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Adamnan

624-704. Abbot of Iona. Born in County Donegal of the same royal blood as Columba,* he was educated at the monastic school at Clonard and converted during a visit to Northumbria about 676. Three years later he became the ninth abbot of Iona, which position he held to his death, proving himself to be the most distinguished incumbent since Columba. Adamnan wrote two books. His De Locis Sanctis is an account of a visit to the Holy Land and Constantinople about the year 690 by Arculf, a French bishop, and is of interest for the light it throws on similarities between monastic settlements in the Celtic* and Syriac Churches. His Life of Saint Columba is not a regular biography, but a compilation of the prophecies, miracles, and visions of the saint, interspersed with anecdotes that give us a fair picture of the man. Deeply concerned about the detachment of the Celtic Church from Rome, he persuaded the monks of the Irish Church to accept the Roman method of determining Easter, but could not convince his own monks to do so. A schism on this issue that occurred at his death was settled in 716 when Iona acknowledged the authority of Rome.

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