Bobbio in the early middle ages
The abiding legacy of Columbanus
Bobbio was the last monastery founded by St Columbanus, who died two years after its inception. It soon became the most important monastery in northern Italy.
Several dozen manuscripts, some lavishly illuminated, have survived from the first three centuries of its existence. The largest body of Old Irish glosses passed through Bobbio before ending up in Milan.
The evidence for Bobbio in the early Middle Ages is richer than for any Irish monastery in those times, with a substantial amount of source material available on the economic status of the monastery in the late 9th century. This is the first full-scale study of this institution which will celebrate its 1400th anniversary in 2012.
Michael Richter taught medieval history at UCD and at the University of Konstanz between 1972 and 2006. His many publications include The formation of the medieval west (2004) and Ireland and her neighbours in the seventh century (1999).