Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Zomg! I got tagged!

Thanks to Gabriele for tagging me with this meme.

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.
My variant is that rather than say 7 random/weird things about yourself, say them about a historical figure of your choice. (Let’s be generous, semi-historical, for all those interested in more or less mythical figures).
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

All right, and I choose... (drum roll)... Saint Columba. Ha! I flummoxed you all! Thought I was going to choose a Roman, dincha? Sorry, I've been reading the Bridei Chronicles.

I love Columba. I think he was the least saintly, most Machiavellian chancer ever to get a sainthood, but that's what makes him so interesting. I've got a couple of vague ideas for books set in the Early Historic period; maybe he'll show up in one.

Anyway, I'm not really sure how many of these can be considered proper facts, but at least they're entertaining! :)

1. Columba (or Columcille - "Dove of the church") was an Irish prince of the Uí Néill dynasty, a descendant of Niall of the Nine Hostages, born at Gartan, Donegal, on 7 December 521. Apparently, his mother Eithne was visited during her pregnancy by an angel, who told her she would bear a son of beautiful character who was destined to lead many souls to Heaven, blah blah. Believe that if you will. Considering Columcille was supposed to have been a foul-mouthed old sod, I can't help but wonder if the angel was given the wrong address! :D

2. Columba was the most distinguished student of Saint Finnian, but was accused, pretty much, of copyright infringement. The psalter in question is traditionally associated with the Cathach of Saint Columba. Things got a teensy weensy bit out of hand, culminating in the Battle of Cúl Dreimhe. For his part in it, Columba was banished, at the age of forty-two, and charged to convert as many souls to Christianity as had died in the battle. So off he went.

3. Columba and his followers landed first on Mull of Kintyre, but since Ireland was still in sight, they went further north until they landed on Iona. The local Druids protested - since, y'know, they were already there - but Columba and co. succeeded in chucking them off and setting up their famous monastery.

4. Columba's missionary regimen was... vigorous. He plunged into Pictland, converting people left, right, and centre. He visited King Brude, son of Maelchon, and did some miracle-making there. In a dramatic showdown, he trounced the king's Druid and foster-father, Broichan, more than once duels of magic and wills. On the more realistic side, it's very possible he converted Brude to Christianity while he was at the Pictish court.

5. One of the "miracles" attributed to Columba by Adomnán is how he cured one of his followers, Lugne Mocumin, of a nosebleed by - get this - pinching his nostrils shut.

6. Columba also helped to invent Scotland's tourist trade by meeting the Loch Ness Monster (if you believe this kind of thing). One day, while he and his followers were kicking about Pictland, they met some Picts burying a man who, they said, had been killed by a monster in the River Ness. Columba scoffed and, just to show how fearless he was, he sent Lugne - the nosebleed guy - to swim across the river to fetch the boat. Halfway across, Lugne was attacked by Nessie, who had been lying at the river bed and who'd obviously decided she could manage one more. Columba made the sign of the cross and told it to back off. So it did. Needless to say, the Picts watching the proceedings were immediately converted. I suppose the monster came back once she was sure Columba was gone. ;)

7. Columba died on 9 June 597. Unlike most saints, he didn't die a horrible, messy death at a young age, but quite comfortably at the age of seventy-five (good on him, I say). Before his death, he blessed the island of Iona and did some prophesying. He was praying in the church at midnight when he died. And - since this story wouldn't be complete without a miracle - his friend Diarmaid saw the church fill with light.

Anyway, hope they were interesting, at least. I'm tagging Jack and Crystal next. Have fun!


Gabriele C. said...

Ok, my guess was on Agricola or Calgacus, but Columba is fun, too. I should know, lol, since I used him when I decided to try my hands on writing a legend (which led to my first published story).

Thank you for playing along.

Crystal said...

Hey Kirsten! Thanks for the tag, i'll post mine for Friday. I need to think of a good one!

Crystal said...

Okay's gonna taken a little more time on the meme...My brain isn't use to actually thinking...LOL!

James Lewis said...

Yes, Columcille was a fascinating character, but 'Machiavellian'? I think not. You might want to take a look at my book "Paths of Exile: Narratives of St. Columba and the Praxis of Iona": .

Crystal said...

Hey sweet, just checking on you! Hope you had a good weekend and I look forward to your next post! Btw, when do you go back to school?

Crystal said...

I'm missing my girl! You okay sweet?? I hope so!

Celedë Anthaas said...

Hello! This looks like a nice blog, and an interesting meme :)

K.A. Denby said...

Hey, nice blog. I found your blog by chance whilst looking at Jack Dixon's blog.

Kirsten Campbell said...

Whoops! Disappear for a week or so, and this is what happens.

Gabriele - My first thought was to do Calgacus, but I don't think there are as many as seven facts about him. 'Course, I've got plenty of trivia concerning him in my book, but somehow I don't think that counts. :)

Crystal - Yeah, I'm okay. I've got exams in a couple of days, so I really shouldn't be here now... Missing you, too! I'll have to go by your blog for a while!

James - Hello, and thanks for stopping by. "Machiavellian" was slight hyperbole for humorous effect, but I do think his achievements owe as much to his guile and political acumen as his religious zeal.

And you've got a book on him? No, that's not fair, I'm already struggling to afford my coursebooks this term! :) *wanders Amazon-wards, whistling innocently*

Celedë - Hello, and welcome! :) I saw you chose Julius Civilis for your meme. Good stuff!

And a warm welcome to you, too, Kristopher! Seems we have a friend in common.

Everyone replied to? Yes? Good.

...Right, you never saw me.

(ducks out of sight)

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, I have the same problem with Arminius. I could come up with seven things I made up about him, but the Roman sources are more or less along the lines, he was pretty intelligent for a barbarian, sneaky, and kicked our ass, though that was mostly Varus fault who should not have trusted an intelligent, sneaky barbarian. :)

Crystal said...

LOL! No, I didn't see you, you were never here and I'm not saying goodluck and do well on those exams;0)

Kirsten Campbell said...

Gabriele - Lol, that could make a meme in itself, for the historical fiction writers: "List seven random things you made up about a historical character."

Crystal - Heehee. And I'm definitely not saying "Thank you!"