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Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England

the Venerable Bede

Book Overview: 

Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England is a work in Latin by Bede on the history of the Christian Churches in England, and of England generally; its main focus is on the conflict between Roman and Celtic Christianity. It is considered to be one of the most important original references on Anglo-Saxon history. It is believed to have been completed in 731, when Bede was approximately 59 years old. Divided into five books, it covers the history of England, ecclesiastical and political, from the time of Julius Caesar to the date of its completion (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Ghost, and the indivisible Trinity, having put to flight the thoughts of devils, and driven from you the temptations of the venomous and deceitful enemy, and being born again of water and the Holy Ghost, you may, through the aid of His bounty, dwell in the brightness [pg 109]of eternal glory with Him in Whom you shall have believed.

“We have, moreover, sent you the blessing of your protector, the blessed Peter, chief of the Apostles, to wit, a shirt of proof with one gold ornament, and one cloak of Ancyra, which we pray your Highness to accept with all the goodwill with which it is sent by us.”

Chap. XI. How Pope Boniface advised the king's consort to use her best . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I read it purely to check it off my list, but enjoyed it much more than I expected to. I'm fairly sure I have already forgotten who presided at what monastery and who had what miracle, etc., but I think I'll come back to it someday (maybe after I've learned Latin). I'm not a scholar, so I don't h...more

Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum is one of the most important sources on the early Germanic settlement of Britain, the founding of the early kingdoms and the growth of Christianity amongst the English.

Beginning with Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain, then the first incursions of t...more

THE first English history by an Anglo-Saxon saint and monk takes us back to names, people and places that are barely remembered in present history books, a fascinating read for it is much closer and perhaps more accurate for it, without this book we would know so little of those early times, as t...more

My favourite read of 2012. Why did it take me 30 years to read this?

Synopsis leading up to quote:

Pope Gregory directed Augustine to preach to the English nation on Christianity, which had fallen by the wayside in England after many bloody civil wars and latterly the leaving of their allies and benefactors, the Romans. On reaching Britain Augustine met with King E...more

This is a hard book to review, because whether it deserves five stars or 2-3 stars is going to depend pretty heavily on why you're reading it.

If you're reading it for academic purposes, it's really wonderful - it's one of the very, very few sources that we have for early English history and it's...more

Should a woman receive holy communion during her period? Yes her state of impurity is not due to sin. When can a priest say mass after a wet dream? Once he has showered, he can say mass the following evening.

Bede's "Ecclesiastical History of the English People" which marks the beginning of intell...more

What Is History? Edward Hallett Carr asked in the title of his famous book. Nothing objective he argued, saying, “The belief in a hard core of historical facts existing objectively and independently of the interpretation of the historian is a preposterous fallacy, but one which it is very hard to...more

It depends on why you read this. Historically it's extremely important. Reference-wise, it's a huge help, not only for religious things but the time-period itself in English history. Literature-wise it's not the best thing you can spend your time on and if you're on it for escapism then you're an...more

A most magnificent book...or should I say books?—St. Bede's history is five books in one! If you want to study English ecclesiastical history up to the mid 8th-century, this is your go-to text. I am so thankful for such a text that records the history of righteous men, women, and right-believing...more

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