• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and explain the issues included in uncovering the historical Patrick (30 Marks)

Extracts from this document...


Outline and explain the issues included in uncovering the historical Patrick (30 Marks) Charlotte McCaffrey When explaining the issues involved in uncovering the historical background, it is a most difficult task. This is for a number of reasons, but the main reason would be the lack of historical information in Patrick's writings. Patrick felt dates were unimportant, and so didn't include many of them in his writings. This means that his writings are a lot more useful for getting an insight into his thoughts and feelings, for hearing Patrick's spiritual journey in his own words, and hearing about the difficulties he faced in his mission, and how he responded to them. However, whenever it comes down to historical background, key dates, or geographical information, Patrick's writings aren't as useful as would be hoped, and therefore a lot of scholars draw their own conclusions, which we must take into account when trying to make our own. Kenney says that when we search for historical facts within Patrick's writings, "we are faced with an exasperating incoherence, which leaves the meaning constantly in doubt" and suggests that Patrick may actually be a much more obscure character than we would like to admit. ...read more.


Charles Thomas believes that the only place to fulfil all three criteria would be the North West of Britain. He concludes that the most likely location is Carlisle, which "entirely outweighs that of Daventry, Dumbarton or elsewhere." It is also far enough North to explain Patrick's poor use of Latin. Dark warns us that any attempt to locate Bannavem Taburniae is based on assumptions, and cannot be taken as facts; however he believes the only place we can safely say for definite suffered from frequent raids by the Irish during the fifth and sixth century were the areas of Cotswolds and Dorset. There has also been a great deal of debate in regards to the location of Silva Foclutti (the wood of Foclut). It arises in Patrick's narration of the "call", when he says "As I read the beginning of the letter, I seem to hear the voice of those who were by the wood of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they cried as with one voice, Holy Boy, we are asking you to come and walk among us again." Bury O'Rahilly and Hanson assume that this is referring to the place of Patrick's captivity, and Mohrmann agrees, saying interpreting Patrick's words seems to suggest that "they are from the mouth of people ...read more.


The unresolved debate regarding Patrick and Gaul has led many to believe that some of the details of the life of the historical Patrick can never be resolved, and are forever lost to the historian. Others argue that the most important part of Patrick, such as his personality shall be preserved for eternity, in his own writings. There is so little historical information about Patrick that there is even conflict regarding the dating of Patrick, even his death. Charles Thomas believes that Patrick wrote his letter to Coroticus at some time between 465-475, and that the Confessio was written sometime after 480. He says that "the annalistic dates from his death cluster around the early 490's may reflect with some reality, the tradition that he dies before the end of the century." In 1942, Thomas O'Rahilly suggested a later dating for Patrick's mission, still within the fifth century. He took the evidence from the fifth and sixth century annals into account, and concluded that Patrick arrived in Ireland in 461, and died in 492/3. In conclusion, although it is very difficult to determine historical fact in regard to Patrick, if we focus on hints within his letters, scholarly opinion, and what he says himself, we can come up with some possible dates and locations for Patrick's birth, mission, and death, and this will hopefully in time become more conclusive. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. The evangelist included the signs in order to make people believe. Assess this claim. ...

    (John 20:31) Tasker mentions that some scholars in the past believed this statement to be a later addition to the gospel, by a later author or redactor. However, since there is no evidence for this, it is necessary to assume that the original author of John's gospel wrote the statement themselves.

  2. Critically assess the view that the two Patrick theory solves the puzzle of Patrick

    Mochta, we know was a disciple of Patrick. There are two different sources to base this on. The first is when Adomn´┐Żn refers to him, as "a certain stranger, a Briton and a holy man, disciple of the holy bishop Patrick.

  1. Give an account of the missionary outreach of the Celtic Church in Britain? ...

    The Christians were desolate, and their morale was too low to try and engage in evangelisation with their pagan invaders. They began to lapse into their pagan ways in the same way the people of Israel did when Jeroboam 1 was their king.

  2. What do we learn about Luke's intentions from the birth and infancy narratives?

    'today is born to you in the city of David, the Messiah'. Luke then goes on to show Jesus as both a kingly and a priestly messiah. He does this to grab different audiences and hopes that by doing this, he has more support for Christianity.

  1. Cyrano de Bergerac Act V Character List.

    He tells the story of the past week." *Roxane wonders where Cyrano is because he is never late: "The hour!- He will be coming now-- my silks- All done striking? He never was so late Before! The sister at my door--my thimble... Here it is--she must be exhorting him To repent all his sins...(A pause)

  2. Religion…True or False?

    The idea is for that the religion and the government to constantly oppose each other, with Bokonon the virtuous prohibit, hiding from it all. The doctrines that make up Bokononism consist of a "language itself [that] is amusing, [yet] serves to outline an approach to life that has considerable appeal" (Lundquist 37)

  1. Are the arguments put forward in favour of the Ordination of women satisfactory?

    Violence against a person was hence regarded as an act of violence against God: "Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person's blood be shed, for in his own image God made humankind." This notion is also true for injustice.

  2. Christian perspectives on personal, social and world issues

    There are also vaccinations available so that the chance of catching a disease is decreased. Infant mortality rate is very low as mothers can choose when they want a family and can stop unwanted pregnancies by using a variety of contraceptive methods.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work