The Papar (from Irish "pap", "father" or "pope") were, according to early Icelandic historical sources, a group of Irish monks that inhabited Iceland at the time of the arrival of the Norsemen. However, no archeological proof of their existence has ever been found.

The Scandinavians began settling in Iceland in the 9th Century (874 AD), but the oldest source which mentions the existence of the Papar was only about 250 years later, in the "Íslendingabók" ("Book of the Icelanders"), written between 1122 and 1133. They are also referred to in the "Landnámabók" (the Icelandic Book of Settlements) which mentions that the Norse found Irish priests in Iceland when they arrived, together with bells and crosiers.

An earlier source that could possibly refer to the Papar is the work of Dicuil, an early 9th century (825 AD) Irish monk, which discussed the wandering of "holy men" to the lands of the north. However, it is not known whether Dicuil is speaking about Iceland, as Celtic hermits also settled in other islands of the north such as Orkney (565 AD) and Shetland.

Several Icelandic toponyms (see Toponymy) have been linked to the Papar, including the island of Papey, but no archeological evidence was found that would link the two names.

Another theory is that the two sources were conflated and that Ari Thorgilsson, the author of "Íslendingabók "also based his history on the writings of Dicuil. The traditional accounts have stated that the "papar" left when the Norse arrived, but it has been theorised that their influence may have helped Christianity spread in these areas.

"Papar" in the Faroes

There are also several toponyms relating to the papar in the Faroe islands.

Amongst these are Paparøkur near Vestmanna, and Papurshílsur near Saksun. Vestmanna itself is short for "Vestmannahøvn", meaning "harbour of the Westmen" or Irish.

In Skúvoy, a certain churchyard also has tombstones which display a possible Celtic origin, or at least influence. [Schei, Liv Kjørsvik & Moberg, Gunnie (2003) "The Faroe Islands". Birlinn.]

Some suggest that Grímur Kamban, may have been responsible for driving them out, despite being a probable Norse-Gael himself:

:"According to the Faereyinga Saga... the first settler in the Faroe Islands was a man named Grímur Kamban - "Hann bygdi fyrstr Færeyar", it may have been the land taking of Grímur and his followers that cauysed the anchorites to leave... the nickname Kamban is probably Gaelic and one interpretation is that the word refers to some physical handicap, another that it may point to his prowess as a sportsman. Probably he came as a young man to the Faroe Islands by way of Viking Ireland, and local tradition has it that he settled at Funningur in Eysturoy." [Schei, Liv Kjørsvik & Moberg, Gunnie (2003) "The Faroe Islands". Birlinn.]

"Papar" in the Northern Isles

Joseph Anderson noted that:

:"The two Papeys [of Orkney] , the great and the little (anciently Papey Meiri and Papey Minni), [are] now Papa Westray and Papa Stronsay... Fordun in his enumeration of the islands, has a 'Papeay tertia' [third Papey] , which is not now known. There are three islands in Shetland called Papey, and both in Orkney and in Shetland, there are severeal districts named Paplay or Papplay, doubtless the same as Papyli of Iceland" [Anderson, Joseph (Ed.) (1893) "Introduction to "Orkneyinga Saga". Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. James Thin and Mercat Press (1990 reprint). ISBN 0-901824-25-9]

"Papar" in the Shetland Islands

The Shetland Islands have many commemorations of the "papar" including the islands of Papa (one of the Scalloway Islands, lying north west of Burra and east of Oxna, connected to West Head of Papa), Papa Little and Papa Stour (Great Papa).

* Papil, West Burra

"Papar" in the Orkney Islands

The Orkneys also have many such commemorations:
* Papa Stronsay
* Papa Westray
* Holm of Papay

"Papar" in the Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides have many examples of the "papar", but with the crucial difference that the Norse language died out early in this area, and it is arguable whether Scottish Gaelic ever died out at all. There are at least three islands originally named "Papey", now spelt "Pabbay" (Gaelic: Pabaigh) in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland:

*Pabbay near Barra lying in the Bishop's Isles
*Pabbay near Harris
*Pabbay, South Uist gbmapping|NF775195

Pabay, is in the "Inner" Hebrides, near Skye.

See also

*Celtic Christianity
*Iro-Scottish monks
*Christianization of Scandinavia


* Axel Kristinsson, [ Is there any tangible proof that there were Irish monks in Iceland before the time of the Viking settlements?]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Papar — Papar …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • papar — pȁpar m <G pra, N mn pri> DEFINICIJA 1. bot. tropska biljka povijuša (Piper nigrum) iz porodice Piperaceae, podrijetlom iz Indije; biber 2. plod u obliku sitnih zrna, ob. samljeven u prah, služi kao začin, oštra okusa [crni papar sušeni… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • papar — v. tr. e intr. 1.  [Informal] Comer. • v. tr. 2.  [Informal] Alcançar, conquistar, obter. 3.  [Informal] Conseguir algo de forma pouco lícita. 4.  [Informal] Ganhar, vencer. 5.  [Informal] Percorrer determinada distância. 6.  [Informal] Ter… …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • papar — (Del b. lat. pappāre, comer). 1. tr. Comer cosas blandas, como sopas, papas, etc. sin mascar. 2. coloq. Tomar comida. 3. coloq. U. en exclamaciones para llamar la atención de otro sobre algo en que no reparaba como debía, o para indicarle que… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Papar — Les Papar (de l irlandais pap, père ou pape) étaient, selon les sources historiques islandaises, un groupe de moines irlandais qui habitaient en Islande à l époque de l arrivée des Scandinaves. Toutefois, aucune preuve archéologique de leur… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • papar — (Del lat. vulgar pappare.) ► verbo transitivo 1 Comer una cosa blanda sin mascar: ■ al no tener dientes sólo puede papar sopas. 2 Tomar cualquier alimento: ■ lleva toda la tarde papando embutido. SINÓNIMO comer 3 Hacer poco caso de una cosa: ■… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Papar — Original name in latin Papar Name in other language Papar State code MY Continent/City Asia/Kuching longitude 5.73333 latitude 115.93333 altitude 6 Population 19278 Date 2012 01 17 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • papar — {{#}}{{LM P28958}}{{〓}} {{ConjP28958}}{{\}}CONJUGACIÓN{{/}}{{SynP29659}} {{[}}papar{{]}} ‹pa·par› {{《}}▍ v.{{》}} {{※}}col.{{¤}} Comer: • Se papó el plato de sopa en un santiamén.{{○}} {{★}}{{\}}ETIMOLOGÍA:{{/}} Del latín pappare (comer).… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • papar — pa|par Mot Agut Verb transitiu …   Diccionari Català-Català

  • Papar — ISO 639 3 Code : dpp ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Living …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

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