Constantine of Cornwall and Govan

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Saint '''Constantine of Cornwall''', also '''Constantine of Dumnonia''', '''Constantine III of Britain''', '''Saint Custennin''', '''Custennin ap Cado''', '''Custennin ap Cadwr''',<ref>[[w:Anthony Birley|Anthony Richard Birley]]. ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=JzEp5Di15o8C&dq=inauthor:%22Anthony+Richard+Birley%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s The People of Roman Britain].'' University of California Press, 1980. p.210.<br>
 
Saint '''Constantine of Cornwall''', also '''Constantine of Dumnonia''', '''Constantine III of Britain''', '''Saint Custennin''', '''Custennin ap Cado''', '''Custennin ap Cadwr''',<ref>[[w:Anthony Birley|Anthony Richard Birley]]. ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=JzEp5Di15o8C&dq=inauthor:%22Anthony+Richard+Birley%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s The People of Roman Britain].'' University of California Press, 1980. p.210.<br>
:Citing: [[w:Peter Bartrum|P.C. Bartrum]]. ''Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts.'' Cardiff: University of Wales, 1966. p.179.</ref> or '''Costentyn''' (ca. 520-576 AD) is a 6th century Cornish saint that is identified with a minor British king Constantine. After a life of vice, he came to repentance in Wales and Ireland, and from there he went as a missionary to Scotland, where he was put to death by pirates. Two places in Cornwall are named after him.<ref name=LATIN>Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome. ''[http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/stdmar.htm Constantine March 9].''</ref>
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:Citing: [[w:Peter Bartrum|P.C. Bartrum]]. ''Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts.'' Cardiff: University of Wales, 1966. p.179.</ref> or '''Costentyn''' (ca. 520-576 AD)<ref name=SYNAX-MARCH-9>Great Synaxaristes: {{el icon}} ''[http://www.synaxarion.gr/gr/sid/2392/sxsaintinfo.aspx Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ Μάρτυρας ὁ τῆς Κορνουάλλης].'' 9 Μαρτίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ. (†576)</ref><ref name=NASH-FORD>David Nash Ford's '''Early British Kingdoms (EBK)'''. ''[http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/constsdm.html St. Constantine of Cornwall, King of Dumnonia (c.AD 520-576)].'' Nash Ford Publishing, 2001.</ref> is a 6th century Cornish saint that is identified with a minor British king Constantine. After a life of vice, he came to repentance at [[w:St Davids|St Davids]] monastery in Wales. Two places in Cornwall are still named after him.<ref name=LATIN>Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome. ''[http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/stdmar.htm Constantine March 9].''</ref> It is also maintained that he went from Wales to Ireland and from there as a missionary to the Picts in Scotland, where he was [[Martyr|martyred]] by pirates at [[w:Mull of Kintyre|Cantyre]] (Kintyre). However there are difficulties with this latter part of his [[hagiography]] involving a conflation of events with one or more other 'Constantines'.
  
The only contemporary information about him comes from [[Gildas]], who calls him king of ''Damnonia'' (probably [[w:Dumnonia|Dumnonia]]) and castigates him for his various sins, including the murder of two "royal youths" inside a church.<ref group="note">"According to [[w:Geoffrey of Monmouth|Geoffrey of Monmouth]], these were, in fact, the treacherous sons of the evil usurper, [[w:Mordred|Mordred]], who were killed in Winchester & London." (David Nash Ford's '''Early British Kingdoms (EBK)'''. ''[http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/constsdm.html St. Constantine of Cornwall, King of Dumnonia (c.AD 520-576)].'' Nash Ford Publishing, 2001.)</ref> Much later, [[w:Geoffrey of Monmouth|Geoffrey of Monmouth]] included the figure in his pseudohistorical chronicle ''[[w:The History of the Kings of Britain|Historia Regum Britanniae]]'', adding fictional details to [[Gildas|Gildas]]' account and making Constantine the successor to King Arthur as King of Britain. Under the influence of Geoffrey, derivative figures appeared in a number of later works.
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His [[feast day]] is observed on [[March 9]],<ref name="SYNAX-MARCH-9"/><ref name="NASH-FORD"/><ref name="LATIN"/> in the tradition of Cornwall and Wales, and on [[March 11]]<ref name=BUTLER>Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). ''[http://www.bartleby.com/210/3/114.html March 11 - St. Constantine, Martyr].'' The Lives of the Saints. Volume III: March. 1866. (Bartleby.com)</ref><ref name=FLEMING>William Canon Fleming (Rector of [[w:St Mary Moorfields|St. Mary’s, Moorsfields]], London). ''[http://www.archive.org/details/completehistoryo00flemuoft A Complete History of the British Martyrs – From the Roman Occupation to Elizabeth’s Reign].'' Proprietors of the Catholic Repository. Little Britain, London, 1902. (pp. 19,141,145)..<br>
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:* Cites: [[w:Richard Challoner|Challoner's]] ''' ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=JbZWQAAACAAJ&dq=Britannia+Sancta&hl=en&ei=jixlTv3lGKb40gG_gZGECg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA Britannia Sancta]'' ''' (Meighan, 1745).</ref><ref>Katherine I. Rabenstein. ''[http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0311.shtml March 11 - Constantine of Scotland M (AC)].'' St. Patrick Catholic Church, Washington, D.C. - Saint of the Day.</ref> in the Scottish and Irish traditions. It is possible that the British king (†576)<ref name="SYNAX-MARCH-9"/> is not the same person as the Scottish martyr (†576,<ref>Great Synaxaristes: {{el icon}} ''[http://www.synaxarion.gr/gr/sid/3082/sxsaintinfo.aspx Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ Μάρτυρας βασιλέας τῶν Σκώτων].'' 9 Μαΐου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.</ref> or †590<ref name="FLEMING"/>).<ref group="note">If it is to be argued that the Scottish martyr Constantine is a separate individual from the Cornish Saint Constantine, then perhaps he was a King of [[w:Damnonii|Damnonia]] (Strathclyde) not Dumnonia (Cornwall); however this is guesswork and there is no way to tell for certain. The ''Great Synaxaristes'' (in the Greek) includes an entry for March 9 for ''"St Constantine the Martyr of Cornwall"'' (†576) (translated), and another entry for May 9 for a ''"St Constantine the Martyr, King of the Scots"'' (†576) (translated), with the exact same death date for both. It also has a third entry for March 11 for ''"St Constantine the King"'' of Strathclyde (†640).</ref> To add to the ambiguity there is another (third?) saint from a slightly later period, King [[Constantine of Strathclyde]] (†640), whose feast day is [[March 11]] as well, but who is said to have reposed in peace (i.e. not the martyr),<ref>Great Synaxaristes: {{el icon}} ''[http://www.synaxarion.gr/gr/sid/2409/sxsaintinfo.aspx Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ βασιλεὺς].'' 11 Μαρτίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.</ref> and whose life has been inextricably conflated with the Scottish king-martyr. Therefore the traditions of St. Constantine of Cornwall (identified with the Scottish martyr of the same date), and St. Constantine of Strathclyde are very much confused. Canon [[w:Gilbert Hunter Doble|G.H. Doble]] in his ''Cornish Saints'' says that “the name has given rise altogether to one of the most fearful series of muddles in the whole history of hagiography.”<ref>[http://constantinecornwall.com/the-parish/st-constantine/ Constantine, Cornwall]. (''The Constantine website, serving the community of Constantine in Cornwall'').</ref><ref group="note">In ''"The De Excidio of Gildas: Its Authenticity and Date"'' by Thomas O’Sullivan, it has been suggested that "probably two or three Constantines have been confused", and quotes the judgment of Canon [[w:Gilbert Hunter Doble|G. H. Doble]] that:
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:“…there is not the smallest evidence that Constantine of Gildas is the St. Constantine whom we find honoured in the five parishes of Devon and Cornwall, as some persons, forgetful of the fact that Constantine was a very common name at the time, have rashly assumed.” (Thomas D. O'Sullivan. ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=q2U3i1X8B50C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false The De Excidio of Gildas: Its Authenticity and Date].'' BRILL, 1978. p.95.)</ref>
  
His [[feast day]] is observed on [[March 9]],<ref name="LATIN"/><ref>Great Synaxaristes: {{el icon}} ''[http://www.synaxarion.gr/gr/sid/2392/sxsaintinfo.aspx Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ Μάρτυρας ὁ τῆς Κορνουάλλης].'' 9 Μαρτίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.</ref><ref>David Nash Ford's '''Early British Kingdoms (EBK)'''. ''[http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/constsdm.html St. Constantine of Cornwall, King of Dumnonia (c.AD 520-576)].'' Nash Ford Publishing, 2001.</ref> in the tradition of Cornwall and Wales, and in the Scottish and Irish traditions on [[March 11]].<ref>Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). ''[http://www.bartleby.com/210/3/114.html March 11 - St. Constantine, Martyr].'' The Lives of the Saints. Volume III: March. 1866. (Bartleby.com)</ref><ref name=FLEMING>William Canon Fleming (Rector of [[w:St Mary Moorfields|St. Mary’s, Moorsfields]], London). ''[http://www.archive.org/details/completehistoryo00flemuoft A Complete History of the British Martyrs – From the Roman Occupation to Elizabeth’s Reign].'' Proprietors of the Catholic Repository. Little Britain, London, 1902. (pp. 19,141,145)..<br>
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==Life==
:* Cites: [[w:Richard Challoner|Challoner's]] ''' ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=JbZWQAAACAAJ&dq=Britannia+Sancta&hl=en&ei=jixlTv3lGKb40gG_gZGECg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA Britannia Sancta]'' ''' (Meighan, 1745).</ref><ref>Katherine I. Rabenstein. ''[http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0311.shtml March 11 - Constantine of Scotland M (AC)].'' St. Patrick Catholic Church, Washington, D.C. - Saint of the Day.</ref> It is possible that the British king (†576) is not the same person as the Scottish martyr (†576,<ref>Great Synaxaristes: {{el icon}} ''[http://www.synaxarion.gr/gr/sid/3082/sxsaintinfo.aspx Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ Μάρτυρας βασιλέας τῶν Σκώτων].'' 9 Μαΐου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.</ref> or †590<ref name="FLEMING"/>), while also noting that there is another Scottish saint from a slightly later period, [[Constantine of Strathclyde]] (†640) whose feast day is also on [[March 11]], but who is said to have reposed in peace (i.e. is not the martyr).<ref>Great Synaxaristes: {{el icon}} ''[http://www.synaxarion.gr/gr/sid/2409/sxsaintinfo.aspx Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ βασιλεὺς].'' 11 Μαρτίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.</ref> The traditions of St. Constantine of Cornwall and St. Constantine of Strathclyde are therefore, much confused. Canon [[w:Gilbert Hunter Doble|G.H. Doble]] in his ''Cornish Saints'' says that “the name has given rise altogether to one of the most fearful series of muddles in the whole history of hagiography.”<ref>[http://constantinecornwall.com/the-parish/st-constantine/ Constantine, Cornwall]. (''The Constantine website, serving the community of Constantine in Cornwall'').</ref>
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Constantine probably succeeded his father, [[w:Cador|Cador]], as King of Dumnonia in the early 6th century. Literary tradition indicates AD 537, after the [[w:Battle of Camlann|Battle of Camlann]] from which, some sources say, "Sir Constantine" was the only survivor.<ref name="NASH-FORD"/>
  
==Gildas' Account==
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The only contemporary information about him comes from [[Gildas]], who calls him king of ''Damnonia'' (probably [[w:Dumnonia|Dumnonia]]) and castigates him for his various sins, including the murder of two "royal youths" inside a church.<ref group="note">"According to [[w:Geoffrey of Monmouth|Geoffrey of Monmouth]], these were, in fact, the treacherous sons of the evil usurper, [[w:Mordred|Mordred]], who were killed in Winchester & London." (David Nash Ford's '''Early British Kingdoms (EBK)'''. ''[http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/constsdm.html St. Constantine of Cornwall, King of Dumnonia (c.AD 520-576)].'' Nash Ford Publishing, 2001.)</ref> Much later, [[w:Geoffrey of Monmouth|Geoffrey of Monmouth]] included the figure in his pseudohistorical chronicle ''[[w:The History of the Kings of Britain|Historia Regum Britanniae]]'', adding fictional details to [[Gildas|Gildas]]' account and making Constantine the successor to King Arthur as King of Britain. Under the influence of Geoffrey, derivative figures appeared in a number of later works.
[[Gildas]] mentions Constantine in chapters 28 and 29 of his 6th-century work ''[[w:De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae|De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae]].''<ref name=EXCIDIO>''[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Ruin_of_Britain#28 De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, ch. 28–29].''</ref><ref name=GILES>Giles, John Allen, ed. (1841). ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=3R1mCE7p44MC&printsec=titlepage#v=onepage&q&f=false The Works of Gildas and Nennius].'' London: James Bohn — English translation.</ref> He is one of five [[w:Britons (historical)|Brythonic]] kings whom the author rebukes and compares to Biblical beasts. Constantine is called the "tyrannical whelp of the unclean lioness of Damnonia", a reference to books of [[Prophet Daniel|Daniel]] and the [[Book of Revelation|Revelation]], and apparently also a slur directed at his mother. This Damnonia is generally associated with the kingdom of [[w:Dumnonia|Dumnonia]], a Brythonic kingdom in [[w:South West England|Southwestern Britain]].<ref>[[w:John Edward Lloyd|Lloyd, John Edward]]. ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=NYwNAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Lloyd+history+of+Wales#v=onepage&q=&f=false A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest].'' Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912.</ref> However, it is possible that Gildas was instead referring to the territory of the [[w:Damnonii|Damnonii]] in what was later known as the [[w:Hen Ogledd|Hen Ogledd]] or "Old North".
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Gildas says that despite swearing an oath against deceit and tyranny, Constantine disguised himself in an [[abbot]]'s robes and attacked two "royal youths" praying before a church altar, killing them and their companions. Gildas is clear that Constantine's sins were manifold even before this, as he had committed "many adulteries" after casting off his lawfully wedded wife. Gildas encourages Constantine, whom he knows to still be alive at the time, to repent his sins lest he be damned.<ref name="EXCIDIO"/><ref name="GILES"/>
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===Gildas' Account===
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[[Gildas]] writing in 547 AD mentions Constantine in chapters 28 and 29 of his work ''[[w:De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae|De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae]].''<ref name=EXCIDIO>''[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Ruin_of_Britain#28 De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, ch. 28–29].''</ref><ref name=GILES>Giles, John Allen, ed. (1841). ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=3R1mCE7p44MC&printsec=titlepage#v=onepage&q&f=false The Works of Gildas and Nennius].'' London: James Bohn — English translation.</ref> He is one of five [[w:Britons (historical)|Brythonic]] kings whom the author rebukes and compares to Biblical beasts. Constantine is called the "tyrannical whelp of the unclean lioness of Damnonia". This Damnonia is generally associated with the kingdom of [[w:Dumnonia|Dumnonia]], a Brythonic kingdom in [[w:South West England|Southwestern Britain]].<ref>[[w:John Edward Lloyd|Lloyd, John Edward]]. ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=NYwNAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Lloyd+history+of+Wales#v=onepage&q=&f=false A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest].'' Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912.</ref> However, it is possible that Gildas was instead referring to the territory of the [[w:Damnonii|Damnonii]] in what was later known as the [[w:Hen Ogledd|Hen Ogledd]] or "Old North".
  
==Identification==
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Gildas says that despite swearing an oath against deceit and tyranny, Constantine disguised himself in an [[abbot]]'s robes and attacked two "royal youths" praying before a church altar, killing them and their companions. Gildas is clear that Constantine's sins were manifold even before this, as he had committed "many adulteries" after casting off his lawfully wedded wife. Gildas encourages Constantine, whom he knows to still be alive at the time, to repent his sins lest he be damned.<ref name="EXCIDIO"/><ref name="GILES"/>
The historical Constantine of Dumnonia may have influenced later traditions, known in Southwestern Britain as well as in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, about a Saint Constantine who is usually said to have been a king who gave up his crown to become a monk. In the book, ''"The De Excidio of Gildas: Its Authenticity and Date"'' by Thomas O’Sullivan, it has been suggested that ''' ''"probably two or three Constantines have been confused",'' ''' and quotes the judgment of Canon [[w:Gilbert Hunter Doble|G. H. Doble]] that:
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:“…there is not the smallest evidence that Constantine of Gildas is the St. Constantine whom we find honoured in the five parishes of Devon and Cornwall, as some persons, forgetful of the fact that Constantine was a very common name at the time, have rashly assumed.<ref>Thomas D. O'Sullivan. ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=q2U3i1X8B50C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false The De Excidio of Gildas: Its Authenticity and Date].'' BRILL, 1978. p.95. ISBN 9789004057937</ref>
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'''South-west Britain'''<br>
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===Identification===
A Saint Constantine is revered in Devon and Cornwall, and has become identified with the monarch Constantine of Dumnonia (Constantine III of Britain).
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====South-west Britain====
 
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A Saint Constantine is revered in Devon and Cornwall, and has become identified with the monarch Constantine of Dumnonia (Constantine III of Britain). His name is given to the parish church of Milton Abbot in Devon, and the villages of [[w:Constantine, Cornwall|Constantine, Cornwall]] and [[w:Constantine Bay|Constantine Bay]], as well as to extinct chapels in [[w:Illogan|Illogan]] and Dunterton.
His name is given to the parish church of Milton Abbot in Devon, and the villages of [[w:Constantine, Cornwall|Constantine, Cornwall]] and [[w:Constantine Bay|Constantine Bay]], as well as to extinct chapels in [[w:Illogan|Illogan]] and Dunterton.
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The saint at Constantine Bay was almost certainly the 'wealthy man' of this name mentioned in the ''Life of Saint [[w:Saint Petroc|Petroc]].'' He was converted to Christianity by that holy man at nearby [[w:Little Petherick|Little Petherick]] after the deer Constantine was hunting took shelter with him.  
 
The saint at Constantine Bay was almost certainly the 'wealthy man' of this name mentioned in the ''Life of Saint [[w:Saint Petroc|Petroc]].'' He was converted to Christianity by that holy man at nearby [[w:Little Petherick|Little Petherick]] after the deer Constantine was hunting took shelter with him.  
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A Constantine "King of the Cornishmen" also appears in the ''Life of [[David of Wales|Saint David]]'' as having given up his crown in order to enter this saint's monastery at [[w:St Davids|St David's]].  
 
A Constantine "King of the Cornishmen" also appears in the ''Life of [[David of Wales|Saint David]]'' as having given up his crown in order to enter this saint's monastery at [[w:St Davids|St David's]].  
  
'''Scotland and Ireland'''<br>
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====Scotland and Ireland====
The conversion of a Constantine<ref group="note">"Conversion," be it noted is a term which may apply either to the acceptance of the Christian faith or to the adoption of monastic life.</ref> is recorded in the ''[[w:Annals of Ulster|Annals of Ulster]]'' in 588 and a Constantine appears in the ''Breviary of Aberdeen'' as entering a monastery in Ireland incognito before joining [[Kentigern of Glasgow|Saint Mungo]] (alias Kentigern) and becoming a missionary to the Picts. He was martyred in Scotland about 576, and [[w:John of Fordun|John of Fordun]] tells how he was buried at [[w:Govan Old Parish Church|Govan]] (where his shrine can still be seen today). Although revered on the same day as the Cornishman, the date has probably been transferred from one to the other.
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The conversion of a Constantine<ref group="note">"Conversion," be it noted is a term which may apply either to the acceptance of the Christian faith or to the adoption of monastic life.</ref> is also recorded in the ''[[w:Annals of Ulster|Annals of Ulster]]'' in 588 and a Constantine appears in the ''Breviary of Aberdeen'' as entering a monastery in Ireland incognito before joining [[Kentigern of Glasgow|Saint Mungo]] (alias Kentigern) and becoming a missionary to the Picts.
  
According to Bishop [[w:Richard Challoner|Richard Challoner]]'s life of ''"Saint Constantine, Prince and Priest",'' in his ''' ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=JbZWQAAACAAJ&dq=Britannia+Sancta&hl=en&ei=jixlTv3lGKb40gG_gZGECg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA Britannia Sancta]'' ''' (1745):
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According to Bishop [[w:Richard Challoner|Richard Challoner]]'s life of ''"Saint Constantine, Prince and Priest",'' in ''' ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=JbZWQAAACAAJ&dq=Britannia+Sancta&hl=en&ei=jixlTv3lGKb40gG_gZGECg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA Britannia Sancta]'' ''' (1745), cited by William Canon Fleming in ''A Complete History of the British Martyrs'' (1902):
  
 
<blockquote>Martyred at [[w:Mull of Kintyre|Cantyre]], in Scotland, on March 11th, 590.<br>
 
<blockquote>Martyred at [[w:Mull of Kintyre|Cantyre]], in Scotland, on March 11th, 590.<br>
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==Veneration==
 
==Veneration==
'''South-west Britain'''<br>
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===South-west Britain===
 
The two major centers for the cult of Saint Constantine (of Dumnonia) were the church in [[w:Constantine, Cornwall|Constantine Parish]] and the Chapel of Saint Constantine in [[w:St Merryn|St Merryn]] Parish (now [[w:Constantine Bay|Constantine Bay]]), both in Cornwall,<ref>Orme, Nicholas. ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=JxIjiMStTKIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s#v=onepage&q&f=false The Saints of Cornwall].'' Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0198207654</ref> and both of which may have originally supported monastic establishments.<ref group="note">However, Dr. Lynette Olson (1989) has challenged Charles Henderson's assertion (Henderson 1937) that there was a monastic establishment at [[w:Constantine, Cornwall|Constantine, Kerrier]], Cornwall.</ref>  
 
The two major centers for the cult of Saint Constantine (of Dumnonia) were the church in [[w:Constantine, Cornwall|Constantine Parish]] and the Chapel of Saint Constantine in [[w:St Merryn|St Merryn]] Parish (now [[w:Constantine Bay|Constantine Bay]]), both in Cornwall,<ref>Orme, Nicholas. ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=JxIjiMStTKIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s#v=onepage&q&f=false The Saints of Cornwall].'' Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0198207654</ref> and both of which may have originally supported monastic establishments.<ref group="note">However, Dr. Lynette Olson (1989) has challenged Charles Henderson's assertion (Henderson 1937) that there was a monastic establishment at [[w:Constantine, Cornwall|Constantine, Kerrier]], Cornwall.</ref>  
  
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The saint's day is generally celebrated on [[March 9]], and an annual "Feast" is held in the [[w:Constantine, Cornwall|village of Constantine]], on the Sunday nearest to March 9.
 
The saint's day is generally celebrated on [[March 9]], and an annual "Feast" is held in the [[w:Constantine, Cornwall|village of Constantine]], on the Sunday nearest to March 9.
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===Scotland and Ireland===
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The [[w:Govan Old Parish Church|monastery at Govan]] however is said to have been founded by Saint [[Constantine of Strathclyde]] whose shrine at Govan is still in existence. English archaeologist and historian [[w:Ralegh Radford|C. A. R. Radford]] has said that the Constantine whose shrine is at Govan (Constantine of Strathclyde), and the Constantine connected to an important church in the Deanery of [[w:Kirkcudbrightshire|Desnes]] ([[w:Diocese of Galloway|Diocese of Galloway]]) are possibly different men, though the two are inextricably conflated in the hagiographical literature.<ref>[[w:Ralegh Radford|C. A. Ralegh Radford]] (Fellow of the British Academy). ''"[http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/adsdata/arch-769-1/ahds/dissemination/pdf/vol11/11_105_126.pdf The Early Church In Strathclyde and Galloway]".'' '''Medieval Archaeology''', 11 (1967), pp.105-126. p.118.</ref>
  
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
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* [http://constantinecornwall.com/the-parish/st-constantine/ Constantine, Cornwall]. (''The Constantine website, serving the community of Constantine in Cornwall'').  
 
* [http://constantinecornwall.com/the-parish/st-constantine/ Constantine, Cornwall]. (''The Constantine website, serving the community of Constantine in Cornwall'').  
 
* [[w:Anthony Birley|Anthony Richard Birley]]. ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=JzEp5Di15o8C&dq=inauthor:%22Anthony+Richard+Birley%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s The People of Roman Britain].'' University of California Press, 1980.
 
* [[w:Anthony Birley|Anthony Richard Birley]]. ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=JzEp5Di15o8C&dq=inauthor:%22Anthony+Richard+Birley%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s The People of Roman Britain].'' University of California Press, 1980.
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==External Links==
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* [http://everything.explained.at/Constantine_III_of_Britain/ Constantine III of Britain explained]. Everything.Explained.At.
  
 
[[Category:Rulers]]
 
[[Category:Rulers]]

Revision as of 19:12, September 6, 2011

Saint Constantine of Cornwall, also Constantine of Dumnonia, Constantine III of Britain, Saint Custennin, Custennin ap Cado, Custennin ap Cadwr,[1] or Costentyn (ca. 520-576 AD)[2][3] is a 6th century Cornish saint that is identified with a minor British king Constantine. After a life of vice, he came to repentance at St Davids monastery in Wales. Two places in Cornwall are still named after him.[4] It is also maintained that he went from Wales to Ireland and from there as a missionary to the Picts in Scotland, where he was martyred by pirates at Cantyre (Kintyre). However there are difficulties with this latter part of his hagiography involving a conflation of events with one or more other 'Constantines'.

His feast day is observed on March 9,[2][3][4] in the tradition of Cornwall and Wales, and on March 11[5][6][7] in the Scottish and Irish traditions. It is possible that the British king (†576)[2] is not the same person as the Scottish martyr (†576,[8] or †590[6]).[note 1] To add to the ambiguity there is another (third?) saint from a slightly later period, King Constantine of Strathclyde (†640), whose feast day is March 11 as well, but who is said to have reposed in peace (i.e. not the martyr),[9] and whose life has been inextricably conflated with the Scottish king-martyr. Therefore the traditions of St. Constantine of Cornwall (identified with the Scottish martyr of the same date), and St. Constantine of Strathclyde are very much confused. Canon G.H. Doble in his Cornish Saints says that “the name has given rise altogether to one of the most fearful series of muddles in the whole history of hagiography.”[10][note 2]

Contents

Life

Constantine probably succeeded his father, Cador, as King of Dumnonia in the early 6th century. Literary tradition indicates AD 537, after the Battle of Camlann from which, some sources say, "Sir Constantine" was the only survivor.[3]

The only contemporary information about him comes from Gildas, who calls him king of Damnonia (probably Dumnonia) and castigates him for his various sins, including the murder of two "royal youths" inside a church.[note 3] Much later, Geoffrey of Monmouth included the figure in his pseudohistorical chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae, adding fictional details to Gildas' account and making Constantine the successor to King Arthur as King of Britain. Under the influence of Geoffrey, derivative figures appeared in a number of later works.

Gildas' Account

Gildas writing in 547 AD mentions Constantine in chapters 28 and 29 of his work De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae.[11][12] He is one of five Brythonic kings whom the author rebukes and compares to Biblical beasts. Constantine is called the "tyrannical whelp of the unclean lioness of Damnonia". This Damnonia is generally associated with the kingdom of Dumnonia, a Brythonic kingdom in Southwestern Britain.[13] However, it is possible that Gildas was instead referring to the territory of the Damnonii in what was later known as the Hen Ogledd or "Old North".

Gildas says that despite swearing an oath against deceit and tyranny, Constantine disguised himself in an abbot's robes and attacked two "royal youths" praying before a church altar, killing them and their companions. Gildas is clear that Constantine's sins were manifold even before this, as he had committed "many adulteries" after casting off his lawfully wedded wife. Gildas encourages Constantine, whom he knows to still be alive at the time, to repent his sins lest he be damned.[11][12]

Identification

South-west Britain

A Saint Constantine is revered in Devon and Cornwall, and has become identified with the monarch Constantine of Dumnonia (Constantine III of Britain). His name is given to the parish church of Milton Abbot in Devon, and the villages of Constantine, Cornwall and Constantine Bay, as well as to extinct chapels in Illogan and Dunterton.

The saint at Constantine Bay was almost certainly the 'wealthy man' of this name mentioned in the Life of Saint Petroc. He was converted to Christianity by that holy man at nearby Little Petherick after the deer Constantine was hunting took shelter with him.

A Constantine "King of the Cornishmen" also appears in the Life of Saint David as having given up his crown in order to enter this saint's monastery at St David's.

Scotland and Ireland

The conversion of a Constantine[note 4] is also recorded in the Annals of Ulster in 588 and a Constantine appears in the Breviary of Aberdeen as entering a monastery in Ireland incognito before joining Saint Mungo (alias Kentigern) and becoming a missionary to the Picts.

According to Bishop Richard Challoner's life of "Saint Constantine, Prince and Priest", in Britannia Sancta (1745), cited by William Canon Fleming in A Complete History of the British Martyrs (1902):

Martyred at Cantyre, in Scotland, on March 11th, 590.
"The Scottish Breviaries commemorate on March 11th the Feast of Saint Constantine, Martyr. He is said to have been a prince who, after the death of his princess, retired from the world, and, having resigned his kingdom to his son, became a monk in the Monastery of Saint David's. Going afterwards to Ireland, he entered a religious house at St. Carthag at Rathene, where, unknown to any, he served for four years at a mill, until his name was discovered. He was then fully instructed, ordained priest, and sent as a missionary to the Picts in Scotland. Having for many years laboured with Saint Columba for their conversion, he established a religious community of men at Govan, and converted the inhabitants of Cantyre to Christianity. At length the happiness he so long desired came to him in his advanced age; he was slain by infidels actuated by hatred of the Christian religion."[6]

In addition, the Life of Saint Kentigern names another Constantine (March 11, †ca.640) as the son and successor Riderch Hael, king of Alt Clut, later known as Strathclyde.[14]

Veneration

South-west Britain

The two major centers for the cult of Saint Constantine (of Dumnonia) were the church in Constantine Parish and the Chapel of Saint Constantine in St Merryn Parish (now Constantine Bay), both in Cornwall,[15] and both of which may have originally supported monastic establishments.[note 5]

The ruined chapel at Constantine Bay also has a nearby holy well (uncovered in 1911). Taking the waters there was said to bring rain during dry weather. The chapel's splendid font is now in the parish church at St Merryn.

The saint's day is generally celebrated on March 9, and an annual "Feast" is held in the village of Constantine, on the Sunday nearest to March 9.

Scotland and Ireland

The monastery at Govan however is said to have been founded by Saint Constantine of Strathclyde whose shrine at Govan is still in existence. English archaeologist and historian C. A. R. Radford has said that the Constantine whose shrine is at Govan (Constantine of Strathclyde), and the Constantine connected to an important church in the Deanery of Desnes (Diocese of Galloway) are possibly different men, though the two are inextricably conflated in the hagiographical literature.[16]

Notes

  1. If it is to be argued that the Scottish martyr Constantine is a separate individual from the Cornish Saint Constantine, then perhaps he was a King of Damnonia (Strathclyde) not Dumnonia (Cornwall); however this is guesswork and there is no way to tell for certain. The Great Synaxaristes (in the Greek) includes an entry for March 9 for "St Constantine the Martyr of Cornwall" (†576) (translated), and another entry for May 9 for a "St Constantine the Martyr, King of the Scots" (†576) (translated), with the exact same death date for both. It also has a third entry for March 11 for "St Constantine the King" of Strathclyde (†640).
  2. In "The De Excidio of Gildas: Its Authenticity and Date" by Thomas O’Sullivan, it has been suggested that "probably two or three Constantines have been confused", and quotes the judgment of Canon G. H. Doble that:
    “…there is not the smallest evidence that Constantine of Gildas is the St. Constantine whom we find honoured in the five parishes of Devon and Cornwall, as some persons, forgetful of the fact that Constantine was a very common name at the time, have rashly assumed.” (Thomas D. O'Sullivan. The De Excidio of Gildas: Its Authenticity and Date. BRILL, 1978. p.95.)
  3. "According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, these were, in fact, the treacherous sons of the evil usurper, Mordred, who were killed in Winchester & London." (David Nash Ford's Early British Kingdoms (EBK). St. Constantine of Cornwall, King of Dumnonia (c.AD 520-576). Nash Ford Publishing, 2001.)
  4. "Conversion," be it noted is a term which may apply either to the acceptance of the Christian faith or to the adoption of monastic life.
  5. However, Dr. Lynette Olson (1989) has challenged Charles Henderson's assertion (Henderson 1937) that there was a monastic establishment at Constantine, Kerrier, Cornwall.

References

  1. Anthony Richard Birley. The People of Roman Britain. University of California Press, 1980. p.210.
    Citing: P.C. Bartrum. Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts. Cardiff: University of Wales, 1966. p.179.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ Μάρτυρας ὁ τῆς Κορνουάλλης. 9 Μαρτίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ. (†576)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 David Nash Ford's Early British Kingdoms (EBK). St. Constantine of Cornwall, King of Dumnonia (c.AD 520-576). Nash Ford Publishing, 2001.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome. Constantine March 9.
  5. Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). March 11 - St. Constantine, Martyr. The Lives of the Saints. Volume III: March. 1866. (Bartleby.com)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 William Canon Fleming (Rector of St. Mary’s, Moorsfields, London). A Complete History of the British Martyrs – From the Roman Occupation to Elizabeth’s Reign. Proprietors of the Catholic Repository. Little Britain, London, 1902. (pp. 19,141,145)..
  7. Katherine I. Rabenstein. March 11 - Constantine of Scotland M (AC). St. Patrick Catholic Church, Washington, D.C. - Saint of the Day.
  8. Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ Μάρτυρας βασιλέας τῶν Σκώτων. 9 Μαΐου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  9. Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Κωνσταντίνος ὁ βασιλεὺς. 11 Μαρτίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  10. Constantine, Cornwall. (The Constantine website, serving the community of Constantine in Cornwall).
  11. 11.0 11.1 De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, ch. 28–29.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Giles, John Allen, ed. (1841). The Works of Gildas and Nennius. London: James Bohn — English translation.
  13. Lloyd, John Edward. A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest. Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912.
  14. Clarkson, Tim (Winter 1999). "Rhydderch Hael". The Heroic Age 1 (2). Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  15. Orme, Nicholas. The Saints of Cornwall. Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0198207654
  16. C. A. Ralegh Radford (Fellow of the British Academy). "The Early Church In Strathclyde and Galloway". Medieval Archaeology, 11 (1967), pp.105-126. p.118.

Sources

Hagiographies (March 9th)

Hagiographies (March 11th)

Hagiography (May 9th)

(Saint Constantine the Martyr, King of the Scots, May 9).

Wikipedia

(Lists: "Custennin ap Cado (probably Saint Custennin) (c.530–c.560)")

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