The preface of Gildas, the book of David, and the British Church in the sixth century

Constant J. Mews, Stephen J. Joyce

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper examines the connections between the penitential works attributed to Gildas and David and those of the anonymous author of the Poenitentiale Ambrosianum and Cummian. It argues that the penitential attributed to Gildas should be regarded as a genuine work by Gildas and that the Ambrosianum be considered as 'the book of David', from which excerpts were made. Attempts by Cummian to combine these two authorial traditions in seventh-century Ireland point to the continuing strength of a British Church, against the image presented by Bede.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-100
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • British Church
  • Cummian
  • David
  • Gildas
  • Penitentials

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