Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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AIDAN , a 6th cent. saint .

Known also as Aidus , Maidoc , and Madoc . His ‘Life,’ as preserved in Cotton. Vesp. MS. A. xiv at the British Museum and as printed in Colgan 's Acta Sanctorum , reveals Aidan as a saint connected chiefly with Ireland . His youth was, however, spent in south-west Wales , where he was a pupil of S. David , and where his name has been preserved in church appellations and place-names. Traditionally close links joined Ireland and Wales in the Age of the Saints . Tales of miracles performed by Aidan during his association with S. David are related in his ‘Life,’ which states too that he crossed into Wales to revisit his former tutor at a later period of his life. Rhygyfarch 's ‘ Life of S. David ’ describes further miraculous episodes in which Aidan was involved, and in the composite ‘ Life of S. Cadoc Aidan ( Maidoc ) is stated to have been present at that saint's altercation with king Arthur . S. Aidan is commemorated on 31 Jan. in all the Irish martyrologies.


  • The Lives of the British Saints , i, 116-26;
  • Colgan , Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae (1947), 208-23;
  • Rees , Lives of the Cambro British Saints of the fifth and immediate succeeding centuries, from ancient Welsh and Latin mss. in the British Museum, and elsewhere, with English translations, and explanatory notes (Llandovery, 1853) , 232-50;
  • Stanton , A Menology of England and Wales, or, brief memorials of the ancient British and English Saints, arranged according to the calendar together with the Martyrs of the 16th and 17th Centuries (1887) , 42;
  • O'Hanlon , Lives of the Irish saints, with special festivals, and the commemorations of holy persons, compiled from calendars, martyrologies, and various sources relating to the ancient Church history of Ireland (1875) , i, 521-80.


Hywel David Emanuel, M.A., (1921-70), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959