The Great Schism( East-West Schism )
1066 The Norman Conquest

1096-99  The First Crusade organised.
c.AD350 Yamato Dynasty established.

538 Buddhism introduced to Japan by the Baekje people.

592 Empress Suiko enthroned.

604 Prince Shotoku announced his Seventeen-Article Constitution

607 Horyu-ji temple founded.

645 The Taika Reforms

667 Capital transferred to Oumi-no-niya.

694 Capital transferred to Fujiwara-kyo.
c.694 - 710 Takamatsuzuka Tomb, Kitora Tomb constraucted.
710 Capital transferred to Heijo-kyo.
712 Kojiki compiled.
720 The Chronicles of Japan compiled.

752 Toudai-ji temple founded ; the eye-opening ceremony on the completion of the Great Buddha statue held.

758 - 97 Shoku Nihongi compiled ; the oldest record on eruptions of Mt Fuji.

794 Capital transferred to Heian-kyo.

816 Kukai a.k.a. Kobou-Daishi founded his temple called Kongobu-ji on Mt Kouya.
841 Nihon Kouki compiled.
864-66 The so-called Jougan eruption of Mt Fuji ; forming the Lakes of Motosu, Shouji and Sai around the foot of the volcano.

894 The last embarkment of the Japanese missions to Tang China.

901 Sugawara no Michizane relegated to Dazai-fu, the regional government in Kyushu Isle.
905 Collection of Poems of Ancient and Modern Times published.
935-41 'War in the Tengyo era' ; c.935 The Tosa Nikki, written by the tenth-century Japanese poet Ki no Tsurayuki.
937 NihongiryakuArecording Mt Fuji's eruption occured in Johei 7.

c.1001-1016 The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon ; The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu.

1059 The Sarashina Diary by Takasue's Daughter
1083 Mt Fuji erupted.
c.1131 The Great Mirror compiled. 1156  The Hogen Rebellion.
1159  The Heiji Rebellion ; exiled to a spot called Hirugashima, Izu Peninsula.

1185 Battle of Dan-no-ura ; Emperor Antoku drowned at Inland Sea, the ruin of the Taira clan.

1190 Saigyo Houshi died. (1118-)
1192  Minamoto no Yoritomo founded his the Kamakura Shogunate, becoming the first Shogun of it.

1205  New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern compiled.
1212  An Account of a Ten-Foot-Square Hut by Kamo-no-Choumei.
1214  Shinran, a apanese Buddhist monk went to the Eastern Regions of Japan and started his mission there.

W.W.W. Brendan Links


  T he Latin Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis has been keeping 'inspiring' not only explorers like Christopher Columbus or Tim Severin, but also many many artists : say, J.R.R.Tolkien CBE, most renowned English author for his The Lord of the Rings, wrote a verse based upon Latin Navigatio in c.1937, and Matthew Arnold created a poem called Saint Brandan in 1860( in The Poems of Matthew Arnold, Longmans, London, 1965, pp. 463-66 ). In America, a film called The Life, Love and Death of Saint Brendan: a Movie was made in 1946, and then an Irish composer composed a suite inspired by Tim Severin's epic Brendan Voyage in 1980 ; more recently, an American musician Jeff Johnson released his album Prayers of Saint Brendan / Journey Home in 1998 ; A famous Irish band Iona has a repertoire including a song on Saint Brendan, and also a harp-guitarist John Doan composed his version based on Saint Brendan's voyage. An Italian painter Daniel De' Angeli, inspired by the English translation by J.J. O'Meara of Navigatio, created a series of his water paintings and held an exhibition tour around Europe in 1993 ; later his wonderful paintings conbined with English traslation by professor O'Meara, were published in a large format illustrated book. Speaking on picture books, you may include a story on Saint Brendan by an American female writer Jean Fritz.

  Other samples for kids ; Turas a Bhreandain, written in Irish, mainly consists of an interview with Tim Severin on his Brendan Voyage, and Saint Brendan And The Voyage Before Columbus ( 2005 ).

  Thus the Latin Navigatio has been keeping inspiring us in the present age, and then creating our spin-offs in various fashions one after another, for our coevals. In short, it is autely felt that the Latin Navigatio, beyond its Christian theme and timbre throughout, renders some universal themes to all mankind, such as an inward quest.

  Wikipedia's article on Clonfert Cathedral.

  The Four Courts Press, a major publishing house in Dublin, has been putting out many of books of vast ranges on Irish mediæval history.

  A modern French traslation of The Life of Saint Malo. in Utrecht University's official site.

  An article on how the Irish monasticism developed through the Middle Ages.

  Links on Saint Brendan over the vast sea of World Wide Web.

  Dingle Peninsula Tourism's site.

National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland official site.

  An attempt of modern Italian translation of Navigatio, based on MS. Alençon.

  An epic voyage project by Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group, Scotland, in commemoration of 1400th anniversary of Saint Columba( Colmcille )'s death in 1997 ; crew of fourteen men/women embarked for Iona, retracing the Saint's journey to the Isle. The project still continues, such as Navigating Peace 2003, and Isle of Cumbrae Voyage 2010.

  Heritage Ireland's Ardfert Cathedral.

  Web page examining ancient ruling clans and their territories in the Munster region.

  Recently I found such clip on YouTube site : another spin-off, if you would like ;

  Vita Sancti Colombani by his successor Jonas of Bobbio, in Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.


border knot

Further Reading

further reading

On the Latin Navigatio & the crirical editions
Descriptions My comments
Japanese FULL translation of Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis, based on C.Selmer's edition, in Études de Langue et Littérature françaises de l'Université de Hiroshima, no.22, pp.62-83. 2003.
The first Japanese full trasnlation of the Latin Navigatio ; the Japanese version excels the English translation by O'Meara in accuracy, so all the more it is a pity that this excellent translation was not published in a book more accessible for general readers.
Giovanni Orlandi and Rossana E. Guglielmetti eds., Navigatio sancti Brendani. Alla scoperta dei segreti meravigliosi del mondo, Edizioni del galluzzo (Per verba. Testi mediolatini con traduzione, 30), Firenze, 2014. The long-expected latest critical edition of the Navigatio, with an English preface by Michael Lapidge, and a modern Italic translation included ; ungained.
Carl Selmer ed., Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis from Early Latin Manuscripts, 1959 ; repr. Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1989. This is the first complete 'critical' edition compiled by an American scholar of 'Brendanology' : eighteen MSs from over 125 variants of The Latin Navigatio, which is thought as the closest texts back to the 'original' of Navigatio. For more details, see this section.
Carl Schröder, Sanct Brandan : ein lateinischer und drei deutsche Texte, Besold, Erlangen, 1871. A modern German edition based on the Latin Navigatiocompiled by Cardinal Moran and the Volksbuch's adaptaion of Navigatio.
Patrick F. Cardinal Moran, Acta Sancti Brendani : Original Latin Documents connected with the Life of Saint Brendan, Patron of Kerry and Clonfert, Kelly. Dublin 1872. A reprinted version of the Latin Navigatio compiled by A. Jubinal, along with an abbreviated manuscript of Navigatio (‘Legenda in festo sancti Brendani’).

Reviews, modern editions, & studies
Descriptions My comments
Gearóid Ó Donnchadha, St Brendan of Kerry, the Navigator: his life and voyages, Open Air at Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2004.
  The latest book on Saint Brendan, telling the Latin Navigatio, as well as the Irish monastery - founder saints, now almost forgotten. The author is a priest resident in parish Fenit, Co.Kerry. Best guidebook to Saint Brendan and his coevals.
David Dumville, ‘Two Approaches to the Dating of Navigatio Sancti Brendani’, Studi Medievali, 3rd ser, 29, 1988.   Mediævalist D.Dumville's speculation upon the composition of the 'original' version of the the Selmer's edition of Navigatio ; according to records from some chronicles of Munster around the seventh century and the quate of 'Euganacht of Loch Lein' found at the beginning of the Latin text itself, he asserts that the archetype had been written by the late eighth century.
James Carney, ‘Review : Selmer, Navigatio Sancti Brendani’, Medium Aevum, 32, 1963. A critical review of Selmer's edition of Navigatio ; points out some mistakes found in his edition, including his 'arbitrary' interpretation of the opening part of Naviagtio and his errors in reading.
Denis O'Donoghue, Brendaniana : St Brendan the voyager in Story and Legend, Dublin 1893 ; repr. by Lives and Legends of Saint Brendan the Voyager, Llanerch Publishers, Felinfach, 1994.   A personal collection of legends on Saint Brendan written by a secular clergy of Co. Kerry, a 'spiritual' descendant of Saint Brendan, and the first English trasnlation of the Cardinal Moran's Latin diplomatic edition ; comes in some of the reprinted editions. As a historical report by the hand of a local resident, familiar with the topography of Dingle Peninsula, one thinks his own examinations have a worthwhile reading.
Trans. by John J. O'Meara, The Voyage of Saint Brendan, Journey to the Promised Land, 1976 ; repr. Colin Smythe, Gerrards Cross, 1991, 1999.   A 'classical translation' for general readers of English of the Selmer's edition of Naviagtio ; includes corrections on errors found in J.J.Webb's traslation of Navigatio, as well as Carny's suggestions in it. However, in Ch.10, anyhow we find a typo( ? )of the Latin word 'pisces', meaning 'fish', but he translates it as 'FLESH' ; also a lack of one of Saint Brendan's remarks in Ch.13, 'Catch fish enough to supply our meal and cook them on fire, ...'. He did not accept Carney's interpretation on the insula deliciosa in Ch.1 different from the insula delicialum in Ch.28. Long-selling English edition of Navigatio.
Trans. by J.F. Webb, Lives of the Saints, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1965 ; repr. by The Age of Bede, 1983 ; rev. edn. 1998.   The only English trasnlation of Navigatio till the O'Meara's version ; available in a reprinted version with a new introduction by D.H.Farmer as well as his trasnlation of The Anonymous History of Abbot Ceolfrith ; Life of Wilfrid depicts the famous event of the Synod of Whitby Abbey in 664, adopted the Roman calculation of the Easter( p.116 - 8 ).
Oliver Davies, Thomas O'Loughlin, Celtic Spirituality, Paulist Press, New York & Mahwah, NJ, 1999.   The editor states that for his trasnlation he used the O'Meara's one, but obviously he picked up many of phrases found in Webb's earlier version(pp. 155-190 ; for notes, pp. 507-509).
Ian Short, Brian Merrilees ed., The Anglo-Norman Voyage of Saint Brendan, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1979.   A critical edition of the Anglo-Norman version of the Latin Navigatio by a Benedictine monk by the name of Benedeit( Fr., Benoit, Eng., Benedict )in the twelfth century.
Clara Strijbosch, The Seafaring Saint: Sources and Analogues of the Twelfth-Century Voyage of Saint Brendan   A wonderful lucubration written by a musicologist / researcher of Dutch literature at Utrecht Conservatory / Utrecht University, critically reviews on the relationship between De reis van Sint Brandaan, Navigatio, Vita Brendani, Immram Máele Fúin, etc. Originally it was a doctoral thesis in Dutch, published in 1995 ; asserts De reis composed by the early twelfth century ; translated into English by Thea Summerfield.
Glyn S. Burgess, Clara Strijbosch, The Legend of St Brendan : A Critical Bibliography, The Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 2000.   A 'critical'bibliography of almost all of the books on Saint Brendan, old and new, compiled by the shrewd scholar Strijbosch and a renowned professor of French at the University of Liverpool ; a perfect guide to the books on Saint Brendan.
Jonathan M. Wooding ed., The Otherworld Voyage in Early Irish Literature : An Anthology of Criticism, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2000.   An anthology of key theses on monastic literatures of mediæval Ireland, mainly focused on immrama ; includes many articles on the Latin Navigatio. ⇒ Publisher's site.
W.R.J Barron and Glyn S. Burgess ed., The Voyage of Saint Brendan: Representative Versions of the Legend in English Translation, University of Exeter Press, Exeter, 2002.   The latest book on Navigatio, deals with the Latin Navigatio, The Anglo-Norman, The Dutch, The German, The Venetian, The Occitan, The Catalan, The Norse versions ; also contains The South English Legendary Version, and Caxton's Golden Legend Version, which is the oldest printed text in English ; a must buy for anyone interested in Saint Brendan's voyage.
Toshitsugu Matsuoka ed., Celtic Biblical Narratives, Iwanami Shoten Publishers, Tokyo, 1999.   An anthology of Irish legacy of its monastic literature in the Middle Ages edited by a former visiting fellow at Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies ; contains the first Japanese translation of Bethada Brénainn( so-called Lismore Life of Brendan )written in Old Irish.
Takeshi Matsumura, 'Sur l'au-delà médiéval : Le Voyage de saint Brendan', in The proceedings of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, College of General Education, Vol. 39(2), University of Tokyo, 1991.   The first Japanese translation of Benedeit's version of Navigatio in Anglo-Norman, with detailed notes.
Kouichi Fujishiro edit., trans., Sankt Brandans Seefahrt, Hosei University Press, Tokyo, 1999.   A Japanese Germanist renowned for his translation of many of 'volksbuchs' as Der Pfaffe Amis, translates for the first time Sankt Brandans Seefahrt edited by Gerhard E. Sollbach( pp. 6-64.).

Miscellanea :

Donncha Ó'Corráin, ‘Studies in West Munster History’, Jounal of the Kerry Archaelogical and Historical Society, 1, 1968-70.

Gerard E. Sollbach ed., St Brandans wundersame Seefahrt : Nach der Heidellberger Handschrift Cod. Pal. Germ. 60, Insel Verlag, Frankfurt a,M, 1987.

James Hornell, ‘The Curraghs of Ireland’, Mariner's Mirror, 23, 1937.   An extensive consideration on skin boats used widely in Western European countries as well as Irish curraghs ; Tim Severin relied on this paper for building his replica leather boat Brendan. ( New! A part of the article available here [PDF format] )

Paul Johnstone, The Sea-craft of Prehistory ; prepared for publication by Sea'n McGrail, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1980.
  A renowned English maritime archaeologist Johnstone's last book showing the whole vista of the ancient vessels all over the globe ; uncomplested work though, his friend Sean McGrail finished in respect for his original attempt ; on Irish curraghs, see Ch.10( 'The British Isles : skin boats', pp.121-139. ) ; according to Johnstone, the descriptions like the building method or the sea-keeping performance, found in both Navigatio and Vita Sancti Columbae may have reflected the real ocean-going voyages by the Irish monks.

Paul Johnstone, ‘The Bantry Boat’, Antiquity, pp.277-84, V.38, N.152, York, 1964( with plates XLV-XLIX ).  On the only example of an ancient Irish curragh with five crew rowing curved on a stone pillar( perhaps the only remnant of a stone cross ) overlooking Bantry Bay, Co.Cork, the author points out this is an invaluable and very important relic, urging further researches down the road.

Paul Johnstone, ‘A Medieval Skin Boat’, Antiquity, pp.32-7, V.36, N.141, York, 1962( with plates II-IX )  the author explores a possibility that Irish monasticism might have been borne through his reviewing of the ancient trading route using curraghs between Ireland and the Mediterranean world.

Arno Borst, Lebensformen im Mittelalter, Propylaen, Belrin, 1986.

Thomas Cahill, How the Irish saved civilization, Doubleday, New York, 1995.
See the official site

Jean Delumeau, History of Paradise: The Garden of Eden in Myth and Tradition, University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Setsuko Mori, Religion and Cuture in Ireland : a history of their reception, The Board of Publications The United Church of Christ in Japan, Tokyo, 1991.   On the Latin Naviagtio, see pp. 300-06 ; the first elaborate anthology of the author's articles considering the interrelationship between the mediæval Irish monasticism, the political / social milieux, and so-called 'Historical Patrick' problem.

Ryoko Ito : 1). 'Interrogatives indirectes dans le Voyage de Saint Brendan, Manuscrit A' ; see the full text in PDF here.
2). 'Le subjonctif dans le Voyage de Saint Brendan' ; see the full text in PDF here ; article based upon MS. A ( Cotton Vespasian B. X(I), ff.1-11&2, in the British Library ), and MS. E ( 3316, ff. 96-100v., in Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris )
Both of 1). and 2). compare MS.A( written in Anglo-Norman )with MS.E( written in Continental French ), through their usage of subjunctives.
3). 'Les Anges Neutres dans le Voyage de Saint Brendan' ; see the full text in PDF here.

Malcolm Day, A Treasury of Saints 100 Saints : Their Lives and Times, Quantum Publishing Ltd, London, 2001. contains Saint Brendan and his attributions, and a brief introduction to Navigatio.

Donald Attwater, Catherine Rachel John, Dictionary of Saints, Penguin(Non-Classics) ; 3rd edition, London, 1996. contains Saint Brendan, as well as Saints Columba, Columbine, Brigid, and Patrick.

Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1976. contains a brief passage on Saint Brendan and his coeval seafaring monks of mediæval Ireland.

Tim Severin, Epic Voyages of History : The Brendan Voyage, Films for the Humanities, FFH 5319, 54 min., 1994. An English explorer Tim Severin's documentary of his epic Brendan Voyage 1976 -77.

Mike McGrew, illustrated by Marnie Saenz Litz, Saint Brendan and the voyage before Columbus, Paulist Press, New York?Mahwah, N.J., 2005.  A fantastic story conbined with various episodes found in Navigatio, Bethada Brénainn, and Severin's Brendan Voyage, to retell the youngsters the quest for the 'Earthly Paradise' made by Brendan the Navigator.

John Cherry, et al., Mythical beasts, British Museum Press, 1995, London. ,
  contains a brief introduction to 'griffa' appears in Ch. 19 of Navigatio.

Henri Irénée Marrou, Nouvelle Histoire de l'Église, I, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 1963.
A primary reading, contains Saint Brendan of Clonfert in Ch. 25

Juan Maria Laboa edit., The Historical Atlas of Eastern and Western Christian Monasticism, 2003.
A large beautifully illustrated book, mentions Irish monasticism as well as Saint Brendan, with the famous plate of 'Brendan's boat on the back of 'Jasconius''.

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