Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Columba of Iona
(636 words)

Columba of Iona (521–597 CE) was born in Ireland, according to later tradition in the year 521 CE in what is now Gartan, County Donegal (Sharpe, 1995). Through his paternal lineage, Columba could claim direct descent from the royal Cenél Conaill dynasty, his nobility affording him an extensive religious education. Little else is known for certain about Columba’s life before 563 CE when he relocated to Scotland, perhaps fleeing political or religious confl…

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Baker, Matthew, “Columba of Iona”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2022

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