Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Columbanus, also known as Columba, was born in present-day Leinster, Ireland, to a landowning family of some means shortly before 550 CE. Between the ages of 7 and 14, he received his education at home (Jon. Vita Col. 1.2–3; Bullough, 1997, 1–4). Near the end of his childhood education, Columbanus had a fateful encounter with an anonymous female hermit, who counseled him to go on a peregrinatio – an Irish custom where an individual leaves their homeland and becomes a type of exile, thus losing many legal protect…

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Lovell, Michael, “Columbanus”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 26 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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