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Cogitosus (fl. c. 650) was an Irish monk, who wrote the Vita Sanctae Brigidae.


Cogitosus was a monk of Kildare, an important monastery in Ireland, who wrote the oldest extant vita of Saint Brigid, Vita Sanctae Brigidae, around 650.[1] There is a controversy as to whether he was related to Saint Brigid.[2] Muirchú moccu Machtheni names Cogitosus as the first Irish hagiographer.[3]

Cogitosus writes in fairly good Latin, much better indeed than might be expected in that age,[2] likely drawing from earlier documents which had preserved older traditions of Brigid's life. His description of the church of Kildare with its interior decorations is specially interesting for the history of early Irish art and architecture. He describes in some detail the tombs of Brigid and Conleth. There are at least two contemporary English translations of Cogitosus's Life of St Brigid: one by Connolly and Picard in 1987[4] and another in 1993 by Liam da Paor.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bitel, Lisa M (2002). Textual Practice Summer 2002, Vol. 16 Issue 2. Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost). P. 211.
  2. ^ a b Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Cogitosus" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  3. ^ Breen,, Aidan. "Cogitosus", Dictionary of Irish Biography
  4. ^ The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1987, Vol. 117, p. 5 ff., Cogitosus's Life of St Brigit: Content and Value (commentary by Sean Connolly) followed on page 11 ff. by 'Cogitosus's Life of St Brigit' translated by S. Connolly and J.-M. Picard, accessed 13 February 2012
  5. ^ St Patrick's World, Liam de Paor, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1993 - chapter 33, Cogitosus's Life of St Brigid the Virgin, accessed 13 February 2012