Aist, Rodney


Aist, Rodney, From topography to text: the image of Jerusalem in the writings of Eucherius, Adomnán and Bede, Studia Traditionis Theologiae 30, Turnhout: Brepols, 2019.

  • Book/Monograph
Citation details
From topography to text: the image of Jerusalem in the writings of Eucherius, Adomnán and Bede
Abstract (cited)
A break-out study on Adomnán’s De locis sanctis and the Jerusalem pilgrim texts, From Topography to Text uses new methodological findings on the Christian topography of Jerusalem to examine the source material, religious imagination and mental maps in the related writings of Eucherius, Adomnán and Bede.

From Topography to Text: The Image of Jerusalem in the Writings of Eucherius, Adomnán and Bede uses topographical detail to examine the source material, religious imagination and the image of Jerusalem in three related Latin texts from the fifth, seventh and eighth centuries. The work introduces an original methodology for analyzing the Jerusalem pilgrim texts, defined by their core interest in the commemorative topography of the Christian holy places. By newly identifying the topographical material in Adomnán’s description of Jerusalem, the study exposes key distortions in the text, its exclusive intramural focus on the Holy Sepulchre and the eschatological image of New Jerusalem that emerges from its description of contemporary Jerusalem. The study verifies the post-Byzantine provenance of Adomnán’s topographical material, namely, the oral report of Arculf, thus redressing scholarly ambivalence regarding Adomnán’s contemporary source. The new insights into Adomnán’s De locis sanctis, including its mental map of Jerusalem, provide a template with which to analyze the text’s relationship with the writings of Eucherius and Bede. While Bede’s De locis sanctis has commonly been regarded as an epitome of Adomnán’s work, when the sequence, structure and images of the texts are compared, Eucherius not Adomnán is, for Bede, the authoritative text.
Subjects and topics
History, society and culture
(fl. c.628–704)
Adomnán mac Rónáin was abbot of Iona (r. 679–704) and author of the Latin Life of St Columba and an account of the holy places of the Near East (De locis sanctis). He is credited with the proclamation of the Lex innocentium or Cáin Adomnáin at the Synod of Birr.
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(d. 735)
English monk at Monkwearmouth-Jarrow; author of the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum and works on various religious and theological subjects.
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Dennis Groenewegen