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Good article Bede has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
June 26, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
July 16, 2009 Good article reassessment Kept
August 1, 2013 Good article reassessment Kept
Current status: Good article

"Bede's Digital Computation"[edit]

I read of this in a book about Pope Joan. It was referenced as a method of doing complex mathematical calculations using the fingers. Do you know of any other references to this?

Although I wouldn't take a book on Pope Joan as a serious historical source :), the author could be referring to the first chapter of On the Reckoning of Time / De temporum ratione; which in the manuscript era could have circulated separately. Of course it could also be one of the many other books falsely attributed to Bede. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 03:19, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

"County Durham?"[edit]

I'm having trouble understanding the opening paragraph, and what is to be done to correct it:

"...Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow (see Wearmouth-Jarrow), both in the English county of Durham (now Tyne and Wear)."

Being local, I am aware that Monkwearmouth and Jarrow are now in Tyne and Wear. However, the sentence seems to imply that County Durham is now called Tyne and Wear which is certainly not the case; both counties still exist (and the links are to the modern day counties). In Bede's time was Durham actually a county, was it part of Northumbria, or what? Knthrak1982 (talk) 21:45, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

County Durham wasn't even thought of in Bedes time. --JarraJim (talk) 14:25, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

ODNB article organization[edit]

For comparison, the ODNB article on Bede has an introductory section followed by these section headings:

  • Works on the use of language and on computation and chronology
  • Biblical commentaries
  • Hagiography, biography, and homilies
  • Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
  • Bede's intellectual milieu
  • Bede's reputation and legacy

Also, Bede's death date is May 25. If we could get the article to FA by early May, it would be nice to try to get the article on the main page then. I'm not a big fan of having articles on the front page, since they draw so much vandalism, but this is a relatively important article and it would be good to give it some publicity if we can get it up to snuff. Mike Christie (talk) 02:06, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Currently this article has this main ToC.

  1. Name
  2. Life
  3. Work
    1. Historia Ecclesiastica
    2. Other historical and theological works
    3. Scientific writings
    4. Vernacular poetry
    5. Manuscript tradition
  4. Veneration

Rather than try to come up with a reorganization for the whole article, I suggest that the first two sections be combined into one, called "Life", and that we focus on that section first. The ODNB article is a good source, but it's tertiary; it would be nice to go beyond it to the secondary sources where we can. The other reason to focus on the Life section first is that it's the section least likely to have sub-articles, so we don't have to figure out what goes here and what gets hived off to a sub-article just yet.

If I'm not travelling this week I will see if I do something with the life section. Other than the ODNB article, I have access to the Blackwell Encyclopedia, and Farmer's notes in the front of the Penguin Bede. Mike Christie (talk) 18:27, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

As I travel, I'm reading Blair's World of Bede, which has some good basic biographical information in it. When I get home, I'll hopefully be able to add it in and source it to the book. I think a main page date of 25 May would be great, and probably quite doable. The only diff I might make is make a separate section for his theological writings, distinct from the historical stuff. I'm getting the impression he was more of a theologian than we generally think of him, at least from the secondary journal article titles I'm seeing. I've got the Medieval Theologian's article at home on him, and it is really a conference type work, with individual historians contributing long articles on their specialties, so it is more a secondary source than a tert. ONDB is also... in some respects, secondary as well. It depends on what the subject is and how recently the subject has been the subject of other monographs. Most of the ONDB medieval articles are by quite well respected medievalists and are grounded on the primary sources as well as secondary sources. Anyway, I don't have a problem with using the ONDB when it's the most up to date statements on things. And I'll get you that correction when I get home, which will be tomorrow afternoon sometime. And now.. I'm off to a family dinner with the in laws! Ealdgyth - Talk 22:37, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'll wait for you to do a pass using Blair, and then I'll do a pass using ODNB and whatever else I have at hand. Mike Christie (talk) 23:58, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Made a pass on the life with Blair. He's got a lot more to say about the actual works, but pretty much stuck to stuff that was "life" related. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:34, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Oh, yeah, I tried to cite every sentence so that it's easier to move stuff around for other folks working. I figure when we're done adding information and copyediting, the consecutive footnotes can be consolidated at that point. Right now it's probably easier to just cite each sentence so the sources are clear for everything. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:24, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


Notes on the Life section.

  • "It is unclear whether he held any other clerical offices before his ordination as a deacon." What does Blair say, exactly? Are there other clerical offices that Bede could have held that Blair speculates about? Or is it just that Blair says there's no record of anything prior to his ordination as a deacon? If the latter, I think we can cut this, but if there are offices a new monk might typically progress through before deacon it could be interesting to add that.
Hm.. I'll have to look this up directly. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:14, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
The direct quote is : "We do not know whether Bede held any of the minor orders before his ordination to the diaconate, nor indeed do we hear anything directly about those minor orders in the context of Wearmouth and Jarrow, but from Spain we have Isidore of Seville's list of the six orders below that of deacon, with his definition of their several functions, beginning with the doorkeeper and passing thence to acolyte, exorcist, cantor, lector and subdeacon." There follows more discussion about Isidore's listing. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:25, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I tweaked the sentence and put some of the details in a footnote; I think the details are interesting enough to use. Mike Christie (talk) 23:37, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
  • It looks like Blair claims there are about 60 works attributed to Bede; is this out of date or is Blair using a more expansive definition of "work" than the ODNB? The ODNB says Bede lists "over thirty " of his written works, and adds that the list is almost complete; five omissions are mentioned by name. Doesn't seem likely Campbell would say "almost complete" if he thought the full list was 60.
I suspect Blair is using "books" in the medieval sense of counting each book of the Ecclesiastical History as one work. If we can find a different source that isn't so unclear, that's fine. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:14, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure you're right; I should have thought of that. Well, if we can find a definitive list of Bede's works (perhaps that's a sub-article/list?) then we can use the number from that. Mike Christie (talk) 23:42, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I tagged "Bede was a teacher as well as a writer" as needing a citation as it had no cite and it would be good to put one in. I assume it was from Blair but I don't have it so can't be sure.
Actually, I think that sentence predates our work on the article. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:14, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I tweaked it a bit more to try to get it to flow; it's a point worth mentioning but seemed something of a non sequitur as it stood. (I tried to order Bede the Educator earlier today, since I found a cheap copy at, but was told it couldn't be shipped to me.) Mike Christie (talk) 23:42, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
  • "A sixth century manuscript of Acts that is believed to have been used by Bede is still extant": I'm sure there's a mention somewhere in one of the other sources of another ms. that Bede may have used; if we spot it, let's add it here.
Yeah, its a pandect... somewhere. It's not clear if Jarrow owned that pandect or if Bede just had access to it somewhere else. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:14, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

-- Mike Christie (talk) 23:09, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

More notes:

  • "He dedicated his work on the Apocalypse and the De Temporum Ratione to the sucessor of Ceolfrid as abbot, Hwaetbert": Let's move this to the section on his works; it's worth keeping but not really part of the life section.
Fine with me. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:25, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, done. Mike Christie (talk) 23:43, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
  • What's the primary source for the heresy story? Would be good to cite that too, for curious readers.
I believe it's the letter Bede wrote, although I'll double check. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:25, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's a letter, its in Jones (ed.) Bedae Liber De Temporibus Major Sive De Temporum Ratione put out by the Mediaeval Academy of America, Cambridge, MA, #41 in their series, published 1943. Ealdgyth - Talk 23:28, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I added this to the sources section. Could you add another footnote to this, with the page? Mike Christie (talk) 23:50, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

-- Mike Christie (talk) 23:22, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

OK, with the exception of that sentence about Bede dedicating two works to Hwaetbert, I think I'm done on the copyedit. Mike Christie (talk) 23:32, 18 January 2009 (UTC)


I'm about to start expanding the section on the Historia Ecclesiastica, and I went to look at the article on it. It's quite short; I propose to put the relevant material here first, expanding the section as much as possible given the sources, and then convert to summary style afterwards. We will end up moving a lot of material from here to there, but that seems easier to me than starting there and summarizing here. Mike Christie (talk) 12:09, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Draft sequence of material for HE section:
  • Date of composition, draft sent to Ceolwulf, summary of contents
  • Sources and correspondents
  • Classical models, style
  • Intent -- use of examples, moral stories, miracles
  • Omissions, biases -- Wilfrid, Boniface, recent decades etc.
  • Use of Anno Domini
  • Assessment -- Bede's own valuation, modern opinion, influence, Bede's abilities, not a modern historian
--Mike Christie (talk) 12:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Heh. I was just thinking about that last night. Sounds good to me. I'll try to work on it between packing....Ealdgyth - Talk 13:31, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Sources and correspondents paragraph[edit]

Farmer lists Pliny as a source for Bede's early chapters. I presume this is Pliny the Elder, so I'm going to make the link that way, but I know little of Roman history and can't be certain. Can anyone enlighten me? Mike Christie (talk) 00:59, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Oooh... that might not be so sure. There are two Pliny's, an uncle and nephew. (Convieniently ... the Elder and the Younger.) Can you give me the context of the information? Ealdgyth - Talk 01:05, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Here's what Farmer says: "Bede listed his contemporary sources not his ancient ones. The latter had included Orosius, Pliny and Solinus as well as Gildas and the Life of Germanus by Constantius". Mike Christie (talk) 01:16, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
(grumbles) Okay, I'll dig. After I get done with Wilfrid. Put an note in the text that we're not sure which Pliny it is? Ealdgyth - Talk 01:20, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Done. The text in the article before I started said Prosper of Aquitaine was a source too, but I don't see that mentioned in the sources I'm using, so I've cut it for now. We can re-add it if we find a source. And by the way, do you think it should be "Nothhelm" or "Nothelm"? The ODNB and BEASE say "Nothhelm" but the current article is at Nothelm. Mike Christie (talk) 01:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Botheration, I thought I got all those to the names used in the HBC. HBC uses Nothhelm too. Blech. Wanna go ahead and move good old Nothelm to Nothhelm? I'm digging into the Pliny thing now. Wilfrid is done for a while, I've had all of him I can take. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:04, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay, the Anglo-Saxon Encyclopedia says that Bede used Pliny's Natural History as a source for his textbooks, and since the NH is by Pliny the Elder, I think it's safe to assume we have the right Pliny. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:10, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Moved. I cut the hidden note on Pliny; thanks for digging on that. That's it for the evening for me; my daughter called up for help with geometry homework so I didn't get to finish the paragraph on Bede's correspondents. Maybe tomorrow. Mike Christie (talk) 02:58, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I'll try to work on the Bede tomorrow. I was on a roll with Wilfrid, wanted to get it DONE. And then I had to do FAC source checks... but hopefully tomorrow. It's a good break from packing boxes! Ealdgyth - Talk 03:31, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


Goffart's going to be important, but it's going to take some time. I'm going to reread his section on Bede tonight and over the next few days, and hopefully digest it properly before sourcing it in. Now I remember why I dreaded that book in college... it's dense. He writes more elliptically than I do! Also, as always, feel free to move what I just added around, reorg, etc. It mainly threw it up for use, than trying to put it where it belongs in the end. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:44, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


The section on Anno Domini is the only material left from the earlier draft. It does have one citation, which I think was added by Ealdgyth, but the rest is uncited. However, it looks reasonable and I'd like to keep as much of it as can be cited, but I don't have anything that sources any of this. Mike Christie (talk) 12:33, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I'll look for it as I read. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:04, 27 January 2009 (UTC)


Currently we have "He gives his birthplace as "on the lands of this monastery"; he is referring to the monastery of Jarrow, so he would have been born somewhere near modern Newcastle-on-Tyne." The Blackwell Encyclopedia says this: "Born in the region of modern Newcastle-upon-Tyne"; and since he was at Jarrow when he wrote, I assumed he meant that the land was owned by Jarrow. However, Jarrow hadn't been founded when he wrote. Farmer has: "Bede tells us that he was born in 673 on land owned by the monastery of Wearmouth". It's plausible that Wearmouth owned the land in Jarrow on which the monastery would later be built, and that that's where Bede was born. Presumably that's what Ray is saying in the Blackwell. Jarrow is essentially in Newcastle; Wearmouth is in Sunderland.

I think it's not safe to say "he is referring to the monastery of Jarrow"; he was almost certainly referring to Wearmouth instead, and since Farmer says that I am going to change that. That makes the following clause trickier because it is not immediately obvious that that implies Newcastle. Newcastle is larger and better known than Sunderland, so perhaps the easiest thing to do is say "he is referring to the monastery of Wearmouth; he would have been born somewhere near modern Newcastle-upon-Tyne", eliminating the "so", and using Newcastle to refer to the entire area. Mike Christie (talk) 13:36, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Done with Farmer/Blackwell/ODNB[edit]

I've added everything I can see that is relevant, sometimes in slightly compressed form, from Farmer's Penguin HE, the Blackwell Encyclopedia, and the ODNB. The only other section I can see a quick need for is a list of important historical editions of HE; I would think Plummer, Colgrave and the Penguin edition are worth mentioning (the Penguin as a recent accessible mass market edition) and I'm sure others are notable too. Perhaps also the Wallace-Hadrill commentary which I've just received and which is essentially a book of nothing but annotations on HE.

I'm going to move on to the next section if we are agreed what the next section is, plus I'm about to post a list of works for possible inclusion. Mike Christie (talk) 14:05, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Historia and Adtwifyrdi[edit]

Ealdgyth and Mike, I'm impressed by the immense, judicious work you've put in upgrading the article to this level! I can imagine you'd be a little sick of the venerable man by now. I thought it would be useful to have an annotated list of contents for the Historia Ecclesiastica, including cross-references to related articles, so I'm in the process of building one right here. Tedious work really, but convenient for reference. As for the question on the placename Adtwifyrdi (HE 4.28), it is Bede's way of naming the site where a synod was held in about 684, presided over by Theodore and attended by King Ecgberht: in loco, qui dicitur Adtuifyrdi (quod significat Ad duplex uadum) "in a place called Adtuifyrdi (which means 'at the two fords')". It looks like a Latin rendering of one of the many Twyfords which exist in Britain, but it would seem peculiar that ad (for OE æt + dative ?) is considered to be part of the placename. Anyway, I don't it is hugely notable on its own, although a list of placenames mentioned by Bede, accompanied by a map if possible, would be nice as would a list of synods and ecclesiastical councils held in Anglo-Saxon England, but these are not major desiderata at the mo. I'll mention the synod in the contents list. Cavila (talk) 12:09, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

That annotated list looks very useful; thanks! I wonder if we can justify moving that to article-space at some point. On Adtwifyrdi: yes, I'm going to going ahead and nominate it for deletion. I didn't think there was much justification for a separate article; as you say, it might be an element of a list article drawn from Bede's work. There are probably citable sources for exactly that.
If you'd like to jump in and work on this article please do! We need all the help we can get. Mike Christie (talk) 12:41, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
thanks for the compliment! I hope to keep plugging away at it this weekend but that all depends on the ability to recover from moving and figure out whatever is wrong with the wiring in the house... the ethernet wiring isn't working for some reason, time to call the electrician. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:26, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

List of works[edit]

This is the list of sources recorded at PASE. I would like to include a list in the article, but this will take some organizing. I'd like to give the Latin title in each case, whatever the scholarly consensus on date of composition is, and group them according to subject. I think we can work on this list here and move it to the article when we have some of that done. Mike Christie (talk) 14:07, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

The notes I am assembling below rely on my connecting the Latin title in references to English titles in PASE. My Latin is probably sufficient for this but if anyone wants to check through it wouldn't hurt. Mike Christie (talk) 14:32, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
The best way to get these titles is probably Plummer, which it's becoming clear to me from the reading I'm doing is the fundamental edition of Bede, even though more recent scholars disagree with him on quite a few points. I've ordered a copy from Australia and I'm going to hold off on updating this section till it arrives. Mike Christie (talk) 12:57, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Calendar
  • De arte metrica (more rarely, De Metrica Ratione): "On the Art of Metre", ed. C.W. Jones. Bedae opera didascalica. CCSL 123A. 3 vols. Turnhout: Brepols, 1975. 59-141. Verse examples with commentary. Ref: ODNB.
  • Chapter Headings
  • Chapter Headings of Isaiah, Daniel, the Twelve Prophets and Part of Jeremiah drawn from the Treatise of the Blessed Jerome
  • Metrical Version of Psalm 112
  • Chronica Maiora : The Greater Chronicles, or Concerning the Six Ages of the World together with the Seventh and Eighth Age Ref: Ward Venerable Bede
  • Chronica Minora : Minor Chronicle (Ealdgyth translation of title) Ref: Ward Venerable Bede
  • Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. I think this is Expositio Actuum Apostolorum et Retractio but not sure. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • Explanatio Apocalypsis (also Expositio Apocalypseos): "Commentary on the Apocalypse", ed. Roger Gryson. Bedae presbyteri Expositio Apocalypseos. CCSL 121A. Bedae Opera 2:5. Turnhout: Brepols, 2001.
  • in Cantica Canticorum Allegorica Expositio: On the Song of Songs. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • On the Seven Catholic Epistles
  • In Ezram et Neemiam : On Ezra and Nehemiah. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • Commentary on Genesis - I think this is Libri Quatuor in Principium Genesis, but not totally sure. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede.
Full title: Libri quatuor in principium Genesis usque ad nativitatem Isaac et electionem Ismahelis adnotationum (but sometimes abbreviated to the catchier title In Genesim, after Jerome I guess), ed. C.W. Jones, CCSL 118A. Turnhout: Brepols, 1967. (Cavila (talk) 09:13, 11 February 2009 (UTC))
  • In Canticum Habacuc Allegorica Expositio : Commentary on the Canticle of Habakkuk. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • In Lucae Evangelium Expositio : Commentary on the Gospel of Luke. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • In Marci Evangelium Expositio : Commentary on the Gospel of Mark. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • In Proverbia Salomonis : On the Proverbs of Solomon. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • In Primam Partem Samuhelis Libri IIII : On the First Part of Samuel. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • In Librum Patris Tobiae Allegorica Expositio: On Tobit. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • On What Isaiah Says: And they will be shut up there in prison, and after many days they will be visited.
  • On the Resting-Places of the Children of Israel
  • Letter to Helmwald
  • Epistola ad Pleguinam: "Letter to Plegwine", ed. C.W. Jones, Bedae opera didascalica. CCSL 123A-C: 123B. 3 vols. Turnhout: Brepols, 1975-1980. 615-26; tr. idem, Appendix 3.1; tr. Faith Wallis. Translated Texts for Historians 29. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1999. 405-15.
  • Epistola ad Wichthedum: "Letter to Wicthed", ed. C.W. Jones, Bedae opera didascalica. CCSL 123A-C: 123B. 3 vols. Turnhout: Brepols, 1975-1980. 634-42; tr. idem, Appendix 3.3; tr. Faith Wallis. Translated Texts for Historians 29. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1999. 417-24.
  • Letter to Albinus
  • Bede's Letter to Egbert. 5 November 734. Ref: EHD (p. 735).
  • Book of Epigrams
  • Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum: Ecclesiastical History of the English People. History of the growth and organization of the church in England. Completed 731. Ref: Farmer.
  • Historia abbatum: "Lives of the Abbots". A history of Bede's abbey. Written no earlier than 716. Ref: BEASE, Farmer, HE (p. 34); Farmer, Age of Bede, p. 28.
  • Bedae Venerabilis Homeliarvm L (or simply Homeliae), ed. D. Hurst, CCSL 122. Turnhout, 1955. 1-384; tr. Lawrence T. Martin and David Hurst, Bede the Venerable. Homilies on the Gospels. 2 vols. Cistercian Studies Series 110-111. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1991.
  • Book of Hymns
  • On the Holy Places
  • Kalendarium sive Martyrologia : Martyrology. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • De natura rerum: "On the Nature of Things", ed. C.W. Jones, Bedae opera didascalica. CCSL 123A-C: 123B. 3 vols: vol 2. Turnhout: Brepols, 1975-1980 (1977). 174-234. On Christian cosmology, creation literature, and the calculation of the date of Easter. Ref: BEASE.
  • Names of the Regions and Places in the Acts of the Apostles
  • On Eight Questions
  • Prayer to God
  • De orthographia : "On Orthography". A glossary of difficult words. Ref:ODNB.
  • In Regum Librum XXX Questiones : "Thirty Questions on the Book of Kings". Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • Concerning the Course of the Sun through the Months and the Signs: How the Leap-year Day is completed in its Fourth Year
  • Retractatio: "Revision [of the Commentary] on the Acts of the Apostles". A second commentary on Acts. Ref:ODNB.
  • De schematibus et tropis sacrae scripturae: "On Schemes and Tropes". An explanation of biblical rhetorical usage. Ref: ODNB
  • Soliloquy on Psalm 41; On Psalm 83
  • De Tabernaculo et Vasis eius ac Vestibus Sacerdotum : "On the Tabernacle", ed. D. Hurst. CCSL 119A. Turnhout: Brepols, 1969. 1-139; tr. Arthur G. Holder. Bede: On the Tabernacle. Translated Texts for Historians 18. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1994. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • De Temporibus: "On Time", ed. C.W. Jones, Bedae opera didascalica. CCSL 123B.3 vols. Turnhout: Brepols, 1977. 580-611. A treatise on divisions of time. Probably written about 703. Ref: ODNB.
  • De Templo : "On the Temple", ed. D. Hurst, CCSL 119a. Turnhout: Brepols, 1969. 143-234; tr. S. Connolly. Translated Texts for Historians 21. Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 1995. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • De Temporum Ratione: "On the Reckoning of Time", tr. Faith Wallis, Bede. The Reckoning of Time. Liverpool, 1999.
  • De die iudicii: "On the Day of Judgment". A poem; not definitely attributed to Bede. Ref: BEASE.
  • Vita Sancti Cuthberti Metrica : Metrical Life of Saint Cuthbert. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • Vita Cuthberti: "The Life of St Cuthbert by Bede". (aka Vita Sancti Cuthberti Prosaica ref. Ward Venerable Bede)
  • Vita S. Felicis : Life of the Blessed Confessor Felix. Ref. Ward Venerable Bede
  • Life and Passion of St Anastasius

CCSL = Corpus christianorum series latina. Not unimportant note: C.W. Jones is the editor of Bedae opera didascalica, but I'm not entirely sure whether he's also the editor of all texts contained therein. Cavila (talk) 09:54, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Cavila, thanks for the updates -- very useful; and I didn't know about the CCSL. I found their online listing and it seems they list the work on the apocalypse as "Explanatio apocalyseos", not "Expositio apocalypseos" as you have it. Is this another variant title? See here for the CCSL page. Mike Christie (talk) 10:22, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
There is more than one possibility, based on whichever manuscript attestation you prefer, but a quick Google Books Statistics Test yields many more hits for ... Explanatio Apocalypsis (with 'Bede' as a check-word, to avoid confusion with works of similar title, eg. by Ambrose). It hasn't lost currency either, so Explanatio Apocalypsis - with an i - looks like the default title. Cavila (talk) 11:48, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
It's the difference between transliterating the Greek genitive of words in -ις and Latinizing them to Latin -is stems. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:04, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Colgrave & Mynors[edit]

I got the Colgrave and Mynors edition of HE today. It has an incredibly detailed manuscript section, listing, as far as I can see, every single manuscript of HE (including fragments). It also lists all the early printings and many later ones. I will try to summarize the material into a diagram and some associated text, but it may be too much detail for the article. It leads me to wonder if there might be a place for a List of manuscripts of Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica. Mike Christie (talk) 02:46, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Given how important the work is in history, and how MANY of them there are, yeah, I think it might be good. We could do articles on the big works also, and a List of Bede's writings, and go for a Wikipedia:Featured topic. Overdose on Bede! Ealdgyth - Talk 03:23, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that would be quite a bit. The more I read the bigger this topic gets. let's just see how much energy we have; getting Bede to FA is plenty for now.
I've done most of what I think can be done from Colgrave; there's still some stuff I could add regarding Bede's sources. Colgrave goes into a little more detail about sources, specifying which sources Bede used in which chapters, for example. Not sure how valuable that is, but we'll see. There's more about editions and manuscripts too, but I think I got the high points. I might add a short note about the numerous other manuscripts and put a footnote in saying Colgrave gives the full discussion. But that's it for tonight, at least. Mike Christie (talk) 00:32, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

De arte metrica/De metrica ratione question[edit]

The "Educational Works" section mentions a work called "De arte metrica", citing Brown's Bede the Venerable; the ODNB seems to refer to this work as "De metrica ratione". Are they actually the same? The former title gets 2,290 Ghits; the latter gets 8, so I wonder if Campbell is using a non-standard form of the title in the ODNB article. Mike Christie (talk) 02:16, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Ward gives a list of works in The Venerable Bede, and calls it De arte Metrica, and references an edition by C. W. Jones published in the Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina published by Turnhout in 1975, volume CXXIIIA. I think i'd go with that name, as Ward doesn't list anything under the other name. Ealdgyth - Talk 04:21, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. According to the critical apparatus of that edition of De arte metrica, the work is entitled Baedae presbyteri de metrica ratione in one group of codices. Iblardi (talk) 10:26, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

"Scientific" works[edit]

One of the section titles that predates our recent work is "Scientific works", which seems a little anachronistic to me. I'm going to change it to "Works on chronology and the dating of Easter", and create an "Other works" section just to hold the De natura rerum. I would think others of his works will end up in that section too, and if not we can remerge it with one of the existing sections. Mike Christie (talk) 10:44, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

That works for me. I'm mainly throwing up information and letting others massage it and place it where it fits best. I'm pretty much done for the night with Bede. I got Higham's Re-reading Bede today, and it's very good, but proably a bit too detailed for the main overview article. Definitely useful when/if we get to the Historia article though. I thought the bit on Bede mentioning a wife was particularly .. interesting. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:19, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
OK. I'm not going to get much done tonight, and tomorrow night I'm in the air to Texas and won't be back till Monday evening. I doubt I'll do much if anything while down there since we're getting the house ready to sell. Next up for me is to finish up the ODNB article and make sure everything useful is reflected somewhere, and after that I think I'll focus on the list of works, if Plummer has arrived by that time. Mike Christie (talk) 02:37, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
I'll keep plugging away at the Theological works. (blech!). I'll try to flesh those out some before you get back to NY. Ealdgyth - Talk 02:47, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Translations of the Historia Ecclesiastica[edit]

The fuller treatment of the work is here under Bede but the separate article has this:


Bede's Ecclesiastical History was translated into Old English probably in the late 10th century.

  • 1565: Thomas Stapleton, Antwerp (Imprinted at Antwerp: By Iohn Laet, at the signe of the Rape)
  • 1643/4: Anglo-Saxon version parallel with the Latin in Abraham Whelock's edition (editio princeps of the Anglo-Saxon)
  • 1866: (German) M. M. Wilden, Schaffhausen.
  • 1903: L. C. Jane, Temple Classics.
  • 1907: A. M. Sellar, London, George Bell & Sons.
  • 1955: Leo Sherley-Price, Penguin, reprinted with revisions 1965, revised 1968, revised 1990.
  • 1969: Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors, Oxford, Clarendon Press, reprint with corrections 1992.
  • 1997: (German) Günter Spitzbart, Darmstadt.
  • 2005: (French) Histoire ecclésiastique du peuple anglais, notes by André Crépin, ed. Michael Lapidge, trans. Pierre Monat and Philippe Robin (Paris: Cerf).
  • 2008: (Japanese) Hirosi Takahashi (Tokyo: Kodansha).
  • 2009: (Italian) Beda il Venerabile, Storia degli Inglesi, ed. M. Lapidge, trans. Paolo Chiesa (Milan: Fondazione Valla-Arnoldo Mondadori).

Would it be best in both articles or only in one?--Felix Folio Secundus (talk) 20:14, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Probably best in the HE article, with mention of the first printing and first printed translations as appropriate here. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:37, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Felicitous catch, Felix. It looks like some ambitious and knowledgeable editor should move much of the discussion of the HE into the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum article, and provide a summary in this article that focuses on those elements that show how the HE embodies/reflects Bede's achievements and less on the HE itself. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 20:59, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Mike Christie and I were working on this article this spring, but we both got called away to other things in RL and haven't made it back yet. Obviously, any help is appreciated! Ealdgyth - Talk 21:04, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

59th year means 60 years, old not 59[edit]

This says the book he wrote said he was in his 59th year in 731, then says he was born in 672, or 673. However, 731-60=a birth year of 671 or 672. Being in your 59th year means you are 60 years old. As you are in your first year from the second you are born, not a year after you are born, being in your 0th year doesnt exist. You are therefore in your second year at midnight on your first birhtday, and so on. Its the same concept as centuries, this is the 21st century despite the fact that all the years in this century start with "20". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Crd721 (talkcontribs) 04:22, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

You have it all correct until you do the subtraction... If he was in his 59th year in 731, the youngest he could be (by your logic, and I agree) is 58. In which case he would have been born in 731-58 years, or 673. The oldest he could have been at 31st December 731, is 59. Which would mean he was born in 672. So, the article was correct with "672 or 673". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:05, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

pronunciation of Bede? English native speaker required.[edit]

I'm a French student of English, so I won't edit the article precisely because I'm no native speaker: I can't be 100% sure of what I'm saying here. Would a native English speaker be so kind as to do it for me?

In Jones' pronouncing dictionary, Bede is said to be pronounced /bi:d/, which is what I expected, while it's not what's written here:

-the /'bid/ here means that the author of the article considers he pronounces Bede like bid (same /i/ as fit, lip &c., while the /i:/ is the same as in cheap, feet, Pete) -plus, when you make a phonetic transciption of a monosyllabic word I don't think you need to add any accent, for the accent cannot be anywhere else than this single syllable: I believe that IPA accents only appear in words with 2 syllables and more in English. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Corny52 (talkcontribs) 17:10, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

I've corrected it. And also removed a spurious Latin pronunciation and added the correct Latin and Old English versions --rossb (talk) 17:38, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I just undid an edit made yesterday by an anonymous editor with a Danish IP address. That edit changed the respelled pronunciation from the correct "Bead" to the incorrect "Bay´-thɘ." Possibly the editor was trying to indicate an Old English pronunciation, which may be something like "Bay´-thɘ," but if so he or she put it in the wrong place. Whatever the editor's intention was, that edit was a mistake, so I undid it and restored the correct Modern English pronunciation of the name.--Jim10701 (talk) 16:39, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, the common English usage is the monosyllabic "Bead". I've occasionally heard continental academics pronounce Bede as disyllabic, something like "Bay´-thɘ." Since this is an English encyclopedia, we should follow common English usage. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 22:21, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Image of Bede[edit]

Since the 1493 depiction of Bede has been added to the article after having been removed some time ago, I thought I'd add a link to the discussion in the archives. I don't have a strong opinion about this ahistorical depiction. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 14:32, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Assuming we're talking about the same image, it also appears to be found om this page here. Scroll down to "Saint Jerome (detail)". Other portraits of scribes have been identified as being possibly that of Bede. There's supposed to be in one of the manuscripts preserving his prose Life of St Cuthbert and then there's also this, where one scribe appears to have jotted down the name at the top. Some printed copies of the Penguin Ecclesiastical History have yet another scribe on the front cover. So it would be nice if we had a proper medieval image of the 12th century or earlier. I don't know if anyone here has ever had any luck obtaining copyright-free images from libraries? Cavila (talk) 15:24, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for finding that ref to the possible 12th c. image of Bede. I wish there was a reference to the original manuscript source. As I understand it, the copyright problem doesn't apply to images from the 12th. c (although some libraries claim otherwise).
The image I was referring to was the later 14th c. woodcut from a printed edition, which is even less historical than the 12th c. image. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 16:07, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, strictly speaking, the copyright claimed by libraries pertains to the photo rather than the manuscript itself. There's the rub I think. (I'm sure that some uploads to Commons or Wikipedia will not be 100% kosher by that standard, but since this isn't happening on a massive scale, I don't see libraries investing all their time and energy into 'cleaning up' Wikipedia. In many cases they may have good reason to condone 'fair usage' anyway.) Cavila (talk) 17:18, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

"declared a sanctus" ?[edit]

"...And was declared a sanctus [sic] in 1935" in the "Veneration" section is way problematic. Evidently "sanctus" here means saint. But one can't be declared Doctor of the Church without already having been canonized, so Bede couldn't be Doctor of the Church in 1899 and canonized in 1935. So, if Bede was indeed canonized in 1899, then what does "declared a sanctus in 1935" mean? And why is sanctus in boldface? To say the least, this is jargon that needs clarification in the article. — J M Rice (talk) 05:47, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

The problem is that Bede's "sainthood" predates a formal canonization process, so strictly speaking his doctor of the church title does precede his sanctus. The source for this information, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article, says "The papacy pronounced Bede doctor ecclesiae in 1899 and sanctus in 1935." Ealdgyth - Talk 14:24, 21 October 2010 (UTC)


"His name is uncommon, only occurring twice in the Liber Vitae of Durham Cathedral, one of which is assumed to be the writer." This is sourced to Higham's (Re-)reading Bede, which I don't have. I think this means that one of the two occurrences in the Liber Vitae is thought to be a reference to the Bede who is the subject of this article. I'll have a go at rephrasing, but if I have it wrong, please let me know. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 21:10, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I just found out the source is viewable on Google Books, so this is resolved. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 22:03, 29 December 2010 (UTC)


  • It would be nice to be able to point to the ms of Acts that Bede is supposed to have worked with; Blair says it's in Oxford, so that almost certainly means the Bodleian, but he doesn't specify more precisely than that. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 18:34, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
    Per this page the Oxford Dictionary of Saints says it is indeed at the Bodleian, and also says it's in both Greek and Latin. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 18:43, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Per this, the shelfmark must be Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Graec. 35. Just hang on a minute, I'll see if I can find it in The Anglo-Saxon Library by Michael Lapidge. Cavila (talk) 19:00, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh well, Lapidge's book is not exchaustive, apparently. On page 26 (and note 111), there's a brief note suggesting that the manuscript (of the 6th or 7th century, possibly from Rome or Sardinia) may have 'belonged' to Theodore, but that there's no "definite evidence" for this view. He then points the reader to a number of publications on this topic. Nothing about Bede though. Anyway, we have an article for Codex Laudianus that we can now link to. Cavila (talk) 19:21, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! I used the Bodleian link as the ref; I think that's plenty good enough. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 21:44, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Per Google Books G.H. Brown's Bede the Venerable seems to have some discussion of the "six ages" heresy charge; could someone who has a copy take a look and see if there's any material that could be added to the Life section? Mike Christie (talklibrary) 18:39, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Currently the article says Bede met Wilfrid, but I don't think that's definite. Farmer's translation says only "of whom I made enquiry", which could equally imply a correspondence. The Latin is "sicut mihimet sciscitanti, cum hoc, an ita esset, quibusdam uenisset in dubium, beatae memoriae Uilfrid episcopus referebat, dicens se testem integritatis eius esse certissimum". Plummer (vol. II, p. 235) comments only that "It would be interesting to know on what occasions Bede and Wilfrid met", which doesn't make it clear that he thinks they met on this occasion. Wallace-Hadrill's Commentary describes it as a "conversation" with Wilfrid. Blair is the cited source for the meeting; is he definite about it? Mike Christie (talklibrary) 18:55, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
  • "but another historian, N. J. Higham, offers no explanation for the passages" -- I'm not sure what's intended here; does Higham make no comment at all, or does he comment that the passage can't be explained? The Hurst edition of the Seven Catholic Epistles might have more commentary; I don't have access -- does anyone else? Mike Christie (talklibrary) 21:31, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I can check at my library, if you give me more bibliographic info. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:55, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I've found we have a copy from 1983 published by Brepols, but I suspect its the original Latin. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 22:02, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
That's the one. Yes, it will be the original Latin, but Jones may have some commentary or notes or an introduction that mentions it. The full reference appears to be "D. Hurst, ed., Bede, In Epistolas VII Catholicas, III, 7, Bedae Venerabilis Opera Omnia II, CCSL 121 (1983), pp. 179-342, at p. 244", which I found in the Google Books copy of The Christian Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England. Thanks -- Mike Christie (talklibrary) 22:12, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I got that, and scanned the page for you. The commentary, even, is in Latin. If you want me to transcribe it for you, if the scan isn't clear enough, I can. I put it here: carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 01:43, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! It looks like those are only textual notes, which is a pity, but at least we can now say that we looked. Thank you very much for digging this up. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 01:47, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
No problem at all. Should I not bother getting the vol. 120 then? And for future reference, this is my library's catalogue: If there's something you need from it, just let me know. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 01:55, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Please do get it if you don't mind. As well as checking the page itself, could you see if the text in question is mentioned anywhere in any introductory material or commentary other than footnotes? Thanks; and thanks for the catalogue link -- Ealdgyth and I are working done a list of Bede refs and there may be some material we can't otherwise find. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 01:58, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay, so I should get v.120 and look for introductory material etc talking about the wife/lust passage in the Commentary on Luke? carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 02:13, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, please! Mike Christie (talklibrary) 02:19, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Alright, it'll be another few days prob'ly. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 02:20, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I looked at it, and there's nothing we can use; again, it's just Bede's text, with textual notes; no introduction or editorial materials. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 06:34, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for checking. At least now we know. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 13:08, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
The other quote, which appears more likely to be metaphorical, is from the Commentary on Luke, which is also CCSL, this time volume 120. I will post a page reference here if I can find one -- again it would be worth checking for commentary. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 22:14, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok; I'm not at school now, but I may be in the next week or so and will check it out then. Also, we have a "Venerable Bede" by a G.F. Brown from 1887. Is this a different work from the one you wanted above? carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 22:15, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
That's a different book, but thanks. For that one I am pretty sure Ealdgyth has it, and she is likely to stop by this page in the next couple of weeks so we can wait for her. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 22:23, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I have George Hardin Brown's 1987 book, Bede, the Venerable, but nothing from 1887 by G. F. Brown... Ealdgyth - Talk 22:34, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I posted a question above about the six ages material in George Hardin Brown's book -- if you could check that when you get a minute that would be great. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 22:37, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Victoria, if you have Hurst's work and feel yourself more competent than I, please feel free to check on the stuff for Mike instead of me doing it. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 22:41, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't have the Hurst, and I'm certainly NOT competent on Bede! The six ages stuff: Brown says that "Where he differed was in the actual reckoning of the number of years in each age; instead of blindly accepting the figures that Isidore had unequestioningly taken from Jerome's translation of Eusebius' Chronicle, he himself calculated the time differences allotted in the Bible according to Jerome's translation from the Hebrew, with assistance from the historian Josephus where the Bible is unspecific. The result was that instead of the usual figure of more than 5000 years from the creation to the birth of Christ, Bede arrived at 3952 years." (p. 38). Ealdgyth - Talk 22:49, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks -- I've added some material based on that extract. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 12:56, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm starting to think that a separate section on Bede's library might be worth it; the question of sources is going to come up repeatedly as we go through his works, and it would make sense to have a separate section to collect that information. I'm also not sure that there's a need for the "Works" section -- a separate section for each of his major types of work, plus HE, is probably enough. It can stay till the individual works sections are done, at least, and then we'll see if it's needed. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 13:27, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Plummer (vol. I, introduction) has a detailed list of the sources that Bede cites explicitly and there are more references in the notes. I'm afraid that expanding the list too far will overwhelm the article though. I don't want to start putting that information in the HE article because if I start doing that I'll never come back to work on this article; that's what derailed me last time. So I'm going to hold off on that; but if we need more information on sources, Plummer is a good place to go. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 14:00, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Also a note for possible future use: Plummer gives a detailed list of all the heresies that Bede refutes in a footnote on p. lxii of volume I. Most of the references he gives are to Giles' edition of the complete works, without naming the work, which will make identification a little more laborious if it proves necessary. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 14:24, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Now going through some of the more obscure sources I've acquired:
    • DeGregorio, Scott. 'Bede's In Ezram et Neemiam and the Reform of the Northumbrian Church'. Speculum, 79:1 (2004), 1-25. Publisher: Medieval Academy of America. ISSN 00387134. I don't think this is usable; it makes the argument that Bede's exegetic work on In Ezram et Neemiam has a reforming agenda allied to the Bede's concerns about the dissoluteness he saw in the Northumbrian church of his day. I don't find the argument convincing, personally, but I don't know how it's been received by the academic community. For our purposes I think it can be ignored because it is highly specialized and adds no specific information about Bede, just an interpretive theory about one of his works. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 01:34, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
      • Dropped you an email from my gmail account, Mike, I have that article and some others, but need to make sure the email I got is still good. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:51, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
        Yep, got the email and the attachments. I will go through them and add notes here. Thanks. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 03:40, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Fanning, Steven. 'Bede, Imperium, and the Bretwaldas'. Speculum, 66 (1991), 1-26. Publisher: Medieval Academy of America. ISSN 00387134. This is an argument that starts with Bede's use of the word imperium, and concludes that there was never any such concept as the bretwaldaship. It's not fundamentally about Bede; it's about the bretwaldaship, and unless we need to mention Bede's list of kings I don't think we have to use it. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 03:54, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Wormald, Patrick. "Bede, the Bretwaldas and the origins of the Gens Anglorum". In Wormald, Patrick; Bullough, Donald; Collins, Roger (ed.), Ideal and reality in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Society : studies presented to John Michael Wallace-Hadrill (Oxford, 1983), 99-129. Ealdgyth, your notes say you can get this -- I think we should look at it. It's cited frequently and may have something about the nature of Bede's view of the English, which could be worth including. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 03:54, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
      • It's checked out at the moment, and I'm not seeing that I got the article in the past, so it'll have to wait a few. Ealdgyth - Talk 01:24, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Ray, R. 'Bede's Vera Lex Historiae'. Speculum, 55 (1980), 1-21. Publisher: Medieval Academy of America. ISSN 00387134. This focuses on a phrase of Bede's in the preface to HE: "For, in accordance with the principles of true history, I have simply sought to commit to writing what I have collected from common report, for the instruction of posterity." Ray distinguishes Bede's approach to historical truth from that of Jerome, who used the same phrase; I don't see any very specific conclusion here but if we end up with a section discussing Bede's historiography we should come back to this article; I think some appropriate commentary could be found from this. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 04:12, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Just requested from library ...[edit]

Should be here in my hands within the week:

  • William D. McCready (1994) Miracles and the Venerable Bede

I can also get some of the Bede works out of the Translated texts for historians series, are there any we would particularly want? Ealdgyth - Talk 02:11, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm about to go to bed, so I'll think about that tomorrow or Tuesday. I just ordered Thompson, "Bede, his life, times and writing" and that should be here soon too. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 02:17, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
On that sorta note, I managed to snag a cheap copy of Harmer's Anglo-Saxon Writs, so that should be here this month... won't be useful for Bede, but might for others. Didn't you say that there was an autograph or close to autograph copy of one of Bede's works? If we can find a picture of that, that'd be a good thing for the article... Ealdgyth - Talk 02:21, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Do we need a historical background section[edit]

I think it would be better to have a short (one paragraph) section prior to the Life section, which gives the basic context -- Anglo-Saxons conquered England between mid-5th and late 6th century; Christianity arrives over the course of the 7th century, with monastic life starting during that time; England was divided into multiple kingdoms, of which Northumbria was one of the most important and influential. Would something like this be useful? I know in biographical articles it is not unusual to dive straight into the subject's biographical data, but for historical articles (and this one is both) it seems reasonable to set some context. Any thoughts? Mike Christie (talklibrary) 00:21, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Can we crib the one from Wilfrid or from Gregorian mission? (just kidding). Yeah, we probably need one, but writing one that's concise without being ... inaccurate will be a pain in the rear. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:24, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I'll give it a shot over the weekend. Particularly if you take on the "Veneration" section and the "assessment" section for HE. And maybe we need an overall assessment section? Or does the HE one suffice? Mike Christie (talklibrary) 00:35, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Urf. What a choice... sure you won't trade me a couple of Thoroughbred reacehorses instead??? (grins) I'll try, I won't make any promises about how fast I'll move. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:38, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Here's an unsourced draft: how does this look? If this is about right I should be able to source it easily enough; and I'll add the necessary links:

The Anglo-Saxon conquest of England was essentially complete by the late 6th century. The native Britons had been Christian, but the invaders were pagan until Augustine's mission arrived from Rome in 597 and converted Æthelberht of Kent. Over the next hundred years the Anglo-Saxons became Christian, and with Christianity came the spread of literacy and of monasteries as centres of scholarship. Initially the Anglo-Saxons had formed many small kingdoms, but over time several of these disappeared or merged, and by the end of the 8th century the most important kingdoms included Mercia, Wessex, Kent, East Anglia and Northumbria.

With Northumbria at the end of the list we have a natural segue into the Life section. -- Mike Christie (talklibrary) 02:52, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Latin translation needed[edit]

In Whiting's life of Bede in the A.H. Thompson, he says Reginald of Durham records that Bede was cured of a stutter by St. Cuthbert. Then Whiting quotes the preface of Bede's verse life of Cuthbert: "Quotidie namque et nova per reliquias eius aguntur, et vetera noviter ab his qui scire poterant indicantur. Ex quibus unum est quod in me ipso, sicut iam tibi dixi, per linguae curationem, dum miracula eius canerem, expertus sum". From Whiting's description this is relevant to the story but my Latin is not up to a confident translation, though I will have a go if nobody else does. Can anyone translate this? I hadn't heard the story of the stutter before and I think it might be worth including. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 03:47, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

A friendly Wikipedian on the Latin Wikipedia translated this for me: it's "... because every day new [miracles] are being effected by his relics, and old ones are being newly reported by those who have been able to learn of them. Among these [miracles] there is one that I experienced in my own self, as I have already told you, through the cure of my tongue/speech while I was singing about his miracles." I'll add something based on this shortly. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 01:17, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for cluttering things up, but by accident I just happened to read a passage from Dorothy Whitelock about this very question: "I should be extremely reluctant to accept a statement of Reginald of Durham that Bede suffered from an impediment of speech until miraculously cured by St Cuthbert. Reginald's claim, that Bede 'merited to be freed by Cuthbert's merits from the hindrance of an impediment of speech', has grown out of Bede's own words in the preface to his verse Life of Cuthbert, in which he tells the priest John that he cannot set forth all Cuthbert's acts, for new ones are daily performed by his relics and old ones newly indicated by those in a position to know. He continues: 'one of which is what I experienced in myself, as I already told you, per linguae curationem, while I was singing of his miracles'. It is this phrase which Reginald has interpreted as the curing of an impediment. But what did Bede mean by it? J. Stevenson translates 'how his tongue was healed', and Dr Duckett speaks of 'some canker on the tongue'. But J. A. Giles renders the sentence: 'One of these ... I have in myself experienced in the guidance of my tongue whilst I was singing of his miracles.' If it is permissible to take curatio in this more original sense, Bede is claiming that he received miraculous inspiration from St Cuthbert while he was composing his verse Life. I prefer to believe this interpretation." quoted from: Dorothy Whitelock, "Bede and His Teachers and Friends", in: Gerald Bonner (ed.), Famulus Christi. Essays in Commemoration of the Thirteenth Centenary of the Birth of the Venerable Bede, London 1976, p. 19-39, on p. 21. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:59, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks; I've added something based on this. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 18:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Technical question about date of Bede's death[edit]

The article states: "Bede died on Wednesday, 26 May 735 (Ascension Day)"

However, Ascension Day is a Thursday (not a Wednesday), and 26 May 735 (a Julian calendar date, since the Gregorian calendar was not in use) was on a Thursday, according to WolframAlpha. The circumstance of the date falling on a Wednesday appears to be important to the story of his death, where the the narrative begins on Tuesday. -- Bob (Bob99 (talk) 14:24, 7 June 2011 (UTC))

You're right; it was a Thursday. ODNB is unambiguous about this. Cuthbert's letter on the death of Bede records events up to the evening of the Wednesday, and then makes it appear he died shortly afterwards, but given that Cuthbert is quite clear on the date of death it must be the case that Bede died shortly after midnight. Or were days thought of as starting at sundown on the previous night? If so, that would explain it. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:02, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
"Or were days thought of as starting at sundown on the previous night? If so, that would explain it."
That has got to be it, because the Old English word for Wednesday night would have been something along the lines of Thunresaefen ("Thurs-eve" as opposed to "Thurs-day"). My understanding is that, during this period, they were unequivocal about the day of the week changing at sundown the evening before. -- Bob (Bob99 (talk) 16:43, 5 January 2012 (UTC))
In an era before mechanical clocks, judging midnight would be difficult. Many peoples consider the start of the day to be sundown, consider that the Jewish Sabbath starts at dusk on Friday and ends at dusk on Saturday. Genesis I (KJV) has "And the evening and the morning were the first day." which is repeated as a formula for each of the remaining days. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 12:53, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Bede (and those who followed him) considered that religious feast days, such as Ascension, began and ended at sunset. In Chapter 5 of his The Reckoning of Time Bede notes that the people of Israel begin "all their feast days, as we do today, at sundown, and finished them at sundown; as their Lawgiver says, From even to even you shall celebrate your sabbath." (p. 24, Wallis tr.)

Gospel of St. John[edit]

I note that Ealdgyth has reverted an edit by Classicgirl99 referring to Bede's translation of St. John's Gospel as unsourced. The Wiki page Old English Bible translations has:

A translation of the Gospel of John into Old English by the Venerable Bede, which he is said to have prepared shortly before his death around the year 735. This translation is lost; we know of its existence from Cuthbert of Jarrow's account of Bede's death.

and cites Dobbie, E. Van Kirk. "The Manuscripts of Caedmon's Hymn and Bede's Death Song with a Critical Text of the Epistola Cuthberti de obitu Bedae." New York: Columbia University Press, 1937. OCLC 188505. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 11:53, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

I've just found out that the Dobbie book was issued as a PhD thesis from Columbia University. There are copies in the Bodlian and in some US libraries. See Martin of Sheffield (talk) 15:27, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
If you have checked that the source stated says that (or have another source that says the same thing) feel free to add the sourced information. This article is a good article and unsourced information shouldn't be added - that's why I reverted. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:03, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
No I don't have the source, only the Wiki reference, that is why I raised it on a talk page and didn't start interferring with the main article. A bit of Googling turns up and a couple of references in Higham, N. J. "(Re-)Reading Bede: the Ecclesiatical History in Context" Routledge 2006: ISBN 978-0-415-35367-0 (hbk), 978-0-415-35368-8 (pbk). Main reference p.17, also mentioned at p.46. Hope that helps a little. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 14:57, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
The picure I mentioned above appears in the main articles Infobox! Last night I scanned our books at home and came across: Loyn, H.R. "Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest" Longman, 1962 ISBN 0-582-48232-1. On page 270: "At his [Bede's] death in 735 he was working on a translation of St. John's Gospel into English." Martin of Sheffield (talk) 10:19, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Added the above information and citation to the main page. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 08:45, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

I do not agree with the reversal of my edit[edit]

I notice that my edit was reversed. I changed the location of Jarrow, from "near Newcastle" to "near South Shields" since South Shields is indeed the closest main town to Jarow. I know. I've walked the whole area.

I am disappointed to see this reversal of my edit. Firstly, it was my first input into Wikipedia and felt like a slap in the face. Secondly, because I do not think the reason for the revision is well founded.

The reason given was that people "know Newcastle better". Surely one of the main objectives of Wikipedia is to inform. In light of that objective, I see it as right to state that Jarrow is closer to South Shields, which is geographically correct.

Surely the point is to be both precise in meaning and educative in nature.

Therefore I would ask folk to consider whether it is not wiser to speak the truth "near South Shields" than write the name of a place further away, on the basis that the reader will know that place. Surely our objective is to widen knowledge and encourage investiagtion and exploration?


AHoseason (talk) 01:26, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Andrew, there was no slap in the face intended, indeed I spent some time thinking about it precisely because it was your first edit. I hope you have read the message on your talk page, the invitation to respond there or to contact me on my talk page was sincere. Having, in the past, lived for seven years in Whitley Bay, I'm aware of local sensibilities! I'm repeating a lot of the detail for other editors, lets see what they suggest.
For the benfit of other editors, the sentence in question is:

He is referring to the twinned monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow near modern-day Sunderland and Newcastle, respectively; both have been claimed as his birthplace, and there is also a tradition that he was born ...

Andrew changed "Newcastle" to "South Shields" with the edit summary: adjusting the "near to" place because I live locally and Jarrow isnt "near to" Newcastle, its near to South Shields. Subsequently I reverted the change with the summary: Revert well intentioned change by AHoseason. Newcastle is more widely known that Shields. See users talk page and included the following in a welcome message on Andrew's talk page:

I'm sorry but I'm reverting your well intentioned changes to Bede. Wikipedia is read around the world and Newcastle is far more widely known than South Shields and therefore is of more help to the readers. "Near to" is a bit relative, from a couple of hundred, let alone a couple of thousand files away Jarrow is indeed very near to Newcastle.

Might we have input from other editors please to arrive at a concensus? Thanks Martin of Sheffield (talk) 10:04, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
As a yank, I have to say that Newcastle is much more useful than South Shields. The idea of the "near to XX" construction is that it locates something near something that folks can find on a map - South Shields isn't exactly much better known than Jarrow. Newcastle, however, is often found on tourist maps and folks outside of the area have a chance of having heard of it before. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:01, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Insufficient citations[edit]

This article contains some unaddressed citation needed tags. If we want to keep the GA status, this issue needs to be fixed.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 20:57, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

I see four -- three citation needed and one clarification needed. Is that everything that needs to be fixed? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:13, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I've removed one tag along with the claim it was tagging; it was incorrect. For the others, I don't have Higham -- Ealdgyth, do you have that? I'm not sure what the sanctus claim is -- if they just mean sainthood, then I don't think Bede is a saint, is he? He's a doctor of the church, which is different. The other one is the claim that he's responsible for replacing the Hebrew word "God" with "Lord of Hosts"; given that he probably didn't read Hebrew this seems unlikely. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:14, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Regarding Bede's sainthood. Doctor of the church#Latin church final paragraph is interesting. After mentioning that she had not yet been cannonised it says: "The liturgical cult of St. Hildegard of Bingen was officially extended to the universal Church by Pope Benedict XVI on 10 May 2012, clearing the way for her to be named a Doctor of the Church", so it would appear that sainthood is a prerequisite for a Doctor of the Church, ergo Bede must have been canonised. Two non-wiki site to look at: and I've no idea how official is, but claims "An Site from the Franciscans and Franciscan Media Copyright © 1996-2012" and to operate "with the official ecclesiastical approval of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cincinnati". Regards, Martin of Sheffield (talk) 14:10, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Doctor of the Church presupposes sainthood. See Bede's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of Saints where it states that "Feast: Originally 26 May (as in eight south English calendars before 1100) but generally 27 May (to avoid a clash with the feast of Augustine of Canterbury); since 1969 it is on 25 May in the Roman calendar." (his entry is pages 47-48 - the full citation would be Farmer, David Hugh (2004). Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Fifth ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-860949-0. ). If I recall correctly, sanctus just means that his sainthood claim was investigated and found to be correct - this is a system for investigating "saints" from before the formal canonization process, to go back and put the formal seal of approval on their sainthood. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:20, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I've dealt with the last few citation needed. If the clarification is a big deal, we'll just whack it out and find it later... we can easily clarify the sainthood with the Oxford Dictionary of Saints stuff above. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:46, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Please clarify use of "venerable"[edit]

I find this somewhat-cryptic remark:

"Bede became known as Venerable Bede (Lat.: Beda Venerabilis) by the 9th century,[129] but this was not linked to consideration for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church."

The above needs to be clarified (notice that a person is declared venerable and then blessed before canonization, which is elevation to sainthood). For years I have been familiar with the story that the now-St. Bede was at the "venerable" stage for a very long time (not canonized until 1899, according to this article), and "venerable" became, in effect, part of his name for that reason. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

he wasn't canonized in 1899, he was declared a doctor of the Church then. He was considered a saint before there was a formal canonization process - thus the statement. He occurs as a saint within 100 years of his death - so the "story" of him lingering as a venerable is just that... a story. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:53, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

731 and Muslim battle[edit]

I've deleted the note that read "{{efn|The traditional date is 731, which Bede gives himself. However, a Muslim defeat in Gaul that took place in 732 appears to be recorded, which gives some fuzziness to the ending date.<ref name=Nar242>{{harvnb|Goffart|1988|p=242 and footnote 36}}</ref>}} . This refers to a passage that reads "remained for almost a fortnight. At this time* a terrible plague of Saracens ravaged Gaul with cruel bloodshed and not long afterwards* they received the due reward of their treachery* in the same kingdom. In the same year the holy man of God". The note on this in The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford World's Classics) by Bede, Judith McClure, Roger Collins and Bertram Colgrave says "not long afterwards: the only events this can refer to are the defeat of the first Arab attack on Gaul at Toulouse in 721 or that of another Arab raid at the battle of Poitiers in October (?) of 732 or 733. If it were the latter, this would represent a late revision or posthumous editorial addition to the text of Book V. Bede's lack of contemporary information about Arab attacks on Gaul is also apparent in the Chronicle."[1] This does not suggest a problem with the dating of 731. Dougweller (talk) 14:46, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Death date[edit]

I trust the changes I have made from the 26th to the 25th, explaining the difference between calendar day and liturgical day is understandable. My latest change removes language that gives Tuesday (the 24th) as being two days before his death. I see it as the simplest way not to mislead the reader, but most of the references given in this article are untraceable (actually, unidentifiable), by me at least. (There needs to be a complete title, full author name, and publisher at least, with publication date.) Therefore, I am unable to confirm if both "Tuesday" and "two days before" are given in the source, and if the source is actually quoting an ancient source, like Cuthbert's letter. It all makes a difference because two days before Wednesday is Monday, not Tuesday, according to modern-day counting methods. But by ancient methods, based on the Roman numeral system, Tuesday is "two days before Wednesday". The reason is that you must begin counting with the day you start from (Wednesday), and that count is "1", because the number "0" had not been invented mathematically yet and didn't exist in Roman numerals. So, a count of "2" gets you to Tuesday. So, was the count modern, or ancient? Or does it matter? Perhaps my edit is all we need. Or was is a modern count of 2 which had been calculated to be Tuesday because it was thought the day of death was Thursday? So is Tuesday correct? Evensteven (talk) 04:39, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

The complete bibliographical details are given in the Bede#Sources section of the article. Note that the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry (which is what was used as a source for this) states the 26th. I'm entirely to busy right now to dig into this, unfortunately. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:19, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I've made a start at adding ref=harv to the various bibliographic enties. When I've finished the tooltips and citations will link to the appropriate entry. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 18:08, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Re Bede#Sources. Honestly! How could I have been so lame? Working while too fatigued? I'll see what I can dig up now, too. Evensteven (talk) 22:02, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry requires a fee to access, and I am not a member. No matter. Wherever the death account was sourced in modern times, the original source was Cuthbert's letter to Cuthwin, which I find was similarly quoted in the recent source I provided from the Penguin Classics publication. Cuthbert identifies "the Tuesday before our Lord's Ascension" as the start of the matching time frame in the account, which follows through until Bede's death in the late evening of the following day, Wednesday. I already explained that liturgically the Ascension would begin at Vespers Wednesday evening (just after sunset) and continue until sunset Thursday, which would have been identified with the name for "Thursday" even in Bede's time. The day of the week for this feast is invariant year-to-year, coming 40 days after Pascha, which is always Sunday (also old Roman-style counting). Cuthbert does not count "two days" even though that would have been his correct count: 1 for Tuesday, 2 for Wednesday. Most likely those words came from a modern calculation that assumed Thursday as the dating for the Ascension: Tuesday to Thursday = two days. If the Oxford Dictionary states May 26th as the death date, it may well be in error for similar reasons, not understanding the liturgical calendar. In that case, the Penguin Classics source appears to be the more reliable in this instance.
The one thing left to do is to verify that the 26th really was a Thursday that year. Fortunately, I have a standard modern reliable source that gives an algorithm for accomplishing that. It will require some programming in a spreadsheet and take some time to be confident in results, but I can do it eventually. Until then, let us assume that the 26th was Thursday as the article had stated. We now know clearly that Bede died Wednesday evening, which would then be the 25th, and the article should be able to remain as it is now. Evensteven (talk) 23:03, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I follow your arguments, but I'm not comfortable with switching the date from the given source, as you've done. The ODNB article is a reliable source, and I don't think we can change it on the basis of an analytical argument. See also a prior discussion about this. I suggest we change it back to 26 May, as given by the ODNB. I'd be happy to email Campbell, the author of that article, and ask him how the date is derived, and ask him whether modern scholars consider the 25th to be a possible date. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:36, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'd be glad if you would contact Campbell, and interested in what he would say. According to modern definitions and usage of the Julian (and Gregorian) calendars, the new day begins at midnight. No source tells us the time of Bede's death with entire precision, though my reading of Cuthbert favors before midnight. It's clear Bede died after Vespers (isn't it?). But, given that the only trained and literate keepers of the calendar in Bede's day were almost certainly churchmen, they would likely have kept dates primarily in the service of the church. Per the prior discussion, and Bede himself, the local practice was to start the new day at sunset. The church had done this from the beginning, when it first used the Hebrew calendar of Christ's time. Vespers was designed to be the first service of the day. So the question of whether Bede's death came after midnight or not is unlikely to have mattered much to Cuthbert, even if it were possible for him to tell. It is a strong notion that he would have considered Thursday 26 May to have begun at Vespers, a time that we in modern times would describe as Julian Wed 25 May at about 6 PM; what we call Wednesday evening he might have called Thursday evening. I can't say myself how technical anyone was about those matters in ancient or medieval practice, or even when the "day starts at midnight" rule entered the Julian calendar's lexicon. (After all, leap day, year numbering, and the definition of new year's day have all been played with historically.) I think the modern standard is to assign dating according to modern calendar practices, so then the question of midnight arises again. Those are the kinds of technicalities I'd like to see Campbell address in a response. If then he'd still say the 26th (and tell why), I'd be completely satisfied that we had confirmation from a reliable source. Until then, I won't really find either date to be more than a holding pattern. I'm the newcomer to the article. I yield to the rest of the editing community as to what the holding pattern should be. Evensteven (talk) 02:33, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Note: Today I find that the Penguin Classics source I "added" (ref #34) is sitting in the article's list of primary sources. Mine's the 1968 printing with Sherley-Price's translation and introduction (which I'm getting my stuff from), and the then-new revisions by Latham, as in the 1991 edition listed as the primary. Only the editors are different in mine: Betty Radice and Robert Baldick. Evensteven (talk) 17:25, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, I'll revert to the 26 May date, since that's what's in the sources, and I'll email Campbell -- I found his address on the web. Thanks. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Before I emailed Campbell I did a bit more searching, and found that page 307 of Blair's World of Bede (visible in Google Books) explains it as suggested above -- he died after sunset on the 25th of May, and by the then-current reckoning that meant the date was 26 May. I think we should let the date stand on that basis -- perhaps citing Blair as an additional source for the date, and giving a footnote explaining the situation. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:33, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
The additional reference and footnote are exactly what I would have suggested. Thanks much for the followup! Evensteven (talk) 06:48, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I took the liberty of providing the footnote, with the ref inside, placing it in the article text just after the point of his death rather than directly at mention of the date of death. I figured that's just where the reader might ask questions like I did. But I have no objections to moving it if that is wished. Evensteven (talk) 08:16, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that looks fine where it is; thanks. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


Sainthood is sometimes misconstrued these days, especially in the west. Note that there was no separate western Church in Bede's day, but east and west were yet united (though drifting a little, with minimal impact on Bede). The Church does not confer sainthood upon an individual. Instead, it proclaims and declares a sainthood that it recognizes as already existing. It is the Church that confers that recognition, and once the recognition is given, it is recognized for all time. It cannot be helped if secondary sources do not understand the nature of this recognition, but it is the Church which bestows it, and the Church must thus be held to be the direct reliable source for both the recognition and definition of sainthood. A secondary source that fails to state sainthood in the same way as the Church thus fails to report correctly and cannot be considered reliable as to that fact. Evensteven (talk) 17:34, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

None of that matters. See WP:Honorific ... where the use of them in body text is discouraged. It also points to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (clergy), which is for "This page contains guidance on how to title articles about members of the Christian clergy (popes, cardinals, bishops, etc.) and saints, as well as on how to refer to them in the article body." The section on saints says "Saints go by their most common English name, minus the word "Saint", if such a title is available and the saint is the primary topic for that name." and "As the word "Saint" can lead to controversy (depending on who considers whom to be a saint) and possible non-neutrality, other forms of natural disambiguation are typically preferred, all other things being equal." We're a secular encyclopedia - what the Church or churches would do or do in their sources isn't material here. We follow our own guidelines. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:37, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Note also that the Ward book, which is the source for this statement, does not use Saint in front of either BOniface or Alcuin in the section used as a reference for this part. And this is written by a member of the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God and published by Morehouse Publishing - in a series on Outstanding Christian Thinkers. THey are much more likely to have a Christian POV and if they don't consider it normal to put Saint in front of those names, it's probably not something a secular encyclopedia like Wikipedia should do. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:44, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
My comment is not centrally about Christian POV, and in fact it becomes entangled by events in Christian history that occurred after Bede's time, wherein there are multiple "Christian" POVs as well as non-Christian. Apparently, the Anglican Sisters do not represent the practice of the Church in Bede's time (on this particular point), but it's not my point to raise divisional questions from within Christianity either (nor to criticize their publication). The main point I was making is that a secondary source cannot be considered reliable as to a fact when their reporting fails to acknowledge the source of that fact. In this case, the source is the Church (specifically the Church of Bede's time, undivided east/west, of a practice which differs with some moderns). It cannot be helped that this single source of fact is religious. Sainthood is religious - it could hardly be otherwise. So I would insist that the Church's recognition of sainthood is the determining factor, and secular (or religious) sources either do or do not report accurately.
Your point about WP and its preferences as to reporting honorifics (I would argue about sainthood as a honorific also, but that would have to be settled elsewhere) or titles is a separate issue. I grant that you have a point about accepted WP practice, and definitely regard the policy as secular. Yet WP does try to report about religious topics and to do so accurately. In this case, there is dissonance between its policy and accuracy, and I suspect that my point above has not been examined carefully in the formation of that policy. Still, I'm not trying to push the issue, but only to state it clearly and fully. But while we're at it, let's be clear that Bede (and indeed Boniface and Alcuin) are not just Anglican saints, but Catholic and Orthodox as well (others?). And that is largely because of the Church in Bede's time, which was undivided. So now I relent and leave your reversion intact per the current WP policy of omitting "Saint", as is a common current practice (which, you may note, I have used myself here). The use of "Saint" with the name is not a part of what the Church establishes. But the recognition of sainthood is, and that recognition makes it appropriate to use the title now even in the context of a time before recognition. Appropriate, but not mandatory. Evensteven (talk) 18:30, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Digitised version of Moore Bede[edit]

We (Cambridge University Digital Library) have recently digitised and put online the Moore Bede:

Would this be a useful reference for this and other Bede related pages? I've put the same info on the Moore Bede talk page, but don't really have the subject expertise to edit directly

EifionJones (talk) 13:56, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Naming of Easter[edit]

Etymological dictionaries cite Bede as the sole source for the word "Easter." In most other languages, the holiday's name shares the root with Passover (Pasch). The Bede article includes his interest in dating Easter, but not his resurrection of the (if I understand correctly) disused name for a pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess, Ēostre or Ostara. The article for Bede would be improved by some discussion of his import in not just the dating, but also the naming, of the holiday (by someone with more knowledge on the matter than me). -kslays (talkcontribs) 16:38, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Circa ...[edit]

Per MOS:CIRCA - the template is not required. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:38, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

@Ealdgyth: You can use the {{Circa|673|lk=yes}} form to get the link and still keep the template. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 15:45, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
And ... what does that really buy us rather than just going [[circa|c.]]. The plain link has the advantage of being more intelligible to newcomers - it behaves precisely as every other link does. What does the template gain us, really, besides being different than other links? Ealdgyth - Talk 15:59, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
MOS:CIRCA indicates to use plain "c." (which would be my preference) or the template. It doesn't suggest manually linking. Personally I'd imagine that the sort of person reading about Bede would know that c. 673 meant "673 or thereabouts, no one is certain". If is must be linked, then we might as well use the template, just like with {{sic}}. I assume that is why the IP user has been reverting you. To be honest, I was just looking for the middle way which uses the template the IP user wants and keeps the link you want. Regards, Martin of Sheffield (talk) 17:29, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
But that doesn't answer the question of what the template gains us over linking. NOt everyone reading an article is going to understand "circa" is abbreviated "c." - so a link is good. I'm just not seeing what the template gains in terms of understanding or editing ability. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:35, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
The template helpfully provides a tooltip. When the mouse pointer is hovered over "c." it reads "circa". Elizium23 (talk) 02:16, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
You know regular links provide that too, right? c. and c. 900 have the same functionality. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:15, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Actually {{circa|900}} is annoying on a Mac, hovering over it just produces a question mark at first, then the tooltip appears if you hang around long enough. On the other hand [[circa|c.]] does indeed have that function, even on a Mac. Nortonius (talk) 13:31, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps this discussion is better had on MOS:CIRCA or Template talk:Circa because this is not an issue about the article but rather you are questioning why the MOS specifies use of a template and why it is like it is. Elizium23 (talk) 16:09, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
As a Mac user myself, I fail to see how the question mark that indicates a tooltip is "annoying". And aside, perhaps, from the question mark, it's no different from what is on a PC (as best as I can recall – it's been a while since I've used a PC regularly). (talk) 02:06, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
Maybe it's a personal thing – I'd just rather see the thing, not a thing that's telling you there's going to be a thing ... Nortonius (talk) 09:28, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
I assume that is why the IP user has been reverting you. I don't believe they were reverted by an IP user. (talk) 02:09, 25 October 2016 (UTC)