Models of Cross-Channel Migration in Latin Lives of British and Breton Saints

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines episodes of travel between Britain and Brittany as expressed in medieval Latin hagiographical texts. It will focus on texts composed in Britain and Brittany before about 1200, paying particular attention to stated contexts and motivations for such travel. It begins with a survey of those texts that include episodes of cross-Channel travel; more detailed attention is then paid to a small number of those texts that seem, directly or indirectly, to locate their subjects in pseudo-historical narratives of migration and foundation. The Lives that evince this latter model are the Lives of SS Winwaloe, Gurthiern, Goueznou, Teilo, Euddogwy, and to a certain extent Padarn. This subset arguably moves beyond what we might consider unremarkable hagiographical tropes of travel, to make what is in effect a comment on the nature of the close relationship between Britain and Brittany, very often presented as one of foundation of Brittany through migration from Britain. Several of these Lives, however, present a picture of greater complexity, with the direction of travel and influence being from Brittany to Britain as well as vice versa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-39
Number of pages27
JournalCambrian Medieval Celtic Studies
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Medieval historical writing
  • hagiography
  • Cornwall
  • Wales
  • Brittany


Dive into the research topics of 'Models of Cross-Channel Migration in Latin Lives of British and Breton Saints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this