THE
VENERABLE
BEDE
 

 The Lindisfarne Gospels    BM Cotton Nero D IV  fol. 137v.,  ca. 715

ST. BEDE, (c. 673-735), Biblical scholar and “Father of English Church History”. At the age of 7 Bede was sent to the monastery of  Wearmouth; he transferred to Jarrow, probably at the time of its foundation (682). His De Temporibus was probably written to make clear to the clergy the principles for calculating the date of Easter according to the Roman usage adopted at the Synod of Whitby; together with his other works it did much to establish the practice of dating events from the Incarnation.

His extensive Biblical commentaries were highly esteemed by his contemporaries and immediate successors. His historical works, for which in modern times he is best known, include the Historia Abbatum, which traces the history of his monastery from its foundation to 716, metrical and prose lives of St. Cuthbert, and the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (completed in 731). This last, a primary authority for early English history, owes its value to his care in collecting information, his meticulous listing of his authorities, and the separation of historical fact from hearsay and tradition. Less than a century after his death he was honoured with the title of Venerable.

 


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