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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

Abthain

An English or Lowland Scotch form of the middle-Latin word abthania, meaning abbacy

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Abthain (or ABTHANE), an English or Lowland Scotch form of the middle-Latin word abthania (Gaelic, abdhaine), meaning abbacy. The exact sense of the word being lost, it was presumed to denote some ancient dignity, the holder of which was called abthanus or abthane. Dr. W. F. Skene (Historians of Scotland, IV; Fordun, II, 413) holds that the correct meaning of abthain (or abthane) is not “abbot” or “over-thane”, but “abbey” or “monastery.” The word has special reference to the territories of the churches and monasteries founded by the old Celtic or Columban monks, mostly between the mountain chain of the Mounth and the Firth of Forth. Dr. Skene recommends the use of the word abthany or abthanry. Many of these abthains passed into the hands of laymen, and were transmitted from father to son. They paid certain ecclesiastical tributes, and seem to have closely resembled the termon lands of the early Irish Church.

THOMAS WALSH


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