“The Most Contemptible to Many” A New Translation of Patrick's Confession

Open Access
Dooley, Timothy William
Area of Honors:
Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Paul B Harvey, Thesis Supervisor
  • Paul B Harvey Jr, Thesis Supervisor
  • Mary Lou Z Munn, Honors Advisor
  • Gonzalo Rubio, Faculty Reader
  • St. Patrick
  • Confessio
  • Confession
  • Ireland
  • Irish History
  • Early Christian Ireland
  • Early Church History
  • Christianity
  • Church History
  • Patristics
Patrick's Confession has puzzled scholars of Late Antiquity and Early Christian Ireland for years. It is an enigmatic text written by an aspiring holy man. What it lacks in correct grammar and fluent style, it makes up for in its excessive insistence on the author's humility and service to Christ. This paper presents a new translation of the work, the longest of the only two extant works from Patrick's pen. My commentary seeks to elaborate on some of the ambiguities in the author's work and to place what little we can discern in this document in an historical context.