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Talk by Dr. Jen Reid - Patrick and Social Identity at the End of Roman Britain

Sun. Mar. 10, 2019

Next week, on Wednesday, March 13, at 12:30, in Room 2M73, Dr. Jennifer Reid will present "Patrick and Social Identity at the End of Roman Britain".

Please feel free to bring your lunch. Coffee, tea, and desserts will be available. 

St. Patrick’s Day—the mid-March festival of green-beer debauchery—is rooted in the ritual observation of the death-date of Ireland’s premier saint, credited by believers with the conversion of the Irish to Christianity in the fifth century CE. To what degree the Romano-British missionary can be known as a figure of history has been debated among scholars since at least the seventh century CE, when the first songs and stories dedicated to  the memory of  Patrick appear. Two documents written by a “Patricius” survive in early medieval manuscripts and are thought to be the work of Patrick himself. These texts offer tantalizing glimpses of the multicultural nexus in which Patricius was enmeshed. This presentation reports on some new insights that these texts reveal about social identity at the end of Roman Britain by way of exploring the challenges faced in the consideration of Patrick’s historicity.  The associated article appears in a special volume of Brepols’ Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia  series in 2020.