Opinions are divided as to whether he was a Culdee, a representative of a national Frankish movement, or simply the charlatan that Boniface paints him.
Brechin is a prosperous town, of great antiquity, having been the site of a Culdee abbey.
Upon St Serf's, the largest, which commemorates the patron saint of Fifeshire, are the ruins of the Priory of Portmoak - so named from St Moak, the first abbot - the oldest Culdee establishment in Scotland.
As Hector Boece, " that pillar of falsehood," dubbed these presbyters " Culdees," " the pure Culdee," a blameless presbyterian, almost prehistoric, has been claimed as the ancestor of Scottish presbyterianism; and episcopacy has been regarded as a deplorable innovation.
The Irish church has paid more reverence to St Patricius than to Palladius (373-463), and the church of St Patricius, himself a figure as important as obscure, certainly abounded in bishops; according to Angus the Culdee there were 1071, but these cannot have been bishops with territorial sees, and the heads of monasteries were more potent personages.