Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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OUDOCEUS ( EUDDOGWY ) , saint , fl. late 6th cent. One of the early bishops of Llandaff . A ‘Vita’ in the ‘ Book of Llandaff ’ is the only authority for his life. This states that Oudoceus was the son of Buddig , a Breton prince , and Anauued , sister of S. Teilo , and returned to Llandaff with the latter. [The second ‘u’ in Anauued represents ‘v’.] He eventually succeeded Teilo in the bishopric , and is said to have sworn fealty to Canterbury . The remainder of the ‘Vita’ consists of descriptions of Oudoceus 's journey to Rome , the removal of relics by him from S. Davids and Llandeilo-fawr to Llandaff , and the miracles accomplished by him, one of which brings him into contact with S. Gildas . He d. on 2 July , on which day his festival was kept. The 12th cent. ‘ Book of Llandaff ’ as a whole was composed as an instrument to enhance the prestige of the see of Llandaff as reorganised by the Normans . Both the ‘ Vita Beati Oudocei ’ and the twenty-one charters which follow it form an integral part of the general design. The ‘Vita’ is of no historical value, and abounds in anachronisms and patent fictions. Legends about two or three different characters have been fused together, and Eudoce , a 9th cent , bishop of Glamorgan , becomes the saint Oudoceus by identification with the eponym of Llandogo in Monmouthshire , the only church that regards Oudoceus as its patron.

Bibliography:

  • The Lives of the British Saints , iv, 28-36;
  • Evans and Rhys , Liber Landavensis. The Text of the Book of Llan Dâv , 1893 , 130-60;
  • G. H. Doble , Saint Oudoceus extract from "The Journal of Theological Studies" July-Oct., 1942 (Vol.XLIII, No.171-2) and Jan.-Apr., 1943 (Vol.XLIV, No.173-4) ;
  • Duine , Memento des sources hagiographiques del'histoire de Bretagne , 1918 , 131;
  • The National Library of Wales Journal , iv, 123-57.

Author:

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