Between metz and überlingen: Columbanus and gallus in alamannia

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After Columbanus was expelled from Luxeuil, he journeyed to Paris and Metz. Theudebert, ruler of Austrasia, proposed that Columbanus found a monastery on the eastern edges of his kingdom. Columbanus consented and led his monks to the Lake Constance area, where they engaged in a failed missionary attempt. They angered the local populace with their forceful proselytization and were soon driven out of the region. Columbanus resumed his initial plan to relocate to Italy, but one of his monks, Gallus, was left behind and later set up a small hermitage near the Steinach stream. Jonas of Bobbio described the entire episode in terms of mission, but Columbanus was not literally a missionary. His Alamannian activities are best understood when compared to his other attempts at monastic foundation. This chapter explores the political undertones of the Alamannian mission, the reasons for its ultimate failure, and the later achievements of Gallus.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationColumbanus and the Peoples of Post-Roman Europe
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9780190857967
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2018. All rights reserved.


  • Alamannia
  • Alamannic duchy
  • Bregenz
  • Columbanus and gallus
  • Theudebert ii


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