Infobox Saint
name=The Venerable Bede
birth_date=ca. 672
death_date=death date|735|5|25|df=y
feast_day=25 May
27 May (General Roman Calendar, 1899-1969)
venerated_in=Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, Lutheran Church

caption='The Venerable Bede translates John' J. D. Penrose (ca. 1902)
birth_place= Jarrow, Northumbriacite web | title=NNDB tracking the entire world - Venerable Bede | url= | accessdate=2008-03-13]
death_place=Jarrow, Northumbria
titles=Doctor of the Church
canonized_date=1899 recognised as Doctor of the Church
canonized_by=Pope Leo XIII
patronage=English writers and historians; Jarrow
major_shrine=Durham Cathedral.

Bede (IPAEng|ˈbiːd) (also Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, or (from Latin) "Beda" (IPA2|beda)), (c. 672–25 May 735), was a Benedictine monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, England, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow (see Wearmouth-Jarrow), both in the Kingdom of Northumbria.

He is well known as an author and scholar, and his most famous work, "Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum" ("The Ecclesiastical History of the English People") gained him the title "The father of English history". Bede is regarded as a Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church, a position of theological significance; he is the only man from Great Britain to achieve this designation (Anselm of Canterbury, though also a Doctor of the Church, was originally from Italy).


Bede became known as "Venerable Bede" (Lat.: Beda Venerabilis) soon after his death, but this was not linked to consideration for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church. According to a legend the epithet was miraculously supplied by angels, thus completing his unfinished epitaph. [ [ Catholic Encyclopedia] ]


Almost everything that is known of Bede's life is contained in a notice added by himself when he was 59 to his "Historia" (Book V, Chapter 24), which states that he was placed in the monastery at Wearmouth at the age of seven, that he became deacon in his nineteenth year, and priest in his thirtieth. He implies that he finished the "Historia" at the age of 59, and since the work was finished around 731, he must have been born in 672/3. It is not clear whether he was of noble birth. He was trained by the abbots Benedict Biscop and Ceolfrid, and probably accompanied the latter to Wearmouth's sister monastery of Jarrow in 682. There he spent his life, prominent activities evidently being teaching and writing, the two of most interest to him. There he also died, on 25 May 735, and was buried, although his body was later transferred to Durham Cathedral.


His works show that he had at his command all the learning of his time. It was thought that the library at Wearmouth-Jarrow was between 300-500 books, making it one of the largest and most extensive in England. It is clear that Biscop made strenuous efforts to collect books during his extensive travels.

Bede's writings are classed as scientific, historical and theological, reflecting the range of his writings from music and metrics to exegetical Scripture commentaries. He was proficient in patristic literature, and quotes Pliny the Elder, Virgil, Lucretius, Ovid, Horace and other classical writers, but with some disapproval. He knew some Greek, but no Hebrew. His Latin is generally clear and without affectation, and he was a skilful story-teller. However, his style can be considerably more obscure in his Biblical commentaries.

Bede's scriptural commentaries employed the allegorical method of interpretation [Arthur G. Holder, trans., "Bede: On the Tabernacle", (Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Pr., 1994), pp. xvii-xx.] and his history includes accounts of miracles, which to modern historians has seemed at odds with his critical approach to the materials in his history. Modern studies have shown the important role such concepts played in the world-view of Early Medieval scholars. [McClure and Collins, "The Ecclesiastical History", pp. xviii-xix.]

"Historia Ecclesiastica"

The most important and best known of his works is the "Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum," giving in five books and 400 pages the history of England, ecclesiastical and political, from the time of Caesar to the date of its completion (731). The first twenty-one chapters, treating of the period before the mission of Augustine of Canterbury, are compiled from earlier writers such as Orosius, Gildas, Prosper of Aquitaine, the letters of Pope Gregory I and others, with the insertion of legends and traditions. After 596, documentary sources, which Bede took pains to obtain throughout England and from Rome, are used, as well as oral testimony, which he employed with critical consideration of its value. He cited his references and was very concerned about the provenance of his sources, which created an important historical chain.

Bede's use of something similar to the "anno Domini" era, created by the monk Dionysius Exiguus in 525, throughout "Historia Ecclesiastica" was very influential in causing that era to be adopted thereafter in Western Europe. Specifically, he used "anno ab incarnatione Domini" (in the year from the incarnation of the Lord) or "anno incarnationis dominicae" (in the year of the incarnation of the Lord). He never abbreviated the term like the modern AD. Unlike the modern assumption that "anno Domini" was from the birth of Christ, Bede explicitly refers to his incarnation or conception, traditionally on 25 March. Within this work, he was also the first writer to use a term similar to the English "before Christ". In book I chapter 2 he used "ante incarnationis dominicae tempus" (before the time of the incarnation of the Lord). However, the latter was not very influential—only this isolated use was repeated by other writers during the rest of the Middle Ages. The first extensive use of 'BC' (hundreds of times) occurred in "Fasciculus Temporum" by Werner Rolevinck in 1474, alongside years of the world ("anno mundi").

Other historical and theological works

Bede lists his works in an autobiographical note at the end of his "Ecclesiastical History". He clearly considered his commentaries on many books of the Old and New Testaments as important; they come first on this list and dominate it in sheer number. These commentaries reflect the biblical focus of monastic life. "I spent all my life," he wrote, "in this monastery, applying myself entirely to the study of Scriptures." [Bede, "Hist. eccl.," 5. 24] Bede’s poem “The Great Forerunner of the Morn,” written originally in Latin and translated into English by renowned hymn translator John Mason Neale in 1854, is still sung today as a hymn set to various tunes. [For example, see The Hymnal 1982, hymns number 271 and 272, reprinted on the [ Oremus Hymnal website] ]

As Chapter 66 of his "On the Reckoning of Time", in 725 Bede wrote the "Greater Chronicle" ("chronica maiora"), which sometimes circulated as a separate work. For recent events the "Chronicle", like his "Ecclesiastical History", relied upon Gildas, upon a version of the Liber pontificalis current at least to the papacy of Pope Sergius I (687-701), and other sources. For earlier events he drew on Eusebius's "Chronikoi Kanones." The dating of events in the "Chronicle" is inconsistent with his other works, using the era of creation, the anno mundi. [Faith Wallis, trans., "The Reckoning of Time", pp. lxvii-lxxi, 157-237, 353-66]

His other historical works included lives of the abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow, as well as lives in verse and prose of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. In his "Letter on the Death of Bede", Cuthbert, monk and later Abbot of Jarrow, describes Bede as still writing on his deathbed, working on a translation into Old English of the Gospel of John and on Isidore of Seville's "On the Nature of Things". [Cuthbert, "Letter on the Death of Bede," in McClure and Collins, ed., "The Ecclesiastical History", p. 301. – For an extensive quotation from Cuthbert's "Letter on the Death of Bede" see the article on [ Bede on the EWTN website] (search for footnote No. 7 in the body of their text).]

cientific writings

The noted historian of science, George Sarton, called the eighth century "The Age of Bede". He wrote several major works: a work "On the Nature of Things", modeled in part after the work of the same title by Isidore of Seville; a work "On Time", providing an introduction to the principles of Easter computus; and a longer work on the same subject; "On the Reckoning of Time", which became the cornerstone of clerical scientific education during the so-called Carolingian renaissance of the ninth century. He also wrote several shorter letters and essays discussing specific aspects of computus and a treatise on grammar and on figures of speech for his pupils.

"On the Reckoning of Time" ("De temporum ratione") included an introduction to the traditional ancient and medieval view of the cosmos, including an explanation of how the spherical earth influenced the changing length of daylight, of how the seasonal motion of the Sun and Moon influenced the changing appearance of the New Moon at evening twilight, and a quantitative relation between the changes of the Tides at a given place and the daily motion of the moon. [Faith Wallis, trans., "The Reckoning of Time", pp. 82-85, 307-312] Since the focus of his book was calculation, Bede gave instructions for computing the date of Easter and the related time of the Easter Full Moon, for calculating the motion of the Sun and Moon through the zodiac, and for many other calculations related to the calendar. He gives some information about the months of the Anglo-Saxon calendar in chapter XV. [Faith Wallis, trans., "The Reckoning of Time" 15, pp. 53-4, 285-7; see also [] ] Any codex of Bede's Easter cycle is normally found together with a codex of his "De Temporum Ratione".

For calendric purposes, Bede made a new calculation of the age of the world since the creation. Due to his innovations in computing the age of the world, he was accused of heresy at the table of Bishop Wilfred, his chronology being contrary to accepted calculations. Once informed of the accusations of these "lewd rustics," Bede refuted them in his Letter to Plegwin. [Faith Wallis, trans., "The Reckoning of Time", pp. xxx, 405-415]

His works were so influential that late in the ninth century Notker the Stammerer, a monk of the Monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland, wrote that "God, the orderer of natures, who raised the Sun from the East on the fourth day of Creation, in the sixth day of the world has made Bede rise from the West as a new Sun to illuminate the whole Earth". [Faith Wallis, trans., "The Reckoning of Time", p. lxxxv]

Vernacular poetry

According to his disciple Cuthbert, Bede was also "doctus in nostris carminibus" ("learned in our songs"). Cuthbert's letter on Bede's death, the "Epistola Cuthberti de obitu Bedae", moreover, commonly is understood to indicate that Bede also composed a five line vernacular poem known to modern scholars as "Bede’s Death Song"

:And he used to repeat that sentence from St. Paul “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,” and many other verses of Scripture, urging us thereby to awake from the slumber of the soul by thinking in good time of our last hour. And in our own language,—for he was familiar with English poetry,—speaking of the soul’s dread departure from the body:

As Opland notes, however, it is not entirely clear that Cuthbert is attributing this text to Bede: most manuscripts of the letter do not use a finite verb to describe Bede's presentation of the song, and the theme was relatively common in Old English and Anglo-Latin literature. The fact that Cuthbert's description places the performance of the Old English poem in the context of a series of quoted passages from Sacred Scripture, indeed, might be taken as evidence simply that Bede also cited analogous vernacular texts. [Jeff Opland, "Anglo-Saxon Oral Poetry", pp. 140-141] On the other hand, the inclusion of the Old English text of the poem in Cuthbert’s Latin letter, the observation that Bede "was learned in our song," and the fact that Bede composed a Latin poem on the same subject all point to the possibility of his having written it. By citing the poem directly, Cuthbert seems to imply that its particular wording was somehow important, either since it was a vernacular poem endorsed by a scholar who evidently frowned upon secular entertainment [McCready, "Miracles and the Venerable Bede", pp. 14-19] or because it is a direct quotation of Bede’s last original composition. [See Jeff Opland, "Anglo-Saxon Oral Poetry", pp. 140-141 for a discussion]

Manuscript tradition

There are two surviving manuscripts written within a few years of Bede's death:
*St Petersburg Bede
*Cambridge University Library MS. After this, there is a gap of some 50 years. Manuscripts written before AD 900 include:
* Corbie MS, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
* St. Gall Monastery LibraryCopies are sparse throughout the 10th century and for much of the 11th century. The greatest number of copies of Bede's work was made in the 12th century, but there was a significant revival of interest in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many of the copies are of English provenance, but also surprisingly many are Continental. [M.L.W. Laistner, H. H. King, "A Hand-List of Bede Manuscripts" (1943).] Bede's collected works were published in Patrologia Latina vols. 90-95, but this edition was "bad on a monumental scale, and included more "spuria" than any previous edition". [S. Harrison Thomson, The American Journal of Philology (1944)]

Palatine Library:
*De natura rerum {CPL 1343} [685] /1
*De tabernaculo {CPL 1345} [245] /1
*Commentarius in Parabolas Salomonis {CPL 1351} [759] /1
*In Marci evangelium expositio {CPL 1355} [247] /1
*In Lucae evangelium expositio {CPL 1356} [242] , 1ra-157va. excerpts [50] , passim
*Super epistolas catholicas expositio {CPL 1362} [246] , 1r-80r. [947] , 92r-99r {RB 1639: Beda abbrev.}. excerpt (prologue to 2.Ioh.) [1] , 8ra
*Homilies {CPL 1367} [50] , passim; [563] , passim. Hom. I 3 [193] , 258ra-vb (exc.); hom. I 8 [193] , 166ra-vb (exc.); hom. I 9 [193] , 164rb-165ra (exc.); hom. I 12 [193] , 177va-179ra; hom. I 15 [193] , 174ra-175vb
*Liber hymnorum {CPL 1372} Hymnus 1 [809] /4
*De schematibus et tropis {CPL 1567} [345] /1 (exc.)
*De temporibus liber {CPL 2318} [685] /2
*De temporum ratione {CPL 2320} [685] /3


Pilgrims were claiming miracles at Bede's grave only fifty years after his death. His body was transferred to Durham Cathedral in the mid-11th century and to its present location in the Galilee Chapel there in 1370. It is likely that his remains are authentic. Other relics were claimed by York, Glastonbury and Fulda.

His scholarship and importance to Catholicism were recognised in 1899 when he was declared the only English Doctor of the Church as "St Bede The Venerable". He is also the only Englishman in Dante's Paradise ("Paradiso"' X.130), mentioned among theologians and doctors of the church in the same canto as Isidore of Seville and the Scot Richard of St. Victor.

His feast day was included in the General Roman Calendar in 1899, for celebration on 27 May rather than on his date of death, 25 May, which was then the feast day of Pope Saint Gregory VII; however, the 1969 calendar reforms allowed Bede's feast day to move to its proper day.

ee also

*Adtwifyrdi - term coined by subject
*College of St Hild and St Bede at Durham University, England
*English historians in the Middle Ages
*San Beda College in Manila in the Philippines
*St. Bede Academy in Peru, Illinois, United States
*St Bede's Catholic College in Bristol, England
*St. Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School in Peterlee, County Durham, England
*St Bede's College in Christchurch, New Zealand
*St Bede's College in Manchester, England
*St Bede's College in Victoria, Australia
*St. Bede's Grammar School in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
*St. Bede's Prep School in Eastbourne, East Sussex, England
*St Bede's School, in Hailsham, East Sussex, England
*St. Bede's School in Redhill, Surrey, England
*St. Bede School in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, United States
*St. Bede's Roman Catholic Church in Carlisle, Cumbria, England.
*Bede's World Museum in Jarrow



* Colgrave, Bertram and R.A.B. Mynors, eds. "Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People". Oxford, 1969.
* Farmer, David Hugh. "The Oxford Dictionary of Saints" Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-19282-038-9.
*N.J. Higham, "Re-Reading Bede: The Historia Ecclisiastica In English History" Routledge (2006), ISBN 978-0415353687.
* McCready, William D. "Miracles and the Venerable Bede: Studies and Texts" (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies), 118. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1994. ISBN 0-88844-118-5.
* McClure, Judith and Roger Collins, eds. "The Ecclesiastical History of the English People". Oxford: Oxford Univ. Pr., 1994 ISBN 0-19-283866-0.
* Mayr-Harting, Henry. "The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England". 3rd Ed. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-271-00769-9.
* Opland, Jeff. "Anglo-Saxon Oral Poetry: A Study of the Traditions". New Haven and London, 1980. ISBN 0-300-02426-6.
* Wallis, Faith, trans. "Bede: The Reckoning of Time" Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Pr., 2004. ISBN 0-85323-693-3.

External links

* [ "Ecclesiastical History of the English People"] , Books 1-5, L.C. Jane's 1903 Temple Classics translation. From the Internet Medieval Sourcebook.
* [ Bede's Exposition Of The Book Of Revelation] .
* [ Bede's Ecclesiastical History and the Continuation of Bede (pdf)] , at [ CCEL] , edited & translated by A.M. Sellar.
* [ Bede's World: the museum of early medieval Northumbria at Jarrow]
* [ Bede’s "Ecclesiastical History"] commentary from "The Cambridge History of English and American Literature", Volume I, 1907–21.
* [ The Venerable Bede]
* [ The Venerable Bede] from In Our Time (BBC Radio 4)
* [ Bede At Find A Grave]
* [ Bede's "De Temporum Ratione"]
* [ Bede's Chronica minora from "De temporibus"]
* [ Bede the Venerable]
* [ Saint Bede] at "The Online Library of Liberty"
* [ "St .Bede's Church, Carlisle, Cumbria, England] Site for Saint Bede's Church in Carlisle, Cumbria, England.
* [ "St .Bede's Anglican Catholic Theological College, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada] Site for Saint Bede's Anglican Catholic Theological College in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bédé — bédé …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Bède — le Vénérable Bède le Vénérable dans les Chroniques de Nuremberg Bède (en latin et en saxon Bæda ou Beda, en anglais Bede), dit le Vénérable, né vers 672 en Northumbrie, est un moine et lettré …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bede BD-5 — Bede BD 5 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bede — • The old English word bede (Anglo Saxon bed) means a prayer, though the derivative form, gebed, was more common in this sense in Anglo Saxon literature Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Bede     Bede …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • bédé — [ bede ] n. f. • 1974; de B. D. ♦ Fam. Bande dessinée. Lire des bédés. Auteur de bédés (BÉDÉISTE n. , (1984) ). Amateur de bédés (BÉDÉPHILE n. et adj. , (1978) ). ● bédé nom féminin Abréviation familière de bande dessinée. bédé n. f. V. B.D …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bede BD-6 — Constructeur Dede Corp Type Tourisme Premier vol 1974 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bede BD-5 — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El Bede BD 5 es una diminuta aeronave monoplaza de construcción casera a base de un kit . Se comenzó a mercadear al principio de la década de los 1970 por parte de la firma Bede Aircraft Corp. Su diseñador fue el Sr …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bede —   [mittelniederdeutsch] die, / n, mittellateinisch petitio, die vom 13. bis 17. Jahrhundert durch den Fürsten von seinen Landständen zunächst erbetene, bald aber geforderte außerordentliche Vermögenssteuer, auch Schatzung, Schoss, Gewerf genannt …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Bede — Bede, n. (Mining) A kind of pickax. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bede — Bede, v. t. [See {Bid}, v. t.] To pray; also, to offer; to proffer. [Obs.] R. of Gloucester. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bede — [bēd] Saint (A.D. 673 735); Eng. historian & theologian: his day is May 27: called the Venerable Bede …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”