The Life of Saint Enda, Abbot of Aran
By Matthias Egeler and Susanne Ruhland
The three Aran Islands in Galway Bay in the west of Ireland — Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr —have exerted a pull on Irish and British imagination unlike any other archipelago of their small size, with the exception perhaps of the Blasket Islands.
A central part of the foundation myth of the Islands is the Life of their patron saint Éanna (or Éinne), commonly anglicised as Enda and Latinised as Endeus. A scion of noble lineage who would have lived during the early years of Christianity in Ireland, his arrival on the Aran Islands constituted a complete break with everything that went before (or so his Life claims). Since tradition thus places him at the recorded beginning of one of Ireland’s most iconic places, it is almost ironic that no translation of his medieval Latin Life had been published to date. The present book aims to close this gap, and is prefaced by an essay on Landscape and Labour in the Life.