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The Ecclesiastical History of the English People

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1 The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
The Venerable Bede The Ecclesiastical History of the English People

2 'The Venerable Bede translates John' J. D. Penrose (ca. 1902)
Circa 672–May 25, 735 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. 'The Venerable Bede translates John' J. D. Penrose (ca. 1902) Bede in The Little Lives of the Saints, illustrated by Charles Robinson in 1904. Kingdom of Northumbria Wearmouth-Jarrow

3 The Venerable Bede He was placed in the monastery at Wearmouth at the age of seven, he became deacon in his nineteenth year, and priest in his thirtieth Well known as an author and scholar Most famous work, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History of the English People) Considered "The father of English history" 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

4 The Venerable Bede Wrote On the Reckoning of Time (De temporum ratione) which 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. 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. 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. Used anno incarnationis dominicae (in the year of the incarnation of the Lord). He never abbreviated the term like the modern AD, however his use caused that era to be adopted thereafter in Western Europe.

5 The Venerable Bede Spent his life in Jarrow with his prominent activities evidently being teaching and writing, the two of most interest to him. There he also died, on May 25, 735, and was buried, although his body was later transferred to Durham Cathedral. The Death of St. Bede Bede's tomb in Durham Cathedral.

6 Depiction of Bede from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493.
The Venerable Bede His scholarship and importance to Catholicism were recognized in when he was declared St Bede The Venerable. His feast day was also included in the General Roman Calendar in 1899, for celebration on May 27th rather than on his date of death, May 25th, 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. Depiction of Bede from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493.

7 Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum The Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Five books and 400 pages of the history of England, ecclesiastical and political. From the time of Caesar’s invasion (55 B.C.) 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 (origin) of his sources, which created an important historical chain. Originally written in Latin, King Alfred considered the book important enough to have it translated into Old English.

8 The Conversion of King Edwin
Comes from Book II of Bede’s history Relates the process by which Christian missionaries converted the Anglo-Saxon kings. Shows the dramatic contrast between the Anglo-Saxon’s grim view of the afterlife and the positive alternative offered by the missionaries. The pre-Christian or pagan, Anglo-Saxons believed that a warrior who died bravely in battle would go after death to a land reserved for heroes, Valhalla. For others, the future after death was uncertain. The final paragraph of the selection, which compares the time before, during, and after life to the flight of a sparrow, is one of the most famous in all of English Literature.

9 The Conversion of King Edwin
Allegory— A work in which each element symbolizes, or represents something else. The last paragraph of the selection contains an allegory comparing human life to the flight of a sparrow. To understand the allegory you need to determine what the characters and objects in the story symbolize.

10 What kingdom was ruled by Edwin?

11 Who is Paulinus? A Catholic priest and missionary.

12 What does Paulinus ask of King Edwin?
Paulinus asks Edwin to convert to Christianity.

13 What does Paulinus promise?
He promises Edwin internal peace and eternal life.

14 Why does Paulinus believe Edwin has a responsibility to “embrace the faith”?
Paulinus thinks Edwin has a responsibility to convert because he has made a promise to do so.

15 With whom does King Edwin meet?
Edwin meets with his friends and closest advisors.

16 Why does King Edwin hold a meeting?
Edwin wants his friends and advisors to convert also.

17 What does “consecrated together in the waters of life” mean or represent?
It is a reference to baptism

18 Who is Coifi? The king’s advisor and chief priest.

19 What does Coifi think of the old religion?
Coifi thinks the old religion is inferior to the new.

20 What reason does Coifi give for forsaking the old religion?
Although Coifi was the most faithful follower of the old religion, he has achieved little wealth, influence, and power.

21 In what ways does the new religion differ from the old religion?
The new religion promises the certainty of an afterlife of eternal happiness, whereas the old religion promises only death and uncertainty.

22 What makes the new religion appealing to the elders and to the king’s counselors?
The elders are attracted to the new religion because they think it offers more spiritual certainty and more worldly advantage.

23 According to King Edwin’s advisors, what is the purpose of religion?
The purpose of religion is worldly success.

24 To what does the king’s advisor compare the swift flight of a sparrow?
A human life

25 What view of life and of the afterlife is implicit in the counselor’s story of the sparrow?
Human life is brief and insignificant and the what if anything, comes after life is completely unknown.

26 What does the sparrow symbolize?
The soul

27 What does the dining room with a door symbolize?
Our short life on earth Limits of human knowledge

28 What do the winter storms symbolize?
The unknown periods before and after our lives

29 What does the supper symbolize?
The pleasures of our lives on earth

30 What do the commanders and ministers symbolize?
The pleasures of our lives on earth

31 What does the fire symbolize?
The pleasures of our lives on earth

32 What does our sight symbolize?
Our knowledge

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