Ecclesiastical History of the English People

Ecclesiastical History of the English People


Translator: Leo Sherley-Price
Introduction by: D. H. Farmer
Notes by: D. H. Farmer
Revised by: Ronald Latham

Format
Paperback
Price
$15.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140445657
  • 400 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
Notes to the Introduction
Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Author’s Preface: To the Most Glorious King Ceolwulf

Book One
1. The situation of Britain and Ireland: their earliest inhabitants
2. On Gaius Julius Caesar, the first Roman to reach Britain
3. Claudius, the second Roman to reach Britan, annexes the Isles of Orkney to the Roman Empire: under his direction Vespasian subdues the Isle of Wight
4. Lucius, a British king, writes to Pope Eleutherus and asks to be made a Christian
5. Severus divides Roman Britain from the rest by an earth work
6. The reign of Diocletian: his persecution of the Christian Church
7. The martyrdom of Saint Alban and his companions, who shed their life-blood for Christ at this time
8. The Church in Britain enjoys peace from the end of this persecution until the time of the Arian heresy
9. During the reign of Gratian, Maximus is created Emperor in Britain, and returns to Gaul with a large army
10. During the reign of Arcadius, the Briton Pelagius presumptuously belittles the grace of God
11. During the reign of Honorius, Gratian and Constantine set up as despots in Britain: the former is killed shortly afterwards in Britain, and the latter in Gaul
12. The Britons, harassed by the Irish and Picts, seek help from the Romans, who come and build a second wall across the island. Notwithstanding, these enemies again break in and reduce the Britons to worse straits
13. During the reign of Theodoius the Younger, Palladius is sent to the Christians among the Irish. The Britons make an unsuccessful appeal to the Consul Aëtius
14. The Britons, made desperate by famine, drive the Barbarians out of their land. There soon follows an abundance of corn, luxury, plague, and doom on the nation
15. The Angles are invited into Britain. At first they repel the enemy, but soon come to terms with them, and turn their weapons against their own allies
16. Under the leadership of Ambrosius, a Roman, the Britons win their first victory against the Angles
17. Bishop Germanus sails to Britain with Lupus: with God’s help he quells two storms, one of the sea, the other of the Pelagians
18. Germanus gives sight to the blind daughter of a tribune. He takes some relics from the tomb of Saint Alban, and deposits relics of the Apostles and other Martyrs
19. Germanus is detained by illness. He puts out a fire among houses by his prayer, and is healed of his sickness by a vision
20. The two bishops obtain God’s help in battle, and return home
21. The Pelagian heresy revives, and Germanus returns to Britain with Severus. He heals a lame youth, and after denouncing or converting the heretics, restores the British Church to the Catholic Faith
22. The Britons enjoy a respite from foreign invasions, but exhaust themselves in civil wars and plunge into worse crimes
23. The holy Pope Gregory sends Augustine and other monks to preach to the English nation, and encourages them in a letter to persevere in their mission
24. Pope Gregory writes commending them to the Bishop of Arles
25. Augustine reaches Britain, and first preaches in the Isle of Thanet before King Ethelbert, who grants permission to preach in Kent
26. The life and doctrine of the primitive Church are followed in Kent: Augustine establishes his episcopal see in the king’s city
27. Augustine is consecrated bishop: he sends to inform Pope Gregory what has been achieved, and receives replies to his questions
28. Pope Gregory writes to the Bishop of Arles, asking him to help Augustine in his work for God
29. Gregory sends Augustine the pallium, a letter, and several clergy
30. A copy of the letter sent by Pope Gregory to Abbot Mellitus on his departure for Britain
31. Pope Gregory writes to Augustine, warning him not to boast of his achievements
32. Pope Gregory sends letters and gifts to King Ethelbert
33. Augustine repairs the Church of Our Saviour and builds a monastery of Saint Peter the Apostle. A note on Peter, its first Abbot
34. Ethelfrid, King of the Northumbrians, defeats the Irish and drives them out of England

Book Two
1. On the death of Pope Gregory
2. Augustine urges the British bishops to cement Catholic unity, and performs a miracle in their presence. Retribution follows their refusal
3. Augustine consecrates Mellitus and Justus as bishops: his own death
4. Laurence and his fellow-bishops urge the Irish to maintain the unity of the Church, particularly in the observance of Easter: Mellitus visits Rome
5. At the deaths of Ethelbert and Sabert their successors revive idolatry: on this account, both Mellitus and Justus leave Britain
6. Laurence is reproved by Saint Peter, and converts King Eadbald to Christ. Mellitus and Justus are recalled
7. The prayers of Bishop Mellitus put out a fire in his city
8. Pope Boniface sends the pallium with a letter to Justus, Mellitus’ successor
9. The reign of King Edwin: Paulinus comes to preach the Gospel to him, and first administers the Sacrament of Baptism to his daughter and others
10. Pope Boniface writes to the king, urging him to accept the Faith
11. The Pope writes to the Queen, urging her to exert her influence to obtain the king’s salvation
12. King Edwin is moved to accept the Faith by a vision seen during his exile
13. Edwin holds a council with his chief men about accepting the Faith of Christ. The high priest destroys his own altars
14. Edwin and his people accept the Faith, and are baptized by Paulinus
15. The Province of the East Angles accepts the Christian faith
16. Paulinius preaches the Word of God in the Province of Lindsey. The reign of King Edwin
17. Pope Honorius sends a letter of encouragement to King Edwin, and the pallium to Paulinus
18. On succeeding Justus in the See of Canterbury, Honorius receives the pallium and a letter from Pope Honorius
19. Pope Honorius, and later Pope John, write letters to the Irish about Easter and the Pelagian heresy
20. King Edwin is killed, and Paulinus returns to Kent, where he receives the Bishopric of Rochester

Book Three
1. King Edwin’s immediate successors abandon their people’s Faith and lose their kingdom: the most Christian King Oswald restores both
2. Before engaging the heathen in battle, King Oswald sets up a wooden cross: a young man is later healed by a portion of it, and innumerable other miracles take place
3. Oswald asks the Irish to send him a bishop: when Aidan arrives, he grants him the island of Lindisfarne as his episcopal see
4. How the Picts received the Faith of Christ
5. The Life of Bishop Aidan
6. The wonderful devotion and piety of King Oswald
7. The West Saxons accept the Faith through the teaching of Birinus and his successors Agilbert and Leutherius
8. Earconbert, King of Kent, orders the destruction of idols. His daughter Earcongota and his kinswoman Ethelberga dedicate themselves to God as nuns
9. Miraculous cures take place at the site of Oswald’s death. A traveller’s horse is cured, and a paralytic girl healed
10. How the earth from this place has power over fire
11. A heavenly light appears all night over Oswald’s tomb, and folk are healed from demonic possession
12. A little boy is cured of ague at Saint Oswald’s tomb
13. A man in Ireland is recalled from death’s door by means of Oswald’s relics
14. On the death of Paulinus, Ithamar succeeds to his Bishopric of Rochester. An account of the wonderful humility of King Oswin, who was treacherously murdered by Oswy
15. Bishop Aidan foretells a coming storm, and gives seafarers holy oil to calm the waves
16. Aidan’s prayers save the royal city when fired by the enemy
17. The wooden buttress of the church against which Aidan leaned as he died is untouched when the rest of the church is burned down. His spiritual life
18. The life and death of the devout King Sigbert
19. Fursey establishes a monastery among the East Angles: the incorruption of his body after death attests to his visions and holiness
20. On the death of Honorius, Deusdedit succeeds him as Archibishop of Canterbury. The succession of the bishops of the East Angles and of Rochester
21. The Province of the Middle Angles, under its king Peada, becomes Christian
22. The East Saxons, who had apostatized from the Faith under King Sigbert, are re-converted by the preaching of Cedd
23. Cedd receives the site for a monastery from King Ethelwald, and hallows it to our Lord with prayer and fasting: his death
24. On the death of Penda, the Province of the Mercians accepts the Faith of Christ: in gratitude for his victory, Oswy gives endowments and lands to God for the building of monasteries
25. Controversy arises with the Irish over the date of Easter
26. After his defeat Colman returns home and Tuda succeeds to his bishopric: the condition of the Church under these teachers
27. Egbert, an Englishman of holy life, becomes a monk in Ireland
28. On Tuda’s death, Wilfrid is consecrated bishop in Gaul and Chad among the West Saxons, to be bishops in the Province of the Northumbrians
29. The priest Wighard is sent from Britain to Rome to be made archbishop: letters from the apostolic Pope tell of his death there
30. During a plague the East Saxons lapse into idolatry, but are quickly recalled from their errors by Bishop Jaruman

Book Four
1. On the death of Archbishop Deusdedit, Wighard is sent to Rome to be consecrated in his stead: on the latter’s death there, Theodore is consecrated Archbishop and sent to Britain with Abbot Hadrian
2. Theodore makes a general visitation: the English churches begin to receive instruction in Catholic truth, and sacred study is fostered. Putta succeeds Damian as Bishop of Rochester
3. Chad is appointed Bishop of the Mercians: his life, death, and burial
4. Bishop Colman leaves Britain, and founds two monasteries in the land of the Irish, one for the Irish, and another for the English whom he had taken with him
5. The death of King Oswy and King Egbert. Archbishop Theodore presides over a Synod held at Hertford
6. Wynfrid is deposed, and Sexwulf appointed to his see: Earconwald is made Bishop of the East Saxons
7. A heavenly light indicates where the bodies of the nuns of Barking should be buried
8. A little boy, dying in the convent, announces the approaching death of one of the sisters. A nun, about to depart this life, sees a glimpse of future glory
9. Signs from heaven appear when the Mother of the Community departs this life
10. A blind woman regains her sight while praying in the convent burial-ground
11. Sebbi, King of the East Saxons, ends his days as a monk
12. Haeddi succeeds Leutherius as Bishop of the West Saxons: Cuichelm succeeds Putta in the See of Rochester, and is himself succeeded by Gebmund. The succession of the Northumbrian bishops
13. Wilfrid converts the Province of the South Saxons to Christ
14. A fatal epidemic is halted by the intercession of King Oswald
15. King Cadwalla of the Gewissae kills King Ethelwalh and devastates his province with plundering and slaughter
16. The Isle of Wight receives Christian settlers. Two young princes of the island are killed immediately after Baptism
17. Theodore presides over a Synod held in the Plain of Haethfeld (Hatfield)
18. John, Arch-cantor of the apostolic see, comes to teach in Britain
19. Queen Etheldreda preserves her virginity, and her body remains incorrupt in the grave
20. A hymn in honour of Etheldreda
21. Archbishop Theodore makes peace between King Egfrid and King Ethelred
22. A prisoner’s chains fall off when Masses are sung on his behalf
23. The life and death of Abbess Hilda
24. A brother of the monastery is found to possess God’s gift of poetry
25. A man of God sees a vision portending the destruction of Coldingham monastery by fire
26. On the death of King Egfrid and King Hlothere
27. Cuthbert, a man of God, is made bishop: his life and teaching as a monk
28. Cuthbert becomes a hermit: his prayers obtain a spring from dry ground, and a crop from seeds sown out of season
29. Cuthbert foretells his own death to the hermit Herebert
30. After eleven years in the grave, Cuthbert’s body is found incorrupt. His successor departs this life soon afterwards
31. A brother is cured of paralysis at Cuthbert’s tomb
32. The relics of Saint Cuthbert heal another brother’s diseased eye

Book Five
1. The hermit Ethelwald, Cuthbert’s successor, calms a storm by his prayer when some brethren are in danger at sea
2. The blessing of Bishop John cures a dumb man
3. Bishop John heals a sick girl by his prayers
4. The Bishop cures a thegn’s wife with holy water
5. The Bishop’s prayers recall the servant of a thegn from death’s door
6. By his prayers and blessing, Bishop John saves from death one of his clergy who had been bruised in a fall
7. Cadwalla, King of the West Saxons, goes to Rome for Baptism: his successor Ini also makes a pilgrimage of devotion to the shrine of the Apostles
8. On the death of Theodore, Bertwald becomes Archbishop: among bishops consecrated by him is Tobias, Bishop of Rochester, a man of great learning
9. Egbert, a holy man, plans to travel to Germany and preach, but is prevented. Subsequently Wictbert goes, but meeting with no success, returns to his native Ireland
10. Willibrord preaches in Frisia and converts many to Christ: his companions the Hewalds suffer martyrdom
11. The venerable Swidbert in Britain; and Willibrord in Rome, are consecrated bishops for Frisia
12. A man in the Province of the Northumbrians returns from the dead, and tells of the many dreadful and many desirable things that he saw
13. Devils show another man a record of his sins before his death
14. Another man about to die sees the place of punishment reserved for him in Hell
15. Under Adamnan’s influence, many churches of the Irish adopt the Catholic Easter. He writes a book on the Holy Places
16. Descriptions from this book of the sites of our Lord’s Birth, Passion, and Resurrection
17. The site of our Lord’s Ascension, and the tombs of the patriarchs
18. The South Saxons receive as their bishops Eadbert and Ealla, and the West Saxons Daniel and Aldhelm. The writings of Aldhelm
19. Coenred, King of the Mercians, and Offa, King of the East Saxons, end their days in Rome as monks. The life and death of Bishop Wilfrid
20. Albinus succeeds the devout Abbot Hadrian, and Acca succeeds to Wilfrid’s bishopric
21. Abbot Ceolfrid sends church architechts to the King of the Picts, and with them a letter about the Catholic Easter and tonsure
22. The monks of Iona and the monasteries under its jurisdiction begin to adopt the canonical Easter at the preaching of Egbert
23. The present state of the English nation and the rest of Britain
24. A chronological summary of the whole book, and a personal note on the author

Bede’s Letter to Egbert
Introductory Note
Bede’s Letter to Egbert

Cuthbert’s Letter on the Death of Bede
Introductory Note
Cuthbert’s Letter on the Death of Bede
Notes:
Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Bede’s Letter to Egbert
Cuthbert’s Letter on the Death of Bede
Genealogies of English Kings
Further Reading
Maps:
The British Isles at the Time of Bede
Western Europe
Index

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