Saxon or European? Interpreting and Reinterpreting St Boniface
St Boniface (c.680–754) has been called one of the ‘founders of Christian Europe’for his wide-ranging influence on religion, politics and culture in the early MiddleAges. This Anglo-Saxon was a missionary in Frisia, reformer in Germany, promotedpapal authority, and supported the Carolingian seizure of royal power in Frankiain 751. Yet the precise significance of his achievements has always been subject tointerpretation, invention and challenge. This essay explores some of the medieval andmodern attitudes to Boniface, examining how and why representations of the saintremain varied and open to change. In particular it asks why the commemoration of StBoniface was divorced from the conversion of Saxony – a task he as an Anglo-Saxonhad actively promoted – and instead became a matter of European meaning.