The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Adamnan, Saint
ADAMNAN, Saint (der. of Adam), Irish ecclesiastic and author: b. in Donegal, c. 625; d. 703 or 704. He was descended from a cousin of St. Columba and from powerful Irish chieftains. Entering the monastery of Iona, he became abbot in 697; but was involved in quarrels with his monks over Easter and the tonsure (enforcing the orthodox Roman view against the Irish Church view), which hastened his death. He wrote a most valuable life of St. Columba (q.v.), the founder of Iona, full of historical information about the early Irish-Scotch Church (best edition Reeves', 1857; English translation in the ‘Historians of Scotland,’ 1874, reissued Oxford 1895); and a hearsay but valuable report of matters in Palestine in his time, the first we have of that land in the early Middle Ages.