Woolf (Alex)

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Woolf, Alex, “British ethnogenesis: a late antique story”, in: Kaminski-Jones, Francesca, and Rhys Kaminski-Jones (eds), Celts, Romans, Britons: classical and Celtic influence in the construction of British identities, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. 19–30.  

This chapter will argue that the ethnogenesis of the Britons was a process which occurred within the Late Antique period. Whilst commentators from Gildas onwards imagined the Britons to have existed as an identifiable group from time immemorial, it is argued here that they arose out of a growing division between more and less Romanized groups within the British provinces, as changes in the way Rome managed its frontiers led to the emergence of semi-barbarian devolved polities close to the limes. It is further argued that it was against these groups in Britain, the cultural forebears of the Welsh, that the provincials of the south-east required aid from the Saxons. Essentialist ideas about ethnicity, from the time of Gildas onwards, have obscured this process.

Woolf, Alex, “The Scandinavian intervention”, in: Smith, Brendan [ed.], The Cambridge history of Ireland, vol. 1: 600-1550, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 107–130.
Woolf, Alex, “Columbanus’s Ulster education”, in: O'Hara, Alexander (ed.), Columbanus and the peoples of post-Roman Europe, Oxford Studies in Late Antiquity, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. 91–99.  
This chapter looks at the context for Columbanus’s time at Bangor and in particular the possible influence on him of the British bishop Uinniau and his own abbot, Comgall. Uinniau’s network linked him with both the British Church of Gildas and the emerging Uí Néill dynasties, while Comgall was a member of the Cruithnian people of Antrim. By the time Columbanus came within their orbit, both men were located in the core territory of the kingdom of the Ulaid, in modern County Down. The chapter argues that the specifics of the location and personalities involved proved to be defining influences on Columbanus’s development.
McGuigan, Neil, and Alex Woolf (eds), The battle of Carham: a thousand years on, Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2018.
Woolf, Alex, “Plebs: concepts of community among late antique Britons”, in: Flechner, Roy, and Máire Ní Mhaonaigh (eds), The introduction of Christianity into the early medieval Insular world: converting the Isles I, CELAMA 19, Turnhout: Brepols, 2016. 225–236.
Woolf, Alex (ed.), Beyond the Gododdin: Dark Age Scotland in medieval Wales. The proceedings of a day conference held on 19 February 2005, St John's House Papers 13, St Andrews, 2013.
Woolf, Alex, “Preface”, in: Woolf, Alex (ed.), Beyond the Gododdin: Dark Age Scotland in medieval Wales. The proceedings of a day conference held on 19 February 2005, St John's House Papers 13, St Andrews, 2013. 5–6.
Woolf, Alex, The churches of Pictavia, Kathleen Hughes Memorial Lectures 11, Cambridge: ASNC, 2012.
Woolf, Alex, “Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Picts”, in: McLeod, Wilson, Abigail Burnyeat, Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart, Thomas Owen Clancy, and Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh (eds), Bile ós chrannaibh: a Festschrift for William Gillies, Tigh a' Mhaide, Brig o' Turk, Perthshire: Clann Tuirc, 2010. xxv + 494 pp. 439–450.
Woolf, Alex, “Scotland”, in: Stafford, Pauline (ed.), A companion to the early Middle Ages: Britain and Ireland c. 500–1100, Blackwell Companions to British History, Oxford, Malden, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. 249–267.
Woolf, Alex, “The expulsion of the Irish from Dyfed”, in: Jankulak, Karen, and Jonathan M. Wooding (eds.), Ireland and Wales in the Middle Ages, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007. 102–115.
Woolf, Alex, “Apartheid and economics in Anglo-Saxon England”, in: Higham, N. J. [ed.], Britons in Anglo-Saxon England, Publications of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies 7, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2007. 115–129.
Woolf, Alex, From Pictland to Alba, 789–1070, The New Edinburgh History of Scotland 2, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
Woolf, Alex, “The cult of Moluag, the see of Mortlach and church organisation in northern Scotland in the eleventh and twelfth centuries”, in: Arbuthnot, Sharon, and Kaarina Hollo (eds), ‘Fil súil nglais: a grey eye looks back’: a festschrift in honour of Colm Ó Baoill, Ceann Drochaid, Perthshire: Clann Tuirc, 2007. 299–310.
Woolf, Alex, “Senchus Fer n-Alban”, in: Koch, John T. [ed.], Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia, 5 vols, Santa Barbara, Denver and Oxford: ABC-Clio, 2006. Vol. 4: 1605–1606.
Woolf, Alex, “AU 729.2 and the last years of Nechtan mac Der-Ilei”, The Scottish Historical Review 85:1 (April, 2006): 131–137.
Woolf, Alex, “Caedualla rex Brettonum and the passing of the Old North”, Northern History 41 (March, 2004): 5–24.
Woolf, Alex, “An interpolation in the text of Gildas’s De excidio Britanniae”, Peritia 16 (2002): 161–167.
Woolf, Alex, “The Verturian hegemony: a mirror in the north”, in: Brown, Michelle P., and Carol Ann Farr (eds), Mercia. an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in Europe, London, New York: Leicester University Press, 2001. 106–112.
Woolf, Alex, “Pictish matriliny reconsidered”, The Innes Review 49:2 (Autumn, 1998): 147–167.


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