Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission

Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission (IrCaBriTT)

The Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission (IRCABRITT) project is funded by the Laureate Scheme (2018–2022) of the Irish Research Council and led by Dr Jacopo Bisagni.

The IRCABRITT project will explore the intellectual exchanges between Ireland, Brittany and Francia during the Carolingian age (c. AD 750–1000). More specifically, the project will assess the impact of the literary and scholarly heritage of early Christian Ireland on the shaping of textual and cultural identity among the intellectual élite of medieval Brittany, a country situated on the frontier between the Insular world and the European mainland.

The research will focus on a newly-discovered group of highly distinctive early medieval texts on computus (the science of time-reckoning) and biblical exegesis, all showing clear links with Brittany. Besides providing substantial new evidence for hitherto neglected areas of Breton education and scholarship in the Carolingian age, these works demonstrate the formative contribution of medieval Irish learning to the development of Breton ‘scientific’ and religious ideas already between the late eighth and the early ninth century.

Philological analysis of the newly-discovered texts and the manuscripts that contain them will be carried out with a view to shedding light on the sources available to the medieval Breton ecclesiastical literati, the linguistic character of Breton Latinity, and the Breton contribution to the development of Carolingian computus and exegesis. Moreover, the integration of this new evidence into a comprehensive assessment of the Breton transmission of Irish literature will allow the IRCABRITT team to explore the intellectual networks that linked the Insular, Breton and Frankish scriptoria where these works were produced, copied and studied.

For more information, see the project website: