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    Bede (/ b iː d / BEED; Old English: Bǣda, Bēda; 672/3 – 26 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable (Latin: Beda Venerabilis), was an English monk at the monastery of St Peter and its companion monastery of St Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles (contemporarily Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey in Tyne and Wear, England).

    • Early Life
    • Scientific Texts
    • Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of The English People

    Born around 673 in the north of England, Bede entered the monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow at the age of seven. Later in 682, he moved to Jarrow, where he had access to a well-stocked library that had been created by the abbots who had founded the community: Benedict Biscop (d. 690) and Ceolfrith (d. 716). Bede devoted his life to teaching and writing...

    Bede also wrote a variety of works on orthography (spelling conventions), and metre (poetic rhythm) as well as a number of scientific treatises. His early work De natura rerum (On the Nature of Things) is an encyclopaedic text, collecting contemporary theories about a wide range of subjects, including cosmology, time and arithmetic. De temporum rat...

    Bede is most famous for his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People), which was completed in 731 when he was around 59 years old. This work was modelled on the Ecclesiastical Historyby the Greek historian Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 339/340), and it tells the story of the establishment and spread of Christi...

    • Life
    • Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum
    • Legacy

    Very little is known about Bede's life outside of what he himself writes in the final chapter of the Historia Ecclesiastica. Bede was born in either 672 or 673 CE; he claims to have been born on the very grounds of the monastery of Jarrow. This would mean he was born in Bernicia, the northernmost of the two Northumbrian kingdoms (Bernicia and Deira...

    Bede's most well-known work is a history of the Christian Church in England. While Bede also provides an in-depth history of England up to his own lifetime, his main focus is the spread of Christianity in his native country. A lengthy discussion of the development of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms up to the 8th century CE is complemented with a catalogue of ...

    Bede's work was widely renowned almost immediately after his death. He was venerated as a saint in the Jarrow monastic community and his posthumous reputation spread throughout neighbouring Anglo-Saxon territories. He was remembered as an authority on theological doctrine as well as for his history and was extremely influential in terms of the chro...

    • Childhood
    • Adult Life
    • Works
    • The Theologian
    • The Chronologist
    • The Historian
    • Death and Reputation
    • Bede on Bede
    • Source

    Little is known of Bede's childhood, other than he was born in March of 672 to parents living on land belonging to the newly founded Monastery of St. Peter, based in Wearmouth, to which Bede was given by relatives for a monastic education when he was seven. Initially, in the care of Abbot Benedict, Bede's teaching was taken over by Ceolfrith, with ...

    Bede spent the rest of his life as a monk at Jarrow, first being taught and then teaching to the daily rhythms of monastic rule: for Bede, a mixture of prayer and study. He was ordained as a Deacon aged 19 – at a time when Deacons were supposed to be 25 or over – and a priest aged 30. Indeed, historians believe Bede left Jarrow only twice in his re...

    Monasteries were nodes of scholarship in early medieval Europe, and there is nothing surprising in the fact that Bede, an intelligent, pious and educated man, used his learning, life of study and house library to produce a large body of writing. What was unusual was the sheer breadth, depth, and quality of the fifty plus works he produced, covering...

    Bede's biblical commentaries – in which he interpreted the bible mainly as an allegory, applied criticism and tried to solve discrepancies – were extremely popular in the early medieval period, being copied and spread – along with Bede's reputation – widely across the monasteries of Europe. This dissemination was helped by the school of Archbishop ...

    Bede's two chronological works - De temporibus (On Times) and De temporum ratione (On the Reckoning of Time) were concerned with establishing the dates of Easter. Along with his histories, these still affect our style of dating: when equating the number of the year with the year of Jesus Christ's life, Bede invented the use of A.D., 'The Year Of Ou...

    In 731/2 Bede completed the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, the Ecclesiastical History of the English People. An account of Britain between the landings of Julius Caesar in 55/54 BC and St. Augustine in 597 AD, it's the key source on the Christianisation of Britain, a mixture of sophisticated historiography and religious messages containing...

    Bede died in 735 and was buried at Jarrow before being re-interred inside Durham Cathedral (at the time of this writing the Bede's World museum in Jarrow have a cast of his cranium on display.) He was already renowned among his peers, being described by a Bishop Boniface as having "shone forth as a lantern in the world by his scriptural commentary"...

    The Historia ecclesiasticafinishes with a short account of Bede about himself and a list of his many works (and is actually the key source about his life that we, much later historians, have to work with): "Thus much of the Ecclesiastical History of Britain, and more especially of the English nation, as far as I could learn either from the writings...

    Bede, "Ecclesiastical History of the English People." Penguin Classics, D. H. Farmer (Editor, Introduction), Ronald Latham (Editor), et al., Paperback, Revised edition, Penguin Classics, May 1, 1991.

    • History Expert
    • Bede The Monk
    • The Monastic Life
    • Bede The Author
    • Ecclesiastical History of The English People
    • The Father of English History?
    • Further Reading

    Bede was a Northumbrian monk, he was born around 673 and he died in 735 AD. He is the only Englishman to be named a Doctor of the Church, a title conferred onto him by Pope Leo XIII in 1899 for Bede’s contribution to theological writings. Often referred to as ‘Venerable’ – this is the first of 3 stages leading to canonization. Bede was never formal...

    We imagine monasteries to be quite dark and dingy places. However, in the Early Middle Ages, they would have been rather luxurious in comparison to some other standards of living. They would have been rather splendid buildings. The monasteries at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow were particularly splendid having been built in stone as opposed to wood. In f...

    It was amongst this culture of learning and in the splendour of the monastic environment that Bede put pen to paper, or quill to parchment in the 5th decade of his life. He authored many books, indeed he lists over 30 books that he authored. These ranged from an English translation of St John’s Gospel, a series of ‘textbooks’ on grammar as well as ...

    Bede opens his work with a vivid description of England. He describes the land, the geographical features, and starts his story with the arrival of Julius Caesar in 55BC. Bede ends his book with his own day and describes the dispute that arose regarding the correction dating of Easter. The text is divided into 5 books chronologically ordered: 1. Bo...

    In this work, Bede attempts to create a description of the development of the English people using a Christian framework. The word ‘English’ needs to be clarified here. In the 8th century, England was not a kingdom, but a conglomerate of kingdoms. The kingdoms on the map which are labelled red are those kingdoms held by the Anglo Saxons. Those in g...

    Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People. P.H. Blair, The World of Bede, (1990). N.J. Higham, Bede’s Agenda in Book IV of the ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’: A Tricky Matter of Advising the King”. Journal of Ecclesiastical History. 64 (3): 476–493, (2013). N.J. Higham, (Re-)Reading Bede The Ecclesiastical History in Co...

  2. Bede was probably born in Monkton, Durham. Nothing is known of his family background. At the age of seven he was entrusted to the care of Benedict Biscop, who is 674 AD had founded the monastery ...

  3. Oct 28, 2022 · Getty. On this day in 735, the Venerable Bede died. He was early medieval Europe's greatest scholar and the first to record the history of the English nation. Along the narrow coastal plain of Northumbria, the River Tyne winds from Newcastle towards the North Sea, lined with oil tanks, heavy equipment, and the relics of the Tyne's industrial ...

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