Mac Carthaig, Christianus (Christanus)
When the church of Weih-Sankt-Peter, home of the first Irish monks who had arrived some two decades earlier, proved inadequate for the growing numbers in the latter part of the eleventh century, the Schottenklöster dedicated to St James and St Gertrude at Regensburg was founded. While the founding fathers, under the leadership of Muiredach son of Robartach (Marianus Scottus (qv)), had originally come from Ulster, from the twelfth century onwards the personnel were almost exclusively of Munster origin. This development may be partly due to the Munster origins of Christianus himself. He was responsible for the expansion of the congregation, which resulted in St James's becoming the mother house of a series of new foundations throughout southern Germany and Austria, among them houses in Würzburg, Erfurt, Nuremberg, and Vienna. It was during his abbacy, too, that the monastic scriptorium began to produce texts that are still of interest to Irish historians. While they represent the conventions and models of the neighbouring scriptoria, some of these Regensburg texts betray a strong interest in Munster politics and show a special bias towards the Mac Carthaig kings. The ‘Visio Tnugdali’ and the ‘Vita Albarti’ bear testimony to an interest in Cashel as an archiepiscopal see, as a royal city of Munster, and as an ancestral seat of the Meic Carthaig. Christianus also commissioned a necrology in the manner of other Regensburg monasteries, including in it the names of the abbots and brethren of the various Schottenklöster, and those of associated monasteries. This valuable document also includes the names of German bishops, benefactors, kings and emperors, together with the names of Irish bishops, abbots, benefactors, and a number of kings, mostly from Munster.
Christianus was succeeded as abbot by Gregorius (qv), who maintained the interests of his predecessor by keeping the necrology up to date, by commissioning Lives of certain saints, by expanding the congregation, and by undertaking an ambitious building programme, the results of which are largely still extant.