Saints – Relevance and Influence – Summary

Although this project set out to explore the “transition” timeframe based on Class 2 Stones and Saints of Scotland, it became apparent there were three more relevant areas to consider – two involve Saint associations with the other classes of Pictish Stones and one does not relate to an association with Pictish Stones at all. The common thread is the Comprehensive List of Saints of Scotland.

Of the 134 Saints of Scotland in the Comprehensive List in Part 2, just over half, 71, appear to have a “plausible” likelihood of relevance in the introduction or transition to Christianity in Scotland. They are grouped together as follows:

Nine Saints with a recorded association with a specific Class 2 Stone plus one who has a documented association which is “possible” i.e. St Orland with Cossans Stone.

Two Class 1 Stones with a recorded Saint association (Navidale with St Ninian assessed as “plausible” and Kintradwell with St Tredwell assessed as “possible”).

One Class 1 and fifteen Class 3 Stones (at Tullich) which together may have influenced transition so have been assessed as “plausible”.

Sixty Saints with no recorded association with a Symbol Stone but who were active in the overall timeframe under consideration and have “plausible” relevance.

The Consolidated List of Saints Names created from Source A (compiled predominantly from Wikipedia), Source B (St Andrews Chapel Frieze in Westminster Cathedral) and Source C (A Calendar of Scottish Saints created in 1919) has enabled an analysis of correlations across the Saints’ Names. Source A was the start point but has only 54% of Names compared with the Total of 134.

In a Westminster Cathedral website it is stated that the names of the Saints on the St Andrew’s chapel frieze came from the Calendar of Saints compiled by Dom Michael Barrett. This goes towards explaining why the correlation of the Frieze Names to the Total is 84% and that of the Calendar to the Total is 91% and has reinforced the value of seeking several sources of information.

For the 49 Class 2 Stone locations it was found that 11 had a recorded association with a Saint’s name. This is a small proportion of the total number of Saints in this website’s Consolidated List.

Taking the time-frame information for Saints associated with a Stone plus those which are not, a significant peak of activity is apparent in the 6th and 7th centuries. With 60 Saints not having an association with a Stone they outweigh those that do by more than 5 times. Any influence a Saint might have had in facilitating the erection of a Stone is unclear as is the prospect of their using Class 2 Stones to promote transition between beliefs.

Further detail is in the Outcome PDF.