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An Irish or Scottish monk of the 8th to 12th centuries, living as a recluse usually in a group of thirteen (on the analogy of Christ and his Apostles). The tradition ceased as the Celtic Church was brought under Roman Catholic rule.

The name is recorded from late Middle English, and comes from medieval Latin culdeus, alteration, influenced by Latin cultores Dei ‘worshippers of God’ of kelledei (plural, found in early Scottish records), from Old Irish céle dé, literally ‘companion of God’.

Subjects: European History.

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