Early Christianity in North Britain

Leonie Hayne


This lecture was originally conceived as Early Christianity in Scotland,
but that is, of course, a misnomer, in that there was no country called Scotland
at the time of which I am speaking, the 6th to 8th centuries. Better to say
North Britain, the area north of the Humber river, the southern boundary of
the kingdom of Northumbria, recently formed by the union of two provinces,
Deira and Bemicia. Some of the inhabitants of this northern area, those in
Dal Riata, were certainly called Scots (or Scoti), but they had come from
north Ireland. In our sources, Scotia signified Ireland, and the Scots were the
Irish. In the east of modem Scotland there were Picts, in Northumbria there
were Angles, in Strathclyde Britons. In this area, and at this time, there
flourished a Scottish-Irish form of Christianity, Celtic Christianity, which in
the 7th and 8th centuries was swallowed by a Christianity introduced in the
south by Rome, Catholic Christianity)


early Christianity

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